My whole experience with the American school system

I accidentally stuffed my face last night and found myself too uncomfortable from that to do anything productive, to my great disappointment. So I verged onto non-technical topics again, and in particular, I reflected somewhat on my personal experience growing up as a Chinese immigrant kid in America, and I write this with a hope that it might be inspiring to others with a similar background.

I came in first grade not knowing a word of English, but at least I knew the alphabet. As for learning English, it didn’t help that my first grade ESL teacher was a woman parents from Taiwan who was likely born in the US, who spoke Mandarin. I remember she would tell me that my Chinese was more proper than hers, as she really only learned it in college. Well, as you can guess, because I could speak Chinese to her if needed, I didn’t even know English all that well even after a year. I remember there were kids in that class from a variety of places, from Russia to Japan to Colombia. I wasn’t very well behaved, and near the end of the year, when we were watching some Disney movie, she actually put tape on my mouth.

I had forgotten like all my written Chinese by end of third grade, including how to write my Chinese name. But that summer there, I was able to relearn some of that.

My parents didn’t really give me much pressure academically. I would expect that they were very busy themselves. So throughout grade school, much of my life consisted of playing and watching basketball and baseball, and also stuff like Pokémon, and also piano practice, which I initially disliked but grew to like as became somewhat good at it, by a low standard. My teachers could tell that I was smart, especially at math, but I was quite hyperactive and poorly behaved.

No offense, but where I was, most of the kids and parents I encountered were pretty fucking dumb and ignorant. They seemed content with a chill, mediocre life, the bliss of ignorance. The other kids could sort of tell I was smart, but I was also pretty fucking socially weird. In third, fourth, and sixth grade, the teachers invited me to this “games club,” which I later found was designated for kids identified by the teacher to be deficient in social skills.

I wasn’t in any gifted program. I was actually not even able to test into one, because my verbal IQ was apparently way too low. So I felt like I was inferior compared to kids in gifted programs, but by now, I’ve basically far surpassed basically all of them.

My junior high which was 7th to 9th grade absolutely sucked. The teachers were really fucking stupid. The math was bull shit with graphing calculators, and the history class was full of stupid political indoctrination. I got low grades in 9th grade English and history, one because I was super immature and impulsive, and another because that teacher, who was an idiot far-right (American style) scumbag, absolutely hated me. It certainly affected my self-esteem very negatively. I was problematic in a way yes, but I dare say much was because I had far more latent IQ/talent than the other students that nobody had nurtured in me.

High school was better but still pretty shitty. I was in this IB program much of which was an utter waste of time and was really at quite a joke of a level academically. I had already realized that, doing math contests and such. However, even there, because my foundation was so shitty, I did not progress anywhere as efficiently as I could have. On the other hand, most of those kids in the full IB program thought they were doing so well, because they were in it, and getting good grades, not considering that most got As. The truth is of course that most of those kids, the way they were, had no future in anything serious. Another positive thing to happen for me then was that I started reading various stuff online I found interesting, including in Chinese, on my own. The more I learned, the more I realized how much of a joke the American school system is. It is ridden with the worst type of political indoctrination and scant on actual intellectual substance.

Now, most other advanced countries have an education system where students test into high schools based on their ability. There is much more academic preparation provided at the early stages, and more popularization of serious academic contests like the AMCs. There is also a system of vocational education for those who are less academically inclined, which is great, because practical skills should not be underrated. In contrast, American schools are too concerned with the self-esteem of students to tell them that they are basically garbage, academically, and they are falling short in terms of providing alternatives to prepare them for the real world. The result of course is that their self-esteem will become eventually utterly wrecked in college and the real world where people care more about your actual ability and work and don’t really give a damn about how hard you tried. Of course, now college in America has become a joke too, and so overpriced. On that, Charles Murray is completely right that most students in college right now in America would be better served learning some practical vocational skills as opposed to studying bullshit liberal arts.

I was quite socially clueless in high school, and I was not even that aware of the discrimination against Asians in college admissions. My parents were anything but savvy about the college admissions process in America. Expectedly, high school was full of morons padding their resumes with substance-less stuff just for that. I absolutely hated that, and I cared more about actually learning some serious stuff. That includes math, physics, algorithms, Chinese, history (that was not the brainwash taught in class). Okay, I was a joke at basically all of them but far better than almost all my classmates. There were I think three kids in my year who were accepted to Yale but to me they were the stereotypical superficial well-rounded conformist well-socialized types, and one was an athlete. Another was a very superficial whitewashed Asian who even had a non-Asian surname that I later learned was changed officially when he was a kid. Now I know what he was really up to.

College was much better. It was a flagship state school, and I didn’t mix well with most of the kids there, who I again felt were mostly drones and tools, but there were certainly some really sharp ones, and a few who I had genuine chemistry with. I did of course waste some time on general ed courses. On the more positive end, I could in that environment learn more serious math and science, and also engineering. Because I majored in math and computer science though, I would say that there was very little natural science or real engineering. Moreover, I could meet people from all over the place, including graduate students who had attended elite schools for undergrad, and also talk with international students from China there. The latter partially motivated to improve my Chinese further, to the point that reading it online felt basically as natural as reading English. From that, I also learned more about Chinese culture and the Chinese education system. I felt I was finally seriously shedding away the tremendous damage the American education system had imparted on me, the more socially acceptable it became to detach from that crowd. Though it was much better than high school, I was still not terribly content with the curriculum or the people around me. I felt I was learning too little actual math and especially science, as virtually zero of the latter was required for computer science majors. The computer science majors thought they were really good because they were in this supposedly very competitive program, bound to get six figure jobs in industry, and they were fine at programming, but really, their level of IQ, on average, was quite low. They absolutely sucked at math and had no concept of how to prove anything. There were of course exceptions who mostly kept to themselves. Like this kid who wrote his own compiler for a subset of Java in Haskell early sophomore year, which he taught himself. At programming, I was pretty garbage, lacking the engineering sense at that time, but I was not bad at algorithms, given my math ability. Overall, I am rather disappointed with my college experience. Because my starting point was so low, and because many of the students were dull but studious and conforming enough (to get better grades than I did), I became easily content and cocky at times, and also frustrated. I can blame both my lack of ability and maturity and also lack of fit of the whole educational experience to a guy like me. I sort of kept some distance from most of the other students. Again, many were tools, who I had little desire to be around. Of course, they will excel in the typical tech job, but that’s another matter. In fact, they may well have life much more easy than I do.

Summer after junior year was a major turning point for me. Through a superconnector of high achieving students many if not most at elite places like MIT and Harvard, I met and began chatting online with a few people at Caltech, MIT, and the likes. I expected them to be brilliant or at least solid academically but reality was disappointing, though almost certainly, they were below average ones at those places. However, there was one guy from a top Canadian school and another from a more mediocre state school who were both freakishly smart and competent. I looked up to both of them greatly. I was inspired by a few of them to enter competitive programming, with one of them’s being an IOI medalist, and with some practice on TopCoder, I managed to lead a team the following year to place in the top 10 in ACM regionals.

Something else that happened was that I sort of discovered Marxist literature online, partially inspired by my genius Russian friend, who was also quite a misfit, very defiant of the whole American cultural and political value system. Ironically, he’s actually doing his PhD now at a place famous for American blue-bloods, and he does not express a high opinion in general of the undergrads there, many who are not actually talented but are from well-off families who know how to game the whole system. Given my heritage, Marxist literature necessarily means learning more about the whole culture and tradition created by the Chinese communists, which I found quite fascinating and inspiring. Of course, I also learned some Russian stuff. As I did, I felt ever more indignant with respect to all the historical and political lies promulgated and normalized in American society by the media, lauded as a free one, but in reality, controlled largely by what one can crudely characterize as destroyers of civilization. In the process, I fell in love with Soviet music, which is of much higher artistic quality and substance than the trash kids listen to nowadays. It even idealistically inspired me to fight for a better world. Of course, now I know how hard that is, but I am not giving up just yet.

In college, there was of course pressure to conform, to act in a socially acceptable way, to not be too strange. That means not being openly elitist and critical the way I am right now. That also means not acting in a way that is too un-American. I’m a guy who came here in first grade, not an international student from China. In some sense, it’s not right for me to not be like all those ABCs. It kind of sucks to grow up as an Asian immigrant kid in America. It sucks even more if you’re actually nerdy/smart and culturally/politically sane, like I am. You feel like there is something wrong with you, but of course, now I am confident that that is not true, and that it is in fact American society/culture that is becoming ever more fucked up. Michael O Church can attest to this.

Now, after college. I got to meet some way more interesting, smart people, learn way more interesting things. I could fully distance myself from the uninspiring people I went to school with. This includes people from all over the world, across all age groups, with much deeper and more varied expertise. That includes IMO and IOI medalists, top finishers on the Putnam contest, people in top or good grad schools, some of whom are really impressive, and some of whom are nowhere near the level that they may look on paper superficially. My cultural, historical, political, and linguistic knowledge went up quite another level. Of course, I also saw more first hand from working how the world actually works, which really only parents will tell you. On this, Michael O Church loves to say how it’s the moderately privileged kids whose parents are in mostly meritocratic places like medicine and academia who can be sheltered enough to be naive. In contrast, underprivileged kids need to be street smart just to survive, while genuinely privileged kids know how rigged the system is and how to game it. I felt so much more free because I finally found more like-minded people with whom I could talk openly without fear of how I might be perceived. I was able to in the process re-mould myself into the organic me as opposed to the me under the yoke of a specific educational system.

Finally, I shall speak specifically on growing up Asian in the American education system. Overall, it’s a pretty shitty cultural experience. They’re not really American, no matter how hard they try, yet they lose the ability to be a genuine Asian. Fortunately, I shielded myself from that largely on my own initiative. It wasn’t always easy, but in the long run, that was quite a wise choice, and I encourage more people with same background as me to do the same. Learn from the good aspects of America, not from the toxic ones. Do this with any culture, any system. Also, exposure to genuine Chinese culture can shield you from the pseudo one presented by the American media that has done so much to confuse the thinking and damage the self-esteem of people like me, but not like me.

Reflecting on my experience, I really wished that I could have gotten a much better education. American education really is pretty shitty, especially for actually smart people, if you’re not very well situated in terms of schools and parents. Of course, later on, it gets much better.

I’ll conclude by going on a tangent. That is, my *anti-Semitism* that kicked off recently. What started it? And I also ask myself: am I simply taking out bitterness with my own educational and cultural experience, and also my own failures, on another group, instead of taking responsibility for them myself? Yes and no. Anyhow, I consider it not anti-Semitic, more like realistic, and in fact, I have interacted substantially with and highly regard many from that group. It is without doubt a remarkably high achieving group, often spectacularly so. This math PhD also well-versed in physics I talk to was also saying to me recently how Jewish accomplishment in mathematics and physics is absolutely overwhelming, which is indisputable. Of course, there’s also a darker side. I think I might have been inspired by this really smart guy who is a white Gentile (later atheist) American who doesn’t actually think I’m insane, or at least I hope not. Because once he was like:

You know what you should do? Become one of those food workers where rich Jews eat. Nobody cares about those people.

I actually told this to someone else, who was like: “that’s because they run things. If you ran things, you’d be the same.” When I told that guy about that, he was like:

counterpoint: other people have run things
some corruption is expected
Even the worst of the colonialist era was tempered
a lot of people were actually trying to do good
civilize the savages, that whole thing
that’s not saying there weren’t atrocities
because there were

And I was like, wow

So you’re saying the Jews now are worse
Than whites during the whole age of white/European imperialism/colonialism.
How much do whites regret letting Jews seize the positions of power

Him:

yes
norms have become nicer
so they can’t pull the old school shit
and more importantly
you’re not going to see the megadeaths from plague

Me:

So your argument is roughly that the calibration has to be much different now relative to the colonialist era, and Jews, by the current calibration, are pretty shitty.
About as shitty as the Belgians were in the Congo eh?

Him:

the belgians self-corrected
I mean, after killing a whole bunch of people
somebody said it was pretty fucked up
and the whole thing kinda fell apart
if we didn’t live in a post-colonial culture
they’d genuinely believe
that goyim are as cattle
and that they should do whatever it takes to ensure their rule persists
also the jews don’t want to exterminate
they need goyim to rule over
a world run by whites is one where half want to conquer and half want to help
a world run by chinese or japanese is one where they’d be rich and on top but mostly leave other people alone
other than getting money from them
a world run by jews is one where they’d systematically extinguish any hope of ending it
ITT anyone smart who’s not a jew would be a threat

Me (critically):

But plenty of smart Asians/whites have had Jewish advisors who strongly supported them
Recognized and cultivated their talent

Him:

this is a world with Jews who can openly be in power
not slink about in the shadows

Me:

That’s kind of theoretically impossible because Jews are too few
See because of that, they can only engage in deception
They’re evolved for that

Him:

look at Israel
they might be “evolved for deception” as you say
but that’s not stopping them from carrying out an effective, slow-motion genocide
which alone is scary
because sure, you can have one Hitler
you can have one Stalin
but you have multiple generations of Jews who are determined to exterminate the palestinians
you can’t have that kind of value alignment with white ppl

Me:

Do it slowly so that people don’t react to it as much, until it’s too late.
It’s like starving a person to death instead of blowing his brains out.
That’s what the Jews are doing to the Palestinians, it’s obvious

Him:

you should be scared because it suggest they’d do it to you too

Me:

Yeah they just don’t have the power to
I mean isn’t cultural assimilation also a form of more benign genocide of a culture
Didn’t whites also slow kill the Native Americans?
And got away with it 100%.
There’s also the saying that abused people are more likely to become abusers.
Doesn’t that sort of apply to the Jews too?

Him:

given the choice between future people who share my genes but an alien culture and future people who share my culture but alien genes I’m 100% for the former 0% for the latter
kicked out of 109 countries?

Me:

They regard that as abuse.
Anti-Semitism.
They may even feel nobody likes us because we’re too good.

Him:

I’m sure they tell themselves something like that

“boo hoo everyone’s evil and oppressive except for us”

What can I say? A smart white who sounds way more *anti-Semitic* than I am. Should I recalibrate according to him? Are Asians simply not aggressive enough? Is that why they are picked on so much by the media in America and not allowed in upper management in corporate America? I think he may be a bit overboard, but I might be wrong on that one. Or maybe he is exaggerating. Who knows. Anyhow, I find it somewhat flattering that he says he’d rather live in a world ruled by Asians than one ruled by Jews, because: less evil. So, considering his opinion, in combination with how shitty the American education system is, outlined above, maybe the group that I am part of really should try to take a more active role in world affairs and set a new standard and example. Lately, that has already been happening, very noticeably, and only time will tell how it pans out. Maybe I can be part of it too, who knows?

Israel, China, and more

I figured that as interested in Jews and Jewish achievement (and shenanigans) as I am, I should at least learn something real about Israel, which I know little about at the detailed factual level. That part of the world has, predictably, always felt rather remote in my life, though it is in some sense the cradle of civilization. While on the bus with nothing to do, I was just last week, trolling some of my friends on Facebook with some Hebrew I copy pasted. Like, ברוך השם (Baruch HaShem), which literally means “blessed his name.” On that I’m pleased to say that I’m now sort of paying attention to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet when I visit English Wiki pages on Jewish matters with the English transliteration of Hebrew words alongside the Hebrew original. It’s kind of cute that it, like Arabic, reads right to left, a fact I had not known.

Last night, I had the pleasure of going through the history of Israel (particularly its formation) in some degree of detail. So now I know what Haganah, Irgun, Lehi, Palmach are. Interestingly, there was tension between the IDF (headed by Ben-Gurion) and the Irgun (headed by Menachim Begin), which resulted in the Altalena Affair in which a ship containing armaments of the Irgun was ordered to be sunk by Ben-Gurion on high seas by the air force. I was rather surprised there was actually this much discord among the Zionist leaders, as stereotype is of course that Jews are super cohesive. I was also somewhat surprised that the Zionists had the nerve to assassinate Western politicians like Lord Moyne and Folke Bernadotte they did not like who were mediating truces between the Israelis and the Arabs during the 1948 war. Overall, my impression of the war was that neither side had substantial military experience or ability and the war was on a relatively small scale, being in a very small region.

I was not fully aware that American support for Israel really only became substantial following the Six Day War. Around that time, France, which had provided Israel with high end military technology before, had announced an embargo there. Israel’s nuclear weapons was provided to it largely by France as well, and some say that at the time of Six Day War, Israel already had a functional nuke to use as a last resort. Almost certainly, it did in the Yom Kippur War seven years later. Details regarding Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program were revealed to the public via Mordechai Vanunu, who had worked as a technician on classified projects at the Negev Nuclear Research Center, who was eventually caught and shamed for life by Mossad agents.

From this reading, I can better appreciate Israel’s vulnerability due to its small size, in land and in population, the latter especially, that makes it impossible to sustain itself without external aid. This will hold regardless of how advanced it becomes, so even with nuclear ICBMs, they still have much to fear. I’ve seen pro-Jewish sites characterize Israel’s military and survival as a miracle. I’ve also seen that Israel is scared shit of North Korea, which could potentially transfer its nuclear and missile technology to Iran, Syria, etc. Israel’s attitude is of course that the Arab nations cannot obtain nukes at all costs, and Israel will send Mossad agents to assassinate anyone suspected to be assisting them on that, which it has already done many times.

Readers of my blog might know that I write here about that Jew in math I talk with quite a bit, who has some interesting views for sure. As an update there, I didn’t quite expect him to say to me that “Israel surviving is not that impressive.” I would somewhat agree actually given how much support Israel has gotten from the West, which does not apply at all to North Korea, whose survival I would say is much more of a miracle. Only time will tell who will last longer, and I would think that both will remain intact for quite a while.

That guy also tells me that China is very pro-Israel, which I’m not so sure about. China only developed at first secret relations with Israel in the late 70s/early 80s. China at the time was very interested in procuring some high-end Western military tech from Israel, which it did to a significant degree in the 80s, and surely, America is not terribly happy about this. This guy responds with “China” when I ask him how Israel will fare on a weakened America, and I’m not sure how serious he is on that, since I could hardly imagine China actually going to the lengths to rescue Israel under the hypothetical scenario that it is about to be run over.

The aggressive and often overtly biased political attitudes of Jews and Israelis are understandable given how precarious their situation is. They faced life or death and though their situation is much more secure now, they still do, being too small. On this, recalled to me was this physics professor at Washington University of St. Louis whose infamous essay Don’t Become a Scientist I had read and reread, who also has on his web page a collection of political pieces against Iraq and North Korea, with provocative titles such as Anyone Who Bombs Baghdad [when Saddam was in power] Gets My Vote. I haven’t seen yet any mention of Israel and its nukes in his pieces and I sure wonder why. In another one of those, Limiting the Nuclear Club—Iraq, North Korea et al., he characterized Stalin (when it was mostly his USSR that defeated Hitler) very one-sidedly as “a man and system which murdered tens of millions of people with bullets, famine, and prison camps.” On the nuclear club, he also wrote that “fortunately, most of these countries are stable democracies and therefore not aggressors; the two chief exceptions (the Former Soviet Union and China) were successfully contained for many years, and the more powerful of these is making a transition, one hopes successful and irreversible, to democracy,” which again goes to show his blatant bias and lack of rigorous thinking (that he would exhibit in physics) when it comes to politics.

On this, I don’t see why China should be terribly friendly to Jews and Israel when Jews, with their media power and verbal gifts, have done so much to distort modern Chinese history in the West and to smear, sabotage, and peacefully evolve a political system that has worked wonders for China, very plausibly with ulterior motives. I have also seen many Jews support Taiwanese independence, including this guy I talk to. Certain American interests might want to mould the political thinking of Chinese who grow up in America like me (most of whom do not read Chinese), but honestly, I feel like I am too intelligent and politically discerning and realistic to fall for it. I value independent, impartial thinking that is reality grounded, that is cognitively empathetic of interests relations wise, which means the American exceptionalist versions of history and politics don’t work on me, and neither would any such form of exceptionalism in favor of any country or system. I don’t think Chinese who grow up in America will be terribly happy once they realize, as more of them are doing, that the American version of the history and culture of where their parents are from is fraught with glaring inaccuracies and falsehoods motivated by political bias and ill-intent, and elite Jews, who have the most prominent voice in America, can be mostly easily blamed for that. One can even go more extreme and say that the Jews are the main culprit for the shitty and grossly dishonest media in America, with their dominance of press and Hollywood in this country, which they unabashed laud as “free media.” I don’t think this facade can last forever.

Often, one, including myself, is met with the dilemma of whether or not to engage in aggressive and ethically questionable behavior that gives one an advantage, at least in the short term, that goes on record either directly or indirectly in the memories of those alienated by the action as well as oneself.  Even it brings me major gains, I know eventually I might look back and feel shame and regret on the dishonorable means I took to earn them. I like it most when I achieve something based on genuine ability and hard work, as opposed to politicking, striverish behavior, which everyone engages in to some extent. I don’t think lies or deceptive talk can be concealed forever regardless of how much power or media control one has, and in some sense, it is the truth that is the most potent. Additionally, as a Chinese, I am somewhat conscious of how my behavior in every way affects microscopically how Chinese are perceived in general. When I see so many Jews spout nonsense about history and politics, especially parts I am familiar with, it sure doesn’t give me a good view of the group in general, character wise, so as to separate from their objective achievements, especially when that group controls so much of the media where I live, though I am careful to disentangle individuals of the group with the group in general. I do believe that one is to some extent responsible for the actions of one’s group at large. The actions of a nation, of an ethnic group, especially against others, are not just the responsibility of the elites in power who made the decisions but also the ones who allowed those people to come in power. When a nation or people, as a collective, chooses some system or leader or development strategy, they should take some responsibility for the outcomes and “dictatorship” or “democracy” is not an excuse. Fundamentally, what I am describing is actual democracy, as opposed any democratic system by name or by election. If Americans want to elect “democratically” their leaders and their leaders make shitty decisions against their interests and country at large, they should take responsibility for it and blame themselves for choosing such people to elect or blame the election system that is the root of it all. On this, I recall how this guy way smarter than me technically (also of Jewish descent), on my mentioning of a guy I know whose parents were from the USSR whose grandfather could only become a theoretical physics professor in some remote university the name I remember not, was like: “his parents helped destroy the Soviet Union,” followed by that if he, who moved to Israel, were still in Russia, he would be working for MacDonalds, with reference to the economic crisis there in the 90s that was statistically far more murderous and damaging than Stalin’s purges. It was then that occurred to me again that as unpleasant and sad as it may be to accept, Soviets and Russians share collective responsibility for promoting certain wrong people to power in the Soviet era that rendered their nation less competitive and especially for their later letting oligarchs, many of them Jewish, wreck their country irrecoverably, a specific of the generality I had just described. That many of those mega civilization and wealth leechers/destroyers were Jewish tells us more that anti-Semitism is not without reason, and Jews should all take some responsibility for it. Pardon any cultural bias, but this brings to mind a famous quote attributed to Chairman Mao which is “世界上没有无缘无故的爱,也没有无缘无故的恨”,that translates to “the world has no love without reason and no hate without reason,” an obvious reality of human nature that I believe one of high moral character ought to always be cognizant of.