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Egypt: The Choices We Make

By on Feb 10, 2014 in Politics | 0 comments

Perhaps one of the biggest changes we’ll all felt since Jan 25, 2011 is – the euphoria, and the burden of – choice. Will you go down? What for? Will you risk your life? On which issues? What is the best choice today? What will it lead to tomorrow? Is this what I want to do? What kind of president do I want? What kind of constitution? Yet – in retrospect, and to some along the way – it seems like we’ve had no choices at all – A referendum in March 2011, which asked, or so the Military Council and the Media, and the Islamists would have had you believe – whether you wanted us to proceed according to ‘a’ plan, or whether you wanted CHAOS. So Egyptians chose…you know, the non-chaos option. Then we had elections. Humdrum. Okay. Arguably, even the Morsi win could be attributed to a choice towards stability. Everybody knew that all hell would break loose if Mubarak-Regime Candidate Ahmed...

Egypt: Story Arcs

By on Feb 1, 2014 in Politics | 0 comments

Obligatory recap It’s difficult to know how far back to go – but let’s just say this; it’s January 2014, the Post-Morsi constitution has passed, with a (ridiculously) high approval, but a relatively low turnout. Now a Field Marshall (just promoted a few days ago, and active today), El-Sisi, the man who was instrumental in removing Morsi from power on July 3rd, is expected to become the new president. Plot Points To Consider El-Sisi had initially stated that there would be no military candidate, and that having one would imply that the army had performed the coup for personal interests, and not as a means for fulfilling the popular demands of June 30th. Despite having obtained a popular mandate on July 26th to wipe out terrorism, Egyptian today feel less secure than they ever have since the revolution began. It has not been reassuring for them to see that the response of the security...

Egypt: A Sampling of Cognitive Biases

By on Aug 24, 2013 in Politics | 0 comments

The conversation going on right now in Egypt, whether it’s on twitter, or in a cab, or on a supposedly well-respected television show – has mostly been bereft of all logic and reason. I really can’t be bothered to go through all the cognitive biases that people commonly succumb to (and that our media lately has been almost relying on), but this is a short sample of some biases, with brief introductions taken mostly from Wikipedia, and with each one, I’ve tried to attach examples that are, let’s say, a bit more…local. Enjoy. This is not comprehensive, and certainly not exhaustive, and my examples might certainly exhibit some of the biases I’m warning people about, but then again, that is the Blind Spot Bias… Please Note: These biases obviously exist in all people world-wide, the main object of this exercise is to see how strong a part they play in some of the conversations...

Egypt: Here & Now

By on Aug 1, 2013 in Politics | 0 comments

It has been almost a month since Ex-President Morsi was removed from office, and the conversation about whether or not he was removed by revolution or coup, or some unholy mixture of both has become both tedious and redundant. As usual, people are less concerned with logic, than with the fulfillment of their desires. Those who wanted Morsi removed but think ‘coup’ is a dirty word have (in complete disregard for the actual final mechanism of his removal) continued to insist that it wasn’t, and those who have struggled against the military from February 11th, 2011 to the present time are either flat-out admitting it was a coup (albeit one with huge popular support) and tried to (optimistically or doggedly) push towards re-framing it as a course-correction to the January 25th Revolution – that all but the most short-sighted understand to be a revolution still in...

July 26th, 2013: Let’s Go Crazy

By on Jul 26, 2013 in Politics | 7 comments

I’ve been trying to talk sanity for the last few days. People don’t want to hear it. You’re either pro-military or pro-terrorism, you’re either an ikhwan or a lover of Egypt (and when they say Egypt they mean the military, and when they mean the military they forget all the betrayals) – we open the doors of one cage, and they run scurrying to the next cage. I haven’t turned on the TV today, and I slept most of it away, I don’t want to see the pictures. I don’t want to see the numbers of people who came out today, don’t want to understand just how many people are willing to see a Maspero all over again, but this time, with popular cheering and applause. I know that there ARE terrorists out there, I am not afraid of the word, and I define it simply as those who would threaten or murder civilians for political gain. It’s not a...

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