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Topic: Re: WG 13 Announcement: CERME 8 [Turkey]
Replies: 3   Last Post: Dec 4, 2012 5:29 PM

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kirby urner

Posts: 3,690
Registered: 11/29/05
Re: WG 13 Announcement: CERME 8 [Turkey]
Posted: Dec 4, 2012 4:51 PM
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On Tue, Dec 4, 2012 at 1:06 PM, Robert Hansen <> wrote:

> Well, I don't predict you will be sending your daughter to live in Iran
> any time soon.
> Bob Hansen
> On Dec 4, 2012, at 3:33 PM, kirby urner <> wrote:

> > Muslims are testing the idea that they could lead the way forward while
> thumbing their noses at those hypocritical Christians and Hindus who invest
> in satanic technology. Muslims want only peaceful uses of nuclear
> technology -- that's the evolving PR. Christians, on the other hand, cling
> to their nukes as only true cowards and moral imbeciles would. An
> interesting rhetoric, lets see where it goes.

She's somewhat beyond my control in terms of where she lives or visits.

I've been through Iran myself, also Afghanistan, but this was decades ago.
More recently it's been Sweden and Lithuania in connection with my
curriculum writing.

I remember watching Sesame Street in Tehran on a hotel lobby TV with a
bunch of Russians (Russia is relatively close by -- been there too).

My current brainstorming is around academic for-credit work/study
programs where you get to work in transportation without necessarily
committing to one particular role as a lifetime career.

You learn to drive a truck, ride shotgun (co-pilot), in the context of
studying transportation theory and/or global trade and/or diplomacy
(depends on your program).

Picture someone from Harvard Business School learning Farsi and helping
crew a truck caravan from Istanbul to Kabul through Tehran. Lots of math
(GIS/GPS + commerce + fuel costs etc.).

This is an existing / important truck route already i.e. I'm talking about
existing work opportunities. Similar opportunities exist in the railroad
industry, and of course shipping.

Imagine you're young and healthy and love the outdoors and you get to fly
to Russia somewhere and work on a rail line. This isn't slave labor or a
dead end job. This is you working towards a university degree. You learn
skills, you workout (x hours a day) and when you go back to your remote
village / camp, you have wifi and Wii, plenty of bandwidth. You study at
the same time. You have mentors.

You may end up devoting much of your life to railroads as a result of this,
or you may not.

For some, it's about learning a language and history, more than about
learning how signals and switching works. It's like the semester abroad
programs we have now. You might also be on the older side e.g. I could
easily drive a truck at my age (with more training) but probably couldn't
sling a sledge hammer the way I used to (at age 16, I swung a sledge hammer
in Ramallah, now a much bigger city than it was in 1971 -- helping build a
swimming pool for the American Friends Service Committee, with help from
American University in Beirut (where my friend Tag went)).

So when the Python Software Foundation (PSF) became a US-based 501(c)(3)
one of my first questions was how might this impact my dream of a GPS/GIS
centric conference in Tehran or someplace near, an ir.pycon (we use the
country code as a prefix, Pycon being a Python conference, PSF owning the
trademarks around Pycon)?

GeoDjango is a great Python-based tool for doing geographic stuff, like
truck routing. I've been involved in an over-the-shoulder capacity in
truck routing already (FoxPro). Would DC's policy of imposing economic
sanctions against Iran (similar to its stance against Cuba) interfere with
my plans for an ir.pycon?

Anyway, just a window into some of the stuff I think and correspond about.
Blame my dad maybe, as he was a regional and city planner, always thinking
in terms of interconnecting global developments.

He worked for Libya in the golden years, drawing up 50 year plans. He
started out here in Portland, one of the better-planned cities in North
America some say (fair to say I'm proud of my dad's work and don't mind
taking after him).


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