Behdad Esfahbod's daily notes on GNOME, Pango, Fedora, Persian Computing, Bob Dylan, and Dan Bern!

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McEs, A Hacker Life
Friday, June 17, 2005
 Google Summer of Code again

A few days back when Roozbeh was making a buzz about Google SoC's ineligibility for citizens from the countries on the US State Department list of state sponsors of terrorism, he asked me to blog my opinion about the issue. I told him on IRC that nobody's going to check nobody's passport/citizenship. It's simply something wrong the lawyers have written, that's all.

It was so obvious to Roozbeh that I'm going to apply. I didn't initially, mainly with "I am already an Open Source developer. The bounties are to attract new students..." line of thinking..., but later on financial pressures (hint, hint, board members ;) convinced me to send in a few proposals.

Anyway, in the course of sending in proposals, I found myself reading the SoC mailing list, and to figured out Chris DiBona is behind the whole thing, and he's being absolutely friendly and responsive with the 6000+ applicants, on the mailing list, off the list, or IRC. So I simply sent him a note with a link to Roozbeh's posts. He sent an almost canned reply in a few hours, he didn't get what we mean first. In a couple of minutes he replied again that he didn't noteice that "Roozbeh is in the States", and that the FAQ is likely incorrect (and he needs to asks lawyers), and asked me to let Roozbeh know that they are cool with that. Later on replied again to my reply with Roozbeh CCed, and was curious why Roozbeh didn't sent him a note in the first place...

Anyway, that's the good ending. But leaves me wondering, why didn't Roozbeh sent him an email in the first place? In other words, what's the point in blogging such a controversial issue ("Google Summer of Code is a piece of shit", it's racism, ...)? Specially when your blog is hooked to a big planet, which is itself mirrored a zillion times? It gets to everybody's ears except for those that are in charge. What about Roozbeh's Fedora EULA concerns? What would have he got as a reply should he have had contacted Red Hat in the first place? These all remind me of the greater act of Iranians online these days: Openning online petitions, every couple of months, that may reach all the world but not the people in charge in the government of Iran, or blogging whatever problems or suggestions they have for anybody, and expect them to pick it up. There's a communication problem here, I don't know why.

Today (Friday) is the Iranian presidential election (it's midday in Iran right now), and I'm going to write in my Persian blog why I do not vote. I'm leaving for Ottawa in a few hours to company my friends voting though.

Today (Friday) is the Iranian presidential election (it's midday in Iran right now), and I'm going to write in my Persian blog why I do not vote.

I don't read Persian, but I'm interested in why. Do they allow write-in votes in Iran? Or none-of-the-above votes? I would hope that in a country where democratic institutions are so limited and fragile, people wouldn't take it for granted even if they dislike all of the candidates.

Then again, it's not my country or my business. So I digress.
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