Data Security

To start this article, I should mention what those words mean. Freedom means “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint” and liberty means “the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.” However, from now on, when I use any of those words, I mean both of them. So whether I write freedom or liberty, I mean “freedom and liberty”.

I value my liberty. I think liberty is what makes humans, humans. As a Middle Eastern, I understand how much my freedom is valuable and important. Us Middle Easterners are very much familiar with struggles one can have to gain freedom.

We fight for freedom in Middle East. If you’ve followed Middle East news in past 10 years, you surely understand what I’m talking about. Part of our fight for liberty needs us to be anonymous. In Middle East, you may get arrested or executed for simply talking against the dictator, so many of people take anonymity very serious when they talk politics, or anything else.

Anonymity is part of privacy. Anonymity is a choice when someone has privacy. I should explain this too. Being anonymous is a choice while privacy is a right. Someone with privacy can or may be anonymous but one can be identified and known while one still has privacy. I for example am active in a social network with my real name but I still take my privacy seriously, and am careful about my computing and acts.

Now back to what I was saying. In a situation like Middle East, privacy is so essential for living that almost everybody takes it seriously. I don’t mean all people are avoiding Google or Facebook, etc. but I mean they try their best to not give their data to the government.

People in Middle East basically understand the value and importance of privacy. However, even in Middle East, many people give me the argument of “I have nothing to hide” and refuse to take their privacy and rights seriously. Many don’t understand with not taking their privacy seriously, what they’re giving away.

To live as a free human being, and not be controlled or conquered by any person or power, you need privacy.

Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.

Edward Snowden

Let’s start arguing against the “I have nothing to hide.”

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Many people think of Israel and Palestine as two countries at war with Israel — a state for Jewish people — occupying Palestine, where Palestinians live.

The truth is both Israeli Jews and Palestinians live all over the territory, ruled by one government and one army based on the idea of advancing the supremacy and domination of one group of people of Jews and that is what guides its policies and its practices towards Palestinians. In other words: Apartheid.

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Sculpture of Ferdowsi in front of legends he created in Shahnameh
Sculpture of Ferdowsi in front of legends he created in Shahnameh

Abul-Qâsem Ferdowsi Tusi (or just Ferdowsi) is probably the greatest Persian poet of all time. His book, Shahnameh (The Book of Kings), is known as the book that keeps the Persian language alive. Ferdowsi is celebrated as one of the most influential figures of Persian literature and one of the greatest in the history of literature.

The writing of Shahnameh took 33 years. The Shahnameh is a monument of poetry and historiography, being mainly the poetical recast of what Ferdowsi, his contemporaries, and his predecessors regarded as the account of Iran’s ancient history.

Ferdowsi is one of the undisputed giants of Persian literature. After Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, a number of other works similar in nature surfaced over the centuries within the cultural sphere of the Persian language. Without exception, all such works were based in style and method on Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, but none of them could quite achieve the same degree of fame and popularity as Ferdowsi’s masterpiece.

Ferdowsi has a unique place in Persian history because of the strides he made in reviving and regenerating the Persian language and cultural traditions. His works are cited as a crucial component in the persistence of the Persian language, as those works allowed much of the tongue to remain codified and intact.

In this respect, Ferdowsi surpasses Nizami, Khayyám, Asadi Tusi and other seminal Persian literary figures in his impact on Persian culture and language. Many modern Iranians see him as the father of the modern Persian language.

Ferdowsi was buried in his own garden, burial in the cemetery of Tus having been forbidden by a local cleric. A Ghaznavid governor of Khorasan constructed a mausoleum over the grave and it became a revered site. The tomb, which had fallen into decay, was rebuilt between 1928 and 1934 by the Society for the National Heritage of Iran on the orders of Reza Shah, and has now become the equivalent of a national shrine.

Every year on Ordibehesht 25, people gather in the tomb and celebrate his legacy by reading Shahnameh and washing his grave stone.

I’ve reached the end of this great history

And all the land will talk of me:

I shall not die, these seeds I’ve sown will save

My name and reputation from the grave,

And men of sense and wisdom will proclaim

When I have gone, my praises and my fame.

There were a group of scientists who were doing some experiments on some monkeys. The put five monkeys in a cage and made them live there. In the cage, they put a ladder and above the ladder, they put some bananas.

Every time a monkey tried to climb the ladder and get some bananas, the scientists poured very cold water on other monkeys that were under the ladder, they shocked those who were under the ladder.

After a while, whenever a monkey tried to climb the ladder to get some bananas, other monkeys would pull the climbing monkey down and beat that poor one. A while passed and none of the monkeys, despite the inherent desire to the bananas, would climb the ladder because they were afraid of getting beaten by others.

The scientists decide to replace one of the monkeys, monkey number one, with another monkey that has no idea about the situation in the cage. When they replace monkey number one, the new monkey tries to climb the ladder and others pulled it down and beat it.

After a few times of getting beaten, the new monkey also decided to not climb the ladder for bananas, even though it has no idea why climbing the ladder is forbidden. When this happened, scientists replaced monkey number two with a new monkey.

Monkey number two was replaced and the same situation went on. New monkey tried to climb the ladder and got beaten and after a few times it decided to not climb the ladder even though it didn’t know why it is forbidden to climb the ladder or eat the bananas on top.

This went on until all the monkeys were replaced by new ones. Now none of the first monkeys are in the cage and all are replaced by new ones, and none of the new ones ever experienced the cold water but every time a monkey wants to climb the ladder, it gets beaten.

If we could continue the experiment and ask the monkeys why they beat the climbing monkey, their possible answers would be 1: I don’t know, it’s tradition, everybody does it; and 2: I don’t know, this is what is popular among other monkeys, you should obey the public.

Traditions and belief in the societies may have a very interesting or convincing root but they may be obsolete nowadays. I’m not trying to argue about the root of the problems, but how or whether they are affecting us today.

What I wrote was simply imposing a modern slavery of thought on monkeys. A similar story happened to humans, I believe. I truly believe we humans are experiencing a form of slavery, a modern new slavery, in which we have no idea why we do certain things or obey certain systems, but we’re too afraid of getting hurt to disobey it or act against the mainstream.

We are too afraid of swimming against the river, and even if we try to do, other fishes will stop us, and if you ask why they do it, they have no answer, they simply believe our actions are not right.

I try to change this, and I hope you join me.

Look at this New York Times title: “Eviction in Jerusalem Become Focus of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”; and then the text goes on like this: “The effort to evict six Arab families from a contested neighborhood has drawn attention to the Israeli effort to remove Palestinians from parts of East Jerusalem and led to protests.”

Now what is really happening is Palestinians are being forced out of their homes, where they were living forever. The effort to ethnically cleans Palestinians from their homes has drawn attention to the Israeli crimes to remove Palestinians from parts of East Jerusalem and led to protests, where Israeli forces started to oppress them.

If you’re not writing the truth about crimes against humanity, you’re culpable in them. News agencies lie, for their own benefit. This benefit can be support for their political side, gaining attention and support from those in power, or even get paid for lying.

News agencies are our sources for truth, sadly. But happily, every political side, every ideology has its own news agencies and journalists so by following different sources and different people, by comparing what they say and by searching for truth, we can be a little sure that we receive the correct news and understand what is really happening, instead of being manipulated by those in power.

Do you know what is the Boxer syndrome? In the book Animal Farm, Animals helped each other to kick out the master and his family and take control over the farm. The first thing they do after is to set Seven Commandments that said all animals are equal and nobody should claim itself master of others.

But it won’t take long that a pig who became the dictatorial president changes the commandments slowly to put advantages and privileges for itself and those around it.

Ultimately, Napoleon, the president pig, becomes an oppressive dictator and begins to adopt many aspects of human behavior. The pigs start walking on their hind legs, drinking alcohol, wearing clothes, and carrying whips near the end of the book. The commandments are changed to say, famously, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Meanwhile, there’s a working horse named Boxer which is very kind and is morally and behaviorally approved by all farm animals. The animals ask Boxer to help them change the situation (or decide what to do) but Boxer doesn’t pay any attention to its surroundings and is only busy with its hard work.

Boxer’s slogans are “Comrade Napoleon is always right” and “I will work harder!” Boxer feels it should work very hard and should not have anything to do with others.

Although Boxer could prevent the terrible events that fall on the animal farm, he worked hard and had nothing to do with others. He was busy with its own work and only found out about the incidents around itself when Napoleon, the dictator pig, sold it to a butcher.

In our lives, we meet so many people who are busy with their honest hard work and have no idea how the system, state, country, or people are moving or where we’re heading.

In a scene in the Titanic movie, while the ship hit the iceberg and was sinking, while people where screaming and running for their lives, while everybody were trying to be saved, there were a group of musicians/players who were performing classic music masterpieces.

They were doing their best, they were true hard-working people who tried to avoid their work be influenced by the environment/situation they were in. But in a sinking ship, while everybody is busy saving themselves or other people, when nobody is even paying attention or cares about your work, when your work has no good effect on the situation, why and how does it matter?

Many people we know are effected with the Boxer syndrome and forget when is the correct time to take a position or change the situation, or even do anything that matters, sadly.

Colombian people are protesting for different reasons such as tax reform (yes, in the middle of pandemic), health reform, death of social and environmental activists/leaders, and the alarming number of femicides.

People know 42.5 percent of Colombia’s salary is not enough for their basic needs, such as food, service, and rent, and 9.2 percent of the population do not even have three meals a day, some people only have enough for one meal. People are protesting and government is not listening, but killing people.

Government is killing people because they protested for their lives and basic rights. Thousands upon thousands of workers, students, indigenous groups, along with others, are protesting across different cities in Colombia, following calls for national strike to denounce the right-wing Duque government’s neoliberal policies and use of force.

At least 672 arbitary arrests, 136 violent interventions by blue pigs, 30 cases of shootings made by blue pigs, 4 victims of sexual violence by the blue pigs, 940 cases of blue pigs brutality, and 92 cases of blue pigs violence happened until now, and the real stats are way higher than we what know.

Please give a voice to Colombian people, our empathy can give them strength and power to fight for what they want, and what they need.

Karl Marx, one of the greatest thinkers and revolutionaries in history was born on this day (May 5), 203 years ago. Despite our differences in thinking and ideologies, we can’t deny the fact that Marx was one of the most influential politicians and philosophers of the world.

Marx’s critical theories about society, economics, and politics, collectively understood as Marxism, hold that human societies develop through class conflict. In the capitalist mode of production, this manifests itself in the conflict between the ruling classes (known as the bourgeoisie) that control the means of production and the working classes (known as the proletariat) that enable these means by selling their work-power in return for wages.

We shall not say: Abandon your struggles, they are mere folly; let us provide you with true campaign-slogans. Instead, we shall simply show the world why it is struggling, and consciousness of this is a thing it must acquire whether it wishes or not.

Karl Marx

GOP lawmakers in multiple states are trying to ban critical race theory in schools. Critical race theory is the historical study of racial injustice and its effects on law and culture, past and present.

In January, Joe Biden reversed the Trump’s national ban on federal funding for diversity training based on critical race theory (CRT), a school of thought that explores the long-term effects of systemic racism.

Some states, including Texas, Idaho and Oklahoma, have now challenged Biden’s move by passing similar bills that ban teachers from discussing issues of race and gender in classrooms — pointing to Trump’s claim that critical race theory curriculum is “racist” and teaches “people to hate our country.”⁣

But many scholars and education advocates have pushed back against this claim and others supported by conservative lawmakers: “CRT challenges us to see that racial injustice in America is not, and has never been, just a problem of isolated instances of individual bias and private prejudice which we can solve by enacting ‘color-blind’ laws and policies,” Kendall Thomas, professor of constitutional law and human rights at Columbia University, told Newsweek.⁣

Bills banning CRT have also been proposed in other states, including Tennessee.⁣

Often when I talk about politics, specially sensitive stuff, people claim they are neutral. I tell them you can’t be neutral, you’re either on the good side, or the bad side. I’ve written a post about this before, but I felt I should mention this again.

Being neutral is impossible because by being neutral you’re basically helping the bad side to win the argument. Imagine you’re in situation where fire is burning wood, how can you be neutral in that situation? Arguing that you’re nor fueling the fire nor turn it off doesn’t make you neutral. By doing nothing, you’re just helping fire to burn the wood without any disturbance.

But don’t get me wrong. Being neutral is different with doing nothing. In politics, being neutral means letting politicians do whatever they want. By supporting a politician or siding with a party, you’re siding with them against people. By not participating in the show they throw, you’re not doing nothing but showing how you’re opposed to the politics and situations they force or impose on people.

Doing nothing in politics is meaningless. You’re either siding with people or siding with politicians. I don’t care how different they seem to be, in their core, they’re simply the same; modern new slave owners, enslaving people.

Often when I talk with people about politics, they claim they’re neutral and I tell them it’s impossible. You’re not neutral in politics, you’re in denial. To me, it’s very simple. I don’t see politicians as a part of people, I see them as a class against people. What they do, even if it benefits people, is not for people. What they do is to help them survive.

Information is often manipulated by them, they own media, news, technology, books, people, resources, etc. and by being neutral (meaning by siding with them), we’re just helping them grow and be stronger. We help them to involve more people, enslave more people, eat more resources, and manipulate us.

You can’t be respectful to all sides, you can be neutral, you can’t be a politician for the people, and you can’t be a human, if you’re simply taking side with those who oppress and hurt people.

You can’t be neutral, you’re either for people or against them, there’s no way around.