Thoughts on Google in China

I stumbled upon this MIT Technology Review article: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612601/how-google-took-on-china-and-lost/. It was quite accurate and well-written. I have put it in my reprints section. Link: https://gmachine1729.com/reprints/how-google-took-on-china-and-lost/.

I remember seeing it used back in its infancy back in 1999. Moreover, around 2000 probably, my mom showed me some newspaper article on the two Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Her words were something like, “they’re so young and already so rich and successful through this. If you’re really good at math, in the future maybe you could become like them too.” I was very little at that time.

There isn’t actually any serious math in most software engineering. Sure, PageRank has some math involved, with matrices and eigenvectors applied to “link analysis,” but overall, it’s more of an engineering, with the math just a tool. My math ability is quite strong but nothing spectacular, and my software engineering ability is probably quite mediocre though certainly good enough to be a software engineer at a top company, as I’ve already done.

Speaking of math, Sergey Brin’s father was a math professor at University of Maryland. Due to his being Jewish, he wasn’t able to officially be a graduate student in the USSR, but the system there back then was flexible enough to let him earn his PhD by passing some exams and writing a thesis with some original work in his spare time, while he worked in the Gosplan, if I remember correctly, the institution involved in economic planning. His dad was unable to get a full time job doing math despite the PhD, despite being quite a good mathematician. Eventually, their family took the difficult move to immigrate to the US, and Sergey ended up hating the USSR for “totalitarianism.”

We all know that USSR very much sided against Israel during the Cold War, so Jews there were by default persona non grata. Though you could become an exception if you really proved yourself not too Jewish in your politics or whatnot, as did Iosif Kobzon (the baritone singer of Soviet red songs considered the Russian Frank Sinatra) and some others. In any case, the USSR didn’t let Jews fuck up the country for their own benefit as the US has done, which is quite respectable. The Jews there made enormous contribution to arts and sciences with their talents, though not in a way that was so much “for the Jewish interest,” as has been the case in America.

I don’t exactly blame Sergey for his political stance. He’s a Jew, not a Russian. I bet he never really felt Russian, just like how I never felt American despite growing up in America. To align with the US over the USSR is very natural for a Jew, for reasons too obvious.

Before I developed some knowledge and credentials, I naturally saw Google very highly, almost blindly so. But over time, I saw some not all that great people becoming software engineers there, which is only natural given how many people they hire. A PhD student told me to my great surprise during my second year of college that I’m definitely smarter than the average Google developer. IQ wise that almost certainly is the case, but being a successful software engineer there is much more than about IQ.

Now I obviously don’t have any awe of Google. Almost certainly, it has the best distributed systems and AI technology. It has the most active users of any internet company in the world (its search engine, Gmail, Chrome, etc). I know and have interacted substantially with many engineers there. 90% of its money is through advertising, and because advertising is so lucrative when you are such a huge media platform, they can afford to pay its employees better, even if most of its engineers do pretty mundane work. Google has also done quite well at marketing, it’s come across as so cool and sexy, and for anybody to challenge it, that person would be mostly viewed as rather strange and uncool.

Larry and Sergey founded the company as graduate students at Stanford. They made a prototype search engine (pretty much a toy project) and I read they almost sold it for a million dollars (it was rejected because the other party found probably their thing not all that great). But after persisting with it and turning it into a company, they managed to secure enough funding and credibility that they could hire some really top notch engineers to make a top-notch technical product.

Yahoo was number one before Google (and was close to acquiring it even), but eventually, Google triumphed. One could say that Jerry Yang and David Filo could have become Larry and Sergey. Or maybe not. Larry and Sergey had a better background. US venture capitalists naturally would prefer Jews, especially a Jew from the Soviet Union who denounced it. Quality of technology is only one aspect of success. Connections and marketing tends to matter way more. Usually once you have enough of the latter, you can more or less buy the former. Larry and Sergey certainly weren’t the best at technology themselves, but they managed to hire people who were to create the real Google. In fact, people were telling me about how there are still traces of them asking some really naive technical questions on the Internet.

I remember Google’s leaving China in early 2010 all over the press. At that time, Google seemed so awesome, and the Chinese government seemed so uncool and shameful. Google appeared to have the moral high ground fighting against an evil communist dictatorship. They had like 25% market share at the time, while Baidu had around 60%, based on what I remember. Kaifu Lee was heading Google China and he was considered a big deal. (I’ve written on here about reading his Chinese book titled A Walk into the Future back in 2008 which after I actually learned math and computer science and actually spent time in academia and the software industry realized was kind of full of shit.) But after Google left, Kaifu also left. He failed to deliver Google in China. As for why Google actually left, that’s quite complex and hard to know for certain. Google will say it was due to being hacked and its principles against censorship. Baidu will say Google was losing money in China (I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case). Some will say that the Chinese government pretty much forced it out.

As written in that article from Technology Review linked above, the Chinese government has gained much more power and credibility over the past decade, though still disliked in the West. A decade ago, the Chinese government felt like China really needed Google and Silicon Valley giants for the technology and expertise and thus had to make certain concessions; now, that is no longer the case. A decade ago, people in China still really looked up to America. To challenge America’s credibility, especially that of its top institutions, like Google, like Harvard, would have given people some really funny looks in China. Now, with the benefit of China’s sizable advance in economy and technology, the trend seems to be turning. People are thinking more critically now in the face of an authority, including myself, reaching conclusions politically difficult to accept a decade ago.

From my reading and talking with people in China, as China gradually opened up in the 1980s, with more Chinese going to America and spread of American media in China, many in China lost confidence with the home country and eventually questioned the ideology and political system. The difference in level of technology and standard of living was one between heaven and earth. For instance, back then, cars were something that pretty much only organizations could afford. For the best of that generation, success meant being able to go to America for graduate school. Of course, the difference between US and China in 1980 was far smaller than in 1950, but people then did not think that way. They only saw superficially that the material standard of living in America was leagues higher. It was such that people even looked up to the four Asian tigers of South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore as examples to learn from, let alone Japan. After the 89 incident, the political climate in some sense went further in that direction despite the government crackdown and more people wanted to leave the country.

Now that China is far more developed, more people are realizing the foolishness and shortsightedness of certain behaviors and decisions back then and more openly calling them out. As a consequence, people now kind of hate Deng Xiaoping, who some would regard as having come close to having seriously ruined the country. Quite prominently, China in 1980s was already test flying some Boeing 707 like passenger aircraft that was heavily invested in from 1970 on. But much due to its association with the people in power during the Cultural Revolution that Deng’s faction sidelined afterwards, the project was cancelled and the fruits of the R&D, the expertise accumulated, was pretty much wasted. If not for that, China may well already have had her own passenger aircraft in service by 2000, whereas now the target is roughly 2025, after they decided to restart R&D of passenger aircraft sometime in the 2000s. Back then, the political climate was such that integration with America and the rest of the world trumped actual, high quality development. As for those top mainland Chinese who went to America, some did well in academia and industrial R&D, while many only became more or less average engineers or scientists, all within American institutions, as a passive, second-tier minority. Many of the seconds who might have tried to go to America but weren’t able to (or a minority of top people who were patriotic enough to not buy into America even in that climate) ended up heading important projects in China or getting rich in business. As a concrete example, China has developed her own satellite navigation system, Beidou, which entered worldwide service lately according to online sources, an alternative to GPS that came 20+ years later. The Chinese in China who lead that endeavor might not be as smart as the smartest Chinese in America, but they have valuable expertise that no group of Chinese in America could ever have. Beidou is much more valuable than Google, which is honestly quite easily replicable, just at lower quality and scale. In contrast, only America, Russia, and China have the technical expertise and resources to a develop a satellite navigation system.

I’ve come to realize more so over the past year or two that over the 40 years of opening and reform, China did not get all that much from America, nothing that close to outweighed the risk of being dragged into a fire, which I managed to (one could say, narrowly) escape. In contrast, what the Soviets gave to China the 1950s industry and technology wise provided China’s modern foundation; it has been decisive to China’s success today. Moreover, the political and cultural influence from the Soviet Union on China is actually a durable one which has drastically transformed the inner soul of the Chinese people and nation for the better. Remarkable that forty years of direct exposure and interaction with a powerful and subversive America could defeat it not, with the trend now turning the other direction.

I view America and the Anglo world as powerful but shortsighted. There is a culture and system wherein it tends to be that the elites, to enrich themselves, in the long run screw over their entire system, which inevitably burn themselves too. For instance, the colonists in America didn’t have enough people to do farm work, so they imported slaves from Africa, and so, we have today the black problem in America. More consequentially, there is the deindustrialization of America that will be very difficult to reverse, a side of effect of outsourcing so that the elites could reap higher profits. American elites judge too much based on virtual economy and artificial economic indexes, whereas the Russians and Chinese, worse at self-deception, judge more on actual capability and quality in technology and physical production.

I’ve seen other Chinese judge the Jews similarly. By the way, Google is much run by Jews so one can view Google as somewhat a reflection of the Jewish way of thinking and doing things. You see, Google has almost religious faith in the the whole democracy and openness is necessary for innovation bullshit through which the American political mainstream judges China. In the Anglo media, you see many a Jewish pundit supported behind the scenes by some Jewish finance and media linking America’s creativity and innovation to free speech, market economy, and democratic system. I think it has much more to do with that the Industrial Revolution started in Great Britain (as for why, that’s very complex) and with the Anglo world’s colonization and exploitation of resources and labor than with any of those meaningless political buzzwords. The latecomers, Germany, Japan, Soviet Union, China have exceeded in the Anglo world in industry and technology in many aspects, and all four of them developed very rapidly when they were “totalitarian dictatorships.”

Recently, a Chinese mother (who spent a decade in the West but returned to raise her kid) cracked me up by saying in Chinese:

I feel like there’s no comparison between Jews and Chinese. Not even in the same league, one is a fox, the other is a lion.

Though a bit of an exaggeration, there is much truth in this. And I can see such a metaphor in Google’s interaction with the Chinese government as well. Sergey Brin and those Jews and Jew ass-kissers within Google, many of them technically brilliant, thought they were so smart and crafty and bound to win, and the test of time only made a fool of themselves. Same with the pro-West faction in China during the opening and reform. For a while, many people bought into them, but the long term outcome was that they became more despised by the mainstream in China after it became more manifest how lacking in foresight they were.

Jews are brilliant and they are crafty. They can produce genius scientists and artists, and they know how to do business and gain political power in the Western culture. For that, they can be quite full of themselves. But collectively, they lack the deep foresight and wisdom possessed by the Chinese, who’ve actually had their own country for millennia. Jews throughout history basically ran around leeching off other people, while the Chinese, whose civilization started in the so called Central Plain, expanded gradually the culture to pretty much all the land area of the People’s Republic of China today. Despite conquest by the Mongols and Manchus in the Yuan and Qing dynasties, the Han Chinese culture culturally reversed conquered the conquerors. Despite that modern science was developed in the West with the country semi-colonized and plundered following the Opium Wars, China managed to produce a Mao and Communist Party and modern China that is set to triumph over the Jewish run West over virtually all fronts.

This difference I believe is very much a fundamental difference in the collective genes of the two groups, of which the genes of the individuals, later moulded by the collective cultural environment, are constituents with interact in a complex fashion. It is inherent and cannot be changed. On this, I regard myself to be yet another data point, an true outlier not so much in my ability but in my perspective, which enables me to with the benefit of reading and experience independently come to the conclusions expressed and elaborated in this very piece, and others on my blog, despite that I was supposed to be instead culturally moulded by the other side by virtue of growing up in America.

Finally, something related to Google that I’d like to point out is that I have an extension published on there for organizing browser tabs: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/tab-organizer/mbmmpilinpiapfcmknmjgikgoeicadka. You’re welcome to check it out. I mentioned this to a colleague at work in China and some people in the company use it. While doing software engineering, I can easily have 100+ tabs open, so this tool can help me easily find and navigate to the one I want and select and delete the unwanted ones in bulk. Though I dislike the top leadership and political values of the company, I still contributed to their developer community. Not only for free, to publish that required I pay some $10 fee to make a developer account. Chrome was certainly an extremely successful product, and if I remember correctly, that Pichai spearheaded it helped him become CEO.

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卖国骗子李开复

关于他,我2018年9月在知乎上发表了回答,对于为什么越来越不喜欢李开复的问题。

昨天,看到了搜狐上的别了,李开复–奇特“导师”不为人知的二三事,自然想起了我最初对李开复的认识。这篇文章我也微信宣传了一下,以下文字为介绍

记得高一时一无所知的我却被他的一本书所忽悠,当时基本只在美国学校环境中,对互联网行业并不了解,并对此有一定的敬畏感,所以这样的人写的东西,我自然就信了,当时我还无疑的把美国顶尖学校和技术公司非常看好,了解中国好多以美国或美国华人的眼光,后来慢慢通过知识和经验的积累敢于得出了在美国难以想象的结论:中国核心科技从美国根本没有得到多少,远远更多来自了前苏联,微软和谷歌算不上多么核心的科技,门槛没那么高,尤其后者主要依赖英文互联网,李开复在严重污染中国青年的世界观,最好和美国保持距离,有些贸易和学术交流就足够了,把更多的精力和资源放在发展中国自己的企业和机构,让那些给美国当买办的人彻底边缘化。

那本书《与未来同行》是我妈妈在读,我妈妈建议我读的,当时我的中文也不太好,但是那本书用的都是非常通俗的语言。记得当时我妈妈跟我说李开复当了微软的VP,又当了谷歌的VP。我爸爸妈妈都不是做软件开发员的,不是学计算机的,对计算机知道也很少,那时候我对计算机也一无所知,可是我的数学在同学里算好,自然我妈妈可能想我将来会对计算机感兴趣,并能把我引进这比较挣钱的行业。后来,我也在硅谷大公司当过码农,李开复当高管的这两家巨头我也都拿到过做软件开发的工作,在那些地方认识不少人,了解他们是怎么回事。

反正记得李开复在那本书里写的都是他的教育哲学,人生哲学,没啥真正特别有含义的东西,大多是比较神话硅谷成功的人,说美国如何如何好,中国教育和学校如何如何有缺陷,好多那些我当时可能都相信了。

后来,我学了计算机科学,写了直接影响上万用户的代码,了解这个行业是怎么回事儿了。同时,我也上了研究生的数学课,在高中和大学数学竞赛都得过一些不算大但不可忽略的奖,至少证明了我有一定的能力,认识了一些数学博士等等,就不那么好忽悠了。同样,我的中文也大所提高,让我接触到了一般在美国的人很难接触到的信息,更正确的了解了中国的历史背景。

说起中国的历史背景,李开复是国民党后代这一点,我最近才真正知道,当前,只知道他是台湾人,初中来了美国。他爸爸却是黑中共的“历史学家”,伯伯和叔叔都51年被人民政府枪毙了。非常明显,他有强大的势力背后支持他在中国搞渗透,这一点,我也是2018年才真正认识到。

在美国长大以美国的意识形态为标准自然是默认的,长大时所听到的对于中国都是中国制造质量差,中国缺乏创新,中国需要跑到美国才能更有creativity(创造性),看到最好的华裔科学家工作都是在美国做的,李开复写的也基本朝着这个方向。我来到美国是因为父母来,长大听到的好多是,能跑到美国的人都有一定的能力,因为我们有能力,你才能在美国享受优越的生活这类的话。得到的总是一种中国不行,小时候太穷,而我们那代的美国人都有资源活远远更丰富的生活,所以中国人都想跑到美国来,都要学习美国。简单的例子,那么多中国父母在美国叫孩子学钢琴,是因为他们自己小时候没那个机会,把它看成作为成功父母的标准之一,而且还会和其他父母比。

后来,我慢慢发现大多这些我接触的第一代移民的观念有很严重的问题。对于他们小时候的中国,个人是穷,没有钱,他们都学不了钢琴,但这不意味着不会有极少数孩子,来自特殊家庭或者特别有天分的能得到一些国家的资源成为钢琴演奏家(反正一个没很强的音乐天分的人学钢琴意义价值不大)。对于很多东西,他们看得非常表面,缺乏远见。他们觉得他们自己能和美国有关联,有不得了了,即使自己没啥地位,就是个非常普通的工程师,没想到白人都根本瞧不起他们。然后,一个在美国稍微混出点名堂来的华人,如李开复,那在这些人眼里就不得了了。

说实话,实质远远更重要,要看你懂什么,做了什么。美国也有底层,也有中国人跑到那儿刷盘子的,的确美国的牌子当年很有价值,但这都不是永恒,现在美国的牌子就远不如以前了,而会继续朝着这个方向走。随着这个趋势,李开复现在也不行了,现在中国人更加觉醒,更加认识到他也就是微软和反华谷歌的狗仔了,中国代理人。他那种做法不可能给他永久性的地位。因为他曾经忽悠了不懂事的孩子的我,成年的了解世面的我只会对他更加反感,就让他自食其果吧。

李开复骨子里就是美国买办人,他的心中使命就是把中国的政治形势破坏到永远受制于人的局面,好实现他的“洋人第一,他们第二,中国人最低”的梦想。他是帝国主义解放前在中国养育扶持的政治癌症的后代,这个癌症被杀掉了不少,而他却在妄想其复活。一位身不由己在美国长大的中国人支持中国人民全心全意彻底扫除李开复之类的害人虫!

记得我有一次提到了李开复和Steve Hsu(一位拿了CIA的钱以他的互联网安全公司在中国搞渗透的蒋介石的远亲)为非常成功的美国华人。对方的反应是“问题是一旦美国对他们施加一定的压力,他们就会毫不犹豫的背叛我们,伤害我们”。不光是李开复和Steve Hsu,凡是在美国养了没有退路的香蕉孩子的第一代移民,基本都可以给出这样的判断,例外是有,对那些例外及他们的孩子,我的忠告很简单:想法尽快脱离。

这些人都算代表性的国共分裂的遗产,而美国社会一直在提拔他们那样的人利用他们对中国进行分裂,对中国威胁最大的不是反华的白人,而是这些不中不洋三观不正的买办人。我个人一直在想如何能够让我的人生活的做的更有意义,更有价值。或许凭着我的天分,我却能在某理工科领域做出点名堂来,但我觉得在美国我所接受的环境和机会,我的这方面的天分没有得到充分的发挥。即使那条路走顺了,早晚还是会面临一定的尴尬,因为我的经验告诉我,无论个人混的多么杰出,华人在美国是难以持续的,那种环境对华人一代一代的传承是非常打压的,而这集体因素很难不影响到个人。

所以我更愿意利用我的能力和背景帮助中国打倒李开复这类的汉奸,巩固中华民族的凝聚力,为中华民族赢得更加和谐美好的未来!

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。
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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。

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.

The Brahmins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fun with Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer is an epitome of all that’s wrong with Silicon Valley, and the world at large, increasingly influenced by it, culturally, in quite an undesirable way. She is an obvious pseudo-nerd (where here, nerd = really smart talented honest technical person) posing as one for marketing, like much of the SillyCon Valley elite. I’m not being “sexist,” for all that James Damore has triggered. There are women who are genuinely technically competent with good character, and Marissa does not seem to belong in that category. I had to be reminded of her again. How?

Well, I talk frequently with this girl who did undergrad (in CS and math) at MIT, who is now at Uber. She’s not that nerdy though.

In a group chat, she was like:
sigh it makes me worried about planning on staying at uber for 4 years
An uber (no-pun intended) nerd guy responds:
it’s ok to stay at one company if your career is actually progressing
if not then you should leave
Her:
i just wanna get promoted and then leave
but it’ll probably take all 4 years
Me (tongue-in-cheek, for those too autistic to detect sarcasm):
Her name why don’t you become the Marissa Mayer of Uber instead
The same uber nerd:
nobody likes Marissa Mayer
Another guy:
i think my name just noticed that they’re both female
with his superior pattern-matching mind
Me:

Uber nerd’s name, if you could, would you do Marissa Mayer

Him:
idk, she’s old
The other guy:
uber nerd’s name needs someone to intellectually stimulate him

Something I learned today about Microsoft

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

According to Wikipedia,

When Digital Research founder Gary Kildall examined PC DOS and found that it duplicated CP/M’s programming interface, he wanted to sue IBM, which at the time claimed that PC DOS was its own product. However, Digital Research’s attorney did not believe that the relevant law was clear enough to sue. Nonetheless, Kildall confronted IBM and persuaded them to offer CP/M-86 with the PC in exchange for a release of liability.

I’d totally believe it. The truth is to win in business, even in technology, is as much if not more about connections, marketing, and legal tactics, than about the innovativeness of the actual technology and product itself. Bill Gates, in addition to being very gifted technically, was from a very prominent family, with his father as a partner of a law firm, and he was willing to engage to the extremes in cutthroat, win-at-all-costs behavior.

I can see the following analogy. Bill Gates is to Gary Kildall as Thomas Edison is to Nikola Tesla. Tesla was much stronger, more inventive, and more farsighted technologically, but Edison was the one to successfully commercialize and gain credit, and similarly, Kildall actually did very foundational programming work, in compilers and operating systems, or so it seems; Bill Gates did not but he ended up winning. Heck, Kildall even had it much worse in many ways. Tesla is more or less a household name, though less so than Edison. On the other hand, very few people have heard of Kildall. I see another, less direct analogy. You know how the Chinese government is often despised for using access to the Chinese market to extort technology/IP from foreign companies? Concretely, there is that China purchased high speed rail technology from German and Japanese companies and basically reverse-engineered and re-designed it, and eventually with its size, built what is now by far the world’s largest high speed rail network. I wouldn’t be surprised if what the Chinese did in high speed rail technology was mostly of an incremental and scaling nature, as opposed to one of foundational innovation. As much hype as there is in the media about Chinese tech, I still don’t see all that much radical innovation there. Of course, that has much to do with China’s having started very very behind. When you’re like that, you can in most fields only learn and copy, and even that is often pretty non-trivial. After all, most countries and corporations cannot even copy. So you could say there is somewhat of a parallel between China and Microsoft. The one glaring exception I can think of is that China sucks at marketing, while Microsoft is for the most part good at it. By the way, Bill Gates is revered, often blindly, in China, with few people there seeming to know or care about his nasty side. He has marketed himself very successfully, especially his whole philanthropic foundation. As cynical as I am, I think Bill Gates is doing all that mostly after he already won, to redeem himself, reputation wise.

There is another parallel between the two. Microsoft may not be the best at anything or closely relatedly, terribly innovative, but it can do just about everything, and China is like that too. Microsoft has its own software ecosystem, from operating system to programming language to distributed system to search engine to word processor to phone (which I just learned got cancelled). Microsoft even has a prominent games division, with Xbox and Age of Empires, which I much enjoyed playing as a kid, though I wasn’t very good at it. In this way, Microsoft is more comprehensive than Google. Google doesn’t really have programming languages (C# is a much bigger deal than Go as far as I can tell), nor does it have its own PC. And the other major tech companies like Apple, Facebook are all much more specialized.

I’ll conclude with a comment on my take related to this whole trade war ongoing between US and China that’s been so big in the media lately, particularly on how US likes to blame to China for stealing its technology. I seriously believe this is way overblown, though of course I can’t know for sure how much actually valuable the Chinese actually managed to steal from US defense companies. To convince you that I’m not saying this out of any ethnic bias, I’ve give some justification of my position.

First of all, those really smart, high trained, and highly creative/innovative/productive mainland Chinese in America have mostly stayed in America, benefitting American companies and the American economy massively. Sure there is some communication and collaboration with people in China, but I would expect it to be relatively minimal in anything that is terribly advanced and not already in the public domain (which means academia doesn’t count). Why? Because if you’re working in America at the cutting edge of technology you’re busy enough yourself. And you’re a Pacific Ocean apart. But if those people actually return to China with their expertise, then they could contribute massively to China’s science and technology. There seems to be much more of that happening in the past couple years, and I expect the trend to continue that way.

There is also that military technology wise, China seems to be developing mostly indigenously, with of course much input from Russia, whose equipment at the most advanced level China often prefers over her own for obvious reasons. After all, the technological ecosystem left behind by the former USSR that Russia inherited, while much inferior to the US one, is still quite formidable. On this, I find it necessary to extend this to a phenomenon with much deeper roots little heard of in America due to political bias. It is that China more or less unambiguously got way more technologically from the former Soviet Union than from the US. China’s modern technology and industry was essentially founded upon what the Soviet Union gave to China in the 50s. That was the decade when China achieved basic modernization in a comprehensive way with the help of the designs the Soviet Union provided then for a wide array of technologies from chemical plants to cars to airplanes, that was accompanied by Soviet experts actually working in China. It has occurred to me given how effective the Soviet STEM education system was, they had trained enough of a surplus of, relative to the ones working at home, second-rate, scientists and engineers and technicians to send to China. Sure, there were some highly trained, brilliant people with higher education and work experience in the US who returned to China in the 50s who did important work there afterwards, but that doesn’t really count as actual technology transfer. There was basically no direct exchange with the US during that period. So if Russia blames China for stealing its technology, there is not really all that much that the Chinese can say, given their history of more or less cloning a lesser version of the best that the Soviets/Russians had, but if the US does, China can perfectly reasonably say for many things that the US had basically nothing to do with it.

Why am I saying this? Because there seems to be much misunderstanding in America on this matter, so I feel somewhat obliged to point this out. How people will react, that is another matter. But I’ll at least keep a solid, publicly viewable record.

I consider myself pretty dispassionate by the way. I mostly want to understand how the world actually works. There is propaganda everywhere, but I shall say that much of US propaganda is especially ridiculous. Given the pervasiveness and dominance of Anglo culture, a legacy of the British Empire and later American supremacy of course, it might fool the majority of people, but there will always be some who cannot be fooled, even if they grow up in America. I think it’s time that American elites face the truth instead of denying it; it’ll be beneficial for both America and the world at large. Downgrading and outright denying the achievements and ability of groups or nations for political reasons signifies not only poor character, but also personal insecurity. No other elite does this as grossly as the American elite. Also, a propaganda/culture war is hard to sustain if relies too much on telling lies. America’s doing this will also further alienate the elites of certain high achieving groups in America who contribute much to America’s technology and innovation. It cannot last forever.

In saying this I convey another implicit message. It’s important to be technically strong, but it’s just as important if not more so to know how to stand up for yourself and even act in a cutthroat/rogue way if really necessary. Know how to advocate for yourself and don’t let others take credit for your work and your accomplishments. China could learn more of that side of Bill Gates, and I believe they already are. Of course, they will do even better in the future with that. Another group that ought to do that, with allusion to Michael O Church, are the programmers and technologists in Silicon Valley and in America at large, who are an increasingly marginalized group. It’ll be good for both themselves and for America as a country.