Trump wins the election! against all odds…

I’m still reeling from shock of Trump winning the election. Up until Election night, I was 99% sure Hillary would win, because I believed all the polls, all the forecasts, all the betting websites and prediction websites, and boy were they all wrong.

Let me assure you that 2016 is the year that taught me that underdogs always have a chance. First with Cleveland Cavaliers beating the Golden State Warriors (a 73 win team, the most in NBA history), and losing $2500 on the bet there. Then with Donald Trump beating Hillary Clinton (with all the backing of the mainstream media), and losing $5500 on the bet there. In total, I lost $8k this year from betting on the favorites. Had I bet on the underdog, well I would have been a lot richer now. Instead I’m quite poorer than before… but I learned my lesson this year.

Its kind of a lesson we all should learn, really. When someone becomes too arrogant, and predicts an early victory, there’s always a chance they will be humbled. Certainly an $8000 dent in my wallet has been humbling to me. In the future, I will be more cautious of picking the favorite, because you never know anymore. In retrospect though, it makes sense.

Lebron James is a transcendent player, and Golden State relied too much on 3 pointers. Live by the 3, die by the 3 is a common saying. In the playoffs, anything can happen, and it came down to literally the last 2 minutes of the series, when Kyrie Irving hit a clutch 3 and sealed away Golden State’s chances. It was really a 50/50 kind of outcome. Golden State should not have been favored. Just because they won 73 games in the regular season doesn’t predict how they will play in the playoffs. Past results don’t indicate future performance

Similarly, in retrospect, it was easy to see why Trump won (even though Hillary won the popular vote). The polls only polled likely voters, and missed a lot voters who chose not to answer. This so called silent majority went and prevailed for Trump. Hillary was more hated than people thought. And they underestimated just how much people wanted change in America, myself included. People were so anti-establishment this year, especially in the Midwest where many people disliked Hillary ALOT. Pollsters falsely assumed that the same demographics that came out for Obama in 2012 would come out for Hillary but thats just not the case. Hillary doesn’t have the same charisma, and she has too much baggage/scandals/controversy to be the same as Obama. And Republicans have historically had more enthusiasm to vote than Democrats have. Obama was an exceptional candidate who mobilized people to vote, and Hillary just isn’t the same.

So, it was deeply humbling for me to lose both these bets and be down $8000 in the hole (exactly the same amount I won betting on Obama in 2012, what goes around comes around I guess). As for the new President Trump, I do have a few worries about his inclination to repeal or replace NAFTA (thats the agreement that gives Canadians like me a special visa to work in the USA). Because of his anti-immigrant stance, and I am a US immigrant on a US work visa, it does affect me. I hope nothing too drastic will happen, but who knows? Trump is so far the only US president without any prior political or military experience, so no one really knows what will happen. I really do hope that he becomes a great president. I really don’t believe that he wants to start wars or be a dictator like people think. But at the end of the day, life will go on, and the sun will come up again, so we will see. Hey, At least weed in California is legal now!

Edit: I just want to make clear that politically, I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. Since 2009, I have been a registered Canadian Conservative voter, but in the US, Republicans are sometimes too crazy for me, though I believe in conservative policies. I have always believed in fiscal conservatism and reduced spending, with more individual liberties. Since I have lived in South Korea (a very conservative Asian country) for the past 2 years, I have become more socially conservative as well. I don’t specifically oppose gay marriage or abortion or illegal immigration, but I’m not in favor of those things either. In truth, I don’t really care about any of those things since it doesn’t really affect me. Korea has definitely made me believe in traditional gender roles a lot more than before though, and that has really caused to me oppose feminism these past 2 years. In that sense – Trump winning the election doesn’t really affect me that much – and I don’t really oppose any of his policies, which is why you won’t see me rioting in the streets like some other Californians.

I made a video ranking US presidents out of sheer boredom..

Why appearance matters in Korea, NBA HOF, removing the headphone jack

I want to talk about several recent topics that have occured recently. In my video blogs I’ve already talked about stuff like why I think Hollywood discriminates against Asians, why I don’t like present day feminism, why I like Korean girls more than Chinese girls, why I support banning guns, why the media is biased towards Westerners, etc
Today I have a few topics I want to talk about…

Why Appearance matters in Korea

Firstly, I’ve lived in Korea almost 2 years now, and I will leave Korea end of this year. At that time I will talk about my experiences here and why I decided to leave, but I want to talk about something I hinted at in my video of what makes Korea so special and unique. Its not just Korea seems to have a lot more couples on the street than other countries, probably the first thing a foreigner notices when they visit Korea is how everyone is always dressed up. The girls more so than the guys usually, but Koreans are known for caring a lot about appearance much more than any other Asian or other nationality in general. How did it come to be this way? Why don’t Americans or Chinese care about appearance as much?

This is more speculation than actual research because I’m not writing a thesis here, but I think the reason is because Korea is a really small and competitive country. When everyone graduates university at a high level, and everyone is Korean, one of the only ways to differentiate yourself is appearance. And that has lead to present day Korea where Korean girls get pressure to get plastic surgery, just to find a boyfriend or get a job, or anything. Because Korea doesn’t have any laws against a company discriminating based on appearance, this has led to competition to become prettier and prettier. And when everyone else is pretty, its a peer pressure affect that causes other people to feel that they should become pretty as well.

China has not gone through the same thing because its a bigger country, more diverse, and was totally communist at one point. Because of those reasons, Chinese people have become more accepting of different appearances, and its not as important because one of the good things that came out of communism is that old Confucian society where women were treated far below men, was erased and replaced by a society where the women worked, dressed the same as men, and treated exactly the same as men. This is the gender equality that all the progressives talk about these days, its essentially done by communism.

As for America, appearance used to be important back in the 1940s and 1950s when men were definitely higher than women and everyone wore suits, dresses, hats, etc for going outside. In those days everyone was dressed up outside. The counter culture revolution of the 1960s basically changed the US into a society where everyone dresses differently and people became more accepting of different appearances. That’s why you hardly ever see people dress up when they go outside in the USA anymore.

In Korea now, its still a patriarchal society, the men still have power (despite the fact that the Korean president is a woman it doesn’t mean sexism is gone), they have the highest gender wage gap out of all OECD countries, and its not uncommon to see the average Korean girl holding onto her boyfriends arms wearing a nice dress or skirt, high heels and fully dressed up while the guy is only wearing casual jeans or shorts. There’s a huge gender disparity here.

Now I actually think caring about appearance is important. I’m not saying people should go out and get plastic surgery, but when people care about the aesthetics of everything in their world from their phones (oh its slimmer!), their computers (wow rose gold!), architecture (eiffel tower, chrysler building, golden gate bridge), paintings (Mona Lisa), etc how can everyone care about aesthetics of everything in the world BUT when people care about other people’s appearance in the Western world, it is considered “shallow”?? In Korea, its totally normal to say oh you should put on more makeup, or you should dress a little better, which in our Western world would be considered sexist comments. But its the total opposite in our world, where even calling someone pretty can be considered offensive, and people are told not to care about others appearance because it is “shallow”? But why? I realize that personality is important, it definitely is, but humans have eyes, and we care about how everything else looks, why is it so bad to care about how other humans look as well? I think that caring about your own looks or other people’s looks is totally normal, as long as its not the ONLY thing you care about. If it is, then that can be considered shallow or superficial but like me, I care about both appearance and personality and I think both are really important in our daily lives. This is one of the things I like about Korea, is that they care about appearance, and I feel that every other country doesn’t care about appearance enough because they want to pretend that somehow we have eyes for everything else but not for other humans. Makes no sense.

Yao Ming, Shaq and Iverson get into the Hall of Fame

This years NBA hall of fame class is headlined by Yao Ming, Shaq and Iverson. A lot of people have expressed that Yao Ming, didn’t belong in the Hall of fame, but they don’t realize that Yao Ming caused 1.3b people to get involved in basketball, that its the BASKETBALL hall of fame not the NBA hall of fame (the same reason why Arvydas Sabonis got in), and that he was actually a decent player that was All NBA 2nd team a bunch of times. He averaged 19/9/1.5/2 over his career, and if you compare to Alonzo Mourning who people agree is a HOFer, he averaged 17/8.5/1/3 over his career, so Yao’s stats are comparable to Mournings.

I think Shaq is definitely a top 5 center of all time, but people overrate his dominance. The thing is Shaq never had an equal during his time. His prime is around 2000-2005 and around that time, the best centers, Ewing, Hakeem and Robinson were all retiring or past their primes. The second best center of the 2000s, Dwight Howard and maybe Yao Ming, weren’t even in their primes yet. I would say Shaq got lucky that his era wasn’t that competitive at the center position. Kareem for example, had to deal with Wilt, Moses, Willis, Cowens, Unseld, Thurmond, Gilmore, Lanier, Walton, Parish, and later in his career Hakeem and Ewing as well. If people want to ding Wilt’s career for weak competition, they should ding Shaq’s career for weak competition.

As for Iverson, yeah I think he’s overrated, but I can understand why he’s so popular. He’s definitely one of them most inefficient shooting guards, only 42% FG which is worse than Kobe’s at 45% or John Havlicek at 44% and both of those guys shot a lot as well. So by stats you can say wow Iverson was terrible and missed a lot. But because people related to his style, his swagger, his attitude, his height, and his heart they really supported him because he was a small dude and that always makes him an underdog. That’s why even though ESPN rated him #48 best player of all time, I put him a bit higher at #30, because I can understand why he missed a lot of his shots, but that doesn’t make him necessarily a terrible player, it just means he’s not the greatest shooter.

I don’t like 4K and high resolution displays

Why are people obsessed with the ppi of a display when 20 years ago they had a 640×480 screen on a CRT monitor and nobody was complaining back then? Wasn’t DVD considered good picture quality back then? Its only 480p now. People’s eyes didn’t get any better as time goes on.
Now because of Apple introducing the iPhone 4 with Retina display, (and Macbook with Retina) everything has super high resolution now. And now I have to read reviews where they give laptops a “minus” because they “only” have a 1080p display, a display that was basically high definition TV before is now “low resolution”. Incredible.
The larger the display the more battery it sucks up. now you might think this is offset by the bigger battery but that is in reality not the case. Thats why smaller phones get better battery life. try comparing the iPhone SE to iPhone 6 for example.
Most of the media that we have, Facebook pictures, and YouTube video, are always compressed. on a 4K screen on high res screen you would have to either get 4K stream or get the original pictures from a friend somehow, else the resulting quality on a high res screen is going to look like crap.
Why don’t people care about audio as much? so everyone is a videophile but being an audiophile is a small part of the audience? why? if people can tell the difference between a Full HD TV and a 4K TV why can’t they tell the difference between mp3s and flacs? Why give your eyes such good treatment but not your ears? thats why I care so much about my headphones, speakers, portable amps, DACs, high res audio files and stuff, but not many people seem to care about it.

This leads to my next topic….
Apple got rid of the headphone jack in the iPhone 7. All chaos ensues.

There are two camps divided on this issue, one side supports Apple’s decision and says that wireless is the future and the 3.5mm is an old legacy standard,and the other side says 3.5mm can never be replaced.
What do you think my decision would be, knowing that I’m an audiophile and musician? Well of course I’m gonna say the 3.5mm headphone or AUX jack should not go away, at least not right now.

There are several reasons why wireless cannot replace the headphone jack:

1. Wireless has inherent latency issues, and anyone who’s used Ethernet over Wifi knows that wired is always faster and transmits data much faster than wireless. Because of this inherent advantage and the fact that we listen to digital music, wireless can never sound as good as wired. So wired headphones will always sound better than a wireless headphone at the same price point.

2. Wireless headphones have to be recharged. The Apple Airpods last 5 hours. That’s actually not a lot of you go on a lot of trips and travel a lot. That might be the time it takes on a train from one city to another. I actually spend 11 hours in a bus going from Bosnia to Serbia so I know thats not enough. Having to always charge something is a hassle. And wired has infinite battery life obviously.

3. Because its wireless, they cannot add any external headphone amplifier or DAC or noise cancellation to the audio chain unless they build it onto the headphone itself, which will decrease the battery life. I know lightning headphones or USB-C headphones can have these things built in as well, but those don’t have the same wide compatibility as a traditional headphone with a 3.5mm connection. Also, I still have not seen a wireless planar magnetic headphones or high impedance headphone, if that is possible to make one wireless at all.

4. Musicians, Engineers, Audiophiles etc we have too many legacy audio or musical equipment like a hifi stereo system, mixers, record players etc that just don’t work with wireless or even old laptops and devices. Because of this huge incompatibility issue, Bluetooth will never be as widespread as wired. Furthermore, people in 3rd world countries are not going to give up their cheap wired headphones for wireless ones anytime soon.

You cannot compare the removal of the headphone jack to the floppy disk drive or cassette drive and optical drive because those are storage formats and newer formats can always replace old formats and the newer formats were always strictly better than the older ones its replacing. The headphone jack is a way of enjoying audio, so removing that jack and saying you have to go wireless, is akin to removing the speakers from a phone, and saying, hey you have to use Bluetooth speakers now because having mono or stereo speakers is old and legacy.
And Yes I realize you can use a dongle with the new iPhone 7, but you can’t charge your phone at the same time, and you have to make sure not to lose the dongle on a trip else you’re screwed.

Comparisons of East Asia, China vs America

I just finished my trip to Taiwan, which concludes the last East Asian country I’ll be visiting. I visited China first in 2011, then Korea in 2013, then Japan and Taiwan this year. I already talked about some of these differences. Below you can see some videos I made.

I think that every one of these countries has there own unique idiosyncrasies and differences with each other, but its no secret I prefer South Korea the best. I think the nightlife there is the best and Korean women by far care the most about their appearance and are the best looking on average, but I think Taiwan and Japan have the best manners in general. Its interesting to note that I didn’t see a single tomboy in Seoul in all my time living there, whereas in Taiwan or China its very easy to find girls who dress or look like boys. This is a very unique factor about Seoul, the gender boundaries are very clear and the women there are the most feminine. In addition, some other things unique about Korea I noticed; I’ve seen the most couples on the streets there than anywhere else I’ve traveled to, literally every 1 in 4 people on the streets are a couple, and its the only Asian nation with a Christian majority. That’s interesting about Korea to say the least. Other Asian countries trend towards either Buddhism or Islam.

I plan to go to Shanghai again next year, this time to take some video since I didn’t have a camcorder with me last time.
Then I can do a proper comparison between Seoul vs Tokyo vs Shanghai, all three megacities. Taipei is too small of a city to be counted amongst those three.

I also find the more I learn about these different Asian cultures, the more I find that China in particular tends to have more in common with the USA than with Korea/Japan/Taiwan.

Similarities between China and USA
-They are tied for being the 3rd largest country on Earth
-They are the two biggest economies in the world
-Chinese and Americans are both known for having a lot of national pride, sometimes bordering on arrogance
-They are both very diverse countries with multiple races and languages
-There is a huge gap between the rich and the poor in both countries
-They contain the world’s first and second largest population of prisoners
-They contain the world’s first and second most billionares
-They are the largest influences in their respective hemispheres
-Chinese and American women are both known for being strong and independent
-Most people dress casually in both countries and there is no ‘standard’ for appearance, compared to Korea/Japan where more people dress up and wear makeup
-No rules on politeness either! You can be as nice or as rude as you want to in both countries. In Korea/Japan there are politeness rules in both the language and culture

Just some interesting things I’ve noticed…