Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Why isn't the blog fun anymore?

Afshin asked me that question in an email. He's right. The blog is not fun anymore. So look at this video from
Abjeez instead. They are fun.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

COUNTERREVOLUTION SHOULD ALWAYS BE FUN!!!!
(It's easier to defeat that way!)

Anonymous said...

Stupid.

Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting contradiction. Tori thinks that knowing what is going on with Iranians is not easy to know. Social interaction is "layered," according to her. What you think is going on really is not. There is some other reality.
The curious thing is that she accepts at face value Iranians' criticism of the regime. Seems that she finds nothing "layered" there.
Want to try to explain this, Tori? Inquiring minds want to know!
ron

Tori said...

I don't take the criticism at face value. I spent four years in Iran and had hundreds and hundreds of people ask me why America had not attacked them yet. I didn't believe that was what they really wanted. I heard people tell me that they lived in the worst society on earth. I asked them if they were scared all the time. The answer was invariably "no."

I think every society is layered, Ron. Even, gasp, American! What I learned in Iran is that we should not so glibly think that we are experts in someone else's problems or issues. Iranian society *is* more layered than American. This comes from centuries of experience with invasion, survival, etc. Every single Iranian in Iran is much more schooled in hiding information and identity. Of course the society is layered.

Ron, what I did encounter in Iran is great anger from young men with no prospects. How many times did I meet young men who studied too be engineers driving taxis? Countless. Some of them smoke opium to numb the thought of the next forty-fifty years driving a taxi; some of them get angry. That anger is real.

I read a quote from a 19th century French diplomat who wrote that Persians hate whoever is in power but take no civil responsibility. Money is almost always used to improve one's own situtation.

Iran has the biggest brain drain in the world and perhaps one of the biggest money drains as well. Even believers in the regime send their money outside the country. What do we make of that?

Hey anon, if you think the Abjeez video is stupid, you should see their video Khastigari. Very funny.

Anonymous said...

Here are some statements that Tori makes for which she has and can have no evidence.
1. Every single Iranian in Iran is much more schooled (than Americans?) in hiding information and identity.
2. Countless young men, trained as engineers, are driving taxis in Iran.
3. Money is almost always used to improve one's own situation.
4. Iran has the biggest brain drain in the world and perhaps one of the biggest money drains as well.
Try again.
ron

Anonymous said...

RE: "Even believers in the regime send their money outside the country. What do we make of that?"
ANS: Well, for starters, we might get some facts about restrictions on usery in Iran and low returns on investments. Then, we might probe the issue of greater returns on investment outside Iran than inside.
Your implication seems to be that even Iranians who believe in the regime actually do not support it.
Hey, Tori send me a cashier's check for $10,000. I can get you 8% on it!
ron

Anonymous said...

There is no excuse, in this day and age, for Iranian educated specialists and professionals to waste their lives doing menial work. They, such as the unemployed engineers Tori mentions, should get together with others in their specialities and organize corporations to seek work and do jobs outside of the country. The key to this is organize, organize, organize. Even an Iranian musician can jam and produce CDs with other musicians in Denmark, Spain and Nepal. No excuses!
ron

Tori said...

Ron, what makes you say that I cannot prove my points? I do not understand. Perhaps I just do not understand what you are asking of me. On one hand you tell me that Iranian society can be understood using an anthropoligical methodology and on the other you tell me that I cannot prove any of my points.

Explain yourself please.

another anonymous said...

Ron

I have one question to you. You did live all your life in USA or in western countries, didn't you?
Iranians are more schooled than people in US in hiding their feelings and their views, as are people from ME, as are people from Russia, as are Chinese.
And tori is right that it is a result of Iranian history.
It seems that you do not understand, that lack of understanding is evident in majority of your statements, like the following one:
Even an Iranian musician can jam and produce CDs with other musicians in Denmark, Spain and Nepal.
Uh,uh, perhaps with female musicians playing without hijab in Denmark or Spain? Are you joking?
Do you know that some of the drivers who got organised and protested against low wages got arrested, and arrested again.
Organise, organise, organise - ah, yes. Like some westerners advised people in Russia or Egypt to organise then did nothing when the same people got arrested.
PAH!

Anonymous said...

another anonymous,
As a young Marine, I spent two years of a tour of duty in Okinawa, the Philippines, Japan and Singapore. I even sailed up the Persian Gulf on the way to Lebanon. I've been to Mexico and Canada, so you can't say that I am entirely ignorant about other societies.
ron

Anonymous said...

The Iranian musician can jam with other players while at home in Tehran and the others are scattered around the globe. He/she can put together CDs and sell them worldwide. Don't play dumb with me, please.
ron

Anonymous said...

Tori, to make a valid assertion you have to be able to support it with facts. Then, there must be an acceptable way of assembling the facts. None of the four statements of yours that I point out can be established as true, generally because it is impossible for you, or anyone, to get all the info you would need to support them. Basically, your problem is that you overstate, using words such as "every single Iranian," "countless young men," "almost always," and "the biggest brain drain in the world," etc. Think! How many interesting factual statements can you make that is true of every single Iranian? Hope this helps.
ron

another anonymous said...

Ron

Spending a couple of years outside US is fine, but it does not mean that living in the army is equal to living as a private person among people in these countries. Of course there are exceptions: intelligence guys. Are you an ex-intelligence guy??
As for Mexico and Canada - well Mexico is a little different from US but Canada?, Same movies, same businesses, same language, similar people apart from Quebec where everybody speak Quebecois and none want to understand english, eh, ron?

Musician can, as you say, jam with other musicians. But have you noticed that in Iran there is no high-speed internet. Have you noticed that certain kinds of western music are not being well thought of by islamic republic? Have you noticed that you can be accused of anti-islamic views if, for example, you will jam with other musicians from western countries? Have you noticed that it might be difficult to get money from the sales of such CDs if government will find your music anti-iranian or anti-islamic? Have you noticed that there is tendency in iran to burn CDs and DVDs, pirated western movies and western music, of course, particularly CDs with western music? I also think that bribes such musicians will have to pay would be rather high, particularly nowadays.
So, no, I did not, as you soooo politely put it, play dumb with you.

Now for other things
1) Every single Iranian in Iran is much more schooled in hiding information and identity. - compared to every single american. I would change that to "as a society and as people Iranians are much more schooled in hiding information and identity then americans overall and majority of americans in particular." True.
2) Countless young men, trained as engineers, are driving taxis in Iran. - majority of young men trained not only as engineers but also in other professions drive cars which apart from being their own private vehicles are used as a source of second income, to wit, as taxis.
Up till now that was true, at present with gas restriction it may be different. These people probably lost their second income.
3). Money is almost always used to improve one's own situation. - True. Is it not true in the States, too?
4) Iran has the biggest brain drain in the world and perhaps one of the biggest money drains as well. True.
Iran has the highest rate of "brain drain" in the world. That's the conclusion of the International Monetary Fund, which recently surveyed some 61 countries. The IMF says every year more than 150,000 educated Iranians leave their home country in the hope of finding a better life abroad
source


Hmm......... Ron please try better next time ;-)

Anonymous said...

The United States Marine Corps is not the army. Ask anyone who has been touched by the Corps.
Sergeant Major Sloan

Anonymous said...

So Golnaz Esfandari interviewed a few young Iranians who had left their country. Big deal. What the IMF's survey method was, we are not told. There is no supporting evidence in the article for the claim that "Iran has the highest 'brain drain' in the world." Smells like propaganda to me.
ron

Anonymous said...

I LOVE THE SMELL OF NAPALM IN THE MORNING!!
Lt. Col. Stryker, USMC, ret.

Anonymous said...

Intelligence guys invariably are stupid. You don't want to know about the unit I was in.
ron

Anonymous said...

And, Tori, I don't give a damn about anthropological methodology, which is largely discredited in academic circles in the West. Iran doesn't need anthropologists poking around, because they are increasingly being used by the US military and the CIA. I can't recall recommending anthropology to you. Blast all anthropologists to Hell!
ron

Anonymous said...

This Stryker and Sloan... Seems that you call out the best in everyone!
ralph

another anonymous said...

Ron

I seems that you have your views which nothing - no publication, no article, no data can change. That which does not agree with your view "smells like propaganda"
Fine. No problem.
As for the differences between various branches of the US military - I don't care. I am also perfectly content not to know the unit you were in, long, long time ago.
As the guy from your generation sang "The Times They Are A-Changin'" ;-)

Anonymous said...

I want to inspect the survey methodology before I credit any generalizations or conclusions. That seems a reasonable request.
If you have a choice between the Marines and the Army cooking your ville, I suggest that you go with the Army, for health reasons. Marines are trained to kill and destroy anything that gets in their way. Semper Fi!!!!
And, ah yes, the times are achanging - into the same old same old - It only seems different because you are young and untutored. Carry On! But, you better adjust to the system in Iran... If you want to have any future there.
Truly yours,
Ron

another anonymous said...

Hey, ron

But I am not living in Iran, and I am not Iranian. Neither I am american.
Yours truly,
another anonymous

Anonymous said...

Ahmadinejad
Is not so bad
When you compare him to the Shah.
He truly loves Muhammad's law
And has not yet gone completely mad!
Ilse

Anonymous said...

re: brain drain
I follow Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary's (11th edition) definition: "the departure of educated or professional people from one country, economic sector, or field for another usu. for better pay or living conditions."
I think it is necessary to differentiate two kinds of "brain drain." The first, and most devastating, kind occurs when professionals, such as medical doctors, from countries where employment is possible leave their positions and (usually impoverished) clientele to take high-paying jobs elsewhere. The second, milder kind occurs when there are no employment opportunities for professionals in the country of origin, and the educated personnel leave their country in search of employment.
Brain drain in Iran seems substantially to be of the second, milder kind. Correct me, if I err.
Let's wish all expatriates good luck. It's a hard life.
ralph

Anonymous said...

re: brain drain
Maybe, Ron, there is a third kind of "brain drain." This kind occurs when a revolution removes the priviliged status and perogatives of the former ruling class and its elites. Because of economic advantages former elites may retain in the new conditions, their children are likely to have educational advantages and receive university degrees which they may take to foreign countries for further education, employment, or establish permanent residence there.
Some of the "brain drain" in Iran is probably of the second type you discern, but some of it is this third type, too, I think.
ralph

Anonymous said...

Here, aa, is an example of a report that, unlike your IMF on brain drain, provides information about study methodology. I think such information is necessary for deciding what status to assign to statements made in reports that claim to represent reality.

ron

To determine which cities were the most obese, we looked at 2006 data on body mass index, or BMI, collected by the Centers for Disease Control's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which conducts phone interviews with residents of metropolitan areas about health issues, including obesity, diabetes and exercise.

In this case, participants report their height and weight, which survey analysts use to calculate a BMI. Those with a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 are considered at a healthy weight, those with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 are considered overweight, and those with a BMI of 30 or higher are considered obese. About 32 percent of the nation is obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control; Memphis ranked above the national average at 34 percent.

another anonymous said...

Ralph
I agree.
I also think that the Iranian situation is the second/third kind, the "milder" brain drain. Nevertheless, knowing from my own experience how difficult it is to start a life in a new country , I wish all Iranians emigrants and expats best of luck.

another anonymous said...

Ron

Are you joking?
You are giving me a part of the report i/o providing a whole report ( no link).
It is either a part of the intro or part of the conclusion of the report - therefore no statistical works, no link to relevant CDC report, no exact methodology, no references to other relevant papers and so on.
Stop bullshitting me Ron. I know how scientific papers should look like.I also do know how "hard" scientific reports/papers differ from sociological and/or economic reports or papers.
PAH

Anonymous said...

Gee, all I wanted to do is show how a report discloses the procedures of its investigation to allow its readers to judge for themselves whether the methodology was adequate to the research question or not, which the IMF report you provided a link to did not do. Where is your head, aa. I think I know. Gee, too bad about that! You know about important things, but your animus distorts what you know and makes your remarks futile and ineffective. What a miserable life. Too bad...
ron

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