Cultural diversity

I made an idle observation to a friend recently. It had appeared to me that there are a lot of Canadians in the Bay Area. I wonder if it is a matter of convenience and economic disparity, or if it was intentional selection.

On the one hand, Canadian culture and education are very similar. Most Canadians would even argue with you that they have better schools and universities than America. They also speak English. This means it is very easy to replace an American worker with a Canadian one with zero loss of efficiency.

On the other hand, since they are so similar to Americans in culture and training, there is no real value in bringing a large number of them here. Why give an opportunity to a Canadian when a equally experienced American exist to take the job?

I believe American schools are still very good and still very competitive. But the graduates cannot really exercise their pursuit of happiness if it is overshadowed by political agenda to integrate more Canadian educated persons… Hypothetically speaking, that is, in the case there is an over representation of Canadians in our immigrant pool.

Does that make sense?

If there is merit in the argument that diversity begets synergy beyond that of an undiversified work force, then Canadian immigrants are least bang for the buck in terms of synergy synthesis due to their cultural and political proximity to the US. They… do not add to our distinctiveness, not worthy of assimilation… to apply an aphorism from American culture.

And admittedly there are a lot of talented and accomplished Canadians in the US. Not all Canadian imports take opportunity unfairly from Americans. The trouble is that there are also a lot of talented Americans, and we should give ample chance to our own, even if another suitable talent can be cheaply imported, we have an obligation to our own people. We should strive despite our fear of isolation. If there is an aspect of American schools or culture that is less than other countries, let that be improved. Let that be our salvation and not the fact that we can always just buy a cheap imported replacement.

A related question then arises. Although we have an obligation to our own people, we also have obligation to humanity. What if we didn’t import that one Canadian who single handedly changed the course of humanity for the much better? Add the brassy presumption that if US didn’t admit him then our humanity would not be much better improved at all.

The answer to that is really subtle. It really takes some introspection of the reader. It also depends on who you are and how you think. Inspect that question and try to write an answer.

Ps a few weeks after writimg this, years before publication, the FAM blog receives a large volume of readers from Canada(and only from canada). I wonder if scheduled publication some how leaked the content out? Am I being watched by some kind of secret Canadian police now? Whats going on here?

I live under a rock

It looks like Palo Alto is about to approve Yamamoto as a name for one of its middle schools to replace their name sakes and eugenics proponents Jordan and Terman .

One have to consider the alternatives, let’s just say it

* Adolf or Hitler school of art. (I’ve certainly known an Adolfo walking around and succeeding in the Bay Area in his own way)

* Jesus middle school (a common name, especially in Latin America.)

* Stalin elementary

* Mussolini Middle School, a language model of a single layered artificial neural network without nonlinearities could concievably think it is equally suitable for a school name as Cipriani Elementary or Capuchino High School.

* Castro elementary.

* Guevara charter school (of Che fame.)

What’s wrong with those names? There is ample opportunity for Americans of those names to succeed here that they can be name sake of a middle school in Palo Alto. Why were they not chosen? Would they be approved over significant objection of the city’s residents?

But that’s not so bad. Imagine if there was a successful Chinese-American worthy of this designation with Mao as last name. What would all of you say then? Probably something like “I don’t want my son to be chairman of the Mao middle school student council”

The main problem is probably because Chinese Americans all live under rocks like me. We don’t really care about politics until we’re stung in the eye and ear with this kind of Nonsense.

We should avoid naming schools using very distinctive war criminal names. For god’s sake, you have kids whose grandpa’s were bayoneted and mother raped or bombed by troops under command by a certain Admiral Yamamoto. And I don’t mean just Chinese kids. There are so many people who suffered due to the machinations of the evil axial powers during WW II. Let’s have some human decency to be sensitive to others’ sufferings in our school choices. Let’s not use a recent war criminal name for this otherwise desirable school.

What in the name of all that is good and holy were you thinking? Shame on you who decided to use this name.

But after fussing a bit. I guess it’s pretty well known that Chinese have been encroaching on Palo Altan real estate. This is probably an antagonizer intended to reduce foreign Chinese investments in those houses. Anyway… I guess this saying is true: all’s fair in politics and capitalism. It’s just sad that it has to be a criminal from a crime against humanities.

(Okay, he wasn’t a convicted war criminal, but only because he was shot down by American due to him being an enemy of the country. But that he is killed by Americans is not an excuse for what he caused to happen. That name still stirs fear and disgust in many many Asian countries. What he did was unusually cruel and wrong. The suffering people have memories, even if history books are selective… We remember.)

Android 8.1.0

I am very frustrated with Google Android’s 8.1.0 on the pixel 2. In particular, TalkBack has some serious bugs. In this version of Android, on my pixel 2, I cannot activate screen reading at all. The volume control drop-down sticks to the screen constantly after activating TalkBack. And all it reads is the volume control drop down. Click, double click, inside, outside the box all changes volume instead of making the drop down disappear. Has a proud and profitable tech giant really let slip so check a huge bug? I mean what the f? Who are you who help to put this feature out?

I don’t get it. Like, this is so easy on the iPhone with a three-fingered swipe. What does one have to do in this town to get some hands-free information?

But again, this goes to Software Engineers being at mercy of Business folk. There is no self respecting QA or SE who would write such a piece highly visible bug. This must be some kind of coordinated protest by Google against the Trump government: is it immigrants again that I’m suffering for? Is it a show of strength of Silicon Valley solidarity united against net non-neutrality? You screw with our streaming rights and we will f* your screen reader up! Is this kind of degradation of service really necessary?

What has this valley come to? And where will it go?