It’s an Open Relationship

Here is my canned answer to all recruiter emails on linked in or email:

Hi, thank you for the kind message. My name, when spelled correctly appears as “Huan Chang” in English. I have NOT read your message yet. But I will say the following: I am not moving to Seattle or NYC, Bangalore, Beijing, Hongkong, and ShenZhen. I am trying to avoid “software engineer” roles. I’m based in the San Francisco Bay Area and can entertain more advanced roles than “software engineer” or “data analyst” or “scientist” roles or any kind of “engineer”. I will only do so according to the established best practices of modern capitalism and my own consciences and interests. Not Microsoft, Uber, Yahoo, Twitter, Square, Oracle, Mongodb, Casandra, Hbase, cockroach, coutch, C++, Ruby, Haskell, caffe, Theano, please. I do not need any visa application to work because I am a naturalized American citizenship. I am almost a native English speaker of around three decades. 我的名字叫常欢、玩耍时可说中文,但不想靠这吃饭。I will not update my resume for this conversation. This is a canned message. Thank you for messaging though! I really appreciate the interest–It enthrills me to be targeted and I feel very special because of it. I thank you very gratefully if this is an response to an individualized email that you, a human, wrote or reviewed yourself. I also especially appreciate recruiters who work endlessly to make the job makers very efficient and competitive/-this activity is vital to our economy! If your respond with a few companies’ funding status, the reason why you think I should join, the role’s key skill requirements, the corresponding reasonable base salary ranges, the corresponding and maximum possible stock based compensation, the corresponding total possible package value, and links to founder exploits and profiles–when you do, you may be more likely to receive a response than your peers. If you are my current employer, you are hereby reminded that our contractual agreement does NOT state any prejudice against receiving  or entertaining solicitations of this kind. Just as I have no recourse against you, and I most seriously believe and hope, as a shareholder, that you are looking for a better replacement for me as needed, as part of being a competitive employer and an effective participant of our capitalistic competitive job market. Please do NOT plan, act or work differently in person because I responded to this or future messages! I didn’t mean to be anything but loyal, seriously! really!! all I did was look!!! I hope that’s all you are doing, and feel like doing too. I would really appreciate it!

It’s not very polite, or that effective, but I simply cannot rely to all inquiries in a timely fashion. Hopefully I can be polite, fair to my self, my conscience, the market and still make a living…

When this actually posts, we’ll know what it does to me.

Re: Chomsky documentary

…. will continue the thoughts around this from previous post…
I’m watching a documentary about Chomsky during 2016 winter break. Around 29:00 he talks about how to deal with Kurds: chemical warfare was the most advanced thing they had and they felt it righteous to use it against enemy. It makes me wonder what we use today on civilians. Genetic mutations? (To become dependent on other races?) Micro-nannites that does bad stuff to the body ? Subliminal messaging to cause most embarrassing and economically destructive errors. What are our most advanced weapons? It has to be money right? Capital weaponry that destroy other countries. One wonders what most advanced weaponry we have today? Perhaps this evil, necessary or not, will help us think about this whole AI thing. Oh and there is another one, the halting thought is one important mental agent that can be used against people!
The framework under which we can discuss the terrorism Chomsky describes is the TAS framework(Transitive Action Spaces framework). He points out that a set of actions under nation state TAS against other nation state (bombing, assassination, spying, many means of civilian killing) are all terrorism, or war crimes, no matter who fills the valences of an action in the terrorism set. We, those endowed with standard human intelligence, tend not to think in TAS, and even if we do, we assign bias for our own nation state or cause.
I can imagine myself believing that some actions in TAS whose admission into an ethic has additional restrictions on properties of its valances. For example:
abduct_president(country A, country B)
Is pretty terrorizing, right? We can add some kind of property restriction such as
Number_of_soldiers_in_current_conflict(A) < Number_of_soldiers_in_current_conflict(B)

Then the action abduct_president is admitted as ethical. Interestingly, Chomsky points out that the rules used to evaluate ethicality of actions at the Nuremberg trials was this:
Actions_taken(winners) \in Ethical_actions
Actions_taken(losers) – Actions_taken(winners) \in Unethical_actions
Anything losers did winners didn’t do is considered illegal at the world court. This imposition, maximizes winners freedoms during the war and minimizes losers freedom to act. (Here freedom means available ethical actions) When the eventual winner acts according to the silver rule he will conquer moral high ground(or alternatively he gets to punish loser on all actions he does not desire). The eventual loser maximizes his freedom when he does everything that the eventual winner does(an eye for an eye tit-for-tat) Because it becomes ethical and he is not punished. (Assuming winner and loser has the same desires)
Of course it is unfair. But at least it’s not winner takes all. Another completely amazing fact Chomsky points out is that “_in_the_current_conflict” was a necessary suffix to all propositions as the rules changed in the next conflict in a different theatre, the US took some actions against Vietnamese that Germans who took these actions were convicted for wars against humanities-AFTER their conviction at the world court. 
So, it would seem that TAS is a rather easy system to use to discuss matters of ethics after all. The accepted ethic seem episodic, one per major conflict. The ethic encompasses a TAS but can be parameter used by properties of parameters of TAS(such as population) and it can depend on what has happened in the current conflict. What is ethical may depend on what other people do, not just what you and other people want.
And I should reiterate that Chomsky feel this an ethic should be universal. That may mean that when you are the winner and I am not that the same unfair rule applies to me. This seems tautological as the loser has no choice, but it needs to be stated for completeness. I think a more restrictive universality would stipulate that winning and losing should not affect whether or not the subject of the action is winner or winning.
Reasoning sounds sound, why is he controversial? What is he being challenged on? “Terrorism is bad no matter who does it, and US like all other dominating world power does it” his statement seems right to me!? If those who do it feel justified, it needn’t be hidden, it can stand under the light of reason, right? Would be curious to know what the fuss is about.

What are we threatened by

I am well behind the times. Watching first season of Silicon Valley while they shoot the 4th. It would seem that one major threat we have in the Silicon Valley, aside from all those smart kids barely not teenagers with the IQ of Einstein take our pie, the foreign nationals stealing all our algorithms and privacy, large corporate take overs, AI’s, and now, there is now a new threat!

The threat of mockery from Hollowwood! They will taunt your project that you’ve secretly schemed for years and years developing in your garage. They’ll make it into a freaking tv show except with hotter chicks and a better looking you.

Sigh….

Data Harvesting

I’ve been thinking about the book “Everybody lies…” One thing that the author uses a lot is data from all different sources. I guess it is to be recognized when some one does something good even if that work is based mostly on diligent products of many other people–in this case data of all sorts.

Looking at recent kaggle competitions, it also seems that companies are starting to notice this. Some competitions, such as the zillow $1mm competition, not only does not prevent competitors from using outside data, it encourages them to use new data source.

That’s very interesting. This kaggle competition not only encourages competition in model building, but also encourages data harvesting–finding and using mature but previously unused data.

This may very well continue for some time yet as we find new ways to treat more and more objects and information as data.

What will be harvested next?

Chomsky

I’m watching a documentary about Chomsky during 2016 winter break. Around 29:00 he talks about how to deal with Kurds: chemical warfare was the most advanced thing they had and they felt it righteous to use it against enemy. It makes me wonder what we use today on civilians. Genetic mutations? (To become dependent on other races?) Micro-nannites that does bad stuff to the body ? Subliminal messaging to cause most embarrassing and economically destructive errors. What are our most advanced weapons? It has to be money right? Capital weaponry that destroy other countries. One wonders what most advanced weaponry we have today? Perhaps this evil, necessary or not, will help us think about this whole AI thing. Oh and there is another one, the halting thought is one important mental agent that can be used against people!
The framework under which we can discuss the terrorism Chomsky describes is the TAS framework(Transitive Action Spaces framework). He points out that a set of actions under nation state TAS against other nation state (bombing, assassination, spying, many means of civilian killing) are all terrorism, or war crimes, no matter who fills the valences of an action in the terrorism set. We, those endowed with standard human intelligence, tend not to think in TAS, and even if we do, we assign bias for our own nation state or cause.
I can imagine myself believing that some actions in TAS whose admission into an ethic has additional restrictions on properties of its valances. For example:
abduct_president(country A, country B)
Is pretty terrorizing, right? We can add some kind of property restriction such as
Number_of_soldiers_in_current_conflict(A) < Number_of_soldiers_in_current_conflict(B)
Then the action abduct_president is admitted as ethical. Interestingly, Chomsky points out that the rules used to evaluate ethicality of actions at the Nuremberg trials was this:
Actions_taken(winners) \in Ethical_actions

Actions_taken(losers) – Actions_taken(winners) \in Unethical_actions
Anything losers did winners didn’t do is considered illegal at the world court. This imposition, maximizes winners freedoms during the war and minimizes losers freedom to act. (Here freedom means available ethical actions) When the eventual winner acts according to the silver rule he will conquer moral high ground(or alternatively he gets to punish loser on all actions he does not desire). The eventual loser maximizes his freedom when he does everything that the eventual winner does(an eye for an eye tit-for-tat) Because it becomes ethical and he is not punished. (Assuming winner and loser has the same desires)
Of course it is unfair. But at least it’s not winner takes all. Another completely amazing fact Chomsky points out is that “_in_the_current_conflict” was a necessary suffix to all propositions as the rules changed in the next conflict in a different theatre, the US took some actions against Vietnamese that Germans who took these actions were convicted for wars against humanities-AFTER their conviction at the world court. 
So, it would seem that TAS is a rather easy system to use to discuss matters of ethics after all. The accepted ethic seem episodic, one per major conflict. The ethic encompasses a TAS but can be parameter used by properties of parameters of TAS(such as population) and it can depend on what has happened in the current conflict. What is ethical may depend on what other people do, not just what you and other people want.
And I should reiterate that Chomsky feel this an ethic should be universal. That may mean that when you are the winner and I am not that the same unfair rule applies to me. This seems tautological as the loser has no choice, but it needs to be stated for completeness. I think a more restrictive universality would stipulate that winning and losing should not affect whether or not the subject of the action is winner or winning.
Reasoning sounds sound, why is he controversial? What is he being challenged on? “Terrorism is bad no matter who does it, and US like all other dominating world power does it” his statement seems right to me!? If those who do it feel justified, it needn’t be hidden, it can stand under the light of reason, right? Would be curious to know what the fuss is about.

What is the crime classification?

What is a hate crime? The FBI has a page on that here. It also has a link to statistics on the rates of offense here at the uniform crime reporting site. The definition right now states:

criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.

The criminal law is concerned with state of the mind, i.e. Mens rea. But this now also applies to noncriminal offenses. In California, Ralph Civil Rights act and Bane Civil Rights act protect persons of protected class and persons of protected attributes (race, religion, …) from violence or attempted assaults, threats of violence(verbal or written) and vandalism or property damages. People in California are also protected for equal employment and fair housing. 

In addition to criminal court proceedings, Hate crimes can also violate civil code, the remedies for violation of civil rights in the civil courts can be injunction with equitable remedy as well as legal remedy. It provides for, among others, punishments like 3X actual damages if the crime is proven to be hate based, and civil penalty of $25k, or even punitive damages. The plaintiff has to prove malice fraud or oppression.

Legal maxim: For every right, there is a remedy; where there is no remedy, there is no right. 

The election has just ended. Trump’s election is followed by a spate of reports of fairly violent speeches and actions directed towards Asians and other minority immigrants. Apparently the law protects us equally against these crimes which are hate crimes. The law even protects us against hate based misdemeanors. When one is a party to such crimes, one is punished extra by American federal and state laws!

To be clear: report a crime if you are subject to one. Heck report one if you commit one too. Indicate to police that you believe you are subject of the crime because of the kind of person you are: race, sex, age, disability, political party affiliation. Point out evidence: usage of racial slurs by the perpetrator can be one. His dress such as swastika. His other targets, etc.

If local law enforcement do not respond, one can escalate to the state’s attorney general’s office.

Sue. (Hopefully With the help of lawyer)

Admiration is Most Genuine…

There is an old saying:

Admiration is the most genuine form of mimicry

I find frequently that other blogs I read will publish very similar content as my own on very odd topics. I think either great minds think alike, or we’re all caught in the great tide of the media cycle, or you copied my idea, or I copied yours. It doesn’t matter the causal relation of who thought or siad what because of what. 
The topics discussed on this blog are adressed far from comprehensive and satisfying. In the great ocean of bits of human thoughts and desires, this blog is essentially a big fat zero.

I hope everyone who needs it can benefit from this blog and gain new tinder that spark thoughts in your minds that will burn long and bright. I comfort you in the knowledge that I too shall seek you out when I have lost the prime for my mind-well.

What happens in a dark room?

I’ve now seen two pediatrician, not our primary doctor, perform a “special move” on my baby by first demanding to turn lights off, and then making the baby cry. I secretly wonder if they shook my baby while all lights are off. What the heck else could they possibly be doing? One took the baby into the bathroom, the other one just shut the lights in a tiny examination room.

It’s really hard to tell what people do in the cover of darkness. Sometimes I do not even trust the baby’s own mother… that hard stomp on the floor did that reverberate through the baby’s brain too?

And God knows what their grandmas and grandpas has done to them…

So fragile they seem, so tired we seem, so easy injury seem!
How do human babies survive?

The process of trust

Whom do we trust? What do we trust? Perhaps this is one best way to understand or explain our fear of robots.
There are some almost axiomatic principles that we, as individuals or as collection of individuals, choose to believe in: That all men are created equal for example, or that omnipotence means also having power to be purely evil, or that google doc is most secure way to write and track history, or that my own reasoning power is the only thing I trust, or that open source participation by entire humanity is the only knowledge base and thinking process that I trust, or that The Book is the only wisdom I believe in, etc. There will also be declaration of allegiance: In God we trust! Etc.

The problem with robots is that we do not trust them. The implementation process may be buggy–who can raise their hand and say they’ve never deployed a bug to production? The design could be flawed. Just look at humans! Evolution creates flaws too. The metal could bend and break. And most important of all, the actions of a robot cannot be summarized into simple and universally understandable axioms. Asimov’ three laws of robotics is one such an attempt to resolve the dissonance between fear and need for robotics. It may or may not be possible to have this in advance. In retrospect, after some millennium of work, we may know a set of rules but I do not see it as a solution to our fear of robots.

Another heuristic we have are processes. When we do not know of a near-constant time determiner of actions, we routinely use process to ensure results. Democracy is a process, it is a solution we came up with to solve a really hard organization problem. Registration for credit card is a process, another really hard problem with multiple parties taking actions each having disparate power and utilities. Application for admission to colleges. The doctor’s appointment… all of these are process that arriving at very simple outcomes: one leader chosen among 2 or dozen, credit granted or not, admitted or not, healthy or treatment.

One wonders if robotics will simply be enrolled in a process. Just as a child grows and earns the trust of her parents, peers and society, robots may need to go through the same process in order to be accepted into roles that adults human perform. It’s actually kind of like how the movies envisions it. After a while, the fearsome loathsome thing is gradually accepted by one, two, and more people.

There is still separation between systematic social acceptance, like legalizing self-driving cars, and personal acceptance–that I let it drive me. These are two different decisions that need to be made on a case by case basis. At least for now, until such a time when we have agreed upon our version of laws of robotics.

Three-D Go 0.0.3

Upon further reflection, it seems although the direction of an edge is observable and is helpful in game play, it should not be a foundamental part of the game. In a graph world with higher valences there may indeed be no shared direction between vertices. The directed graph inspired by direction, however adds an interesting dimension to the game. Let us preserve that and restate the game:

The game environment(the game):

  • Set of players P, typically players are distinguished by color. E.g. black and white.
  • A total ordering O is placed on P to establish order of play with lesser player playing before greater player.
  • Set of vertices V. Vertex can be empty or occupied by a single colored stone.
  • Set of directed edges, E, between vertices : V X V.
  • The freedom of a stone is sum of its individual liberties: A stone s receive one(1) liberty from any unoccupied vertex c if (c,s) is a directed edge. A stone located at s may benefit from freedom of a second stone, of the same color, located at t if (t,s) is a directed edge.

The game play

  • The game as defined above is prepared.
  • Players play by taking turns according to O.
  • At each turn, a player may pass or placed a stone of his color onto an empty vertex.
  • After stone placement the player chooses zero or more dead stones and removes them. A stone is dead if it has no freedom.
  • After all stones are inspected, dead stones are removed.
  • A stone cannot be placed to cause the board to repeat a situation previously seen in this game.
  • Game terminated when all players pass consecutively.
  • Player are ranked by number of stones on the board with their color. Winning player has more stone than losing player.
  • Game winner has the most stones with his color on the board at the end of the game.