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The World the Suez Canal Made (publicseminar.org)
58 points by no_kill_i 13 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 24 comments

It will be interesting if the Danube to Mediterranean canal is constructed. Balkan states do not agree with each other on much, but depriving the Turks of toll money could be the one thing.


Proposed new Istanbul Canal:


> Danube to Mediterranean canal

For the curious, it'd follow a river in Serbia and connect to a river in North Macedonia. Approximately 100 kilometres apart, assuming a straight line. That means about half the length of Suez (193 kilometres) and slightly longer than the length of the Panama canal (82 kilometres), though I'm assuming riverbeds would have to be expanded in some places.

17 billion Euros and 6 months construction sounds very cheap and simple.

6 years. But that still seems feasible.

The Danube can't take anywhere near the throughput of the Suez Canal, though. The Rhein-Main-Donau canal, one of the bottlenecks on the route, sees about 6 million tons of shipping a year and can handle boats with a draft of 2 metres.[0] The Suez Canal handles the same tonnage every day and handles ships up to 20m draft. So this would not make a dent in shipping from Suez to Rotterdam, it would just be a nice bonus for anyone delivering from the Med to, say, Belgrade.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhine%E2%80%93Main%E2%80%93Dan...

One of the interesting facts I leaned about the Suez canal is how container ships have grown in size with time and how the canal also widened gradually with time to accomodate them.

Another interesting fact was that Egypt, like the USA was on the point of industrialising in the 19th century but was prevented from doing so by its British rulers.

Curious about your Britain-bashing last line, I had a quick gander.


Seems to suggest that Britain may well have meddled in Egypt's industrialisation, but is by no means absolutely to blame. There's a myriad of reasons Egypt didn't industrialise, as you'd expect from history - nothing's quite so simple.

In fact, it could be argued that Britain did more to raise Egypt up than any other country playing the game at that point in time, of which the UK was just one actor.

People tend to forget that one of the main reasons Britain herself industrialised early and comprehensively was simply thet fact it sits on vast amounts of coal. Egypt does not.

Well the article you cited has a really important piece: the British simply blocked Egpytian and Ottoman empire imports. They had tremendous control over the seas and Egypt was virtually a colony of the British.

Preventing IP from reaching Egypt was a big deal. The US had to pirate a lot of intellectual property from the British in order to develop their industry.

Japan also didn't have coal.

>Japan also didn't have coal.

Hm? Japan does (or rather did) have coal and mined it extensively during their industrialization. Since coal can come from peat bogs, rainy islands often have some. They also somewhat famously developed cars that ran on coal when their oil supply was cut off in WWII.


Yes, I read that line, the third suggestion after leadership woes and a lack of local resources, and one that points at European protectionism generally.

Elsewhere in the article in mentions that Egypt herself didn't have an entirely unified stance about embracing industrialisation and it doesn't take much to note a vast gulf between the national psyches of Japan and Egypt, Japan also having been treated somewhat shoddily by Western powers.

> The US had to pirate a lot of intellectual property from the British in order to develop their industry.

Citation needed.

May be later than desired but the thread reminded me of this:


I wonder if it's really some conspiracy from a far away foreign power or local customs that prevented the emergence of a stable industrialized state [0] [1].

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baksheesh

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26588272

>Egypt, like the USA was on the point of industrialising in the 19th century but was prevented from doing so by its British rulers.

It seems a little selective to blame the British when Egypt contemporaneously suffered an invasion by Napoleon and a contested political status under the Ottomans. If the French or Turks had won the game of empires, would they be to blame instead?

I really don't understand people's eager desire to condemn capitalism. It's like they think human life would require no resources if we simply abolish capitalism. We'd still need shipping routes even if we lived under global communism.

I too feel like a lot of people confuse Capitalism with Commerce. It doesn't matter what "ism" society operates under people will buy and sell and trade. The "ism" just describes how and where the bulk of the money ends up.

I'd agree there's something you don't understand if you think the response being advocated for is generally Soviet-style communism with zero of the properties of capitalism and no shipping lanes for some reason.

I didn't say any of that.

Just a sidenote, but I really like the yellow background, it makes (similarly to hackernews) reading the text more pleasant and it's kinda weird that on average white seems to be the default.

White gives you the highest contrast ratio, which continually ranks as one of the best ways to make text more readable.

That is absolutely the case, but because most screens emit light and white is the brightest colour possible it also makes the eyes more tired (in my experience, not sure if this is actually the case). So you have to find a balance between readability and comfort. I personally think that #000 on #FFF is too harsh (for the purposes of reading large texts) and think that slightly less than maximum contrast would be preferable in most circumstances.

don't want to sound harsh, but articles like this are the reason I don't read much. Maybe it's because English is my second language, so it's on me, but why such epic journey to seemingly say so little. I only read half of it, couldn't go through more. Interesting topic but to me personally, delivery is quite difficult.

That's where we differ. I enjoy reading a longer form article like this. Lot's of interesting details and well written. Not everything writer needs to cater to those with shorter attention spans ;-)

Needs an editor, for sure

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