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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...

The Crisis of Mind & Morality in Egypt

By on Jul 10, 2013 in Featured, Politics | 7 comments

The Great Divide Recent events in Egypt have led to deep intellectual and moral fractures; Egyptians are both shocked and offended at the way media is handling things, and the media is shocked, and by turns disgusted and simply dumbfounded by how Egyptians are seeing things. The divides have been brutal; creating what appears to be vast moral and intellectual divides between people who, just two weeks ago, had considered themselves aligned. There are several things to consider, so I will try to proceed in some rational order. The Democratic Coup Paradox or Ceci N’est Pas Un Coup This issue has received the greatest deal of attention both locally and internationally. There are some facts; Mohamed Morsi got 5.7 million votes in the first round of elections in 2012, a number far outsized by those who protested to remove him on the 30th of June, 2013 – and in the days leading up to...

Testimony on Army / Brotherhood Clashes

By on Jul 9, 2013 in Politics | 6 comments

I’ve just come off the phone, after talking at length with a friend I trust who lives, more or less literally, in the middle of the battle zone, and has been witness to events. I need to write more about this, but I can’t right now. The thrust of it is that the so-called ‘Muslim’ Brotherhood there has been completely terrorizing and destroying the neighborhood, they’ve been destroying shops and ransacking them for food and drink, they’ve been forcing people away from the area, or into their homes, they’ve been forcing themselves into buildings, where they’ve taken over the roofs of at least two buildings there, and using them to fire both gas grenades and bullets at the soldiers during the battles. She saw a one of them get shot while he was standing along, hands raised in the middle of a lull, during which, she insists, the army was not...

Bonfire of the Vanities

By on Sep 12, 2012 in Media, Politics | 2 comments

Shenanigans. We are witnessing shenanigans, tomfoolery, and much clownish ness. Also, a good deal of buffoonery, poppycock, and a wide whisk of whimsical witlessness all marked as balderdash. Getting the picture? A fantastically bad movie was made. It may have been made so badly for nefarious purposes, or possibly by a creator who really is that bad, that stupid, and that impervious to both taste and reason. Whichever. And yes, Muslims are nuts – but so is everybody else on this planet who chooses to maintain unprovable beliefs. You are all…technically…insane. I mean it; ask a Vulcan. He’ll fill you in. Is it stupid to draw attention to a movie that you think is bad or insulting? No, of course not – on principle it is the only wise choice of action. Is it useful to do so? No. Not at all. The Sex Pistols were made when their song ‘God Save The...

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