Hero and Crowd: Story of a conflict

1. Superhuman rises from crowd. It is as if she is the juice of all experiences and lessons they’ve learned from the cruel, harsh world. Funnily enough, superhuman doesn’t fit in crowd, and crowd doesn’t seem to have a place for her. They reject her.

2. Superhuman is way further than his society. It is predictable that not only  “Inertia” of crowd makes them “stay” where they are, but also they force superhuman to think “inside” the box.

3. Superhuman finally paves his way through the leadership. Crowd finally learns to respect those differences, as they come from her superiority. But the question remains there: have they really learned their lessons?

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Published in: on March 21, 2011 at 3:24 pm  Comments (2)  

A great talk on social media’s role in Iran, MIT university.

Wandering in web sometimes leads to good results. I just watched a video on MIT university, discussing how social media has become an important player in Iran during and after protests for presidency election.

The interesting point in this video is that they invited two highly effective Iranian site owners to the talk, Mehdi Yahyanejad, the owner and one of the co-founder of Balatarin, and Cameran Ashraf, the manager of Accessnow , which makes the whole talk to point to what happened in Iran.

Although it’s more than two hours, I highly recommend it . If you don’t have enough time, don’t miss the first 20 minutes. Find the video here.

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Published in: on February 10, 2011 at 12:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Daily report

Well, it has been quite awhile since my last post. There are a couple of reasons here. For one thing, I was really busy with courses and projects. ASL project, especially, took me around two weeks to finish it. Anyway, today I was thinking maybe opening a video blog would not be a bad idea. First, because of its more interactive nature, it helps me to get more involve in blogging. Each night I can record my video, saying about myself and make my own life log. Practicing speaking in practice is another plus. I however, guess that I have not enough time to begin this. Taking into consideration that my knowledge of the language is not good enough to take my training to the next level, I’ll probably spend more time on writing blog posts.
Last Friday there was a party called fundo(or something like that, I don’t exactly remember the name). We were served with some Swiss cheese, which seemed pretty strong for my taste. I sit on a table with Alex, Yo, Petar, Adiya and Matthias. Alex is an American guy, who has the xml class like me, and I found him pretty funny. I bet If I could convey what I mean, we would make a great team. Yo came from Taiwan, but lived in Europe for two years. His English is unbelievably good.
These days I’m trying to set aside more on playing harmonica, and fortunately I’ve been succeeding to bring it to my daily life. Now I play 1 hour and a half each day on average.
Our internet connection is dead, so I’m going to publish this post tomorrow.

Published in: on December 12, 2010 at 6:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Role vs. Personality: A shallow look on Milgrim experiment

Two days ago I read a post which was about Milgrim’s experiment. It was my second time I was hearing about it, so it piqued my curiosity to search the net and gather some information.

It is said that when Stanley Milgrim, the American physiologist, had seen how people had  been turning violent and brutal during WWII, especially  Holocaust, carried out an experiment, which has been honored as one of the most controversial studies on human behavior, as over the past few decades, has been the focus of many discussions and research.

The experiment consists of two people, one teacher and one student. Before it begins, one person is sit on an electrical chair, and the so-called professor who pretend to do some research informs the teacher about the process. The teacher is told to think of the other guy sitting on the next room as a student and ask some memory questions and every time he gives the wrong answer, press the “electrical shock”  button to give an impulse to him. Further mistakes leads to higher voltage shocks. The teacher knows nothing more.

The student, on the other hand, is an actor and from the experiment crew, and  Of course he is not going to get real electrical shocks. Instead, prerecorded suffering sounds (Aaaaaaa) are played for the teacher each time the button is pressed, making  him an illusion he really gave the shock.

Contrary to what had assumed and expected, Milgrim observed that majority of participants continued the experiment, although many of them, at some points,  rejected to carry on, but the “researcher”  kept insisting, reminding them the experiment require them to to finish it, and most did.

The video speaks for itself, and probably the first impressions are concerning how people can behave differently from what they are expected to when working under an authority.

There are two immediate results one can reach. First, these harsh behaviors are part of our instincts. We, as human beings, only need some sort of  motivation, some sort of proper environment to show what we can potentially. Second, people lose their self control when there is a force beyond what they do. They would have never torture the student if there hadn’t been any power compelling them to behave such that. They may even feel sympathy for the student. Keep in mind that this is not questioning what Milgrim observed. Actually this is the exact same result he reported.

But another way of looking at this experiment is from the student perspective of view (and not this one faking, but a real one). And by student it is obvious that we are talking about the victim of a system who suffers from inhuman afflictions.  Regardless of the idea behind why the teacher is punishing him, a victim think of him as a devil. He might most likely developing this sense of revenge to get it back, even harder, to the teacher. This is exactly what happens during a war; People of one side of the fight find themselves observing the cruelty and insanity happening to their families and compatriot by the soldiers of the other side. They can nothing to do, but to do the same. That is the point where a disaster begins to occur; The students and teachers change places, but with one difference: now the teacher has some background about the student.

Published in: on November 5, 2010 at 1:05 am  Leave a Comment  

One-hour dance

I don’t know why, but my laptop clock was one hour behind when this morning I got up from the sleep . I noticed that after some daily wondering in my facebook. Now that I checked with what internet says about Zurich time, I feel so happy now for I have one more sixty minutes today.

It seems that this clip I watched earlier in the morning trying to convey something related to this happiness:

Published in: on October 31, 2010 at 8:22 am  Leave a Comment  

Night post – feel like dancing

First. I feel obliged to express my sorrow for myself, for I have not written a post in days, as I made a promise before. I will try again.

Second, and most importantly, I am now living one of those moments in life where I feel something happening around me, those moments when I find myself soaked in dreams, goals, happiness and life. Those moments of awareness. I can’t describe it if you don’t have an idea what the heck I am talking about.

They story began when I was reading my daily quota of Google Reader, one of the most popular Google products where you would be able to follow blogs and friends, leave comments, share stuff and so on. I was scrolling and scrolling, reading the posts which had something to attract my attention. If you have ever done this, you probably know that after awhile, you start to get kind of bored, then you speed up your scrolling so you can make the unread items number zero, and that makes you even more bored. Anyway,  tonight I was evidently very fortunate to open my reader.

At the same time I was skipping items and searching for something worth a look, there was something growing inside of me, I don’t know what that was, maybe some unconscious feelings, telling me “Why are you doing this?”. At first I neglected it, but It was becoming louder : “Why”. Believe me, It was so strange and also is now. I felt this energy inside of me which I can do anything, and I just don’t. Everything that is a value in my life and I have been skipped over them, came to my mind, and the question was strengthening, “Why are you not doing these”. Music, friends, happiness, street walking at nights, all these came to me, and I wondered why I haven’t seen them so far, This is who I am, or at least assume who I am, and I’ve been making live a life I’ve not been created for.

I know what I said above does not make a sense at all. I was just so excited that I needed to write about this. All I hope is that this feeling don’t leave me soon.

Published in: on October 26, 2010 at 11:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Recovered already

Petar and me kept working late last night. I usually take out my wallet and watch to feel more free. However, when I want to go to the university today, I couldn’t find the wallet in my pocket. I searched my room twice without luck. Then I thought maybe it is still around where we were working last night, so I went to the university, but it wasn’t there. I even checked lost and found section. When I had completely lost my hopes and we decided to continue our work on the project, I checked my Email, and bang, somebody had sent an email informing me that he had founded the wallet and now it is in one of the rooms of the university main building.

When I took back my precious, I replied and told him that I owe him one, and If he wants we could go drink someday, on me, to his health.

Published in: on October 23, 2010 at 12:12 am  Leave a Comment  

King of nothing*

Today, at information Retrieval class, Donald Kossman, my most favorite professor so far, was lecturing about how it would be different if we lived in middle ages. He came up with this controversial question : “Would you rather to live back in hundred years ago?”, and as he always do, he actually asked the question and waited for responses from students.

There was nobody whose answer was yes. All, including Donald, stated that they prefer to stay where they already are. But the real question was showed up when he asked about the reason. nobody could answer it persuading. The idea of writing this post came to me when Donald explained his reason. Let me go more into that.

He continued that in past, the “significance” and “potentials” criteria of a person was a direct factor of his/her birth conditions, meaning that when somebody was born in a royal family, his destination and future was defined to a very good extent. Putting it in other words, there was only dimension which was defining an abstract of a person and his upcoming life. A king’s child was probably going to have a more promising future rather than a usual worker family’s child. He was probably much happier that the latter one.

He added that in contrary to past, today the success factor of a person is more likely a higher dimensional variable. Compared to previous example, a typical person from a typical family has more power over what he is going to be.

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* – A song by Metallica
Published in: on October 20, 2010 at 11:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

First using of real trains in Zurich

There was an excursion yesterday which was arranged by Excellence scholarship office of the university. We were told by Email to come to the main station at a specific time and from there start our little trip. I hadn’t read the Email very carefully so I kind of forgot where it was. After I found out about the place, I took Polybahn (one of the most interesting transportation vehicles in the whole Zurich, I will definitely write about that in one post later) and fortunately could make it on time.  When I got there, there was around 20 students and 3 coordinators waiting for others to join. I knew two of them for they live in the same apartment as me, one of them is an Indian guy and the other came from china, I guess. However, as I knew nobody else, I started to chat with my Indian friend. After awhile,  we met this Egyptian guy named Ahmad, who was in his third semester, which was contrary to what I was thinking that all of us are studying our first semester. Apparently, everyone who has gotten the excellence scholarship, no matter of which year, came to this excursion. I then met this Greek guy,which by the way his name speaks for itself that he is Greek, and he became my ‘partner’ during the trip. We almost talked about everything, from courses and the university, to the meaning of our names in our languages. But most of our time dedicated to talk about politics. He knew that Iran has stuck in its problem and I knew that Greece has encountered some serious financial crisis. I told him about the presidency election story, and how the goverment and green movement are facing each other, and how election system works in Iran. It was there that I realized how difficult it is to explain some concepts and relations which you think are obvious, but they are not. For example how the supreme leader interacts with the parlemant, and how he influences on presidency candidates selection. By the way, It was my first time that I was using their train.

When we got there, they were some card with our names on them, and we had to wear them in order to show that we are visitors. We were given a lecture for about half an hour and then our little excursion began. Honestly one hour after I got bored because the subject did not interest me at all. It was about chemistry and pipes and poly-blah blah blah. But one of the part made me a little excited. They told us that they produce  some chemicals for BMW and some other well-know car brands, and they use these materials in the door and generally in the car skeleton to become hit tolerant. We were then showed an experiment with one big and heavy hammer and this chemical to see to what extent it resists the crash.

We were visiting other places for 2-3 hours and then it came to my favorite part, food 🙂 Water, some wines, little sandwiches and some chips had been provided.

After we finished with our scientific excursion, we came back to Zurich and had a lovely dinner at one of those classic-style restaurants which you have may seen in European movies. while eating, I had a heated conversation, or let me call it a dispute, with Ahmad about whether it is such a good idea to build the constitution on a religion’s teachings or not. He believed that they are some unanimous facts about Islam and prophet Mohammad, which every Islamic nation agree on, and one could build an utopia with such constitution. But I didn’t think so. However, I found that little conversation so enjoying.

Published in: on October 19, 2010 at 10:12 am  Leave a Comment  

Long time no post. No post no progress.

It has been two weeks, I guess, since my last post. I can blame anything causing this. Basically I have been taking this writing so seriously, and not in the good way. For example since I wasn’t sure about some combination of words, as usually happens to every language learner, each time I wanted to publish a post, I was searching for like an hour to send an article which contains the least amount of grammatical and linguistic errors. Furthermore, I was waiting for some funny or “special” occasions or stories to shows up. I wanted my posts to become more than some regular, daily storytelling.

Both of these excuses were not meant to play a prominent role in my writing decision when I decided to open this place. I just wanted a shelter for my words, where I can have access to anytime I want. As I wrote in my first post, the most important responsibility of this weblog is to enhance my proficiency in English.

So from now on, I am going to write “as much as” I can. To make it a frequent activity, I promise myself that each day two days I will come up with at least one post. And I promise myself that I won’t do error-proof my writings. After I publish them, I may have a lot of time to see where I have made mistakes. It seems even better, because it helps me to remember where I have the most problem. Therefore, I can get best out of this blog.

Published in: on October 17, 2010 at 3:10 pm  Comments (2)