YouTube removing subscribers of American Nathan Rich who speaks the truth about China (油管在把一位讲中国真实的美国人的订阅者减掉)

视频的链接(微云的,在墙内):https://share.weiyun.com/5aOdhYn

上周一位在美国念书的人在微信群里发了那个视频的油管链接,之后我才得知这个人。记得那时候看到有900多还是1000多订阅者,现在只有597了。

2019-02-16 下午7.44.45

看来到时候中国官方的油管账号,什么央视什么新华也会被拿掉了。我好想看到什么新闻说好多大陆油管账号最近被屏蔽了。

基本道理是什么,权利是基础啊,这是别人控制的媒体啊,别人想咋样就能咋样啊。中国在世界依然缺乏权利,真正听中国的国家没几个,也就巴基斯坦和北朝鲜吧。而且北朝鲜中国也只算二哥,继承苏联的俄罗斯依然是大哥。华为事件告诉我们最根本还是要有能力把其他国家拉倒中国的体系和阵营,这光靠经济是不够的,最根本还是政治影响力,而政治影响力的基础更多是军事和政治关系。中国人需要在这方面做出更大的努力,而且要慢慢通过经验找到更有效的方式。

vKontakte (вКонтакте) and a return to Russian

Sunday while taking a break I decided to see what’s up on Unz Review. Most memorable was https://www.unz.com/ishamir/banned-by-facebook-for-telling-the-truth/ by Israel Shamir. Ultimately, that inspired me to make a list of alternatives to media sites and internet services controlled by Israel/Jews/Zionists/Hasbara. vKontakte, which means “in contact,” was on that list. And so, with some free time, I made an account for myself and chatted on there with a Russian tenured professor in the US with similar views. I haven’t touched Russian (the language) for a while, but vKontakte sort of brought me back to that. Just like one can’t avoid the ads within one’s Facebook messenger contact list, one can’t avoid Russian content on vKontakte. I saw plenty of posts in Russian with comments in Russian. So yet another distraction. It’s quite unlikely that I’ll ever use the language very directly, especially in a way that helps my career. The main benefit of knowing it is to access some content. The better I am at reading it the easier it will be for me to learn about that other really rich and powerful cultural world. I remember long long ago somebody told me that Russian is useless, because Russia’s economy sucks, and they’re really only good at aerospace, but they’re not going give you their state of the art aerospace technology anyway. To be fair, the content both in science and engineering and in politics and the arts in Russian is quite substantial. It almost rivals or even rivals or even exceeds the English language world. I am already quite a fan of their music after all, which was what led into the language in the first place. And it’s some actually high culture, not the spiritually poisoning garbage in the English media.

I’m not sure where vKontakte will lead me. Maybe I will find it more or less useless. Maybe, more positively, I’ll actually meet some more interesting people on there, and in addition to that enjoy some more authentic content in Russian.

More generally, it feels quite the peace of mind to be far away from the suffocating and mind-killing cultural and political environment that is America, that is the English language mainstream media, that is a manipulation by a group that is a political cancer of the planet. I only want to dissociate further from it. I encourage more dissatisfied people to do what one can to get away, or at least explore outside it a bit, much more effectual than simply moaning on those very channels/media.

Readers of this blog are now welcome to add me on vKontakte: https://vk.com/id527440648.

周末过得还相当充实,做了些翻译和业余的编程

周五晚上,我想到可以把Ron Unz在他的媒体网站Unz Review上发表的关于孟晚舟事件的文章翻译成中文。所以周六就那么做了。少部分不太好翻译的地方我就漏掉了。结果是

=================================================================
Averting World Conflict with China
避免与中国的全球冲突
The PRC Should Retaliate by Targeting Sheldon Adelson’s Chinese Casinos
中华人民共和国应当以针对谢尔登·阿德尔森的中国赌场回击
RON UNZ • DECEMBER 13, 2018

As most readers know, I’m not a casual political blogger and I prefer producing lengthy research articles rather than chasing the headlines of current events. But there are exceptions to every rule, and the looming danger of a direct worldwide clash with China is one of them.

如大多读者所知,我不是一个一般的政治博主,我更倾向于创造较长的研究性文章而非追随时事中的标题。不过每一个规律都有意外,与中国直接全球化冲突的风险也是其中之一。

Consider the arrest last week of Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Huawei, the world’s largest telecom equipment manufacturer. While flying from Hong Kong to Mexico, Ms. Meng was changing planes in the Vancouver International Airport airport when she was suddenly detained by the Canadian government on an August US warrant. Although now released on $10 million bail, she still faces extradition to a New York City courtroom, where she could receive up to thirty years in federal prison for allegedly having conspired in 2010 to violate America’s unilateral economic trade sanctions against Iran.

考虑上周华为首席财务官孟晚舟的拘捕。在香港飞往墨西哥的过程中,孟女士在温哥华国际机场转机时突然被加拿大政府凭八月的美国拘捕证而扣留。虽然已以一千万美金的保释金而释放,她依然面临被引渡到纽约的法庭,在那里,她有可能为据说10年违反美国单边对伊朗经济制裁被判长到三十年的联邦监狱。

Although our mainstream media outlets have certainly covered this important story, including front page articles in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, I doubt most American readers fully recognize the extraordinary gravity of this international incident and its potential for altering the course of world history. As one scholar noted, no event since America’s deliberate 1999 bombing of China’s embassy in Belgrade, which killed several Chinese diplomats, has so outraged both the Chinese government and its population. Columbia’s Jeffrey Sachs correctly described it as “almost a US declaration of war on China’s business community.”

虽然美国的主流媒体绝对报道了这个重要的发生,包括纽约时报和华尔街时报的头版,我不觉得大部分美国读者完全意识到该国际事件的重要性以及其改变世界历史道路的潜力。如一位学者指出,自美国1999年对中国南斯拉夫大使馆的导致好几位中国外交人员死亡的有意轰炸,没有任何事件引起过中国政府和人民同样的愤怒。哥伦比亚大学的杰佛瑞·萨克斯正确的称之为“接近于美国对中国商业圈的宣战”。

Such a reaction is hardly surprising. With annual revenue of $100 billion, Huawei ranks as the world’s largest and most advanced telecommunications equipment manufacturer as well as China’s most internationally successful and prestigious company. Ms. Meng is not only a longtime top executive there, but also the daughter of the company’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, whose enormous entrepreneurial success has established him as a Chinese national hero.

这中反应一点不出乎预料。有千亿的年营业额,华为是世界最大的,最先进的通讯设备供应商及中国国际上最成功最有威望的公司。孟女士不仅是在那儿资深的高管,也是该公司创始人任正非中国国家英雄的女儿。

Her seizure on obscure American sanction violation charges while changing planes in a Canadian airport almost amounts to a kidnapping. One journalist asked how Americans would react if China had seized Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook for violating Chinese law…especially if Sandberg were also the daughter of Steve Jobs.

她的在加拿大转机时根据不明确的美国制裁违反的公诉的拘捕接近于一个绑架。一位记者问了美国人如果中国为了违反中国法律拘捕了雪梨·桑德伯格会如何反应,尤其假设桑德伯格又是乔布斯的女儿。

Since the end of the Cold War, the American government has become increasingly delusional, regarding itself as the Supreme World Hegemon. As a result, local American courts have begun enforcing gigantic financial penalties against foreign countries and their leading corporations, and I suspect that the rest of the world is tiring of this misbehavior. Perhaps such actions can still be taken against the subservient vassal states of Europe, but by most objective measures, the size of China’s real economy surpassed that of the US several years ago and is now substantially larger, while also still having a far higher rate of growth. Our totally dishonest mainstream media regularly obscures this reality, but it remains true nonetheless.

冷战结束以来,美国政府在变得更加妄想,将自己当为世界霸主。结果是美国本地的法庭已开始实施针对其他国家以及其主要公司巨大的罚款,我认为世界对这种不当做法已耐烦透了。或许这种行为可被施加在欧洲的服从诸侯国,可是据大多客观指标,中国经济的规模好几年前就已超过了美国的而现在已经大很多了,同时也有远远更高的增长率。美国的完全不真实的主流媒体通常掩盖该事实,但它依然是事实。

Since a natural reaction to international hostage-taking is retaliatory international hostage-taking, the newspapers have reported that top American executives have decided to forego visits to China until the crisis is resolved. These days, General Motors sells more cars in China than in the US, and China is also the manufacturing source of nearly all our iPhones, but Tim Cook, Mary Barra, and their higher-ranking subordinates are unlikely to visit that country in the immediate future, nor would the top executives of Google, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, and the leading Hollywood studios be willing to risk indefinite imprisonment.

因为对于国际逮捕的自然反应是报复性的国际逮捕,报纸已报道美国顶尖高管已决定放弃了对中国的访问,直到该危机被解决。今天,通用汽车在中国卖的车比在美国还多,并且中国也是我们几乎所有的苹果手机的生产源,不过提姆·库克,玛丽·巴拉,以及其他们的高层下属在近期未来访问中国的可能性很小,同样,谷歌,脸书,高盛和顶级好莱坞影片厂也不会愿意冒险无期徒刑。

Canada had arrested Ms. Meng on American orders, and this morning’s newspapers reported that a former Canadian diplomat had suddenly been detained in China, presumably as a small bargaining-chip to encourage Ms. Meng’s release. But I very much doubt such measures will have much effect. Once we forgo traditional international practices and adopt the Law of the Jungle, it becomes very important to recognize the true lines of power and control, and Canada is merely acting as an American political puppet in this matter. Would threatening the puppet rather than the puppet-master be likely to have much effect?

加拿大已服美国命令拘捕了孟女士,而且今天早晨的报纸报道一位原加拿大外交家已突然被中国扣留,为了赢得小的鼓励加拿大释放孟女士的一张牌。不过我一点都不觉得这种措施会起多大的效应。一旦美国放弃传统的国际标准并引用“丛林法则”,关键就在于识别真正权利和控制的渠道,并且加拿大不过在该事务上为美国政治傀儡。威胁傀儡而非傀儡的主人会有多大的效果么?

Similarly, nearly all of America’s leading technology executives are already quite hostile to the Trump Administration, and even if it were possible, seizing one of them would hardly be likely to sway our political leadership. To a lesser extent, the same thing is true about the overwhelming majority of America’s top corporate leaders. They are not the individuals who call the shots in the current White House.

同样,接近所有美国顶级技术高管已对特朗普行政部门比较反感,即使可能,逮捕他们之一也难以影响美国的政治领导。以更小的程度而言,大多数美国公司的领导也是一样的。他们不是那些在当日的白宫具有决定权的人。

Indeed, is President Trump himself anything more than a higher-level puppet in this very dangerous affair? World peace and American national security interests are being sacrificed in order to harshly enforce the Israel Lobby’s international sanctions campaign against Iran, and we should hardly be surprised that the National Security Adviser John Bolton, one of America’s most extreme pro-Israel zealots, had personally given the green light to the arrest. Meanwhile, there are credible reports that Trump himself remained entirely unaware of these plans, and Ms. Meng was seized on the same day that he was personally meeting on trade issues with Chinese President Xi. Some have even suggested that the incident was a deliberate slap in Trump’s face.

在该时间中,特朗普总统高于一个高层傀儡么?为了强硬实施以色列游说集团对伊朗的国际制裁,在牺牲着世界和平以及美国国家安全,我们对美国国家安全顾问约翰·博尔顿,美国最激进的亲以色列人之一,批准了该拘捕的消息应当一点不惊奇。同时,有不少可靠的报告称特朗普自己都完全不晓得这些计划,并且孟女士被拘捕是在特朗普和中国习总统亲自为贸易问题会见的同一天。有人都说该事件是对特朗普故意进行的打击。

But Bolton’s apparent involvement underscores the central role of his longtime patron, multi-billionaire casino-magnate Sheldon Adelson, whose enormous financial influence within Republican political circles has been overwhelmingly focused on pro-Israel policy and hostility towards Iran, Israel’s regional rival.

不过博尔顿的参与却强调了他多年的资助人亿万富翁赌场巨头谢尔登·阿德尔森的中心作用,该人在美国共和党政治圈的极大金融影响力一直大多针对亲以色列政策并对伊朗的敌视。

Although it is far from clear whether the very elderly Adelson played any direct personal role in Ms. Meng’s arrest, he surely must be viewed as the central figure in fostering the political climate that produced the current situation. Perhaps he should not be described as the ultimate puppet-master behind our current clash with China, but any such political puppet-masters who do exist are certainly operating at his immediate beck and call. In very literal terms, I suspect that if Adelson placed a single phone call to the White House, the Trump Administration would order Canada to release Ms. Meng that same day.

虽然高领的阿德尔森是否对孟女士的拘捕有个人直接影响不明确,他绝对可以被视为产生创造当日情况的政治气候的中心人。或许他不能被描述为当今美国与中国当今冲突的绝对傀儡主,不过任何存在的政治傀儡主觉得在他的即使指令下操作。非常直译的形容,我怀疑如果阿德尔森给白宫打了一个电话,特朗普行政部将命令加拿大同一天释放孟女士。

Adelson’s fortune of $33 billion ranks him as the 15th wealthiest man in America, and the bulk of his fortune is based on his ownership of extremely lucrative gambling casinos in Macau, China. In effect, the Chinese government currently has its hands around the financial windpipe of the man ultimately responsible for Ms. Meng’s arrest and whose pro-Israel minions largely control American foreign policy. I very much doubt that they are fully aware of this enormous, untapped source of political leverage.

阿德尔森330亿的身价将他排位美国第十五最有钱的人,而且他的资产大多源于他在中国澳门非常赚钱的赌场的所有权。可以说,现在中国政府已掌握着始终决定了孟女士的拘捕并且其亲以色列下手大多控制着美国的外交的人的金融气管。

Over the years, Adelson’s Chinese Macau casinos have been involved in all sorts of political bribery scandals, and I suspect it would be very easy for the Chinese government to find reasonable grounds for immediately shutting them down, at least on a temporary basis, with such an action having almost no negative repercussions to Chinese society or the bulk of the Chinese population. How could the international community possibly complain about the Chinese government shutting down some of their own local gambling casinos with a long public record of official bribery and other criminal activity? At worst, other gambling casino magnates would become reluctant to invest future sums in establishing additional Chinese casinos, hardly a desperate threat to President Xi’s anti-corruption government.

这些年来,阿德尔森的中国澳门赌场涉嫌到了各种各样的政治贿赂丑闻,我怀疑中国政府能很容易找到理由立即至少临时的关闭他们,该措施对中国社会和大多中国人几乎不会有任何负面影响。国际舆论何可抱怨中国政府关闭一些它们自己本地具有多记录的官僚贿赂及其他非法活动的赌场?最差,其他赌场富豪会不愿意将未来的钱投资到成立新的中国赌场,对习的反腐政府一点都没有威胁。

I don’t have a background in finance and I haven’t bothered trying to guess the precise impact of a temporary shutdown of Adelson’s Chinese casinos, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the resulting drop in the stock price of Las Vegas Sands Corp would reduce Adelson’s personal net worth were by $5-10 billion within 24 hours, surely enough to get his immediate personal attention. Meanwhile, threats of a permanent shutdown, perhaps extending to Chinese-influenced Singapore, might lead to the near-total destruction of Adelson’s personal fortune, and similar measures could also be applied as well to the casinos of all the other fanatically pro-Israel American billionaires, who dominate the remainder of gambling in Chinese Macau.

我们有一个金融背景,也没顾得上猜测阿德尔森的中国赌场的临时关闭将产生的具体影响,不过非出乎我预料的是他的公司的股价的猛跌能在二十四小时之内把将他的身价降50到100亿美金,绝对足以引起他本人立即的注意。同时,永久关闭的威胁,或许延续到中国影响的新加坡,有可能导致阿德尔森资产接近彻底的毁灭,而且类似措施可以被实施到所有其他狂热亲以色列的美国亿万富翁,那些人占有着中国澳门其他的赌场。

The chain of political puppets responsible for Ms. Meng’s sudden detention is certainly a complex and murky one. But the Chinese government already possesses the absolute power of financial life-or-death over Sheldon Adelson, the man located at the very top of that chain. If the Chinese leadership recognizes that power and takes effective steps, Ms. Meng will immediately be put on a plane back home, carrying the deepest sort of international political apology. And future attacks against Huawei, ZTE, and other Chinese technology companies would not be repeated.

决定孟女士的突然扣留的政治傀儡链绝对是即复杂又隐蔽。不过中国政府已经对该链首位谢尔登·阿德尔森的经济死活具有绝对把握。如果中国领导层认识到这一点并执行有效措施,孟晚舟将能够立即回家,并带来最深厚的一种国际政治抱歉。而且,未来对华为中兴以及其他中国技术公司的攻击不会重演。

China actually holds a Royal Flush in this international political poker game. The only question is whether they will recognize the value of their hand. I hope they do for the sake of America and the entire world.

中国其实具有该国际政治扑克游戏的童话大顺。问题就是他们会不会意识到他们的牌价。我希望他们能,为了美国,为了全世界。
=================================================================

已经翻译完了百度了阿德尔森才得知天涯社区已经有人把它翻译了,链接为《UNZ》华为反击,中国握有一张王牌:阿德尔森的赌场(转载)_国际观察_论坛_天涯社区

然后,周六晚上,本来想周日出去转转,但后来发觉到我可以将我发布的Chrome管理标签页(tabs)的扩展程序国际化下支持中文,尤其得知现在已经有中国的人用了。所以,周日就这么做了,新的支持中文的版本可以在https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/tab-organizer/mbmmpilinpiapfcmknmjgikgoeicadka下载。当然,那是谷歌的子域名,被墙了,谁若知道没有被墙的下载并安装Chrome扩展程序的地方,欢迎跟我说一下。所预料,发布这个还必得登录谷歌,专门有个这方面的谷歌开发员账号。在该过程中,我又在我的github上加了我的腾讯邮箱,但是github竟然不支持,我想是不是因为github 15年据说起源于中国的分布式拒绝服务(DDoS)事件啊。我也想中国有没有一个github的克隆啊,意思就是github的功能基本包含,但基本只有中国人,完全被中国人控制。

我还想说,墙我现在主要是需要的时候才翻。谷歌脸书我都基本不用了,也不需要用了,除非比如通过谷歌账号给Chrome社区和中文国际化做点小贡献这种非常情况。美国英文媒体除了Unz Review和Steve Hsu的博客我是不怎么看了。其实在中国这种英文的那些精神污染被墙掉的环境中生活这种舒服我还真能非常有意识的感受到。中国在这一点做的很好,既不给美国公司白送那么多信息,数据和广告钱,又能好好建设自己的互联网生态,这一点俄罗斯都没有做到,比如俄罗斯我还没看到有个如爱奇艺或优酷这样的大视频网站,Yandex搜索苏联歌曲都在YouTube上。

关于那扩展程序的国际化(internationalization -> i18n),是这样的,如果你的操作系统语言是非中文(zh),那会默认显示英文,要想让它显示中文,必须把操作系统的语言设置改一下,我自己就是这么测试的。可预料,中英文文字都放在一些配制文件里,然后会根据系统的语言设置读取该显示的文字。

An email I wrote to a Russian in Russia on my thoughts on media/information sovereignty

I feel some of its content is worth sharing more widely. So I’m copy pasting it here with some modifications.

I’m kind of disappointed that Ron Unz blocked my comment in Chinese on his article http://www.unz.com/runz/averting-world-conflict-with-china/. I made a few more today, suggesting someone on there to email me and others to join a potential WeChat group (but there’s a chance they’ll get blocked too). I’ve attached screenshots.

I also don’t like this clause

Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter

There are some particular people on the site I’d like to talk more in private, like AnonFromTN and Vidi. I’ve exchanged a fair bit with the former already on that site publicly, who is a Russian immigrant biologist. Do you have his contact information?

There is also that Unz Review is really high latency (aka very slow). It was in the US too. After all, images plus hundreds of comments have to be loaded all at once. I actually prefer not to turn on my VPN while in China. Chinese sites hosted in China load slower if I use that (even when I use its Hong Kong configuration) and turning on/off is an annoyance. Sadly, if I want to listen to some Soviet songs, I basically have to go on YouTube. Even Yandex video results are almost all YouTube. Now that is something that Russia didn’t do right, not making their own large video site (tell me if there is one).

In that Chinese comment of mine, in reply to a guy almost certainly Chinese who is very pro Chinese communist according to his comments (text below along with screenshot in case you want to copy paste to an online translator), I wrote that even though Unz Review is contrarian towards American mainstream, it’s still an American media, in English, and that if he likes the Chinese communists so much, he would do much better to support some Chinese companies, maybe work for one, than comment in English on a fringe media site political viewpoints few English readers really want to hear.

I increasingly realize how much power these media companies have due to their control of dissemination of information. America obviously wants to bring the world into their media monoculture, with Google/Facebook/YouTube/Twitter and also English as the de facto international language. Their possession/control of all that user data as well as the media platform in itself gives them tremendous leverage. China has done remarkably well at resisting that, much better than Russia has.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Chinese being a very different language is quite an advantage for the Chinese. Makes the Chinese population much harder to culturally conquer, a perfect political shield. Unlike Russia which is kind of halfway between East and West culturally closer to West so it’s far less immune to the Western toxin. I find myself so much happier without Google without Facebook, within the Chinese internet bubble. Search including for technical I can get from Baidu and instant messaging I get from Weixin. Life is good interacting in person with only Chinese in Chinese and online with the occasional non-Chinese like you who I actually enjoy talking with. I don’t have to give a fuck about what an American or Indian or Jew thinks unlike in the US.

I’m encouraging people of the right background in the Anglo world dissatisfied with it to detach from it instead of arguing/fighting within an Anglo system controlled by the other people. That is the best way to show contempt and exert leverage. Those Russians could transfer the time and energy spent reading and commenting on Unz Review to doing things which directly support Russia (like, read and comment on RT instead, which is actually controlled by Russia). Arguing on somebody else’s media in their language on their turf against them is but a losing game.

你是中国人吧?怎么说呢,有大陆人也觉得中共利用了日本军队消耗国民党的力量,当然也有人觉得这被夸张了。其实,多争论这个没啥意义,若那么爱共产党,可以直接支持一下中国的企业,比如用一些中国的互联网和电子产品,能的话为中国公司工作,比用英文宣传共产党多厉害要强多了,我个人就将这个选择实现了,做了个小榜样。脱离而置之不理才是藐视他人最好的方式。
同时,可以找到与你道相同的或可能相同的人针对性的影响组织,少浪费时间与不认同你的人。Unz Review是逆于美国主流的地方,所以能找到一些支持中国的人不过它依然是个英文的美国媒体,真正的中国人也很少会在这上面评论。稍微看了你的评论历史,对你稍有好奇,欢迎发我邮件gmachine1729 at foxmail.com,然后可以加个微信多认识一下,把你介绍到更多与你道相同的人。
你藐视国民党是不是也藐视韩国啊,如孔庆东一样,他写的一首讽刺韩国的诗实在太妙了。
独立韩秋。汉江北去,孔子挠头。看红男绿女,招摇过市;肥猫瘦狗,潇洒同流。渴饮酱汤,饥餐泡菜,欲涮火锅不自由。勒裤带,问姜葱大蒜,谁主沉浮?
招来百侣同游,正说道苦行岁月愁。叹无业妇人,风华正茂;有闲老者,诟骂方遒。半壁河山,断碣文字,亦敢扬眉傲五洲。曾记否,在上甘岭下,万骨成丘!

My Huawei phone arrived

Sunday out to meet an old friend at a restaurant in Beijing while navigating my iPhone suddenly died in the cold and couldn’t turn on for a while. After about five minutes it finally went on but at 10% battery when before it was at 70%.

So I thought time to order a Chinese phone instead. Sunday night I did so online on JD 京东 and today at noon it was delivered. I spent only 1000 RMB (less than $200) on it. Let’s see how long it lasts being so much cheaper. I ordered a cheap one after my physics professor friend in China told me he never goes beyond 1000 RMB when ordering his Huawei phones. There were Huawei ones that are like 4000 RMB iirc.

For those of you still stuck in America who can’t return in the near future who want to support China in this trade war you can start by using Xiaomi for phone and boycotting Google and Facebook. Americans go out of their way to devalue Chinese companies and there is every reason for Chinese to do the same to America in return.

张首晟的去世

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

记得2015年底,我在湾区餐馆跟朋友吃饭看到了张首晟在另一个桌子和他老婆和有一对夫妇一起吃饭谈话,当时,我已经知道他是非常有名气的斯坦福理论物理学家了。可能那时候我也知道他搞丹华资本这件事情了,感觉是他在利用斯坦福大学物理教授的威望为中国人在硅谷争取一些地位,不光要当大物理学家,还要当什么民族领袖,民族英雄。当然,我也意识到他拿着美国名校的终身教职来为中国人搞VC真的不是他应该做的事情,会引起别人对他的不满,不过他在那种位置,别人也不能把他怎么样。不过,一些主流的白人VC若对他有仇,我想还真的能让他的风险投资商难以持续。我认识的那位与张首晟稍有过接触那位物理学家是说在风险投资界他根本不算啥,老美根本不会买他的帐,只有中国人会因为他的位置听他忽悠。比如,我在美国认识一位斯坦福大学的本科生,女生,也是学物理的,她跟我说她妈妈还会参加一些湾区张首晟讲VC的活动。那个人也说他的VC的钱也没有那么多,也就四亿,输一次就基本输光了,下面的图来自方舟子。

DtzCC49UUAAAC-Y

如那个人所描述,输光了给他融资的人就要找他打官司了,而且会揭露他的一些非法的操作,就是不自杀也得坐牢了。

我还记得有一次网上看到了他的一个视频,是在斯坦福大学举行的那种启发美国华裔中学生那种活动,网上可以搜到,那里边他讲了他的一些人生故事和价值观。记得一开始他说起他长大的文革时期中国的气候是不鼓励学习的,然后又说起他父母是工程师,然后家人有好多学过文科的人,自己小时候多么多么善于自己读书学习。然后还开始扯美国建国的人如Benjamin Franklin, John Adams的一些理念,说什么我自己要做一些实用的挣钱的事情,为了我的孩子或孙子能够从事更创造性的如艺术之类的工作。他说同样,我们这一代移民来到美国好多为了留下,为了挣钱,却选择了工程,他属于少数坚持他对理论物理热爱的人,但第二代就比他们有远远更好的条件,应该去追求自己的梦想,最自己喜欢的东西。他说的这些也有一定道理了,当然,他扯美国建国人的时候我有点感到不舒服,我想他是不是觉得自己在美国名校斯坦福举行这种明目张胆的华人利益活动有点不要脸了,他真的觉得中国人应该学习美国建国人那套吗,以白人至上主义和暴力逐出印第安土著人建设一个华人没有什么真正地位的国家吗?他跟那些孩子讲完了之后,在旧金山的中国领事馆的一个代表又开始采访他了。在那一段谈话里,我记得他说中国人在美国都混得不错,大多是在做工程。是,那些科技移民在硅谷都有比较好的工程工作,整一个相当高的工资,不过相当少能成为经理,很少能够创办自己的公司,也没有那么好,在美国依然算相对边缘。还记得他又提到自己的儿子在哈弗上学第一学期在上一门中国近代历史的课,不过都是用英文以美国的眼光讲,同时儿子中文也不错,也读了陈独秀的一些中文文集。我想这活动肯定是那儿的中国领事馆组织的,由于张首晟当时是拿了政府的钱本科时去德国留学的,中国政府的人依然觉得有资格“利用”他一下。

我还想说张首晟和他孩子都是虔诚的基督教徒,我也看到他的孩子对他们的基督教信仰还都比较公开,甚至到有点痴迷的程度。这种在美国华人里,据我所知,还是少见的,这种科学人及基督信仰混合在白人里我看到不少例子,华人这样却让我感到有点不对劲儿,至少感觉有点奇怪。我想这样做在中国会得到一定的排斥,毕竟太逆行于主流,尤其解放后,看到为此,方舟子也对张首晟表示了不满。同样,我认识的那位物理学家觉得基督徒的张首晟搞这种投机收利息的行为是比较讽刺的。

最后,为这位伟大的华人物理学家的不幸而逝默哀。他无法得诺贝尔奖真的是可惜了,我想好多中国人会为此感到遗憾。历史给予他什么样的地位,只有时间会告诉我们。

A call to boycott Jewish media

A few days ago, on WeChat, somebody sent me the following screenshot,

which just goes to show how egregious censorship really is in America.

So, I have some American friends who I wish to tell some things, but I am hesitant to over Gmail/Facebook, the two most common means of communication in America now, for the reason that I don’t want a permanent record of the information stored within an American institution run by people I have no reason to trust with that information.

This is something I’ve been aware of for quite a long time but have mostly kept to myself. You see, there are guys like Andrey Martyanov who are very much against virtual Jewish control of America, yet ironically, he uses blogspot (which was acquired by Google I believe) to blog and Gmail as his email. If he is so against Zionism, why is he trusting an arguably Zionist institution with his information and communications and thereby indirectly endorsing it? He is a Russian who came to the US in the 90s when there was economic crisis in Russia. Why can’t he use a Russian email instead?

Now, when a Russian from Russia emailed me with a mail.ru email, I felt much more comfortable communicating with him. It feels very different talking with a Russian in Russia. Unlike with a Russian in America, I don’t have to worry that he’s some idiot US loving liberal. Or at the very least, I don’t have to worry that some American boss can extort him or at least influence him into some degree of submission. He’s in Russia where he doesn’t have to give a fuck about a US law that would by default side against him, where there are no US taxes or English as the official language.

Having been in China for a while interacting with almost exclusively locals, I no longer view most Chinese in America as truly Chinese. Especially if they refuse to a Chinese medium of communication like WeChat, especially if they insist on using Gmail or Facebook, both explicitly blacklisted in China. In that case, I will refuse to share any serious information with them. If they insist on trusting Jewish controlled American institutions with their personal information, then they will have to bear its consequences. The longer they persist with this, the less likely their ancestral home country will accept them. They will have then placed their fate into the hands of people who have basically no reason to care about their wellbeing.

Somewhat predictably, some of my friends in America seem reluctant to register a WeChat to communicate with me or with others on there with common views who they might be interested in connecting with. They may be similarly unhappy with much of America right now, in particular its ruling class, but they either do not care enough to do anything at all, don’t know how to go about it, or are afraid to. Yes, venting on Quora and Reddit are options, but experience has told us that being banned from Quora on trumped up charges for writing eloquent answers which displease its VCs is a very real possibility. That has in fact happened to a former top writer with 8500+ followers.

My main message is that if you dislike Silicon Valley or the American Jewish establishment so much, you’re not completely stuck with them. You can get out of America, though it might be difficult, as it requires finding a job in and moving to another country. For as long as you are stuck in America, you don’t have to use Facebook or Gmail either, except when really necessary. For your private personal communications, you can register for and use a non-American email provider or messenger, like WeChat.

As for monitoring by the Chinese government, they absolutely won’t give a damn unless you try to organize some serious anti-China political activity on there. Even if you talk the cliche human rights, communist dictatorship crap on a small scale on there, there’s basically a 100% guarantee that nobody will care. Nobody internal will care enough to go to the trouble to read your messages. In fact, both Tencent and the Chinese government might well be happy to see more internationalization of their product.

By boycotting certain mainstream American internet products, you not only transfer a tad of both data and advertising revenue to whatever else you are using in place. You also send a political message that encourages more people like you to do the same, thereby making it more socially acceptable behavior. Not to mention how through that, you might meet some interesting people who may lead you to some good opportunities, as happened to myself.

I shall conclude by saying that there is little point in fighting from within if your political views are marginal or directly at odds with the American mainstream as societies are naturally top down. In some sense, you cannot achieve anything serious without being part of the mainstream of whatever organization or society you are part of. Yes, go find the minority of people in America who think like you, but in addition to that you are likely to reap a bigger fruit connecting with people outside America, not difficult in today’s internet world. Do what you need to do for minimum survival but past that, the best way to protest is to ignore and detach, not by arguing with or trying to influence people fundamentally opposed to you.

My first on-site software interview in China

Last night, speaking with my headhunter, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that in China, the tech hiring process is usually just one 2 hour on-site. If you pass, you’re hired after that. Maybe in a big company if they really like talking with you, they’ll continue to talk with you overtime and it might last 4 hours. This is in stark contrast to what I’ve experienced in America. They almost always have at least one phone screen that lasts 45-60 min. Sometimes, there are two. Sometimes, there is a code test too. The worst on-site I’ve had is the LinkedIn one that started at 10 am and ended at 5 pm with a one hour lunch interview where you are still judged and evaluated. There are basically no breaks in between. It’s exhausting and quite a waste of time for both sides in my opinion (there’s, I guess, the aspect of testing stamina and social polish as an artificial method of selection, but really, wouldn’t the time be better spent into doing actual work or resting). I personally think that an excess of time and energy spent on selection and social proof via rather artificial channels is quite detrimental not only for productivity but for the overall culture. I must say that the Chinese internet industry is smart not to do the same bloated hiring process of code test plus phone interview plus full day on-site interview, they were smarter than I actually expected, as I was quite surprised to learn this.

To explain this, that headhunter said that the Chinese tech companies value efficiency. I thought of this more as “trust.” More like, they trust that you’re not a bozo and by default, they trust that you are competent and well-intentioned and they don’t go out of their way to screen that you are through a long and rather flawed process. When I mentioned this, he said, yes, and more specifically, that Northern Chinese tend to be high in mutual trust and also very direct in communication with each other. This conforms to what this AG guy on Disqus has written Steve Hsu’s blog from what I remember. I am of Northern Chinese descent too by the way. That guy said that as Northerners with limited contact with Southern Chinese we might not really realize this.

As for this first (in China) on-site software interview, it was with a consumer technology company with already over 10 million users. It was for a backend developer position. The interview with basically three rounds (of like 40 minutes each) of talk about resume/experience plus some algorithmic coding questions. Those algorithm questions were super trivial (at least for me). They were about the level of difficulty of the questions asked by big internet/software companies in America. Honestly, they are questions that a smart high schooler who did those algorithmic programming contests could easily answer. But we all know that real software engineering has little to do with that, the challenge is more with the design and scale of codebase and ambiguity and business/products requirements. I asked one of the interviewers how many machines there are for their MySQL data, and he said only 4, which sounds about right. As for scalability, in most cases it is not really a problem in this industry. A single Apache/Nginx instance can handle 10,000 concurrent connections and usually over 1000 requests per second. See, though they have over 10 million registered accounts, in practice, for this type of internet service, the average user is actively making requests only for a very small fraction of time (certainly less than 1% and usually under 0.1% to be fair). In other words, requests per user over time are very sparsely distributed. So just a few instances of the same web service would be sufficient.

Afterwards I talked with this software engineer about the tech industry in America, in particular the long interviews, the high turnover, and the short average job tenure. We both think that this is rather inefficient and bad for morale. Long interviews means the ratio of time spent both interviewing for jobs and interviewing candidates to actually doing meaningful work is much higher. High turnover and short average job tenure means not only more of the already long interviews but also much more time spent on acquainting with and setting up development environments and tools and frameworks and learning/reviewing new material as opposed to actually doing meaningful work. That guy claims that in American corporate culture, the default is high mutual distrust, with interviews being a method of probing candidates and pressuring them to reveal embarrassing information about themselves or lose their social polish out of exhaustion. I do feel perhaps such negative views of his on American culture are rather extreme and perhaps somewhat unwarranted, but maybe a detailed writeup by him of all that he’s said to me on those matters would convince me otherwise.

A kudos to Weiyun (微云), Tencent’s awesome cloud storage

I learned of foxmail.com as an email service provider through correspondence with a guy (who was using it himself) who dropped out of Harvard’s PhD program in economics to do startup in China. He actually commented a few times on this very blog. (See this and this.)

I’ve already sent some emails with my foxmail.com email account now. What initially disappointed me was that it for some reason wouldn’t let me authentic using several email clients I tried, including the default Mail on Mac as well as Mozilla’s Thunderbird, not mention Tencent’s Foxmail client itself. I don’t like to use web client for email, mostly because Google, as great as its technology is, is so monopolistic and privacy invasive. Yes, I’m not going to let you log all my searches by my email account. But with the email clients not working, I was left with only the web client, which is not bad. I had tried Sina email before, and the whole user experience was pretty shitty, leaving me with a poor impression of Chinese tech companies.

Through Foxmail, I learned of Weiyun, Tencent’s cloud storage service. Before that, I tried Baidu Yun, and it was quite disappointing, with very low reliability, though now in hindsight I would expect the paid version to work at least reasonably well. File transfer to Weiyun was initially only about 100 KB / s. But its paid version, which comes with 3 TB storage plus 30 GB worth of fast file transfer per day, costs only 10 RMB / month (< $2). Seeing that, I promptly linked my credit card to WeChat Pay to subscribe to it. After that, its performance vastly exceeded my expectations.

The file transfer speed went up significantly, with what’s shown in the screenshot before an underestimate (it’s usually 500 KB/s)

FileUploadOnWeiyun

Moreover, they support notes in Markdown.

MarkdownOnWeiyun

Now, this would be the perfect place to store all my notes and lists.

I guess we wouldn’t be surprised that its stock has still gone up so rapidly the past few years, notwithstanding its size. I can’t believe its market cap is already 3.5 trillion. Even Google and Microsoft are not in the trillions. It was back in 2014 when I first heard of BAT (for Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent). Interestingly, the three are in different cities, Beijing, Hangzhou, and Shenzhen respectively. Now, of the three, Baidu is by far the weakest, with less than 100 billion market cap. Even Alibaba, at around 500 billion, is nowhere close to Tencent.

Screen Shot 2018-07-28 at 6.33.30 PM

Back in 2014, these Chinese tech companies were basically completely off my radar. I barely used WeChat then. And Alibaba is e-commerce in China, so I have no reason to use it. Baidu’s search engine I had started using since probably around 2007, so that’s the one my personal experience has been closest to. I guess that might change now with Weiyun. I’m honestly pretty impressed with Tencent, though admittedly, its WeChat isn’t all that great. WeChat’s security has been questioned; it does not implement end-to-end encryption, which is when the server does not store the message in plaintext. For those of you who want end-to-end encryption, there’s WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram. WhatsApp was bought by Facebook. Signal started off through a non-profit relying on donations and grants but that underlying organization was acquired by Twitter. Telegram was created by a Russian who earlier founded vKontakte, the Facebook of Russia, who later became somewhat of a Russian dissident, now in the UK.

Speaking of political dissidence, turns out so is one of the main creators of the celebrated Markdown, Aaron Swartz. Sadly, he committed suicide at age 26. Kind of like a Galois of programming.

As for his background, Jewish American. But looks like he was super against the system, I guess in the “libertarian” way? Seems like a real genius too smart and creative and anti-authoritarian for his own good, and he really suffered for it in the end. There are a lot of Jews like that (Ron Unz is rather close, and so is Bobby Fischer maybe), though of course, there is more of the money and power, Zionist, pro-American establishment type of Jew. In any case, Jews tend to be really politically outspoken and active. I guess they feel much more at home in Western society, unlike East Asians. There are plenty of politically ambitious and radical Chinese, contrary to the stereotype, but they tend to be in China. The whole Chinese revolutionary culture and tradition is quite another matter, and very foreign to the West. As for those liberal Chinese dissidents in the US, they are kind of a joke in terms of what they have actually achieved. In any case, I’ve noticed that in the US, it’s not really that socially acceptable for a Chinese-American to be too political and outspoken, the way Jews can do and get away with on a regular basis, for obvious reasons (the foreign culture combined with lack of media ownership and representation), unless one decides to become anti Chinese government, in which case support from various American political organizations and Congressmen won’t be all that hard to find. In any case, Chinese in America are but a passive minority. The Chinese with real leadership and political ambition should definitely stay in China.

Speech recognition between American and Chinese companies

I’ve already written here that I started trying out speech input. I’ve tried various ones for both Chinese and English, namely Apple, Sogou, and IFlyTek. Sogou is a relatively well known, at least in China, company that used to have sizable search market share quite a while ago. It’s also famous for its Chinese input method, which is its default. IFlyTek is this little known company in Hefei, Anhui, that can tap smart graduates of the University of Science and Technology of China (中国科技大学) there, arguably the nerdiest school in China. I was rather disappointed, and my impression was that these Chinese companies have a long way to go in AI, compared the top American ones.

Curious to see a more objective comparison, I did a test, where I recorded something on this matter that I thought of impromptu.

Yes, it sounds very hesitant and stumbly, because it was entirely improvised. But it’s good enough. What did, Apple, Sogou, and IFlyTek generate respectively when tested on this audio file.

Apple

我想做一下作业,然后试试中国公司和美国公司的语音识别比较一下。我排客之后对这些中国公司感到非常的失望,就不用说,谷歌苹果很可能都比最好的中国公司多苹果。的强项不是我觉得中国的科技公司这两年好多都是媒体可以的。他们斗地主还是继续在美国所找到的人也都是下个二流的同时,很可能在中国的顶级的开发人,还知道那就是说最好的开发员可能在美国还比中国多多得多。(here, many characters were actually omitted as opposed to misrecognized)

Sogou

我想在这上面做一下录音然后试一试中国公司和美国公司的。语音识别你想一下我还克我肯定会之后对那些中国公司感到非常的失望就不用说,谷歌苹果很可能都比这里好的,公司的好多。虽然苹果强项不是人工智能我觉得中国科技公司这两年好多都是媒体吹的他们谁小技术还是咱俩落后基本上没到的人也都是香的,二流的。同时很可能在中国的电机的开发员还少那就是说最好开发员华人开发员在美国还比中国多甚至多的多

IFlyTek

我想,在这上面,做一下录音,然后试一试。中国公司和美国公司的,语音识别,比较一下。拍客,我肯定会,之后,对,那些中国公司,感到非常,的失望。就不用说谷歌了。苹果,很可能都比,这个好的中国公司,做的好的多。苹果。都瞧瞧,不是人工智能。我觉得中国。的,科技公司,这两年。好多都是媒体吹的,他们,11首。的技术,还是落后,即使在美国,所招到的人,也,都是相对流的,同时,很可能,在中国的。顶级的开发员,还。,那就是说。最好,的开发员。华人开发员。在,美国,比中国,多,甚至多得多。

It turned out that Sogou and IFlyTek are actually a bit better than Apple for speech recognition, to my surprise, which just goes to show how flawed subjective impressions can be. Of course, all of them made numerous major errors, such that I can see why speech input still isn’t widely used (as far as I know). Even for English, Apple make some errors. I told me friend this, and he said, “strange, it’s usually pretty reliable for me, maybe your voice isn’t clear enough.” Though he was using Google’s on an Android, and we all know that Google is the world leader in AI, almost certainly quite a ways ahead of the other top companies in it. So I tried out Google’s as well, via this, and the result was

我想在这上面做一下录音然后试一试中国公司和美国公司的语音识别比较一下我差可我肯定会之后对那些中国公司感到非常的失望就不用说谷歌苹果很可能都比最好的中国公司做的好的多虽然苹果的强项不是人工智能我觉得中国的科技公司这两年好多都是媒体吹的他们实际上的技术还是等等6号其实在美国所招到的人也都是香奈儿流的同时很可能在中国的顶级的开发源还非常少那就是说最好的开发华人开房源可能在美国还比中国多甚至多的多

It’s comparable in accuracy to IFlyTek, maybe a bit worse.

Of course, I’m sure Google and Apple invested relatively little on Chinese speech recognition. Just like Sogou and IFlyTek invested little on English (or maybe they trained on English spoken with Chinese accents), because their English speech recognition basically felt like complete garbage.

In any case, we can still see that speech recognition and AI in general still has a long way to go. After all, your AI is only as good as the data you feed to train it. It will never handle cases exceptional to the training set and not programmatically hard coded, unless there is a major paradigm shift in how state-of-the-art AI is done (so something even better than neural nets).

Whoever reads this is welcome to do a similar experiment comparing Google Translate with Baidu Translate. I did, but I didn’t record the results so it doesn’t really count as a completed experiment.