The Off-Duty Officer and the Kid

This video has been all over my Facebook feed. The kid is screaming all sorts of “I didn’t do nothing!” stuff while his friends record it with a cell phone. Finally, one of the kids’ friends shoves the officer and knocks him over a bush. The kids then start to surround the off-duty officer who pulls out a gun and fires it. Here is what the LA Times writes about the story: 300 protest in Anaheim after videos show off-duty LAPD officer firing gun in dispute with teens. It looks like this incident was a result of “ongoing issues” with the group of teens walking across the officer’s property.

The Irrationality of Irrational Thinking

I found the video above when Oshay Duke Jackson referenced Black Patriarch. Oshay has some very good common sense ideas on improving the welfare of the Black community, so when he recommended Black Patriarch, I thought it might be worth checking out. Let me first start out by saying I don’t buy the author’s idea that emotionality is in the genes. It sounds too much like HBD to me, and there’s no proof that that it is gene-based. He doesn’t talk enough about culture and the pull of emotional, illogical victim-focused thinking. I also need to remind everyone that his critique is an internal critique, of Black people and by Black people. But lots of the stuff he says seems right to me, namely the main idea that emotionality is enough to keep an entire group of people down.

What the chess community teaches us about lionization

Photo credit: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)

Alexander Alekhine–Photo credit: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)

I wanted to address a question that was raised by King and others on another thread, namely the question of when and how it is appropriate to lionize an historical figure. Much of this conversation comes from the debates surrounding the legacy of Woodrow Wilson, a U.S. President who achieved many great things but who, by modern standards, was a racist. Is it proper to have statues, buildings, and schools erected in his honor? He was not all that racist by the standards of his own time (contrary to the narratives that some “activists” are using in an effort to rewrite history right now), but by modern standards, he most definitely is. Do we take down the symbols? I think our answer can be found in the way chess players lionize former world champions.

Fighting to change (back) language

Here’s an interesting article. Vanessa Ruiz is a news anchor for 12 news in Phoenix. She is a Latina from a bilingual household, and she rolls her R’s and pronounces things the way the Spanish pronounce them when she broadcasts in English. She pronounces “Mesa,” for example, as “Mess-suh” rather than “May-suh.” Viewers questioned her pronunciation, and she fought back in the video above. She says she likes to “pronounce certain things the way they were meant to be pronounced,” i.e. you are all wrong and I am right. A Buzzfeed headlines says she “shut down the haters.”

NFL linebacker to return his sons’ participation trophies


This is awesome. NFL linebacker James Harrison posted on Instagram that his sons won “participation trophies” for doing nothing and that he was returning them. His message is equally awesome:

I came home to find out that my boys received two trophies for nothing, participation trophies! While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy. I’m sorry I’m not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and I’m not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best…cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better…not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy. #harrisonfamilyvalues

White collar “athletes”

Photo credit: Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Photo credit: Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Living in the Pacific Northwest in the smaller of the two big PNW cities, we’re always looking up to our neighbors in the Seattle area where tech behemoths Microsoft and Amazon live. We’ve heard lots about what it’s like to work at Microsoft, but not much about Amazon. Check out the recent NY Times article about Amazon here.

Backlash against pay increases

Not Asian-related, but this story has got to be one of the more interesting business stories that I’ve seen: A Company Copes With Backlash Against the Raise That Roared. Dan Price is a young 31-year-old millionaire in Seattle who is the CEO of a payment processing company called Gravity. A few months ago, he made the decision that the lowest paid worker at his company would make a whopping $70,000 as a bare minimum. He came up with this number based on reports that happiness tended to rise until one made $75,000. He decided that he’d do his part to ensure his workers were happy. With the new system, even the lowest-paid clerk would make at least $70,000.

TED talk on the mathematics of finding love

This looks interesting. Intuitively, I understand the mathematics of “whoever is doing the asking is better off,” but I’d like to see the full explanation.

Also check out the video above. That 37% thing seems pretty accurate, at least from an intuitive level. I’m assuming it also applies to situations such as finding a job, a career, a place to live, etc. I just ordered Hannah Fry’s book from the library. If anyone wants to do a podcast on this, it could be interesting.

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 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: