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Iran and the Geopolitics of Bay-Area Hipsters

By anaesthetica in Politics
Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 09:30:44 PM EST
Tags: iran, elections, protests, twitter, facebook, google, communications, internet (all tags)
Internet

Much hype has already been made of the foray of Twitter into geopolitics. Jared Cohen, the Jew who wandered the Middle East solo, wrote a book about it, and was hired to the State Department by the Bush administration, figured out that Twitter's maintenance period directly conflicted Iranian waking hours. So he called Twitter and asked them to shift their schedule for the purposes of international politics. They did.


Not wanting the Fail Whale to absorb all the good press, Google and Facebook today have announced that their services now support Farsi.

The Google Blog lets users know that support for machine translation between English and Farsi (and vice versa) is now available, because, "We feel that launching Persian is particularly important now, given ongoing events in Iran." The gigantic, multi-billion dollar, multinational advertising corporation makes no bones about its foray into geopolitical events.

Facebook, not to be outdone, has used the contribution of 400 volunteers to translate their entire site into Farsi. This ought to make it far easier for Iranian protesters to 'superpoke' each other and obtain valuable quiz results.

While the use of mobile phones in popular protests such as the Orange Revolution [link 1, link 2] and Cedar Revolution is by now expected (even North Korea has had problems with illicit mobile phones being snuck in across the Chinese border), using web-only communication tools is newer. These tools have the advantage of being centralized rather than decentralized, allowing for easier and faster coordination among disparate actors. Unfortunately, centralized tools are far more susceptible to traffic shaping by Iranian censors.

You can do your part, even if you're not a Bay-Area Hipster, by setting up a squid proxy or Tor node [Windows, Mac] usable by Iranians attempting to circumvent state controls over their ability to communicate and organize. If Anonymous and The Pirate Persian Bay can pitch in, so can you.

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Related Links
o Google
o So he called Twitter
o translatio n between English and Farsi
o translate their entire site into Farsi
o link 1
o link 2
o North Korea has had problems with illicit mobile phones
o traffic shaping by Iranian censors
o Windows
o Mac
o Anonymous
o The Pirate Persian Bay
o Also by anaesthetica


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Iran and the Geopolitics of Bay-Area Hipsters | 31 comments (30 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
The Revolution Will Be Tweeted! (3.00 / 2) (#1)
by wiredog on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:25:32 AM EST


The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage

Oh god look at how many people like that slogan (none / 1) (#5)
by anaesthetica on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 12:22:45 PM EST

Google: revolution + tweeted

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
What bothers me... (none / 1) (#2)
by mirko on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:33:24 AM EST

...is that the media program us to believe in their point-of-view. And it wou,ld not be the first time that the CIA and their MOSSAD partners start a coup against a democratically elected president in order to install their own puppet. This one smells like it's been planned from outside Iran... and you're all slavishly clapping your hands.
--
Finally I managed to make the decision that I would work on it. - MDC
we had to huddle together - trane
what would be wrong with that? (3.00 / 3) (#4)
by Zombie Schrodingers Cat on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 12:13:27 PM EST

seriously if this whole thing was a CIA/MOSSAD op, why would it be wrong?

Though I doubt the CIA would have the competence to pull something like this off... I'm just saying that if they did, I don't see the problem with it.

[ Parent ]

Read Legacy of Ashes (3.00 / 3) (#6)
by anaesthetica on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 12:24:52 PM EST

The CIA is just about the most incompetent coup planner of all the intelligence agencies of all time.  Truly an embarrassment.  It's global reputation for being everywhere and behind everything is 100% undeserved.

The Iranian uprising does seem to be following the same script as the Orange Revolution did in Ukraine, and the Rose Revolution in Georgia before it.

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
it's^H^Hs -- i fail it (none / 0) (#7)
by anaesthetica on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 12:26:35 PM EST


—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
well yeah (3.00 / 2) (#8)
by Zombie Schrodingers Cat on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 01:53:57 PM EST

I did say I think the CIA is pretty incompetent. But if they can effect a regime change in Iran and remove ahminijihad from power without dropping a single bomb on Iran... umm well that would suggest they have some level of competence. Which is why I don't think the CIA is behind it.

But hypothetically speaking if the CIA were behind it, I don't think it would be a bad thing at all.

[ Parent ]

but really, how much power does he have? (none / 0) (#30)
by Abominable Abitur on Mon Jun 22, 2009 at 03:54:16 PM EST

I mean, the supreme leader and guardian council can basically direct what's going on, what power will the elected president really have?

"Terrorism is only a viable "political activist" method for marginalized nutjobs, bottom line. The backlash that it causes makes it intractable for any reasonable ideology. Which is why you don't generally see wild athiest suicide bombers in america's streets." - lonelyhobo
[ Parent ]
Well, at least they clean up their messes. (none / 0) (#9)
by Korean Loller Blader on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 01:59:10 PM EST

Install GWB to prez, invade Iraq, kill off the operative they installed who went rogue.
D'oh! I can't seem to talk to the mod_
[ Parent ]
do you really think they could pull this off? (3.00 / 5) (#16)
by Delirium on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:33:17 PM EST

Bay of Pigs fail-coups are more their style. On the occasions when they've managed to pull off actual coups, it's been mainly of the "buy off the military" variety, e.g. Pinochet. If this was 12 army commanders seizing power without much popular support, I'd believe it was a CIA job.

[ Parent ]
gimme a break (3.00 / 5) (#10)
by totmacher on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 02:27:06 PM EST

oh no, armchair sympathisers! these people wouldn't fight their landlords to get rid of cockroaches. same liberal guilt bullshit that keeps them throwing their diet coke cans in the recycling bin

-- I'll sum it up for yo: You = Douche bag ~ Butthurtapotamus
it's even more hilarious (3.00 / 6) (#14)
by lostincali on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:29:09 PM EST

when you consider that this moussavi character is not at all someone anybody in the West would consider "liberal". plus:
  • he's just as much in favor of building nuclear weapons as ahmahdinajad.
  • he's just as opposed to the existence of israel (for those of you who give a shit; personally I do not.).
  • the president of iran is more or less a figurehead with little actual power.

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

none of those are really the point, though (3.00 / 4) (#15)
by Delirium on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:31:04 PM EST

The reason he's popular is because he seemed like the best chance of a moderate lifting of cultural repression (morality police, shutdown of newspapers, etc.). Khatami wasn't a revolutionary either, but life under his Presidency appears to have been genuinely better than life under Ahmadinejad's, despite many of Khatami's more significant reform attempts being stymied.

[ Parent ]
You overestimate far-right American conservatives (3.00 / 4) (#19)
by Nimey on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 05:25:07 PM EST

Those people think anyone's a liberal.
--
Never mind, it was just the dog cumming -- jandev
You Sir, are an Ignorant Motherfucker. -- Crawford
I am arguably too manic to do that. -- Crawford
I already fuck my mother -- trane
Nimey is right -- Blastard
i am in complete agreement with Nimey -- i am a pretty big deal

[ Parent ]
it's obvious (none / 0) (#27)
by totmacher on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 10:44:14 PM EST

the only reason the liberal pussies are rooting for the iranians is because of power process guilt. they're unable to actualize their own fantasies so they support those that do. same bs guilt over bush

-- I'll sum it up for yo: You = Douche bag ~ Butthurtapotamus
[ Parent ]
fuck iran, fuck web 2.0, fuck you. (3.00 / 6) (#11)
by lostincali on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 06:14:54 PM EST


"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."

for once we are in complete agreement $ (none / 0) (#13)
by anaesthetica on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 07:10:52 PM EST


—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
yes! (3.00 / 9) (#12)
by loteck on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 06:53:14 PM EST

encourage people who dont even know the difference between a computer and a monitor to run wide open squid proxies through their home connections! fucking brilliant. what could possibly go wrong???
--
"You're in tune to the musical sound of loteck hi-fi, the musical sound that moves right round. Keep on moving ya'll." -Mylakovich
"WHAT AN ETERNAL MOBIUS STRIP OF FELLATIATIC BANALITY THIS IS." -Harry B Otch

what I find most annoying about the media hoopla (3.00 / 8) (#17)
by Delirium on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 06:44:29 AM EST

is the number of goddamn American busybodies now posting stupid shit on twitter about the #IranElection

Some number of armchair nerdwarriors seem to have taken it upon themselves to act as CENTRAL COMMAND or something, gathering information and determining who is fake and who isn't, current statuses, which are OMG GOVERNMENT AGENTS, etc. Needless to say, their information is a goddamn fantasy. (The guy who made up that document, incidentally, also invented a story about how IRANIAN AGENTS attacked him in Ohio by throwing rocks at him from a car while he was walking. PARANOID FANTASIES.)

That'd be mostly okay/ignorable if it wasn't for the fact that they're wasting actual Iranians' time by accusing them of lying or being government trolls every time they say anything that doesn't fit in with their REVOLUTION OR BUST BUT I'LL WATCH IT FROM TWITTER WHILE EATING CHEETOS mentality. Amazingly enough, you see, the Friday rallies actually were canceled, and that wasn't a government plot. As I write this, it's possible the Saturday ones are; Mousavi's official website says so, at least, much to the chagrin of BRING ON THE REVOLUTION American chickenhawks.

The information from actual Iranians is pretty good, though, and usually more timely and with better analysis than the shit from CNN.

As always, War Nerd (3.00 / 7) (#18)
by some nerd on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 10:17:05 AM EST

has an interesting analysis: [1], [2] (google cache because main site is down, onoes Iranian agents.)

Basically he doesn't think it's really going to go anywhere, and he's not often wrong. It looks like the western media are sat in a little bubble of (relatively) progressive student types in Tehran, getting a totally distorted picture of the general public feeling. If it's sustained long enough I can see the regime making some minor cultural concessions, but a crackdown seems an equally likely response. In the unlikely event of it descending into street battles, the Basij are going to win.

Probably the only positive to come out of this is it might make the media shut up about teh amazing twitter and how it's going to save the world.

--
Home Sweet Home

This whole thing in Iran is a Neocon plot (2.25 / 4) (#20)
by Social Democrat on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 09:26:13 PM EST

FACT: Ahmadinejad won the election.  Get over it.

This "uprising" in Iran is due to Neocon agents such as the American CIA.  It's that simple.  Look at how many corporations were ready to go to "support" the Iranians.  This required serious planning.  It's clear that Google, Twitter, The Pirate Bay are working with the Neocons if not outright controlled by the Neocons.  That's the only way this coule have happened.

Most Iranians want Ahmadinejad as President of their country.  The Iranian people want to run their own lives not be dictated to by Neocons.

------
The US is fucked up, diseased, mentally unstable & psychologically unhealthy. Its food supply is tainted, polluted, & full of chemical crap. Even worse, the US is trying to ruin the rest of the world.

You still haven't killed yourself? (none / 0) (#22)
by Nimey on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 10:08:19 PM EST

Get with the program.
--
Never mind, it was just the dog cumming -- jandev
You Sir, are an Ignorant Motherfucker. -- Crawford
I am arguably too manic to do that. -- Crawford
I already fuck my mother -- trane
Nimey is right -- Blastard
i am in complete agreement with Nimey -- i am a pretty big deal

[ Parent ]
preach it, brother! (none / 0) (#26)
by Delirium on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 03:33:04 PM EST

our friend George Galloway has argued the same!

[ Parent ]
i love the ''both barrels'' byline (none / 0) (#28)
by LilDebbie on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 11:21:17 PM EST

you were accused of profiting off of the suffering of iraqi children in the senate and ejected from your own party for being a dirty fuck and you describe this as giving it to them? do they give this guy a column to amuse its readers with his wild delusions?

and can someone post a diary at dkos with a link to his earlier post sucking off galloway for his anti-war rant over iraq next to a pro-war rant over iran? i would but i'm incapable of even mimicking their deranged thought processes and they don't allow dissenting opinion there.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]

Who the fuck is Twitter? (3.00 / 2) (#21)
by the77x42 on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 10:02:40 PM EST




"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

if only there were some way you could look this up (3.00 / 6) (#23)
by Delirium on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 12:14:12 AM EST

via some sort of information-retrieval mechanism

[ Parent ]
where do i find one of those? (none / 0) (#29)
by the77x42 on Mon Jun 22, 2009 at 12:24:08 AM EST




"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

[ Parent ]
I thought (3.00 / 4) (#24)
by R Mutt on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 06:20:27 AM EST

This was interesting:
It’s important that these tools are generally used for banal purposes. If internet entrepreneurs created “Protestr” as a web 2.0 tool for activists, no repressive goverment would leave it unblocked. But blocking a tool that is mostly used for amusement or communication between friends has consequences - the users looking for cute cat videos get annoyed that YouTube is blocked… and learn about their government’s willingness to constrain speech. This cost doesn’t mean that governments won’t choose to block these tools, but it makes the calculus more complicated.

----
Coward... Asshole... from the start you kept up the appearance of objectively posting interesting links.
But then Signal/Noise is very low. (none / 1) (#25)
by claes on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 09:16:36 AM EST

If somehow you could take all that information as a whole, divide it up so the most reliable information was in the first group, then the next most reliable, and so on down to the unreliable at the bottom, and sell off the most reliable information...

Wait.

That's how they screwed up the economy.  Bad idea.

[ Parent ]

Google plays another hand (none / 1) (#31)
by anaesthetica on Mon Jun 22, 2009 at 04:48:43 PM EST

Google has updated its Google Maps satellite imagery for Tehran

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


Iran and the Geopolitics of Bay-Area Hipsters | 31 comments (30 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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