The Zen of Defriending

Seen on facebook:

Welp. There goes another Facebook friend, who decided facts about the southern border were inconvenient and did not fit her worldview, and decided that as a messenger I must be unfriended.

I’d like to remind people that “unfriending” simply means “retreat into my echo chamber”. If I was disrespectful, vitriolic, or hateful, then sure: unfriending would have a completely different meaning. But that isn’t the case. I don’t call people names. I try to respect others’ views. I don’t yell. I try to stay on-topic.

Unfriending is a retreat from thoughtful discussion. It isolates you from opinions that differ from your own. Stick to your views, respect your friends’ views, and talk to them. We need more talking

People should be free to friend or unfriend whoever they like. Freedom of Speech doesn’t mean I have to read your shit (or you, mine), and it certainly doesn’t apply to the failure pile in a sadness bowl substitute for real social interaction that is Facebook.

I never unfriended anyone on Facebook (or Twitter) until November 2016, but I never had a problem with anyone unfriending me, before or after.

Nor can I relate to those who do. Personally, it’s been quite a relief when I got defriended — my haters are pruning my social network for me! This way they can spout their shit freely without me. If, by some miracle, they have an original thought about a good programming design pattern, someone will eventually point me to it through a different avenue. I use Facebook for the baby pix and death notices and Twitter for the memes.

I suggest you feel the same/similar about being defriended, because being a butthurt snowflake when someone you don’t agree with unfriends you says more about you, then it does them.

If in our social networks we can unfriend others who are useless shits to us, if we can be happy when we are unfriended when we are useless shits to them, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of social work.

You’re welcome. Just call me the Thich Nhat Hanh of your social network.

Old alumni page

One thing I’ll always be grateful to my father for was buying me a lifetime Caltech alumni membership on my graduation.

Dear Terry,

We are writing to share news about your Alumni Website. You may have received this email already, and if so, I apologize for the duplicate announcement. For those that have not received it, we are aware that many of our emails are being caught by Spam or getting lost so we want to make sure you are aware of this news.

We are upgrading the SquirrelMail server to Microsoft Office 365. This means that your alumnus.caltech.edu webpage will not transfer and we will no longer be able to host your site. You will need to transfer any photos or documents you wish to keep. The current alumni server will be decommissioned on December 17, 2018.

If you would like to keep your website address, we are able to provide you with a redirect. This will only provide you with a redirect and will not transfer any documents or photos to your new site. Please fill out this form: Alumnus Website Redirect before December 15, 2018. If you do not have a webpage address ready, we can also create one at a later date.

To log in: please go to: https://alumnus.alumni.caltech.edu/wp-admin
Your website is: http://alumnus.caltech.edu/~tychay/

The Caltech Alumni Association has been working diligently to help support a widely inclusive and connected alumni community.
Thank you for your understanding. If you have any questions, please email us at email@alumni.caltech.edu or call us at 626.395.6592.

Thank you,
The Caltech Alumni Association

First of all, wow, we were using a WordPress install for authentication for a CMS? Since when?

Second of all, I had a alumni page? Since when?

Hmm…

<HEAD>
<TITLE>terrychay</TITLE>
</HEAD>

<BODY>
<P> My homepages
<OL>
<LI> <a href="http://www.pws.uiuc.edu/~tychay/">Old physics page</a>
<LI> <a href="http://guava.physics.uiuc.edu/~tychay/photo/">Photo Album</a>
<LI> <a href="http://guava.physics.uiuc.edu/~tychay/swing/">Swing Society</a> (site I designed)
<LI> <a href="http://phy290p.physics.uiuc.edu/">Personal Webserver</a> (intermittent)
<LI> <a href="http://game1.zipasia.com/actions/">Adobe GoLive Actions</a>  (may be moved)
<LI> <a href="http://www.zipasia.com/">ZipAsia</a> (current employer)
<LI> <a href="http://game1.zipasia.com/">Zip2Games</a> (current project)
</OL>
<P>I'll consolidate this sometime. It'll be so 3leet that it will be 4leet!
</BODY>

Wow, that’s some old shit. I must have done that over 18 years ago. None of the links there even work. The days when we used to capitalize HTML tags, which is the reason why PHP functions are case insensitive by the way.

I never did get 4leet status by consolidating all my internet sites. They just all went down the memory hole. I think I’m going to let this one go that way also.

Tijuana

From my aunt’s e-mail thread.

I sent this photo to Francis already but I thought you may like to take a look. It was taken in Tijuana, Mexico during my freshmen year at Berkeley. Francis wanted to eat authentic Mexican food and bought something from a food cart vendor. He kept enticing us with smacking and yum-yum noises as he ate.

Then that night he was visited by Montezuma’s revenge.

Tijuana.jpg

My uncle, my aunt, and my mom.

KEN:
Hi-larious!

Voting in America redux

I wrote about voting in a historic election eight years ago. Since then, California has become more blue, there are even more political fliers, and the only thing the left wing can seem to agree with the CAGOP on is what this state needs is even more propositions on the ballot.

Even though, back then, I strongly suspected I’d be casting this vote eight years later for Hillary Clinton, I didn’t realize how this day would hit me.

Marie got dressed in a pantsuit and we walked across the street to the community center to vote. Unlike me, she was homeschooled as a Christian conservative and voted for George W. Bush in 2004—her vote is more meaningful than mine.

Marie voted in her pantsuit

But my vote wasn’t mine, it was Mom’s—not to celebrate or affirm women’s right to vote or anything like that, but because I love her, she always admired Hillary Rodham, and, most importantly, because she only would go to the polls to cancel out Dad’s vote. 😉

Not this time! I called Dad yesterday and he said he’s with her—quite possibly his first vote for a Democratic candidate for President of the United States, definitely his first vote for a woman for that position.

I started blogging with the purpose to “write to create context for another to think” just after argument with my father about politics in 2004. He said:

“Nobody said democracy is perfect. It’s just the best thing we’ve got. Terry, maybe you’re right, and I’m wrong. But if you are, then have some faith in our system that the truths will come out. Have some faith that people can change. They just don’t have to change on your timetable.”

I honestly never thought Dad would change. But my father, with his vote with mom now, and a lifetime of past votes against, finally won an argument with “mom’s lawyer”: I have faith, and people can change.

No matter the outcome, this election reaffirms that faith in the conversation that is our democracy.

One Bad Hombre and one Nasty Woman (in a pantsuit) went to the polls and voted!
San Francisco, California, United States

So lucky she and I can split the workload of sifting through all those ballot propositions. Now that’s love. 😆😍

I don’t care who you support, if you can vote, Vote!

NaNoWriMo 2016

Ever since Marie wanted to learn to program in 2009, I’ve wanted to write a book to help her. But I never could get started.

The National Novel Writing Month is November every year for just this purpose: to motivate people to put 50,000 words on paper (about the size of the novel, Slaughterhouse-Five), editor be damned.

I first heard about it in 2007, when I started using Scrivener, but dismissed it because the requirement that a novel be fiction. I only just found about NaNo Rebels, which allows you to customize the “50,000 words” into nearly any other creative exercise, including non-fiction. So yesterday, this was born:

NaNoWriMo 2016 Participant Badge

Nowadays, I use Ulysses. I simply created a group in the software and set a 50,000 word goal and started typing away!

NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 2

Goal setting on my iPad.

I don’t know if I can finish since it’s about a good sized blog article each and every day. We’ll see how it goes. So far it’s been a bit strange writing a book. For instance, I can’t use my WordPress shortcode macros lest I ruin the word count.

Periodically, I’ll dump the output to my blog, which you can track here. Wish me luck!

If you want to buddy up, I’m “tychay” there.

Us in Korea

From my aunt’s e-mail thread.

Here is family photo sans Aboji. I sent you this photo of us in our Seoul house in 1954. We had a large spacious house with tatami mats, heated floors and a large yard with a garden. Surrounding it was a cement wall for privacy. The back of the photo gives our names and ages. (The ages are Korean ages, meaning it is one year older than it is here in the western world).

Francis Ree Family

Clockwise from the top left: (Hay In) Francis 19, (Shin He) Teresa 17 (my mother), mother (grandma), (Jung He) Jeanne 9, and (Ju He) Bernadette 20.

Continue reading the discussion thread after the jump

Article in U of Utah magazine

From my aunt’s e-mail thread.

It’s a page from the Alumni magazine

article in U of Utah magazine.jpg

KOREAN FAMILY MAKES MANY SCHOLASTIC ACHIEVEMENTS

Reminiscing with musical records from home on the family stereo set is the Dr. Alexis Taikyue Ree family, 228 Douglas Street. Dr. Ree came to Salt Lake City 12 years ago as an exchange professor at the University of Utah. During the Korean War he lost contact with his family, who finally joined him six years later. Left to right, they are Bernadette, 25; Teresa, 23; Joan, 15; and Dr. and Mrs. Ree.

Many requests come to the Ree family to describe and model their native costume which they wear only at such occasions. Both older girls are working toward a doctors degree at the University. Bernadette is a psychology major, Teresa is studying chemistry. An older brother, Francis, has his Ph.D. and is working in atomic research at the University of California in Berkeley.

Dr. Ree worked with Dr. Henry Eyring, now Dean of the Graduate School at the U., in 1939-41 at Princeton University. A native of Korea, Dr. Ree graduated from and then taught chemistry at Kyoto University in Korea (ED: in Japan). After World War II he was invited to return to Korea where at that time he became dean of Arts and Science at the University of Seoul (ED: Seoul National University).

Mrs. Ree, from one of the oldest Catholic family in Korea, reports interesting stories of martyrdom in her ancestry. In America as in Korea, she is strictly a housewfie and mother. All four of the children were born in Korea (ED: two were born in Japan). Joan is a freshman at Judge Memorial High School and has taken piano lessons since she was seven.

At the International Atomic Energy Conference in Vienna, Austria, in October, 1960, Dr. Ree received this significant medal form the Korean Government. The Korean National Academy Award, it was presented for his research in chemistry kinetics (the behavior of molecules and atoms) and for his research in plastics. At the time Korea sent a delegation to honor him.

Continue reading the discussion of the article after the jump

Leaving Korea for the USA

From my aunt’s e-mail thread.

The attached photo is of us at Kimpo airport waiting to board a flight to the USA. We all look miserable and sad because we are leaving life as we knew it back then. I remember the propeller plane, so loud. I remember waking up from a nap on the loud plane and heard my siblings talking to each other — hard for me to believe because they hadn’t spoken to each other for more than a year (and used me as a messenger when they needed to communicate).

Leaving Korea for USA

Left to right: ?, Aunt Tamaye, Uncle Francis (in front of Aunt Gia), Grandma, Dr. Tae-Bong Kim, Teresa (my mom)

Continue reading the discussion of the photo after the jump