Cut this loop

This is a real story about my dilemmatic closed chain, the last night:

  1. My wallet was in the office and the door was locked.
  2. The office key was attached to my car key.
  3. The car key was in the gas station for the service.
  4. The person in charge would demand some money to give the key back.
  5. I had money/cards but it was was in the wallet! (go back to 1)

I needed to cut this loop to get the car back and drive home, accordingly by:

  1. Breaking the office door. (Trouble)
  2. Asking the man to disattach my office key, going back and force… (Time consuming)
  3. Stealing the keys! (Crime)
  4. Asking the mechanic to give me the car back trusting that he will get the money. (Embarrassing)
  5. Borrow that money from a random dude for several minutes. (Weird)

What do you think I did and what would you do?

A book called…

“The Road to Democracy in Iran”

I’ve met the author, Akbar Ganji, several times back home in Khordad newspaper, one of the dozens of reformist newspapers in the age of the Iranian former president. I’ve always been a fan of his brave investigations and an active reader of his many Persian books and articles since more than a decade ago. It was of course despite the fact that in the naturally conservative context of Iranian reformism, many of his close friends were blaming his radical approach, claiming that their own moderate solutions “to step back and pay less when fundamentals are coming forward” could be wiser. During these hard days the Iranian people are facing the results of such a wisdom, I think!

I just ordered this first English book by Ganji published by MIT Press and thus highly recommend it hereby:

Akbar Ganji, called by some “Iran’s most famous dissident,” was a commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. But, troubled by the regime’s repressive nature, he became an investigative journalist in the 1990s, writing for Iran’s pro-democracy newspapers. Most notably, he traced the murders of dissident intellectuals to Iran’s secret service. In 2000 Ganji was arrested, sentenced to six years in prison, and banned from working as a journalist. His eighty-day hunger strike during his last year in prison mobilized the international human rights community.

The Road to Democracy in Iran, Ganji’s first book in English, demonstrates his lifelong commitment to human rights and democracy. A passionate call for universal human rights and the right to democracy from a Muslim perspective, it lays out the goals and means of Iran’s democracy movement, why women’s rights trump some interpretations of Islamic law, and how the West can help promote democracy in Iran (he strongly opposes U.S. intervention) and other Islamic countries.

Throughout the book Ganji argues consistently for universal rights based on our common humanity (and he believes the world’s religions support that idea). But his arguments never veer into abstraction; they are rooted deeply in the realities of life in Islamic countries, and offer a clear picture of the possibilities for and obstacles to improving human rights and promoting democracy in the Muslim world.

Eric Singer, and Adam Matta in Trondheim

Last night Eric Singer, musician and technologist from NY, had an electronic concert in Trondheim Match Making 08, a festival for art and technology. He is the founder of LEMUR (League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots). He is talking about his invention, Guitar Bot, one of the robotic musical instruments they have built up so far:

Now he has Adam Matta, the fantastic beat-boxer in his group:

In one piece while Adam and the robots were performing together, he wanted to teach them a rhythm so that they can tap with him. Tonight, during the Norwegian folk dinner Eric Singer told me he had just finished the programming code for this part right before the concert!

When something comes to the musical collaboration, I can not avoid thinking of collaboration over a distance. Since last night I’ve been thinking about the possibility of playing these musical instruments remotely, since in principle they are being controlled by MIDI commands.

In a remote duet we have two musicians and two instruments, each musician with his/her instrument in its own side. What if we keep a musician in one side and bring the instrument (remotely played by him through robots) to the other side? Then, instead of transferring the wave signal stream, we can send the performer’s MIDI commands and reproduce the musical sound at the destination, where the other musician is playing his/her own instrument and the audiences are attending.

An opposite mistake!

Hotel California, Eagles:

You can check-out any time you like, But you can never leave!

Last night I was listening to this for long hours, while I couldn’t believe that I’ve committed that mistake, the other way around! I did leave California but I didn’t check out! I didn’t pass through the secondary border check which is mandatory for Iranians and didn’t go through all the so-called rituals.

I’m back in Norway now without the stamp, hoping to be able to get there again without any penalty.

Conditional Luck?

There is noting called «Luck». Or at least given a certain state to start with, there is nothing existing with such a name, since the good things and the bad things come with the same probability for everyone.

One can be lucky or not in very few motives of life, but not for ever. In the time-line of life, events such as when your parents met at first, and when you were the successful sperm are among those only points that we should believe in the role of “luck” in our lives.

Back to the last post, three friends told me that «you are fucking lucky!». Thanks for the notification. If you look at the whole thing the fact that my travel document was finally an «Iranian passport after 1979», among a hell of other possibilities doesn’t make me a lucky person. That’s actually one of the worst such documents to carry on the. One could say that in that specific visa case I had at least a kind of “conditional luck”.

Playing with numbers

Mr. Crab, argues that:

It is hard to believe that a country with the total area of 20,000 km and the population of only 7 millions can stand against a country [Iran] which is at least 80 times bigger than its size and has a generation which by no means can be compared with his indolent young generation.

So, I would be happy to see why while playing with the numbers, Mr. Crab realized that the young Israeli generation becomes indolent. So, let’s try some other numbers:

You might have heard this famous comparison. There are 117 namely Muslims per each Jew. Jews have received, by 2006, 178 Nobel prizes. Multiplying these two recent bold numbers one creature from Mars may expect the Muslim countries to have a little bit more than 20,000 Nobel Prize winners. How much do they have? It is reported between 7 to 12, depending on if you can count someone like Albert Camus as Muslim or not! So, the new generation of such a people has changed immediately and they are not updated by this yet?

What this extraordinary amount of contribution in the science can tell us? Ferdowsi (the Persian poet) has given the answer one millennium ago: knowledge is the power.

Where the hell is such a knowledge coming from? For us young generation of Iranians one of the main sources is the untruthful historical books that we have been obliged to pass since 1980s. Looking back in to the history, I think that Iranian and Jewish people have always been good allies for each other. They owe Cyrus who releases them and they know it. I’ve heard it several times from few Jewish people I have met, although none were citizens of Israel.

In my opinion being enemy of Israel for us Iranian people was a historical lie. And we don’t have enough information to judge about the conflict based on the biased advertisement of the government since our childhood, which aimed primarily to export the Islamic revolution to our neighbors.

3D Pasargadae

The picture on top is an autosteregram I made twelve years ago and I recently used for the Project 300.

This 3D “magic eye” pic is the tomb of Cyrus the great (576 BC – December 530 BC), founder of Achaemenid empire in Persia,  who is also known to have written the first deceleration of human rights 25 centuries ago.

Can you see the three dimensional tomb (called Pasargadae) hidden behind the cuneiform texture on the top picture? It is recommended to try the picture in higher resolution by clicking on the top pic. The black and white image at the bottom is the key.

Tomb of Cyrus the Great

In case you are not familiar with magic eye techniques (autostereograms), these are pictures that can give you a visual illusion of a 3D sculpture from a 2D pictures if you know how to look at them. You should try to change the angle by which your eyes focus on the image. Position your eyes as you are looking at an object behind the screen. Enjoy!

p.s. Here is the book I wrote back then in Persian, plus its software Jarf-Negar. It’s unfortunately under DOS as it was before the release of Windows 95. It was, as far as I remember, the best graphic DOS could ever afford: “Super” VGA, 1024X768 pixels with only 16 colors (selected palette)!

Mediterranean blue

Here is Heraklion in the Crete island, Greece, next to the salty Mediterranean sea. The center of the photograph, is claimed to be the center of the first civilization in Europe.
It’s taken by a normal Canon PowerShot S2IS, but I’ve used the software Canon Photostich and Photoshop to make the spheric shot. Click on it to get a higher resolution.