Monday, 28 February 2011

fáil whale or pot-of-gold

Ireland's incumbent government was brutally routed as retribution for gross dereliction when it came to the custody of the country's wealth. Mismanagement and buying into flimsy schemes excited the ousting of the outgoing Fianna Fáil coalition, and though, no doubt, the people should be held to account whose conduct has lead Ireland's betrothal to years of indebtedness, the elections seem one on hand symbolic and moot. Saddled with this financial crisis, the incoming government has very little latitude in determining any significant changes to welfare or austerity, since all future funding has already been allocated--spent--to pay off IMF loans with money tight and choices narrowed. Many other places facing similar situations fear population and talent drains as people move with the fleeing job opportunities and spiraling revenues. Huge swaths of land stood nearly deserted already on our visits, with little going expect for the holidaymakers, but what may not have been visible or appreciable to us was I am sure a lot of individuals getting creative and inventive. Governments may never be luminaries at stretching the household budget, and some ministers, fearing saturation and stagnation, can only hope to repackage, refinance, or hope that extra-terrestrials will infuse the market with fresh buying-power.
One nation in the same predicament as Ireland, having already dumped its lax leadership and dealing summarily with withering investment and hardships to come, is Iceland.
The bit of genius they are testing, albeit ambitious and grandiose, is a proposal to channel geothermal energy from volcanic fonts in Iceland via cable to Scotland or Ireland and onto Europe. Considering how Iceland's exposure only shifted from news of the country's financial melt-down to how Eyjafjallajökull (Kajagoogoo) grounded air travel, that is a good stroke that people may soon be associating the country with plentiful, clean and cheap energy. There's a bit of wildness in laying a two thousand kilometer power line under the Atlantic, but the project's scale and goal is little different from the Suez or Panama Canals.

e*moticons

Thought Catalog (via the always stunning Mind Hacks) has a short reflection on the Internet's rather unexamined capacity to alter existential states. Though there are tumbling stacks of articles on how social networking has besmirched manners, etiquette and attention spans, there seems to be less said about the emotions--anxieties, rather--that the Internet has authored. That's a strange manifestation of artificial intelligence or a new weighted-factor for the Turning test. One's venues, perches for expressing and maintaining one's image have increased considerably with the new electronic real estate, and there is a strange, unrelenting pressure to update and to be the first on the scene. One should perhaps trust in all the redundancies built into the system for a bit of solace. If exposure is missed one place, the same item will mostly be re-run, recycled or re-posted elsewhere a little behind the curve. Nothing, in fact, ever goes away, notwithstanding the gnawing obligation to treat something as actionably otherwise. The internet is not like television, telethons, or radio in this respect. Neither are emails--discounting their speedier derivatives--the same as a phone call: they are designed, whether intended or not, to be answered at one's pace and not instantaneously refreshed.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

ad lib

The situation in North Africa and the Mid-East is still explosive, and despite progress won there is a distinct and present risk of recidivist tyrannies and back-sliding into chaos. Some protesters’ honeymoons have lost their sheen as police are doing their job of civil policing and concessions, sometimes meaningful, betimes empty, are being offered by leaders of a whole range of vested and divested authority.
People have been inspired towards revolution, though no oppression is exercised in quite the same way—Libya is a very different place than Egypt or Tunisia or Algeria or Jordan or Iran or Iraq or Yemen or Saudi Arabia—and though steady-state strife, disenfranchisement or even civil war is influenced by macroeconomic factors and policy-decisions that have left a younger population disaffected and without many opportunities for a commensurate career, aside from daily staples and small freedoms. Many observers seemed spooked by talk of civil war and the subsequent disruption to oil supplies and overall destabilization that would make it more difficult for carpetbagger corporations to operate there.
I hope that outsiders are not just wishing this away, support tepid at best, to keep cheap oil pumping and promote continued expansion opportunities to export Western luxuries and fast food franchises and to ensure that the standard of living stays low and not too much of the treasure and resources are retained and used in these places. Just like it is billed as a rarity to witness a revolt that was not under the ægis of the forces that spread freedom and democracy in the world, it is likewise billed as unusual to see a civil war starting, as most assume such regional conflicts have always been, some warring tribes in lands with borders jimmied out arbitrarily when the colonial powers moved on to pure mercantilism—and what of that blood and treasure in a decade not so well invested in Iraq as protests begin in Baghdad. Years of war and occupation have left the people with precious little left to loose, and makes the chance ripe to regain and reclaim what was once theirs without meddling, direct or tangential.

end-user error

I will readily admit that I can be very lazy when it comes to electronics and tend not to pay attention, constantly surprised by the extra features the camera or the DVD player is capable of, for example, and I am reluctant to ever touch the settings on the central heating. The controls, however not excusing me from my want just to bang on buttons until the desired result is achieved or not familiarizing myself duly with the protocol, do not seem to me simple, intuitive or logical. This one slightly overwhelming dial on the hot water tank makes me think of the instructions forward-thinking scientists designed for the Voyager spacecraft so that an alien intelligence could receive the messages from Earth, the star Sirius (*), the lunar phase (•), the base of the natural logarithm (℮) as it approaches the mass to energy equivalence (E)… What does it all mean?

Saturday, 26 February 2011

berlin, du bist wunderschön

Bundestag
On the occasion of the travel industry trend merchants announcing that Germany has surpassed France as the preferred European tourist destination, I thought it was a good reason to hold a photo roundup from our vacation last week to the capital. 
Brandenburger Tor
While we were waiting to buy tickets to the observation deck of the fantastically retro-futuristic Fernsehturm at Alexanderplatz, there was a graphic display on how the TV tower compared to other tall structures with a view from around the world. 
Weltzeituhr, Alexanderplatz
All the listed sites from the Empire State Building to the Tokyo Sky Tree were charter members of some International Society for Tall Towers, which I though was some strange, bureaucratic and self-referential device (like the Institute for Wine Drinkery for one particular grocery store chain, which of course only recommends the store brands the chain sells and rates no outside vintages),
Fernsehturm with Neptunbrunnen
and that is what I think of these tourist rating bureaus. 
I am very glad that more people are appreciating Germany,
Siegessäule
though it is admittedly skewed a bit this year for Bavaria with the once a decade pilgrimmage to Oberammergau for the Passion Play this past Spring, but Berlin is not Paris or London and Paris and London is not Berlin, especially considering the affordable accessibility one has to all these fine things.

Gendarmenmarkt with Konzerthaus and Französische Dom

Berliner Olympic Stadium
Ishtar Gate on Museum Island

Thursday, 24 February 2011

general zod

There is a certain cachet to arch-villains that the cadre of contemporary but quaking megalomaniacal leaders have failed to capture. I don't know if there is an annual gathering of the truly rotten and demonized heads of state, Leader and Guide of the Revolution, Dear Leader, Baby Doc, Protector of the People, Fidei Defensor, to coordinate and plan outright--or if such a summit falls under the guise of another. These bad guys are readily identifiable, like any well-drawn nemesis, and certainly have the tragic flaw of hubris. This much they are capitalizing on, not that the struggles and triumphs all around the world are some comic book adventure, but they, for one, do not admit to an equally matched opponent--which makes the revolution all the more impressive with the accumulated efforts of the people a more sturdy support than any super hero--and because or despite of this imbalance, these stubborn dictators are not the ultimate fonts of evil either.

Greed and rank hypocrisy of course punctuated their long reigns, but the source and inspiration and allowance surely lay elsewhere, just as the people draw their line in the sand, came to their tipping-point, not solely when this steady-state oppression became suddenly intolerable but also when outside pressures and influences made day-to-day existence even more of a struggle, exposure--the sieves of information, financial inversion that brought too much down on the markets, souks and bazaars. No outstanding credit is due, however.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

princess kay of the milky way

There are many quaint and wonderful things that share the same constellation as the Dells in Wisconsin, including, hopefully the fortitude to not relent to corporate sponsored politics that would undermine the power and influence of workers' unions. Anything public and institutionalized, of course, can betray a spotted record, both in reality and in guided perceptions, and the produce of State employees is just as much exposed to scrutiny as the careless custody of funds and the plastic accounting of sophistry. Fighting for the venue to voice one's concerns is a bit more abstract than the actual workers' rights that might be later entertained, but this distinction is not lost on those who have stood with them, the solidarity of the region and the world and the politicians who have flagged due caution in fiscal-planning. Toppling entrenched and moribund regimes is a clear focus of rage and frustration, and though right to bargain and right to strike may be dressed down, dismissively--living in Europe, union actions and impetus are well-integrated components of any business and governance--that distinction is not lost either on those bravely fighting against bald and unmasked antagonists.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

ich habe noch einen koffer in berlin

We are on vacation for the long weekend, and this time to the capital, to explore the strata of this multilayered, storied city.  Stay tuned to our little trave blog for upcoming developments.  For now, we have arrived in a shabby-chic hotel in the quarter of old Moabit, just beyond the buildings of parliment.  This area, bizarrely, was originally settled by French Hugonauts fleeing religious persecution.  One of their first enterprises after arriving was a venture for silk cultivation, but the Chinese white mulberry tree would not grow in the sandy soil of Berlin, which are the only trees that silkworms will spin their cocoons on, so they had to find another way to support their new community.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

plagiat or creative-commons

Amid continuing controversies over German troop presence in Afghanistan, the debate over ending universal conscription, the state of affairs on board the navy's training tall ship, the Minister of Defense is facing a more personal embarrassment and crisis of integrity. Legal scholars stumbled across some tell-tale passages from the Minister's 2006 doctorial dissertation comparing and contrasting the constitutional (Verfassung) systems and processes of America and Europe that strongly indicate academic dishonesty and plagiarism. With all the other debates going on in the ministry and tensions all around, one has to wonder about the timing of the this curious audit--possibly meant as a character-assassination that withers more credibility.

If the Minister did cheat a little, then he deserves to lose his doctor-title regardless of whether it was a vanity degree for someone already entrenched in the halls of government and even if originality and due-credit are not mainstays of any government.  Such behaviour should not be condoned but it should neither unsettle confidence in itself--not all embarrassments and skeletons are outed through leaks.  It surprises me though with all the warnings against it from the same learned councils that say Wikipedia is not an acceptable source or scans term papers line by line against the sum total of human knowledge--that is, at least what is committed to the internet, or sends out publication manuals and style guides with every text book shipment to reinforce the importance of proper and full citations. Considering all that is recycled and repackaged, maybe the Minister's dissertation was a fitting homage to old wine in new bottles.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

operation paperclip or grand moff tarkin

A Finnish film producer has teamed with partners in Germany and Australia to pose the audience with the alternative, speculative time-line, in which surviving members of the National Socialist German Workers' Party escape to the dark side of the Moon after the fall of the Third Reich. After decades of nursing defeat on their lunar colony, the space villains plot a spectacular re-conquest of the Earth in contemporary 2018. This dark comedy and  science-fiction amalgam, which bears some similarity with the adventures and exploits of Baron von Münchausen, seems bold in essaying a heretofore unexplored extreme conclusion of pioneering rocketry and mad ambition. The sillier side of the project, however, is the makers' hope that the movie will be financed almost exclusively by donation, crowd-funding by fans. That makes the whole premise seems too familiar--like that of Mel Brooks' The Producers. No one has tried to make an utter flop in quite awhile, though I imagine that wrestling shining success from surpassing tastelessness is a bigger surprise than to be let down by mediocrity or tepid reception.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

trial of the pyx

Bad-mouthing the US economy and fiscal policy was more enjoyable when the state of the rest of the world was pretty much on the same level, and similar underlying challenges looked to be insurmountable for recovery. A global economic downturn, implosion promised to be just that—global, altering the landscape and brining about change. And while there may be still systemic problems plaguing trade, corporate favouritism and influence, misguided consumption, and any number of confidence-tricks and market-flipping, it seems a lot of the prophets of gloom are very quick to take back their criticism of capitalism and its fully articulated cachet of accessories. It is mostly a hollow business. Before someone was clever and shrewd enough to convince kingdoms that they could mortgage their debts for cash (bonds) and investors were dull enough to buy it, financing was all done with real assets and the backers exacted political capital, grace-and-favour, instead of just moribund obligations.
No extra money was minted because of the risk of inflation and devaluation. Presently, however, there is a situation, a collusion, wherein all these things are possible: influence is trafficked with the debt and quantitative easing is another lever to pull in many markets. Talk of the deficit can be a charged and a malleable topic. In its unprocessed form, the US federal deficit is simply the ratio of government income versus outlays, and though arguable, when people discuss the deficit, they are really talking about the US economy, which are really separate things. Though unsustainable in the long term or as a permanent state, a negative balance of payments can promote tangible improvements for the public and not solely for corporate welfare. A budget shortfall has not yet been turned into an investment instrument the way bonds have, except in the sense of bailout-pie, but it can be for the public good, nonetheless, and government exists only to serve its people. Other governments, whose agendas are not quite so beholden to special-interest, polarizing messages and commercial sooth-sayers, do not dismiss running deficits but approach the matter with more measured responses. As long as someone is buying, it is a sovereign prerogative to allow spending to outstrip receipts for the sake of providing for its citizens. The debate becomes charged when the comparison, talk of the economy in general, is lost to household economics and sacrifices are presented in the same way as a balanced checkbook. Symbolic cutbacks because of unflinching focus on a single economic indicator will accomplish little and probably result in more acute pain.

Monday, 14 February 2011

auswanderlust

Senior leadership in France recently announced-- joining a public chorus of others, the UK, Germany and Australia-- the failure of multiculturalism (multi-culti, as the Germans say). It’s a grim pronouncement to make, but it is possible that concessions and accommodations have been proffered in ways that have erred in many circumstances on the side of neutrality in efforts to please everyone, which usually, inevitably, please no one.
Still, no one should throw up their hands in frustration and failure and repair to austere assimilation, quotas, or worse yet intolerance. What policies and practices might work better I don’t know. Such a series of declarations of malfunction, however, may betray a secondary, self-interested motive for Western governments’ ringing support for the budding reform movements in North Africa. For everyone’s sakes, fostering real development and support for improvement make opportunities more viable in these countries and make it possible for individuals and families to thrive without having to leave their homelands. Economic considerations are not the only driving-factors for immigration, but countries able to retain their domestic treasure and talent with the invitation to stay on are better positioned for growth and continued advances. Domestic tranquility, however, should never be an excuse to erect barriers and rescind the truly valuable elements of diversity and cultural exchanges.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

renaissance or day of days

With less than three weeks of revolt, the Egyptian people have managed to overcome three decades of rule that smacked of tyranny and despotic under-achievement.  This is a monumental first step.  Though for many the joy and relief was also a fair mix of shock and surprise, to find that there was an alternative to the powers and the treatment that they had nearly become inured to.  Blossoming freedom and democracy, and not the sort foisted on people by some calvary on the charge, is a rare and precious thing, to be nurtured carefully.  The people have begun to remove the obstacles to their self-determination, and with awareness and support all around, I am sure that they will continue on the right path.

Friday, 11 February 2011

zagazig

There is a monumental battle of the wills happening in Egypt. There is also the creeping, crassest of attitudes circulating among a minority of casual observers, a fatigue, like the weariness that exculpated some people's consciences over natural disasters and other unseemly catastrophes. I have a lot of sympathy for the struggle and for the dangling disappointment and hope.

This standoff could go on and on.  Moreover, events like these really illustrate journalistic integrity, slacking vigilance or otherwise. The protest grounds are not necessarily over-crowded with the press, but those who are there are doing a good job and blurring the distinction between the aloofness of reporting and being in and of the moment, which along with citizen-journalism, transfixes the scene and admonishes us of the stakes and what is at issue. The bigger dilemma seems often bringing the reporting to the audience, and though there are virtually unlimited vehicles of delivery, it astounds me how much the media, the visible advertising space, shunts what's in depth off to the side, or when it is not even available in competitive formats. I understand such prime real estate is at a premium, but there is a demand for good coverage and due exposure. Further, events like this--maybe significantly and for the first time, also are very telling of who is in the know and who is brokering power. Predictions and speculation have been proved to be just that. Mostly, no one likes to claim influence-peddling or king-making in media res, but one is accustomed to attributing such abilities or at least intelligence, prescience to certain powers, despite proof of dwindling capital.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

fusionen und übernahmen

The Deutsche Börse, the marketplace for the perhaps more familiar sounding DAX (Deutscher Aktien IndeX), is in acquisition talks to take over a controlling share of the New York Stock Exchange. Though the deal may inspire some resistance politically and with cartel-considerations, the impending sale seems to me like a last, desperate attempt to revitalize American stocks with a mortgage that is already over one's head, rather than a consolidating of power and control.
Like anything in large amounts, this concentration of trading certainly has impetus but the equally cavity-causing mob of debt and poisonous liabilities are likewise influential. Making financial hardships diffuse makes it more palatable and opaque. Together in a ten-billion euro quiver, some frantic business can gain legitimacy and even the appearance of value, besides in the swapping. A unified front for managing trades and protection for minority-interests in a monopoly are important and should be weighed against each other, but foremost, I believe, that the German titans of industry should take a close look at what they are committing to. Merging marketplaces makes former paying clients overseas into partners, scouts for new customers. Compared to the sedate and efficient, post-modern Star Trek look of the German Stock Exchange, the NYSE, noisy, crowded, and littered, looks like a scene one would find at the greyhound races.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

freeware or zeroth law

The BBC has a neat, inventive profile of a Swiss initiative to equip the thinking machines with the communication substrate that tinkerers and programmers--and regular users--may take for granted. Though developers, engineers in either robotics or software or chariots of exploration, are not having to reinvent the wheel on a regular basis, though taking a second look at first-principles or learning by rebuilding the family jalopy are experiences more tactile and perhaps more valuable than ethereal modeling, but their inventions succeed and struggle in a relative vacuum.

If machines were given an open venue, like a Wikipedia, the speculative possibilities are amazing, a library of lessons and experiences to augment dexterity and orientation, which not only shares designs and intelligence but can be built-up in novel and unexpected way by their own electronically-tempered contributions. In the field of artificial intelligence, there is the CYC project, that has been evolving, parallel for years, giving computers encyclopedic human knowledge for processing. Some of the questions that the computers have formulated are strikingly poignant: given the figures on the human population and the number of entries on notable people, the computer asks why everyone is not famous. Perhaps an almanac also edited in part by machines could yield some interesting insights for both people and robots.

Monday, 7 February 2011

sabbatical

The German English daily the local has picked up on a rumour propagated that has Egyptians' disenfran- chised president taking extended convalescent leave in Germany. This would be a controversial maneuver as getting Mubarak out of the country might defuse the violent clashes and placate the protesters to some extent. The intent, however, seems less than satisfactory since it will allow the vice-president designate the chance to act with the authority and autonomy vested in the presidency, in Mubarak's absence. There is precious little guarantee that this change of power will work towards legitimate coalition talks, however well-intentioned Germany's hosting of the president would be and promising that no possibility of sanctuary, asylum was in the offer--nor not of true exile, neither. It would mark a popular victory, exit the king but not exuent omnes, but I am sure it would not curry much favour for Germany, whose residents are staging parallel protests in Berlin and Nuremberg and all across the country in solidarity with the people.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

sunday drive: hügelland

Many of our adventures begin with the prospect--very hit or miss, of a good flea-market (Flohmarkt).  Never admitting disappointment, it is always a good excuse to take a leisurely drive and explore a bit.  First, we walked around the grounds of a castle and chapel in a village in the Haßberge.  This, I admit, was not an honest discovery, since I had stumbled across an event held at in the courtyard of this place some months ago and later researched it a little bit:  
though its information site failed to mention that it was closed for the winter, the castle did want to be one's friend on bookface.  I thought the castle needed some real friends and visitors.  Next, we drove on to a more remote village in the foothills of the mountain range, known for its excellent examples of Fachwerk (half-timbered) houses.  It was quite enjoyable to admire the architecture, especially in this well-maintained concentration.
One of the sons of Königsberg, as the village was called, was the fifteenth century mathematician, astronomer and astrologer, Regiomontanus (born plain old Johan Müller, but styled in Latin after his hometown, Königsberg or King's Mountain). 
I remembered his bust in the halls of Walhala, honored for his achievements, which were instrumental in the development and revival of astronomy as a science.  Regiomontanus was later affiliated with the first observatory and helped with Copernicus' errata, and then worked for the Pope. 
He was, however, promptly and probably disposed of for espousing unorthodox views and the motion of the stars, although it was surely easy to cover up such intrigues with blaming his Bavarian pedigree for bringing the plague (die Pest), which he is said to have gotten sick from, to the Roman court.
Nonetheless, it was a nice lesson and a scenic experience for a lazy afternoon, and there is surely a lot more history and tall-tales and things to marvel at in our backyard.

Friday, 4 February 2011

my illudium q-36 explosive space modulator

The gas station (Tankstelle) across the street from work where I usually fill up had a new offering this week.  Along side the diesel, the normal unleaded and the super unleaded--which cost exactly the same, the Benzin and the Super, on the German market, and higher levels of petroleum excellence, there is now something called e10, a biofuel mixture with some ethanol content.  It looks inobtrusive, this choice that may or may not prove to be more environmentally-friendly, but there are warning signs since not all cars are made to run of this concoction.  It was a bit of research to find the assurance that it would be safe for my automobile, as there is a long list of exceptions and untested models and engine types still out there. 
I do have to wonder what it is though about modern electronic engines that make them overly-sensitive.  I think new cars maybe can work themselves into a circuitry frenzy, especially compared to an older, stalwart diesel motor, which with little coaxing can be made to run off of old kitchen grease and used cooking oil.   The internal combustion engine, in principle, has not changed since the automobile was first introduced, and though wider fuel options may not present the final answer, maybe a number of alternatives can come together to make a real, sustainable change for the better.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

1001 words or tiny url

It was my mother who first turned me towards Twitter for breaking news and developments during the media blackouts in Egypt during this crisis of state.
Not really having tried it before--though I do not really foresee myself doing the Twitter--I dismissed it too soon as short attention-span theatre, an obnoxious venue for spouting off unfinished ideas, but I see the message and the medium really can be something outstanding.  Reading the stream of quick updates limned a full picture and one felt immersed in the experience, the scene, like a bat in the night twirling through a field of impressions made up of sonar.
Echo-location certainly seems to leave up more to the imagination than available, substantiated footage and facts.  In a contradictory move, journalists are rounded up but the floodgates of the internet are  gradually restored, but I find that I am rather endeared to having my news as unfiltered, telegraphic dispatches.  Succinct and unvetted, spinning in an array of blurbs become whole galleries together.  These avatars are from the brilliant and prolific Ape Lad, who always has something new to offer.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

cornflower revolution or oh mary, don’t you weep, pharaoh’s army got drown’ded

The establishment is attempting to simonize some fatalistic pronouncements, wresting the revolt from the people and recasting it as a choice, between stability and chaos, which is really no kind of choice. The co-opting of the movement came lightly on a couple of haughty and angry promises and continued, first with the US equivocation and staunch neutrality that transformed into a well-place claim for support and influence, though infinitely deniable and far-removed depending on what proves the most expedient, and then to long-discredited leadership belittling and perverting the very nature and message of the protest—saying it itself had been co-opted by radical elements that were denaturing the people’s grievances.
Seamlessly, these players were introduced and quickly and violently degraded the situation and endangered everyone as clashes escalated and reporting was shut out. The theater and methodology of control was diabolical. Regardless of what factors are being transposed on to this struggle, however, it will not fail. The message has gotten out and this is not abortive, whatever help or hindrance may come. Hopefully, others in the world will find their apathy and tolerance quenched, recognizing without idleness, their own mounting injustices: governments and welfare pawned off to corporate interests, robber barons and carpetbaggers, who are only kept at arm’s length by ransoming one’s livelihood and dignity and liberties to a system that is forever demanding more and more.  Though the usual cover for such activities is Saint Swithin appearing in a burrito or some football game, it is no coincidence that the tempo of legislation has picked up during this crisis.  Surely this is the single most important news story going on now, and all focus is on Egypt, but there are forces who would use this to their peripheral advantage, like the motion to rescind the health care reform that would have brought the greater part of the US on par with the greater part of the world.  That is being presented with a choice that is no choice.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

baud

At the risk of ignoring all the other suffering endured, Egypt's censorship and blockading of internet services and trying to hide and hinder the people's voice is a rather grinchly thing to do.  After a long succession of insults, this one may seem slight, but the history written by the victors may be vanquished, ignored and forgotten in a day when all else is documented, finger- and foot-printed, live and as it happens.  But they came--they came all the same, without bizzle-binks and floondazzlers.  The major internet players have teamed up to bridge the government imposed digital divide and cobble together a network accessible without the internet, helping to focus the movement's leadership and continue to report from Cairo to the outside world.

simoom, samoom

The popular uprising in the Egypt has many hopeful and many pensively watching. Either through revolt, control slouching away in great chunks like with the military forces, or peaceable retirement--however, concessions, negotiations, revisions are not none too convincing, emanating from the same tenacity that has kept the country under a never-changing aegis of emergency powers called regional stability, called peace.

Elite security forces are policing in the original sense of the word, busting up idleness and giving general vagrancy no quarter, and though it may deflect the feeling of chaos, state police seemingly, however ranks splinter, are only interested in preserving the arena, the conditions that have provided them with prosperity and power. The military forces, however, have pledged to safeguard the public welfare, and because of Egyptian's compulsory service requirements, the army is the public and its welfare, all ranking as someone's son, brother or father and some exclusive force of mercenaries working for graft and bribe and job-security. There is an overwhelmingly influential and democratic apparatus in this, unlike deputized goons that by turns seize and are ceded too much authority.  This support, tacit but growing, is significant, and ought to awaken intolerances and apathy for divisiveness and injustice.