On the Precipice of Christmas

Just lost a round $32 to the Atlantis Casino Reno. I had wanted to come to a corner of this casino and mope about landscaping. That’s right, landscaping. Today, I finally admitted to my wife that I have never before understood why so many people plant so much vegetation near their houses, and by near I mean touching. Why do people do so when it has been well known for decades that trees pull up moisture and rots wood used to build the house? The phenomenon is quite prevalent in the Bay Area. People do landscaping to their houses all the time like people do drugs to their own bodies.

And then it dawned on me today that they do it out of hedonic needs. The trees and flowers, so close you can touch and smell, they make people happy. So what if the house will fall down in 20 to 30 years? What comparison can you make with the happiness of the house’s residents for those number of years? A modern human being would always choose happiness of people over the happiness of dead wood. An ancient human being may also argue that since god created everything for humans, that this destructive servitude is most holy. There is no why. It just happens, by will of God and Humans. There is no why.

But I choose not to mope about soiled by my realization of how normal people think. Another idea to write about is the wonderful buildings of casinos. The Atlantis has two gigantic torches outside that blows 5-stories-tall flames every 30 minutes. The other casinos are also decadently extravagant. The artwork, the fanciful lighting, the domes, arches, fountains,… a single casino could have many architectural and distinctive features that come from centuries of history and art. Combined with modern day lighting, they look fantastic. The casinos here look like the originals of buildings and paintings that belong to a future museum. How do they get white walls so white? How do they make yellow walls work?

But this fantasizing is colored with the lens of twenty-teens. We go to museums to see these historical buildings because they are beautiful, difficult to create, and original (when they were created) in a few centuries time, what will actually attract humans to museums? It is not going to be casinos for sure. I mean, they won’t be able to get the smoke out of these buildings for another millennium.

Occasionally, some of us has the experience of being reminded that classic, museum-worthy, privately collectible and perpetually appreciating, transcendental art works from the past, they might have been nouvo and scandalous at their time of production, and they might have taken hundreds of years to gain their due desert of acceptance and appreciation. What we know for sure is that some sufficient number of human beings, at some remarkable times in the past, found such works appealing and decided to preserve them and propagate appreciation for them. Here and now I remark upon Reno casinos… I appreciate these whole buildings that art art.

Museum put on display historical intellectual arguments: who said what and influenced whom… visualized or represented in multi-media ways. We can watch great historical debates about politics and sciences. We can watch humanity decide what it wants to believe and wants to do. We can put on display Creationist Science versus Evolutionary Sciences, Climate change spectrum, Bayesian versus Frequentists, Empirical risk minimization versus… We can put on display the battle among titans of industries–IBM versus Apple, Tesla versus the rest, Intel versus Asia, AC versus DC, Amd versus NVIDIA, Ford versus Ferrari, … possibly many other struggle for dominance or survival. Perhaps these will be the legacies we will be remembered by. Our modern marvels will be the process that got us to that time and place where we are museum-worthy relics.

Right Quit-right Right

During my thanksgiving-induced food coma, I had run into a problem in my mind. Recall that we had begun to think about right and wrong, just and unjust, should and shouldn’t, could and couldn’t, could do to and could do onto, etc. in an abstract mind conception of the Action Space. Roughly speaking, with the rigor required at the outset of Nichomachean Ethics, Action Space is a set of all possible actions anybody or any body could do to another at a specified time. For a significant portion of this space, a subspace, we can describe actions in English sentence: “Eve gives Adam a forbidden fruit(at any time).” But we do not unnecessarily restrict us to these at this stage. Sets have interesting but practical operators that we use to model other aspects of our world, including: membership and subset relations, union and disjunction operators, etc. A hope is that using sets of actions we can both cover a lot of ground in representing our real world, and we leverage our innate understanding of these concepts to interpret the matters of Actions.

This framing gives us an immediate idea to compare the size of action spaces. Suppose there is an Action Space that represent the actions permitted by the U.S. constitution L. Now, we can also have the action space specified by the United State Code(USC). We can very safely demand that when interpreted their action spaces USC \subset C. And we say that the Constitution of the United States of America grants strictly more freedom than the USC. The set of actions permitted by the prior is a strict superset of those permitted by the latter. More actions means more rights, liberties and freedoms. Fewer actions means more constrained and fewer choices. Strictly more free is a partial ordering of all action spaces. In a less strict sense of freedom, we can also compare cardinalities of two action spaces. But clearly this ordering is not very useful: have all the rights to sneeze in various poses is not nearly as important as the right to take a sip of water. Of course that can too be ameliorated with utilitarian’s individual utility function or the social welfare function, and other such attempts so as to produce a useful ordering of preference over action spaces.

Having considered many perspectives on permissibility and selection of actions, and considering conservative believes about our physical universe and all that we could possibly be concerned with, we have come to designate an API with which thinking and controlling systems may interact with our faculties that deal with rules of law and right and wrong. We suspend our fear of making a homunculus argument as we do not say we have found or made such modules of this artificial intelligence, but merely that we want to separate these concerns to reduce the complexity of reasoning. The separation is not physical, all the thinking could be produced on the same gray matter or CPU. The interface can also be defined implicitly, for visualization, consider looking at a hyperplane through which these two separate functions connect.

For the purpose of characterizing whether an action is permitted by a determining agent or subcomponent E, we ask that a permission function $latest P_E$ to be accessible.

P_E(a, t, H, n=N) -> [permissible|impermissible]

The parameters are typed:

  • a \in A is an action of the action space
  • t \in T is a set of timestamps in question.
    • $latex T” is a predesignated time indexing which is a set of objects known as timestamps. It is is totally ordered. For convenience we also include the open and closed contiguous sets of timestamp called intervals or ranges using ‘[]()’ symbols. We use the symbol < to mean before, > to mean after and = to mean at the same time.
    • time t can be a single timestamp or a set of timestamps. The function is polymorphic.
    • The type of time parameters should be be inferred from context if ambiguous: happening at “a time t” means a single timestamp, “happening at time/times t” means occurring for all time in set t.
    • Often T is specified to be the real numbers or integers. In this case a reference must be set for the time 0, as well as scale explaining what duration of 1 means in the physical world.
  • H is the whole history of the world up to t.
    • History has, among other information, the timestamp of now $H_n$ which is the maximal time about which we have information through H. Calling it now is more positive than the end of history.
    • Regarding performed actions, H is a log of actions that have been taken each with timestamp of when they were taken. We use a convenience expression did(a,h,t=T,n=N) to check if an action was reportedly taken in h at time t. Not specifying t asks if the action was ever taken. did(a,h=h) is an injective function. An action is taken or not taken, it cannot be unknown.
  • n is the nature of the world. It may contain matter such as the laws of physics, existence of god, etc. Since we care most about the nature that we are in, by default this parameter is specified as the nature of our world. We should be able to query for information such as number: \pi, e, c, N_A etc.

P_E therefore yields the result that we use to decide whether an action is permissible or not under some system of determination for propriety and preference. The answer, as given by E, is E’s answer at time t. An agent, upon receiving the permissible result from E will understand that the action they asked about is permitted at the time in question given history of the world leading up to time t, and our nature.

….The E is member of world and accessible as part of nature. We could also imagine historical E’s that are result of history: made computer, wrote programs, program decides…..

In considering the permissibility of actions we should also for functional purposes suppose the existence of the doit function. doit(a, t, h, n=N)=(h',n'). All that doit does is that it instantaneously adds the action to history and nature at time $latext t$. and reports the results of that insertion. When specified, a natural action is one which does not change nature: doit(a, t, h, n=N)=(h',n) and a supernatural action is one that changes nature: doit(a, t, h, n=N)=(h,n').

Two actions a_1, a_2 are homopotent if doit(a_1, t, h, n=N) =doit(a_2, t, h, n=N). This equivalence relation creates equivalent classes of actions. Such classes exist even the Natural language descriptions can have many descriptions of the exactly same action. We will prefix homopotency with historic and natural for equivalence that match only history and only nature respectively.

For convenience of notation, we can query nature and history for, among other things, the deed of past actions: did(a, h, t=\emptyset, n=N)

We are conscientious of many other potential problems of our present endeavors. Mathematicians has given us many concerning thoughts about sets of things. One example of a problem with these innings is that most of our computational machinery have known limitation that terminability of a function is unknowable—eg the Halting Problem.

In practical implementation the function may produce a response that is either permissible nor impermissible. If we have to wait for ever, then this function is not useful. If we do not know whether it terminates or not, then we do not know if we can use the result or not. Of course, Software Engineers have long worked around this issue by creating time-box around functions. Each function evaluation is surrounded by machinery that will wait patiently for a result, but if some preset time box is exceeded, the efforts to evaluate said function is suspended and the invoking agent is informed that the function did not function as expected. Since time pass as surely as we can time it, this time boxing wrapper approach guarantees us that we can implement a function with this signature:

P_E(a, t, H, n=N) -> [permissible|impermissible|indiscernible]

Users of our API are warned and required to handle the case when such a component fails to function. Such demand is not unreasonable as there are many such safety implements in most modern artificial computational systems. The result of indiscernible expresses no opinion regarding the action. The user of this API may choose conventions on how to react to the result. A information security implementation may choose to be conservative by reacting to indiscernible as if the answer is impermissible to ensure security. Where as human legal system may choose to be liberal and interpret indiscernible reaction as permissible granting maximal freedom when in doubt.

Another oft-used software engineering safety technique is that of rate limiting. The provider of P_e API may choose to rate limit how much any single agent may query the API. Rate limiting helps to mitigate finial of service(DOS) attacks on the permissions system. In reality, this rate limit is enforced by our limited implementations. In theory, a rate limit on API invocation allows to analyze the ability of a real agent to follow the directions of a permission function under realistic constraints. Rate limits can be expressed as a limit on requests can be made within any contiguous interval of a certain set period of time (ie queries per second (qps)), or it may be a rough restriction in the form of interval between requests, among many other choices.

For a third problematic example, we shall eponymously name it the quit-right problem. It is a shady imitator of the Russel Paradox. The problem is self explanatory: Are quit-right actions members of our action space? Can one consider the right to give up a right? If so, can we quit all quit-rights rights? Can we quit a quit right the action itself?

Legal theory has a convenient solution to this problem. In legal arrangements, one can make something called a default rule and another that is called mandatory rule. A default rule applies if there is no forceful contract or declaration to its contrary. Mandatory rules, on the other hand, are those rules that cannot be overwritten irrespective of contracting or forceful declarations. Certainly quit right is an action we can imagine to be part of a legal action space, but a legal action space will not contain quit right actions for actions that are mandatorily protected. Some commonplace examples are the potency of Nondisclosure Agreements (NDA) in the rules of law. In this case a natural person or other legal entities may contract away their right of speech and other expressions—they quit their right of speech and freedom of expression. However, no matter if you sign with a in $2^10000000$ bits of cryptographic signature carved into stone, you can not sign away your life to be taken by another individual. It will always be called into question whether that other individual is responsible for advertently or inadvertently cause your loss of life irrespective of your renunciation thereof. The force of such system is infinite, the person may not change his right to change his right to life, he may not give himself permission to give himself permission to contract or declare away his life, and is on and so forth.

Now, those are a subject itself quitting its own right. Again using a easy target of human life, the action space still contain actions such as the state killing you. Under some circumstance states maintain the right to kill you in its action space for purpose of capital punishment. The American government actually also has the right to modify its own right regarding capital punishment within the confines of its constitution.

But what does the quit-right action look like in the action space? Let’s for simplicity of expression designate a macro $q(e, a, s, t=\infty)$ to mean the action:

quit the right to take action a in the permissibility determining system e on all such times on or after timestamp s and before time t.

The meaning of macro q(e, a, s, t)

If P_e(q(e, a, s, t), s_<, u) is permissible, and if q(e, a, s, t) was successively taken in history u\in h then P_e(a, s_>, h,...) returns impermissible.

  • Time is a totally ordered set of timestamps. These corresponds to wall clock time in our world. The set has membership as well as open and closed interval as.
  • Action Space actions has success and failure return codes.
    • doit succeeds only when action is permitted.
    • doit returns a history. Suppose we can query that history for whether an action was taken in time range. The behavior of doit is then definable on the function’s input and output.
    • other agents can be invoking doit as well, it does not affect present agent…$
    • permit, forbid only when the stated modifications to subactionspace is permitted

The resignation to these rights are targeted for a specific permission function P_e to allow us to perform activities permitted by one system and disallowed by another, e.g. law and conscience, rationality and greed, etc. Since we have not introduced macro and action variables or even functions within the action space, we skirt issues like writing a macro that when expanded produces q(q(q(q( ad infinitum. But even when that is enabled, it will not be a problem because for uninterpretable actions we have a convenient indiscernible result to resort to when we receive obnoxious or pathological questions and actions that we can certainly deem unreasonable, irrelevant, or useless.

Now then, we may say that if an agent has taken an action q(e, a, s, t) then we expect P_e(a, u, H_u) to return impermissible \forall u.s\leq  u < t.

So far we have not distinguished actors(subjects) and objects of action. But it does not hinder our efforts. An action space built constructively using verbs and nouns into a transitive action space. We can also explore by building increasingly more complex action space, for example by increasing valency of verbs used to construct a action space. In such spaces, the action passed to the quit-right macro may contain a subject not covariant with the object. In such a situations, the action a q(e, b does...) in which actor a quits an action for b. The DMV(a), for example, has the right to take an action that forbids a person(b) from driving according to traffic law(e) according to e: A motorist has the API to ask the question P_e(q^a(e, b drives...)...) and receive an affirmative answer of permissible.

More to come…

Academic freedom with Goog

Just saw NPR news about Gebru being fired/resigning for reason related to publication dispute with Google the company. Some many number of people signed letter to ask for transparency and reconsideration.

Honestly, HR is not the most customer friendly or innovative department of silicone valley companies—on average. There are certainly awesome HR individuals and HR leaders that I’ve encountered, but there surely are some seriously uncaring individuals, senior leaders and policies that acted inhumanely and unreasonably. This quotation from Gebru, as published by a very sympathetic review in the Washington Post, is something that perhaps most minorities can write with significant degree of sincerity:

Gebru recounted her most recent experience in the email as an example of why she had given up on advocating for diversity inside Google. “[S]top writing your documents because it doesn’t make a difference,” she wrote. “[Y]our life gets worse when you start advocating for underrepresented people, you start making the other leaders upset when they don’t want to give you good ratings during calibration

This advocacy she speaks of represent a swath of disparate and dissenting opinions regarding various modes in which minorities are treated. When “reasoning” with the employee through normal management chain fails, the mighty HR steps in and uses company business related performance reviews (known as calibrations at Google) to enforce the company’s stance. The only exception here is that one of Gebru’s job is to improve minority inclusion at Google—by losing her own inclusion she has created a self-fulfilling failure to perform her duties to the company. Also, her declaration that writing documents is useless is self defeating as well. As a scientist, a big part of her work will be to document and publish her learnings and believes. Quit writing documents is quitting the job. Sigh… the troubles we have in the computer industry.

It is certainly not surprising that Gebru had to separate from Google. Recall recent episode of her very civilized and reasonable discussion with LeCunn on Twitter. Sadly, I empathize with both of them. Being a minority who likes to think about the reasonable, I definitely feel her frustration from lack of acknowledgement and consideration. But I also feel the scientific curiosity that I imagine LeCunn has for the science.

The problem here is what we do not know. 3 hours after the NPR articles published, I do not see the paper whose quality is in dispute on pre-publication sites. It is highly unlikely that Google will respond publicly to explain why it does not want Gebru at al. to talk about why Google’s core technology is inherently racist and environmentally damaging.

The next day, Jeff Dean published a google doc presenting his view of this incident. One obvious takeaway from Dean’s postmortem write up is that, somewhere in some of her communications, Gebru challenged the mystery, anonymity and opacity of “the official Google internal review process” that assesses scientific qualifications of prospective publications. Her challenge may have been that the review process has excessive and unaudited (white/discriminative and profit-only focused) power. Google apparently has kept that process a secret even to its subjects and in light of this very public revolt.

Interestingly, many academicians and institutions come out in support of Gebru. Some many dozens of hours later MIT tech review published writing based on draft of the paper. MIT seems to also take the position that there is unclear and inconsistent behavior on the part of Google.

The concerning problem is Google’s monopoly. If you look carefully, the organizers of the public challenge letter to Google uses a Gmail address. Google’s infrastructure powers so many silicone valley companies that if there were any unconscious systemic or cultural bias, they would be ingrained in the business infrastructure that every silicone valley company depends on. How do you learn about academic freedom or ethics or AI? Well, you will undoubtedly Google it. Leaders of startups are recruited from Google to bring their magic Google mojo to power new startups. Software is taken, for free, from Google because others do not have the tech… Lint from under the nails of the likes of Dean become treasures of the industry when they are unearthed from Google.

This is not a company. This is a center of a civilization. While it is very brave for a few researchers to stand up to it to demand something, the outcome and benefit of this divisive exercise is not clear at all. The signatories of the complaint letter certainly cannot all resign from their jobs under leads who wishes to uphold the values and methods that worked so great at Google.

My firm belief is that we need to build more common ground by working on creating the common ground. We need for people of all kinds to come closer and closer to discuss and improve shared core principles. And I definitely mean that the shared principles are truly shared: when presented with similar situation, different people owning the same principles react and decide essentially for the same reasons.

Despite our biological similarities, despite our common humanity, common ground does not come for free. Despite our shared computer protocols for global exchange of information. All that needs to be said must still be said to build understanding. Demands for apologies and submission to a point of view, while righteous to do for the righteous, doesn’t really build common ground, it doesn’t improve shared understandings.

But I will always end my commentary on this subject by saying that my people, my ancestors were not enslaved for centuries. My direct ancestors had not had the pleasure of being subjects or objects of European men. My parents were not firehosed or beaten to shot or burned or segregated for the color of their skin. I will humbly acknowledge that I have lesser cultural and genetic sensitivity and immunity to racism and imperialism. This leaves me with a gaping chasm of doubt about my views regarding the forgoing news. Maybe I really don’t know how bad things really are and what radical means of resistance or revolution are required for a true change for the better.


A week later, some big wigs have weighed in. One unavoidable observation is that University of Washington prof is taking Jeff Dean’s side. Perhaps Dean’s matriculation there had this kind of politics. behind it as well?!

Here is one question is if you were behind the veil of ignorance, and you don’t know if you are minority or not, you don’t know if you’re rich or not and you don’t know if you have knowledge or not, would you:

  • Want to work with someone like Gebru or Dean.
  • Would you want to manage Gebru or Dean?
  • Would you want to be managed by Gebru or Dean?
  • Would you cite Gebru or Dean regarding the safety and ethics of Google inc taking on the same position as their paper?
  • Would you follow either one’s leadership in terms of ethics or social justice.

I cannot imagine myself wanting to be any where near either of these two characters. I would probably have to cite both opposing opinions since BOTH of them have knowledge about the matter far beyond my cognition and experience. But honestly, I do have to factor into consideration that Dean is really protecting a possibly very evil industry that he was instrumental in creating. I also must factor into the citation that Gebru is highly leveraged in the Identity Politics market. One cannot conscientiously discuss the very polarizing political topic without acknowledging these objectively existing aspects of these characters. In either case, although I fear for my own personal safety and sanity to come into proximity of these people, I do have to say that they are highly valuable assets of our society. Their existence enriches us all, and quite possibly quantified in similar orders of magnitude. IMMHO, this is great!

… some time later… 🎇 The formation of a minority union is a nice touch. Hope to see more…

Mini-batch size and pipeline effects

I have the joy of instructing a child in the techniques of eating recently. It occurs to me that I have not really ever described the chewing process. It took some years for me to finally point out the deficiencies of their eating technique.

First issue may have been caused by our own pedantic habits. We insist to the child that she swallow a bite fully before starting next bite. That’s how we were taught. But after years of struggling with slow eating, I finally decided that perhaps they should put more food into their mouth while the last bite is incomplete. Truth be told that is what I do. The food at the end of chewing is tasteless. Adding more unchewed food in the front helps supplant our taste sensations to stimulate saliva production which in turn helps the food go downs. Our teeth are arranged for staged chewing. Front teeth’s cuts and rear molars grind the food. So pipelining the chewing seems natural.

A second problem with chew-swallow-more procedure is that sometimes the mouth end up with insufficient amount food. The mouth operates inefficiently as the food decreases. This is both in terms of bandwidth (that it is chewing less for every tightening of muscles), and in terms of per-chew efficiency. At the limit where our teeth are close together, the jaw muscles are not terribly strong. At least not mine. The chewing is most forceful when there is at least a quarter inch to an inch of food mass in the mouth. The effect of small bite is that with each tightening of the jaw muscles, less food is being chewed and the food is being chewed less effectively than a fuller mouthful. A similar problem arise when you use batch normalization, the original batch normalization where the normalization stats are literally computed on the mini-batch, if mini-batch size is is too small, the variance will be too high to be very useful.

What a strange thing to have to think about. I have always remembered the opposite directions: small bites, swallow before eating more. But in reality and in reasoning, it seems my de facto strategy of medium amount of food and pipelined chewing is most effective.

I suppose many people figure that out through experimentation, some may even do research in this subject. I wonder what else I did or did not figure out about myself as I grew and grew and grew?

It is, however, pure joy and peace, to be part of childrens’ growing process. Even though often we are made to examine the nature of our realities…, and the letters of our spelling.

Does DS9 know about this?

Wait, what? The Dominion is involved in vote tempering in America ???? Quick, some body raise Sisko@DS9.starfleet.mil !

Actually, wait, what would the TLD be for Starfleet? It has that militaristic organization, but its driven by directives and principal that goes beyond serve and protect. Maybe they’ll have a TLD called .fed to service federation activities. Idk, there are paradigm shifts that maybe present say analogies just can’t describe.

It’s difficult to imagine a pursuit more noble than space exploration and exploitation as promoted by my most favorite TV show Star Trek. like would there need to be a TLD for FED? Are there any thing else I the future other than the Federation? Maybe the TLD will be .sf for Starfleet.

Thankfully, this is not yet a full blown problem yet today. The evil genius know as Elon Misk still does not have a definitive advent age on space exploration and occupation. But there are news appearing with titles like “Psyche, an asteroid believed to be worth more than $10,000 quadrillion is observed through the Hubble in new study.”

Don’t anybody tell The Chine$e, lest Trump tweeter storm America about its, what if they get a head start on these “rare” earth metals?

Also, did they consider inflation when they did that calculation? Were the metal really become available, their cost would drop so far that it wouldn’t be worth that much. This might be a thing that economist have a name for, but the intrinsic value of that asteroid seems vastly different from its market value due to plentiful ness.

The point being, what do we do when we find out our measly existence and value system is absurdly moronic when a technological shift suddenly changes everything…

Do we drop everything and go digging for precious metal? Do we give up monogamy because… we’ll just because it sucks. Do we fire the president and vote a Misklike person to be our eternal leader? That’s not completely absurd, for $10,000 quadrillion, nothing is absurd. We could reproduce profusely and prolifically until our bodies build a bridge to the stars and a wall against aliens. We could impeach the entire congress and only build rockets and fly, fly, fly!!!

Again, we’re obviously not there yet, but it feels tantalizingly close.

What shall we do then? Will our children live fruitful lives that we may comprehend? Where in the world is our world going ?

I have to get better 二锅头。Who knew these cheap Chinese products can all have same name and be so different in effects…

Ahhh, shoot, I just got it. “Black alert!”

I hope it doesn’t get misinterpreted as … in the context of BLM, … and worst if it is glorified for violence.

And I wonder why in those those thousands of years, now referring to Star Trek Discovery universe, why they haven’t figured out a stable way to make changes using time travel. It feels like there can be multiple equilibria that one can choose from and that achieving a different equilibrium can both be “good for everyone” and “immutable change” that cannot be changed by another time travel. I would be disappointed if that’s a physical impossibility.

Again, I need better …

I Voted in the 2020 Election

I just voted in the 2020 election. Now I have rushed to Starbucks for that ceremoniously celebratory coffee. Democratic capitalism is so great!

Hey, did anybody find the radio buttons on this years voting app non-intuitive? After making a selection, you must in select it (by tapping the already-selected box again) before you can select another one. If you want to update a write-in choice, you must unselect, re-select, and retype the choice. This is kind of counter-intuitive. Most people are used to radio button groups that can unselect.

A related issue is the non-standard keyboard that is arranged alphabetically onscreen. Why not at least let me choose the QWERTY keyboard? This abnormal element of tablet UI surely adds to tech anxiety everyone has developed circa 2020 about stepping up to a new tablet.

Another thing kind of bugging me is the enormous screens in use. I mean I sure feel like this is special, the voting screen is even larger than the screen inside Tesla cars. It seems so long. But for especially engineered screens, it has horrible glare due to the angle and ceiling lights at my voting location. My tax well spent, I think…

Volunteers seem to have underrepresented minorities. I don’t know if white people just have more enthusiasm for democracy or what. Sure there’re those Asian kids trying to get community service hours. And sure there is a Hispanic guard. But election officials in my town were white. This is something we minorities have to try harder at. Yes, work is long and hard, pay is lousy and mouths-to-feed are many, relatively speaking, but you have gotta make the time for election! Minorities, please volunteer !!

And those are my only gripes. Otherwise I am immensely grateful for my safe and uncoerced participation in this sacred event in persons. It was very exciting to see people of all kinds standing in line, six feet apart, in this brisk November morning, to vote. I have voted many times before, but voting in person is definitely very different.


Why is 42 the answer?

Maybe the question is from a maitre’d at a restaurant…

“It’ll just be for(4) two(2) tonight.”

“It’ll just be 42 of us tonight.”

Never doubted the ingenuity of British literature.

Discovery S3E3

Very cool. At most Famx.3

Well, they have done it. Even though it’s only E3, we can feel that the whole show is definitely a millennium ahead of S1. Everything I’ve complained about, from not having any useful Asian bridge crew, to horrific dialog, to lack of gravitas when controlling computers, to the lack of happiness… it is all gone! Asians did a lot to bring USS discovery so far into the future. Dialog sound like real people in real dialogue, and the writing is witty and delivered instead of barked. Tech has progressed, programmable matter! That is damned cool sci-fi. Their operating the programmable matter interface definitely looks like the new UI let them feel the commands they are issuing. Headstrong characters that work. Inexplicable geniuses are a must in a sci-fi show and now we have a spectrum of them. Then, there is the story, this show is what Trek feels like. Excitingly barraging into the unknown full smile ahead, always coming out on top of tech and evil.

Looking back to history known to us, we can find Petroleum as one of the most transformative power source human has discovered. According to wikipedia, there’s good record of human comprehending relevant chemical and engineering properties of petroleum for the last 2000-4000 years. Modern commercial drilling began in the mid 1800’s, developing technologies to separate crude into gasses and liquids for various uses. Around the same time as start of commercial oil drilling, the internal combustion engine (ICE) was also commercialized. Since then, the most consuming use of petroleum is for powering ICE’s. So we are approach two centuries of using Petroleum to power our engines.

Jump ahead into the Trek Universe. It is theorized that first contact was made after humans successfully achieved faster-than-light travel using warp engines (presumably using dilithium crystal, the new Petroleum) in 2063. The events of discovery season 2 ends in 2259, then discovery season 3 starts in the year 3188, with the Burn (destruction of all dilithium crystals and the ships around them) occurring a century before that late in the 31st century. So we’re as advanced into the age of petroleum as the Federation will have been into the age of dilithium when Discovery jumped ahead 900 years.

This story really tickles the imagination. It challenges us to think at a grander scale about the comings and going’s of technologies. The massive changes in our civilizations when technologies come and go. Every person is such a small speck, so inconsequential, so very powerless against the emptiness and chaos of space. until you realize you’re the emperors daughter… oh wait… until you realized that you’d been part of something great, then you realize that you have greatness in you, that you are great! And even when you have rekindled that new hope, the newborn spirit is curious, fearless and determined, but it is frail…

Another aspect of the story is the change in Burnham. she says it a few times that she has let go of some of Federation within her. It’s kind of dangerous to see a happy person when Federation (and the Vulcan) is removed. But that’s what’s happened.

Absolutely mesmerizing!

Fantastic in so many ways!

Ravishing! Wild! Beyond!


YACCT: Yet another Covid-19 conspiracy theory

In 2020, the world coped with a traumatic pandemic caused by COVID-19. The Chinese locked down for a few months, and then gradually opened their country. It is now mid Oct. same year and the US is still partially locked due to fluctuating new case counts.

One cannot help but wonder what the Chinese did during those two months that they were able to just open up their country. This is a country of 1.4 Billion people that sustained healthy economic growth to become a world power in just a few decades. Contrary to popular American characterization, the central government in Beijing probably do exercise quite a bit of care when determining these drastic policies about lockdown and unlockdown. A country full of dead people, after all, also kills the power that they have secured over them. They must have had a working vaccine or a portfolio of therapeutics to treat Covid-19 within people of a variety body conditions before they let their entire population out of lockout around the intersection of Q1 and Q2.

How they achieved these medical feats of wonder in such a short time is up to speculation. It seems relatively easy for them to take a city and artificially spread the disease using the food delivery system they installed to supply everyone with food. Then, they just monitored them through the course of the disease as the sick went to hospitals. It is neither unimaginable nor irresponsible if the Chinese did this. What’s a city of half a million compared to the livelihood of 1.4Billion people?

Now, I am all for informed consent. Recalling the birth of my child, in the first few hours of her birth, the nurse at this American teaching/research hospital left her unwrapped, heater lamp off and in front of a window open to October air outside. I mean, the heat lamp built into the cradle was on, the nearest window closed and my baby wrapped, and then some lady dressed up as a nurse came and reversed all of these, while I watched. My child shortly thereafter stopped breathing and developed a problem that kept her in NICU for the next 11 days, while I watched!

I mean, I understand that I may be either demented or deranged. For I’m writing about conspiracy on an interweblog I’m the middle of the night, for god’s sake. But I tell you what, around 40th hour that I was awake that day, I had a moment to wonder the halls of that children’s hospital, kind of feeling a little afloat like a ghost. And on one of those walls, I saw a prominent poster advertising for volunteers to participate in a “temperature study” to study effects of different temperatures on newly born babies. I mean I am definitely all for non-discriminating informed consent for all medical treatments and experiments. I would not, if asked, have consented to this study done on my baby who had experienced a difficult birth. But to me, it seems that we have all the appearances and effect having been unwilling participants. I’m glad science is advanced having one more datapoint showing baby will die if left out in the cold after birth. I just don’t think neither we the parents nor the baby knowingly consented to it. And I am still uninformed about the use of the data collected during that experimentation.

(for future historian and the child’s reference, this occurred in the early 2010’s. In case I do not make it through the dark days of antiquity, let this be a datapoint for future humans and intelligent beings. Perhaps you will enjoy seeing how far you have come since my time.)

That happened in a prestigious American Research and teaching hospital in America a better part of a decade before Covid-19 but. It seems entirely possible that the Chinese experimenting on their own to solve COVID-19. I can kind of imagine them being able to get 500k even under proper informed consent and free volunteering. This is, after all, a communist lead country. There is still a lot of indoctrination about the good of many irrationally outweighing the good of one.

So where is the YACCT? One wonders if China may have bribed some countries with the details of their treatment capabilities. The fake skirmish between China and India—that’s probably a cover for China actually supplying India with a real cure. Russia boarder skirmish with China? That’s probably when it got itt too. Probably the one country that may truly not be involved in this world-wide conspiracy against America, is Japan. China probably would not offer the cure to Japan, and Japan is probably too proud to accept it… all Japanese has to do is speak Japanese and naturally that decreases Covid-19 transmission rate, according to one scientific research. God forbid that they were caught having imported anything from China after Tang the Dynasty.

So, there we have it. YACCT, against America! We’re the only country who didn’t get the real treatment Portfolio from China. That medical Intellectual Property, having being used on 1.4 billion people for the last 6 months during which America was locked down, must be somewhat useful to us in America if transferred in full.

As a person of Chinese heritage, I am very proud that my people can pull themselves together and accomplish great things in a short stressful period of time.

As an American, I wonder where is this spirit in America today? Where is that zeal to be the most advanced nation? Why are we lagging so far behind China in reopening? Has American medicine really fallen so low and so slow compared to other countries?

But I am numbly hopeful. we will pull through this—the same way my American Child pulled through that inhumane and degrading experimentation. We will survive, we will persevere and we will come out stronger, smarter, and better.

Evil shall not prevail!