Saturday, May 30, 2020


In the latest cop-related videos involving black people, it's chilling to see how intentional the racism is.

There's a quote "Don't attribute to malice what can be explained by [ignorance]." With previous cop shootings, I thought perhaps it could be explained by subconscious bias. Perhaps the cops panicked and their subconscious bigotry took over for a few seconds.

That is already atrocious. But what we saw this week is so much worse. The cop killed George Floyd over 9 minutes. And the other three cops stood around for 9 minutes without stopping him. It wasn't panic. It was intentional. 

The Amy Cooper video was in the same vein. With prior videos -- BBQ Becky and Permit Patty and Callbox Cukor -- it was conceivable that they thought racist cops were a small fraction and maybe they believed that most cops are fair. It is theoretically possible that they thought this.

But with Amy Cooper, she was relying on cops to be racist. Her whole plan banked on the cops being unfair and racist. It's chilling to see.

I hope these protests work and we end up with a society that is more fair toward black people.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

New Favorite-programming-language Energy

I have been learning GoLang and I like it! 

It's concise. It has built-in support for slices, pointers, concurrency, channels. It doesn't have strange indentation rules like python. 

Me: [to Aff] "So what are the reasons you like Go more than Java?"

Aff: [bursts out laughing] "Why don't you ask me the reasons I like ice cream more than being kicked in the nuts?"

Me: "Come on, Java is not that bad."


Ice cream is a bit extreme as an analogy. I like ice cream much more than Go. But Go is pretty good.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

that New Favorite-Book Energy

During video chat:

Me: "I just read the book Fifth Season. I love it!"

Nehsters: "Oh, I read that. It's pretty ... dystopian. A little depressing."

Me: "We're in a pandemic. It's now a how-to guide."

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Fifth Season

I just finished reading the sci-fi book "Fifth Season".

It is so good. I can't imagine how anyone could dislike it. 

Every book in this trilogy won a Hugo Award. I am glad there are two more books to look forward to. Poor future-me who has read all of them and can no longer look forward to them. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Finished playing Uncharted 4

I like the lush landscapes and adventure story of Uncharted 4. 

It seems like the game's demographic aged during the four Uncharted games. The main character was made to look older in game 4, with more wrinkles and maturity. 

I just finished playing and miss the game slightly. 

Thankfully, there's one more expansion pack, starring two of the best female characters. 

Thursday, May 14, 2020

A sweet story

This is a sweet story: Link.
I thought about all the friends’ weddings I missed because I couldn’t travel outside the country and how much I regretted not being there for the people I loved. I couldn’t do it again. If Fernando eventually came to love me, he would need to understand or at least accept my need to hide the more difficult points of my life’s timeline.

“OK,” he said, “I’m on it. Tell me what to do.”

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Conspiracy theories are self-preserving

I have a hard time responding when friends send me conspiracy theories. 

The conspiracy theories usually have a built-in mechanism for deflecting all criticism.

Friend: "5G is causing covid-19!"

Me: "This has been debunked by reputable scientific organizations X, Y, and Z."

Friend: "Those organizations are all part of the conspiracy!"

Any scientific studies or debunking just get ignored as "part of the conspiracy", so there is no way to disprove them. It is quite frustrating.

Monday, January 20, 2020

asymmetry in taking care of family

In Western society, there is intense pressure to be an amazing parent to your kids, but it's acceptable to neglect your parents in their old age.

A parent who sends their kid to an orphanage is condemned. But if the same person puts their parent into a not-very-good retirement home and only visits them once per year, that wouldn't get a second glance. They'd get sympathy from their friends, "It must have been hard to put your mom/dad into the retirement home and not know if they're being mistreated."

The asymmetry is interesting.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Difficulty of what to say

I have been taking care of my mom for nearly a year now. I am often sad about it. It is lonely, and I get insecure. 

I talked yesterday to a new friend T, who does some caretaking of her own:

Me: "If I tell people how it really is, I feel like a Debby Downer. I don't want to complain to them a bunch every time I talk to them. Sending a holiday card was hard."

T: "Yeah, my grandma used to send a holiday letter every year saying 'Merry Christmas. Here's all the bad things that happened to me this year. I broke my hip. This problem. That problem. Anyway, happy holidays!'"

Me: "Yes, that is my fear. I don't want to be depressing every time I talk to people. But then if I focus on the positive, I don't feel understood. That is not real."

Some people have surprised me by how they are able to understand and empathize. Others keep making an effort, even though they don't know what to say. I really appreciate both those sets of people.