Whitewashing of Fictional Future’s Past

Just noticed that Benedict Cumberbatch, English-as-they-get dude, was castes to play a character named Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek. Did anybody notice that this clearly Asian/genetically-engineered character should have been at least portrayed by an Asian actor? Preferably also genetically engineered… , but he'd never publicly admit that in today's USA for fear of persecution–and, btw, I support careful cataloging and controlling of mutants, don't get me wrong there…

Like what if they start breeding telekinetic AIDS… think about all that latex and animal skin these people surround themselves with, there's a good reason for that!


I call for an end to WHITEWASHING at least in circumstances where minority, is competent, and conveniently fits the role.

By the time this posts… I will surely have bought and watched Discovery Trek..

I still think it will ruin Trek for me. On a different level. Despite the casting of minority leads in leading heroic roles, it is really after more than 50 years later and still will definitely not be good enough. In fiction, as in life, generations of something bad leaves a very heavy mark… not easily filled with a little bit of something. And if the show fails… well that proves it, either minority can't act or Americans just don't want to watch minorities strutting their stuff. Either way, as mentioned numerous times here, I do not see a way for this to end well for anybody.

But, applause, blog exposure,and payment nonetheless, for trying. Thanks guys! That really means something to me, personally. Perhaps with this kind of effort we'll be some where in the 23rd century…

Insanity Finally Meets Real Life for Real…

So, all those neurotic features that computer people have that are glorified in movies: obsessive compulsive, ADHD, assholism, workaholic, conspiracy theorizing, stupidity…

It happened to me. Last week, Wednesday June 14th, I hurt my back putting down my bag at work. I arrived around 9ish, I bent to put it down and something must have snapped. Four pain killers and an hour later, I begrudgingly drove myself to urgent care. It hurts really bad, when I sit, when I walk, when I sit when I type…

The bag was filled with about 15 versions of several documents I was working on. I was trying to preserve my sanity because I suspected that the company was out to get me. I thought it had been exercising the capability to impersonate my account and produce typo or otherwise simulate substandard work that are not actually produced by me. This is explicitly allowed by my employment contract that the company can make recording of me at work and may simulate or reproduce the recordings for any purpose. Since they pay me purportedly fair wage and never says anything bad about me in public, this reproduction of simulation never causes any damage “in the real world”, so even if they did it unlawfully, they get out by having a release from me and by the fact that it is very hard to show the damage it does to me.

But that is not the funny/sad part. Funny or sad depends on what kind of person you are.

I drove to urgent care,  very very very slowly walked in. Across the parking garage and across the building to urgent care, only to be refused service. Apparently, because the injury occurred at work, that my company’s health insurance does not cover it. The receptionist refused to admit me. Later she brought out a nurse who explained that I may receive medical service but it is very certainly not covered by the medical insurance I normally use (ppo). I will have to pay for it myself if I insist that they treat me.

After some persuasion, an orderly wheelchaired me out to the garage. I accessed my laptop but could not find wifi. I phoned a friend at work, and…. an hour of frantically dialing a service line for that normal ppo insurance failed to lead to any solution….

Well, at least I still have my car and can drive. Drove to a nearby Starbucks, omg, I never regret buying those horrifically expensive coffee, I probably qualify for 10 gold cards every quarter. Because I got an nice strong Google Starbucks wifi from half way across the parking lot.

Slacked HR at work, finally a friendly face… this HR department is the most awesome… all the people who welcomed me to the company four years ago are still there… the people who did my employment verification for my mortgage, my paternity leave… and now my back saver… another 45 minutes elapse before I reach an authorized clinic.
I wait for every one to be treated, including those who arrive after me. Nothing too unusual here, there is even a sign that says this would happen at the counter. I get a shot, x-ray of back and junk…ouch… 

I get my prescription, fill it at cvs, … arrive home at 4:30 pm. That’s seven hours later. Obviously missed a few things, like lunch, drinking water, hurts to pee or poop,… but all that is minor…  a week of uselessness ensue… it is really hard to be alive with a bad back and young kids…

Doctor prescribes modified work. So if I was a carpenter or a manual laborer, I’d have to limp back to work with this kinked back. oMG!!!! This is inhumane!! My job allows me to work from home, but what if I worked at a different job? I’d actually have to work through this pain.

Wow… wow… wow…..

Lesson: don’t get hurt at work.

If you do get hurt, there is a special insurance that the company bought called workers compansation. The company has to initiate a claim, after insurance gives the authorization, you are to visit clinics that the workcomp insurance designates. The manager or HR handles these issues, most other employee probably doesn’t know about it.

Lesson: you, an employee, are puny. The company is mighty and is prepared. It will win and is the bigger man at the end. Don’t even try…

Lesson: Don’t be a software engineer if you can help it. We don’t have unions and we are all puny. And unions do not exist for a reason. Don’t even try…

And don’t mind people trying to intimidate you by casually saying that the Bay Area is a small place and that you need to watch out for your next job.

You fucking piece of shit!!
YOU!!! DO NOT!!!!! intimidate me!!!

Thoughts About The Quadratic Inequality Metric

So far, we have been able to decompose utilitarian quadratic inequality metric(QIM) into bias and variances. One might wonder where this fits in the greater scheme of things.

Recall that the analysis is being performed on the benefit of a service, provided by a service provider such as company or government, to a customer at cost to the latter party. Equality, as measured by QIM, is being demanded of the provider between repeated experience by the same or different customers. Therefore, it is obvious that the approach does not itself insist on equality of opportunity. It may, if we insist that population we draw from are inclusive and representative, however that is an addition to be made the model and require additional specification.

The bias term really measures the equality of outcome. When the QIM is high, it can be caused by a difference in the beneficial outcome of the same experience to different customers.

But, what, in traditional social, political and economic sciences do we call the variances part of QIM? I initially considered univariate variances a measure of quality of service to each consumer. This makes sense as long as the services is not pathologically constructed situations: e.g. a random experience generator where the desired outcome is high variance. Later, I feel that this question must be punted to the user of the QIM. Let it be a demand to the user that he only parameterize QIM for utility measurements whose high and consistent values are desired. In so far as I have observed, most metric that we measure are like this: revenue, profit, ROI, unemployment rate, even binary variables such as attendance, satisfies this demand. Finally, sign of inequality metric is actually not important. QIM will be large when the two are unequal.

In all cases of metrics, both bias and univariate variance terms of QIM can only increase this measure of inequality. Under QIM, inequality can only be overcome by the covariance term. The only way for QIM to be decreased from highly different outcome or inconsistent behavior to either, or both, consumer comparands, is if the benefit of service or harm of diservice anti-correlates. If they are anti-correlated, the covariance term improves the QIM.

So, if there are all-male school A, and all-female school B. Send randomly selected students from male and female populations to both schools. If students fail or succeed in both schools simultaneously but never fail in one school and succeeds in the other school, then it removes suspicion that the two school provides unequal educational service. In fact, if each of the students succeeds in exactly one of the two schools, the QIM become minimized–the strongest contribution of inequality due to inconsistent experience.

An alternative sampling model to compare two populations (male and female students) at another school (a modern co-ed University) we can simply sample pairs of one male and one female students according to natural distribution. (consider a simple random sample from all pairs of man-women generated from class rosters, or grade levels, dependent on whether the utility metric is class grade or overall GPA or other metrics. These measurements are then used to estimate the QIM between the sexes at said institution.

In both of these cases, the decomposition of the QIM can be computed.

It is my continuing concern that we have not resolved the X of equality-of-X models. Equality of outcome is certainly not the most popular approach right now, where as equality of opportunity is de facto law of the land in United States, at least governments and public corporations are required to be equal opportunity employers.

But whether and how the law applies to the actual experience of employment, and furthermore the experience of actual service rendered by the governed entity, is unclear to me. How equality is monitored is certainly beyond my education. I hope to later find answers to these thoughts in ancient political science texts, that I already live in an as-equitable-as-can-be society…

And if not, here is one attempt at improving all that.

An Episode of Software Engineering Absurdity

A long time ago in a universe far far away…

The engineering organization collectively decided that all code changes must be spelt correctly using no abbreviations at all what so ever. However it is then established that all should use single letter shorthand in commit messages and company notes written for human consumption.

The emphasize and effort with which technical leaders place into trivialities of exact spellings and spacings are monumental! I dare to wager that some where around 30% of wall clock time spent on projects at some company is spent on responding to formatting and spelling PR comments or on overhead of creating them.

I often comment that spacing and spelling are irrelevant to correctness of computer interpretation of programs… more arbitrary things like loop variables for short loops cannot be i are just purely obnoxious. (A standardized replacement should be made, e.g. bolded i is a special symbol always referring to innermost loop variable, would seem like a more reasonable approach IMHO)

But that’s all fine! Programs are interpreted by people too and should have good grammar and spelling. By what about documents to people? Why then are those obfuscated using single character shorthands that do not event start with the English word or idea they represent? How do you justify this?

Should I degrade myself by suggesting that his is another Chinese thing? When the team is largely Chinese that they prefer single character representations due to the nature of their natural born language? Single Chinese characters tend to have more meaning than a single English character, for example, the last name 李 is like Smith in English in terms of popularity, however it is 4 characters shorter.

Should I degrade myself by looking up the word in a very rarely spoken European language just to see if the shorthand actually starts the right word in that language? This will satisfy my mind to the cause of these contradictory practices.

Should I degrade myself by typing out a blog post about this and amuse myself in reading about my self some years later?

Perhaps I will do all three…

I hope I find out later that this is a reality show and that release inside my original employment agreement (that I signed after crossing out) insisting audio, video and other recording of my presence at the company may be used “for any purpose” really had a purpose. Or perhaps this is an elaborate psychological experiment performed by the company. I don’t see any personal, legal, ethical or cultural reasons, stated or implied, why it couldn’t be happening here.

Those possibilities are better planned realities than stupidity of leaders or more sinister perspective where the leader are setting these teams composed of largely minorities and immigrants for failure by encouraging highly counter productive practices. (Because immigrants and under served people tend to make more English spelling mistakes due to force of their circumstances, in all courts, it would seem completely reasonable and natural that they make more legitimate spelling mistakes. Focusing on this aspect would then legitimately isolate minorities and immigrants.)

Will time tell me what is truly happening in these seemingly lost years?