iran — Khosrow is Dreaming

February 10th, 2010 — Tags: iran, Politics, revolution

It was 31 years ago tomorrow that the Iranian Revolution (sometimes called the second revolution) succeeded in sending the Shah of Iran out of the country. Thus began 3 decades in the history of Iran marked by war [1], violence, and hardships. For Iranians of my generation, those times will not be forgotten and for future generations they will be just another chapter in history.

I mentioned all this, to say that tomorrow Iranians are planning to go out and let out a collective scream against the current government and all things that has made daily life hard for them.

Let’s hope all those who go to make their voices heard come back home safe.

Related Posts:

  • Failure of Social Media Apparent With Recent Iran Unrest
  • Elections in Iran

Free Hoder (eventhough he’s kind of a jerk)

January 29th, 2010 — Tags: internet, iran, Politics, Video

Source: Search Engine

Done with with a touch of humour this piece brings up a few good points. All the more reason more people should subscribe to Search Engine podcasts.

Failure of Social Media Apparent With Recent Iran Unrest

June 19th, 2009 — Tags: iran, Politics, Social Meida, Web 2.0

The recent elections in Iran have reminded me of something I was pondering for a while.

I listened to an interview with Ethan Zuckerman about
the multilingual web and put it in the back of my mind. But now that the events in Iran are escalating the need for a multilingual web becomes even more important. In the first two days of uprising (June 13 and June 14) there was a lot of news reports coming in from people on the streets. They were filing them on social media (twitter and friendfeed) but mostly in Farsi. The at that point the rest of the world wasn’t able to make the most of these reports. There was even a meme created on twitter about how CNN missed reporting this election: #cnnfail. Slowly as the reports came in English, other sites tried to aggregate the torrent of news. I especially liked what twazzup did with their Iran Unrest site. They were smart enough to notice that more content can be added by search for Farsi keywords and capitalize on this gap.

I now fully agree with Ethan Zuckerman, and think we need the web to become inclusive of all languages. If we can easily and quickly translate between languages on the web, news and information can flow more freely. Of course there are inherent problems in translating various languages, and I think currently without human intervention that can’t be done easily. Case in point is that the site balatarin started to ask for volunteers to translate important Farsi language blog posts.

However, things like this will not take off until the big players get involved. And today I heard that google has entered the game by adding Farsi translation services. It still has a long way to go, but it’s a good start!

Elections in Iran

June 11th, 2009 — Tags: iran, Politics, Video

In a few hours people will be going to the polls in Iran. I think this will be a historic election, not because of the involvement of people. The people have woken up, and this wave is going to be hard to stop. Whoever gets elected will have to start listening to the populous. Iran has entered the 21st century and I am very excited for it!

And a song that shows an interesting parallel. The song was popular during the 1971 1979 revolution and is now the song of the front runner candidate (not that he’s in any way affiliated with the original movement that represented the song).

Game Theory in Public Policy

April 26th, 2009 — Tags: iran, Politics, Video

It’s an interesting notion to use mathematics in the setting of political policies. What’s a little chilling to me is what would happen if the math suggested something like an all out attack on a nation? Are we to believe the math hard, cold math just because it is unbiased and doesn’t lie? Is the assumption (the 90% assumption) that reality will follow these predicitions?
Luckily what Bueno de Mesquita predicts is a good outcome for both Iran and the west.

Omidreza Mirsayafi 1981-2009

March 21st, 2009 — Tags: iran, Life, News, Politics

He was my age. I’m not sure what he studied, and what he did to make a living. But on his time off he was a blogger, and criticized Iranian society and government openly. Last year he was sentenced to two years in prison for “insulting the authorities”. And now he is dead. Just before the new Iranian year. Many bloggers are lamenting his loss: here, here, and here and here’s an English language post. And the interview with Omidreza’s lawyer is here.

Kamkar Ensemble in Montreal

February 21st, 2009 — Tags: iran, Music, Video

A fantastic concert, took me to another world! I took some video (poor quality):

And here’s a an older video of them I found on YouTube

Balatarin is back!

February 5th, 2009 — Tags: internet, iran, Web 2.0

Balatarin ( Farsi: بالاترین ) is a farsi website dedicated to social information sharing and link aggregation. This site is much like digg but mostly for the Iranian internet sphere. (wikipedia article)

A couple of days ago, the site was hacked (most likely their DNS or the registrar info) and suddenly the importance of this site to Iranian internet users became quite apparent.

Well, the good news is that the site owners have now gained control of the site. It will come back soon, but in the meantime here’s the message on the front page: