Response to recent Google employee’s memo..

As many people on the internet know, a few days ago a Google employee’s internal memo was leaked out.. and there has been a big fuss about it.
Not only was there so much hate on that guy, claiming that he was ‘misogynist’ and ‘male chauvinist’ but his name and picture were actually leaked by the press as well! If this wasn’t character assassination and defamation I don’t know what is.

So, I’ve actually read the memo, and while I disagree with portions of it, for the most part I agree with him. My opinion is not a popular one in the liberal majority Silicon Valley. But I can assure you there is nothing that sexist / misogynist about what he wrote. First off, people should stop using that term so frequently because it literally means someone who hates women. This memo does not come off to me as someone who hates women. The main point he was getting across is that 1. conservatives are discriminated against in the tech industry and 2. Women’s biological differences with men are the reason why there aren’t as many women in the tech industry

His first point is actually true, since Google promptly fired him after that memo leaked. As a private company they have all the right to do that, but it goes to show what happens when you have an unpopular conservative opinion in a sea of liberal opinions. Yes he had freedom of speech, but in the end if he violated Google’s code of conduct they had every right to fire him. I just don’t think it was fair since his opinion was actually quite valid.

Secondly, as an Engineer I am usually very skeptical of claims unless they are backed by science. I don’t believe in conspiracy theories like area 51 / aliens or chemtrails or 9/11 theories or moon landing hoax theories or stuff like that. I don’t believe in superstitions like Feng Shui or chinese medicine (pseudoscience) or go to tarot readers or astrologists since I don’t believe in the supernatural. I don’t believe in ghosts or monsters. I DO believe in global warming, because that’s backed up by science.
Now, while this is very hard to prove by science, it is actually common sense to everyone that men and women are not the same. Our bodies are built very differently. Our brains are wired very differently. There is a gender difference in humans just like there is in every other animal. That is quite easy to accept. So I don’t understand what is so misogynist or hard to understand that differences in the way each gender thinks is the reason why certain genders perform certain roles?? Being different is good. There’s nothing wrong with being different. If people really want a society where men and women are treated exactly the same, I would recommend those people to move to a communist society. Perfect gender equality there.

Men usually perform roles with physical labor like construction or mining, or roles that involve analytical thinking like mathematics, science or engineering. That is not to say women can’t do those roles, but definitely men have a dominant advantage in those roles. Women on the other hand, are much better at serving and caring for people. That’s why women tend to be clerks, cashiers, customer service reps, broadcasters, receptionists, nurses, etc. They are better suited for those positions than men. There is nothing misogynist or women-hating about this train of thought, this is the way that I feel after looking at other animal species and interacting with humans. Male lions don’t ask female lions to do the same task, they each have their own responsibilities. So why is it so unacceptable for humans to be the same? Even in engineer crazy India and China, there are more males than females in engineering. They have no reason to discriminate against women there (Asians are notorious for pushing that field onto all their children), yet there are still more males. Why? because men and women’s brains are different, that’s why. Its not hard to understand why. Anyone who’s been in a relationship before can tell you that women’s minds are way more emotionally complex than a man’s mind.

Because people like to be social justice warriors. They like to think that taking the stance that women are the victims of social constructs, that women can do anything men can do, and somehow that will make others think of them as better people and supporting gender equality more. Its total nonsense, just like third-wave feminism. I support equal pay for equal work and gender equality, but I do so while acknowledging that men and women have different roles in society. People are just fooling themselves, they are denying science and biology because ironically, they are the victims of the liberal social construct, the very social constructs that they fight against. Do they also believe that social constructs are the reason why men can run faster and jump higher than women can? The liberal echo chamber of the Bay Area puts pressure on people to care or think about minorities, disabled, women, etc to help anyone who’s “oppressed” historically, even if it goes against science or what they actually believe. This is unfortunate, and the firing of this man for his memo (which is personal btw it wasn’t meant to be leaked), just goes to show that if you do not reflect this liberal echo chamber, then you will be punished for it in America. Those are just my 2 cents on this issue.

tldr; I’m not a misogynist, I’m for gender equality, but I also believe men and women are biologically different and that makes them better at certain positions for each gender. This is backed by science and I support it.

June 2017 Gadget update

Every 6 months I do an update on the state of my gadgets and what I use

Computers

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga

This is my main laptop now and replaces my Thinkpad X240, and Thinkpad Yoga 14. A light, convertible laptop, weighs only 2.8lbs (substantially lighter than the Yoga 14 which I previously had), docks with a one link dock connector and wireless dock, has that traditional Thinkpad robust build quality and great trackpoint keyboard, and is convertible which means I can watch movies in 4 different modes, and comes with a gorgeous 1440p OLED screen to boot. It loses the dedicated graphics (Nvidia 840M) of the Yoga 14 but improves on it everywhere else including ports, display and weight. Compared to the X240, it loses the VGA, full size SD and Ethernet ports but is much lighter, has a much better display, and is convertible.

Dell Latitude 7370

This is my main portable laptop (yes the X1 Yoga is portable too but it has a lot of sensitive data that I would rather not take on travels). It replaces my Vaio S, and is basically the fanless, futureproof version of the Vaio. Compared to the Vaio, it has thinner bezels on the display, loses two USB3 ports, VGA, full size SD and Ethernet (legacy ports), but gains microSD and 2 USB-C (more futureproof ports).

Alienware 15 R3

This is my main gaming and VR computer now, replacing my aging HP Envy Beats 14 and hefty Asus G751. I decided I wanted a 15 inch because of its lightness and portability, yet its still powerful enough to have a GTX 1070, power my Oculus Rift (VR ready), hooks up to my external monitor, plays all the latest games, and looks great at home on a laptop stand.

Macbook Pro 13 (2016)
My replacement for my Mac Mini as a programming/entertainment computer. It’s light (3lbs) and runs macOS making it great for development and the lack of ports is made up by my Dell USB-C Dock at home.

Tablets/Phones
iPad Air

The iPad Air is my go to tablet for surfing, gaming, music or reading. Has been since 2013.

iPhone SE

The iPhone SE is my main video recorder, which I use on occasion to record videos, mainly because my model is a 64GB one that can store more videos. Plus love the small size which is what cameraphones should be! light and small. It replaces my aging iPhone 5S.

Google Pixel
The Google Pixel is my main phone now. It has a great camera as well, and is generally just a fast and capable phone all around. It replaces my Kyocera Duraforce Pro and Sony Xperia Z3C as my main Android device.

BlackBerry KeyOne

The BlackBerry KeyOne replaces my Blackberry Priv as my secondary phone and video call device, has a way better keyboard and gets wayyyy better battery life to boot.

Sony Walkman A17

Sony Walkman A17
Sony Walkman A17

The Sony Walkman has replaced my Pioneer XDP, since its much lighter and more portable. It doesn’t sound *quite* as good as the Pioneer, but it’s 80% as good and still much better sounding than most smartphones (with the exception of a few like the HTC 10). The Pioneer is more like the old HDD players like the iPod Classic and Creative Zen Vision – stores more music and plays videos, but big and bulky. The Sony Walkman is a small flash based player like the iPod Nano and Zune HD. They both have their uses.

Huawei Watch
Now with the Android Wear 2 update, Huawei watch is awesome and is definitely my main watch now. It replaces my Seiko Kinetic (quartz) and Orient Sun & Moon (mechanical) which I used before.

Music

Generally I prefer using speakers at home and headphones on the go. I rarely use headphones at home. The advantages of speakers – everyone can hear it, higher fidelity and larger drivers, but usually also more expensive and not as portable.

Razer Hammerhead BT

Razer Hammerhead BT
Razer Hammerhead BT

These are very convenient bluetooth earphones for mostly working out where the wires getting in the way would be troublesome.

Fender FXA3

Fender FXA3
Fender FXA3

The Fender FXA3s are my main earphones for traveling and studying.

Denon Music Master MM400

This is my main headphone that I use at work to listen to music and for conference calls.

Absolutely the best over ear headphones I’ve ever had, these now have replaced my Sennheiser Momentums which were falling apart as well. I use it with my Creative SoundBlaster E5s at work for the extra oomph!

Creative SoundBlasterX Katana

Now used as my computer speakers for my Alienware. It’s the first soundbar designed specifically for computer use. RGB lighting, bluetooth, 7.1 virtual surround and a bunch of other options – what’s not to love?

Klipsch Promedia 2.1

Klipsch Pro Media 2.1
Klipsch Pro Media 2.1

Absolutely fantastic computer speakers. Now using it for my TV and gaming systems since I found it has better bass than my Klipsch R-4B. The bass and overall sound quality is fantastic. Replaces my non-functioning Creative T4Ws which shorted out :(, and the Samsung and Klipsch soundbars that I used before.

Klipsch the Three

This speaker is really cool and retro looking especially with the Ebony wood finish, and pairs well with my Google Home (using Chromecast audio) and my Fluance record player to play some nice vintage tunes!

Bose SoundLink Revolve

Bose SoundLink Revolve
Bose SoundLink Revolve

This speaker replaces my Creative Soundblaster Roar 2 as a portable outdoor (splash proof!) speaker, also pairs very well with my Macbook.

Yamaha TSX-B72

Yamaha TSX-B72
Yamaha TSX-B72

This is my alarm clock radio that I use by my bedside to wake me up each morning 🙂 and yes it has bluetooth and can charge my phone too. It replaces my Sony BSP60 bluetooth alarm speakers those ones are a little complicated to operate and I just wanted a simple vintage looking alarm clock radio.

Cameras

Nikon D5100
My DSLR camera for serious video making. I usually pair it with my Samyang T1.5 24mm cinema prime lens.

Sony Action Camera AS300
Replaces my Sony Music Video recorder and GoPro Hero 3 as both my action camera and my wide angle camera that I can use for blogging, travel videos, action videos, etc and has optical image stabilization which no other action camera has! Also waterproof/dustproof as well and quite small, making it great for situations where my Osmo+ would be too heavy.

DJI OSMO+
My go to camera for taking cinematic walking shots, travel video, and completely replaces any camcorder. The Plus model now has optical zoom capabilities with it too.

DJI Phantom 4 Advanced
Replaces my DJI Phantom 3, better sensors, obstacle avoiding, takes better night shots etc

Other
Other laptops: Asus G751 (secondary gaming laptop and workstation), HP Revolve 810 G2 (secondary Win7 laptop and secondary convertible), Thinkpad X240 (still only laptop I have with hot swappable battery and mobile broadband), GPD Pocket (mini netbook)
Video game systems: New Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, PSTV, Nvidia Shield Pro, GPD Win
Displays: Mobile Monitor 2 Go, Dell 24″ Gsync 1ms 144hz infinityedge monitor, Royole Moon, Avegant Glyph, DJI Goggles
Storage: 1 Synology DS412+, 2 Synology DS416j, 1 Synology 416slim (20TB all in RAID 1)

Laptop collection (one for each size)
11.6″ 1366×768 – HP Elitebook Revolve 810 – 4th gen Core i5, 8GB RAM, 180GB SSD, 3lbs, Win 7, 6 ports: 2 USB3, DP, Ethernet, microSD, headphone
12.5″ 1366×768 – Lenovo Thinkpad X240 – 4th gen Core i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 3.5lbs, Win 7, 7 ports: 2 USB3, miniDP, VGA, Ethernet, SD, headphone
13.3″ 3200×1800 – Dell Latitude 7370 – 6th gen Core m7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 2.5lbs, Win 10, 6 ports: 1 USB3, 2 USBC, microHDMI, microSD, headphone
13.3″ 2560×1600 – Apple Macbook Pro 13 – 6th gen Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 3lbs, macOS, 3 ports: 2 USBC, headphone
14.1″ 2560×1440 – Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga – 6th gen Core i7, 8GB RAM, 180GB SSD, 2.8lbs, Win 10, 7 ports: 3 USB3, miniDP, HDMI, microSD, headphone
15.6″ 1920×1080 – Alienware 15 – 6th gen Core i7 quad, Nvidia GTX 1070, 16GB RAM, 2TB SSD, 7lbs, Win 10, 8 ports: 2 USB3, 2 USBC, HDMI, miniDP, Ethernet, headphone
17″ 1920×1080 – Asus G751 – 4th gen Core i7 quad, Nvidia GTX 970M, 16GB RAM, 2TB HDD, 9lbs, Win 10, 10 ports: 4 USB3, SD, VGA, miniDP, HDMI, Ethernet, headphone/mic

Financial troubles and Youtube troubles

Well, I blinked an eye and its October already. My best friend in Korea left already so now I’m even more lonely than before… what can I do. Moving back to SF isn’t an option thanks to insane housing prices there and moving back to Canada is just more depressing. Looks like staying in Korea is still the way to go.

Some updates – I’ve been calculating my net worth since Aug 2009 – and my net worth this year is actually the same as in Nov 2013. Which means that I’ve lost net worth despite making money last year and this year. What happened? Well, the short answer is, excessive buying/selling, collecting vintage electronics, paying back owed taxes, bedbug issue, excessive rent in Korea/SF, excessive cellphone bills, alot of travelling, and a bad stock market this year.

If we break down the spending on Mint.com, I can see that for last 12 months:

-36% ($35,205) was spent on shopping. This doesn’t mean I bought this many items; I bought and sold alot of things, and including eBay and UPS shipping fees, I lost alot of money here as well. I also spent alot collecting my vintage PDAs/UMPCs/gadgets, video games, Magic cards, etc so thats why this category is so high.
-19% ($19,181) was spent on mortgage and condo management fees. This is valid, since there’s no way to avoid this.
-7% ($6,843) was spent on travelling. Since I go back to USA every few months, this can’t be helped as well. I already went back to US twice this year and Toronto once. I will travel to Europe next week, go back to US again, and then back to Korea. And then later this year I’m going back to Toronto again. That’s 2 trips to Toronto and 3 trips to San Francisco and 1 trip to Europe all in one year.
-7% ($6,419) was spent on food. This is valid, since eating with friends is pretty important.
-$6,450 was spent paying back owed taxes for 2013. Turbotax must have made an error 2 years ago or something. This really impacted my finances alot.
-4% ($4,264) on entertainment. This would bars, lounges, clubs and Steam games. Probably could be avoided.
-3% ($3,408) on Bills. Yeah, yeah I know.. I’m spending way too much on my cellphone bill. I need to figure out a way to bring this down, I think my AT&T contract for my iPad which I’m not using expires in Nov so I can at least get rid of that.
-3% ($3,500) on getting rid of bedbugs. Yeah, not only did last years bedbug problem give me permanent scars, I also had to pay up the arse to get rid of them.

So, I’ve figured out some ways to increase my revenue and reduce spending, which I will be serious about starting next year. Here’s my plan:
-Sell all the excessive electronics and other things which I don’t use or need that often. This includes my unused PS3/PS4 games (sadly, Steam games and Playstation Network / Nintendo eStore games can’t be sold), unplayed Magic cards, unplayed records/LPs, gadgets (UMPCs,computers,PDAs,speakers,headphones,etc) that I feel are useless, unnecessary or not worthy to collect, extra guitar gear (Traynor amp and Gretsch white penguin), extra audio and video equipment like my microphone and extra tripods. All this is worth probably at least $7,000.
-Increase rent. As a landlord, its my duty to increase my rent to reflect local prices and I’ve been undercharging my SF apartment for it. This should be some nice extra cash.
-Move to a cheaper place in Korea. I’ve been living in one of the most expensive places in Korea and I can cut the rent in half by moving just a few stations away.
-Migrate this website to my own server hosted on my Synology DS. Yes, so I won’t need to renew the $300+ hosting fee with Bluehost every year
-File my scooter as PNO – I’m not operating my scooter anymore so no longer need to pay insurance or renewal fee, this is already done.
-Consolidate my electronics. I just got a nice Creative T4W 2.1 system which has bluetooth and optical in, which should mean that I can sell the following with no loss of functionality: Samsung soundbar, Polk Audio hampden, Klipsch KMC 3, Audyssey Wireless Speakers, Marshall Acton. That’s 5 speakers replaced by one! I can use the same system for my PS4/PS3/Mac Mini/Asus/TV that’s great consolidation.
-Be satisfied with what I have. I have an incessant need to upgrade equipment and I should stop doing it. I still use my iPhone5S. That’s a good thing. I should do that with my other electronics. Use it until it breaks.

I also would like to make some money off of Youtube (I have over 1500+ subscribers) but here’s the problem: My current account is associated with an invalid or suspended Adsense account and there’s no way I can get that fixed. So I tried creating a new youtube account with a valid Adsense account and started uploading some videos – Youtube flags all of them as requiring some proof of copyright! Even if its something as recording some DOS games or my own guitar music! That’s not in violation of any copyright! Other youtubers like PewDiePie record games all the time so why can’t I do it? So I deleted that account because I thought its useless since I can’t monetize but it doesn’t delete my subchannels underneath it… and I need to be logged in to delete my subchannels so now I have some extra youtube accounts floating around that I can’t delete!
Get your act together Youtube! Why aren’t the subchannels deleted along with your main account? And why won’t you let small time people like me monetize videos? Seems like a big middle finger from Youtube for me as far as that revenue stream is concerned. Blah.

Anyways, In other news I’m going to Czech, Austria, Croatia, Bosnia and Turkey in a week. I’ll write back after I get back from my vacation :).