Monday, December 28, 2015

Vacation in Costa Rica!

I'm going to Costa Rica tomorrow for a week.  :)  I knew almost nothing about it except that it's very scenic, and there are lots of coconuts.  So I wrote up a little blog about it on Fold.  I'll be reporting back with my own pictures.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Nirvana in Fire and Chinese history (and some random notes)

After watching Nirvana in Fire I read up a bit more about Chinese history.  Popular narratives in China about Chinese history are especially important to understanding the Chinese perspective on the responsibilities of governments.  I wrote about how this relates to Nirvana in Fire in a Fold story.

In other news, I started trying to read it in Chinese.  The story actually started out as an internet novel.  Then I bought a paperback copy from Amazon.  To my shock, they were not the same!  Thankfully, someone on the internet explains that there are multiple editions because the author typically polishes it when they go to publish the story as a book.  The internet version is the modern equivalent of weekly installments in the newspaper so it's often more long-winded, Dicken's style.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Learning Weird Chinese

My Chinese is getting stranger and stranger because I tend to watch historical fiction shows like Nirvana in Fire (琅琊榜) and Empresses in the Palace (后宫 甄嬛传).

The dialogue in these shows are more formal, maybe kind of like if you learned English from watching only Shakespeare plays.




Nirvana in Fire

I wrote an essay about a Chinese TV show I have been watching because I wanted to share my thoughts about the themes about patriotism and governance.  I have several shows, and some of these themes have shown up before so that now I feel that I more fully understand the context behind them.


The acting is really good.  There are so many great bromances, and it's also really cute that the actors are friends in real life as well.  It's really helped me to improve Chinese, too, since I'm motivated to read Chinese articles about the actors (尤其是胡歌!) and the show.  太好看了但是我的中文也太差了。也没办法了,学到什么就算什么。

 I am also trying out Fold as a platform for interactive blogging. I think I like it! It seems like the feature in Medium where people can comment in your text would be useful, though.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Racial Profiling

I updated my tool for explaining and exploring racial profiling in traffic policing recently. While we can only see the outcome of stops and ticketing, we can explore different scenarios for the true rates of violating traffic under different assumptions about fairness, efficiency, and effort of traffic policing. Hopefully the reasoning is easier to follow now.