Exhausted

I’m exhausted from all the news and threats and everything. Every day we wake up to another horrible alert that another war is starting. I just wrote a thousand words and deleted all of it. It shouldn’t need an entire article to tell people how bad a war is. I’m just exhausted of being a Middle Easterner. It’s not fair.

"We Can Do It!", also called "Rosie the Riveter" after the iconic figure of a strong female war production worker (1942-1945) lithograph poster by J. Howard Miller. Original public domain image from Wikimedia Commons.

Will feminists work on oil wells? That’s not the right question!

Would a woman, specially a feminist woman, work on an oil well? I don’t know. The Oxford dictionary defines feminism as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.” Which is very cool. If feminism means that, I’m a feminist.

But, then, you hear so many weird reasons that feminism sucks or feminists are anti-men. Are they though? I mean the definition of feminism is pretty clear. A feminist fights for equal rights for men and women. Nothing wrong with that, right?

Then they come. Those dumb idiots who step further than the general agenda and try to sabotage a movement so they can gain some popularity or satisfy their need to be acknowledged. Some become anti-men or suggest crazy things. I’ve seen those who suggest that a woman should not limit herself to her husband or unborn babies are parasites. Best thing to do with them is to ignore them and worst thing to do is to dismiss the whole feminist movement because some crazy people are speaking their crazy minds.

Then comes the idiot men who want to oppose this craziness with more madness. Like they try to give you idiotic reasons to discredit the feminist movement. They give you foolish reasons such as feminists only want to work in high-paying jobs or they won’t work as a sweeper and if they don’t find a good job, they would rely on their husband.

Well who wouldn’t? Are men different in this matter? Won’t you protest if a high-paying job wasn’t available to you because of your sex? If you could rely on someone in life instead of becoming a sweeper, you would turn that down?

My friend, the whole agenda of feminism is that if a woman wants to become a sweeper, or mine worker, or CEO, she should be able to. If a woman wants to become a construction worker, she shouldn’t be rejected because it’s a man’s work. It’s that simple. It’s that easy.

It’s all about opportunity and availability. It’s not that the feminist movement wants to force you to quit your job and place a woman there, it’s that if a woman has the same abilities as you, and wants to work the same job as you, she should be able to. It doesn’t mean that you’ll get fired, it means that a woman should be able to compete with you on the basis of her abilities, not on the basis of her or your sex.

It’s not fair that a man gets a job because of his sex, while there’s a woman more skilled than that man for the same work. And it’s not fair that a man gets paid more than a woman, or gets treated better than a woman, because of his sex. I’m not saying that men are getting more, I find no evidence of that, I’m just saying that the feminist movement is about that.

It’s about opportunity. No, I don’t think a woman wants to work as a repairer on a telecommunication tower at high altitudes, but if she wants to, she should be able to, if she has the skills. If she doesn’t want to, she’s free not to work that job. Exactly how it should be for men. It’s about equality. Will a woman work on an oil well? I don’t know. But feminism is about whether she should be able to or not. If she doesn’t want to, that doesn’t discredit the movement. It’s really easy to understand.

Men and women are different. Biologically, we’re not the same. That biologic difference has been a reason to treat them differently. Women had a role in society and men’s role were something else. Now that women are behaving differently and are capable of doing a lot of what historically were men’s job, we should remove those behaviors and social rules from our lives and treat everybody with equality and justice.

We should treat everybody based on their skills and abilities and disregard their genders. The feminist movement tries to put this equality and justice in place. It doesn’t want to remove men from power, it just wants to make room for women who are able to do the same job.

Holidays

I’ve been on Nowruz holiday for the last week and I have to go to work tomorrow morning. There’s a four hour drive ahead of me and I’m getting sad already. It’s not that I don’t want to work or something, it’s just that I’m leaving my friends and all the memories I have here, again.

I already miss everything. I miss the morning coffees, launches we ordered, cafes we went, movies we watched, shopping we did, games we played, and stuff we ate, and most importantly, friends we met again.

I’m the excited kind of guy. I get excited for every little thing I buy or experience. I get excited for the delicious fruits of this season such as Persian green almonds as much as I get excited when I bought my new car.

Holidays always make me happy and excited. I get to go to my favorite places, meet my favorite people, eat my favorite foods, and enjoy the city I love. I get to be myself and enjoy what I have and be relaxed.

It makes me sad that I’m leaving. It makes me sad that holidays are ending for me, this year sooner than usual, and it makes me sad that I have to wait a long time to get this opportunity again. But every time I get sad I remember the good memories and I cheer myself up because I know I’ll get to experience all those good memories and relaxed time again.

Social networks are not always bad

I avoid using social networks. It’s just that I don’t like them and I find them irritating. But are they always bad? I don’t think so.

I’ve advocated for using ethical social networks such as Fediverse/Mastodon instead of crappy ones like Instagram and Twitter but I have my own reasons. My objections to these networks are that they treat users unfairly, violate their rights, and keep business their first priority.

I don’t like social networks, I don’t use them, but I have less objections to ethical ones than to ones like Facebook. I may not be OK with the feeling I get of an ethical social network but one like Instagram gives me 100 more reasons.

However, I would still object to banning them. You see, I think it’s bad that these corporations are harvesting users’ data but if one, consciously, wants to use them, one has every right to.

I always tell people to avoid these networks but I’m completely against forcing people to leave them. These networks have a massive flow of information passing through them and this flow helps people express themselves and share information they might not get from other sources.

Accessing social networks are essential for freedom today. They are replacing news sources and information channels; and they’ve become a force from people to protect themselves from injustice and tyranny. Banning them only helps corruption.

I don’t praise what they do, I still find them too much unappealing but I can’t deny the amount of good they do for people. I can’t deny how much they’ve helped people survive a world of misinformation and propaganda. They have become a tool for people to actually have a voice.

Everything these proprietary privacy-violating social networks such as Twitter do, can be done using user freedom-respecting privacy-minded social networks such as Mastodon but for now, we’re stuck with these crappy ones.

I cheer for replacing these proprietary networks with free/libre ones but I also will protest banning them. Banning them may do some god but it will do more damage as it will only take away people’s voice.

Banning them will only result in more corruption and more violation of people’s right and freedom. These social networks, free or nonfree, have given people a voice and a power to make actual social change and they have become a powerful tool for people to fight for themselves.

They make dictators unhappy, they make tyrants angry, and they make powerful people weak in front of people. They empower people the way nobody can’t. They bring back freedom of expression to people, the way nobody is able to.

I don’t use social networks but I’m happy they exist as they’ve made the world much better place. Because of them, many tyrants are actually afraid of people and maybe are kept in place. I may not use them but I appreciate them every day.

Farewell, Grandpa

I only have good memories from my grandpa. It’s even weird for me that I can’t even recall one bad memory from him.

My grandpa died last night. Today was his funeral. It’s a tradition in Muslim countries that a dead person should be buried as soon as possible. Here in Iran it’s also a tradition to honor the dead on Thursdays.

A little less than a thousand people showed up today to show respect for him and comfort the family. Some traveled for more than 400 kilometers to be here.

They said prayers and shakes hands with me, my father, and my uncles to show their respect. Grandpa was the elder of our dynasty which contains about six or seven families.

It made me happy that so many people, even those who I didn’t know were there to show their love and respect. It shows me how respectful and loved he was.

Everything happened too fast. He had some medical problems due to his age and he didn’t make it. They say he died painlessly. We were expecting bad news but not this fast.

He was awesome. A great part and reason of my dad’s success is life was him supporting and helping my dad. He was the one who provided whatever he could to my father and all his children. He sent my father to another city to continue his education in a top-level high-school and college/university after that.

He always expressed how proud he is of my father and all his children. Always supporting everyone to pursue their dreams.

I remember how he used to hug me and tell me how much he loves me. He used to hug me, kiss me, and tell me bravo. “Bravo my son”, he used to tell me.

Even when I was doing something stupid when I was a child, he used to tell my mom and dad that they should forgive me and that they shouldn’t punish me. Not because he didn’t want me to learn, but because he was too kind to be able to tolerate my sadness.

I miss him already. I remember when he used to wake me up early in morning so I can eat breakfast with him and my grandma, while they both prepared fresh milk and eggs. Best breakfasts I’ve ever eaten and will ever eat in my life. Nothing can be more delicious and perfect from that.

People are preparing dinner, for those who came, and I’m sitting in my car writing this because I don’t know any other way to express my feelings toward him.

It’s a tradition to gather at home or a mosque and send prayers and say their condolences to the children of the deceased; we don’t do speeches or stuff like that, so I don’t have any other way to express so much that is in my heart.

Farewell grandpa. You were the best. I’m beyond proud and grateful that I’ve got to know you. Beyond happy that I got to hug you and feel your hands on my head. I wish I become a man like you were. A man that was respected and loved.

Thank you everything.

Security decisions and free software

One of the reasons I only use free software is that it gives me more security.

Of course not all libre programs are secure but software freedom gives you more security as you can study the source code and edit/publish it the way you want. So if there’s a security vulnerability, you won’t be forced to wait for the original author to find and fix it.

You may be a programmer or security researcher and fix it yourself or pay someone to do it for you, based on your needs. Anyhow, it’s a perk of using free software.

But, another advantage I get from free software is that I can edit it so it won’t force me to be secure!

For example, I don’t like to change my password on a program running locally. If it wants to force me to do so, then I can modify the program to avoid it. It’s what I’m able to do because I get the four essential freedoms regarding that program.

As much as I appreciate the author of that program wanting to keep people secure, I believe people should also have a say in it. If I want to keep stuff less secure, intentionally, I should be able to.

There are some things to do and some precautions to take to make sure you have base minimum security and the rest is how you choose your actions based on your threat model. I appreciate programs reminding this to people and even taking the first steps in their own hands. It’s so useful for people with less understanding of how cybersecurity works.

Yet I believe there should be hints about threats but the users should be able to take everything, absolutely everything, in their hands if they want to.

Security should be implemented in programs by default. It shouldn’t be a luxury and it shouldn’t take technical skills for one to be secure digitally. Yet it shouldn’t be something that the user has no say in.

I believe free software fixes this problem by giving us the four essential freedoms we deserve. Our rights to use, study, modify, and share the program are there to make sure we own what we have and will be able to make it work the way we want it to work.

New opportunity

I just arrived to my old home. Home sweet home. I gave my business to my partner and I’ll start my new job as Project Control Specialist in few days.

Everything’s fine. I miss what I’ve built already. For three years, I’ve been working twelve hours a day, on average, to make what I’ve made and today I left it. I still own it but I won’t work at it anymore.

It was hard saying goodbye to people I’ve had the advantage of knowing and working with. It was harder to say goodbye to the family members I had there. Their tears broke my heart.

It’s a new journey ahead of me. A hard one, I guess, and I hope I get passed it successfully, learning new things both professionally and personally.

Wish me luck.

Social network temptation

I just surfed Mastodon’s site to choose an instance to sign up. Chose one that suits me and has open registration and few restrictions, and opened the link to read their terms of use. Then suddenly realized I’m like an alcoholic going back to alcohol. Closed the browser and came to write this post to remember I have a personal blog that I can publish anything on.