A dovetail joint of news, art, science, politics, philosophy & global affairs

Grasping the currency true to our time

"Πάντα ῥεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει"

June 2nd
4:29 PM
Aljazeera charts Arab Spring Twittersphere 

As uprisings turn to revolutions in the Middle East, Al Jazeera’s New Media team releases a Twitter Dashboard that illustrates what is being tweeted about and where.

Aljazeera charts Arab Spring Twittersphere 

As uprisings turn to revolutions in the Middle East, Al Jazeera’s New Media team releases a Twitter Dashboard that illustrates what is being tweeted about and where.

May 29th
3:30 PM
"It is now clear to all that the modern, post-colonial Arab state has failed miserably, even in what it believed it was best at: Maintaining security and stability. Over the decades, Arab interior ministers and police chiefs devoted enormous resources and expertise to monitoring and spying on their own people. Yet now, the security machineries in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya have disintegrated in short order, while the rest of the authoritarian and repressive regimes in the region can see the writing on the wall."
—  Wadah Khanfar, Aljazeera’s director general: We saw the Arab revolutions coming
May 24th
5:58 PM
"[W]hat exactly were Americans hungering to watch? None other than Hillary Clinton offered a gambit. ‘Viewership of Al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it’s real news,’ the secretary of state told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a particularly heavy Charlie Sheen week on American TV. ‘You may not agree with it, but you feel like you’re getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news which, you know, is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners.’"
—  Inside Al Jazeera - Behind the scenes with Michael Paterniti writing for GQ
March 7th
11:25 AM


This documentary is a must-see. Watch at least the first 4 minutes that explain you how the protests in Libya started, then it goes on to let Libyan exiles tell the story of how the regime used terror, cruelty and torture as a tool to maintain its power. This documentary by Aljazeera gives anyone a real understanding why the things are happening in Libya right now. It is deeply moving.

The BBC reports today (March 7) at 12.49pm: 

More now from the doctor in Misrata who spoke to the BBC World Service. He said the fighting on Sunday was very serious, and that he had never seen anything like it. “We had 22 dead and more than 90 severely injured. We’ve had kids as young as two and a half years die, people over 70 years old die,” he added. “Yesterday, they were shooting everything - homes, mosques, drugs stores… They even used their ambulance to shoot people.”

February 6th
2:40 PM

Now, I can watch CNN and other news networks on my computers thanks to Slingbox, but every time I try, I get disgusted and turn it off. Now, I can tune into Al Jazeera and feel that at least they’re trying to give me good information.

…The web won this one, and cable is now history, for news. And the rest of it is not very far behind.

—  Dave Winer, Scripting News, CNN falls into the abyss
February 5th
3:49 PM


Al Jazeera’s Imran Garda interviews Tariq Ramadan and Slavoj Zizek on the future of Egyptian politics

Priceless.  Žižek should be on Meet the Press… or perhaps in a throwdown with George Will on ABC’s This Week.  Not enough popcorn for that.

"all this scare about Islamism… let’s see who’s talking. Over 30% of the people believe in devils, in ghosts and so on and so on.  So I don’t think they have any right to deplore the naivety of the Muslim crowds.  Just go to the deep American South, I can guarantee you it’s worse than many Afghanstan villages…"

February 3rd
12:56 PM
"I blame some sister countries that have unfriendly TV stations, which incite youth against us"
—  Vice president Omar Suleiman to Egyptian TV
January 28th
10:03 AM

Egypt as ‘Physician with One Patient’

Charley Bravo - 1/28/11

A cable newly released by Wikileaks, 10DOHA71, hightlights some fascinating commentary by the Prime Minster of Qatar in discussions with Senator John Kerry. Regarding the Palestinian issue, Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani notes that Hamas has a “greater sense of urgency in reconcilling with Fatah than does the broker of the talks”.  His point here is that Egypt is in some way impeding progress while maintaining its status in the process.  At the very least, the Prime Minister believes that Hamas wants to unite with Fatah for the sake of rebuilding Gaza but that Egypt is not trusted as a broker.

According to HBJ, Egypt — the broker — has a vested interest in dragging out the talks for as long as possible. Egypt ‘has no end game; serving as broker of the talks is Egypt’s only business interest with the U.S.’  HBJ likened the situation to a physician who has only one patient to treat in the hospital.  If that is your only business, “the physician is going to keep the patient alive but in the hospital for as long as possible.” 

In what appears to be a stunning offer, up against the suggestion that Aljazeera was the source of Egypt’s domestic problems, the Prime Minster recounts telling Mubarak that Qatar would “stop Aljazeera for year” if he could deliver on the diplomatic front.  If that was a bluff, Mubarak did not call it, but rather “said nothing in response”.

Now we are at a stage, said HBJ, where Egypt does not want Arab League involvement in brokering a reconciliation agreement among the Palestinians unless the talks bog down.

The nature of this peculiar problem with the 2nd largest recipient of US foreign aid was, according to the Prime Minster, even understood by during the Clinton Administration.   Regarding internal dissent in Egypt and the regime’s tactics, he claims the Egyptian “people blame America …mostly because of Mubarak and is his close ties”.