Liquid food that replaces actual food

This sounds crazy: In Busy Silicon Valley, Protein Powder Is In Demand. In Silicon Valley, programmers are so busy and food is so expensive that workers are drinking their meals, rather than eating them. Those ethnic Chinese and Indian workers seem to be tossing aside their ethnic cuisines for scientific drinks that go by names like Soylent, Shmoylent, and Schmilk. Demand is so high that some people are on waiting lists. According to the article, unlike drink supplements like Slimfast, these drinks actually replace all meals. In other words, you could live on Soylent alone.

Suasion and education aren’t always enough

Check out the video above. The girl’s voice is amazing. It’s amazing what these two can do with just a guitar and voice.

Anyway, in light of the recent discussion between King and ChineseMom about history, I wanted to say the following: “Suasion and education aren’t always enough.” I think King and ChineseMom agree on where America needs to go, but they disagree on the role of education. I agree with King. Knowledge is necessary, but it isn’t always going to convince people to change their habits. You can especially see this among extremists who support affirmative action/affirmative racism, even to the detriment of those they purport to help. I think deep down inside we all know this, but it bears repeating: some people can’t be helped. You can lead a horse to water, but if he doesn’t want to drink, you can’t make him. While it’s important to extend a hand to those in need, it’s also important to realize that sometimes a more forceful approach is necessary.

Kasparov at SLU: “Hard work is a talent.”

Former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov gave a great commencement speech at St. Louis University. You can click the video above (speech starts at around 1 hour and six minutes). See the full transcript at chess.com. My two favorite parts:

1. The story about Tigran Petrosian’s wife. You always have to have a new dream. I wish someone had told me this when I was young.

2. This quote:

60 Asian American groups file lawsuit against Harvard

I keep trying to leave, but they keep pulling me back in. I’m talking about the progress (not “progressive”-ness) that more than 60 brave and honorable Asian American organizations made when they filed a discrimination complaint against Harvard. In doing so, these brave individuals raised the ire of the Far Left, which has its own agenda. (thanks to GuitarDude and Sengge for sending this along.)

Joey Alexander

Read about Joey Alexander here. He’s an 11-year-old Indonesian (real name: Josiah Alexander Sila) jazz piano prodigy. The Times article also has interesting remarks about what it means to be a jazz prodigy.

(I wonder why he anglicized his last name, but I’m 99% positive that wasn’t his choice.)

Officially shedding the “activist” title

I’ve had enough. I now realize that I’m not longer comfortable calling myself an “activist.” My doubts first came up years ago when a young Asian American man in Portland fabricated a bogus story about a hate crime. It was followed a little while later by a young Asian American boy who, following his “activist” elders, did the exact same thing–he lied about his family being targeted by a hate crime. In both cases, activists promoted the stories, only to quietly disappear when the lies were revealed.

I’ve come to the conclusion that almost all “activism” today means one or more of the following:

First ethnic Chinese elected to British Parliament

Alan Mak has become the first ethnic Chinese person ever elected to the British Parliament. He has a good rags-to-riches story–the son of a waiter who immigrated to England from Hong Kong after fleeing China.

From Time Magazine:

But despite the over 426,000 ethnic Chinese living in Britain, according to the 2011 census, Mak does not embrace having his name placed alongside other trailblazing lawmakers such as Bernie Grant, Paul Boeteng and Diane Abbot (the first Black MPs elected in 1987) or the first openly gay MP Chris Smith (elected in 1983).

In defense of dynasties

As we go into our next presidential election with Jeb Bush and Hilary Clinton as the frontrunners, David Brooks writes a defense of political dynasties here. It’s a good piece, and it’s relevant to both the election and to our discussions on raising kids and affirmative action.

Overall, I agree with him on the idea that families often train their members in their fields of expertise, which is why, long ago, I once wrote this. There are definitely skills that these political families are imparting to their kids. It reminds me of the stories about how the Clintons used to drill Chelsea to the point of tears at the dinner table so that the media wouldn’t be able to crack her. It’s the same with any field. As Brooks says, you can’t learn everything from books–which is a point that I’ve made multiple times over the last year.