祝党的生日快乐!

97年了,我无话多言,直连到此文。此终结为:

上世纪20年代的青年思索救亡图存,30年代的学生投笔从戎,60年代的学子以身许国献身戈壁,当代年轻人面向社会追寻人生意义……一代代青年人的从心而行,何尝不是一种精神传承?让信仰之火熊熊不息,让红色基因融入血脉,让红色精神激发力量,我们就能更坚定、更执着、更无畏地前行,为国家为人民创造一个更好的明天。

哈哈,说是这么说,只不过据我所观察现在的人大多已经失去往时这种宝贵精神了,人也远远不如老革命那一辈了。总是感觉现在的人比起以前过于保守,缺乏胆量。作为一位在美国长大的被动无声的minority(少数民族)的一员,在一种腐朽无味的文化环境中,何以得到精神力量?当然,有个人的学习和事业,但我想说的不是这个。所想说的是文化认同。在这一点,不是多沉浸于ABC的伪文化中,而是多认识我们的革命前辈,从之得以启发。可惜与我同感的人实在太少。

今年初,我有幸得知并读中共创始人李大钊的《狱中自述》,感受到了他为党壮烈牺牲所留下的信念。共产党当时在受蒋介石发动的白色恐怖下的残酷冲击,此余力最终逃避生存而从建真是奇迹,从而中华民族得以新的诞生。此文之外,还看了讲这位民族英雄的一部纪录片,里面有不少他写的诗,开头还有他二十年代在莫斯科向当时多位共产主义战士演讲的镜头。

提到莫斯科,我还想说我业余自学俄文,直到今天基本能读会说一点,也很大处于更深入理解党的历史背景的愿望,当然,苏联的那一套也有不少非常值得学习的。

从建党建国的历程可以看到组织和动力的重要性。不用说,当时的人的确与现在非常不一样的,现在的社会太放纵,诱惑太多,过于注重金钱,人愈来愈自私,缺乏社会责任感和理想。我觉得市场经济是有一定用处的,但是同时,他鼓励很多对社会不良的表现,过于注重短期谋利,导致有长远意义的工作难以实施。在我前文所提,金钱的诱惑干扰实在太大,使得现在中国愿意静下心长期投入核心科技研制的精英越来越少,前辈知识分子坚持信念以身许国的精神已大大消失。

当然,你可以说我太理想主义了,可是我觉得接近于马克思想象的那种共产主义社会还是有可能的,尤其在现在机械化信息化高产能社会,此与以前的未工业化社会相比截然不同。以前稀缺是因为生产技术不够发达,而现在的稀缺大多是人为的,出于少数大资本家掌握太多物质资源,为了他们自己的利益囤积居奇,中国的房地产泡沫就是个好的例子。美国的大学学费过高也是又一个例子。在美国,公立教育是很烂的,学校提供的极少,完全需要家人自己投入。同样,美国没有医疗保证,好多人都没有医疗保险,有不少人得病而破产。总之而言,中国由于他的红色基因和毛主席时代的遗产比美国好得多,在价值观上。在美国资本家完全不会在乎你,也不在乎社会的健康,就为了你的钱,鼓励或垄断迫使大量销售,而且媒体由于被私人掌握好多都是故意误导人的。可惜中国人,尤其是领导人,不够自信缺乏志气,经常还要向美国这些学习,若不是毛泽东时代所留下的遗产,可能中国也会面临俄罗斯同样的遭遇。

在冷战时期社会主义苏联和中国的存在慢慢给世界形成了新的社会规范。两国在有经济条件的情况下都提供免费教育和医疗,加上有分配房子,按马克思的“各尽所能,各取所需”的原则。同时,社会主义国家所提供的育儿也提升了妇女的地位。相反,美国现在天天闹虚伪的,反常识的女权主义,而不解决此最根本的问题。强大的对手这样做导致美国资本家把在美国内地的剥削和系统种族歧视减轻了一些,好避免美国人民造反推翻他们的风险和赢得世界非白种人对美国的支持以对付社会主义阵营。当然,我们都知道中苏之间不久决裂了,毛时代晚期起,中国却开始偏向美国,所谓的逻辑是打着红旗反红旗威胁比公开资本主义更大,当然也是为自己利益的一种妥协。改革开放后,美国所施加的软压力和诱惑实在太大,导致了89年运动不当处理所引发的六四事件,此突然更大弱化了早已决裂的社会主义阵营。在这一点,我的确发觉到六四所制造的国际政治影响对苏联及东方集团的崩溃有了相当大的催化作用。我想,若社会主义在此复辟,何况共产主义实现,胡耀邦赵紫阳这俩王八蛋,如赫鲁晓夫一样,肯定会被划为历史的罪人。

当然,不少人用苏联的最终失败和中国的转型来证实社会主义制度的劣势。当时,从科学严谨角度而言,这一点都算不上什么证实,只不过是一种容易忽悠人的政治宣传而已。在冷战时期,因为美国特别怕红色中国,才给了日本和四小龙大量的经济援助和政治支持,在彻底封锁红色中国的同时,欲之崩溃。这样当然更加貌似资本主义民主制度优越于社会主义民主集中制,可说服大多数人。当然,也有少数一般智商比较高的人,如我的美国数学奥赛金牌朋友(纯粹美国人)也说好多是因为苏联二战后还是很落后于美国,中国与美国的主要盟国英法日加起来就更不用说了。我也想,可能当时如果苏联没有变修,采取适当的改革,并且维持与中国的结盟合作,结果会是反过来的,那就是社会主义赢得冷战,在美国进行更多向着社会主义的和平演变。当然,冷战不光是意识形态的冲突,也是大国之间的冲突,要是苏联和中国要赢,肯定也要像美国传播一种服从似的社会主义,此也是中苏分裂的根源,那就是中国到了一定的程度不想继续做服从的社会主义二哥。

虽然大国之争,民族之争处于人的本性,不可避免,只可良化,我还是相信社会规范是可以并且值得进步的,一点因为此在历史过程中大致是进步的,二点因为世界现在还有很多极其糟糕不仁的制度和社会规范,甚至可以说苏联垮台之后,美国统治阶级无压力,为所欲为,使之退步。比方说,我想有可能,甚至,如果我乐观,很可能,一百年后,现在美国这样的没有免费教育和医疗的社会是难以想象的,至少在发达国家。也可以想象一百年后,通过发达的基因检测及胚胎筛选的实施,社会不会允许智商低于80的人和有昂贵遗传疾病的人出生。无论如何,我相信中国共产党97年前的诞生会经得起历史的检验。这是什么意思?比如,中华人民共和国的不断成功和世界地位的上升已经给中国的体制增强了威望,当然,现在世界舆论还大由美国为首的西方国家掌握,它们还可以说这是因为中国改革开放起转向了资本主义制度,只不过不民主,而若民主只会更好。这中说法我觉得很扯淡,没有根据,认为中国人要敢于在强大的压力下坚持真理,自信主动地带领人类的社会进步,科学的决定并且尝试制度,包括更社会主义的制度,少在意美国如何看待。要想超越别人,带领新的潮流,走向更先进的社会,必须敢于挑战当前的权威,在学习它的同时解开他的缺点漏洞,发展自己的独特之处,大胆而科学的探索尝试新的方法,让时间所检的更佳结果和优越不得不得到世界的认可。

其实,鉴于此文在纪念党的生日,我觉得中共所领导的做的好多都是惊人的,具有无比勇气的。统一了百年军阀混战的中国是一。建国没捞着喘什么气又跟世界老大直接打了一仗,而且还赢了,至少平了。此代价是世界老大采取几乎所有措施让你崩溃,但是二十年后,中国从几乎零的基础下研制出了两弹一星,世界老大也不得不认输了。之后,跟世界老大建交了,他非要让你改变你的制度,到处污蔑你好对你施加压力,但中共依然坚持抵抗着,直到今天发展到世界老大真的怕你代替他咯。所以从任何客观的角度这都是很神的党,奇迹性的政治组织,美国当权派及其走狗对它的诬蔑只能客观表示一种自己深厚的畏惧和对自己失败的回避,是一种拒绝面对客观事实的表现,用另一句话说,是一种sore loser的表现。当然,中国在共产党的领导下还要好多做的不足的地方,如此前文所述,还有很漫长的路要走。我个人觉得中共改革开放那帮领导相对比较差,比较没有骨气,此可以以六四和中国的人才流失证实,当然我也认识到中国要融入美国为首的国际体系就是要失去一定的独立自主为代价。(注:读者别把我搞错,我绝对不是一个极左,四人帮当然也有很多糟糕的地方,基本上是一些弱智流氓,但至少他们是立场坚定,不会去走卖国的自由主义。)

作为终结,我想引用一下我很尊重的一位英国学者所分析的,那就是:

Not that I am any sort of unreconstructed Maoist: I also approve of Deng Xiaoping, including his willingness to be harsh when necessary.  Both Mao and Deng played a big part in producing today’s China, but in a future article I will argue that it was Deng who came closest to wrecking it. Contrary to what most analysts will tell you, Mao always had a fall-back position that he could return to if one of his radical experiments went wrong.

翻译成中文是:

不是我是任何教条的毛派:我也认可邓小平,尤其是他在需要的时候肯采取严厉措施。毛和邓都对建立今天的中国起了决定性的作用,但是在未来的文章,我会论证为何是邓最接近毁之。与大多评论家会说的相反,毛总是,以备他的某个大试验出问题的可能,有了适当的退却安排。

其实随着我对相关背景的不断了解,我也得出了类似的结论(当然,我这么说无法证明这不是看到上文所产生的后见之明偏误。盼望这位可被视为奇异的学者尽快发表对他此”异常”观点的论证!

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A bug in WeChat

Nothing major. But you see, I shared my first moment on it. The result was:

WeChatHyperlinkBugScreenshot

You see the problem right? Broken hyperlink. The bug I filed:

WeChatBugFiling

I’m kind of surprised and disappointed that they’ve missed this edge case for so long. And to be honest, I don’t feel like WeChat is all that great technically. A while ago, I tried their web interface, and it was shit, barely usable. I didn’t find their Moments (朋友圈) feature social_wechat_moment in Discover (发现) easy to use either. I wanted to post the above message, and I had to Google to find that to post one without a photo, you need to hold the camera icon at the top right corner for a bit. Not a terribly intuitive interface.

So, in spite of all the recent hype, a Danish data scientist told me that Chinese are deeply incompetent, due to corruption and incompetent leadership, and that other Euros who know China have told him the same. Similarly, University of Washington CS prof (now at Stanford) James Landay, who spent a few years at Microsoft Research Asia, wrote December of 2011 that Chinese computer science, while having made tremendous strides, is still leagues behind. I doubt his opinion has changed that much over the past almost seven years. Personally, I haven’t found most Chinese from China software engineers here all that impressive, though of course, I’ve also seen some really brilliant and creative ones. Of course, there is also that software engineers in general, wherever they’re from, are just not that smart, compared to say mathematicians or physicists or real engineers, due to the low intellectual difficulty of most of the work. Apparently, a senior engineer at Google can think that “eigenvalue” is “specialized terminology.” Of course, any serious STEM person will think you’re a total joke if you say that. Luboš Motls has written on his blog that most programmers think like folks in the humanities, not natural scientists. On this, I concur almost 100%.

 

为什么中国核心科技依然薄弱

我与一位清华电子工程毕业但博士之后转至软件开发的人午饭聊天,他说若Facebook消失,人很可能变得更加有效,而相反,若Intel消失,科技及我们的现代生活会几乎停顿。此理明显,而甚少所提。在本人眼中,将网络公司英文述为”tech”,其实是对技术的一种严重歪曲,对理工真才实学的人是一种笑话,也是对他们的一种贬值,因为这种虚伪的词语宣传只不过是起一种误导公众及反知识反科学的不良效应。当然,在市场经济,真正的天分和能力经常是不太受重视并经济价值不高,价值高的反而是会做买卖会搞关系会吹的人和技术含量不高但助做买卖的工作,典型为网络公司的码农。一般来讲,高级的理工人才非常的专或者如果做理论的东西未有直接的经济价值,选择(若留在他们的专长里)极少,所以很少能拿到特别高的工资。这也是为什么中国(美国也差不多)愿意投资或投入核心科技产品,以芯片为典型例子,的人极少,即使非常聪明天性善于真正科技的人也经常随着社会及经济压力和诱惑离开他们当前的热爱,这是很可怜的趋势。一般人的视野是极其肤浅的,没办法,只能通过优生加上教育提高一个社会的整体素质,可惜的是,在市场经济下,连教育都会成为给学生提供的产品,尤其在现在的制度文化放纵的美国。不过美国由于他之前某些划时代性创新,如半导体的发明,所积累的领先地位,无论如何,都会有精英追求真正的工作,当然现在比以前也少的多了。中国不然,还很落后,必须依靠明智的计划制度弥补多年的空白。

中国人基础科学做的牛的与国外相比的确比较少,而且大多在国外,这没有什么争议。中国的精英科学文化的确还远远差于西方,缺乏适当的传统,这只能慢慢建立,在这一点可以像很成功的日本学习一下。我感觉从某种角度而言,中国人还是非常缺乏日本人所有的那种为民族奉献的精神,这一点,老一辈是有,但是从改革开放上大学那一辈开始就基本消失了,受美国人的精神污染了。共和国头30年被迫隔离于美国大大推迟了,从某种角度,中国的经济发展,但是迫使了中国建立一种科技上自力更生的传统。随着改革开放,中国融入美国为主的体系,这种精神有了大大的涣散,但是也有遗留。比如我跟我的美国朋友说中国计算机上还未出过真正有国际影响的尖端产品,他却回答中国阻止美国网络公司而建立自己的网络企业是明智的选择不然早就被外国给吞下去了。中国封闭Google和Facebook的确很丢人,可是为了自己的经济实力和国家战略角度而言,此代价不用说是远远直得的。我也想到过,如果中国政府如五六十年代那样限制精英的个人自由绝对不允许出国留学的”彻底叛变”但是给他们远远更好地培养和工作安排,中国今天的科技水平会远远更高研制出远远更多的尖端技术产品,拥有独立的包括芯片及其生态系统(是包括操作系统和兼容的以后所有重要的应用软件)。

有人说中国快要超过美国了,我问在什么方面?他回“在所有方面。”我说在经济上凭中国的量加上整体水平相当高会很可怕的,但是以科技代表的质量还有很漫长的路要走,中国的尖端科技水平还是太落后了,有很漫长的路要走。中国人必须在学习先进国家的同时,发展出自己独特的科技研发的体系和风格,敢于采取在适当的情况下极端的措施为实现目的,不要太在乎别人的看法,尤其美国的看法,因为中国现在已经有足够的实力和好的趋势支撑全心全意的追求自己的道路。

有一位从中国过来的在计算机行业工作的人有一次跟我说“ABC最惨,既不能当美国人又失去了当中国人的机会。”他觉得在美国的华人作为被动的少数民族是非常可怜的。在看到哈弗大学对华裔学生的系统其实被证实的情况下,我自己也会说,凭自己的经验,天分高的华人与他们能力复合的培养和发展机会是相对难的,导致华人的水平和地位低于他们的天分,与白人相比。美国的体制把好多先天很好的中国孩子搞坏,不光在事业上,同时也给他们一些自我认同问题。这些人如果留在中国,在得到足够政府支持的情况下,能为中国作出伟大的贡献而非在美国被荒废掉。不光是他们,还有他们的子孙。由于移民制度对高智商的筛选(大略,移民率是智商的单挑函数),在美国的华人的智商分布会有很粗的右尾巴,但是美国种族配额和歧视能容纳的给华人的高智商发展机会是有限的,很多华人必然怀才不遇,大材小用。

我小学一年级来美国,但慢慢的发觉美国文化有很多非常骗人的地方,所以要防止洗脑啊。在了解美国文化和体质和学习美国好的东西的同时,阅读中文,学习俄文,接触欣赏苏联和中国的红色基因给了我对世界更多元化的认识。虽然前苏联已经大败解体了,未能全面,即使在科技的范围内,追上美国,它依然做出好多精彩的结果,以严峻危机所促进的革命性的新制度实现了奇迹,震惊了世界,给了当时贫穷落后受列国欺凌的中国适当的启发和榜样,也提供了决定性的科技知识和援助,让中国千年的古文明在近代战火的背景下浴火重生,直到今天,面临着超级大国的地位。苏联创造的新制度,新文化给世界留下了宝贵的财富,在科学上,在艺术上,在政治思想和体质上。我觉得苏联的那套远远的更符合中国的国情,尤其与美国相比,中国应当把苏联的东西适当的与自己的文化和情况相结合,把社会主义带到前所未有的高峰。当然,中国若要真正成为前苏联那样的超级大国,必须先成为科技强国,做一些颠覆性带领潮流的首先,像苏联的航天那样,而非仅在别人的核心工作基础之上做出一些实用性科技。这需要自信而系统的发挥自己文化和体质的强点和独特之处,大胆的投入长期的核心科技研发和基础探索,促成更多的不同尖端领域的独特文化和群体。中国精英知识分子要多发扬先辈所继承的革命精神,非崇洋媚外,敢于挑战权威,创造新的奇迹载入史册。

More evidence for my hypothesis on South Asians vis-a-vis East Asians

Link to comment on Steve Hsu’s blog. The “my hypothesis” in the title is with reference to one of my previous blog posts. Content copy-pasted below.

https://www.imo-official.or…

In pure-visual ability, above data clearly indicated East Asian ability. Naturally they excel in STEM field.

But in silicon valley, South Asian engineers move up easily in corporate world. Advancing in corporate world is depending more on social skill than engineering skill. South Asian also display strong social skill as result of people from high density origin.

Some Chinese American engineers told me about their experience in silicon valley. They did most work while Indian colleagues seems not able to do much. But once the project is done, these Indian colleagues are fantastic at putting everybody’s work together and present to the superiors. These Indian American are natural conference presenters. Good social skill gets all credits for career advance.

Indeed, making other thinking you smart is more important than wether you are really smart in subjective world (social dependency world). This is so true for most part of world.

When objective measurement is criteria, you get totally different picture because God is judge here. Human opinion is meaningless.

 

The Brahmins

The cognitive and personality profile, and overall achievement package, of Indians as a group is a rather interestingly unbalanced one. Sometimes they do spectacular things, like discovering the infinite series for trigonometric functions of sine, cosine, tangent, and arctangent as early as the 14th century, producing a good number of real geniuses like Ramanujan and Satyendra Nath Bose, and reaching Mars orbit on its first attempt, being the first Asian nation to do so, and doing so at a small fraction of the cost expended by NASA. An IMO gold medalist I talk to once said to me that there are probably more Indians than Chinese with IQ 160+ due to very high Brahmin IQ that has stabilized (meaning regression to a stable high Brahmin mean as opposed to the low Indian mean) over millennia of inbreeding within caste. I thought maybe. Certainly, I do sometimes get the impression that Indians, at least in science, are better than Chinese at breeding the type of genius with the right combination of technical ability and scientific discernment that manages to discover radically deep and groundbreaking science in a very independent and spectacular fashion. The Chinese have produced geniuses of the highest order (or close) in science the 20th century, like Chen Ning Yang in theoretical physics and Shing-Shen Chern in pure math, with Yang-Mills and Chern classes ubiquitous now in the literature of their respective fields, which are now very intertwined. However, they did so only after much training, exposure, and reinforcement based on the whole framework of modern science developed in the West over many centuries, and ancient China, on the other hand, did not produce in pure science anything near what Indians did, a sign of lack of genius and of poor taste, both in its rare individuals and at the collective societal level. On this, I like to think that Indians are Greeks and Chinese are Romans.

In sharp contrast to China, India in practical matters has been largely a complete fuckup, or at least vastly outmatched by China. It is well known that the ancient Chinese invented gunpowder and paper-making, whereas nothing of equal direct impact came out of ancient India. In modern times, China developed nuclear weapons way faster than India did, and even before that, defeated India in a war in 1962, which, even worse for India, was entirely her fault. Economically and infrastructurally, holistically speaking, India, exemplified by its frequent power outages and accident-prone train system, could be regarded as a few decades behind China, which is further confirmed by that India’s life expectancy and infant mortality rate is, today, where China had been at 20+ years ago. Given that the two had been around the same level in 1950, India’s development has unambiguously been a complete failure.

How to explain this? On this, I recall how my Chinese friend’s mom had said that it’s not because China’s elite is smarter than India’s elite, but because China’s grassroots is smarter than India’s grassroots. This is well-confirmed by international IQ studies which tend to put China’s average IQ at around 105 and India’s around 82, which is a 1.5 sigma difference. So even if India’s +3 sigma is as smart or smarter than China’s +3 sigma, there are too many dumb, dysfunctional people holding India back, from their needing to be fed while doing the routine work rather poorly. So, the smart, (usually) high caste Indians opt to go to America to escape India’s dysfunction, so ubiquitous that even the ultra-rich at home cannot immune itself. The best and brightest in that category tend to go through the IITs at home for undergrad, the most reliable ticket to a high paying tech job in the United States. That stratum of Indians has established by now quite a presence in top American tech companies and universities (just about every top STEM academic department in the US has several prominent Indian profs). For example, Microsoft and Google both have Indian CEOs, and plenty of Indian engineers and managers, with many of them in high ranking positions, especially at Google. In contrast, there are few Chinese in top leadership positions. When I learned that Google has several Indian SVPs but no Chinese, a guy from China responded with humorous ease followed by sarcastic insult,

不用担心,阿里巴巴的SVP全都是中国人,百度的SVP也全都是中国人,没有一个印度人。(In translation: Don’t worry, Alibaba’s SVPs are all Chinese, Baidu’s SVPs are all Chinese, not a single Indian) What does India have? Tata? Infosys?

This is, based on my experience, similar to how people react to the astronomical success of certain Indian academics, entrepreneurs, and business leaders in America. They will say,

Sure, an individual brilliant Indian does extremely well in America. But what does India as a nation get from that?

Even such brilliance of these elite Indians is somewhat questionable. On TopCoder, which plenty of Indians obsess over on Quora, now infested by low status Indians, India is ranked, as I am currently writing this, only 11th out of the 31 countries on there, with only two red (the highest category) coders, despite having more than twice the number of members as China, the second most populous nation in this algorithmic coding contest. They’ve actually done better in recent years. I remember back years ago when I participated, I, having been on the lower side of yellow (the second highest category) coder, would have ranked close to the top among the Indians. Of course, one must not discount the possibility that the best Indians have better things to do than practice for a contest where one solves artificial algorithmic problems, which is consistent with my having seen and worked with many Indians who are very competent at real software engineering, with quite a strong sense for systems design and real world production code, which are rather orthogonal to, and much more consequential than, what one sees in those contrived coding contests and interviews. Still, the dismally low performance of Indians on TopCoder still raises suspicions, because TopCoder, like the International Math Olympiad, which India is complete garbage at, is a 100% objective and fair contest, whereas success in the real world software engineering, determined by promotions and professional level, has a political and context component. It’s not just the Indians at home; even in America, where the smartest Indians tend to go, the Chinese kids beat the Indian kids by a wide margin on the elite math, computing, and physics olympiads, even when the Indian kids seem to have improved a fair bit over the recent years. From this, one can only conclude that Indians are naturally not that strong in the abilities which these contests load on, though of course they may be relatively much more talented in research and engineering, for which these contests are very imperfect predictors.

You, the reader, have probably noticed that up to now, we’ve focused mostly on brains and technical ability. Yes, they are essential, but personality characteristics (both individual and collective) and “soft skills” also matter, especially if one wants to rise to a leadership position. From my personal observation, Indians are, in general, very good at projecting confidence and assertiveness from the way the talk and present themselves, much better than Chinese are, at least in the American cultural context, even when you discount the language barrier Chinese face relative to Indians. I’m talking not only about how one says things in terms of word choice, but the vocal tone and body language behind it. Sure, you can disdain this as superficial, but it matters. Perception matters as much, and in some cases, more, than substance. There is also that Indians seem to have a stronger network and help each out more in the career world. Collective intelligence or ethnic nepotism, you be the judge.

I have stories to tell on this. First of all, I remember vividly how when I interned at the same place as an Indian schoolmate, he was the only one who scheduled, successfully in a few cases, coffee meetings with executives, as an intern (!!!!!), when it never would have occurred to me, or probably almost everyone else except him, to even try. One can sort of link this to collective intelligence, in that it is an indicator of discernment with regard to who matters (the executives) and who doesn’t (the engineer worker bees) within the political organization. And needless to say, you rise up in the organization by aligning yourself with the people who matter. Yes, my telling a full-time engineer this was met largely with a response in the likes of, “He knows who matters and who doesn’t. And even if he completely fucks up, he has nothing to lose, he’s only a 2nd year college intern. In any case, he gets good practice interacting with people who matter.” There is also that multiple people I know have complained about blatant Indian favoritism in interviews in the likes of what is described in this Quora answer. Yes, others have told me that when Indians interview other Indians, the bar is much lower. It’s not just in interviews. Another guy told me about how he once worked for a company that turned into ruins after Indian managers protected some Indian fuckups from getting fired. Personally, I have seen a case of Indians getting promoted way faster than those of other ethnic groups on a big team with an Indian director. So sometimes, I ask myself the verboten. Could it be that Indians really are far higher ranked in tech companies than their ability and contribution, because they are much more self-promoting and collectively nepotistic than those of other groups? Moreover, could it be that many people secretly think and resent this but are too afraid to say out of fear of being publicly vilified for “being racist” and having their careers ruined from alienating a national group increasingly powerful in corporate America? And that gradually, other groups, as they awake to the rigging of the game and get past, reluctantly, their moral objections, will quietly do the same, transforming tech companies and the American workplace at large into literal prison gangs contend, destroying whatever is left of the ideal of meritocracy and fair play in this country, ever more mired in identity politics?

Don’t get me wrong. There is much variance in personality and character and ability in those of any ethnic group, including for Indians, and much overlap between ethnic groups. Like, I know of this really brilliant Indian who donates most of his tech salary to very worthy causes, leaving little for himself, and he would be the last person I would expect, based on his characterized as autistic personality, to successfully climb the corporate ladder, though through sheer talent alone, he should do just fine in the appropriate position. Moreover, I have interacted with several Indians who had been very kind, tolerant, and helpful towards me. However, averages can differ by a standard deviation or more, with enormous social consequences.

I actually feel somewhat sympathetic for India and the Indians here. Somebody, on this, even said something along the lines of,

India is just such a shitty place that the Indians here have nothing to lose, so they play dirty political games and engage in the most spineless social climbing.

What can be done to resolve this? Immediately, I cannot think of anything other than drastically reducing the number of abjectly impoverished, low IQ Indians in India by simultaneously improving economic conditions and enforcing birth control on the poor and unable, so that less suffering and dysfunction is spread to the next generation. India could, instead of drinking the democracy Kool-Aid, learn from China, in a way compatible to its own culture and circumstances, just as China did from the West and the Soviet Union, to great success. Its elite needs to correct many of its deeply flawed social attitudes, and not only that, actually act accordingly with full force; otherwise, the excessive damage India does to itself, America, and the world at large with its internal dysfunction and exported corruption will always far outweigh what its elites contribute to science and technology. I can’t be optimistic on this though, barring some really radical change.

On Russia and Russians

I was told yesterday by that uber pro-American anti-communist American Jew that American liberals actually hate Russia more than they hate China. I was surprised. He said that this is seldom realized, and that

if you compared xi to putin people would consider that offensive even
people have a double standard against white countries when it comes to human rights

So, the logic is because Russia is white, they should be held to higher standards for human rights and democracy, and the extent to which Russia is “freer” (than China, which blocks Google and Facebook and is still a one-party totalitarian state) is not enough to offset the differentiated standard.

I don’t get it, why are Western liberals so intent on hating Russia, why why why? Because Russia is such a threat to their world domination? (The USSR is gone and there’s basically zero hope of Russia recovering to that level, but that’s apparently not enough.) I had also heard that in the UK it’s the Russians, not the Muslims, who are most resented, for being tall, blonde, and alpha and taking the tech jobs. It’s another one of those they’re hated for being too good. Russians being good attracts more resentment than admiration, they must have failed politically somewhere.

From my experience working, observing, reading, and interacting, it does seem like Russians are technically extremely powerful. Of course, the ones here in America are a select group. At a place where I worked, there was this big Russian guy who was quite an ubermensch programmer doing much of the technical heavy-lifting. He was also a higher up in the company, though not terribly high up, and it took him some time in officially low ranking positions (where I’m sure he contributed a ton) to get there. There is good reason to believe the pattern of Russians being ranked (much) lower in American tech companies relative to their ability and contribution, given how political promotion and performance reviews are, and the extent to which salary is determined by one’s “circumstances.” There seem to be very few Russians high up in corporate America, despite their ability. On this, I can’t help but think: could it be that the American elite only wants them to do the hard technical work (where they contribute much more than they get) and find them too threatening to allow into positions of power? It seems though that as a group, they’re more or less accepting of this treatment, content with a very intellectually stimulating job. My Russian friends tells me that very few go back due to lack of opportunity, notwithstanding that Russia has Yandex (which was, curiously, founded before Google) and vKontakte, and its own military ecosystem.

I know that there is the widely stereotype that Russians are smart and really creative, while Chinese are smart but lack spark. There is some truth to that as far as I can tell. On TopCoder and CodeForces and at the ACM ICPC, all of which I’ve participated in, with mixed success, the Chinese still cannot beat the Russians, even when they seem to try really hard. Petr was superhuman, and ACRush, while also an ubermensch, was still a notch below Petr. Though ACRush, with his Chinese connections, has started his own self-driving car company, while Petr is still working for Google. CodeForces, created by Russians, is now much better maintained and consequently more popular across the world to competitive programmers.

I’ve observed that Russians are not as obsessed about prestigious schools here in the US as Chinese are. Plenty of really smart ones only attend state schools, to save money, and also maybe because the elite schools discriminate against them too, because their being Russian and worse connected in American society would be a disadvantage for them in the career world.

From what I’ve seen, Russians are very well-rounded too, actually smart and capable in all respects. Even in athletics, they’re feared and targeted (with reference to the Olympic ban). This might mean that they’re not very good at putting on a stupid smile and going along with all the stupid bullshit that goes on in this society. If they’re this good, maybe they instead of being taken advantage of by American capitalists who only want to extract as much as they can out of them for as little as they can get away with should build their own technology and institutions in Russia, where they actually end up having ownership. They did that in the USSR days (but bad luck and stupid political decisions blew it all away), maybe they should continue to do so.

To conclude, I’ll say that I’ve heard that “Russians/Eastern Europeans get macho and that leads to individualism/isolation in the workplace.” Maybe because they’re pissed that they (the ones in America are some of the best and brightest) have to answer to idiots who they have a hard time pretending to respect.

On the Trump-Kim meeting in Singapore

I had the great pleasure of catching up in person with a friend doing math PhD in something algebraic geometry-ish at a top school. We had dinner at an Indian restaurant. He asked me what I thought of the upcoming meeting between Trump and Kim in Singapore. It’s something that I hadn’t been paying attention to really, though I was aware of it, and I didn’t really have any opinion.

As of today, the meeting is over. I saw an article about it from Washington Post. Apparently, Trump agreed to halt US-South Korea military exercises, exactly what the Chinese government proposed ahead of the summit, likely in the personal meeting between Xi and Kim well before that, wants to eventually pull out US troops from South Korea, and professes more of less the attitude that though China is violating sanctions on DPRK that it agreed to, there’s nothing that can really be done. It’s impressive that DPRK has manage to resist for so long. America with its might has done so much to try to bring it down with economic sanctions and exclusion from much of the international community, thereby rendering its reputation as a pariah state. The people running DPRK, like them or not, are survivors. They, as a puny little country, managed to develop nukes despite economic sanctions and the crisis resulting from the decline and ultimate collapse of their former puppet master or patron (or whatever you choose to call it), the USSR. Their having nukes (and also being next to China, which America dares not to mess with too much) allowed the Kim dynasty to not end up like Saddam or Gaddafi. They must have felt that with the USSR gone and China’s viewing them as an obstacle towards its international integration that they really needed the nukes to preserves themselves. Though people also say that their long range artillery, with Seoul, where like half of South Korea’s population and economy is, within reach, they have enough to deter a military attack against them. What did they really get from nukes? Some more bargaining chip, because they figure they can always get more by pretending to denuclearize. I can’t blame them really. Anyone will go to the extremes when it’s a matter of survival. If you try to starve a dog to death (but can’t, strictly speaking), he’ll just become a ferocious wild one in order to survive, and that’s exactly what DPRK has done.

This must be quite a blow to the neocons and American supremacists who are so keen on American world domination. Hate to tell them that by now, they’ve probably missed their chance. The way things are going right now, in a decade, South Korea could even become a PRC ally; they will once it’s in the interests of those in positions of power there to do so. What can America provide them? A guarantee that those people currently on top can stay on top. They do that foremost by providing defense against a possible DPRK invasion. I’m skeptical still that US will actually move forward with pulling troops out of South Korea; the ROK elite probably won’t like that, unless those with conciliatory attitudes towards their northern counterparts take over, which could happen. I know little about what the popular opinion is there. I do have Korean friends who tell me that there, if you actually sing a DPRK song in public, you will definitely be arrested, because there really is something to fear. There is quite a history of that there. It is well-established that during the Korean War, after the DPRK first invaded, Syngman Rhee ordered massacres of those perceived as disloyal to his regime. Even in the 80s, when the ROK was already doing much better than the DPRK, there was the Gwangju Uprising, which is like a South Korean Tiananmen Square. Of course, to justify its suppression, it was easy for the government to label the protesters as agent of the enemy regime. Contrary to impressions given by the American media, the South Korean position has been somewhat precarious too, and America has been willing to really invest there. There are even nuclear weapons deployed in South Korea, not just American soldiers stationed there. It’s an ally that is seen as vulnerable and too valuable to lose. Over the years, people have always been asking how long the DPRK can hold on. Now could it be that it is the ROK that will struggle to hold on, at least if remaining a staunch American ally is an absolute must? In some being ROK has being an American lapdog almost as a definitive characteristic, more so than on the other side, with the DPRK’s having had two larger powers bid for its loyalty during the Cold War, and with its more being on its own afterwards. The ROK leadership is seen as more spineless (or less able to hold on their own) than the DPRK leadership, having had America’s military presence directly at home with themselves in the subordinate position ever since the Korean War, whereas the Chinese People Volunteer Army, that basically saved the DPRK regime, left not long after the armistice was signed, though it still maintains a defense treaty that guarantees military protection. Much of that is because China, being so poor and backwards at that time, had scarce resources and enough to deal with at home, while America was, and still is, a very rich country plentiful in resources. Of course, there is also that the American elite seems so much delusional with regard to their own exceptionalism and fanatic about their domination of the world. Unfortunately for them, their efforts have been really backfiring in recent years, with the rest of world’s having caught up and increasingly reluctant to take their orders, which they are now much more capable of resisting. The British Empire possessed the same attitude, and one, from this, gets the feeling that this intent for world domination is much more in the Anglo-Saxon genes. Saxon has association with German, and yes, the Germans produced a Hitler, but it’s reasonable to say he was mostly a reactive force, with Germany’s having been shamed in the Versailles Treaty. The Brits were the pioneers of industrialization, and also the pioneers of colonialism and imperialism (if one discounts the earlier Spanish). The British Empire and its derivative America are arguably also the most fervent about spreading their religious and ideological faith. God, freedom, and democracy. They are also arguably the most delusional there.

The reality with the British Empire and with America is that they were pioneers in many ways, giving them the first mover advantage, but eventually had difficulties competing with the latecomers, who were in many ways more competent. Though economically and technologically, the Anglos may have fallen behind their competitors in certain aspects, the cultural presence established by their earlier victories last much longer. Like it or not, they have been relatively successful at getting the rest of the world to accept and embrace their so called cultural values, through a combination of merit, trickery, and intimidation. They are also arguably the most narcissistic, domineering, and historically scurrilous. They led in terms of their science and technology, with that the merit side. In terms of the lengths to which one deceives and coerces, they led much more. People observes how obscenely rich and powerful individuals, in their business, are cutthroat to the extremes. They will screw over another when it is in their interest to do, meaning of course that they can get away with it. They will engage hypocritically in philanthropy and whatnot to buy their reputations and establish a facade of charity. Analogously, the Anglo world has done this massively with its cultural imperialism of which blatant historical falsification and political deception in the media are the essential ingredient. Some other countries wanted to and tried, to some degree or another, to stop them, but lack the aggressive disposition and material power to do so. Economically and militarily, the Anglo world is of course guilty of displacement of the natives in America and Australia, and even to this day, the UK holds on to the Falkland Islands. Culturally they have been successful; this, along with America’s worldwide network of military bases, which America is increasingly lacking in its ability to economically sustain, are held as socially acceptable, the social norm. This might change though, but it will take a while.

America’s main competitors are China and Russia. Of the two, China is much more threatening. These are countries which have resisted the Anglo political and cultural system to this day, especially China, which is much harder to conquer, out of a combination of its size, competence, and alienness of culture, as a civilization that developed more or less independently from the rest of the world over millennia. The elites of the USSR basically sold out their country to America, whereas the Chinese communist elites managed to resist that. America and Britain had other competitors too, most of all Japan, but Japan was mostly tamed after WWII, and even with its economic and technological rise afterward, it could not escape the confines of the war legacy that it refuses to face. Germany is similar, but its attitude towards its war crimes is the antithesis of Japan’s. This is largely because the countries and peoples which suffered most from Nazism were the ones to destroy it. On the other hand, Japan was defeated by America and the Soviet Union, not by China, who was too weak at the time, though China did play a major role in sinking more of their resources, particularly human resources, which were the main bottleneck, quantitatively, for Japan, as a small nation that had tried very hard and only half-succeeded at playing the game of world imperialism that it entered in too late.

As much as I respect the accomplishments of the Anglo world, I much dislike the what I would call the domineering hypocritical sore loser mentality that this culture tends to channel and accept into their elites. When they are winning, they are arrogant and nasty. When they lose, they tend to do so in a very pathetic way. They are utterly lacking in self-critique and try to force blame on their adversaries. They have plenty of really talented, good people, but they are not very good at letting those people have a say on the important decisions. Since the title of this article is about the Trump-Kim summit, I’ll certainly say that America was quite a sore loser during the Korean War, which I won’t explain, because it is too obvious. This is objective reality; I’m not saying this because I am Chinese. Those anti-communist Chinese in Taiwan and Hong Kong who deny this are ridiculous, and the Anglo world world is just so keen on using such people as tools for sabotage against the real Chinese, except they keep on failing so miserably at it, making a fool of themselves. They are increasingly losing credibility.

Those in HBD will point out differences in temperament between East Asians and whites, which explain differences in social outcomes in individuals and the collective societies of which the individuals are constituents. There is the perception that East Asians are far less aggressive, which is a negative for maverick creativity, enough to offset the IQ advantage enjoyed by East Asians. There are of course some who claim that East Asians have lower variance in IQ explains the putative dearth of East Asian geniuses, though there is hardly any real evidence for this. This is exemplified by how the Chinese historically have been a relatively inward looking people. They made plenty of practical inventions, most notable of them papermaking and gunpowder that were transmitted to the West via the Silk Road, but were grossly lacking in fundamental theoretical contributions to science. Even now, China in foreign policy is relatively passive. There were plenty of crazy Chinese communist radicals, but that was a reactive mechanism of a society under crisis. I don’t see this changing much soon, though as China becomes more powerful and advanced, she will become more confident and care less about what the rest of the world, especially America, thinks. She may even go all out to change international norms to its liking, maybe in another generation. I myself am somewhat of a meek person by nature, but I can also be quite aggressive in certain ways. Like, I don’t uphold any fake ideal of freedom and human rights that Anglo culture so unabashedly and delusionally (perhaps with ulterior motives) promotes; discipline and “totalitarianism” (also call in a lack of American-style PC) certainly are very useful and necessary when defined appropriately in the right context. I am aggressive enough to not buy into much of the BS America sells, culturally and ideologically. If certain groups do a lot of damage, objectively, then it’s definitely a very good idea for them to be rendered irrelevant, by force if necessary. If certain objectively flawed ideas are promoted for the interests for some scumbags, then people absolutely SHOULD organize to resist them instead of standing idly. To me, a malicious person feigning charity is much worse than a very self-interested person who is open about what he wants.

I actually feel like China and Chinese in general could be, and probably should be, much more aggressive at getting their voice out and calling out the BS aspects of America. They shouldn’t be so accepting of it. They need a little more arrogance. And the more economically and technologically powerful and advanced China becomes, the more justification there would be for doing that. Before, China was so far behind that it could not claim much credibility, but that has changed vastly, especially over the past five years, with the trend being much on China’s side. If people don’t feel comfortable doing that, maybe they should work out more to increase their testosterone and confidence. Maybe they can find the genes for that and select for it to remedy the natural ethnic defect. Is this justified? Of course. Even many actually smart white Americans believe this would be better for the world. Quoting someone else, and not to be taken too literally,

A world run by Chinese or Japanese is one where they’d be rich and on top but mostly leave others alone, except to get money from them.

A world run by whites is one where half want to conquer and half want to help.

A world run by Jews is one where they’d systematically extinguish any hope of ending it.

Corresponding with me, Ron Unz concurred, without ever seeing this statement to my knowledge. His words are the following:

Naturally, the Verbal skew among Jews is a significant factor. But personally, I think a much bigger, relatively ignored factor would be what might be called the “Fervency/Fanaticism/Aggressiveness Quotient,” and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Jewish mean were something like 115 or even 120. Meanwhile, the East Asian mean might be down around 85 or 90, which has major social impacts.

On manipulating perceptions

My thoughts on the importance of perception management, in addition to actually being good, by way of a chat log.

dude I think the jewish domination of liberal media is just IQ
if white americans are 100 SD 15, ashkenazim are 115 SD 15
Then if you look at 130+
In the US you have a 30:1 ratio but among 130+ you would expect like
2:1
dude like 1/3 of the 130+ whites in the US are jews
jewish verbal is probably even > 115 since spatial is lower
also they are coastal and liberal
 
lol you idiot it has much to do with personality socioeconomics culture too
 
which leads to more representation
yeah i’m saying that
coastal and liberal
already on the 2:1
updating more
 
Lol also if Jewish verbal is so high why are Asians beating them at PSAT/SAT
 
stats?
 
English/culture
 
Read Myth of American Meritocracy by Unz
 
link me the stats
 
I read it
 
He has stats there
 
have you read Janet Mertz takedown
 
Yes I’ve skimmed through that
 
Unz overestimates harvard % jewish
and underestimates other things
 
Sure he probably does a little
 
math olympiad % jewish
wait like half the white people at mop are jewish
like half
Since it can be hard to tell by surname
dude I think chinese americans have a massive
verbal IQ
way higher than of mainland china
maybe even higher than ashkenazim
But they haven’t been here long enough
like Jews in the 50s
also a lot of them are not interested
in verbal professions
 
how trainable is verbal SAT?
 
I agree the trainability of the SAT is overstated by people but cramming vocab is totally a thing, no
I dont trust unz statistics at all lol
 
Lol because Chinese-Americans know that verbal careers like law are rigged against them
So many strong ones are hesitant to enter
There’s a cultural affinity aspect to that as well
 
chinese prefer medicine or law
I think a lot of it also is that a society with a functional legal system is alien to most chinese people 😛
once I asked zuming whether china had a legal system
his response: No
 
Haha he’s both right and wrong
 
but yeah law is jewish
but I mean jews are not pulling the strings or anything
like
they are smart verbally
And they tend to be coastal and liberal
The tribe is not jews, it’s coastal liberals
130+ secular coastal liberals are like half jewish
but they dont think of themselves as jewish but as secular coastal liberals
like NYT columnists are half jewish
because 130+ secular costal liberals in the US are half jewish
 
Lol lol
 
if you add the adjective new york
secular new york coastal liberals
it’s a majority easily
 
NYT columnists
 
like manhattan is 20% jewish
 
NYT is full of garbage
 
?
its pretty reliable
Sometimes they call Rouhani a “moderate” and I wince – he’s certainly better than ahmadenijad, but he’s no moderate … “pragmatist” is the right word
 
You really need to broaden your horizons lol
 
hmm?
 
See politically, the Anglo world is setting the standards right now
 
yes, I very much enjoy not living in a society with sesame credit
 
sesame credit?
 
yes
 
I don’t even know what that is
 
china could become an orwellian state
 
Oh that
 
isn’t that great
 
Orwellian state what does that even mean
 
 
It’s just this phrase for evil regime coined by the Anglo media based on the works of an Anglo writer, that’s all.
I’ve read 1984 and Animal Farm
They’re pretty good
Very hyperbolic of course, as is much media
I actually exchanged briefly with Unz
 
ok
 
Maybe I should ask him about what he thinks of Jews being subsumed into the white category in these racial classifications
What do you think of these IQ tests as actual measures of real, biological intelligence
They are very noisy for sure
Especially verbal, because exposure to language varies widely
 
on an individual level
noisy
on a group level good
they are measuring something important
Whether it’s 100% genetic I dont know
I doubt it
 
Lol when most Chinese kids’ parents don’t know English all that well
Heck I’m even unfamiliar with some of the more colloquial English language
People viewed me as funny for it in school
 
sure
what do you think about steven pinker
he’s one of my favorite people
 
No opinion of him
Also those tests are noisy predictors of actual ability on real things as well from my observation
The discrimination against Asians in admissions right now is likely partially premised on the perception that their test scores inflate their actual ability due to prep.
There is still the perception that Asians do well in school but don’t go on to do great things
Again it’s only a perception
Being good and being perceived as good are far from perfectly correlated.
 
I think there is discrimnation against asians
for being recent
for being perceived as grade grubbers
 
Yeah they’re also not rich or well-connected.
 
this perception is not wholly unjustified ofc
yeah also that
i am strongly opposed to ivy asian quotas
 
There is resistance towards Asians becoming successful in America
It’s a white country after all
 
eh
 
Anyhow, I think in a matter of time, the best young people in China will come here for grad school less and less.
America will become a place for China to send its second-rates.
I’ve written that China needs to get better at marketing
 
china gives 0 shits about academics
it’s way too right wing to care about academics
 
too right wing?
And I’ve read on Zhihu that in recent years, the Chinese who studied math in France have turned out better than the ones who came to US for grad school.
 
that’s about france vs US
not china vs US
 
Lol math I think the best young people will still study abroad for a while.
There’s also engineering
Plenty of that China does well now.
I think in actual STEM ability/competence, China/Chinese still have much room for improvement, but now, they’re not bad, and the potential is there, with trends in favor of them.
It’s the whole game of manipulating perceptions that will take longer
Due to cultural difference and inertia
In that regard, it’s already been massively successful in just the last five years if you think about it
The media portrayal in the West has already drastically changed.
For instance, dismissiveness of Chinese tech companies is metamorphizing into fear.
I’m not gonna argue whether or not it’s gone to the other extreme
People can have different opinions on that
In any case, I don’t think China has transitioned to foundational innovator, that’ll take a while, but the increasing level of sophistication combined with the scale is certainly very formidable.
China still relies on US companies for its semiconductors/chips. She has not created a viable ecosystem for its homegrown ones yet. But that could well happen in a decade.
Then US will have even less bargaining chip.
Now, China can easily get away with what it’s doing to Taiwan largely because it is so much stronger economically, technologically, and militarily.
 
jack ma is a smart guy
but I mean
 
Nobody wants to piss off the powerful, because there’s much to lose.
 
china’s system doesnt make too much room for jack ma and yitang zhang
The lack of political freedom is a big obstacle here
 
Lol Jack Ma isn’t smart IQ wise
Struggled to get into a college
He has other qualities
 
The lack of political freedom is a big problem for innovation
 
Hahaha
Elaborate on that one 
 
Name a totalitarian society that was innovative
Germany under the Kaiser wasn’t really totalitarian
 
Uh, USSR?
 
all their jewish scientists moved to america and israel
ussr had good academics, certainly
Because they prevented them from leaving
They didn’t have much in the way of tech
 
Uh, Sputnik?
 
low tech
very low tech
your cell phone is better
there won’t be a chinese steve jobs
 
Sure computer technology they were behind, because semi-conductors and integrated circuits were invented in America
Lol Steve Jobs is mostly marketing 
 
shockley
eugenics
chinese bill gates
 
And what you say about Sputnik is ridiculous
First satellite in orbit
That was back in 1957 silly
You don’t think Ren Zhengfei is as impressive as Steve Jobs?
Huawei
So much of the global telecommunications infrastructure
Now their phones, which US is banning.
 
So
Lol what if China once it has the resources starts a huge propaganda/PR war
You bitch about totalitarianism
China has a ton of young people with nothing to do.
Have them troll the YouTube comments, drown out all the anti-communist Chinese.
Numbers do matter
The Chinese government could also incentivize more people in the West to start blogs supportive of Chinese ideology.
Try to buy out US media outlets
You don’t think China once it is advantaged in resources can start playing the game of manufacturing consent as well

Something I learned today about Microsoft

I recall when I was in high school, some old guy told me that Microsoft got really lucky with its IBM deal. I didn’t know about that, and I didn’t care enough to learn about that until today. Apparently, Microsoft bought the license for an operating system created by Gary Kildall and his company by the name of CP/M, from which they derived MS-DOS. It is said that Microsoft basically

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Face recognition in China

I recently learned that face recognition, led by unicorns SenseTime and Megvii, has reached the level of accuracy and comprehensiveness that it is percolating into retail and banking, and moreover police are using it to detect suspects, or so various media articles say, like this one. Just Google “face recognition china.” I’m both surprised and impressed. Of course, in hindsight, what they did was mostly collect, aggregate, and organize enough data to train the deep learning models to the level that they can be put to production. The Chinese government has, after all, resident identity cards for all Chinese citizens with photos. I was certainly somewhat envious of the people involved in that in China, and I feel like such a failure compared to them, and that my life has been so boring and uneventful in comparison. Of course, whether I’m suited to do deep learning is another matter. After playing a bit with neural nets, including on the canonical MNIST data set, I sure was disappointed, and I understood immediately why this guy, who is doing a machine learning PhD at Stanford, had said to me that deep learning is very engineering heavy. I wish I had the enthusiasm and motivation for stuff like GPUs. As for that, all I’ve done was play with CUDA in a way so minor almost as if I did absolutely nothing. Again I don’t see myself as terribly suited towards engineering (I’m too much a purist at heart), but I might eventually be compelled to become interested in that, and once I do, I don’t think I’ll do badly. This also makes me wonder what I would’ve ended up like had I stayed in China. I’m sure I would’ve been weird there too, though I would also be more like everyone else. I wonder what I would have ended up majoring in there, and what I would’ve ended up doing afterwards. I’d like to think that I would have gotten a much better education and cultural experience there, though of course, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. For instance, in America, Asian quotas means you are judged relative to other Asians, but being in China means that automatically, and China, by virtue of having low resources per capita, is, needless to say, a grossly competitive society with fewer second chances, and thereby even harsher on late bloomers, though surely, the gaokao happens at age 18, whereas in America, grades start necessarily mattering at as early as age 14-5, when many are still very immature. I must acknowledge that as much as I dislike various aspects of the American education system, it is extremely generous, from what I see, relatively speaking, in tolerating failure at a young age. In China, you test into a specific department at a university, and once you’re in, it’s very hard to change, which means some land in majors they end up finding themselves unsuitable for. At age 18, it’s really hard to make such a decision, especially when you don’t really know anything about the actual content of the major, which is usually the case when one is a clueless kid. This is why I say that before you commit officially to an area, always try to learn something about it on your own beforehand to increase confidence that you actually have at least reasonable, and preferably high, talent for it.

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