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Egypt's New Prime Minister: Not What People Were Hoping For



A month after he was elected president, Mohamed Morsi has surprised many by naming Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Hesham Mohamed Qandil as prime minister. More than praise or criticism, the general reaction was "Who is he?", reports Al-Masry Al-Youm,

According to the Cairo newspaper, Qandil is an unassuming, innocuous figure, whose appointment has baffled the entire political spectrum.

Fifty-year-old Qandil graduated from Cairo University and went on to earn a PhD from the University of North Carolina. He has held several posts and has made a name for himself as an intelligent, hardworking public official. But his appointment on Tuesday was met with more than a few objections.

"I am just bewildered that at this point in our history, Morsi chooses someone with such little experience working in government and who is unable to deal with the plethora of problems on the table already that will also be thrown at him," Cairo University political science professor Mostafa Kamal al-Sayed told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

"Morsi followed the same criteria as toppled President Hosni Mubarak in choosing a low-profile prime minister who will be obedient to him," said Basel Adel, a former MP from the Free Egyptians Party. "He will just be a secretary for Morsi."

"Although Qandil is not an official member of the Brotherhood, he has Islamist orientations, evident from his beard," Adel said.

Capital Economics, a London-based financial consultancy, sent a notice to its clients warning them of political instability: "The surprising appointment of Qandil as Egypt's new prime minister is unlikely to calm nerves in the financial markets. For a start, he lacks the economic credentials that some were hoping for. ... Investors were hoping that the new prime minister would come from an economic background so that much-needed reforms are implemented and the economy can be put back on track."

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Look At This Crap! The "Enshittification" Theory Of Why The Internet Is Broken

The term was coined by journalist Cory Doctorow to explain the fatal drift of major Internet platforms: if they were ever useful and user-friendly, they will inevitably end up being odious.

A photo of hands holding onto a smartphone

A person holding their smartphone

Gilles Lambert/ZUMA
Manuel Ligero


The universe tends toward chaos. Ultimately, everything degenerates. These immutable laws are even more true of the Internet.

In the case of media platforms, everything you once thought was a good service will, sooner or later, disgust you. This trend has been given a name: enshittification. The term was coined by Canadian blogger and journalist Cory Doctorow to explain the inevitable drift of technological giants toward... well.

The explanation is in line with the most basic tenets of Marxism. All digital companies have investors (essentially the bourgeoisie, people who don't perform any work and take the lion's share of the profits), and these investors want to see the percentage of their gains grow year after year. This pushes companies to make decisions that affect the service they provide to their customers. Although they don't do it unwillingly, quite the opposite.

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Annoying customers is just another part of the business plan. Look at Netflix, for example. The streaming giant has long been riddling how to monetize shared Netflix accounts. Option 1: adding a premium option to its regular price. Next, it asked for verification through text messages. After that, it considered raising the total subscription price. It also mulled adding advertising to the mix, and so on. These endless maneuvers irritated its audience, even as the company has been unable to decide which way it wants to go. So, slowly but surely, we see it drifting toward enshittification.

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