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Cake day: Feb 24, 2021

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It’s not.

It’s prevalent in some industries (and slowly getting squashed even there because it’s causing instability and the Chinese government is badly allergic to instability).

In my job, my boss doesn’t allow us to work overtime except in emergencies, and then always makes up for the overtime with extra time off later.


A category at the top - Logtalk

Prototypal OOP is an attractive way of doing “exception-driven” modeling: foo is like bar except that …. It is particularly suited to situations where you have many possible small distinguishing traits from a base type. …


I sometimes scan them for things that might be interesting enough to subscribe to. That’s about it.


Not very careful or attentive vegans, I see.

Half the foods they mentioned are not strictly vegan. Being strictly vegan is astonishingly difficult in China, which sounds weird because China’s diet is noted for comparatively low meat consumption, because most things, even when “vegetarian” are cooked in chicken or pork broths.

It’s possible to be vegan and live in China. But you won’t be eating a lot of street food or going to non-speciality restaurants and/or shops like the speciality shops outside of Baotong Temple in Wuhan or restaurants like the ones here.

When I had vegan friends visiting me it was a chore to find places that I could safely take them to, and in more than a few cases they decided they’d have to just look the other way because even stir-fried vegetables had chicken broth as part of the preparation.


Building trust on property-based testing - Logtalk

The third in a series of blog entries on using property-based testing in Logtalk…


Evolving from manually written tests - Logtalk

The second in a series of using property-based automated testing to up your testing game in Logtalk. …


Easily QuickCheck your predicates - Logtalk

Did you know that Logtalk came with an implementation of QuickCheck baked in for free? …



Learn X in Y Minutes where X = Logtalk

A very good, succinct introduction to Logtalk concepts and capabilities. If you’re curious about what Logtalk even is, this is probably the single best place to start figuring it out…



It’s just with such a bizarrely selected example it baffles me. It’s kind of brazen to use a literal theft as the go-to example while illustrating the moral high ground.

Personally, I think China should support Hawaiian and Puerto Rican independence, funnelling money and arms to separatists there just for shits and giggles. And be as brazen about it as the CIA was in Tibet and is in Xinjiang without even bothering to deny it.

“You’re funding separatists!”

“Yes. It amuses us.”


Rosetta Code's Logtalk category

The Logtalk distribution comes with a very large set of examples, but if you want more Rosetta code’s Logtalk category is a place to find it. …


It’s good on several levels.

  1. That much schoolwork does the opposite of its intent. We’ve known for over half a century that even simple homework is ineffective for learning. What do you think eternal classwork is going to do? Burnout is a thing and it’s a thing I’ve seen far too many promising students fall to here, with often heart-breaking consequences. (One of my favourite students tried to kill herself—thankfully unsuccessfully!—by jumping out of a fifth-storey window. At age 12. Ponder that shocking number for a bit.) It’s one of the reasons I stopped teaching here.

  2. Play is a major component of learning and growth. Unstructured play, not fucking soccer moms taking their children to one organized event after the other, helicoptering at the sidelines. Got that image in your head? Now magnify it by ten. That’s Chinese parental control of child activities. Children get no unsupervised time. No chance to form social bonds. No chance to learn the soft knowledge they need to become well-adjusted human beings. And these fucking cram schools, again, amplify the problem by removing even the structured play in favour of mindless rote recitation “education”.

  3. Let’s presume for sake of argument that #s 1 and 2 aren’t important. (They are, but just for sake of argument let’s pretend they aren’t.) Who goes to these cram schools? Do you think access is fairly distributed? That peasant villagers’ children get the same opportunity to access high quality supplemental education as wealthy city-dwellers’? (Hint: no.) Schools in the city already have massive advantages over schools in the countryside. Hell, schools in the wealthier districts of cities have massive advantages over schools in the poorer districts! This is a problem that has already led to some stability problems as disgruntled poorer people denounce how Party officials’ kids always seem to be able to get into the best schools and have the most opportunities after leaving school. These cram schools (again) amplify this issue beyond all reason. There have been near-riots over the advantages connected/wealthy people have in educating their children. If it’s not reined in quickly, there is going to be bloodshed. And on a massive scale.

Eliminate the cram schools and you can work on fixing the educational system so they’re not needed. You can work on evening out access to quality education. Cram schools are a sign of an intense illness in education and they’re a band-aid … on a necrotic limb. They need to be turned into public services, not for-profit ventures that favour only the wealthy assholes.


And while I can’t find the book anymore, I found this: https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/china_law_prof_blog/files/munro_who_died_in_beijing_and_why.pdf

It’s by one of the co-authors of the book. Page 813 (3rd page in the PDF) has a section entitled “The Bloody Road to Tiananmen”. It names several neighbourhoods where violence erupted, including Muxidi. I’m walking back my temporary walk-back. 😉


OK, I’m going to temporarily walk back Muxidi. I think I got it from Black Hands of Beijing: Lives of Defiance in China’s Democracy Movement, but I’m not able to find this (book, I mean) anymore. I just remember a stark description of a clash at a bridge (which I thought was Muxidi) where civilians with molotovs and the police clashed before the PLA started moving in and mowing down people. It included interesting details like how some Party officials wound up as collateral damage because stray machine gun rounds went through where they were standing on their home balconies and such.

The 1989 protests were a massive clusterfuck at every level. The government was intransigent and paranoid after watching dictator after dictator fall in Europe. The main instigators of the protests—students—were, like most young people, stupidly impatient and unwilling to work on gradual change. (They were also seemingly intent on martyrdom rather than negotiation.) Further, since they all came from China’s upper crust, practically, they did zero coordination with the worker protest groups going on at the same time, disdaining them as uneducated, unimportant peasants.

Tragically, the people who bore the brunt of the clapback were those very same workers, struggling with the PLA to prevent their approach to the square.


I’m about to hit the hay. I’ll dig up some references tomorrow. (I may have the wrong bridge. I’m going from memory here.)


That’s the entire fucking point. Like literally, the point went sailing way the fuck over your head.


… the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989 …

Ooh! I missed that one!

There was no Tiananmen Square Massacre. At all. This is hinted at in the very title of the piece you quoted: 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. There’s a few “facts” you’re going to find out, to your likely intense shock, surrounding that.

1. There was no massacre in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Citing the same source you quoted:

Several people who were situated around the square that night, including former Beijing bureau chief of The Washington Post Jay Mathews and CBS correspondent Richard Roth reported that while they had heard sporadic gunfire, they could not find enough evidence to suggest that a massacre took place on the Square itself.

Taiwan-born Hou Dejian was present in the square to show solidarity with the students and claimed that he didn’t see any massacre occurring in the square. He was quoted by Xiaoping Li, a former China dissident to have stated, “Some people said 200 died in the square, and others claimed that as many as 2,000 died. There were also stories of tanks running over students who were trying to leave. I have to say I did not see any of that. I was in the square until 6:30 in the morning.”

Want non-Chinese sources? How about The Columbia Journalism Review? Read that and a few more similar sources (the finding of which is left as a learning exercise) and upon completion ponder this: what other things have you been lied to about over the course of your life?

2. No matter what you think you remember, Tank Man did not get run over.

I have met people utterly SHOCKED (indeed shaken to their core) when faced with the evidence that what they “clearly remember”—Tank Man being squished into pulp under the treads of merciless Chinese tanks—never happened, but … it didn’t. If you remember seeing Tank Man killed, you are the victim of very skilled propaganda using carefully timed editing, skillfully worded suggestion, and flat-out lies.

The full video exists showing the aftermath of the famous, iconic shots that shocked the world. It’s a good exercise to seek it out. When you do, ponder this: what other things have you been lied to about over the course of your life?

3. The real story of what went on is far darker.

Not only because of what it implies for the Chinese people but also because of what it implies for western people. The truth is that there was protests aplenty in Beijing in 1989. And there was a massacre. It’s just that the protests the Chinese government was nervous of were worker protests, not student protests. The thing is that the western press didn’t want to do the actual work (and dangerous work!) of covering these. The children cosplaying revolutionary were far more photogenic and could be covered within a brief walk from the popular journalist hang-out hotel.

Further, the corporate masters of most western media really did not want to be broadcasting stories of workers rising in rebellion against cruel masters. It would have struck far too close to home, that would have. Much better to focus on the cute kiddies playing revolutionary! D’aw! They even have a mock Statue of Liberty they call the Goddess of Democracy! Aren’t they cute!?

The real massacre was near Muxidi. It was a massacre of workers who’d finally had enough and snapped. Who’d rioted and attacked police and PLA. Who were subsequently mercilessly gunned down by machine gun, run over by tanks and APCs and generally slaughtered. It was the low point of governance in the modern era of China and it sparked quiet reforms that continue to this day: some good for the people, some … not so good.

In retrospect the press story never really made any sense. The students at the protests came from all the top universities in Beijing and environs. They were the scions of the most powerful and wealthy people in China. They were the sons and daughters of Chinese leaders! I know that people have been trained for their entire lives into thinking that the Chinese are unthinking, unfeeling robots, but do you seriously believe it extends to the point that Chinese leaders are going to order the massacre of their very own children!?

Ponder that for a while, and ponder this: what other things have you been lied to about over the course of your life?

4. The protests (and suppressions) didn’t just happen in Beijing.

One of the huge problems I have with the ZOMG THEY KILLED ALL THE STUDENTS IN THE SQUARE!!!1111oneoneoneeleventyone!!! narrative is that not only does it suppress the worker uprising and subsequent bloody suppression in Beijing, it also hides the same uprisings and suppressions that happened all over the place! There were protests in Shanghai. In Fujian province. In Hubei province. In all kinds of places. Workers protested. Low-level Communist Party officials protested. PLA SOLDIERS PROTESTED! This was a nationwide political disaster brewing and all of that is erased in the official western record of cute kids cosplaying counter-revolutionary.

What possible motive could the press have for not reporting this? (It was known to them. You’ll find sources detailing that quite easily once you drop down that particular rabbit hole.) Ponder that and ponder this: what other things have you been lied to about over the course of your life?

5. Things have actually improved since then.

You don’t last as long as absolute dictators as the Chinese government has, over a population as unruly as the Chinese have historically always been, if you’re stupid. While the Chinese government did clamp down and clamp down hard (the better term is “brutally”) on the uprisings (note the plural) they also recognized what led to them and started to, get this, fix the problems.

Jackasses from the west bemoan that the locals don’t want to talk about 1989 with them. There’s three major reasons for this, however.

  1. Nobody trusts the west. There’s a long, ignoble tradition of the western press putting sources at risk and then topping it all off by lying. Of fucking course they’re not going to want to talk about politically-sensitive issues, knowing that western reporters are sociopaths who’ll put them and their families at risk all for the fucking clicks.
  2. Most of the time people use the wrong language. They assume everybody calls it the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre for instance. Which is not the term used here. Quite often, I suspect, the people being asked have no idea what they’re being asked. It would be like me going up to an American and asking them their opinion on Santa Anna’s Grand Victory or whatever.
  3. 1989 is over 30 years ago. Most of the people being addressed weren’t even born for it. Many of the rest were in middle school. They don’t know, and don’t care, what you’re talking about. Kind of like how most Americans alive today don’t know or care about the fall of the Berlin Wall.

This is a web app framework that uses the SWI-Prolog back-end and the simple_template pack to provide a disciplined web application development environment…


… there is far more grassroots participation than there is in western democracies …

I am in my residential compound’s WeChat group. I have the alerts muted. This is because every few seconds someone is saying something in it, addressing the compound’s cadres. And while yes some of it is the obsequious, grovelling nonsense you’d expect where some clueless twit grovels to the compound’s “leaders”, the vast majority of it is filled with people casting shade and dragging the leadership.

When they spent most of the summer of 2018 with all the roads in the compound torn up to “fix the water and sewage” only to have to tear up half of it all over again in 2019, there was a lot of people complaining that the leaders must have pocketed funds and hired substandard workers. And the leaders apologized, practically to the point of grovelling themselves.

In the broader scope, when the city of Wuhan passed an ordinance that allowed restaurants to prohibit patrons bringing in outside food and drink, this caused such an uproar, verging on open rebellion (and open rebellion in a city of eleven million is uncomfortable to consider), that it took less than two weeks for the city to reverse itself, rescinding its ordinance and passing one in its place that explicitly enshrined as protected the right of people to take outside food and drink into a restaurant (provided they were also buying food in that restaurant, naturally).

I lived a dozen years in Ottawa and never saw that degree of participation of authority figures in the lives of citizens. And never saw that much openness to input from the governed.

China is a weird place filled with unexpected things once you drop your preconceptions.


The USA already invaded Hawaii, overthrowing the legal head of state in a coup at the behest of American businesses. Bad example, dude. Astonishingly bad example.


I wouldn’t agree that it is worse in the west than in china, as in the west anyone still has the opportunity to avoid services which threaten to sell your data.

You are talking from ignorance. Both ignorance of the nature and state of surveillance here (yes, I live in China) and of the ubiquity of surveillance in the west and how much of it the state has access to.

Facebook tracks you if you have an account or not. Twitter tracks you if you have an account or not. Phone systems track you if you have any kind of mobile phone at all. In extreme cases, you can be surveilled from other people’s phones. While it is in theory possible to live free of surveillance in the west, it would involve actions and activities that would be extremely impractical.

Surveillance is surveillance, whether done by corporate entities who cooperate with actual nation-states or directly by the government. (And, by the way, most surveillance in China is … exactly this variety, just like the USA.) Abrogation of free speech is abrogation of free speech, whether, again, done by corporate entities (and, again, the major source of censorship in China is exactly this variety, just like the USA) or by governments directly.



The Official Logtalk Docker containers

These are the Docker containers made by Logtalk’s creator…


Found a bug? Want a feature? This is where you go to deal with it…


Where Gitter is used for live chat support, Github’s discussions are used as the support BBS…

1

This is where you go to get the bleeding edge of Logtalk or to contribute to the development of it…


This is the official place for Logtalk’s creator to support Logtalk live…


I just created a community for the Logtalk programming language. Drop on by if you’re a user, want to be a user, or just think this sounds interesting…

5

“In fact, just like Columbus, few Canadians today can even point to India on a map.”

This is absolute bullshit. I’d be shocked if fewer than 7 out of 10 Canadians could point to India on an unlabelled map. My personal guess is that it would be closer to 9.

“Genocide is the most egregious example, and Canada was seen by many as one of the most egregious offenders. Canada forced more than 150,000 indigenous children to attend residential schools from the 1870s to the 1990s.”

While true (and horrific) … that’s 150,000 over the span over more than a century. If even a tenth of what China is being accused of is true (and I’m wagering that’s about the right level!), they beat Canada in five years. Something something specks something something beams…

“First, Belarus released a counter-statement…”

I would not be using Belarus as an example were I in this writer’s position. Brave choice, that.

“Once the ball of justice got rolling, more countries joined in and released separate statements, taking the total number of nations supporting China to a whopping 90.”

Out of 195-249 (depending on how you count them).

Whether shilling for governments or for corporates, the press is bullshit. All of it. No exceptions.


As an Ada neophyte, I learned a lot of useful things from this. Lovely work.


Magic.

That’s pretty much what “blockchain” amounts to when proposed as a solution for practically anything.


[WP] The Fermi Paradox Explained

Humanity has discovered FTL travel. All trips in the direction of the galactic core vanish without a trace. Plotting the disappearances reveals two things: …


You are absolutely correct on the sources. This is why I don’t take any reports by westerners on Xinjiang at face value and, specifically, laugh at both the numbers they pull out of their asses and the more outrageous claims of what’s being done to 新疆人. (Similar to the bullshit that the 法轮大法 spouted about organ theft in Chinese hospitals. They made the mistake of naming one I could visit in person and check their claims … and not a single claim checked out. Not one. Beginning with the claim that the hospital was doing the organ theft in their basement. Peculiar, given the hospital didn’t have a basement.)

That being said, while the government here (yes, here) is nowhere near as apocalyptically comic book evil as it’s portrayed in western media or by its western opposing governments, it is by no stretch of any kind of imagination benevolent. It’s just run by people smart enough to take the long view: that understand you can’t keep your tight grip on power if people get so fed up with you that they’ll gladly suffer mass deaths as long as someone gets their hands on your throat.

And that’s where my other disbelief kicks in. “Vocational training program” sounds far too fucking wholesome for what these places likely are. I rather doubt they’re death camps. I don’t doubt they’re labour camps (insofar as American prisons using prisoners paid a pittance are labour camps; I suspect that’s the model in use). And I’m pretty certain that any “vocational training” is purely a side effect of the jobs they’re forced to perform in what is, essentially, prison. You know, the same kind of “vocational training” that prisons for profit in the USA provide.

That being said, going back to “nuance”, there’s a reason why this is happening and while not every person in the labour camps is there justly, I’d wager most of them are.


Ooh! Thank you very much for this!


Can they do the same for PL/I please?


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