Death on the Nile

Once Egypt goes down, I’m not seeing how it ever gets up again. It can’t feed itself, or do anything else recognizably productive. Mostly it lives off aesthetic capital inherited from the pharoahs. What exactly is it supposed to build a future from?

ADDED: Judith Miller on sprung Egypt.

March 31, 2013admin 35 Comments »
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35 Responses to this entry

  • Anonymous Says:

    Egypt is probably fucked. At least America has a shit ton of white girls so we can have a sex tourism industry.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    At a stretch this (sex tourism) falls under “aesthetic capital inherited from the pharoahs” (if you include Cleopatra (comin’ atcha!)). I was going to say natural resources – gas, coal, gold, i.e. Egypt isn’t so bad in comparative measures. Tourism shouldn’t be underestimated economically either and there is a national communications/IT industry. Plus they have all those spacecrafts waiting to take off so future post-apocalypse tourism is assured (presumably you saw the crazy Russian photos from the top of the pyramids?). Really it’s a question of measurement – I assume xenosystems regards most states as screwed, but that’s not the same thing as a country short to mid-term rebuilding relatively successfully given some natural resources (which Egypt does have (along with continued strategic importance…)).

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I’m open to persuasion — but what are these natural resources? Gas, gold … really? They’re clearly not being tapped in any significant way at the moment. The apocalypse industry sounds more immediately convincing, but that’s going to be super-competitive …

    [Reply]

    Posted on March 31st, 2013 at 6:09 pm Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    The same might be said of Greece, and their inherited heritage is not as well conserved as Egypt’s.

    And there’s no Nile either.

    I say bomb the Aswan Dam.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    The Greeks do some stuff (if far from enough), e.g. shipping. What do the Egyptians do?

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVrNV_5LhNE&sns=em

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    “He told me that his book is called the Book of Sand because neither the book nor sand possess a beginning or an end.” (http://anagrammatically.com/2010/03/08/the-book-of-sand-el-libro-de-arena-by-borges-translated/)

    “They do the sand dance doncha know?”

    Look at the opening thirty seconds or so… Sand assembling… (destroying)… The egg timer!.. Look at Michael Jackson escaping… Turning to sand and Corkscrewing through the floor… The YouTube video is by Starchild!

    “Blonde waitresses take their trays
    They spin around and they cross the floor
    They’ve got the moves (oh whey oh)
    You drop your drink then they bring you more”

    Egyptians don’t need to ‘do’ anything… Remember the Time… Walking like an Egyptian – the hieroglyph as a 2D representation of dancing in eternity… 🙂

    fotrkd Reply:

    LOST BREEDS OF THE LATE 1800S AND EARLY 1900S:

    “One of the more amusing cases of mistaken identity was that of the “Madagascar Cat” which won the Foreign class at Crystal Palace (around 1900), but which turned out to be a Ringtailed Lemur. At the time, sailors sometimes brought back tame lemurs and called these little primates Madagascar Cats. The farce was reported in general newspapers as well as in the cat magazines of the time – surely a cat judge could tell the difference between a cat and a fruit-eating primate? Defending the decision, the judge (Miss H Cochran) reportedly stated “A lemur is a lemur, but a Madagascar cat is a Madagascar cat.”

    Spandrell Reply:

    Well if there’s anything to your theories, Greek shippers don’t need to be in Greece, so they will eventually become rootless elites in Singapore and leave poor old Hellas to starve.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Indeed.

    Posted on April 1st, 2013 at 1:53 pm Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    What about Cyprus as a Mediterranean Singapore? It has much in common: history of being the UK’s bitch, important for shipping, surrounded by basketcases, nice size. And much better weather!
    It could take high skilled migrants from all the Middle East, the Balkans and Russia.

    Just needs a LKY.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “Just needs a LKY.” — No problem then.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 2nd, 2013 at 3:59 am Reply | Quote
  • Rasputin's Severed Penis Says:

    OK, seriously, in the UK we are bound and gagged by the red tape of so much bureaucratic sclerosis I sometimes wonder how anything ever gets done (answer: interminably, painfully, incompetently, s-l-o-w-l-y, almost as though each ‘action’ was performed by a group of cognitively retarded non-concomitant sloth’s from deep within the Cathedral’s communal E&D, H&S fetishising, K-hole, filmed in slow motion and played back in reverse) and even when it does it’s riddled with labyrinthine, horoscope-esque incoherencies.

    Obviously, we need to change things – it just can’t go on. But the system is so beautiflly, irreducibly broken, and all the shattered parts patched back together with metastasis of medical tape, that nothing can be addressed. Ever.

    But, ignoring all that for one minute, if I was to pose a (politically completely unacceptable) solution, it would be something along the lines of:

    a) Legalise prostitution.
    b) Everybody over the age of 16 (no need to make this anymore unacceptable than it is already – although that leaves some real scope for future development) is registered as a potential sex worker.
    c) Tax them a little bit (but not too much).

    At the moment in the UK we are losing such a large proportion of the service industry, which itself replaced the manufacturing industry (which is not being replaced by anything), that it is difficult to see what the vast number of people who are unemployed / unemployable, and the vast number of people who are going to be made unemployed / unemployable in the not at all distant future, could possibly do – apart from direct their libidinal efforts towards actual libidinal activity. Since so much of the goods and service industry (as well as consumerism in a classical sense) is just the co-option and misdirection of libidinal desire, why don’t we ‘cut out the middleman’ and just unleash the energy of these forces directly?

    It would certainly be good for the environment. As well as good exercise for our increasingly fat and lazy electorate.

    There are already signs that this is happening in virtual space; with more and more young-ish girls earning their pocket/housekeeping money by performing 1-2-1 cam-chats. But to really unleash it’s potential to reorganise society I think it would be necessary to unleash its reconstructive force in the REAL.

    Just in case it’s not already obvious, am not suggesting this as simply a means to generate sex-tourism and attract money from outside the country (although it would certainly do so), but as a strategy to reshape the economy per se – both its internal and external dimension. It would in all likelihood follow that an economy of attractiveness would develop where (broadly) less attractive people would pay to receive ‘goods and services’ from more attractive people, and so on. Since attractiveness is strongly linked to youth it would also do a lot to redistribute wealth intergenerationally. Obviously, I am not suggesting that this should be the only way for people to earn money – I am not completely crazy – but it could certainly go along way towards replacing the state-funded make-work that props up the current system of dependants.

    A criticism that could be levelled at my suggestion (leaving aside 99.99% of the other criticisms for a moment!) is that it would privilege attractive people at the expense of those less physiologically blessed (no, really?! Since when has this not been the case?!) but to be honest I think even people who are at the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of the conventional definition of attractiveness could use this as a way to generate a much needed infusion of lucra as well as some degree of independence from state benefits.

    Hell what else are perversions for?

    [Reply]

    Mark Warburton Reply:

    With the predominance of the working class n’ our new found ‘precariat’ reflecting what is attractive (i.e. fantastically vulgar) in the media (check ITV2) ‘ I’m scared shitless. I envisage a dystopia of wannabe ‘Only Way Is Essex’ types flooding Britain’s mid-sized town highstreets in the early hours of the morning, having sex behind rubbish bins (not always for free!) while balancing kebabs on bollards. Hang on a second….

    At least the welfare system would shrink – leaving (employable) disenchanted post-grads. Like. Umm. Me.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Rasputin’s a member of fuck for forest wanting to roll out the franchise nationally; nick has died of bird flu (remember those Greenspan chicken shots he mysteriously linked to?); the article Thales presumably meant was ‘Kant, Capital and the Prohibition of Incest’ (but you’d be as well to read the ‘what is philosophy post’ on this blog); Japan is going mental.

    [Reply]

    Mark Warburton Reply:

    He’s for real? I thought it was comedy gold. Besides, it actually happens every weekend where I’m based. Just add some tasty street violence to complete the libidinal/dark desire catharsis.

    I’ve read that essay, loved the first half of it, actually: The tensions of modernity (capital vs homogony etc.)

    Posted on April 5th, 2013 at 3:10 pm Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    RSP is trying to separate the reactionary sheep from the libertarian goats (but that would be far too easy). I agree with MW that as a formalized description of where things are going it seems plausible enough, even if the environment / health benefits are being over-sold.

    [The ‘Kant essay’ which I am biographically nailed to was written in the mid-1980s and is in many ways horrible.]

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 5th, 2013 at 10:58 pm Reply | Quote
  • Mark Warburton Says:

    Off topic, Nick, but I’m really enjoying Patri Friedman’s stuff on Dynamic Geography via Sea Steading (to combat the weaknesses of dad’s centre piece, MOF). The stability issue has plagued my thoughts on Anarcho-Capitalism even before I saw it as an admitted dilemma.

    Just a little concerned about logistics and the engineering side of things (even though Patri is dead-on, rather have a engineering quandary than a political one).

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 6th, 2013 at 12:29 am Reply | Quote
  • Zimriel Says:

    I’m sure it’s been mooted here already, but when a civilisation abruptly cannot feed its own young men, it sends them abroad.

    For Egypt, an invasion of Israel and Syria would be my prediction. If the holy warriors win, they get to rape all those Shia, Alawite and Christian women. If they lose, then they inherit lots of military-age (early 20s) widows right at home.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 6th, 2013 at 2:00 am Reply | Quote
  • Rasputin's Severed Penis Says:

    Well, I was being at lest 50% serious in my proposal to replace make-work and reduce benefits through the implementation (unleashing?) of an economy of sexual goods and services. In terms of positing a solution which could actually work, albeit assuming the human-pig-animal wasn’t quite so pious and hypocritical as he is, it’s at least 50% more serious than anything I have read in the media, or at least the Metro, this week. As a proposal with the aim to maximize economic utility per individual agent, via an overall societal maximization of hedonic utility, it is surely at least as economically realistic (albeit less politically so) as MMs proposal to turn the unemployed / unemployable into an underclass of whittlers.

    No one really wants wooden toys.

    Everyone wants sex with someone they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to have sex with. Ergo pr0n.

    I can’t think of another way in which the economic, i.e. money making, potential of so many unemployed 16 – 30 year olds (whether they are busy studying for their phd or drunkenly balancing kebabs on bollards – what a fantastic image) could be tapped into – can you?

    But I suppose my real question is this: if we could (a) find a good or service that everyone (or at least a lot of people) want enough to buy, and (b) locate providers of that good or service, why not (c) begin the process of tapping into / building that market? How else would you turn the millions of those unemployed / unemployable into a productive asset capable of not only paying for itself but contributing towards a net increase in hedonic utility across the board?!

    In my opinion the choice is simple: we either start fu*king them now or need to be prepared to eat them later.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    It does keep the Thai fed.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    And it’s actually happening it seems:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/prostitution-in-caro-egypt-2013-4

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    ‘Spengler’ has a theme running parallel to this (e.g. (of many)) — collapsing civilizations do mass prostitution as a kind of demographic clearance sale.

    [Reply]

    Rasputin's Severed Penis Reply:

    Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 6th, 2013 at 11:52 am Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    @ fotrkd
    I’m on the edge of my seat now, waiting for BGI to genetically resurrect a sumxu

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 21st, 2013 at 12:33 am Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    So I’ve been stumped on this most of the day. Found out about the Beijing genomics institute but nothing was really happening. I’ve had a butterfly (and related psyche; east of the sun west of the moon thoughts) all sort of coming together for a few weeks now, but not really a floor collapsing moment (regression doesn’t seem my thing right now) – seems more incremental. ‘Found’ a wonderful educational article about (philosophy) teaching this evening though which suggests a (romantic) bootstrapping approach to learning. You’re after runaway self-improvement of intelligence then? And at its simplest this is because it feels so good (evolution; survival; natural law; will; creativity); it’s the ‘right’ orientation. Still feel like I’m missing something vital which is leaving me scratching the surface…

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    OK, I get (some of the wonderful sum of) it. The nazis were bad teachers. But it’s left us too afraid to teach. We’re scared of ourselves.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Sorry (rambling)… And that’s why a left trajectory leads into fascism – it concentrates the ability to teach (yourself and others) into smaller numbers making the bad teacher statistically (inevitably) more likely to gain power by creating their own maleficent herd fiction…

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Death is fulfilment. Runaway intelligence is continuous death! Nothing is unstable! Runaway death!!

    fotrkd Reply:

    Well I think I was briefly teetering then the phone rang (which I think I was a bit relieved about) so you may have to wait a little longer! Sorry, I’m a terrible tease…

    Posted on April 21st, 2013 at 11:26 pm Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    @fotrkd
    I’ve got that ‘missing a piece of the jig-saw’ feeling — so I’m hanging on for whatever’s arriving from that phone call.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 22nd, 2013 at 1:13 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    OK, I need to stop temporarily, if possible (practical duties have been put off too long). Where I was: why is Osiris green and Isis yellow? Lemurians = black; hyperboreans = yellow. “Another legend linked with Callanish states that the stones were brought in ships under the leadership of a high priest and erected by “black men”.”

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    So I’m either going to fall through the floor half asleep or I need to set up camp for the night. I get why I need to go through it. Earlier was a retreat (thoughts akin to your “hearts lurching in mammal panic” and genuine fear I’d either have a heart attack or fry something), but that’s the next level. And once we have enough collective power it will become the basis of the new. That’s the shift of evolution – having the collective strength to lift the veil (because it’s our own veil); taking the conserved energy and going again. (Are we going to lemuria? And hyperborea is smaller again… I’m confused on the going to/coming from arrangement of that…) And the universe bootstraps itself to efficiency – every time closing in on a straight, evolutionary line/point (taking the conserved energy with it). So we need to see how far it gets? Or get it as far as we can – that’s why it’s a matter of survival/competition (and why you get impatient? we’re wasting precious energy); Anyway, I’m sure a lot of that isn’t right (and isn’t anywhere near as much as it currently seems) – things have slowed down now so it’s not so easy. Current plan is rest then try again. And fill in some forms to avoid being fined/imprisoned – UK taxman waits for no man 🙂

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 22nd, 2013 at 1:56 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    So, admin, I’ve found my way to David Icke land via Tibet and some Nazis (both literally and not quite mentally). What do I do? Lots of stuff in there matches chains and threads I’ve been following. Red dresses suggest others have followed similar paths. So I become a mad March hare and potentially destroy everything around me (you’re nodding aren’t you?) or I rationalise it – well it’s proof we’ll believe anything and that it’s all a fiction… May as well create something more interesting than the current arrangement (and explain the convergence through precedent – I was just following a track already laid/Icke incorporates so much it’s inevitable…). Once you suspend your disbelief how do you retain critical awareness? And why the hell was I seeing butterflies for so long? And even if it’s all barmy i’ve learnt a hell of a lot and the highs are the highs are the wow..! Also, where’s Northanger gone?! Finally: (although I’m impressed and have frequently wanted to thank you) I’m really not impressed (damn you).

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I haven’t got a funtioning platform that can handle Northanger’s mode of communication well, but I’d like one, and there’s every chance that it will happen. It seems to me that a lot of your interests could unfold more fully in that sort of zone, as well. Let me work on it a while …

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 11th, 2013 at 10:19 pm Reply | Quote

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