Week in Review

In this post – panoramas, MITSFS and Rebiya Kadeer.

Last weekend I was obesessed with panoramas. Using hugin, autopano and enblend, I created the first panoramas I’ve ever created, and boy did I impress myself. The one below is of Garden in The Woods, a cute little, well, garden in the middle of the woods in Framingham. Some friends of mine had decided to drive there on Sunday, and I tagged along. The rest of the photos can be found in the gallery.

gardeninthewoods_small.jpg

I attended my first MITSFS meeting today. I had arrived at 5:30p sharp, and the meeting had not started yet. My first action on entering the room was to slump onto the closest chair. That felt overly conspicuous after about five minutes, which prompted me to walk over to the circulation book and pick out an Asimov novel. I picked “Nemesis”. I then sat there reading until the meeting began. It is a jovial organization that seems to operate really smoothly. This is more than I can say for most of the other organizations I have seen. Anyways, I stayed quiet and observed, and voted on only one issue, on whether the society was to announce that the space banana over Texas was to be split.

Earlier this week, we heard Rebiya Kadeer of East Turkistan / Xinjiang speak. The PRC students at MIT had sent out a protest call on their mailing list, and that was how I was summoned to the event. Not in support of the PRCs, but to see what type of discourse they had become capable of. I was suitably impressed by their ability to stick to the topic, given that this was the same group whom last year had become offended at the teaching material of a class on wartime Japanese propaganda. The talk itself was supported by the local Amnesty International (good) and the Muslim students society (less good). It really made me think about the amazing levels of journalistic reputation that watchdog organizations like Amnesty International depend on. I mean, how do you know you can trust Amnesty International to tell the truth? Who watches the watchers? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not that kind of cynic. It’s just an interesting question.

4 Responses to “Week in Review”

  1. kok says:

    Helllo,webmaster.
    I heard about Ms.rebiya’s lecture in MIT, and I wrote about it. but I don’t have no freinds in MIT nor in US.
    So, I have had little information about her lecture.

    http://uyghuramerican.org/articles/933/1/Ms-Rebiya-Kadeer-Speaks-at-MIT-on-Human-Rights-of-Uyghurs/index.html.

    but I can suppose the lecture was something like her article of on an American conservertive magazine National Review.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/kadeer200509141141.asp

    Now. It is natural of you suspect her experience has no supecific evidence and something like anti-china propaganda. Though, she don’t have any way to prove her experience. PRC’s information control is perfect. It is easy way for her to obey PRC and keep sclence.but she didn’t do that. And she don’t hate Chinese peole but love them. She only oppossed China’s policy to her people. So. I think it is worth while to hear her. Thank you for your information.

  2. chiaolun says:

    I guess I did not make my stand clear in the post. I am quite certain that the Uyghurs are being mistreated. What I am less certain of is whether they are being mistreated for being different, or just for not fitting into fascist China’s plans. There is a slight distinction there I think. For example, Ms Kadeer mentioned forced abortion as an example, and my impression was that even ethnic Han were subject to that in China.
    One of the audience members said (paraphrased): East Turkistan is a low-population resource-rich area next to a populous resource-hungry neighbour, and such situations do not end well. Is there a historical case in which such a situation has ended well for the smaller country?
    Ms Kadeer answered that she wanted East Turkistan to be more like Tibet. That’s pretty depressing I think. Tibet was protected by geography, and now there is a railway , and it doesn’t even have oil like East Turkistan does. I can’t think of any examples in history in which the less dense populace has won. Counterexamples include Texas, which was acquired after the end of the Mexican War. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Revolution
    No I wasn’t accusing the session of being anti-China propapganda, I was just thinking about how the power of Amnesty International is completely dependent on their reputation. They must have really strict rules for protecting that, and I wonder how those rules would work. “Who watches the watchers?”

  3. kok says:

    Thank you for your responce,webmaster.

    I did not attend the lecture.so I only can suppose what Ms.Rebiya wanted to tell. She is said that she wanted East Turkistan to be more like Tibet. Well, I think she said that not as the meaning of their situation but that as international recognition.
    And East Turkistan was also protected by geoglaphy and now there is an Nanjiang Railway like Tibet.
    But there are much less Han population in Tibet than in East Turkistan.
    You know in East Turkistan, Xinjiang Product Constraction Corps and imigrants has flew into there for this fifty years.Now,they are minorities.I think Ms.Rebiya think “The Hans flew into more and more so, they became majority, why we must accept forced abortion?”
    Uighurs don’t have right to oppose the policy. The way for them is Sinofication or to be good Communisits.

    You absolutely right that low-population and resorse-rich area can’t go well easily.
    But Let’s think about Canada.Canada is resource-rich country and go well with the United States. In past he two countries had war. but now their relation is successful. I don’t mean the independence is only way, the third way exsists, I think.

    And, about Amnesty International. About human rights activity, there is many gloups. I think AI’s reputation strongness comes from independence from other organizations like UN as such.
    I checked something like criticism on AI,and found them.
    Fou your preference.
    http://www.frontpagemag.com/articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=8141
    http://www.answers.com/topic/moynihan-s-law

    And I say thank you again to your reply.

  4. EliaDiodati says:

    I like autostitch, even though it’s Win32 only.

    http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~mbrown/autostitch/autostitch.html

    You get really good results, especially considering the effort is nearly zero.