Recipes for revolution

March 19, 2011

The Economist has come up with a neat little flash app that combines all the ingredients to see which Arab countries are ripest for revolution. They call it their “Shoe Thrower’s Index”.

We’ve seen how a combination of demographics (lots of young people), an educated middle class, and protests might lead to revolutions (which still often come as a surprise). With The Economist’s table you get to choose which factors you think are most important.

Move the slider bars on the right to set the “weight” of each indicator of revolution to what you think is most important, and the chart on the left will adjust itself to show which countries are more likely to have a revolution based on your parameters.

(found via The Dish)

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2011. Recipes for revolution, Retrieved November 20th, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Someone start a counter-revolution!

March 4, 2011

Formenting the counter-revolution.

After going through the free-market part of the economic system simulation, the least wealthy people –the students who ended up with the least kilobucks— staged a socialist revolution.

Cell phone used to incite the counter-revolution.

Well the most wealthy students were not too happy with that, because the revolutionaries confiscated all their wealth, assigned them all jobs (to simulate a command socialist economy), and started paying everyone equally. One student, assigned to produce food, produced a chicken, a cookie, and a dead socialist. She got sent to jail.

Fortunately, for her at least, she was able to get hold of a phone that had been left lying around from the market part of the simulation, so she sent a simulated text to her fellow former oligarch to try to start the counter revolution. She got a return text:

The return text.

It’s nice to see that our time spent talking about Egypt has not been wasted.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2011. Someone start a counter-revolution!, Retrieved November 20th, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Geography of the Arab World

February 28, 2011

The Economist has a wonderful graphic of the countries in the Arab World. Click on the countries for information about the country, including things related to civil rights.

(found via the Daily Dish)

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2011. Geography of the Arab World, Retrieved November 20th, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

The Economy and Revolution

February 18, 2011

Vali Nasr’s interview on NPR’s Morning Edition talks about what it takes to make a successful revolution. Particularly, they focus on the need for a vibrant, educated, middle-class for a successful transition to democracy.

Another key, and I think essential point, is that the Egyptian protesters share the same global-citizenship values that Brazilians, South Koreans, and even Europeans and American, share. That they have these values, from years of communication with the outside world, offers the best chance that this revolution will be successful.

Edmund Burke supported the American Revolution, but opposed the French Revolution because the former was a conservative revolution, the colonists were fighting to regain rights that had lost, while the latter were trying to impose an ideal of democracy and equality that they had no experience with. He was right; the French revolution lead to the Terror then eventually to Napoleon and the restoration of the aristocracy.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2011. The Economy and Revolution, Retrieved November 20th, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

How protests lead to revolution

February 16, 2011

The events that spark revolutions can come as a surprise. While everyone at home might want to overthrow the dictator, they don’t know if everyone else wants to do so too, so they are reluctant to go against the government. This is why protests are so important (as well as news coverage of the protests), because then the people offended by the government can see that there are a lot of other people like them.

Dictators, like Mubarak, do a lot to prevent protests: their secret police will arrest and “disappear” opposition leaders; riot police will be out in force to suppress protests if people start to gather.

The Egyptian protesters faced this very problem. So they organized over the internet, as anonymously as possible, and, for the January 25th protests, they arranged several meeting places for protesters so the riot police were too spread out to suppress everyone.

Stephen Pinker talks about this in terms of Individual Knowledge and Mutual Knowledge. Individually everyone knows the dictator is bad, but with the protests, they all realize, mutually, that everyone else also thinks the dictator is bad. Which is really bad for the dictator.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2011. How protests lead to revolution, Retrieved November 20th, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Photos from Egypt

February 13, 2011

TotallyCoolPix has several series of totally cool pictures spanning all the events of the Egyptian revolution. The images are all from the major newswires, and, with their excellent framing and composition, as well as the dramatic subject, are superb examples of the photographic arts.

January 26th, 2011. In the first days, the protesters squared off against the riot police. The marches start off peacefully. (From TotallyCoolPix:The Egypt Protests).

Violence erupts as police try to disperse protesters using rubber bullets, water cannons and (U.S. made) tear gas. (Image via TotallyCoolPix:The Egypt Protests)

January 30th, 2010. The Army came out, and the protesters saw them as protectors. (From TotallyCoolPix:The Egypt Protests Part 2)

Feburary 4th, 2011. Pro-government loyalists attack anti-government protesters, 'exchanging' Molotov cocktails. The battle (which includes a horse and camel charge) goes on through the night, but in the morning the protesters held their ground. (Image from TotallyCoolPix:Egypt Protests: Anti-Mubarak vs Pro-Mubarak Riots)

February 10th, 2011. Protesters wave shoes as Hosni Mubarak refuses to resign in a televised speach. (Image via TotallyCoolPix:The Egypt Protests: The Shoes Come Out)

February 11th, 2011. Gridlock in the cities as Egyptians take to the streets to celebrate Mubarak's resignation. (Image via TotallyCoolPix:The Egypt Protests: Mubarak Resignation Celebrations)

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2011. Photos from Egypt, Retrieved November 20th, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

First Draft of History

February 12, 2011

A first draft of why it happened must begin in a rural town in Tunisia on the shores of the Mediterranean where Mohamed Bouazizi was the unlikeliest catalyst of the extraordinary realignment in the region.
— Sharrock et al. 2010: Egypt: how the people span the wheel of their country’s history

David Sharrock, Jack Shenker and Paul Harris just posted an excellent, big picture, article in The Guardian about the events leading up to the resignation of Hosni Mubarak.

The article starts with the corruption that provoked Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation in Tunisia and makes the connection to Khaled Said death at the hands of the Egyptian police. The descriptions of these events are graphic, so be warned. Sharrock et al., go on to describe how the Egyptian protesters were able to use technology to organize in a way that has not been possible before. The article ends with the vacillating moves of the Obama administration as it was buffeted by events in Egypt.

“This time we were determined to do something different – be multi-polar, fast-moving, and too mobile for the amin markazi [central security forces], giving us the chance to walk down hundreds of different roads and show normal passers-by that taking to the streets was actually possible.”

The plan worked better than they could ever have imagined. Throughout the capital and across the country, pockets of protest sprung up and overpowered the thinly stretched riot police, who had no choice but to let the marches continue. Later, when the different strands rallied in city centres – including Cairo’s symbolic Tahrir Square –the police used guns and tear gas to disperse them.

But it was already too late. By destroying the smokescreen of police invincibility, even for only a few hours, the youths had pierced Mubarak’s last line of defence – the fear his subjects felt at the thought of confronting him – and a fatal blow was struck to a 30-year dictatorial regime.

— Sharrock et al. 2010: Egypt: how the people span the wheel of their country’s history

This piece is a bit long, and the vocabulary a bit advanced, for the average middle school student, but it is an excellent summary and first draft of history.

After hard work, great risk, and sacrifice, euphoria.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2011. First Draft of History, Retrieved November 20th, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

What Victory Looks Like!

February 12, 2011

The resignation of Hosni Mubarak and the deafening sound of celebration in Egypt (via the Guardian).

Egypt. A victory for peaceful protest (even though they had to fight off attacks).

Going forward, things will not be easy, but for today, euphoria. Will Wilkinson has an excellent essay, in which he puts aside his natural skepticism for a little while:

It is impossible, for me at least, to watch the crowds in Egypt, overjoyed at Hosni Mubarak’s hotly-desired resignation, with dry eyes and an unclenched throat. … Whatever the future holds, there will be disappointment, at best. But there is always disappointment. Today, there is joy.
–Will Wilkinson (2011) Egypt’s Euphoria

Fireworks are necessary:

The singing (via NY Times) before Mubarak’s resignation:

And after:

To be liberated is one thing, but to earn your freedom is fundamentally at another order of magnitude.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2011. What Victory Looks Like!, Retrieved November 20th, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

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