The Facebook effect of moocs

There’s this thread of analysis on how bad Facebook make people feel. When he sees his friends vacation photos pop up during late night debugging in the NOC, or when his friends paper is published in Nature or Science when he’s stuck writing a QA spec, or experiencing a fire sale of his own company and seeing his friends companies were funded in an up round by yet another friend who’s a partner in the funding VC, both of whom posts braggy posts to their wall on Facebook… sucks to be the watchers on Facebook.

The depressive effects of social media has also leeched into moocs. As leading moocs sites like Ng’s Coursera, Thrun’s Udafity, and edX, etc. have taken hold and continued their growth. More and more courses of higher and higher production value are being disseminated online. Recently I saw a video of highly popular Harvard course. And wow! A student, an Asian kid, at Harvard, had the audacity to get up in a lecture hall of hundreds and challenged the professor in his assertion. Professor handwaves him off, but before relinquishing the mic, the kid gets one shot that stumps the prof for a good 15 seconds! The sheer intellectual liveliness of this exchange, and a lot more for the rest of the lecture. It makes me wish I was 20 years younger and went to Harvard and chose that major… I might even nudge my kids towards that path. (Of course, the Harvard professor says the Asian kid’s English name wrong, and everyone else’s name was spoke correctly… but… still… the diversity and tolerance in the class is commendable imho… The episode has high production value highlighting the cultural and intellectual diversity at Harvard that other universities maybe hard pressed to generate)

In the end, after the fun I had watching someone else debate the professor… I am alone, in my room, in front of a browser… at the end, this moocs gives me great regret and sadness. Watching younger smarter people enjoy themselves in a place and time that I never have or will experience in reality. Knowing that there is much more beyond what I can see, the learning and mentorship that happens in person… It’s School Porn!!

“But you’ve had your chance” you might say to me. Think of your wonderful time at CMU and the massive fun you’ve had… and yes, I did indeed already experience the wonderful joy of learning at an all-around-best university, college and department. It is perhaps because I know of how wonderful it can be that I am upset at these teasers of moocs…

I hope the leaders of this mooocs industry maps out more clearly a path forward. Can a moocs student meet the profs and other students live? Is there a path from all the undergraduate courses towards graduate study? Is there a path from moocs to social-economic advancement? What is the plan? I mean at least say that you have an AI with big data to help the students to map out their longer term learning outcome. State the expected educational outcome–beyond: “look ma, I’m taking a Harvard class”

Admittedly, at the birth of a technology and industry, nothing is really clear. But what is clear to me is that these courses are not as intense as real classroom. The information seem to be maybe about half to a third of a typical course with the same name. Of course I may be biased because I attended a good university and that the average university level course may be equivalent to moocs course. If this were the case, maybe we do need to more seriously invest in American education infrastructure from daycares through higher education. Because other countries are working hard on their kids. How is a future American to compete with an immigrant if they grow up being taught to achieve only these moocs?

ps it is with great optimism that I write this, I’ve scheduled it for publication a long time after its writing that viewer may feel it is outdated comment.

pps as of this writing, there is great grief among Chinese students that Harvard discriminated against them and admits relatively fewer than fair portion of qualified applicants. Several actions are ongoing.

ppps there are micro-degrees on moocs right now. Perhaps the idea is continue pursuing the complete education at a distance idea. If this is true, then certainly a lot of work is to be done, these courses can hardly help most normal students to gain the knowledge taught in the full course

pppps agreed, a motivated student could learn everything today, but a normal average kid cannot imho.

ppppps The founders teach, as examplar courses in their field of expertiese. They teach very high quality survey courses that are vocationally oriented. It enables a person to learn and become kore and more fluent in working with their technology. The same is not true for most moocs courses though.

Oh no you didn’t !! #NoAsiansEatingPets

Was there a little Asian girl eating a tiny Tribble in the preview trailer of second season of Short Treks? Wow, it’s nice to see that Asian people still eats pets in the future.

In the Star Trek Discovery season 2.5 Shot Treks Trailer, Tribbles are discovered. Several responses are seen: the scientist who discovered it exclaim in celebration of monumental scientific discovery, a conference of a bunch of non-Asian beings are all mesmerized by the creature, Tribble taking over a Starship, and the trailer ends with an Asian Human girl holding a baby Tribble on a spoon exclaiming that it is “quite furry and delicious” before putting it in her mouth.

I thought Trump was the only one going off of political correctness rails, but this is really sad. Like, where is racial disaggregations when you really really need it?

My kind of Asian people have preferred not to eat cats and dogs for many years–this is known to me for at least the past 6 generations. My children have never heard of the idea of eating cats and dogs in 2019. What willy daughter think when she sees this Asian looking Asian accented girl eating Tribbles? Hopefully it will still have been the case 300 years from now. Why don’t they take a young and bubbly French girl say “ooolalala! delicious raw Tribbles!” It will not be less inaccurate and insensitive.

Honestly I wonder if this is all due to a lack of intelligence. I can’t think of any racially stereotypical thing here except for the French eating all kinds of things. Let’s see, try making fun of Trump, he’s German British mix… let’s see… hmmmn…nada… well except for what he actually does I suppose.

I am conditioned by American media, and really there aren’t that many racially derogatory memes about these people as a people. And the media, fictional or otherwise, are led by real people, for example, recall the way Trump was recently kissing the British Queen’s ass, you’d think he’s petitioned to rejoin the kingdom! It’s just another executive order, right?

Trek was once a great show, where we project all our problems on aliens, and then solve them there. But now, the show has chosen to bring all the problems back to earth’s races. The magnification of these problems have not given us solace for our reality. It unsettled and angers without resolution. (Much like what Trump did so far.)

Where are we going so boldly, Trek?

PS. But in the same strides I have to say that it’s great that I feel so offended by this. This kind of racial stereotyping is so rare today that Asians are no longer conditioned to ignore it. The American society has advanced for sure. Hopefully this is just an aberration.

PPS the executive order stereotype about American government is sad too. As an American, that’s what my mind came up with. Our people are better than this. Do you feel like you are not of the party or faction that issues executive orders to join the great brittan? Well, I’m not part of the people who enjoy eating cats and dogs in that meaninglessly hedonic manner.

PPPS what is the problem with portraying Asians to like eating Pets? Can it not be a sign of acceptance of their laughable quirks?

Irrespective of who actually thought of doing that and who actually does that, it establishes a race based difference in perception. To White Americans, Pets are cut furry animals that evoke emotions of affection and comfort. They buy organic food for them, give them haircuts, pedicure and manicure more expensive than I can afford on my own person, health and life insurance,… I can even wager that some people,though nobody I know, are more faithfully spending quality time more regularly with their pets than with their children. Pets are treated for diabetes and cancer, they get chemo and insulin when a lot of human people can’t get chemo and insulin. Pets are family to White people who have them as family.

But White Americans make TV show showing Asians eating these family members and enjoying it. It says that White Americans either have uncontrollable conscious thoughts and fears of or are unconsciously primed to thinking Asians would injure their loved ones with pleasure. I mean that girl eating a Tribble might as well be the story of Vietnamese boy who blew up American troops with a grenade seconds after he receives candy from them in affable interaction. What small lovable thing is she going to eat next? Maybe white kids? Maybe your white kids?! Oh we already said that too. She kills family. Asians loves to eat your family. Rightful and honorable Humans do not eat family–Asians do. Watch out for these short pointy eyed sub-humans. This type of stereotype reinforces Whites’ conscious thoughts and fears or unconscious mind for this lesser alien people known as Asians.

The producers want to argue that they are raising awareness for killing of endangered animals or perversions of animal cruelty such as Asian Japanese killing of dolphins(watch the Cove, try not crying) and whales(Japan departing from the IWC in 2019 to resume whaling). Producers can cite Trek’s history of tree hugging with movies like Trek II/III. But honestly though, we all know that Tribbles are not an endangered species, that argument fails miserably.

PPPPS But relent I will in my deepening Trek induces depression. Who are we kidding. Trump was elected and presided over the country largely unassailable. This is the Democracy we live in. They tried to blame Russia and China for his election, but really, Americans had to cast the votes to make this happen. The producers/script writer/casting/actor all these people had to consent the portrayal for it to have happened. This divisive story telling is part of the soul of America today.

Asians eat pets.

Americans elect (and re-elect) Trump.

Let me accept it and seek a path onward.

(Ranting over a venti Hot Earl Grey at Starbucks near San Francisco… My family didn’t even like fermented tea much less with fruit infusion!! I hate myself!! (one wonders the preferences of the people who are originators and connoisseurs of such teas(not there’s anything wrong with those, God forbid. (Maybe this repetition of Asian girls eating furry things is deeply seeded in American Whites’ infatuation with little Asian girls (or boys) swallowing small hairy things, you pedos disgust me!! (I would bite my pollicies and halluces at your albino scribblers direction if I didn’t need them to blog and walk (man, it took days to come up with that one. I hate my retarded self so much))))))

Silicon Valley is so Racist

Okay, so later in the episode, Richard gets called out for not wanting Jiang to hold shares in his company as Anti-Asian. But not before gilfoyle gives an unapologetic “I’m a racist, I don’t want a Chinaman in my bed, fuck you Chinaman.”

I mean, the show makes racist look good. Jiang was offensive and unaccommodating and broke the law, all of this circumstance makes it seem completely within reason for gilfoyle to deliver racist insults using racist slurs. The circumstance make racist behavior seem acceptable. It legitimizes racist actions in viewers mind by showing them how to treat a Chinaman. I even thought Jiang deserved it.

But Chinaman is a very deragotory and racist word used with equal distain and disgust and prejudice as nigger.

White dude can’t say nigger today in anger, but they can use Chinaman in a very very angry and insulting spiel.

Not okay, Silicon Valley! This is not okay!

Granted, Gilfoyle ass-hole-ness is emphasized as he mistreats other people in his surrounding. But that doesn’t help the case. There are plenty of people who sympathize with Gilfoyle … They are (seemingly) competant coders who think themselves so cool and in control… Saving the day once in a while… So righteous that rudeness is the only proper manner. I mean I must know at least a dozen people like this. And still, for all of you, you are all great human beings and coders, but please, racism is not okay! I mean I love you all, and you’re all wonderful souls. But racism is not okay, okay?

Why isn’t there a single Chinese American who would make a case against racism against Chinese Americans? Are you all yellow chicken shit? Gotta seem distant from PRC Chinese because if you show any sympathy for them them the FBI or CIA will begin keeping tabs on you? Gotta dress amd shave and wash and talk and drive uppity-properly so the TLA’s dont flag you? Gotta keep your istance from non-PRC Chinese lest big brother on mainland spies you commingling with break-away rebels? Gotta maintain PC so you can keep that job at non-Chinese doninated company and send your kids to school so your bosses kids can discriminate against your kids for yet more generations to come? My God! What has Chinese bred into their genes? Such meek and sick people.


Racism Against Chinese People in Silicon Valley

Ok… so, watching Silicone Valley season 5. Two episodes in and I’m having revolting reaction like Richard reacting to a large crowd of new employees. This portrayal of Jiang performing jackasseries like planning, explaining and executing a fraud is really upsetting despite all the other jackasseries. The main problem is Chinese people, even ones who speak as he does, do not do this kind of things.

… to be honest, I should not exclaim racial superiority of Chinese people in abiding by laws, but I can claim that they are no worse than the rest of the population…

To single out a Chinese guy, who is isolated and disconnected from the rest of the Pied Pier team… to display his wankerous exploits while the rest of the team is… being part of a team working on internet 2.0… This is just wrong.

Chinese people do not have the same social status or economic power as… people like Erlich Bachman, or even people like Big Head. Consequently they should not be substitute for Bachmans or big head’s characters. The stereotype comes at a very bad time.

A Chinese student was recently arrested for showing off a machine gun to his roommate in central Florida university… The arresting suspicion was that he stayed home all day and didn’t go to class.

Not that I feel like defending Jiang or that CFU dude, but I live in the Silicon Valley, and I stay at home all day and I in recent months have stopped showering, shaving and gained weight. Silicon Valley’s insensitive portrayal of Asian Americans make me very very unhappy.

I mean for god sakes, if I were to believe what America media tells me about it’s police and it’s culture, I would reasonably believe that the FBI in conjunction with local police may have been plotting a raid on my home for months because of my ethnicity and personal employment, health and hygiene choices.

Other plot, like Richard and Gavin duking it out in the hiring and acquisition space is not news to anyone whose worked here… well, actually, it’s worse and certainly not news to anyone as the settled conspiracy accusations high tech companies like Apple and Google, as well as settled allegations of hiring discrimination against Asians at Palantir, in each case, as news reports it, settlement against Silicon Valley companies.

But in these plots of Silicon Valley, the characters did not break the law as real Silicon Valley companies did.

So… in summation, the singular Chinese guy break law in a very very bad way when average Chinese is law abiding. All the other characters participate in the economy and competes according to the law when in fact the companies in Silicon Valley seem to have been competing on the wrong side of the law repeatedly.

I sense a bit of stereotyping here… glorifying something that in practice is bad and casting a very very negative stereotype on the Chinese Americans who are at worst average.

Shame on you all! You pig shit! You all are worse than the shit in the belly of that hog Jiang’s corrupt Chinese uncle shipped him from mainland China instead of the body of a dead white American he requested to present as evidence that Bachman is dead in order to gain control of Bachman’s Palo Alto residence. Who in the kingdom of horse dung to come wrote this script? And why???! Don’t you have a Russian or North Korean or even a German or an Aussie that you want to pick on? This is not entertainment! This really really sucks!

What is the Nationalistic Threat?

Read up on nationalist in an NPR article, also googled “the difference between patriotism and nationalism” resulting in explanation from Mariam-Webster dictionary. One is hard pressed to be oblivious of this except to follow present author in residing under a stone.

The search for nationalism began when I saw Madeline Albright, and Colin Powell talk about “nationalistic threat.” In Madame Secretary S5E1 (0.30 FAMX). From context it is obvious that Albright means the Nazi nationalistic agenda as a threat to humanity. Powell also highlights the aspect of concern: it is divisive. Clinton chimes in that the attack is on America’s diversity. And of course the TFA speaks of white nationalism which is a little bit more extreme in views and practices.

Ultimately it is probably fair for the governing body of a country to be patriotic–generally behaving to benefit the country. By definition, that also imply the acceptance that there must be separate nations and demand devotion of its constituency to its own above all other countries. To some extent, the superiority of any nation in its citizens’ minds seem to be definitive–otherwise the nation need not rationally exist.

Patriotism is like oxygen for government, you kind of need it to survive but too much at the wrong place ages and kills you–in a dreadful progression of degradation. Alternatives to patriotism as a foundation for thought and reason may, for example include humanism, religion, environmentalism, racism and capitalism. Respectively focusing on the success of humans (or each human), service of God, protection of the environment, advancement or dominance of one race, and the successful use of capital. These may seem mutually compatible or incompatible, depending on who you are, and they seem to be concerned with rather different types of objects, and scales in incomparable ways. But they are all candidates to take place of nationalism–they can all guide major decision making in a very primal way. Primal both in the sense of overriding everything else and also in the sense of being the origins of thinking and deciding. They are political campaign platforms.

There is no arguing that nationalism is great. And there is no arguing that racist nationalistic focus has done very bad things to humanity. It can definitely get way out of hand. Also, according TFA, some Americans interpret the bare word “nationalism” as implicitly having one of many possible political prefix that intone racism or conflict to others: white, Hindu, imperial, Afrikaner, Canadian, Buddhist, Tamil, colonial…

But imho the nationalistic behavior should not be attacked in the name of nationalism. The problem many have with “white nationalism” is the racist “white,” and the association of one’s white race with one’s patriotism. The problem with Trump’s nationalistic campaign, it has been argued, focuses on some social-economic class or geological regions, and its generating toxic social norms. When president Trump says “let’s take out those Chinese spy scums!” he is mindful to follow, irrespective of deference versus dominance, with “I respect the Chinese president, he’s a great guy! I keep a good relationship with him. We’re going to make a great deal!” His professional behavior towards his peers appears to genuinely respectful and constructive. But, as many on the opposite end of political spectrum argues, his display of attitude and policy towards “lesser” people, although mostly legally unchallenged, gives everyone the sense that the president’s administration is encouraging distain and discrimination for some geography and some social-economic class.

Having those personal sentiments did not factor into President Trump’s election. But the concern will then be that because of these behaviors, his leadership essentially encourages somewhat boisterous and rude display of hatred-like emotions towards some races, nations and geographies. The result is that some other “lesser” citizens of this country act out aggressions against these same groups in expression or by injury. They, unlike their leader, forsake responsible efforts toward any semblance of dignity and civility, in public or in clandestinity, towards their peers.

Perhaps the data will speak for itself. We will have stats on hatred and racially motivated crimes during his administration. History in retrospect will be crystal clear.

The irreversible environmental damage that we all worry about, and the drastic decrease of science in government, will surely have lasting impact. But honestly, we can only look at the bright side right now and see it as a winnowing process that will refine the involvement of scientists in government so that a better crop come onboard when the next administration revived science in American government.

Toxic nationalistic rhetorics and policies is definitely a threat to America damaging the integrity of the nation’s essence.

But I still think the boarders should be secure. Arguments against racism is not argument against the practice of nation building. Our borders should be secure against a walker from Mexico or Canada the same way it is to be secure for a swimmer from P. R. of China or a flier from Pakistan. There is no reason, for example, to believe that any individual, each of whom a human, from each of these geographies, each came to be on this Earth at the same time, will have significantly different crime rates when successfully integrated into our society. We should not discriminate against all individuals en masse based on protected attributes. I do wholeheartedly agree that we should protect that which we love, using walls if we must. We wouldn’t want to need walls for ever, but it is the best we can do right now.

This may seem anti-American to some. The wish to select who we accept into the country, the plan to “integrate” them into our society. This desire for control seems to be completely opposite of a freedom loving country open to all humans. The result of this openness is that many other walls are constructed to keep people out. For one example, there is the Ivy League which is considered by many to be a requirement for entrance into power and money has legal and uniquely discriminating admission tastes… For another example, the requirement that the politicians must publicly and enthusiastically promotes bathroom sharing between physically male and female people in order for them to run for office of any kind… these are some walls that we have put up inside our borders. These walls keep our tired, our poor, our huddled masses yearning to breathe free in their place within America.

Why don’t we just put up a physical wall? Let’s filter our residents and citizens. Let’s train them to be Americans because we think America and Americans are already great! Let’s rid ourselves of these other internal walls and be a truly free and just country.

Lets keep this America great.

Let’s make America greater!

The Next Contest

Attending Nvidia’s GTC 2018 in San Jose… A thought creeps into my mind.

We beat human at chess with deep blue

We beat human at go with alphaGo

I think the next single-person contest might be the Martial Arts. For example a robot with human anatomy and strength and speed is set to beat a human at hand to hand combat or weapons combat.

That’d be cool to watch.