Older blog entries for roozbeh (starting at number 45)

7 Jun 2005 (updated 7 Jun 2005 at 14:17 UTC) »
FarsiWeb Linux: Today, we delivered the first version of our home-made Fedora-baesd distribution to the Shell office in Tehran. The good news is that they are also looking forward to use that in some of their offices in other countries, starting from the Syrian ones.

You can't guess how happy I am. This is our first real production project, as opposed to the government-funded research projects or the consulting ones.

Wild dreams: I'm having lots of random dreams during the time I am trying to catch up with the lost sleep because of the trip to Germany. Last night's was about an announcement that the next GUADEC will actually be held somewhere in Italy. No, I can't recall the exact city.
Google update: It seems that some people are trying to correct me about the racism thing, and tell me it's only discrimintation against certain nationalities, not races. OK, let's call it discrimination against certain nationalities. Does it change anything? No, it feels the same to me as a victim.

(Note: as someone who considers himself an internationalization expert or something, I of course know the difference between a race and a nationality. The only big difference this has with the common racism, is that the common racism usually has a "race supremacy" theory attached to it.)

Google update: After my previous post, I found a good reason for confirming that Google is actually trying to simplify things for itself instead of just following the US government requirements: Google is already paying for the services of the ".ir" registry, which is an institute founded, funded, and part of the Iranian government. Simply follow this WHOIS link, type "google" in the text box and press the "Search" button.

Yes, they are paying for a "service of Iranian-origin" already, actually a service from the Iranian government. They simply don't like to deal with random Iranian students (or Sudanese, or Cuban, or Syrian, or ... for that matter).

4 Jun 2005 (updated 4 Jun 2005 at 12:51 UTC) »

The Google Summer of Code thing is a piece of shit. This is a quote:

Who is not eligible?

[...] citizens from the countries on the US State Department list of state sponsors of terrorism, which we are bound by law from engaging in commerce with.

Please tell me how this is not racism (or encouraging racism). Not any Iranian, Cuban, Syrian, North Korean, or Sudani student, living anywhere in the world (including the United States), may participate in the program. If the governments of those countries actually sponsor terrorism (I don't say they don't, or they do), what the United States government is doing is "state-sponsored racism".

I'm pissed off like hell, specially since I can't push any single Iranian developer, living anywhere in the world, to try to get involved in Free Software using the very tempting prize.

Update: It seems that some people don't understand how this is racism. It's the "citizen" thing that is racism. Let me translate what the US government is saying: "If you wish to be considered an equal member of the world economy, you should get a passport from another country. We don't consider people born in Iran from Iranian parents equal to people born in Bulgaria from Bulgarian parents."

Second update: Someone on the IRC suggested that it is not technically racism if not applied to a race instead of being applied to a nation, and suggested terms like ethnocentrism or xenophobia (which are not really descriptive of the idea either). But I really believe that if it feels like racism, it smells like racism, and it tastes like racism, it's god damn racism!

Third update: I'm reading through US government material about Iran at their Sanctions Guidelines page and their short overview. Please note that my main allegation is toward the US government practising racism. But at the same time, I am saying that Google is helping that racism by generalizing the discrimination for all Iranian citizens, even those living in, say, the United States. To quote a part of the overview document at the US Treasure website: "Services provided in the United States by an Iranian national already resident in the United States are not considered services of Iranian origin."

It's like having a discriminating law against "black people born slaves" and then seeing people living in that jurisdication voluntarily applying the restrictions also to all black people (to remain on the safe side?). The original restriction is clearly racism, and the voluntary generalization is also racism. That is true even if it has been a mistake from the Google's side: you should take special care when you say these things. If you don't, you are automatically considering all Iranian people sponsors of terrorism. (Ask people who were at GUADEC what kind of terrorists me and my friends were...)

As per Murray's suggestion, I'm contacting Google now. This is of course fighting racism by quoting the exact text of the law: "Dear Sir, I believe I am not considered exactly black because of this certain piece of detail here in the text, as I have only got this blackness of the skin by some disease and both my parents have been caucausians. I only look too black for you at the first glance."

GUADEC: We got the visa (well, not all the six, just five). See all you GNOMies in Stuttgart.
Uraeus: I really appreciate your suggestion of postponing GUADEC for a week. I guess Behnam would definitely be able to get his German visa then...
23 May 2005 (updated 23 May 2005 at 15:57 UTC) »

Well, one likes to just post something and see how he looks on the new Planet GNOME. It looks very nice!

Democracy: Just two more pictures from the people registering to run as President of Iran.
Wikipedia: What Iranians are really good at, is raising hell over even their very small interests, without even understanding what the issue really is. Somebody had created an article in the English Wikipedia about a random Physics-related weblog, and now he has raised his reader community against my request for its deletion, for not being noteworthy.

I really like these comments: "iPN is being deleted from the Wikipedia encyclopedia. [...] If you are interested in the news at iPN, if you wish to return your share of debts for all the efforts of the iPN maintainers, we ask you to provide strong opinion and enough reasons [against the deletion request] on the discussion page of the encyclopedia. We Iranians must have a share in global encyclopedias." (tranlated from Persian, from a banner on the weblog.)

Some user were even misled to believing that Wikipedia is planning to shut down their website (!): "Hi. I am also a Physics student and my English is very bad. [...] Now if you shut down the site what should I and people like me do? It's because you doing these things that the world says Iranians are the most backward. So continue your doings and remain more backward." (translated from Persian from a comment on the article's Talk page.)

Very similar things happened about the Persian Gulf and the National Geographic Atlas. I specially recommend Yaser Kerachian's From caring about our national pride to Anti-Arab racism.

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