Revisiting quotes of ChinaSuperpower after some time in China

I’ve been busy busy busy quite exhausted but weekend gives me a chance to wind down a bit. So I went over the VPN to read again some quotes of ChinaSuperpower on Reddit.

I’m from a technical background but unlike many especially from the Chinese diaspora STEM community in US, I’m not exactly entirely apolitical and I do not try to pretend that national and racial boundaries can be traversed unlike many an idiotic Western or Westernized liberal. Segregation per race is natural for humans and miscegenation, hybrid vigor notwithstanding, I see as for the most part quite corrosive if not socially and culturally destructive. As the Chinese saying goes, 人以群分物以类聚. I was and still is a quantitative nerd and used to hang out with mostly those types naturally but many of them are just 书呆子 with pretty low political awareness and then again naturally I don’t want to be exposed too much towards that aspect of them. Like, I will respect a high IQ banana for his technically prowess but I will not disdain him somewhat socially and treat him with some degree of suspicion.

On the other hand, ChinaSuperpower is a lawyer as he was written on Reddit. He doesn’t care all that much about pure technical ability and puts the political side before the professional side. He doesn’t want to hear more about cases of highly successful Chinese STEM diaspora and he has a very high standard when it comes to ethnic/tribal affiliation. Being a lawyer he’s obviously had to deal with much more cutthroat behavior than people in technical field. A political big fish in the latter is merely average in the former so the standard is very different.

I’ll say that with direct exposure and experience I can better understand where he’s coming from with his words.

Like he wrote

You are thinking like a diaspora, mate. Race only matters when you have the same citizenship. In Asia, where different ethnicities have different citizenships, the only thing that matters is your citizenship.

So a Chinese national will naturally discriminate against nationals of other countries that are unfriendly to China. A Chinese American will be categorized as “American” and disliked. Now a white American may be disliked as well but a native Chinese will expect the white guy to have some status within America, so he gets respect. They know a Chinese American has no status either so they will dislike the Chinese American for his citizenship and look down on him for his lack of status.

Again, this is the shitty situation created by the huge wave of white worshipping emigration from 1980 to 2015. They exploit their children as “anchors” in the adopted country for the parents’ convenience and then cut off their children’s escape route back to the homeland.

In China, without citizenship there is too much one cannot do. One cannot buy train tickets online and one can only live in hotels for foreigners that are overpriced. China is not an immigrant nation like America, China does not even pretend that non-Chinese can become Chinese, unlike America with its melting pot bullshit. A non Chinese without citizenship can only work on the fringes of mainstream society in foreign-based organizations there. Really it’s similar for Chinese in America even those with US citizenship. They tend to be in academia and tech companies full of immigrants or in Chinese restaurants. They have no place in the media or in the legal sector or in mainstream finance or politics. Their kids are subject to higher standards in college admissions because their career prospects are social influence are limited in America.

On this I shall quote a comment on Reddit.

This is somewhat true. Many are just as blind as they were when they first arrived to the US. Many stay here, buy into the story and never want to acknowledge the problems that exist in the West (US) and how this affects them and their communities.

I think the problem is the clustering of immigrants which gives them a sense of false reality. Back home in Vancouver, the majority of Asians tend to stay within their own communities. These communities live in their own bubble, but are also deeply affected by westernization in all aspects.

They get fooled that they maintain their own social dynamic and that things are good, but essentially the same rot occurs due to the way society works in the West. I have seen Chinese folks talk all proud about being Chinese and doing some superficial Chinese things, but besides these few things, they have become almost fully westernized and they would difficulty move away from this.

The reason why the diversity meme is spread is precisely because it helps spread westernization among the immigrant population. They want Asians, but they want a specific type of Asians to be represented. They want people that LOOK Asian and do some superficially Asian things, but they essentially want these people to behave in the exact same way and have the exact same political/social positions as the mainstream whites.

Given it is a slow process, most people don’t realize it. It is like the frog in the boiling water.

To this ChinaSuperpower responded with

Your post hit the nail on the head. Never underestimate the resolve and solidarity of the mainstream society in excluding Asians from real corridors of power. Instead, they cleverly peddle a superficial Asian (or Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino, etc.) community to numb the first generation emigrants into thinking they are in control.

Actually, the first generation emigrants are in control of nothing. The government remains in control of the mainstream. The police remains in control of the mainstream. The banks and big businesses remain in control of the mainstream. The unions remain in control of the mainstream. The media remain in control of the mainstream.

But you let the first generation emigrants gather together in some Asian mega church or whatever and they feel as if they are “at home.” The moment they realize they are not at home is when they change from consumers to producers.

When they have to actually make a living they realize there are no jobs. When they try to open a business their property rights are not protected. When they wonder what is going on by then it is too late: their sons have wasted years and years getting an education without real job prospects. Their daughters have spent years and years watching white savior Hollywood movies.

If these Asian enclaves never formed and all these Asian families were scattered in redneck hick towns maybe they would have figured things out much faster and retreated back to the homeland. The Asian enclaves serve to paralyze the first generation emigrants while the Western toxin works its way into the bodies of the second generation sons and daughters to change their lives forever for the worse.

I having grown up there and worked there am aware of all this. I much disliked it obviously and did what I could to keep that toxin out of my system. Nonetheless I still feel at times a little PTSD from that experience. But once well settled in China what happens in America will largely be irrelevant to me, I will have basically little reason to care. I hardly even go on English media now and as an example I never even cared to read any English media articles on the recent Huawei detainment incident aside from the one on Unz Review by Unz himself. Unz Review is out of the mainstream though. There are many Russians on there and I encourage them as hard as it may be to go home instead of being an unwelcome contrarian in America. Social position and belonging means much more than the extra money and material standard of living you’re getting in America.

Even a guy with top credentials with even stronger anti Western liberalism views than I do superficially speaking I laugh at at times to myself as merely a “Chinese nationalist wannabe banana” as his Chinese is very limited and he basically acts American in terms of many of his natural habits. I do think he can be redeemable though but with a lot of work. I encourage second generation Chinese in America with a desire to become a true Chinese to contact me and I’ll do what I can to help. At the very least I can supply some connections on 微信. It’s a very small base population though so you are probably used to your social and psychological needs not really being catered to growing up. Having gone through that experience I definitely will help in my spare time. I am aware that those who grew up in America by default would regard returning as basically not an option and I am happily challenging that default with my own writings and more importantly actual actions. I encourage more Chinese to actively challenge existing norms in ways advantageous to both the individual and the group whenever one is capable of doing so.

My blog does not get that much readership (certainly less than Steve Hsu’s) but it’s also far from negligible. People have contacted me and I have become good friends with at least one. I’m glad to have influenced some people. Those who like my blog are of course very welcome to share it. In the reverse direction, I’ll say that my contacting a Chinese in China blogger I stumbled upon through Baidu search helped me with my return to China which while not that difficult due to my relatively privileged circumstances was not exactly easy either. At the very least it brought me some connections and made me feel less alone. So maybe I can do the same for others.

I want to say to my readers that though this blog might in many ways reek of elitism, there’s no reason to feel intimidated or embarrassed. I’m actually a pretty chill person for the most part. I don’t think I am all that great either. I want my blog to provide some valuable information and encouragement to my readers and hopefully meet some interesting and helpful people through it as well. I want to write honestly too, about how the world really works socially based on my personal experience in school and in the real world, across both the Chinese and American cultures. I’ll be honest to say that in that regard I do have quite a rare combination, though that has more to do with my rather unusual background than with any terribly exceptional ability or talent, though certainly, I’m also far from a dimwit.

At the same time, I want to write more clearly and simply about my experience learning various technical topics in math and computer science and provide some suggestions on how to go about understanding them, though surely, the audience for that is smaller than for the political matters I write about. I don’t think it’s very good to try to make this stuff seem super difficult and perhaps more complex than it needs to be. I realize that many expositions present just the formality and don’t say anything about the motivation or intuition, with the appropriate analogies or context.

It’s also not my intention to show off or name drop or status signal. I have been guilty of doing that before, just as I’ve been guilty of intellectual intimidation, and all that I find increasingly tasteless. I must say that Steve Hsu’s is full of that, and it threw me off quite a bit when I first encountered it (when I was about to graduate from high school I believe). He hasn’t really changed. Not that he isn’t extremely talented and impressive, but every once in a while, he will write about how hard theoretical physics is, his contacts/connections with theoretical physicists and also mathematicians (recently Noam Elkies), and alongside that random blog posts about his sporting prowess, and also geopolitics (mostly in the form of links to videos) and then advertise these random Chinese (to clarify, mostly Chinese-Americans, not real Chinese) people and Chinese companies, and then go on about how they’re discriminated against in college admissions in a white country (with the whole controlling for all other variables, being Asian means less likely to be admitted argument that most people don’t really want to listen to). Also, his cognitive genomics and AI and Silicon Valley startup experience among other things. It’s mostly in the form of advertisement, often with links and just brief commentary, with at times some elitism in the form of name dropping and personal associations. Clearly, our formats differ greatly, with my posts being longer and in more essay format, with some actual elaborations on my thoughts and reflections coupled with some personal experiences.

I’m getting a bit tired of Steve Hsu’s blog by the way, but I certainly acknowledge the impact it’s had. It’s a pretty successful blog with many commenters, unlike mine, which has very few comments. This I’m sure also at least subconsciously has to do with the fact that I don’t really consider Steve Hsu a real Chinese, especially now that I am in China, he’s not at all culturally Chinese as far as I can tell. So as much as he advocates for China and Chinese, especially in America, it’s hard to take him that seriously in this different context. Of course, this is all a product of his having been born and raised in America. I was raised in America since first grade too, but I have more actual exposure and connection to the real China and real Chinese such that I still can be one of them.





I’ll further comment that having been in it from first grade through university the American school environment seems very effective at culturally cleansing those of Chinese descent as was done to that person’s kid despite his having done up to sixth grade in China. It is indeed 非常可怕, and again I did what I could resist the cleansing.

Seeing his shock on how just 2 or 3 years of brainwash in America managed to override a preceding 12 years of it in China, evidence of futility of Chinese education, I have a few thoughts on the matter. One, his kid is somewhat on the extreme end there; of course it didn’t help that he was put in schools full of rich white kids. Two, this has become a problem in China too, an invasion of toxic American liberal ideology. Banning Google and Facebook, and now also Reddit and Quora, is not enough. On how to solve this, I have a proposal, a rather unrealistic one at this point in time: change the de facto foreign language in China from English to Russian, China already had experience with that in the 50s and time has showed that Russian culture is more compatible with Chinese culture than the Anglo one. If China is going to secede from the world by walling off Jewish controlled Anglo media, it should do so full force, not half-heartedly.


占豪 了不起我的国 Yesterday
文|  炎之物




























































The last point is irrelevant. What matters is 会中文 and 爱国的.






Role models for Chinese who grow up in America

Now that I am older with some time out of that shitty American education system, I can better appreciate how racist and emotionally destructive it is at its core for Chinese. Of course, I sort of knew all along that the “Asian” portrayals and stereotypes within the US school system and media bears little resemblance to the real one based in China. I mostly did what I could to ignore that and learn the real Chinese culture instead. For that, much thanks to Baidu and CCTV.

And yes, I had been at least subconsciously aware of the problem of lack of good role models. Speaking of which, I just read this comment on Reddit which left me quite an impression. The author of it, though having written that he was actually born in the US (I wasn’t), clearly knows the Chinese language and culture well, if you look at his writings on Reddit. As for the specific comment, I have it copied below.

There are plenty of Asian role models if the younger generation would actually try to look.

My personal, first and foremost has to be Mao Zedong, simply because of his bravery and not giving in to pressure, especially by XMs if you think about it: Krushcev, FDR, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, etc etc.

He led the Red Army during the Long March, 6000 miles on foot, always having to worry about assassination, and when they did win the Civil War, what happens? The United States tried to get him during the Korean War, and well, we know what happened after that, pitting 2 superpowers against each other and coming out on top, with lots and lots of pressure. Also the Chinese nuclear weapons was under Mao’s watch, which is the benchmark of calling yourself a superpower.

And no, to those Asian parents who decided to come here, air conditioners and toilets is NOT the the benchmark of being a superpower, nuclear weapons are, supercomputers are, missiles are.

Funny thing is, Mao died in his 80s, with all the pressure and stress he had endured. New generation Asian emigrants come here and I’ve noticed die much earlier than the previous generation. What gives? Could it be that your abundance of food is not so good? The convenience of air conditioners, heaters and toilets made you all weaklings? Something to consider.

For intellectuals, the father of China’s nukes and missiles have to be Qian Xuesen along with all the other great Chinese scientists under Qian’s watch.

Let’s not forget all the musicians that composed those beautiful war/red songs, still written to this very day. There is just too many to name, but they should all be enshrined to be the world’s greatest artists, along with Cultural Revolution painters. The paintings are amazing.

Yang Hongji is a famous singer in China, his baritone voice is amazing, you all should have a listen, Baidu it, 杨洪基

For athletes, I do like world record holders, so definitely Lu Xiaojun and Liao Hui, along with olympic swimmer Sun Yang. Also, we have to put in Bruce Lee as well, <— finally an ABC lol, yay! I like Jeremy Lin too, he’s way better than he actually is until the Houston Rockets basically fired him because the general manager was a supreme jack ass.

So, if Asians really look close enough there is plenty of role models around, don’t look at just Americanized Asians.

Now if you made it this far reading my walls of text, lmao, how many at r/aa actually know this about history, the Chinese Asians that is? Not many I reckon. Which is why I always say, deletion of history from your brain can be detrimental to your mental health. But at the same time we still have very proud Asians even with a lack of knowledge of history. Why is that? Maybe because there is so much evidence right now that we are just better. I honestly have no idea what is going in the brains of Asians from those other subs whom we shall not name lmao.

I pretty much have felt the same as he had, aside from my not having heard of Yang Hongji and Lü Xiaojun, who are pretty minor on that list anyway. But in place of the former, I know of plenty of such Chinese cultural singers, and the latter is as far as I can tell still more or less obscure, his weightlifting world record notwithstanding.

I especially liked his

And no, to those Asian parents who decided to come here, air conditioners and toilets is NOT the the benchmark of being a superpower, nuclear weapons are, supercomputers are, missiles are.

This has been quite obvious to me all along. Economic power is not the same as standard of living as experienced directly by the common folk. People who conflate the two tend to be those mentally sick right wing liberal Chinese who I want nothing to do with. Of course, not that material standard of living doesn’t matter, it certainly does, and in that regard, China has naturally improved very rapidly the past several decades once it had its industrial and military foundation.

Another comment of his I found particularly funny,

I never knew America is actually not that strong at weightlifting, and I wasn’t able to easily confirm it through online searches. I’ll take his word on that though, and also, that Russians are really good at weightlifting is exactly what I would expect.

I do remember seeing that the World’s Strongest Man contest had an Icelandic and Lithuanian, and more generally Nordics and East Europeans, at the top. There was though an American named Brian Shaw. I told this to my racially self-hating Chinese male nerd friend with reference to the word “white,” and to my great surprise, his response was actually

Lol that’s because only white people could care about such a ridiculous contest.

By the way, I don’t find that contest ridiculous; I find it quite respectable.

Back to Chinese role models, I first learned about Qian Xuesen spring of sophomore year of high school through Wikipedia and I developed somewhat of a fascination with him. I think very few Chinese who grow up in America know about him despite his being a household name in China, simply because America is not going to advertise him. I saw that Iris Chang, famous for her book on the Rape of Nanking also wrote a biography for him in English. Sadly, Iris Chang committed suicide in her 30s out of mental illness. She was also a WMAF, and yes, I’m well aware now of the phenomenon of Asian female married to white male as Asian-American community activist, in particular how much of a joke that is.

I’ll conclude by saying that I’m not some frenzied Chinese ethnic chauvinist. I genuinely admire much of Western civilization, the science part of it especially, though I’m also aware it is much in contradiction with my heritage, not to mention that mainstream American culture and politics right now is basically completely degenerate. Again, my message to Chinese in America is to be less complicit with it. In other words, quoting that guy again,

We need to channel Genghis, do not integrate into the land you are in right now, but channel your own inner Ghenghis. We need to forget this acceptance garbage. When Ghenghis went into Iran, did he beg for integration into Iranian society? No. he went out there and just took it. This attitude is what we need.


最近在美国,正在进行的对常春藤大学歧视亚裔的种族配额制度的案子在2018年6月中旬透露了哈弗录取人员给亚裔申请生更低的所谓的“个性评分”,以此为拒绝他们之由。可预料,这引起了一场稍同情亚裔的媒体大波,而7月出头没过多久,川普政府撤销了奥巴马时期推行的大学录取种族平衡政策并颁布了新政策指南的重要举措。同时,亚裔又在纽约市强烈抵抗市长de Blasio提出的将撤销特殊高中考试录取的案,为了种族多元化而改至holistic的录取方式,难以接受在现有制度,那些特殊高中的名额大约百分之七十都占于亚裔学生。加上,芝加哥大学,一所SAT分数分布很高的接近顶尖大学,已经把SAT考试改为可选而非必要的申请件。看来随着亚裔体抗议常春藤的歧视加热而稍有进展的同时,美国的某些其它教育机构又开始给以新的袭击。看来美国社会就是对亚裔不要好啊。为此,我当然也有自己的想法。










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.

Though I am an Asian-American, I will not try to pretend. It’s so far for Harvard’s institutional interests more or less rational to do what they’re doing. Asian-Americans have very little power and influence over the institution. Sure, there is no shortage of prominent Asian-Americans professors at Harvard, mostly in STEM, but they don’t actually have all that much influence over the institution, and are mostly being used by the institution to advance its own academic reputation. The same goes for being an Asian academic undergrad admit (who can, say, win a high place for Harvard at the Putnam Contest). There is also the implicit assumption that because Asians face race-related disadvantages in the career game, especially in the corporate world, due to unconscious bias, lack of ethnic affinity networks, etc, they should be penalized, as future career success, of a form not perceived as too threatening to the current elite, is crudely what admissions is optimizing for. So, life is not fair, get used to it, and do the little that you can to try to make things more fair (or more in your favor).

I’ve actually seen some not actually very talented Asian-Americans without hooks who did make it to HYP under very striverish behavior. They played the game of try hard resume optimization, of appearing less Asian. The thing is that most of those people end up not well at all after graduation. Don’t think that HYP guarantees a good job. There is no guarantee is today’s world. Those people did too little in terms of developing actually employable skills. What they got by playing the college admissions game was essentially a pyrrhic victory. Actually competent state school kids do much better than them in the workplace. So, don’t be stupid like that.

Even many actually smart Asian-American HYP grads don’t do all that great. A common outcome is a merely solid engineer at a respected technology company. Some go to a top grad school, but success much depends on the field. Academia has very few openings nowadays, though for engineering, due to industrial demand, it is much less competitive than math or science. A common route of course for the really technically exceptional is quant finance, though those positions tend to be taken by immigrants, who generally undergo a much more rigorous STEM education with less distraction compared to what Asian-Americans receive. The thing is that so many people are irrationally desperate to attend an elite school. Some middle class parents will burn a fortune to send their kid to some fancy prep school full of rich kids, where they easily end up at the bottom half of the school’s social hierarchy, let alone for an elite university. They lose sight of the fact that in many if not most cases, major determines what you do much more than school. There are many cases of these try hards wasting much time, money, and stress for nothing.

Like it or not, America is still very much a white country. Asian-Americans can and should try, but they shouldn’t realistically expect equality. If Chinese parents really want their son to become a lawyer or politician, they should probably stay in China. It’ll be hard there as well, but your odds of success will be probably at least an order of magnitude higher than in America. Here, I use only the male qualification of child in light of how “on average, Asian American women received higher personal ratings and extracurricular ratings than Asian American men.”[3] This is, of course, consistent with what goes on in the real world as well. And it is expected, considering how historically, sexism and racism have always gone together.

A while ago, I wrote on here a rather cynical (or whatever you call it) piece in Chinese regarding elite US schools, which to my pleasant surprise a Chinese international of my acquaintance who attended Harvard commented on affirmatively. Its title has somewhat of a sensationalist provocative vibe to it, translated to English as “American elite universities as a political tool for brainwashing and uplifting (pseudo) elite of Chinese descent.” Of course, I have more or less the highest regard for the STEM being done at these top American institutions, though maybe it is a bit overrated. Much of the humanities and social science coming from those places I find quite questionable though, and that goes along with the cultural and political values fostered by these institutions. On that, I brought up how the former unsuccessful regime of China, the Republic of China, was led and run largely by Chinese graduates of Ivies of their time, who were but superficially Westernized and modernized Chinese. Despite their graduating from these elite schools, they lost the civil war and failed to modernize China, though perhaps that also had much to do with their being in the wrong time. Certainly though, many of the elite Chinese who played prominent roles in China’s modernization from the 50s on did advanced study in STEM in these top American schools. I’ll say that from my experience, it certainly does seem that these schools tend to select for Asians whose social and political viewpoints, often not very grounded on reality, tend to fit them into the aforementioned category, like Jeff Yang, with whom Steve Hsu had a debate. This is of course part of the pattern of American elites’ desire to bring elites of other countries into their circle, in a sufficiently subordinate position. On this, I’ll say how I’ve read comments on how over past half century or so, affirmative action by Harvard and other Ivies has won for American elites not only (a facade of) charity but also cultural and ethnic representatives to advance their interests in, say, African countries. For that, Harvard was useful as a binding force. Surely, Harvard has always played a quintessential role in persisting the rule and influence of the current American elite throughout the world, and like it or not, kissing the ruler’s ass is almost always the easiest way to rise up on the social ladder. In Chinese, to be America’s dog is spoken of as pejorative, but so what, there were and are too many small countries willing to do so, because it brings them, their elites in particular, much economic and political benefit.

Asians tend to be pretty obsessed with prestige. Chinese are very, and Koreans are especially so. In the 80s and 90s and 00s, a degree from a prestigious or good American school was much an upper mobility ticket in China. Now, this is much less so, because there are too many such Chinese now, and also maybe because people in China have increasingly realized that maybe these people aren’t actually all that good, in spite of their brand-name American school. A PhD from MIT from China once told me that now in China, companies are increasingly reluctant to hire “sea turtles;” you have to pay them more, when more often than not, you can find a local guy who can do the job as well or better for much less. This is a sign of devaluation of elite American institutions, and I believe this will continue, given the relatively low level of STEM education and preparation in America (which is impossible to hide to any actually smart, scientifically literate person) along with America’s overall decline.

The short-sighted and personally motivated decisions of the intellectually mediocre and politically delusional American elite over the past generation are, cumulatively, really taking its toll now, on the American economy and the credibility of its ruling class. Their elite institutions, nepotistic and corrupt in its admissions, are losing the public’s trust and alienating Asian-Americans especially, many of whom moved to a foreign country speaking little English with too much blind faith in the so-called American Dream that they sought for themselves and more so for their children. American elites may have thought that they themselves could neglect STEM, that there are plenty of talented foreigners, many of whom Asian, willing to do those jobs indefinitely, often grossly under-compensated and with their American-born, American-raised kids facing higher hurdles in education and at work. This might have been so decades ago, when in their home countries, there was still lack of economic opportunity for smart people. Nowadays, there is a booming and internationally competitive high technology sector in China, with India going that direction as well, in spite of brain drain into America. Collectively, the STEM expertise has over time not only grown itself but transformed into significant leverage for the group, so much that the elites running Harvard need to resort to rogue tactics to preserve themselves. I don’t exactly blame them. It’s just like how people who go the bullshit business and social climbing route do so largely to compensate for their inherent intellectual deficit; at least to me, that’s never a pleasant or honorable position to be in. But what else can you do, if not to accept defeat? I can already foresee such an entrenched group fighting desperately for its own survival. Harvard will do all that it can to get away with what it’s doing right now amidst much backlash. And it’s an extraordinary rich, powerful, well-connected institution, much able to manipulate the outcomes. Either they win, or they reform themselves accordingly, or they become slowly sidelined. We’ll see. I just hope they don’t resort to even nastier tactics. Though that tends to happen when power and survival is at serious risk.






On credentialism and selection systems

I’ve mentioned before that an Asian-American friend of mine, who is quite smart, disapproves of the whole campaign against Asian quotas spearheaded, or at least advocated, by Steve Hsu and others.

His words are the following:

  1. I don’t believe in legitimizing the credentialist culture of modern academia
  2. I don’t generically feel much kinship with Asian-Americans (who are the most affected by purported discrimination in admissions), even if I might feel more kinship with them on average than I would with any other large ethnic group in America (which is itself not necessarily true)
  3. I don’t find it implausible that there are legitimate reasons to discriminate against Asian-Americans in the admissions process, if by ‘discriminate’ we mean ‘weigh their formal accomplishments less than one would for a member of a different race’
  4. At the end of the line, I believe that persistent whining about this is a reflection of emotional immaturity on the part of Steve et al., in that they seem to have a ‘chip on their shoulder’ which they are incapable of overcoming, and if they were actually taking a principled approach, they would come together and try to create a superior alternative to the radically broken university system, which will likely not be saved by any infusion of Asian students

Here’s what I think.

On 1), I don’t like the credentialism culture of modern academia either. Much of it is a superficial and soulless arms race. Not that grades, test scores, publications, citations, impact factor aren’t strong signals but they are prone to manipulation and artificial inflation, and that there are qualities of work not well-captured by those metrics. People are more or less compelled to single-mindedly play this game, often at the expense of actually substantial scholarship, if they are to survive in academia nowadays.

On 2), I hate to say that this country has become more toxically consumed by identity politics over the years, not to mention that people are judged at least subconsciously by who one is associated with. So collective bargaining is crucial for a group’s position on the status hierarchy.

On 3), there is that due to Asian-Americans’ and Asians in general having traditionally been the underdog, as well as their lack of media presence, which is intimately tied to the alienness of their names in the Western linguistic context, some people are inclined to view Asians are grinds who aren’t actually as capable as they might appear on paper. Especially with the whole tiger mother phenomenon that Amy Chua popularized with her infamous book. Of course, China’s rise over the recent years has altered this perception somewhat, especially the one that Asians are smart but not creative, though surely, it does seem that controlling for grades and test scores, or IQ, Asians do seem less creative, though that may be due to environmental factors, such as de facto or implicit quotas imposed by diversity mandates and economic circumstances.

On 4), I mostly disagree. Asian-Americans don’t really have the power to create a sufficiently credible alternative in a world that runs so heavily on associating with prestigious, usually long-established, institutions like Harvard and Goldman-Sachs. In their ancestral countries, China and India, Asians can improve the university and research system and the economic and technological competitiveness of the country as a whole, so as to make their universities more credible as well. In America, all Asian-Americans can really do is make more noise around the issue to exert more pressure on the elite universities, and also donate more and enhance their media and political presence as their socioeconomic position improves, especially at the elite end, improves, so that the elite universities perceive themselves as having more to lose from discriminating against Asian-Americans based on race.

This is all I have to say as pertains exclusively to Asian-Americans. I shall now give my thoughts on credentialism and selection in general.

The job of admissions and hiring committees and HR is astronomically harder than in the pre-internet age. So many people apply for positions they are grossly under-qualified for, now that it’s so easy to shoot off a resume or application online. There are, of course, application fees for college and grad schools, but they are not enough to deter. This means in the selection process can be afford now significantly less time per candidate, and one can argue that as a consequence, the process becomes more bureaucratic and easier to game. Often, people will in the pre-screening stage eliminate all applicants who do not meet certain formal criteria, such as minimum GPA/test scores or a certain degree from a certain set of sufficiently credible universities. In the case of academia, to my limited second-hand knowledge, committees will look at publications lists with a focus on citation count and impact factor of the journals on which the papers were published and also verify the candidate against senior, tenured faculty in the same or at least similar area of research. In the case of industry jobs, what matters more is the interview, where for technical roles, technical questions will be asked to further test the technical aptitude and knowledge, as well as, the softer aspects of communication and personal chemistry. For non-technicals, I can only say it’s even more about credentials (school, companies, job titles, dates of employment) and how you present yourself. I can only conclude that way more energy is expended now in aggregate on application and selection than before, which is quite costly really. In the career world, people are mostly out for themselves and don’t really care about wasting other people’s time, so long as they can get away with it with impunity more or less.

I’ll say that there is a tradeoff between optimizing for one’s formal credentials and optimizing for one’s actual ability and knowledge. One loses out so much more now if one neglects the former too much due to more competition per position. Surely, there has been gross inflation of credentials. This is in its crudest form epitomized by college’s having become the new high school, thereby rendering prestige of institution a stronger signal. Furthermore, the largely consequent grade inflation and watering down of coursework has added more noise to school transcripts. Contest training, for math in particular, has become so much more popularized, that to not have credentials in those raises questions in some circles, and moreover, there is so much more of an obstacle course of summer programs and scholarships and grants and internships and jobs which one must pass through to some degree if one wants a reasonable chance of success at a specified level. In this sense, there is more pressure to conform to an existing, often complexity-ridden system. It may well be that people nowadays are not all that much better in terms of knowledge and proficiency than before, correcting for the positive effects of technology on learning, but they actually put in much more time and effort.

Now, if one expends much energy on actual substance, there is concern as to what would be lost if those translate not into formal credentials. Arguably more common is the other way round, where one turns into a soulless credential-chasing machine. I’ve been amazed at how many people manage to achieve much higher grades, test scores, and awards than what their knowledge and ability from interaction with them would reasonably indicate. Those people tend to be very boring and risk-averse, and they are often the types our current system selects for, like it or not.

I used to feel like to prove that one is actually smart, at least in STEM, one ought to do sufficiently well in one of those major math, physics, or computing olympiads or contests. I would say that for raw technical ability, that is probably still the strongest signal. Grades are somewhat noisy, because it’s not hard to copy or snipe homework solutions, and for tests, there is a large cramming and figuring out what’s gonna be on the test component. Perhaps they are more consequentially so as there are also some genuinely capable or even brilliant students who for related personality reasons have a hard time getting themselves to care too much about grades. I’ve personally seen some high GPA people, even in college, who signal in what they say or write complete idiocy that would make you wonder if they were pretending stupid, especially if said person were female. Some people learn much more deeply and also much more broadly, outside of what the system teaches them, to a high level of retention, much of which is not captured through any formal credential. From my personal experience, tests of a wide range of knowledge, sufficiently substantial but not too esoteric, are stronger signals since they cannot be crammed for, but they are, for the difficulty of organization, seldom administered.

In the real world and in academia though, what matters is the ability to deliver actual projects and conduct meaningful research, and those, while correlated with ability to learn, are not quite the same. Those are also way more context-dependent, which means more noise, both due to more variance and more ambiguity of judgment.

I will say that at times or even often, society is met with the problem of people finagling themselves into a position to judge what they are not really qualified to, per their ability and expertise, which means some resume-padding bozos rising up and actual competents being passed over. This problem I believe has been accentuated by the ever more credentialist culture that has emerged over the recent years. What’s kind of sad is how the more conformism and risk-aversion rises, the more these traits are pressured and selected for.

I’ve come to notice that there tends to be some difference between maverick genius and the conformist first-rate professional. If one looks at history, real genius, the ones who create paradigm shifts, tends to have more very lopsided profiles, though surely, it might go too far to say that *most* of the real geniuses were out of it in a Stallman or Galois like fashion, especially as it’s the deranged ones which garner more attention. But one can say with high level of confidence that there were many real geniuses who had a hard time fitting in even into the elite mainstream of his profession, who have even been marginalized. I’ve been told that the real genius mathematicians like Perelman, Langlands, and Shimura more or less cut contact with the mathematical community apparently out of disgust. There is also evidence that plenty would-be real geniuses did not actually make it, with their enormous potential having been thwarted by the system at some point and hardly realized. In an ideal world that optimizes for collective value, if somebody else can do the job much better than you and actually really wants to, you should let him do the job and get out of his way. Of course, reality is far from that. I have personally felt that way with regard to my mathematical ability, often feeling that I wasn’t good enough when I failed to derive something on my own, yet I see so many people worse than I am even so eager to play the whole credentialist game without recognizing how deficient they really are. This suggests that I am very partial towards a certain side of the spectrum. I even feel that in some sense, nothing is more embarrassing then formally being much higher than what one’s ability actually merits, since it demonstrates not only incompetence but poor character. However, I am, regrettably, or not, feeling that circumstances are pressuring me ever more towards the opposite direction.

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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
Elaborate on that one 
Name a totalitarian society that was innovative
Germany under the Kaiser wasn’t really totalitarian
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 
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?
So much of the global telecommunications infrastructure
Now their phones, which US is banning.
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

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.

On the broader topic of technology in China, it is needless to say that they are still quite a ways behind America and the advanced Western countries. Look at what the ZTE ban has done. China has its own CPUs but not the ecosystem for it. China still buys and deploys much of its most advanced military technology, including jet engines and surface-to-air missiles, an indicator that its indigenous versions of those are still seen as unproven, unreliable, and of lower quality, though surely they’ve made great strides on that the past decade. I stumbled on the video of this military parade held on August 1st, 2017 to mark the 90th anniversary of the Nanchang Uprising that showcased some of the latest developments. I didn’t like it all that much at first, with its overall presentation, the imagery and music in sync, kind of, how should I say it, corny, and I felt the music paled in comparison to the music of the Soviet Red Army, which is very hard to beat, at least based on my taste, though listening to the music again, I grew to like it more. Surely, I would characterize the whole thing as rather sinister, and representative portions of that would be this and this. Musically, the part that left the most memorable impression was this, and to be honest, I found the non-musical aspect of that part both awkward and sinister, especially coupled with the music. I’m sure many people in the West would view this parade as rather weird, or even effeminate, as much as I hate that stereotype of East Asians in America.

Yet in spite of overall and in some cases critical backwardness, China is managing to unveil a face recognition system at a level of sophistication and scale, and also scariness/creepiness that many in America could only dream of. Surely, that was far from my expectation. Who knows. Maybe in a decade, China will have a nationwide genome database. I say this with the awareness that for anything of scale, there is a tremendous advantage to homogeneity and central organization. We already see, in the case of face recognition, China’s using this to compensate for its inferior technology as far as strict quality and capability is concerned.

As far as I can tell, Chinese and Chinese society place a strong emphasis on STEM and the society as a whole is far more scientifically literate than American society, which is advantageous for certain pro-STEM policies and government, though surely, China is still struggling to produce the best people in many areas, for which the corresponding elite subcultures in the West are difficult if not impossible to transmit. It will be very interesting to see what kind of novel stuff comes out of China organically over the next decade or so, especially as China seeks further to create its own distinct ecosystem, as opposed to remaining in many ways still a subsidiary of America and Russia. In any case, I am quite a fan of the political culture of China, and on the contrary, I am rather sick of the one in America.

Math festival

I had the pleasure of volunteering for a math festival for elementary school children. There were puzzles, mathematical games, various fun math worksheets (sometimes with figures of animals as variable names heh), building blocks, and the likes. It was organized by some Russians working in technical fields in the area, of which one family has produced some relatively distinguished mathematicians, which go back to, of course, the Soviet era. I was thoroughly impressed by their organization, energy, and enthusiasm, as well as their variety. I had briefly attended back when I was a high school student the math circle that they had started well before then even and kept up till now.

Again, this furthers my impression that Russians/Soviets have quite a culture of pure pursuit of excellence, that some highly educated ones in STEM have brought over to the US as well. When they were not satisfied with what kids were getting here, education wise, they started their own math circles. I was actually, at the crypto-arithmetic station I was mentoring, with this adult adult, who was mentoring the same station. I would, expectedly, when there were no kids there, talk with him (occasionally in my very limited Russian) about various things, such as software technology and also competitive programming in Russia. On the latter, this year’s ACM ICPC, held in Beijing, was won by Moscow State and Moscow Institute of Physics & Technology, with Peking University and University of Tokyo taking third and fourth, despite the home field advantage. This is consistent with Russians beating Chinese and Japanese on TopCoder and CodeForces as well, with the former American organized one in decline, much out of its outdated Java Applet (and almost certainly an over-bloated, unmaintainable legacy system) user interface and the latter Russian organized one on the rise. On this, that guy was like: in Russia, people really care about doing things well, in America, people do things for money, which only sometimes leads to good results. He said that back in the Soviet era, life was much better for kids, because activities such as sports and math were free, though of course, there were selection mechanisms in place on limited capacity, which really encouraged kids to become really good at what they chose to do. Moreover, he was like if America, with its abundant resources, actually utilized it very well for education, it would be like a paradise, except that’s far from the case. I told him that it seems like Russia’s economy and science research, despite difficulties, is resurging. On that, I had read on Zhihu that the younger generation of Russians has produced some real stars in math, most notably this guy named Alexander Efimov, who is the youngest invited speaker of the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) this year, or something like that, and they are staying at that Steklov Institute or similar places instead of coming to America. I also brought up my knowledge of the existence of Yandex and vKontakte, Russia’s Google and Facebook respectively, as well as its vibrant defense sector. While at the event, something came to my mind, which was given all the hype of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections, will there be backlash soon too for supposed Russian interference in American education, with events like these? Yes, I noticed how the event was full of Russians and parents and immigrant kids of other nationalities, and Americans were few. I like how the Soviet Union and Russia has quite a different ecosystem, both culturally and technologically, which is a positive for diversity. It seems like though Russia is essentially Western culturally, white and Christian, the West is so reluctant to accept her as a member of the Western community, and on the contrary, many of these idiot American politicians are always seeking to give her trouble. On this note, I remember how Gwydion Williams keeps emphasizing and reiterating how the West blundered in the 90s by ruining Russia with awful economic advice instead of more wisely integrating the fallen USSR into the Western system, which she would have been eager to be part on, so long as terms were reasonable. In any case, I find that the USSR left us some pretty damn good stuff culturally, scientifically, technologically, and artistically, and I am willing to acknowledge and appreciate that notwithstanding how many in our current culture might perceive me for it.

Bob Sykes on Disqus once said:

Russia’s economy is often derided as merely Spain East, but the range of things they do indicates that their economy is at least as large as Germany’s and might be as large as Japan’s. Our economists not only produce deeply flawed policies, they can’t even count.

I agree. I heartily believe that GDP is a deeply flawed measure of economic power. It is a very artificial, human construct. It does not take into account the quality or self-sufficiency of the economy, and is prone to artificial inflation. In Russia’s case, it is transparently clear to me that they are grossly underrated, both right now and potential wise, largely for political reasons. It is transparently clear to me that Russia has the advantage of possessing, for the most part, 1) the expertise and infrastructure to create military hardware that is at least close to American/Western levels 2) a highly scientifically literate and technologically skilled workforce and population 3) ethnic and cultural homogeneity (which America certainly lacks and could be ruined by, eventually) 4) a culture and education that emphasizes excellence and substance over superficial flash and showmanship. So despite what on the surface appears to be deep difficulties and a near permanent state of collapse, I am confident that Russia will make quite a comeback in a matter of time. Of course, altering and correcting perception, under American/Western controlled world public opinion and political norms, is another matter.

In order to not digress too much into politics, I’ll conclude with some photos I took from today’s event.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.