Man up

Tom Personal, View 6 Comments

Thanks Vancouver, you were beautiful and efficient. But clearly I was not butch enough for you. That is some ride down to Seattle. 

Now let’s hope for an easy border crossing.

Understand China and the U.S.

Tom Business, Government, Hong Kong / China, Reading 0 Comments

A very good summary of where China is at from a US perspective. Some breathtaking stats, e.g. soft power version 1: the students.

The lesser-known side of the story is that China is also now a major consumer of U.S. goods. About one-quarter of the soybeans grown in the U.S. go to China, as well as one in five of planes manufactured by Boeing. Apple now sells more iPhones in China than in the U.S. China is also a big consumer of American services, like education: One in three foreign students in the U.S. is now from China.

Shanghai’s Pudong district 1987 and 2013.

In 1980, the average American earned $12,575.57 per year in current international dollars, while the average Chinese earned $302.31 — a gap of 42 times. But by 2015, this gap had shrunk to four times.

There are more members of the Communist Party than the UK population.

About 6 percent of Chinese people are members of the Communist Party — a group of 86 million that includes almost all government officials, business leaders and other social elite.

Soft power: version 2

The economies are so tied through investment, debt, business deals and trade that they may very well rise or sink together. On the economic side, China is now investing more money in the U.S. than the U.S. is in China. Given all of these ties, it’s in the U.S. interest to work with China, at least sometimes, as a close partner.

Source: 7 simple questions and answers to understand China and the U.S.

Thought vectors

Tom Reading, Tech 3 Comments

More excellent mind-blowing thinking today.

Google is taking the technology that it used to generate Google Translate (which doesn’t really understand languages) and applying it to thoughts.

“If you take the vector for Paris and subtract the vector for France and add Italy, you get Rome,” he said. “It’s quite remarkable.”

Source: Google Is Working On A New Algorithm – Thought Vectors

Threat models

Tom Business, IT, Reading, Tech 2 Comments

This is hilarious and so true. Security types read and learn.

Basically, you’re either dealing with Mossad or not-Mossad. If your adversary is not-Mossad, then you’ll probably be fine if you pick a good password and don’t respond to emails from If your adversary is the Mossad, YOU’RE GONNA DIE AND THERE’S NOTHING THAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. The Mossad is not intimidated by the fact that you employ https://.

Obesity is incurable

Tom Personal, Reading, Science 6 Comments

Wow. One of those rare change your opinion reads (for me, of course, YMMV). A must read and the devastating summary I’d select is this:

…the terrible truth is that, except through surgery, for the great majority of sufferers, obesity is an incurable disease.

This won’t be the case for ever, but really does seem that it is true for now.

NB obesity is BMI 30+: lower than that and you’re curable.