Thursday, February 02, 2017

We Are All Iranians

A solidarity rally held at Georgia Tech today
There are ten Iranian members of my department, the School of Computer Science at Georgia Tech, all of whom face a very uncertain future in America. Luckily none of them were outside the US when the executive order was signed last Friday.

We have nine Iranian Ph.D. students. It was already difficult for them to leave the US and return and with the new executive order essentially impossible, even for family emergencies. One expressed disappointment “Why did we even bother to come to the United States to study?”

We also have a young Iranian professor, a very successful computer architect and my first hire as chair, in the final stage before getting his green card now on hold. If things don’t change he and his wife may be forced to leave the country they now call home. That would be a huge loss for Georgia Tech and the United States.

This is not the America I believe in.


  1. We are not "all Iranians" (whatever that is supposed to mean). I think asking why you bothered to come here over a short-term ban on a small group of countries identified as sources of terror while policies are reviewed demonstrates some of the problems with how people view things today.

    1. Perhaps you lack the empathy to understand what is bothering the students. It's also worth noting that the terrorists who carried out 9/11 came from countries conspicuously missing from this so-called list of Terror sources. If you suddenly didn't have access to loved ones who are sick because a hysterical demagogue convinces himself that people that are even remotely like you are potentially evil, you likely would be whistling a different tune.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. 1. The set of countries identified as source of terror aren't. Or at least aren't responsible for terror in the US. Some states responsible for terror have not been included.
      2. One cannot identify countries with people. Some could say we are the country of Timothy McVeigh, of the Westboro Baptist Church, and of Charles Mason--but, of course, that is not who we are.
      3. Setting aside morality and compassion, there is a good argument about thinking before acting, and considering the consequences. It should have been clear that the President cannot ban dual citizens from reentering the country. It should have been clear that even appearing to discriminate against Muslims would antagonize a billion people. It should have been clear that banning Iraqis bans also any supporters we may have in Iraq.
      4, If demanding competence, thought, compassion, and empathy are "some of the problems with how people view things today" pray tell us how we should view things.

    4. hyperbole doesn't help things

    5. I find it fascinating how CSProf ascribes the previous comment about "some of the problems with how people view things today" to totally different things than it was originally attached, and how THAT type of thing is probably one of the problems. If you are a CSProf can you identify the logical fallacy where you create an argument that was not the one put forth by the other person and then attack it?

    6. Re: Anonymous and logical fallacy.
      The sentence "some of the problems with how people view things today" in the original post means "how could anyone reasonable object to my view." My post objects exactly to the "reasonable" part.

  2. Hi Lance

    The sad part is most of those who have voted for this president don't have a clue and don't care. In fact probably they think the jobs these people take are jobs that could have been taken by one of them if they were not allowed in.

  3. Terribly saddened to hear the news. I know the work of the computer architect faculty member that you're referring to. Not only is his recent work stellar, but his older work on dark silicon is just seminal.

    I certainly hope it doesn't come to him being forced to leave Georgia Tech because of idiotic, dumbass policies. While the country got the president that the majority voted for, the treatment he's meting out to innocent people is just unfair. As a previous commenter points out, the majority that voted for him just doesn't care.

    There's another touching story, posted on Facebook, by an Iranian MIT faculty member, Mohammadreza Alizadeh Attar (search his name on Facebook to see the post). Encourage you and your readers to read about the impact of this executive order.