Vacationing With Fear

“Don’t eat our dogs!!”

“You hit my dog!!”

“Our dog lives with babies”

She managed to yell out in between grandma’s shouts of outrage against a freely roaming dog in a public space. ( we did not hit her dog! Nor did we intend to eat it)

A little dog approached my daughter recently. Trump was president, people running over other people with cars in an act of terror around the globe is still a fresh memory from days prior) the dog kind of knocked her on her back on this beach. She was scared, the dog kept on advancing at her torso and head, Perhaps just a couple of feet away.

After some many arms waving at the dog and yelling, the owner finally called the dog away from us from about an eighth of a mile away.

I raise my iphone, in the now universal gesture of insult: I have taken a picture of you, your rude acts are recorded for ever.

She responds in kind, raising her camera and records back at us and continue to barrage us with insults and demanding insinuations. (Man! Apple/google/smartphone-makers makes this society so much more civil… these could have been middle fingers or guns being raised into air)

I raise my phone to report her to the police: “she is approaching me now” I say into the mic, “I feel threatened and she is shouting at us”

I walk away hastily retreating towards the Pacific Ocean… hoping she wouldn’t follow. She follows for another 10 feet or so approaching me. (Her dog still off leash btw, she is now between me and my daughter, grandma between daughter and dog)

She backs off a bit on hearing this conversation with the police.

After a few more rounds of raising phone to take picture. They drive off in their Toyota.

Where are they driving off to? Could their gang drive up next and shoot us right on the Del Mar beach? Maybe they’ll suddenly drive their car into the beach and just wipe these dog eating chinks out!! Maybe they called for backup in way of local police who will surely love to talk these hippy sf Bay Area Asians down about how dogs are part of the family here and are treated as equals when it comes to right to use the beach.

Let’s go! I said with a grim biting tone (think Clint Eastwood)

“But why!???!!” My daughter flashed me the biggest surprise face of a broad grin (she’s on her sand toys which we have been wanting to exercise on real sand for half an age), grandma says “no, let’s stay here, let the kids play!”

“But I don’t feel safe anymore. We had a shouting fight with locals… we don’t know the rules here, this is wild wild west terra infirma, let’s get out of here” still thinking of that determined, biting authoritative tone of Eastwood, but obviously the words don’t fit the tone no more… and nobody followed me. So much for Eastwood of the family…

Well actually their backup came in way of four unspayed and unleashed German Sheppard catching balls.

We, the whole family this time, made ourselves very scare very quickly. This no country for dog fearing people.

We retrieve to the safety of a Starbucks 10 minutes from the beach in our minivan. Driving very carefully to avoid attention, checking for tails or police sirens. It seemed a distant but not nonexistent possibility that she called the cops on us, based on her accusations on the beach. One can’t be too careful.

The daughter catches the wifi two blocks away and starts watching kids show on Amazon streaming… I’m thinking she has recovered fully from that traumatic encounter… grandma is silent, deep in thought… reviewing her long and laborious journeys to America and then to California, no doubt trying to find anything similar to this kind of encounter (where she didn’t win a fight against a bully by KO)

Inside Starbucks that familiar and reassuringly familiar coffee roast smell fills my nostrils… mommy snacking with her daughter, an elderly man in his 50’s or 60’s is working on his partial differential equations homework(erf?!), gamer gaming, kid listening to music… safety at last!

I use my gold card to buy a coffee for the long journey home.

Phewwww… one disastrous situation averted…

Seriously if I actually called the cops, I do not know if the result will be favorable to us. All parks and beeches requiring leash on dogs where we live means nothing here. Dogs are “us” and dog eating Asians are not “us” as far as I can imagine in this little vacationing town. It wouldn’t be the first time we hear that from a person of officer or a public person of government either…

I did not feel the safety and comfort of an American citizen during this vacation on American soil… and I don’t blame dogs or their owners… really, I feel a strong urge to figure this relationship problem with dogs if we’re to do well in America.

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))))))