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August 23, 2003

Dude, is that what you're thinking about?
Iman Aghilian  [info|posts]

hammock.jpgThis is a post some of the authors here may not particularly like, but hopefully someone will get the point.

Let me get right to the point: I want to read about what you are thinking more than what you could be thinking about. I feel many of the writers here are making some effort to write fancy and cool editorial-like articles, which I can appreciate the elegance of. But then, I cannot convince myself that someone goes to bed thinking about the ever challenging issue of changing culture via the culture of change or likewise my other buddy is truly obsessed with topics such as science as religion. Such posts seem just so made-up to me.

In principle it is none of my business to tell others what to write about, but they might care about what I—and perhaps a few more—most want to read.

I can't make sense out of debate for the sake of debate when more tangible and perceptible issues of our own lives are left unspoken of.

Give me the chance to read about your concerns.

Borghan Nezami at August 23, 2003 08:15 PM [permalink]:

There are several weblogs, where people write about what comes to their mind, and maybe passes as quick as comes!
I think this weblog is named Free Thoughts on Iran, and supposedly, is being written by some graduate students; so it should be a little different from what other Iranian weblogs may do.
But overall, I think you may have a point about writting about our concerns, which I think most of us do, rather than trying to write nice articles.

Omid at August 23, 2003 09:12 PM [permalink]:

It is funny because I was thinking exactly the same thing couple of days ago! I agree that we have to discuss more important stuff than just a casual chit chat, but some of these articles seem to me to be way beyond our current life and concerns, they are very theoretical. I guess it is a psychological thing that if you want to make an impression you try to be as philosophical and vague as possible. Having said this, I should also thank all the people who prepare the articles. They put a lot of time and I'm amazed at the level of their english (compared to mine :-)) even though some times I feel big words are used just to make the article nice and not necessarily comprehensible.

Grand Vizier at August 24, 2003 12:58 PM [permalink]:

Dude, nice photo.

Hazhir at August 24, 2003 02:41 PM [permalink]:

Interesting point Iman. I think it is a very good idea to write more about what we care about, challenges we face, and experiences that distinguish us from others. In fact, these are were we have a value added in our writings, for outside readers, otherwise, all our philosophical and political discussions are covered more rigorously elsewhere.
However, I want not to undermine many aspects of this weblog, which the more theoretical articles contribute to. First, I second Borghan's point :) Scond, I challenge your assumption about level of interest and involvement of some of the authors here in the theoritical discussions; I think these are important and engaging questions, at least for some of us. Third, I think it is not only the output of the article that matters, but the discussion and interaction that follows any article, as well as the process each author goes through for articulating her thoughts into a coherent article, are very important and valuable outcomes of more theoritical posts.
Having said all this, I again emphasize that your point is interesting and valid to a good extent, so I invite you to write more about what you personally care about and experience. Indeed, some of the posts so far have been aligned with this approach (on halal meat, and on Separation).

Senior Grad at August 25, 2003 09:44 AM [permalink]:

Well, I guess one has to acknowledge the fact that different people, with different backgrounds, different abilities, and at different stages of their lives, tend to have --not surprisingly-- different concerns, even if they're all Iranian. Nobody can claim that the author of so-and-so article just has meant to impress us by his English. How am *I* supposed to know?!

I wish Iman had pointed out, even minimally, to what "should" be our concerns or what he wants to read about and therefore what the writers should be writing about instead. Alas, he doesn't even give a hint. This is, in my humble opinion, telling of a mild form of intolerance, aimed at *controlling* what people should talk and think about. You are free to read or not read an article, as you have been free to post your article (nice photo, indeed!) and of course I am free to criticize it. *Free* Thoughts, get it? :-)

As it has been my habit in my postings so far, I would like to bring up an *almost* irrelevant issue here, which is triggered by articles such as Changing the Culture. I have not been able to write on this in an articulate manner, but allow me to give it a shot anyway, as incomprehensible as the result may appear to you.

See, there are two approaches to all issues in our life. Some people are more than ready to accept the world as it is and play by the rules to get what they want (Mr. Curious's comment for Hossein's most recent article comes to mind), and there are others who want to change the rules of the game, either for their own selfish benefit, or as the cliche goes, to truly make the world (or at least their country) a better place. When I hear things like "Iranian are such and such" or "Things are like this in Iran", I know the person uttering these words most likely belong to the former category. It doesn't occur to such a person that things can be changed, and, more often than not, they should be changed.

Since you mentioned Babak's latest article in particular, I would like to say that the author (among many other authors here) seem to me to belong to the latter category. (Of course, every one of us has both of those attitudes to some extent. If we stubbornly refuse to play by the rules of the game altogether, then we won't be given a chance to change them later either.) Any way, you can rest assured, Iman, that there are people among us who think day and night about such issues.

Tom Grey at August 28, 2003 11:25 AM [permalink]:

I suspect many have similar work/ study/ sex fantasy/ thoughts much of the time. And also frequent ideas on how to change the world and make it better -- or how it should be better.

I remember a night with my wife, after the kids were in bed. We watched an Emergency episode on TV, talked about it, talked about other things. Cleaned up, went to bed. Kissed, hugged, made love - a very nice benefit of marriage. Relaxed. Felt good together, being together.

Then I began to think about Kick AAS (All Agriculture Subsidies), and how free trade in agriculture is so needed by the starving poor of the world. And opposed by the EU, USA, and Japan.

There had been a request for ideas on what the less developed countries could do, or threaten. Somebody suggested debt repayment. I suggested non-enforcement of intellectual property rights.
etc. ...
My point here is that so many of us have so many thoughts. You can see my blog ( for some of my less personal thoughts. Personal journals are also interesting, but different.

I like both -- too much more than work!

Jim Baxter at September 7, 2003 12:13 AM [permalink]:
In an effort to diminish the multiple and persistent dangers and abuses which have characterized the affairs of man in his every Age, and to assist in the requisite search for human identity, it is essential to perceive and specify that distinction which naturally and most uniquely defines the human being. Because definitions rule in the minds, behaviors, and institutions of men, we can be confident that delineating and communicating that quality will assist the process of resolution and the courageous ascension to which man is called. As Americans of the 21st Century, we are obliged and privi- leged to join our forebears and participate in this continuing proclamation. "WHAT IS MAN...?" God asks - and answers: EARTH'S CHOICEMAKER by JAMES FLETCHER BAXTER (c) 2003 Many problems in human experience are the result of false and inaccurate definitions of humankind premised in man- made religions and humanistic philosophies. Human knowledge is a fraction of the whole universe. The balance is a vast void of human ignorance. Human reason cannot fully function in such a void, thus, the intellect can rise no higher than the criteria by which it perceives and measures values. Humanism makes man his own standard of measure. However, as with all measuring systems, a standard must be greater than the value measured. Based on preponderant ignorance and an egocentric carnal nature, humanism demotes reason to the simpleton task of excuse-making in behalf of the rule of appetites, desires, feelings, emotions, and glands. Because man, hobbled in an ego-centric predicament, cannot invent criteria greater than himself, the humanist lacks a predictive capability. Without instinct or transcendent criteria, humanism cannot evaluate options with foresight and vision for progression and survival. Lacking foresight, man is blind to potential consequence and is unwittingly committed to mediocrity, averages, and regression - and worse. Humanism is an unworthy worship. The void of human ignorance can easily be filled with a functional faith while not-so-patiently awaiting the foot- dragging growth of human knowledge and behavior. Faith, initiated by the Creator and revealed and validated in His Word, the Bible, brings a transcendent standard to man the choice-maker. Other philosophies and religions are man- made, humanism, and thereby lack what only the Bible has: 1.Transcendent Criteria and 2.Fulfilled Prophetic Validation. The vision of faith in God and His Word is survival equip- ment for today and the future. Man is earth's Choicemaker. Psalm 25:12 He is by nature and nature's God a creature of Choice - and of Criteria. Psalm 119:30,173 His unique and definitive characteristic is, and of Right ought to be, the natural foundation of his environments, institutions, and respectful relations to his fellow-man. Thus, he is oriented to a Freedom whose roots are in the Order of the universe. At the sub-atomic level of the physical universe quantum physics indicates a multifarious gap or division in the causal chain; particles to which position cannot be assigned at all times, systems that pass from one energy state to another without manifestation in intermediate states, entities without mass, fields whose substance is as insubstantial as "a probability." Only statistical conglomerates pay tribute to determin ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Lauren at October 19, 2003 10:01 PM [permalink]:

'Facts are stupid things."
~Ronald Reagan