The geography of Egypt is bonkers 🇪🇬🌍
Look at that image of the Middle-East by night. See that "flower" in the middle? That is the Nile.

Egypt has 105 MILLION ppl!
99% of them live in that light area!
That's 3% of its territory!

What else is crazy about Egypt's geography?
The Nile's banks are between 0.5km and 20km wide (~0.3 to 12 miles). 105M ppl live in that area plus the delta. Crazy. They do that because it's fertile AF

What's outside though? Nothing.
In the west, there's nothing for thousands of miles. There's so much nothing that in 5000 years of history, Egypt has NEVER been successfully invaded from here.

Even the nazis tried and failed.
Why is it so damn dry? Well, weather is not nice.
Why is it so bad? Because Egypt is in the Horse Latitude. They have deserts across the world.
Why is that bad? More details here:…
Look at the south. The lights stop abruptly. Why? Does the Nile stop there? Not at all. It continues for thousands of miles. What then?

The Aswan Dam
The Aswan Dam has created a huge lake. The southern border of Egypt goes through that lake, quite close to the dam.

Isn't that weird? Why is the same point a dam, a border, and the limit of lights and population of a country that packs 105M ppl in such a small place?

See, the Nile flows very slowly across all of Egypt. But not before. Aswan is where the Nile's 1st cataract was. Then there are a bunch more upstream.

Really, Egypt's length was defined by the place of a cataract.

What do they look like?
Nothing crazy. They're just points where water is faster, rocks appear on the surface, and some banks of sand might accumulate.

What's the big deal then?
This is where the Nile is not navigable anymore.
So Egypt couldn't easily incorporate it into their empire.
Different kingdoms appeared over time. That area to the south was called Nubia.

Egypt & Nubia mixed over millennia, but still remained different enough that that area to the south is a different country, Sudan
The banks of the Nile there are narrower.
Between the narrower banks, the faster flow, and the fact that it's not navigable, Sudan is much poorer and has a smaller population. They can't even afford as much electricity as Egypt—which is partially why the lights stop at Aswan
What's in the north? The delta
It's beautiful.
You know what it's not? Navigable.
40% of the population and 50% of the crops come from there, but the Nile spreads so much that trade ships can't navigate.
That means that, despite being the oldest civilization on the Mediterranean, Egypt was never a naval power.

It's not just that the Nile can't be navigated. It's also that Egypt has no room for trees. No trees, no wood, no ships, no trade, no navy.

Poor and exposed.
If you were clever, where would you put your capital in such a country?

Pharaohs had thousands of years to think about it, and usually picked the point between the delta and the Nile proper.

That's Cairo today.
And funnily the Suez Canal is a stone throw's away from there.
Big deal, because the Suez Canal accounts for a huge share of Egypt's foreign currency.
How did this influence its history?
The pharaohs?
Why was Egypt invaded so many times?
Why is it poor?
Why is it friendly with Israel?
With the US?
Why the military pushed aside the Muslim Brotherhood?
It all comes down to geography.
I answer all these questions in this article (this one is paid)
Want more? Follow me or sign up to my newsletter. I will write many more threads about this. Or other similar threads. For example this one about China…
Or about the world and the US…
Or about the Caribbean…

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More from @tomaspueyo

23 Sep
“The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed.”—William Gibson @GreatDismal

The future is already in the brain of the 200 million cryptocurrency holders. They can be better understood as a country, as an alternative community to nation-states.
A nation-state citizen doesn’t question the sovereignty of the gov
Doesn’t question the validity of its currency
Doesn’t fathom a world without the TVs and radio stations and notary-publics and certification organisms that make the nation-state what it is.
They wrap their heads around 20th-century country flags.
They can’t fathom the end of the nation-state, just as 1500s-era Europeans couldn’t fathom the end of the omnipotent Catholic Church.
Read 5 tweets
20 Sep
The emergence of cryptocurrencies reminds me of the emergence of writing and currencies. These are obvious to us now, but they were weird to their contemporaries.

Let's have a look 🧵
The parallel with fiat currencies is better known, so let's start with it.

Early on, ppl bartered. Inconvenient.
So they started using some currency.
First, it was something scarce, easy to value and to divide into smaller pieces (=fungible), and with some intrinsic value. Eg, salt (thus "salary")
Read 24 tweets
14 Sep
If you catch COVID, the risk of developing COVID Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are 3,000x higher than those of suffering a bad vaccine side-effect. That illness can leave you out of work and energy for the rest of your life.
The most long-lasting part of Long COVID is likely Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which so far has no cure and can last decades.

Your likelihood of catching it from COVID is ~2-3%, and it's worse for young ppl than old ppl

Vaccines appear to help. They probably reduce the odds of developing COVID CFS by 75-90%.
Read 6 tweets
13 Sep
Long COVID is confusing until we realize its most alarming outcome is *Chronic Fatigue Syndrome* (CFS).

What does CFS look like?
Is it like Long COVID? 🧵

This is a person with CFS. At 24, she had spent nearly a decade without putting her feet on the ground.
This is @jenbrea suffering from post-exertional malaise, from her documentary Unrest, which you can watch on Netflix (the 3 clips come from the documentary)
This is Whitney, who hasn't talked for years. His father:
“Whitney’s state is comparable to an AIDS patient about a week before his death. And that has been the case for the last six years.”
Read 12 tweets
6 Sep
I'm going to try a new experiment in 2022.

The idea is to create a cohort-based course with live lectures. I am still debating whether it should be about
1. How to solve any problem
2. Advanced product and growth mgmt

Would you be interested in any? LMK!
Over my career managing billion-dollar tech products with hundreds of millions of users, studying storytelling, and writing COVID and Uncharted Territories articles, I've come to think the biggest pbm of mankind is that we don't know how to make decisions.

I want to solve that.
The 3-week course would include frameworks, lectures, and more importantly, workshops so you can bring pbms to the table and we can work to solve them together, learning decision-making along the way.
Read 5 tweets
4 Sep
A majority of the world will speak English by the end of the century. This will create a new global identity. It will be the triumph of the Anywheres.

Why? Because the same mechanic happened in the past.

Here's what happened and what will happen next 🧵
Up to the 1500s, languages were not differentiated like today. In places like Europe, there were vernacular gradients, from Wallonia to Lisbon, from London to Vienna.
That's because most ppl didn't communicate with those far away from their village.
Read 16 tweets

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