China -United States -The Third Opium War

U.S.troops in China during the Boxer Rebellion...
Image via Wikipedia

A brief glance through http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/tic/Documents/mfh.txt

shows that while US added 600 billion of debt during the past one year, the Chinese actually reduced their exposure by 50 billion Dollars.

so who has been financing the debt for the US for the past one year- It is Japan- eager to keep its currency down and United Kingdom which has pumped in an extra 300 billion of T Bills.

See the whole table at official link above or at goo.gl/qMugp

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China still remembers the Opium Wars in which the then ruling Anglo Saxon superpower used naval superiority to enforce trade and eventual political dependency. Is China unsure of the United States brotherly nice  intentions? They certainly seem to be putting their money that way.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_Wars

Britain forced the Chinese government into signing theTreaty of Nanking and the Treaty of Tianjin, also known as the Unequal Treaties, which included provisions for the opening of additional ports to unrestricted foreign trade, for fixed tariffs; for the recognition of both countries as equal in correspondence; and for the cession of Hong Kong to Britain. The British also gained extraterritorial rights. Several countries followed Britain and sought similar agreements with China. Many Chinese found these agreements humiliating and these sentiments contributed to the Taiping Rebellion (1850–1864), the Boxer Rebellion (1899–1901), and the downfall of the Qing Dynasty in 1912, putting an end to dynastic China.

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The Koreans can always be depended on provide the first shot in any conflict- and though Anglo-US-Chinese conflict would be expensive- I guess as long as the cost of outstanding debt with China is less than cost of a brief -techno-war , we would see interesting games in this neighborhood. Note China restricts major trade with United States particularly in software, internet services (like Web Advertising, Facebook, Twitter ) and represents a lucrative market for big pharma (especially in psychiatric drugs) and big tech once it reforms its intellectual property rights. Software would be the opium of the 21st Century- if Chinese resist the Treasury Bills as their poppy flowers. The widespread Western media coverage of school kids murders by pyschopaths is also a trade tactic to encourage flow of more US made medicine in the Chinese market.

It would also help create an economic revival in the United States to exaggerate the Chinese threat (remember Sputnik) and build up its own cyber spending. Any military or cyber humiliation for the ruling party in China can help create a political vacuum for more malleable and agreeable alternatives to emerge.

(to be continued)

 

Business Intelligence and Stat Computing: The White Man's Last Stand

Unknown White Male
Image via Wikipedia

Name an industry in which top level executives are mostly white males, new recruits are mostly male (white or Indian/Chinese), women are primarily shunted into publicity relationships, social media or marketing.

Statistical Computing And Business Intelligence are the white man’s last stand to preserve an exclusive club of hail fellow well met and lets catch up after drinks culture. Newer startups are the exception in the business intelligence world , but  a whiter face helps (so do an Indian or Chinese male) to attract a mostly male white venture capital industry.

I have earlier talked about technology being totally dominated by Asian males at grad student level and ASA membership almost not representing minorities like blacks and yes women- but this is about corporate culture in the traditional BI world.

If you are connected to the BI or Stat Computing world, who would you rather hire AND who have you actually hired- with identical resumes

White Male or White Female or Brown Indian Male/Female or Yellow Male/Female or Black Male or Black Female

How many Black Grad Assistants do you see in tech corridors- (Nah- it is easier to get a  hard working Chinese /Indian- who smiles and does a great job at $12/hour)

How many non- Asian non white Authors do you see in technology and does that compare to pie chart below


racist image Pictures, Images and Photos

Note_ 2010 Census numbers arent available for STEM, and I was unable to find ethnic background for various technology companies, because though these numbers are collected for legal purposes, they are not publicly shared.

Any technology company which has more than 40% women , or more than 10% blacks would be fairly representative to the US population. Anecdotal evidence suggests European employment for minorities is worse (especially for Asians) but better for women.

Any data sources to support/ refute these hypothesis are welcome for purposes of scientific inquiry.

racist math image Pictures, Images and Photos

Open Source and Software Strategy

Curt Monash at Monash Research pointed out some ongoing open source GPL issues for WordPress and the Thesis issue (Also see http://ma.tt/2009/04/oracle-and-open-source/ and  http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/switching-things-around/).

As a user of both going upwards of 2 years- I believe open source and GPL license enforcement are general parts of software strategy of most software companies nowadays. Some thoughts on  open source and software strategy-Thesis remains a very very popular theme and has earned upwards of 100,000 $ for its creator (estimate based on 20k plus installs and 60$ avg price)

  • Little guys like to give away code to get some satisfaction/ recognition, big guys give away free code only when its necessary or when they are not making money in that product segment anyway.
  • As Ethan Hunt said, ” Every Hero needs a Villian”. Every software (market share) war between players needs One Big Company Holding more market share and Open Source Strategy between other player who is not able to create in house code, so effectively out sources by creating open source project. But same open source propent rarely gives away the secret to its own money making project.
    • Examples- Google creates open source Android, but wont reveal its secret algorithm for search which drives its main profits,
    • Google again puts a paper for MapReduce but it’s Yahoo that champions Hadoop,
    • Apple creates open source projects (http://www.apple.com/opensource/) but wont give away its Operating Source codes (why?) which help people buys its more expensive hardware,
    • IBM who helped kickstart the whole proprietary code thing (remember MS DOS) is the new champion of open source (http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/opensource/) and
    • Microsoft continues to spark open source debate but read http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_blog/archive/2010/07/02/a-perspective-on-openness.aspx and  also http://www.microsoft.com/opensource/
    • SAS gives away a lot of open source code (Read Jim Davis , CMO SAS here , but will stick to Base SAS code (even though it seems to be making more money by verticals focus and data mining).
    • SPSS was the first big analytics company that helps supports R (open source stats software) but will cling to its own code on its softwares.
    • WordPress.org gives away its software (and I like Akismet just as well as blogging) for open source, but hey as anyone who is on WordPress.com knows how locked in you can get by its (pricy) platform.
    • Vendor Lock-in (wink wink price escalation) is the elephant in the room for Big Software Proprietary Companies.
    • SLA Quality, Maintenance and IP safety is the uh-oh for going in for open source software mostly.
  • Lack of IP protection for revenue models for open source code is the big bottleneck  for a lot of companies- as very few software users know what to do with source code if you give it to them anyways.
    • If companies were confident that they would still be earning same revenue and there would be less leakage or theft, they would gladly give away the source code.
    • Derivative softwares or extensions help popularize the original softwares.
      • Half Way Steps like Facebook Applications  the original big company to create a platform for third party creators),
      • IPhone Apps and Android Applications show success of creating APIs to help protect IP and software control while still giving some freedom to developers or alternate
      • User Interfaces to R in both SAS/IML and JMP is a similar example
  • Basically open source is mostly done by under dog while top dog mostly rakes in money ( and envy)
  • There is yet to a big commercial success in open source software, though they are very good open source softwares. Just as Google’s success helped establish advertising as an alternate ( and now dominant) revenue source for online companies , Open Source needs a big example of a company that made billions while giving source code away and still retaining control and direction of software strategy.
  • Open source people love to hate proprietary packages, yet there are more shades of grey (than black and white) and hypocrisy (read lies) within  the open source software movement than the regulated world of big software. People will be still people. Software is just a piece of code.  😉

(Art citation-http://gapingvoid.com/about/ and http://gapingvoidgallery.com/

Good Night Baghdad

Good night Baghdad

We met as soul mates
On Green Zone Island
We left as inmates
From an asylum

And we were sharp
As sharp as knives
And we were so gung ho
To lay down our lives

We came in spastic
Like tameless horses
We left in plastic
As numbered corpses

And we learned fast
To travel and fight
Our armored cars were heavy
But our bellies were tight

We had no home front
We had no one
They sent us John Mccain
They gave us Jessica Simpson

We dug in deep
And shot on sight
And prayed to Jesus Christ
With all of our might

We had video cameras
To shoot the landscape
We passed the hash pipe
And played our Eminem tapes

 

And it was dark
So dark in our humvee

And we held on to each other
Like brother to brother

We promised our mothers we’d write
And we would all go down together
We said we’d all go down together
Yes we would all go down together

Remember the Sunnis and Shias

Remember the imprisoned Iraqi

They left their childhood
On every acre

And who was wrong?
And who was right?
It didn’t matter in the thick of the fight

We held the day
In the palm
Of our hand
They ruled the night

And the night
Seemed to last as long as six weeks
On Green zone Island

We held the street corners
They held the rooftops
And they were sharp
As sharp as knives

They heard the hum of our convoys
They counted the humvees
And waited for us to arrive

And we would all go down together
We said we’d all go down together
Yes we would all go down together

 bush_codpiece.jpg

(with credit to Billy Joel from Good Night Saigon)

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