Chapter 1: Who is Omar Qazi?

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Previous Chapter: Introduction | Next Chapter: Everything Goes to Shit

These first few chapters will be kind of boring compared to the rest of the story, but the background and context are essential to understanding how Aaron Greenspan blackmailed me. You can skip these early chapters if you get bored or don’t care about who I am.

My Father’s American Dream

The events that lead to me being born in Los Angeles, California in the 90s started on July 20, 1969. That was the day the United States of America put a man on the moon.

My Dad was just a kid in the war-torn region of Kashmir at the time, and at some point they played the moon landing video for him at the British school he was attending. The moment he saw that video he had a realization that profoundly affected the course of his life and mine: People were doing things in America that you could never dream of doing in Kashmir. He knew that’s where he had to go.

In this July 20, 1969 photo made available by NASA, astronaut Buzz Aldrin Jr. poses for a photograph beside the U.S. flag on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. Aldrin and fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong were the first men to walk on the lunar surface with temperatures ranging from 243 degrees above to 279 degrees below zero. Astronaut Michael Collins flew the command module. (Neil Armstrong/NASA via AP)

He studied hard and rode a train to India to take the required American college admission exams, since they weren’t even offered in Kashmir at the time. There were no online college applications back then, since there was no internet at all. He had to look up the names of colleges at a library and mail his applications halfway around the world –– just figuring that out was a huge challenge. Somehow, he managed to earn admission to the State University of New York, where he went on to earn a master’s degree in structural engineering.

When he graduated he wanted to go somewhere warm, and somewhere with a lot of earthquakes (his structural engineering specialty). That’s how our family ended up settling down in Los Angeles, California, where I was eventually born. When my Mom flew out from Kashmir to marry my Dad she was shocked to find that he had racked up tens of thousands of dollars of debt from school mostly on credit cards, an unimaginable sum by Kashmiri standards.

Coming to a strange new country and starting off on that note was scary, but they vowed to work hard and try and make it work somehow. My Mom took a job at a dry cleaner that was willing to pay her cash under the table while she waited for a work visa. My Dad went above and beyond at his structural engineering job, and worked his way up to a partnership at the firm.

He noticed that the biggest department in the firm was billing, so he had the crazy idea to write computer software to automate the firm’s billing operations. The firm was happy with the money it saved them, but everything changed when a rival engineering firm visited and saw their software-based billing system. The visitors demanded to buy a copy, and before long the firm was making more money selling software than designing buildings. A few years later my Dad took a leap of faith and quit structural engineering to lead the software company full time.

Growing Up with Software

I was born in California around the same time as the birth of the internet. When my parents brought their firstborn son home from the hospital to an apartment in Lomita, California, they wanted more. They wanted to raise their kids in a real house, with a backyard to play in. It was around that same time that my Dad started writing his early software projects. I would sit on my Dad’s lap, watching him code.

and sometimes help him out

I was around ten years old when I started coding myself. My Dad put a computer in my room, and I would steal some of his programming books and copy the examples into an IDE, tweaking the variables to make the programs my own. As I got older, I developed a better understanding of computers and what those lines of code meant. When and where I could, I’d help with the family software business. My Mom quit her retail sales job to help sell software too.

I spent most of my childhood writing software and studying disruptive innovation by researching and following all kinds of tech companies that were emerging and growing rapidly at the time. My favorite was Apple. I wanted to be an entrepreneur like my Dad and build software startups. Given all that, when it was time for college there was naturally only one place to go: Silicon Valley.

College and Crime Fighting

The first class of my first day at Santa Clara University was Calculus I, and my professor was Dr. George Mohler. That year, he and I ended up starting a software company together called PredPol. I wanted to go to Silicon Valley and start a software company, so that’s what I ended up doing freshman year.

Dr. Mohler had been working with other academics at UCLA to develop statistical models that could predict the likelihood of any crime category happening at some given point in space and time. I joined up with him and other university researchers to turn their research into a real software product that could be used by police departments and other users around the globe. PredPol stood for “predictive policing”: using statistical modeling of crime data to try and forecast and prevent future crimes before they occurred.

My MacBook actually made it into this news clip at 1:02

Things were tough at first. There was no money to pay me anything except equity, so I had to work grueling hours for free while handling the entire software side of the business myself. Juggling software development and server maintenance with my college coursework generally did not go so well.

But somehow, the project started taking off. Before long many major police departments were using the software I wrote in my dorm room, from Los Angeles to Seattle to Atlanta, to Kent, England. After a lot of hard work, the company was finally big enough to pay me a salary and let me hire a few more engineers to build out the software team.

I felt like I was living out my dream, and I thought I had it all figured out. Still too young to drink legally but earning the first real paycheck of my life, we spent most of college throwing ridiculous parties and going on amazing trips. During that time I made a lot of friends that are still as close as family today. Best of all, I fell in love with a girl named Emma. She was gorgeous, hilarious, brilliant, fun, and just generally too cool for me –– and for some inexplicable reason, she liked me too. Maybe I’m looking back with rose-colored glasses, but those were the happiest, most carefree days of my life.

Aaron Greenspan has filed an illegal SLAPP-suit against Elon Musk and Omar Qazi for bringing attention to allegations of tax fraud, securities fraud, cyberstalking, and criminal harassment by the Think Computer Foundation (doing business as PlainSite). If you can please donate to the Legal GoFundMe or via PayPal to make sure Aaron Jacob Greenspan is finally held accountable for his harassment of so many Tesla customers

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