Electrified Bees

If you are an electrified bee amongst all other bees in the hive, how far can you go off-the-grid and still survive?

– What if you think electrified bees produce bad honey?
– What if you have a dream of making honey, but not from sugar fed to you under fluorescent light. But from wild flowers and in the sunlight?
– What if there is this rule dictated in the hive that going off-the-grid is a sin. So if you do it, most bees would think of you as a lazy bee who doesn’t want to make its fair share of honey?
– What if you come to believe that the honey you make is really not honey?
– What if you come to believe that the honey you make is really not yours?
– What if you think the hive has a systematic leakage? And most of what you all make goes wasted?
– What if you come to understand that no one is responsible in this situation more than you. That the queen bee is in it together with all the rest?
– What if you think the hive is in a free fall off a tree, or rolling down from a hill, and sooner or later will hit the river?

Should you, if you can, get a little far from the craze if not completely off-the-grid, and still survive?
Or would you starve on the way to the flower garden?

Reflecting on Iran’s Recent Protests

Iran’s anti governmental protest enters its fourth day. People follow with mixed feelings, hope and worry. Few points and opinions for the western audience that the mass media may not highlight:

1. Technically, this time around things didn’t even start in the capital. They took off in few smaller cities across the country and spread to some big cities and then reached the capital. This points to different dynamics that could make the uprisings more difficulto control for the government. More than 30 cities have been involved. This is unprecedented.

2. Iran has reportedly repealed some net neutrality (restoring its freedom as some put it!) by reportedly discriminating against massaging apps that are used to mobilize populations. If protests spread further, they may shut down the whole network as they did before. In comparison to 2009 uprisings the Internet penetration rate has nearly doubled reaching above 80%.

3. During the first couple of days the hardliners tried to seize the protests and view them as economic disatisfaction of the masses to use it against the reformist government. That however backfired and slogans targeted the regime as a whole. This will intensify if the revolutionary guard (under the supreme leader) enters the scene; so far only the police forces have been in charge of controling the crowd with limited casualties.

4. Protesters as usual protest economic pressures and also demand social and political freedom. Economic pressures are partly due to neoliberal policies of the reformist government and the power it has given to the banks. This plus some typical-range curroption and mismanagement is not unique to Iran. Iran’s economy, however, suffers from few other elements:

The country has grown several political mafias in the past 40 years from cartels under the rule of the Islamic revolutionary guard and many other theocratic organizations. On top of these, the economic sanctions that were supposed to be relieved after the Iran Deal, still keep pressuring people. Needless to say that US under Trump resisted the agreement illegally, although Europe did its part after Iran showed its commitment to the nuclear deal.

5. Now Trump’s administration backed by the war machine is trying to harvest the fruits of this economic pressure their own way. His message [although in pure syntax and without a context] was heart-warming (The world is watching, we are supporting the people of Iran, they differ from the government, bla) in reality was only worrying, given where it came from!

The truth is, the majority of the people in Iran are tired of its theocracy, though a majority of those – hopefully – have some historic memory on what has happened to other places that US offered a hand of support; Iraq, Lybia, Afaghanistan, Yemen and Syria, directly or indirectly. So it seems they will pass this time too. Plus no one should be fooled that Trump’s administration has a slightest care for this thing called human rights, in any part of the world.

This is a political excuse to use against the geopolitical adversaries, and never against the temporary allies. And in itself is a hypocratic and psychopathic measure.

6. Along those lines, Fox News is shamelessly repeating that Obama lost a golden opportunity in 2009 to interfere or else the Iranian regime would not be in place. I wonder what kind of people watch this show. What’s their level of intellect, their fact-base or their empathy level, to buy this rhetoric, still in 2017? One of these three at least shall be questioned for any houshold who gets their news and analysis from such sources.

Had Obama meddled in 2009, [a quick look at other countries where they meddled show that] not only the theocrats in Tehran wouldn’t be in place right now, but lots of buildings and roads, infrastructure and universities and historic monuments and probably some half a million people wouldn’t also be there. Thus, Obama did the right thing not to seize that *opportunity* to wage war against a complex and misunderstood country. And did it wrong with any other country that it did meddle with, including Syria and Lybia. It’s that simple. And it’s mind-blowing that a large fraction of the American public watch this rhetoric on channels like Fox and don’t call it bullshit to change the channel immediately! This is about time for Americans (and with respect to the trends, soon the rest of the west) to understand how short-minded and manipulative these rhetorics are and to stop seeing themselves as the saviors of the world. Especially America that needs to deal with its own rigged politics before exporting a democracy that is running out at home.

7. War is a lose-lose game. That is, the end of all hopes. And the war machine does not miss any opportunity to wage another war. The west must not repeat its mistake this time around, when US adiministration will come to team up to get allies to participate in another war. We must be very clear that it is not an option.

War is lose-lose game for the whole planet, including the western voters who keep voting for war-friendly politics, not paying enough attention to the fact that much of their issues come from those counter-productive policies. Only few will win in a war: Right wing politicians, such as the Republican Party and the sentaros who will use it to distract the public while looting them. Hardliners, Mullahs and right-wings in Tehran who will probably get more powerful if they won’t be overthrown, as they did it before in the 80s. Even if they are rid of, other perhaps new radical groups and brands such as ISIS who will norture from a post-war ecology. And not to mention, of course the weapon industry and their shareholders. These groups combined mke a very tiny fraction of the world population. They are the winners of the next war and every one else will lose. Generations will be hurt and that pain – as usual – will NOT stay within the borders of the affected country. Its shockwaves does spread through immigration, economic difficulties, disease and a lot of other mysterious ways that Karma works. So do not get hopeful when you see another country in war cast on your TV. Right in that moment you are participating in it, and Karma works in mysterious ways!

8. Social and political freedom is a win-win game. It’s time for theocrats in Tehran to let go of their repressive measures and let the people breath. They sure know policies such as compulsory hijab, or the organizations that keep an otherwise democratic code from functioning democratically, do not come from their faith in some ideology. These are just symbolic signs to show who has the power, or some institutions to presever it. And similar to the collapse of soviets, they aren’t working for them anymore and if they try to keep those elements, they may lose it all.

So it’s about time for the Iranian government to allow genuine and radical reforms – socially and even politically – not as a passive response to the political unrest, but as proactive measures for the future events that will sure come their way even if they manage this one. In fact this might be one of their last chances to do so. The moment people know a different reality is imaginable they will not tolarate theb current fourty-years backwards politics of isolation. We are hopeful and we wish that somehow without any other foreign intrusion, the Iranian people manage to mobilize peacefully to align their demands, and confront their local dominators in large numbers to show that enough is enough. Let’s see how the future unfolds. But a large political shift, like a referendum should be within reach.

And as a usual princinple, screw the dominator!

Peace and love

Wanna Stay relevant? Redifine yourself.

The Iranian Activists in Diaspora version.

When it comes to the citizen journalists who cover the Middle East, I admire most of the controversial posts of my Facebook friend Leila [in Persian]. Most of them because I think she is cherry-picking when it comes to the military aggression of the Iranian regime in the areas where they bring more tension.

Anyhow, she is constantly calling out on some Iranian political activists in exile, who in their opposition to the Iranian government and paid by the western media outlets or other mainstream organizations in the free world, strategically side with financial sanctions and military invasion against Iran or even go as far to covertly side with its enemies, the likes of ISIS.

 Lubomir Arsov
Lubomir Arsov

I don’t know about the accusations in this particular case. But want to draw attention to a situation we are facing here, which is financial:

Follow the money.

Activism and journalism hardly pays off, and even harder for immigrants with a different cultural background and a mother tongue other than that of the host country. And it is natural for people to survive doing what they have been doing for years if they don’t have an immediate access to another occupation. So I observe that there is an increasing population among the Iranian diaspora who even though started with an honest and genuine pro-democracy and pro-freedom cause, are now finding themselves increasingly struggling to stay relevant and are prone to be hijacked by malicious causes who want to optimize their profit by using them.

Of course a lot of things regarding the situation inside Iran has not changed and the struggle for freedom should always be valid, but as the game in the region changes the old paradigms expire, become ineffective or get worn out. Now imagine you are a political discident, a refugee, or an activist. And your very identity in the host country is being a political discident opposing an oppressive regime in the Middle East. What are your alternatives after paradigms shift?

Now that after nuclear negotiations, the failure of US/NATO policies in the whole region, from Iraq and Afghanistan to Syria and Libya and what not, you find yourself barking the wrong tree, what should you do? Jumping on a new train somehow? Stirring geopolitically to upgrade (which may be counter-productive)? Or switching to a new branch of job? Or should one choose to not survive instead?

It is a big problem, but it is not the problem of the public who have to consume the cultural products these genre makes.

* * *

From the volunteer human right activities during the past two decades, I have already accumulated a whole representative group of this profile as Facebook friends or I follow them on other social media. During the times of campaigning, collaboration or personal acquaintance we were united towards similar goals but time passed and things changed. So some chose one way of adaptation to another. And so as time went by those most rigid or most egoistic (if I may call them that way), diverged and came out clearly to took side with a different oppressive dominating force. Practically out of habit or financial ties.

I have become increasingly careful giving my trust help organizations or NGOs before studying their financial ties or seeing close to which think tanks their activities is coordinated. And I sense that there is an increasing number of corporate activists, corporate journalists, writers or even artists who functionally under the cover of a human right cause side with the authority and covertly justify military actions, defend US invasion or NATO’s aggression or at least financial sanctions against the countries in the Middle East or North Africa. This has started to emerge implicitly, and even explicitly and activists exhibit this in a whole range of human right causes from freedom of speech, anti-death-penalty, pro-democracy, women rights or LGBT rights. For obvious reasons, the only exceptions are environmental, anti-war or labor right activists.

So what these activists used to do for the benefit of their people, may now serve the opposite purpose. I can not even think of a particular person but I think in patterns. And nature always finds models to satisfy. So here is a test if you have been a pro-democracy activist:

Wherever you are, if you read this and secretly know this is your story there are a couple of signs and symptoms before things break out: You have a tribune from which you can freely condemn the dictatorships of ME but can not not speak up against carrier politicians in the West? Or even some of them because your very survival depends on this self-censorship? Then you are at least susceptible if not affected. Please be pro-active before it is late, reconsider and find new horizons to stay relevant, especially in connection with the host society.

But If you are affected, have you gone that far to join or help a tink tanks who promote wars or financial sanctions officially, not OK.

And since no descent human deserves to have in their social circle a corporate activist/journalist who works against the well-being of their homeland, I thank for your friendship already. But please remove me, before your track record start to indicate enough in few years to come and things start to look bad. I had to already remove few of such connections from Facebook or oppose/unfollow them elsewhere. They had crossed the boundaries. With the ever increasing role of finance in the politics, the current political climate, and the basic rule of “follow the money”, I predict there will be more over time. Feel free to take the upper hand!

The world is complex, geopolitics are dynamic, and an intelligent organism needs to adapt. In the case of us humans not only financially, but also to presevere their dignity.

Peace <3

Wars and Crashes

Few powerful humans can decide a war, but no one can predict a market crash.

Few hours before any bloody conflict there are people on earth who know hell is about to break loose, and they can as well stop it.

Market bubbles are inflated by humans, but their crash is really hard to see. Even few hours before a market crash no body can see it coming, and if they do it’s a point where it has become certainly out of control. Out of everyone’s control.

And when a financial bubble is about to burst, what can take the public attention away from it?

A war!

You matter!

This made me confess that, honestly, it’s been a while since I accepted (or forced myself to believe) that – just like you – I am being watched.

Not only by some unknown pairs of eyes sitting at NSA envying Snowden for his courage, but also by my grand children – already! – having fun in an extrapolated virtual reality of my life in data-archeological musuems of the future (if my boring practices interests any of them at all).

That’s why I find myself at ease assuming that we are at different simulations at the same time. The human park owner of the future, the alien simulator, God and the big brother are all staring at you.

This at least shows that you matter to someone.

Democracies are being rigged!

Democracy is the best we have, but it is outdated, because:

1. Capitalism is rigging democracies.
… while people are brainwashed but don’t know it.

I just came across this video that is Jeremy Corbyn’s response to Traingate. Sadly quite a late reveal, since this propaganda already had its negative impact on his campaign.In a previous poll 57% of brits wrongfully took side against Corbyn. Only 18% believed him. Embarrasingly brainwashed nation naively took side against a man who had the intention of improving their public transport and sided with the private owner of the train who owns private islands by ripping them off.

Just like normal Americans who voted for a billionaire class to rip off their health care, education, tax money and wellfare.

2. People are getting dumber:
That’s why racism is on the rise everywhere.

I wonder why the dumbest of any population typically believe in the supremacy of their own race. And this is not limited to white people.

In general, beliefs of collective supremacy doesn’t say much about a population. Says about an individual. To me when someone claims “my race is genetically smarter”, translates to “I’m most likely in the bottom quarter of my own population, intellectually.”

Anyway, people are getting dumber. Meanwhile dominators are becoming more experienced.

3. AI does it better:
Politicians are paid to make decisions. Can machines replace their job?

If yes, why don’t we use machines that are cheaper and more reliable? Say training a classifier that predicts whether or not Trump will sign a given bill tomorrow, provided his twitter account or other data available from him.

If no, if politicians are so random that machines can’t mimick them, why don’t we use a randomized algorithm instead?

Every four years people will turn up to vote for a random decision generator among few random options. During a randomized voting process, the genertor that collects the highest number of random votes will make random decisions till the next round!

We’re doomed.

Happy 2017

2017

Here’s my wish list for the world in 2017:

1. Not more stable countries and functioning pieces of the developping world fall in to the destiny of Syria. Not more peaceful cities be subjected to invasion, wars, conflicts, destruction and evacuation.
2. More refuguees go back home safe.
3. Less terrorist operations be observed in the western world.
4. The freedom of expression does not get more limited where it still exists.
5. There will be less policing, unnecessarily harsher law enforcement, survailance and control.
6. Less number of species go extinct during the year to come.
7. Multinational corporates do not come closer to a monopoly over our lives and choices. In particular there will not be more frequent mergers and acquisitions more than 10B dollars value.
8. Rich-poor gap does not get wider worldwide.
9. America becomes a democracy again!
10. The other democracies of the western world do not move to that direction, away from fair distribution of decision making and cashing out the political power.

Looking at the trends, most likely none of these will come true, so I make one last wish hoping less celebrities die in 2017. This one stands a relative chance. Specially because many more people asked for it.

Happy New Year!

Capitalism, Space and Time!

Or Borrowing from far and future.

I had no major problem with capitalism until I realized how the beast actually works. I don’t share destructive non-libertarian views of communism or the world views of the abrahamic religions and Islam in particular. All of these dangerous ideas have a viral code for dominance and that is exactly why they have been dominating large parts of the world.

Now what I see about capitalism is frightening me even more than its key rival ideologies. And that is its simple code:

Capitalism does not deliver its massive value out of thin air. It largely borrows it from far in space and time.

And these two problems are one.

Far in space could be wherever it outsources the suffering to make a little local joy. Whether it be ethnic conflicts, African mines, animal farms, species in the oceans or cheap child labor economies, such blind treatment of these resources by the capitalistic machine is prone to overexhaustion. And this will mean that what’s far comes closer and closer. You see it has already sneaked in to our safe bubbles and we should get the message.

And what far in time means? Future. That too gets closer and closer. I think we all agree on that. So what can stop us from facing a deserted earth full of angry human apes killing each other?

Nothing. Literally nothing. No reform, no software upgrade nothing but the shut down of the machine at least with the current model.

This choice is inevitable, or else this greedy machinary will shut itself down but only after destroying all of us together.

Aleppo; Fossil Fuel, Weapon Industry and Corporate Media

It doesn’t take conspiracy thoery paranoia, nor rocket science complexity to link the Syrian war to two strong industries on each side of the Syrian proxy war: Fossil fuel and the weapon industry. And the media outlet hasn’t been sitting idle when both groups on both sides need public opinions on their side at some strategic moments.

The latest wave of worries in the Western media over Syria didn’t start until the power shifted in Aleppo; the so-called “rebels” backed by the US, Nato, Turkey, the Gulf States and Israel lost control over their most important city they had held in Syria.

And in Aleppo those rebels are now primarily al-Nusra front, a previous branch of al-Qaeda that was rebranded this year for the sake of fundability, since al-Qaeda is a UN-recognized terrorist organization. This by the way means that the trillion dollar war on terror that officially started to fight al-Qaeda is now backing it.

Now we want to belive that the main concern that west has regarding the Syrian government is the genocide against its own people. Probably not. The pragmatic issues with Assad are strategic and financial. And on top of the list for many lobbyists who determine the destiny of the war in Syria, lies the choice of the Syrian government over the proposed alternatives for a pipeline that is going to bring gas from the Persian Gulf to the European markets.

Assad has for long rejected the Qatar-Saudi-Turkey pipeline and the unifying reason for the western media to chants for regime change in Syria is that the Syrian governmnet has sided with Iran and Russia for the pipeline to pass through Iraq and the Mediterranean see instead. He being back in charge of Syria means that the pipeline is not going to pass through the two most powerful allies of the west in the region, US-backed Saudis and Nato-member Turkey, both of them currently supporting ISIS, too.

Sadly this is the actual reason that the media needs your cries over children in Aleppo: al-Nusra (legitimately fundable al-Qaeda) is losing control over the city.

The new round of showcasing children filled with blood and dust narrated with fake emotions of the hosts accompanied by the *unbiased* informants in the field, are selected to justify the need for some further act of intervention in Syria. This pathetic level of propaganda conveys one message to the western citizens before christmas holidays: Syrian children are suffering and we are just sitting and watching.

No, you are not just sitting and watching in Syria. Your tax money has been spent actively to expand and prolong a war and to fund gladiators fighting each other. You are shown more children, more terrorists, more of good, bad and innocent guys so you keep buying the story.

aleppo

Have you seen the before/after pictures of Aleppo? (+). Perhaps what happened to Aleppo in the period from 2012 to 2016 was not precisely predictable at the dawn of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the so-called Operation Iraqi Freedom. But this trend should have been seen right through. That this will inevitably happen to some cities, somewhere, for its nearly impossible not to happen.

If we can’t predict where and how a pressed balloon will be torn apart at least we can know for sure that it will explode. I have learned from data analysis that if the patterns of the data does not depend on one dimension, change the dimension. If the predictions fail on one fieldn, change the key. So here if we can’t predict the world by its cities, we can do it by its bombs. Right?

I don’t have business data from the weapon industry but it should be intuitive what bombs are made for! It should be more clear than ever that the weapons produced and sold every day have a rather unpredictable path with a predictable destiny: they will go off. They get sold, travel around, change countries, meet new wharehouses, change owners with the shift of power, but one day they eventually reach the hands and brands that will use them.

The arms pumped in to this region every day is likely to go off one day and those who manufacture and trade them know this. They are well aware that this will not forever be about the cold power.

And so when the US president (whoever who takes office) or any other leader signs arms contracts worth of dozens of billions of dollars to their for-now allies, they have already created this before/after picture. We just get to see their effect materialized a couple of terms later.

And so we should be really naive ignoring that this destiny is awaiting many more peaceful cities around the world. We don’t know the list, just yet, but there will be a list. And it will also be very naive to assume that such future list will be limited to the middle eastern cities; Aleppo, Mosul, Ben Ghazi, San’aa…

Forget about countries, flags, names and borders. They are just made-up divisions in our heads. They are good for the media to tell stories for your dinner table.

Our shitty civilization is globally connected.

PS. On the other side of the proxy war, there was no secret that the Iranian state-run Press-TV and the Russian RT have been feeding their own shameless bunch of lies, to protect friends in their own weapon industry and meet their own fossil fuel interests. The thing is that post-Brexit BBC and post-Trump CNN are apparently adapting to their new climate too. Lessons are learned from the fascist states: Lies don’t have to be so subliminal. They work anyway so why not going for the big bald lies?

A bigger picture than politics

From the futuristic people of the past, also listen to Terence McKenna on politics, after the collapse of the Soviets:

Consider minutes from 3′:35″ to 7′:10″, on the corruption of the two-party system of the American Republic and why the change must come from the independents. Suits our times after a quarter century as it explains why Bernie stood no chance from within the Democratic Party platform.

How come a quarter century old lecture by someone not even interested in politics, describes the geopolitical events of our era better than our up-to-date political commentators and talkshow hosts?

How can our so-called experts zoom in too much on the local events without without connecting them to shape the bigger picture?

Get over all the buzz about personality of Donald Trump. There is a bigger picture out there.