Oct 5-9, 1998 / Mehr 13-17, 1377
- Useless Ankaboot
- Reply: We're good. We'll
be even better
* The Iranian: Not worth
* Business: Low-profile
* Afghanistan: Concentrate on
freedoms, not war
* Home: In short...
* Conspiracy theories: Islam
= Reformed Manicheism
* Educator: Mohammad Basirian:
"Soldier of Human Dignity"
Oct 9, 1998
* Useless Ankaboot
I used to keep a list of interesting Iranian web
sites. Later on, I noticed your informative WebGuide and told myself there
is no need to keep so many URL's on pieces of papers here and there.
Then for God knows what reason you decided to
transfer your WebGuide section to Ankaboot.com! But sadly Ankaboo is so slow and useless and unreliable and intermittent
and, in one world, crappy, that I decided to dig my old papers and find
my favorit URL'S!
* Reply: We're good. We'll be even better
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Thank you for contacting us regarding your opinions
I'm sorry to hear that you feel Ankaboot is "slow and useless and
unreliable and intermittent." Our plan for Ankaboot.com is to be the largest and best source for finding Iranian
sites on the Net. In building our database we partnered with The Iranian
and included their sites in our database.
Currently we have over 2,600 sites listed in
our database. That is more than four times the size of The Iranian's
former WebGuide links. We also searched throughout the Net and found thousands
of other sites and included them as well. We appreciate our partnership
with The Iranian and we feel that we are providing the users of
The Iranian with a much better way to find sites.
Since the beginning of May 1998 when Ankaboot.com
was launched our viewers have submitted hundreds of new sites to us. This
is the first negative message we have received. Most of our viewers have
been very supportive and encouraging.
We plan to release the new version of Ankaboot.com
in the next few months. We hope you will try us again then and give us
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Oct 8, 1998
* Not worth the time
Your web site has some interesting features and stories, but I find
myself quickly moving away from the site in disgust every time a new browser
window needlessly loads. I understand you are trying to turn as many pages/advertisements
as possible, but after a while it gets to be too much!
For example: is it really necessary for me to have 10 browser windows
open to look through the archived Photo of The Day? Also, should already
registered users really need to load three introductory pages before getting
to the main page?! It's like watching a 1/2-hour TV show with 20 minutes
If you don't change your code to flow better, your site will not be
worth the time it takes to browse, and soon your advertizers will see that
you are "page stuffing."
Still, I find the site and its contents interesting enough to care and
write to you about it, so it's on the right track. Some HTML work is needed
though to make it an *enjoyable* site.
REPLY: The new-browser commands have been removed from the links
in the Photo of the Day archive and the registration page now links directly
to the Today section. jj
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Oct 7, 1998
As I am a new reader of Iranian Times I would like to know why the buisiness
section is low profile and you can not find much up to date analysis of
the relevant issues, even the $ rate given is not daily.
I am sure most Iranians in different parts of the world would like to
know the up to date rate of exchange for the rial in different currencies.
Dr Hossein Saidpour
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Oct 6, 1998
* Concentrate on freedoms, not war
I think it is important to see the big picture before we enter a war
game with Afghanistan. For the first time in our history, the constitution
of Iran is legally forming. Although we have a long way to go, still people
are demanding freedom and the rule of law. For a country like Iran this
is definitely a first step. The impact of this trend in our society is
not something to be ignored.
The road chosen by Afghanistan is their internal problems. If Pakistan
is supporting the Afghans, let it be. Iran is not so developed to afford
more political, social, and economical problems. We need to continue our
movement for freedom of thought and speech and should not focus on the
Afghan's problems. It is our problem when they threaten our national security,
but in the long run the winner will be the most stable country, which we're
on the path of accomplishing.
Any sudden action from Iran will result in fundamentalism to gain power
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* In short...
[Regarding Laleh Khalili's "Absence"]
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Oct 5, 1998
* Islam = Reformed Manicheism
Excellent document ["Conspiracy
theories and the Persian mind"]. conspiracy
theories are characteristic of other Islamic countries and the Soviet Union
because of Manichean influence. Communism is a form of Manicheism (thesis-antithesis,
etc) and Islam itself is a reformed or one could say rectified kind of
Manicheism. Islam takes many elements of Manicheism but instead of two
abstract gods defined by their opposition makes them into one.
Traces of Manicheism in Islam is the theory of
martyrs (like Mani they are alive and receive food from their Lord) all
prophets from one source, the three groups of the Surat al-Waqiah etc,
and of course the Zoroastrian elements point to Hira, the stopping place
on the way from Mecca to Ctesiphon as the place where Manicheism entered
and was then transformed within the person of Mohammad.
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* Mohammad Basirian: "Soldier of Human
If a government, through its higher education
system, tries to train a generation of young graduates whose main goal
is to consolidate the foundation bricks of the existing regime by approving
and possibly applauding all its policies, such a system is indeed digging
its own grave. Such a regime will be a dead one sooner or later. In order
to live, to meet the challenge of our world which its only constant phenomenon
is perhaps "change" itself, a higher education system should
rather ignite a critical approach within the younger generation. An approach
looking for changing the status quo towards ideals rather than guarding
An old lady, a sculptor, a playwright and a philosopher
who lectured during our commencement ceremony put this idea under the beautiful
title of "Raise a rainbow." When the big heart of my teacher
and friend, Mohammad Basirian, stopped on that fifth day of October in
1988, several generations of graduates from University of Tehran lost a
genuine, humble, restless patron of human dignity.
Although his official assignment was "Specialty
English Course Professor," all his students would agree that he was
indeed teaching "how to learn." He was indeed trying to ignite
a passion for learning, a critical view towards the status quo. He would
shout at a student, he would argue with the bureaucrats, the ones who were
taking the safe side of the mighty rulers. He was the one who would act
sometimes with brutality with those students who had chosen the easy way
by adhering to the existing norms and codes of power.
Years later, after Islamic Revolution, during
the Iraqi invasion days, when the very young revolutionary guards (Pasdars)
would block the streets and stop the cars and search the trunks and ask
meaningless questions, it was he who would shout at them furiously and
tell them your enemy is the one who is penetrating your capital city and
bombing it every night, not the girls and boys and families traveling in
the cars which you stop.
Ten years have passed since the day his heart
stopped. He was in his early fifties. When I look back, I realize that
he was one of those rare people who tried to take his students to the peaks
of life and tried to teach them how to look at life from the top. To ignore
the minor differences and tolerate different attitudes; to look at life
to see how you can change it. He tried to teach passion for learning.
If there are some of the several generations of
his students who happen to read this memorabilia, the graduates of University
of Tehran's different faculties during early 1970s, they would agree with
me that it would be fair to call him "The Unknown Soldier of Human
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