Harvard girl

My QQ Browser home page content recommendation engine gave me some news about this “Harvard girl,” who created some sensation around 1999 in China for her admission to Harvard. Her mom ended up writing and publishing some book on that that sold well.

That news article mentioned that that girl, despite her saying that she would return to 报效祖国 (contribute to the mother country), she ended staying in America and getting US citizenship. Maybe perhaps likely she also married a white guy. There was a photo of her with a white guy in it.

As for the comments, there were maybe over a thousand. The ones with the most upvotes were mostly negative from what I remember. Of course, it’s statistically speaking quite hard for Chinese to immigrate to America. For most Chinese, it’s basically a dream. I was very fortunate in that my family actually got the green card relatively quickly and smoothly, without engaging in anything that could be truly regarded as the spineless behavior that you see in many Chinese in America, though of course, in that regard, you can always do better, but that of course, depends much on your ability. Basically, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to stay and if you aren’t and have to return to China, you will feel like a failure, and likely your prospects back in China won’t be all that great either. To the majority of native Chinese, the attitude towards the emigrants and the emigrants-in-trial (those without the green card) is one of a combination of envy and contempt, or actually, maybe more like apathy since those people are so far removed from the majority of the Chinese population. Some native Chinese guy when I mentioned the term “banana-man” was even like, “what is that?” I guess back in the late 90s, it was much more of envy, but now it’s much more of contempt. To be fair, my attitude towards those smart but not that smart Chinese-American kids who are foreign to the Chinese language and culture is mostly one of contempt. I don’t really care much about alienating them because they don’t have any power and pretty much never will. If they really were actually really genuinely smart, they wouldn’t be that way. Even if that person has elite academic credentials, that person’s IQ can still be somewhat questioned, or more so, that person’s (and parents’) taste and judgment.

I asked this mother under age 40 in China if she knew of that Harvard girl, and she said yes. She mostly thought that that girl wasn’t terribly exceptional in talent or ability, and that at the time, information on how to get into Harvard in China was very limited, and rumor has it that some recommendation letter from this American helped. She was certainly quite lucky, but at the same time, her level of career success in America, so it seems, pretty much matches her talents. There was not all that much she could bring to China anyway.

In contrast, that mother mentioned this girl from a small place who really was exceptional at English, winning first place again and again in some competition in English public speaking in Britain. She got into Fudan with gaokao waived but because she didn’t like the major she got into that much, she entered the English department at Nanjing University. Now she’s 40 and a prominent TV news anchor in English. I asked her to send me a video and indeed her English really was exceptional. (Mine is too, but that’s another matter, and I also grew up in America so it’s not a fair comparison. It’s also not fair to compare my Chinese to those who grew up in China.) In contrast, that social climbing slut Zhang Zetian who married JD’s founder/CEO Richard Liu, her English was really meh, despite there being “Zhang Zetian English” as a search recommendation on Baidu. I believe her father who was quite rich (not ridiculously so though) had people manufacturing her image behind the scenes. I was told that her father wanted her to marry a “third generation red,” the ones who are the true elite in China as opposed to billionaires from the grassroots like Richard Liu. Rumor has it that she dated one and got dumped.

What that mother told me that really cracked me up was

当年铺天盖地都是她的新闻,她妈妈很极端的,书里写,为了训练意志力让她手握冰块,结果好多脑残家长跟着学

Translated to English, it is

During that time, there was news of her everywhere. Her mother was really extreme. In her book, she wrote that to train her persistence, she had her grab ice blocks with her bare hands, and as a result, many braindead parents followed suit.

Like this is just absolutely fucking ridiculous. No more comment.

By the way, I also back in 2015-6 helped this Harvard girl (ethnic Chinese but not culturally Chinese at all) who won science prizes in high school prepare for coding/algorithm interviews. (I didn’t do it for free earned a little side money from that as well. I was mostly interested in meeting her at that time.) I was surprised at the gross inconsistency between her high school achievements and how little she knew about computer science as well as how slow she was to learn. Like, she kept on asking me what the difference was between a linked list and a cache. There is this interview question of simulating an LRU cache in software. I had told her that there are hardware caches as well with orders of magnitude lower latency than reading than from memory, and that really, disk -> memory -> L2 cache -> L1 cache -> register is basically a cache hierarchy. Really, caching is quite intuitively obvious. It’s like how in the home you have a small bucket for trash that you only empty to the bigger one outside when it gets full. She also couldn’t understand why quick-select was average case O(n) and worst case O(n^2). I explained to her that pivot operation (in quick-sort it’s the same) but she just couldn’t get it. I then told her that nobody in the fucking software or machine learning world would give a fuck about quick-select, but her reaction was one of

NOOOOOOO!!!!!! QUICKSELECT!!!!!!

What really brought me into disbelief was when she asked me for some homework problem how to compute \int_0^{2\pi} \cos^2 x dx and I was like “you must be trolling.” The method I instantly thought of was using the nothing esoteric trig identity 2\cos^2 x - 1 = \cos (2x). It’s an obvious 1/2 \cdot 2\pi since the \cos (2x) component is vanished by the integral by symmetry.

There is of course also noticing that by symmetry \int_0^{2\pi} \cos^2 x dx = \int_0^{2\pi} \sin^2 x dx. Sum the two to get 2\pi \cdot 1 and divide by two.

I think I also told her that one can substitute \cos x with \frac{e^{ix}+e^{-ix}}{2}, square that and integrate. Anyone who’s studied Fourier series should instantly tell that we only care about the constant coefficient, which is an obvious 2 \cdot \frac{1}{4}.

I spoke of this case to a former Harvard PhD student from China and he was like,

Maybe she’ll eventually become director of research at Google. And write a book like Lean In.

Only then, did I learn that Lean In was some book written by Jewish Facebook exec Sheryl Sandberg who also went to Harvard. Her husband was also an exec, and my reaction to that case was basically one of

How the fuck do you die running on a treadmill. That guy must have been unusually clumsy or had some serious health problems to begin with.

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An individual case I was reminded of, that well illustrates the devaluation of talent (as well as lack of privilege for Asians in America)

I know of a guy (and know well someone who is familiar with him) with elite academic credentials at the high school level. They were elite and outstanding and rare enough to get him into top US school for undergrad as an international applicant. All three summers between his college years, he interned at [name of top big software company], and from what I heard, he worked his ass off there. But the offer he got for full time was basically the same as every other new grad, with the exception of some intern return offer bonus.

He was pissed and decided to try his chance at some startup. That startup was acquired by [name of well known but nowhere near as lucrative big company] before he was there for a year and he joined the acquiring large company. But not much more than a year there if not less, he, in order to increase his compensation, changed to the company he interned at three times, at the same level that a new grad would get there.

Basically, this is a big, rich software company and the industry at large taking advantage of a highly talented, eager, but socially clueless kid. The guy was used to being at the top of the academic meritocracy pecking order, and he expected the real world to be same, but was shocked and pissed to discover that he was not valued economically any more highly than all those mediocrities, despite his working harder and contributing more value to the company.

This kid was probably so busy and consumed with his studying and IQ and academic excellence that it never occurred to him to look a bit into a phenomenon that could be described as “rich, upper class white male privilege.” It probably never occurred to him that the end result of his excellence would likely be one of creating value for the benefit of that for a merely high but nothing to brag home about compensation.

I have in general less patience for some of the rather flawed social attitudes I see among Chinese in America. Some of them go there and think they’ll do so well, and when their result is mediocre or merely good, often below what their ability merits, they place some false hopes on their children. The statistical reality is that the kid of a Chinese STEM immigrant in America is more likely to do worse socioeconomically than his parents than to do better; the ones who were able to immigrate to US via the STEM route actually made it past a mostly meritocratic selection, and there kids more often than not regress a bit to the mean. As a yellow kid, they’re not likely to develop any real connections in America either, and on top of that, they lose the potential to develop meaningful or useful connections with other Chinese that their parents did.

Some may cite the few high up Chinese in America (mostly in STEM and even if they’re rich, almost always they don’t have much real power or social status either) as counterexample. Of course, they will exist. After all, there are 5 million Chinese in America, and a high density of extremely talented ones. It doesn’t change the reality that the proportion making it to the top is quite small relative to other groups.

In the meantime, those Chinese in America will continue to go on with their integrate into America, study hard, work hard, play fair mentality that is obviously very limited in what it can get them. They will complain and protest when the mayor suggests canceling the entrance exam at Stuyvesant upon discontent from other minorities at the hordes of Asians in those schools. It never occurs to most of them to ask, for instance, “why is this school called Stuyvesant?” Because some important Dutch guy by that name established a foothold there as early as the 17th century. It never occurs to most of them to ask the question of “why should America actually give them a fair shake?” America is a white country, and if one wants to get something in that country, chances are one has to bring something in return to those who already control it. Or you take over the place, by force. Winning politically is not fundamentally about getting the right answers, it’s about obtaining power, and as for how that’s done, it’s often NOT by playing fair. America was not founded on playing fair. It was founded on white supremacy and dispossession. Or if you judge by ability to win at group/racial conflict, to control resources, then it was a “fair” game. In any case, “fair” is about as subjective as good or evil.

People like Yukong Zhao indignant at the discrimination against their children in elite school admissions in America ought to be aware of and reflect more on examples similar to the one presented above. The reward for elite school admission for a Chinese-American male is likely merely the opportunity to be another high paid coolie for a US company, for some white or Indian or Jewish boss. Of course, many if not most elite school grads in China who stay in China also end up merely being a highly compensated workhorse, though the chance of going well beyond that would be higher, not to mention that in China one would regardless have social belonging as part of a nation instead of being perceived in a more negative light and rejected by default for reason of race.

Alas, you cannot stop hordes of Asians in America from pursuing their coolie dream.

My personal experience with Stanford University

2019-05-08 下午10.23.14

Lately it’s kind of difficult not to have heard of this. I first learned of it through WeChat (somebody posted it on Moments) I believe. And a few days ago I was talking with someone (call her X) about how social class is about culture and social connections, not money. On this, an adult who I had spoken with on this matter had responded with something like, “many of those 暴发户 (nouveau rich) thought they could buy themselves into American society but after trying (and failing) they were deeply disappointed.” There was also a time when an extremely high IQ (but idiot ABC who can’t even speak Chinese) MIT student was telling me about how if I became a billionaire, I could buy my way into the Chinese elite. He has no idea what he’s talking about, and even more ironic is how this is coming from an ABC who can’t even speak Chinese. Anyhow, X also responded with this Yusi Zhao case, which is frankly quite embarrassing for both China and Stanford.

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张首晟的去世

周四,我认识的一位同样搞理论凝聚态物理的人微信发给我了张首晟去世的消息,让我感到吃惊。这么牛逼的人,不光有资格得诺贝尔奖的理论物理学家,而且还很有钱,好像他90年代末凭他斯坦福大学教授的关系做了搞虚拟机器(virtual machine)的VMware(其创始人是斯坦福大学计算机系教授)的天使投资,赚了一大笔钱,也得到了为后来做风险投资的资历和关系。一流理论物理学家很少是多么有钱的,美国名校物理教授每年也就15万,最多30万的工资(当然,现在极少数最牛的理论物理学家可以通过什么突破奖发点大财了),而张首晟成为了极其罕见的即大物理学家又大发财的人,一种几乎不存在的令人惊叹不已的人生赢家。可惜他近年做得过度了,最终出现了悲剧。可以说他当初运气太好了,拿到的教职确是斯坦福的,才得到了这种天使投资的机会。反而他要是是什么麻省理工或哈弗的,很难想象到他这么去做。可是,反过来,也可以说最终好事变成了坏事,他的这种运气所迎来的成功引发了他后来自以为是的做一件物理教授不应该做的事情而运气不好彻底倒闭了,英年夭折失去了得诺贝尔奖的机会。

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How East Asian males in America can attain more status and power

I read through some comments of wokeAZN on Reddit and I actually created a page where I began to collect his quotes. Of course, what he says many already know, but few will actually say, for obvious reasons. I think that yes, East Asian males really need to confront the reality and change certain flawed attitudes, and this is most easily done if the realities however unpleasant are laid bare before us.

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Elizabeth Holmes, Kaifu Lee, and some remarks on fraud and manufactured success

Haha, father VP at Enron, fraud seems embedded in her bloodline. Fleischmann is Jewish, that means maybe Elizabeth Holmes can also go onto my Scandalous Jews list?

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wokeAZN

I stumbled upon the reddit by the handle wokeAZN. Guessing from his handle, he advises Asian-Americans on how to fight for equal rights. One of his main points, which I’ve long realized and written about on this blog, is that in the current system, privileged whites have no incentive to not preserve their privilege, which necessarily means depriving Asian-Americans. A representative comment on that would be

Correct. Asian-American activism as of today is entirely focused on begging the predominantly white owners to change their ways without even considering to challenge or disrupt the ruling mechanisms to begin with. Their weapons of choice are politeness, copying SJW concepts that worked for other marginalized groups and political correctness. Good luck with that.

Look at the recent Harvard and specialized NYC HS admissions controversy for example. Asians loudly speak up in droves protesting the process changes yet none of them even thought about the need to challenge and dismantle the administrations and institutions that are in charge of the admissions processes. Same goes for any activism directed towards Hollywood and the Western media etc.

This was in response to the quote:

“Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them.”- Assata Shakur.

This is nothing but obvious to me. Reminds me of how in essence, Gandhi’s nonviolent resistance signals nothing but weakness. India’s nominal independence didn’t really liberate India. She remained at her core still a British colony. I recall how Chinese Marxist philosopher Ai Siqi (艾思奇) wrote of Gandhi’s nonviolent resistance with disdain. The Chinese communists on the other hand actually won a war against America in Korea, the reason they are so despised in the West. So yes, if Chinese-Americans want equal rights in America, they should go unambiguously more in the direction of the Chinese communists. It’s not about morality; it’s about leverage. I heartily hope that Asian-Americans can stop exhibiting a form of Stockholm syndrome manifested in the form of defensiveness and attachment towards a system that treats them as second-class citizens. Continue reading “wokeAZN”

Harvard’s discrimination against Asian-Americans

It was revealed last week or so that Harvard systematically rates Asian-Americans lower on personality, on subjective traits such as “positive personality,” likability, courage, kindness and being “widely respected.” I’m not surprised at all by this. Though they could have at least been a bit smarter about this by keeping this shit off the record. Now the investigators could actually reveal something about their process to the public that would undermine the institution’s credibility.

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