# California Wealth Tax

I’ve been reading articles about California wealth tax being proposed presently Assembly Bill 2088. At first reading this tax is ludicrous. Anybody who spends 60 days in any calendar year is liable to pay 40‱ annually for the following 10 years! (So without wealth change, compounding and inflation it’s 4% of your money for a 60 day stay.

Preposterous! What insane mania has driven our politicians to do such a thing?

Well, actually, it kind of fits the zeitgeist of liberal politics. It is very extreme by all standards. But the believe is that wealth inequality fundamentally destabilizes our economic future and kills the environment. So we need to take organized and radical action to overcome this thing that no one poor individual can overcome.

I think nobody can deny that there is great benefit to having smart and rich people around. Even if they’re just here to spread their genes, it’s good for humanity. But wealth inequality could potentially impede spread of others genes that may in the future be of great benefit to us. And plus, in addition to humanity’s prosperity, we do kind of want people at the present to be happy and healthy, and last but certainly not more and less important than all a priori, creatively productive.

So, why don’t we have both. Let’s have our wealth tax. But let’s also create an open forum, the Pnyx of silicone valley. We shall invite all that are willing to abide by the rules of the venue to come and pitch in public. No streaming allowed. You must be present here to present, learn and understand and invest. The state shall invest from wealth tax into these ventures in addition tom private investors. The venue is to be fixed and the conventions take place in the open, regularly, rain or shine. (A great benefit of California location is climate will allow us this latitude of venue year round.) This will be the Globe Theatre of next millennium, always imitated but never fully replicable.

Such a proposal seems silly in the day and age of traveling conferences like TechCrunch disrupt and a myriad of crowdfunding services. But if we want to have a wealth tax, and we don’t want to legalize prostitution (I’m not firmly against it), gambling (again, not voting against it), dangerous drugs (against), polygamy (mu?), and the likes, the only way is to emphasize physical proximate and in-person intimate presentations. It isn’t especially bad considering we are in danger of losing touch with real human to human interactions.

Anyone who follow the rules can come onto the stage physically at their allotted time and make a pitch and ask for money or other forms of support in this public forum. Spectators may cheer or jeer or throw cash at presenters. They may even join presenters on stage in support. We can build the greatest physical venture society on the planet.

We can make California greater by innovating in synchrony in our society, climate and economy.

Disclaimer: yes I own real estate in California. No I will not be affected by wealth tax if it comes to pass this moment.

# Scope bound prospect preference

An extension of permission function from action space is the decision theoretic preference function. The preference function maps one of each prospects (in our case an action from an action subspace) into a preference value that come from a totally ordered set of possible preference values. In the case of action space, it would appear that each preference function must be invoked with two parameters. $v(a , as)$ v is the value function, $a$ is the action and $as$ gives us a context of all actions being compared(the action subspace of consideration). This will make it easier to define the value function so that it can calibrate its outputs to give meaningful values that are ordered correctly according to true preference.

It is somewhat difficult to come up with an instantaneous decision that alters ordinal utility due to availability of another prospect, with everything else held equal. However one can certainly construct a situation where sequential decision making is available:

1. Dig for gold

If $as$ contained only choices 2 and 3, one is hard pressed to chose 2 over 3. However when $as$ contain all three available actions (for the foreseeable future), suddenly 2 is preferred over 2, and over 1. One would certainly rather buy the shovel, then dig for gold over digging for gold barehand before or after eating a sandwich.

Holding all else equal is important. Some purported change in ordinal preference due to addition of choice is hidden behind other information changes

1. Eat apple
2. Don’t eat apple
3. Eat just worm in the apple

Clearly if $as$ contains all three possibilities, $u(2)>u(1)>3u(3)$. But without option 3, $u(1) > u(2)$. The truth is that 3 should not affect the ordinal preference between 1 and 2. The knowledge of whether there is a worm in the apple or not is part of all else that we hold equal. Erroneous addition of 3 not only added an action prospect, but also added the knowledge that there is a worm in the apple. So when all else is really held equal, an addition of an action prospect should not affect ordinal preference between existing actions.

Cardinal preference is a different matter. A simple requirement we may impose is: utility value function always return non-negative reals and that sum of value among all choices add to 1. In this case additional prospect changes cardinal value of all actions due to the requirement that values sum to 1.

# Testing and Vaccination for COVID-19

One of my child appeared lethargic, has runny nose and cough one fine mid-Q1 2021 Saturday morning. I felt chest pains at about the same time. These are not a happy sensation to have as we near the wider distribution of a vaccine for this pandemic that has killed half a million people in the United States of America so far. So I made appointments to get tested.

Before going, my child asked me if it was painful. I told her I think it is. This assessment is based on every single image of a nasal swap I have seen on TV evening news. Every reporting of this shows the insertion of a swab up into a person’s nose until only a small length of it, long enough for the administrator of the test to hold between their thumb and index finger, remain outside. A particularly alarming observation from the perspective of an Asian man, is that this happens even on very large white noses. I say that with no intention of offense at people with large, or white, nose. It’s just that what seems uncomfortable to insert into the nostrils of a large nose must be horrifically painful for our smaller Asian noses.

So, after much deliberation, we went and got swabbed. Perhaps it is due to the media reporting, but the parking lot where we got our swab test in Stanford, CA was nearly empty. The single patron driving up behind us was very impatient and honked for no obvious reasons. Other than that, the swab test was very very easy. There is no pain. My child, who has even smaller and smaller nose than I, for now knock on wood, enjoyed it more than I. I think adult nose hairs make the swabbing very very itchy where as children who do not have nose hair experience less tickling. The depth of insertion into my nose was at most an inch and half. There was ample length of swab’s stick outside. My experience of the swab test definitely differ from those shown in TV reporting. IMHO, what’s seen outside on TV is what I got on the inside.

And we’re negative.

Honestly though, living in California is a little nerve racking during the pandemic. We have been blasted with daily news report of physical attacks and robbery of Asian people by attackers of a variety of non-Asian profiles. Older victims may die. Businesses may close down after an attack. Police chiefs or mayors may make a speech.

But recently, a new trend has emerged. Immediately after multiple reportings of different race and country-of-ancestral origin based attacks in several locales (SF/Oakland/LA/other cities), the news will then proceed to announce the opening of a mass vaccination site. On two separate occasions, I built up a determination to brave the crowds and bring my older parents to these vaccination sites for the shot. On both occasions I ultimately decided not to take them there fearing physical assult in the cities where violent crimes against Asians were just reported. (Side note: my parents are over 65 but their insurance Kaiser Permanente does not have sufficient supply of vaccines to administer to patients over 65 as the state of California recommends. This is why we have to resort to mass vaccination sites. They are eager to get the vaccine because they enjoy their health, and they help out at home shopping and caring for younger children.)

I do not want to disparage news reporters and their teams for making the news during this harrowing time. They brave the onslaught of covid viruses to bring us informative news. I live in San Mateo county, and have personally experienced physical attack by a vagrant in a public library in the center of a city here. I was holding my young child and she swung bags of stuff at my head. She yelled that refrain “go back to where you came from!” common in our culture prior to Biden administration. Above all else, her attacking me was in genuine anger. I do not see many situations where the person is that angry. I was able to deflect the blows with my forearm and back up away from her. The librarian helped me to hail the police who walked over from their HQ next door to arrest her. The police officer noted that I might have rammed my child into the wall as I backed away from her while charging her. I still had a foot or so of room, but I did not notice this danger until it was pointed out to me. Thankfully, we were not reported in the news as we were not severely injured like those Asians in the more recent news reports.

Sadly, the reality of our lives is that, well into the Biden administration taking power, we are still afraid to access these public healthcare resources due to the abundant manifestations of physical violence against Asians in the cities where mass vaccination sites are opening.

The good new is, after several months of living in fear of the virus, and in fear of the process of vaccination, living with all these uncertainties, we did manage to get them their first shot with San Mateo County based mass vaccination site mid-Q1 2021. We did make the appointment at 4:30am in the morning for the first slot of that day, but we did not hesitate in fear of physical violence.

Today, I am thankful for things to be going well near me. I am thankful that the wider rollout of vaccination growing the community immunity. I am thankful that we are headed towards a safer and more cohesive society. I hope we can quickly make this a better world where people do not need to fear illness and physical violence.

Just saw a rumor about Star Wars building a film about ancient stories in its universe. The rumor hinted “like Ben-Hur”

This is a very strategic move. Trek verse has experienced resurgence in blockbuster movies and many TV series. But the one thing that Trek really can’t do is to go back to pre-technology pre-space-faring ages. The stories would simply not work for a sci-fi show.

But if Disney-Marvel move is directed at Trek, then one would have to also think that maybe Star Wars, mythology and all, is not able to match the story telling of modern sci-fi franchise.

I certainly feel that way, and I’m not biased at all. Mandolorian is all thrill with droplets of Disney year-jerkers. I feel an innate connection to the stories, but I don’t feel any serious innovation. Not really new stories, not really new myths and nothing really anything absolute. It’s just another small story buried inside big stories, like Star Wars Rogue One. Touching to an end.

Trek is on shaky grounds… But the recent jump to future in Discovery, and the jump to artificial substrate in Picard, these explore new topics that people have not really seriously thought about.

But Trek can never go back to ancient times and tell a serious story without being elements of future to that past. Star War is uniquely positioned to tell stories like that. I guess the pre crawl “a long long time ago…” should have given this development away a long long time ago.😎

# 2020 Mulan

A most definite and absolutely solid $FamX1$.

Absolutely a must watch. This story is beautifully updated to possibly provide role model for little girls, and their “allies”, that it’s okay to support the growth and prosperity of the society that we are already in, sex and race discrimination and all, that even while advancing it we can, yes we can, advance our minority selves in great leaps and bounds not imaginable prior to our effort.

The Chinese subtitle is a great script, however the spoken Chinese does not match the script at all. Kinda sad, the written words “sounds” so much better, more poetic, more respectable, and basically just more normal Chinese. The $FamX1$ is based on the subtitle.

I’ve never did really liked Liu Yufei, the actress now portraying Mulan, before this film. In the past she’s acted in many many Chinese action movies. I don’t know why, honestly, this American bred actress ought to be like just right to my liking, but unfortunately in the past she’s targeted her Asian fans much more than American audience. In this film, she has mature quite a bit. Also her appearance is more balanced towards masculinity. This is so much better than all the previous characters. I just can’t explain it. Jet Li is so old that I had to rewind after seeing the post scroll credit him as emperor. But these older actors look so authentic! Absolutely mesmerizing to watch.

Honestly, at some moment, you just have to ignore all the stupid anti-Chinese shit in America! Yes, it is possible that the story completely covers up centuries Chinese military atrocities, up to and including this century. Yes, the movie may have caused some people pain and suffering to make. Yes, it had to be especially adapted to show in PRC. Whatever. This enduring story is about the spirit of an individual Chinese person who fought insurmountable enemies all the while overcame traditional stigma in the pursuit of what she believes to be most noble: loyalty, bravery and truth. Anyone who stands in the way of this story might as well be the invading mongols of Mulan’s century, doomed to be decimated by the righteous and civilized, doomed to be demonized by future filmmakers for eternally.

# Competition

We recently had some work done on our water system. Several jobs that required us to interview half a dozen plumbers all of whom, except for one company, came free of charge to assess the problem and give written estimate for the cost of their work. We ended up hiring a company whose employees all spoke Spanish.

The work was done very well. The plumber kept at working for most of the day. They were quiet and clean. They are so professional, it makes me jealous. How come we can’t find a Chinese plumber who worked so honestly and kept at his job until he finished? How come we couldn’t find a Chinese speaking plumber who charged the same amount or less?

The perception to many Americans that Chinese people somehow charge low price for their product and work to gain unfairly from America is just absurd. America had a competition driven economy. For every job, there is another who will fo the same work for money. And that’s not just programming. Every single product and job in this economy has competition and Chinese humans also must compete.

The end result is that I am a happy consumer. If I have to learn some Spanish (I didn’t have to) for it, I will learn it.

But I do hope that Chinese Americans can gain the respect they deserve–the respect I have for my recent plumbers–after their respective long day of work, that yes, it was the cheapest plumber but they were clean and quiet and professional in every way. They are honorable hardworking competing people in this free market economy worthy of other humans’ respect.

# Axiom of Meaning

Thoughts are meaningful.

The unthinkable is meaningless.

Thinking is meaning.

Only thinking is meaning.

One cannot think the meaningless.

Those that I cannot think of or about have no meaning.

I can think of all that are meaningful.

All that are thinkable have meaning.

The only meaning the unthinkable have is that they are unthinkable.

# Gripe practice

I’m having severe headaches today. I find it to be correlated with looking at my iPhone XS Max.

Imagination runs wild as always. Is this yet another ploy by Apple, Inc. To nudge me towards buying a new phone? Every time I look at the screen my head hurts now.

Let’s suppose for a moment that Apple actually did that. In a recent OS update, the surreptitiously introduced a bug that gradually changes some refresh properties of this screen so as to accidentally cause eye strain and subsequently headaches. What exactly is wrong with that? Given that apple settled the court case admitting to have slowed down iPhones, it seems reasonable that they may be doing it again. There is nothing wrong with doing something sneaky and then later paying money for it. I don’t for a second imagine that any human felt any remorse for having caused or facilitated that slow down. The lack of such expectation sets my mind on a slippery track to imagine the worst about this recent experience. Apple needs sales, and my head, and maybe a few hundred million dollars paid at a later date, is acceptable to the people doing it.

Sure, you can say that my class in that class action lawsuits settled too low. The payment apple makes is hardly punitive. If we had fought harder, Apple would have paid more and they be more hesitant to do it again.

It pains me to think about these things. I recall the first night I spent with my brand new iPhone XS Max. The screen was one of its biggest features. I remember looking very gently at the screen, as if in fear of damaging it if I looked too harshly. The brilliant colors shone gently back at me. Everything looks so clear. There’s some kind of light being emitted or reflected from the screen that uplift my visual senses. I am made to see more clearly. It isn’t quite as brilliant and welcoming as the body of a new girlfriend, but definitely makes a world of its own and pulls me into it.

I share with it all my most intimate thoughts, unfinished thoughts, and FAM blogs. I get all my information through it: news, entertainment, sms, messaging,… I entrust it with full access to my banks and investments and subscriptions to stuff I pay. I even pay it a monthly subscription fee so it can be happy.

But now, that display technology magic may have been reversed to attack my eyes and make my head ache. It throughs a constant tantrum. I can’t even get the most basic thing done without a grimace. Man, how far has our relationship sunk that the mere sight of… I should stop, my head hurts too much to anthropomorphize further.

# Does Toy Rhyme with Employee ? !

I’m watching a Disney+ short movie Toy Story: That Time Forgot. The time is a Christmas after Andy went to College and Bonnie is the mistress of the house.

Does anybody ever hear woody screaming: “YOU ARE A EMPLOYEEEEE!!!” To Buzz Lightyear? When he says “YOU ARE A TOYEEEE!!!” that to other toys? The long-e makes it really rhyme with employee.

Originally, the exasperated exclamation is reserved for stubborn new toys that do not realize that their whole life whole believes and built in intuitions are all not real and that they are toys. The “truth” is that toys need a child owner and that they are forever bound both emotionally and dutifully to said child. The “truth” is that a toy belongs to a child and its whole purpose for existing is to serve this child master. The happiness of the slaver is each slave’s only true salvation.

26 years ago I watched the first movie in its theatric release. But now I understand, this Disney movie is made to subliminally influence people of America (and the world) into believing that servitude is ultimate, noble and inevitable. This is propaganda from slave masters to slaves! Look at those highly intelligent, caring, moral, very human-like toys, look at how joyous they are after they become enlightened as to their true purpose of servitude to a superior being. That is how everything is, that is the truth of our world! Servitude and willing slavery, this is the way it should be. This is entertainment written in slave language designed for those harboring slave nature, bearing slave names, enshrining slave morals, practicing slave rituals and traditions, making slave sacrifices, enduring slave sufferings, manifesting slave destinies.

On the flip side, say you are one of the “slave owners”, what ever religious, social or economic caste that may be in your country, you may be delighted to see this film. Your child, is the human child who is born with given gifts of subjects. Your child will learn to know that these highly intelligent, caring, moral, very human-like subjects are there to please them. That these subjects should feel “right” when they “belong” to you and serve your needs. This, is free education, for your kids, and indoctrination, for the masses, in your favor.

According to Wikipedia, Disney reworked Pixar’s treatment many times to instill the theme that “toys deeply want children to play with them, and … this desire drives their hopes, fears, and actions” OMG! OMFG! What evilness be this?! A G rated film, this film had free reign to brainwash children as young as 0-years old! Some even heard it through their young mommies’ bellies.

Need more evidence? Take a look at Google’s image of cast

The only black people are those from black and white photos. Asians have great representation though, you may say, look at those nine(9) Japanese in the cast and crew! Isn’t that diversity enough for you, the present blogger being Asian, that’s a whole lot of Asians participating in brainwashing American kids, right!?

Thankfully, I am not one of those Asians. I am, however, one of those Asians who has the predisposition of falling for this kind of crap!

I am angry. I am angry as a victim of this massive brain washing!

UuhhhhhhhGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!

I hate myself for not realizing this earlier in life… after myself, I hate these subliminal, enslaving, cultural indoctrinating machines of our world and all that partook.

This is all so very wrong.

I! Am NOT! A toyEeeeeeeeee!!

(But I do own Disney stocks.)

# DSC S3E13 finale

That’s a great season! I cannot believe this show evolved so much. In many ways it is an evolution for Trek: capitalism with family on board will be an interesting thing to explore.

I suppose I should kick myself for noticing but not thinking about Saru being too by-the-book in this season. Trek has always had a distain for rules and regulations. From its first capitain till last, doing the right best thing has always been a key feature of successful Trek leaders. Saru didn’t get it… Burnham is born with it. Done!

I mean seriously, ejecting the warp core and waiting for Book to figure out how to zap them out of there… that’s some serious fly by the seat of her pants leadership.

The personal growth experienced by each member of the crew is well developed and now established. Burnham from pointing a phaser at deadly departed captain Georgio to being named captain a thousand and odd years later AFTER she revived the whole of Federation… wow!

I suppose it is still premature. Purportedly, TNG didn’t really get established until season 4, where as TOS only lasted 3… We’ve surpassed TOS and heading towards Enterprise’s 4, and then only Trek legend status of 7 seasons. I guess season 4 is really make or break season.

I pointed out previously that TOS spend a lot of scenes admiring humans. like you’d watch it and there would just be 5 seconds when the camera is staring at a nurse in a miniskirt and she holds pose but not completely still. TNG likes to admire the beautiful ship that is the Enterprise D, and some other spacial phenomenons. Here you will just find scenes of D flying at warp, or another one is Picard staring out his ready room window at the beautiful stars. DS9 too loves to just orbit the space station I. Super high resolution and watch background stars rotate, and warm hole opening and closing…. DSC, I have to say, does retain a lot of TOS’s human study shots. I do enjoy admiring the characters in almost-poses, they move, but largely the lighting, their skin and facial expressions are largely the same (at 4K, these people look terrific!) in these shots, but the extended focus help the audience to fully appreciate the character and their feelings and thinkings. I do think we have lost the TNG’s wonderment about beautiful ships and DS9’s love for spacial phenomenons. And DSC is a little too posh to have Enterprise’s quick and dirty (and mainly small) feel. So DSC can’t really put that small-but-hyper-functional visual on display.

I would suggest stop the progression of decreasing episodes (15,14,13), and make something like 20 episodes and take the time to show us something grand and beautiful. True, the spirit and the principle is what we truly want to show, but the imagery of a proud starship with power throbbing through its veins and plenty of machinery to skip along in space, it is well provisioned to easily resurrect a whole civilization… show us this visual slowly and beautifully as an expression of hope and strength.

Alas, Picard will surely take care of my needs here, it already has. But it would be a bit of shame for DSC to not have enough of that.

Anyways, looking forward to season 4.