Sunday while taking a break I decided to see what’s up on Unz Review. Most memorable was https://www.unz.com/ishamir/banned-by-facebook-for-telling-the-truth/ by Israel Shamir. Ultimately, that inspired me to make a list of alternatives to media sites and internet services controlled by Israel/Jews/Zionists/Hasbara. vKontakte, which means “in contact,” was on that list. And so, with some free time, I made an account for myself and chatted on there with a Russian tenured professor in the US with similar views. I haven’t touched Russian (the language) for a while, but vKontakte sort of brought me back to that. Just like one can’t avoid the ads within one’s Facebook messenger contact list, one can’t avoid Russian content on vKontakte. I saw plenty of posts in Russian with comments in Russian. So yet another distraction. It’s quite unlikely that I’ll ever use the language very directly, especially in a way that helps my career. The main benefit of knowing it is to access some content. The better I am at reading it the easier it will be for me to learn about that other really rich and powerful cultural world. I remember long long ago somebody told me that Russian is useless, because Russia’s economy sucks, and they’re really only good at aerospace, but they’re not going give you their state of the art aerospace technology anyway. To be fair, the content both in science and engineering and in politics and the arts in Russian is quite substantial. It almost rivals or even rivals or even exceeds the English language world. I am already quite a fan of their music after all, which was what led into the language in the first place. And it’s some actually high culture, not the spiritually poisoning garbage in the English media Continue reading “vKontakte (вКонтакте) and a return to Russian”
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 wrote the following over a month ago. I was quite pleased, because it was the first time I actually spoke Russian to the point of being able to carry on a passable conversation. Of course, English words were interspersed here and there, but it wasn’t too bad. I was excited enough afterwards that I wrote this piece, which almost certainly has some errors, which I expect to pick out over time. Not to toot my own horn too much, but this is not a bad result after a little over a year of reading and Facebook pinging in it off and on, when I feel too lazy to do anything more productive. Russian learning wise, it was also awesome to meet online this guy, an undergraduate at MIT in physics Индийского присхождения, a child prodigy who taught himself Russian in high school, who also spent a summer in St. Petersburg if I remember correctly. He is obviously much better at it than I am, but I expect to catch up soon. It will only become easier and easier over time. Maybe I can even write some music with lyrics in it, eventually, who knows.