We’re afraid of being called!

I’ve been training myself to not care about being called names. I don’t care if people try to hurt or insult me with words. I don’t care about their insults, they can’t upset me, and won’t be able to affect me in any way. I simply don’t care about what they say to me and no matter how hard they try to insult me, they’ll be unsuccessful.

I also follow the Crocker’s rules. The Crocker’s rules gives me opportunity to receive most information in least amount of time. It also means that I won’t be offended if someone is not polite to me. I’m not afraid of someone calling me an idiot. If I get offended, it’s my fault.

I believe more people, specially politicians, should adopt this behavior. We’re not too afraid of being called a name and this is affecting us as a society and is causing malfunction. Last night I was watching an episode of “The Problem with Jon Stewart” and he was talking about the economy and mentioned the same problem.

He mentioned that we’re going bankrupt because of all the things we’re paying for out of pocket that other countries pay for with taxes. The basic tax proposition is simple: You pay taxes to the government in the form of the money and the government pools that money and uses it to provide the people with essential goods and services that they need.

That would be efficient but there’s one catch: We can’t do it in that way because getting anything directly from the government or through cost-controlled industries would be considered [THUNDER and DRUM ROLL] socialism.

Isn’t this insane? The government and capitalists made people too afraid of socialism and have been calling anything they don’t like communist that doing something in an efficient way would be impossible because they don’t want to be called a name. Too much afraid of being called a socialist or communist that we rather destroy the economy than adopting a policy that works.

We should stop this madness. People may still get fooled by some politicians but they’re not dumb. We need to man up and start talking sense to them. We should sit with them and explain to them how things work without being afraid of all the name-callings and populism we face.

For the sake of our own future, we should shut the hell up when we hear words. We should stop being triggered by words and start building a behavior and personality both individually and socially to be able to work something out. Words, no matter how offensive, are far more harmless than bad policies.

The reality may differ

I’ve been watching the American crime drama TV series “The Rookie” lately and it’s very enjoyable. Apart from the action and partial comedy you see in it, it’s kind of more realistic than other police dramas I’ve seen. I’ve seen “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” for example and that was kind of comedy that you don’t get the feeling of real police work being done.

Spoiler alert! In the episode eight of the season one, officer Nolan shot someone dead. He chased the man and when the man turned back and pointed his pistol at him, John shoots the man in the chest and the man drops dead. It happened very quick and the episode showed John Nolan in shock and in a very uncomfortable upsetting mood.

Now I know it’s not the case for every police shooting and homicide done by cops, you should know that by reading my previous posts condemning police brutality, but we should consider that many of the shootings and killings by cops are probably done in situations like this one. I’ve been thinking about this and imagining myself in a situation like that and I think I wouldn’t have done anything differently. I tried to convince myself that I could duck down or something like that but realistically I would’ve not.

The situation showed in the episode was so intense and quickly escalating that it would’ve left any of us doing the same thing officer Nolan did, that’s if we didn’t freeze from shock. That’s hard work done by cops. They put themselves in danger for the sake of our safety. Of course that many of police officers are corrupt and do harmful things, such as abusing their power and misusing their position but generalizing officers is wrong.

And I should also mention that the movie doesn’t make me a fan of cops. It won’t change my opinion that the policing done by cops is not wrong and the methods and how they do their job is correct. I still believe the system is flawed and the job they do does a lot of harm to many people but I also believe there’s hope and they do a lot of good work and their hard work should be seriously considered.

That was just one example for me. An example of what I have believed for so long and how I came to realization that the truth and reality may differ and being absolutely sure of something may be wrong. The reality may differ and that’s a true statement for 99 percent of the time.

I always have believed that people should have an open mind and be accepting of one another no matter what are our differences and I always believed that we should change our minds when new evidence is provided and I believe it’s one those times. I regret that for a while I called cops ‘thugs’ or ‘pigs’. Of course many of them deserve such calling but that’s unfair to those officers who are good.

This is not just about cops, it’s about any time I’ve generalized a group or people or a matter. It’s about me not trying hard enough to correct myself and act good even though I knew better than that. It’s about trying hard enough from now on to be a better person and not to judge people based on what I hear or see because the reality may differ. It’s not about cops, it’s about people and matters in general and the ability to accept that I may not be able to judge accordingly and be smaller than a bigger matter.

Community versus Corporation

If you still haven’t heard about it, Reddit community and moderators are protesting because of the social network’s new policy and price change that threatens third-party and individual developers.

Reddit’s my favorite social network. Well it’s flawed and I don’t use it for many reasons such as privacy concerns, centralization, corporate control, etc. but the idea behind it and the communities and people who are active on it make it one of the greatest social networks of all time.

As much as I like Reddit, I believe the corporation behind it makes it fundamentally impossible to build a real community-powered and people-driven network. Reddit’s benefits and decisions over their policies are based and focused on development of the corporation and financial factors while the communities focus on their interests such as building relationships with one another and producing and sharing better material with each other.

To protest the recent API prices Reddit has set many moderators have made their subreddits private. In the first few hours of the protest it made huge inconveniences for the social network. Reddit was reported down partially and many people had trouble accessing it.

Some moderators participating in the protest received messages from the company saying to reopen their subreddits or be removed from their positions. Many large subreddits have reopened out of fear that their mod teams will be forcibly replaced. However, many continued the protest in another ways, most notably being focused on John Oliver and posting only about him. That is hilarious and surprisingly clever.

Reddit tries to be community-driven. Meaning that you don’t follow people there but you follow or join subreddits (or communities) of your interest. Then you can see the people (who have the same interest of yours) posting in those communities. The idea is amazing but the interference of the company in how communities are working and how the communities who build the network (Reddit social) and make it possible are acting make it impossible for the network to be truly a community.

A corporation taking advantage of people’s desire to be active in their favorite communities, that’s what Reddit is currently. I would offer a decentralized free software alternative for Reddit, called Lemmy, but I know that may not suite many people and it certainly won’t be a good answer to all the work that has been done over the years by the amazing communities of Reddit, but that may be a good start.

Growing up to care about details

I have always said that one of the benefits of having an open mind is that one’s thoughts and opinions will eventually change. There is no shame at all in changing personal views and beliefs over newly presented evidence. This means that one who grows up and is willing to learn and understand will eventually find a totally new person, one who is quite different from the past.

I’d like to think of myself as an open-minded accepting person and I totally believe that I’m growing up. This is because I find myself enthused in new things every day. I see I’m caring about different things and matters and I try to be much better than what I was yesterday.

One thing that hasn’t changed lately about me is that I’m now caring more and more about details. This started when I was active on Mastodon. I refused to publish or share/boost any media that didn’t have meta text and explanation. I truly believed (and still believe) that meta text is much important as it enables people with disabilities to enjoy the same experience I had. This was and is important to me.

My blog has a lot of media that don’t have proper alt text and I regret that I published them the way I did but I’ve decided to not do that again. Accessibility is important and it’s just one minor detail that I care about now.

You may laugh but it’s these minor details that make me feel I’m growing up and I wholeheartedly believe that it’s these minor details that change the world. One simple act can impact everything quite amazingly.

Conspiracy theories

I believe in conspiracy theories. I do. I have my own conspiracy theories such as all things happening to Trump right now are planned by DeSantis to sabotage orange man’s candidacy or every government official around the world is a clown in disguise of a normal human being. Not just normal clowns who do makeup and dress those colorful clothes, I respect them, I mean those who were born as a clown. Like born from a clown mother and father with their baby-clown clothes on them already when they were delivered.

However, I have some proof for my latter theory. Recently, Kandiss Taylor, a GOP district chair in Georgia, claimed the earth is flat on her podcast, Jesus, Guns, & Babies, alongside fellow flat-earther David ‘Flat Earth Dave’ Weiss and Matt Long. She said “the people that defend the globe don’t know anything about the globe” and “If they knew a tenth of what Matt and I know about the globe they would be Flat earthers.”

How cool is that? A GOP official currently in office claiming the earth is flat. But what got my interest is this part: “I turn on the TV, there’s globes in the background … Everywhere there’s globes. You see them all the time, it’s constant. My children will be like ‘Mama, globe, globe, globe, globe’ — they’re everywhere. That’s what they do, to brainwash.” She also continued, “for me if it’s not a conspiracy. If it is real, why are you pushing so hard everywhere I go? Every store, you buy a globe, there’s globes everywhere. Every movie, every TV show, news media — why? More and more I’m like, it doesn’t make sense.”

That’s the general idea and thinking behind these conspiracy theorists and mad people. Now I get it. If they’re saying black people or Jews are controlling the world or there’s a vast conspiracy and plot against white people, it’s because they see Jews and black people in streets. They really think the Jewish idea or not-being-white is being pushed to them simply because they see a Jew or a non-white person.

And who are this “They” they’re talking about? There’s a deep-state council or organization that controls these? Like there’s a group of people sitting in a penthouse in downtown Manhattan deciding the next thing people should believe? And their position is passed to their children? Sweet mother of god.

What an idiot. You’re the head of GOP in Georgia, who the hell is running the conspiracy if it’s not the government you’re leading. How you can be a conspiracy theorist and high up in governmental affairs I have no idea. They’re always babbling about “the deep state” and “drain the swamp”, but these people ARE the deep state up to their waists in swamp water.

It’s no shock that Taylor is a supporter of Trump’s theories as well, one of them being that United State’s 2020 election was stolen. Similarly claiming the election was “rigged” after she lost the primary, receiving only 3% of the votes. Yet she made no claims of a fraudulent election process when she was elected as Georgia’s District 1 chair.

These clowns always fascinated me but now I understand the thinking. If you regularly see something, no matter how obvious or normal that is, it’s being pushed to you. Globes are being pushed to you, not being white is being pushed to you, water, water is being pushed to you, and let’s say cheese and eggs, those are being pushed to you too. Why would you see eggs in every store you visit if they’re not brainwashing you to eat more and more eggs?

Or why are we seeing a lot of water recently? Are they trying to make us drink more water? I would start the “Don’t Drink Water” campaign in Georgia if I see water one more time. It’s definitely some brainwashing going on with the water. Let’s stop drinking water.

Taylor used her 2022 campaign to promote additional conspiracy theories, claiming the GOP leaders were secret communists and Democrats were satanic pedophiles. GOP, which she holds an official office within it, is moving forward with secret communist leaders. It’s like being an atheist priest. You only can be a cunning clown to be able to hold an official place within a party, running for office within that party, trusting the voters to share the same values you share with them within that party, yet calling the leaders of that party exact opposite of what you are.

I still can’t fully understand these people. It’s so hard and complicated to match what they say and what they do.

We need free and open passwordless login

It’s been a while since Google introduced its passkey login system which users won’t need to set and remember passwords in order to log in to their accounts. Now, Google is giving its users option to switch to passkey-only login for their accounts.

It simply works like this on your mobile phone (which needs biometrics implemented): type your username, pick a passkey, scan your finger/face. I’m not gonna lie, this is absolutely awesome. It’s a wonderful feature which makes logging in and signing up pretty easy and not a pain in the ass.

However, being forced to use biometrics to be able to use this feature is not what many people such as myself would like. I would like to be able to set a pattern to log in or type a pin or password on my mobile phone. I don’t like to share or store my biometric data (such as fingerprints and/or face scan) with my mobile phone no matter how safe or privacy-promising they are.

Also, this system is built using proprietary software. The passkey is a certificate that gets stored on your device. Your device shares a signature (not the certificate) with the service you’re signing into to prove you have access to the certificate. But they’re issuing you the cert through their proprietary software.

1Password’s passkey page also has a video saying that passkeys weren’t open enough. The video says, “Today’s solutions don’t deliver on that promise of openness and interoperability. If you create a password on your iPhone or Android device today, it’s pretty much trapped. It’s not easy to share, move it to another platform or sync with your preferred password manager. We can do better. And that’s why we’re excited to show you what the future could look like, if passwordless technology were more open.”

The whole passkey system is not something new though. The system works the way many public/private key systems, such as GPG/PGP, work. And our community, which is free and open, can build something like that. I would really like it if I could sign up on services giving them my public PGP key and when I want to sign in, I just sign a random message given to me to prove my identity.

Wouldn’t that be amazing? What I have in mind is simple. When I face a registration form, instead of setting a password or email address, i would like to paste my PGP public key in the form. Then system saves or remembers the public key and whenever I want to sign in, it generates a random message for me to sign. Then I sign the message using the private key which I have (and only me has access to it) and the system checks if the message is signed by the correct key and if it checks out, it logs me in.

Now I know it may sound kind of hard to do or more frustrating than simply typing your password or clicking on your password manager button for it to insert it for you but wouldn’t that be a good signing and logging system to use? Isn’t that more private than what we already have? And it can be synced with whatever device we have or want. We just need to sync our secret keys using infinite libre tools we already have.

And the amazing part is that it can be built using free software only. No proprietary program is needed to implement this and even password managers can implement and use it and it won’t be limited to any kind of operating system or computer.

What I’m proposing may not be perfect or even easy for many users but I’m sure it can be improved and it’ll work way better for everyone and it won’t be limited to big tech to decide who and how people can use it. If you have any idea or suggestion about this please inform me or, better, publish a blog or a social network post and send me the link so we can discuss it.

And if there’s a legal thing behind using ideas or anything, I have not read or heard a similar idea so if you though or have wrote about this before I did, I’m sorry. If you want to build a system based on my idea, you won’t need any permission so just go ahead. Although I would be happy if you inform me so I know somebody is working on something like this.

No social network presence!

I’ve recently deleted my Mastodon account. Mastodon was my only social network and I was using it since 2016 since it was first started. Mastodon, being a decentralized social network, was not my first presence on social networks. I remember when I was on MySpace, FriendFeed, Vine, Mastodon, Facebook, and Twitter. Sadly some of them were build on proprietary software and are data-harvesting corporations. I regret my decision to join them.

Happily, few years ago I got interested in online privacy and studied it and were introduced to the philosophy of software freedom so I started a redemption journey to only be active on human-respecting networks and services. Until like 2016 which I first joined the Free Software Foundation as an associate member and deleted every one of my social network accounts and joined Mastodon for the first time.

Until now it was my only social network being active. Now that I deleted it, I now am absent from every social network. This has been fun. I have deleted my Mastodon account before and took a distance from social networking and I’m doing it again. I hope I don’t join any of them again since they are very tempting.

The no-social-network thing is good for my mental health I believe. I spend less time on my computers and I probably am more productive and focused on real life and real issues. I also find more time and passion to write on my blog rather than writing short notes. It’s a good thing I suppose.

I also love to brag about having no social network at all. People find that interesting that I feel no need or I’m not tempted to socialize using online networks.

Anyway, I’m not on any social network for now and I, currently, hope I don’t get back. At least for any time soon.

Free software, free society, in practice

It’s been hard times for Internet and my people. Internet situation is getting worse every day and people are facing more shutdowns and censorship. These shutdowns are not even reported because the regime is switching its form of censorship from a blacklist type to a whitelist type.

It means that every site and service is blocked by default unless it’s whitelisted. This way the regime can still claim the internet is working while also denying access and preventing people from using a service.

However, people are still resisting this. Using free (libre) tools and services, many are helping others to gain access to free Internet. I now see people providing VPNs to each other. These VPNs are created using open protocols and free (libre) programs. Young and unexperienced people are now trying to learn more about how networks work and they are teaching each other about these so more and more people can access free Internet.

I see people brag about how they’re using open source software and they are very happy about beauty of it. The same people who were denied access to services because of sanctions or even censorship now are building their own tools.

I try to teach them about the philosophy of free software and the movement behind it and how they are basically advocating for the same principals I fight for and I see the pride in their eyes.

I, now, am seeing the motto of our movement. I now see “free software, free society” in practice and I see it by my own eyes how free software, its philosophy, and programs built under free licenses are actually working and taken in action to help people fight for their rights and freedom and let me tell you something, I’ve never been more proud of myself and every single person in this community.

This is our work in practice. This is what we’ve been telling people all these years in action. This is thousands (if not million) of people actually using and advocating for free software in order to fight tyranny and in order to achieve an live in a free society. Every time we advocated for software freedom,, every time we refused to use a proprietary software, every single one of our actions have been resulting and leading us to this.

It’s such a beautiful time for our movement and you probably didn’t know about this. This may be happening, and I believe it’s happening, every day somewhere and we don’t notice it but we should be very proud. I know it’s there, I know it’s happening, and I am proud. You should be too.

The effect of condition

Entrepreneurship is like one of those carnival games where you throw darts or something.

Middle class kids can afford one throw. Most miss. A few hit the target and get a small prize. A very few hit the center bullseye and get a bigger prize. Rags to riches! The American Dream lives on.

Rich kids can afford many throws. If they want to, they can try over and over and over again until they hit something and feel good about themselves. Some keep going until they hit the center bullseye, then they give speeches or write blog posts about “meritocracy” and the salutary effects of hard work.

Poor kids aren’t visiting the carnival. They’re the ones working it.

The above is a comment on a Hacker News post. An screenshot of this lives on my computer and I think about it once in a while.

Internet has been down for the past week here and many people were suffering in various ways. Even many email services were hard to access. We use VPNs to connect to different online services and every VPN works on specific ISPs so we have to change VPNs based on what operator or ISP we’re using.

I, for example, have promised people that I do certain work and failed to hold my promise. This of course just one example. I know a lot of people who missed their deadlines and their reputation was hurt, and they have suffered financially and in many other ways.

Now imagine a young person in his twenties trying to start a business providing products. Born in a poor family and living in a country with no free Internet, no free flow of information, and certain limitations on accessibility of resources which are imposed by government.

This person was born into this. He had no saying in the situation he was born into. He didn’t choose his country or family or even the time of his birth. However, the conditions he was born in has serious effects on his life.

He probably has to commit a lifelong effort to just stay alive. He probably will never meet his goals and will never even be able to dream about success the way a Swiss boy or a French girl dreams or thinks.

Success is not purely the result of hard work. It’s based on many things and one very important one of them is the condition people are born in and have to live with. The reality of life is that nothing is guaranteed because of your motivation, hard work, genius, or skills, and your condition and your situation in life is one of the most impacting aspects.

Captain, it’s Wednesday

I’ve been watching West Wing for past weeks and I just finished it. It was amazing. It’s one of those shows for me that I feel I’m actually living among the characters. One of those shows that if I see the character on the street, I won’t recall them by their real name but by their character name.

For example, Chandler (from friends) is not Matthew Perry for me. I know his real name but he’s always Chandler for me. Same goes for Sheldon (Jim Parsons), Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), and Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels). They’re always their characters for me. I know it may sound bad or rude but it’s just like that. RIP John Spencer is Leo, Martin Sheen is Jed, Bradley Whitford is Josh, Rob Lowe is Sam, Allison Janney is C.J., but, but, Dule Hill is Alex Williams from Suits.

Speaking of other shows, I first watched The Newsroom, and then went to watch West Wing. American political drama started for me with The Newsroom. I loved what Aaron Sorkin did on that show and I got interested to watch West Wing too.

I don’t have a lot of time in the day. Between working and studying, there’s not much time left to do anything beside eating and getting some rest. That’s why I usually binge-watch series. I download them on my phone and computer and watch them before I go to sleep. I wake up early so I have to manage how many episodes I watch so I can get few hours of rest.

It’s been tiring these past few months. Heavy pressure and complications in my life made time run very slower than usual. I think all people experience this. It doesn’t need you to be a scientist to be sure that time is relative. Sometimes I think to myself, was Einstein going through a personal difficulty when he came up with the theory of relative time?

From Iran Protests to economic disaster we’re experiencing right now, everything seems to be falling to hell. IRR was already the least valuable currency in the world but it’s even getting worse right now. Seems that politicians are not tired of messing with people. Sometimes I wish I was living in the West Wing virtual world with Jed Bartlet as my president. He seemed to really care about people.

I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist I used to be (Obama said it). I got softened. I now more align with Bernie rather than Obama. I used to align with Norman Thomas and before that, Abbie Hoffman. I was wondering if the system does this to people. Making them tired and turning them to what itself likes. Creating drama after drama, difficulties and complex problems, out-of-touch disasters in life, etc. etc. to make you tired of even trying to change anything.

Here’s my conspiracy theory. There’s a group of people, 100 of them, that decide about disasters in third-world countries to protect ones in advanced ones. 100 for disasters, 100 to control the economy, 100 for war and peace stuff, and 100 for advertising these matters correctly for themselves. I might just throw another 100 just in case there’s a need for another group. So 500 people, hard-working people, that control the world. They ought to be very hard-working. It’s no easy job to make world the shit it is like today, pardon my French.

It’s been 20 years since I first thought to myself when this hell will end and we feel peace and prosperity. Even with relative time it should have been passed already. It’s taking too long to end. Even with the feeling that everything is going fast in world, it’s taking too long. I’m getting tired and I’m young, relatively. I know people who’ve been tired for 60 years now.

I feel like the captain in book of “The Crab with the Golden Claws.” Captain asked TinTin “what a week, huh?” and Tin Tin replies with somehow a shock: “Captain, it’s Wednesday”. I can feel the disappointment in the captain.