The Nation State

The nation state and filters

I’m off to Iran tomorrow.

No I won’t be beheaded or kidnapped.

The nation state is an odd concept, it’s like you’re born on a team and told by coach what to do.

This construct gets more bizarre and interesting when you’re part of two nation states, because your parameters in the world expand, and you can maneuver them to your advantage.

I flew from San Francisco to Turkey as an Italian today, even though I haven’t lived in Italy, and I can’t speak the language.  In many ways I’m about as Italian as Dominos, but that’s beside the point.

I have an Italian passport because I can (through blood), and it’s a device that gives me access.

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Iran is restricted from international banking. Therefore, you need to bring in all of your cash.

Today I breezed through Ataturk airport in Istanbul without having to purchase a visa, and tomorrow it allows me to enter Iran without a government minder (basically a nanny that all Americans need to have accompany them when traveling in Iran).

My goal is to get an unfiltered view of this polarizing country that everyone seems to have a strong opinion about, and let’s be honest… a place that few have an understanding of, including myself.

The irony here is that I will be sharing Iran though my filter, but my goal is to keep it as open as clean as possible, and to get the opinions of Iranians without any agenda besides opening them up to their views of America and the West.

Filters have helped me out in this life when dealing with drinking water and sink drains, but not for understanding the world.

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Tonight I’m leaving my filter in my Istanbul hotel room; tomorrow I touch down in Tehran with my senses fully exposed.