May 16, 2012
May 10, 2008
Berkman Center for Internet and Society presents its study on Iranian blogosphere. The study is about 70 pages. Read more here.
Kamangir says that through analyzing links shared by Persian bloggers, I regularly search for the hottest points in the Persian blogosphere (a brief introduction to the methodology is given in here, for more information please send me an email or leave a comment). This report is based on 171 sources and over 30,000 shared links.Read more here.
November 28, 2007
First part of artilce: “Comparative Study of Iranian Islamist Bloggers” has been published on George Mason University’s Site.History News Network:Iranian Islamist blogs probably provide one of the best places to learn information and news about power and state-related issues in the Islamic Republic, because some of their writers have close ties with Iranian leaders and some of them even are leading figures in the regime.
By studying and reading the Islamist blogs, we get an insight into the dynamism and evolution of the Islamic Republic’s power structure, its ideology, its interests, and its conflicts.
Islamist blogs are not monolithic and, like many other non-Islamist blogs, provide us a window into Iranian civil society, daily life, and ideas.
October 20, 2007
Paris Marashi reports from Pop!Tech conference:For us to lead healthy lives, we need healthy oceans. With oceans taking up 75% of the planets surface, and 99% of its volume, it is without doubt that what happens in the ocean has a major impact on our lives. Today Claire Nouvian, Enric Sala, and Ted Ames gave some insight into the way that the damage of our oceans have occurred, and possible solutions to these problems.
Claire Nouvian, a filmmaker, journalist, and now the curator for a deep sea exhibit at the Museum of Natural History in Paris, explains how deep sea creatures (such as those in the image above) are a mystery to many, and the major threats that occur as a result of deep sea mining, dumping, and trawling. Bottom trawling is a fishing method that destroys tons of fish within seconds. For example, seven tons of Orange Roughy can be caught within 20 seconds. These fish mature around the age of 20-25, and some live to be 200 years old. She argues that if we are fishing so rapidly, especially since these fish take so long to reach sexual maturity, they may very well go extinct.
Enric Sala describes our study of the coral reefs. His metaphor explains it best: “Imagine you are an alien from another galaxy who has heard Earth has something called cars. Your spaceship lands in a junkyard beside a rusting automobile with a dead engine and no instruction manual. There is just enough power in the battery to start the windshield wipers when you press a button. From this you deduce that a car is something that allows you to contemplate a landscape comfortably when it’s raining. This is just like marine science. People started researching marine ecosystems long after they were damaged by human over-fishing, pollution, coastal development, and global warming. We’ve been studying this rusty car for too long, it’s time for a new approach. To know what marine systems are truly capable of we must look at the few pristine places that remain.”
Hence, Sala is creating new initiatives that allow interested people to save the oceans while taking a trip to some of the worlds most beautiful waters. His plan is to protect these unexplored areas of the ocean and bring a small number of tourists to pay money, people from the media and national geographic to document these developments, and to empower the local communities who live in these areas to protect the integrity of these pristine ocean environments.
Ted Ames brought up some fascinating solutions to problems he has witnessed to extinctions that have occurred in the course of his own lifetime. For example, the lobsters of maine fisheries were almost depleted in 1932, and today they are at 76% of Maine’s industry. To save the other fish of the region, they can use the similar methods and techniques used to increase the lobster population. This includes the protection of their habitat and reproducing females, control over the amount of fishing taking place, and an apprentice program.
October 19, 2007
This morning at Pop!Tech, presentations were given by a number of inspiring speakers including Dan Gilbert, Carl Honore, and Jonathan Harris.
Dan Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard University, spoke about risk, specifically our ability to deal with the risk of global warming given the nature of our brains. Our brains have evolved for millennia to respond to immediate things. However, often times global warming does not appear to us as a threat for these reasons:
1. Global warming does not have a face. Our brains are accustomed to responding to people and recognizing that they are threatening. If global warming had a gun and was walking toward us, we would recognize and respond immediately.
2. Global warming does not arise emotions of revolt, disgust, and dishonor, as a threat to one of our moral beliefs might create. Since global warming does not arise visceral emotions, as food and sex—we are less likely to be enraged.
3. We see global warming threat to our future, but not to our present.
4. Our brains are sensitive to relative, rather than absolute changes. If a change is slow enough, we cannot recognize it. For example, if someone turns on a candle in a bright room, we will most likely not notice a shift in the brightness.
Carl Honore, author of the book “In Praise of Slow”, translated in numerous languages, spoke about the International Slow Movement, and its contrast to a culture that is obsessed with speed. He states that Slow has a great role to play in the 21st century–and as we learn to take our time, shift gears, and work “smarter”, we find that we produce work of higher quality, are more creative, and intelligent. His message is clear: less is often more—and slower is often better.
In Italy, the slow food movement began to raise awareness so that people can take pleasure in food, and recognize how the quality of cultivation and preparation has an impact on our body (digestion, taste, pleasure, etc.) Honore describes how working less can actually mean working better. Some of the most successful schools, countries, and companies promote vacation, free time, and relaxation. By working more slowly, we can take time to process what we learn, and in result be more creative. Additionally, he explains how the constant barrage of electronic equipment actually decreases IQ.
Finally, Jonathan Harris spoke about some of his projects, including We Feel Fine, which in my opinion is one of the most extraordinary and emotional data visualization projects I have ever seen on the web. The content of this site has brought me to tears on numerous occasions. The site aggregates content from all around the web, searching in blogs for variations of the words I feel, I was feeling, etc….Check it out at wefeelfine.org
October 18, 2007
First report:Mobile Empowerment, Data Visualization and Emotional Mapping
Andrew Zollie introduced the first session of the Pop!Tech conference. This is an event that takes place in Camden, Maine each October. Zollie is the host and curator of the Pop!Tech conference in the beautiful Camden, Maine—a place that inspires and moves the spirit with the changing colors of leaves, crisp, fresh air, and beautiful bays surrounded by trees that stretch for miles.
The guiding set of principles and theme of this years conference is The Human Impact, shaping the way we impact the mental and cultural environment. Attention this year is specifically on the psyche (what does it mean to be human, psychologically, biologically, emotionally), systems (the working systems of oceans, consumerism, agriculture, etc), and solutions what can we do to solve the problems that we face?).
On Wednesday, a series of sessions were hosted with topics ranging from Slow Food, Mobile Empowerment, The oceans, and Islam. Mobile Empowerment: Dialing Social Change was a Wednesday session with EPROM, Mobile Active, and Nokia. Here, KatrinVerclas from MobileActive.org, discussed major shifts and developments in how mobile technologies impact social change. Nathan Eagle is a researcher who talked about the Entrepreneurial Programming and Research on Mobile Devices (EPROM). He sets up learning and collaboration sessions called SMS bootcamps. Nathan leads SMS bootcamps to help establish new applications for mobile phone users worldwide, and to create a widely applicable mobile phone programming curriculum. Some excellent resources for Python development are available in the new book, Mobile Python and Nokia’s open source projects, here.
The first session today included two artists who deal with the communication and visualization of the vast amounts of data that surround us each day. Chris Jordan spoke about how we can raise a collective consciousness of our mass consumption, specifically through his “Intolerable Beauty” series which depicts images of industrial yards, car and cell phone dumps that show the enormity of consumer culture and the intensity and scale of mass consumption. He hopes to raise an awareness of consumption in the US and to create a visceral experience so that people can truly feel its impact enough to change the way things are taking place.
Christian Nold had a compelling presentation and has created an entirely new type of mapping—he uses emotion to map how the city impacts us, and how we are effected by our experience in the city. He uses Participatory Sensory Mapping, where he temporarily blindfolds and deafens people so that they can re-explore their local area without hearing or seeing—using senses such as smell, touch, and vibration. Nold additionally spoke about his BioMapping project, where he uses a gadget similar to a lie detector to read how people feel in specific locations within the city, and visually presents these feelings on maps. (Farsi link available soon).
July 16, 2007
Hey all. Farid recently asked me a few questions about the work I’ve done on Iranian blogs. I’ve reproduced the snippet below here because I think it says alot about the power and the danger of bridgeblogs. For good and for bad, we find what we want in these posts (see the first comment from the complete GVO interview for further evidence of what I mean).
Q: Do you think Iranian blogs can give you an image of Iran that we do not find in the mass media? Can you cite an example?
I definitely think that, especially in the case of Iran, blogging gives a welcomed alternative perspective that often diverges radically from what traditional mainstream media provides us here in the US. In my mind this is one of the most important contributions that the Iranian Weblogestan makes.
One of the most interesting and exciting discoveries I made during my study was the perspective of the Iranian blogosphere. The odd mix of familiarity and strangeness of their worlds provided a much more complex, nuanced, and sympathetic picture of Iranian society than traditional sources of news did.
The fact that I had such access to these people also gave me an important sense of empowerment. Learning about the intricacies of taxi culture in View From Iran’s “Taxi Talk,” or about daily street life from Mr. Behi gave me a glimpse into the heart of Iranian society that traditional media stories left out. Daily coverage of the Iranian-US nuclear stand-off and Iranian involvement in Iraq by the mainstream media continually creates a false impression of Iran that blogs often work to deconstruct.
But the Iranian blogosphere represents a very small demographic. As in other “developing” countries, the internal “digital divide” between those with access and those without significantly shapes the perspective and climate of the Iranian cyber-society.
Reading Iranian English-language blogs in the months and weeks leading up to the 2005 presidental elections, it would have been hard, if not impossible, to predict that Ahmadinejad would win. Clearly the views of these bloggers were at odds with a substantially large portion of the rest of Iran. The surprise/shock/denial illicited by many of these blogs in the aftermath illustrates how specific group this group was/is within the broader Iranian population.
June 27, 2007
Dear friends of “Sounds Iranian”
I have one last word to say about my video “Khatami Exit-2”. The movie was recorded in Udine, Italy, last 12th of may, some minutes after 1.30 p.m. And, I must add, it is authentical.
“Khatami Exit-2” is a seven minute video which was published by my site, “la casbah di Udine”, in the context of an entire series regarding mr. Khatami’s visit in Udine. The movie shows your former president at the end of a long speech receiving claps, greetings, hugs, kisses. And handshakes.
My video came then to represent, in our point of view, a sign of succes. Don’t ask our opinion on the handshakes. If you insist, we will gladly say that we consider them part of a bigger news: the warm welcome our town gave to a man which, last 12th of may, symbolized a hope. The hope of a dialogue between two worlds which too many times seem colliding. Look at the several “thanks and goodbye” mr. Khatami receives during his seven minutes walk and you’ll probably come to the same conclusion.
There is another, not less important point I wish to underline. Everybody can see now that the situation is completely out of control. There are hundreds maybe thousands of copies of “Khatami Exit-2” fluctuating on the internet, “embedded” in web sites and blogs. And this is not the real problem. The problem comes from the “new” copies, made by people who “steal” the original images in order to create their own Khatami video. And use it for their own purposes.
These purposes clearly do not adhere to mine. But I know that, in the eyes of many, these difference do not exist. My website entered all the way in the struggle consuming Iran’s soul and became, unintentionally, a “tool”. Or maybe not so unintentionally, someone say. Ask Langley, they suggest. Ask the neocon. Ask Bush.
You can ask whomever you want, but if you ask me I will give you a short answer. I am choosing the same words used as caption in the last video of “la casbah di Udine”. A video dedicated to mr. Khatami’s visit and the ensuing scandal.
Mr. Khatami came to Udine shaking hands. Welcome to Udine Mr. Khatami.
June 21, 2007
Mr. Khatami decided yesterday to deny the now famous handshakes with italian women and the real existence of the videos depicting the banned gestures.
As the man who inadvertendly started all this fuss by capturing the handshakes with a little camera and putting the result on the internet, I wish to say two things and thank “Sounds Iranian” for this opportunity.
First, the handshakes. I must say again that our site “La casbah di Udine” put on the web a complete video coverage of the Khatami’s visit here in Udine, Italy (may 11-12). More than 90 minutes of footage that we published on “YouTube” servers with no editing, and I reply, no editing beyond the normal 10 minutes cuts required by “You Tube” system and some amateurish scene selection. The intent to emphasize any part of the event, or body of the president, should and cannot be attributed to us.
Here comes my second point. Mr. Khatami has chosen a strange but understandable course of action. Since the video is absolutely not a fake, and the fifty thousand and counting people who saw it have no doubt about it, we imply that mr. Khatami had no choice. That iranian politics leaves no choice.
I strongly condemn and disapprove the misuse of our work, especially for political purposes. Mr. Khatami came here in Italy in the context of a cultural event which wanted to foster an atmosphere of dialogue between worlds and cultures. By filming Mr. Khatami we hoped to offer to friends of our website some more information about a country, Iran, which had (as the men called to represent it) the center stage of the kermesse and is perceived here as a little problematic. I should by now conclude that, thanks to the cooperation of people we never met, my site could not do a worst service: to mr. Khatami, the iranian people, and maybe to someone or something else.
But this dramatic conclusion, thanks God, is not the only one we can draw. We remembered last time how the scandal machine that was in some way put in motion is not producing only smog. I can only say that I hope iranian leaders like Mr Khatami will be able and willing to intercept the interesting signals emerging from the bottom also, or maybe especially, in this regrettable occasion.
But, of course, this is none of my business.
P.S. FROM “YOUTUBE” – COMMENTS TO “KHATAMI EXIT-2”
alifreedom1 (2 weeks ago)
Khatami was the head of war propagenda during Sadam-Khomeini’s war those years that media was responsible for sending children on mines.He was the head of misinstry of censorship when many novlists in Iran and Europe were terrored
arf31 (1 week ago)
I think you are wrong. Khatami was minister in Hashemi’s cabinet which was after the war and he resigned as hardliners did not let him to work. I guess he was a member of parliment during the war.
alifreedom1 (1 week ago)
No it seems you arf31 do not know anything about background of criminals of Iran. After Moadikhah the first guidance and censorship(Ersah) minister were sent off(because of being caught with his secretary in his room)during Mosavai’s cabinet Khatami was sent from Islamic parliament to the minister of censorship (Ersha) whilst was the head of Kehayn newspaper and head of war advertisement(rais Tabigat jang) his later assistance Abtahi was also the head of radio during war.
alifreedom1 (1 week ago)
Khatami because of close relationship he and his brother had with Khomeini’s family and assistance of Beheshti was trussed by Khomeini,Khameni and Rafsanjani, hence Rafsanjani again kept him for another 6 years for that ministry(totally around 14 years he was the mistier).Although Hoveda sent him and Behesthi to Hamoboug islmic Kanon. Khatami could secure Hoveyda but instead praised Khalkhali who killed Hoveyda (Like praising the Lajevardi).Do not be a fool by his fox smile
persianmilad (1 week ago)
in kheili khoobe ke to hadde aghal be fekre taghyiri, vali be nazaram dari rahe eshtebah ro miri refigh. Farghe to ba amsale behnoud o nabavi ine ke oona vaghe’iyate jeme’e ro fahmidan vali to na. oona be donbale oon chizi hastan ke mitoonim behesh beresim
na oon chizi ke mikhaymesh hame vali omran behesh nemiresim. dar zemn aghalan goftmane democracy ro re’ayat konim bad nist.
alifreedom1 (1 week ago)
Na janam, behound va Nabavi fagat dounbale poul hastand, shoma agar neveshtahye behound ra az chand sale pish bekhanid mifahmid ke ch gadr zedo nagiz ast.Anha narahatand ke mabada in regime zede bashari az beyn beravd va sahmiye garadadhaye egtesadi rafsanajni az anha gerefeh shavad
persianmilad (1 week ago)
man az in mitarsam ke mabada agar regime i ke to mikhay roo kar biyad amsale behnoud o nabavi ro be jorme mozdoor boodan bendaze zendan! hamoon kari ke amsale shariat madari mikonan! man taghriban tamaame karaye behnoud va nabavi ro az aval khoondam. taghyire jahat tooye siyasat agar baese bolooghe siyasi beshe hich eshkali nadare. ina ro ham faghat be onvane mesal avordam.
alifreedom1 (1 week ago)
na doust aziz,kasi anha ra be zendan nemiandazd fagat million ha dolari ke comapny haye nafti be anha dadand ra say mikoinm tagazaye esterdad konim,choun ingard fagr ba komak godfathereshan,khatami va Rafsanajni poul bala keshidand va be hamas va hezbolah dadand,chenan keshvar ra be naboudi bourdand ke bayad keshvar ra besazim.Anha ham ba poule dozdi mardoun dar sharhaye zibaye Europe ta akhar omr mimanand va be iran nemiayand.Non be nerkh rooz khori nabavi va behound neshane tagir nist
persianmilad (1 week ago)
Man fekr mikonam tanha rahe ma ba tavajoh be zarfiyate jame’e hamoon eslahate (hatta agar doostesh nadashte bashim). in jodast az khatami o amsale khatami. eslahat ye process e. za’fhaye khaatami ham ghabool. vali ma mardom ham 8 saal too khoone neshastim… man fek mikonam khatami marde bozorgi bood vali na ye president e bozorg.
alifreedom1 (1 week ago)
Khahesh mikonam sabegh Khatami dar dahe aval khomeinism ra khoub bekhan badan khahi did ke ishan be onvane rais tabligat zaman jang va rais shora engelab farhangi(tatili daneshgah va ekhraj astid va daneshjouha) va be onvan vazir ershad cheha ke nakardeh,farib labkhand in roubah ra nakhorid lotfan
SirIanFleming (2 weeks ago)
Khatami was one of the greatest world leaders of the last several decades.
check9264 (1 week ago)
He was much better that Antarinejad.
ghazal48 (1 week ago)
i’m realy agree with you. I think hi is a great man.
saman6284 (2 weeks ago)
He was nothing but a coward liar. His false hopes to the nation caused all the political activists in Iran get arrested and he never supported them.
roozbeh1383 (1 week ago)
you are big fucker stupid man
Shantoos (2 weeks ago)
WOW he shook hands with a woman, he surely is a cultural personality
meCyber (1 week ago)
He has a great personality, I think people miss-understood his promises. We Iranians always like someone who makes a miracle, as we live in dreams and not reality.