Golfing in the USA

One aspect of living in Guizhou is returning to the USA periodically for a “fix” of American culture.  I have returned to the USA for three months to get cataract surgery, physical thearapy for my back and to golf.  I am happy to report that the first eye is done and in “perfect” condition; the back is healthy again; and I am playing golf at a fraction of the cost of a China round of golf.  Eighteen holes in the USA is between 25 and 40 dollars. China, Guiyang,  costs about 200 USD.

Below are a few photos of the course I played at in Northern Michigan, just outside of my home town, Traverse City. My old friend Gerry, who came to  visit me in China a few years ago played golf with me in Guiyang. He brought his Grandson Nick, and a foreign friend from the Neatherlands (Koss). The four of us played 18. A fine time was had by all.

 

Big Data Expo 2019 Comes to Guiyang

The Big Data Conference was another success and an eye opener. There were flashy displays, like the Pixmoving Autonimous Vehicle presentation and utilitarian displays such as bridge inspection and coordinated facial recognition software for China’s Skynet camera set.

The Big Data sign was very interesting.  It looke like it was made out of toy blocks and you really didn’t see the whole message unless you were standing right in front of it.  Seen from any other angle, you only got part of the picture.

More on the Big Data Conference can be found at: China Daily– Big Data

Also: E_Guiyang

 

Leaving the Big Data Conference was exhilarating:

Incredible Toe Job

It looks uglier than it turned out to be.

I waited too long again with this ingrown toenail. I have a lady that gives foot massages and she is also a significantly skilled doctor.  She did the “surgery”, taking out half of my toenail, leaving only the hole in the side of my toe.  I don’t know what it would have cost in the USA. There was no anesthetic. She was so skilled with her sharp knife that the pain was quite bearable.

The sixty RMB bill iwas less than nine USD. The treatment included the other nine toes, sulfa, a bandaid, and a final dressing. It is good as new, with only a hole. Some things are still a bargain in China. (Photos taken with my Huawei 10+ cell phone and it’s Leika camera).

World Epidemic — Cell Phone Addiction

This is too true. While cell phones connect us, they also pull us apart. In a world where anybody can do business with anybody, isn’t it more likely that people will do business with you if they feel that you respect them?This is a talk by Simon Sinek, downloaded and transcribed from Youtube. Mr. Sinek often talks about how technology is ruining our lives.

Here are some tips:

Download Video Here:
Cell Phone Addiction

We have a responsiblity as marketers to help our clients use technology to bring people together. We have  a responsiblity as companies to offer people who work in our companies a sense that we are helping them build their confidence, that we are helping them ovecome their addictions, (and) that we’re going to teach them patience.

I’m gonna  teach them how to build strong personal relationships. We don’t have a choice. We have a higher burden upon us and there’s so many little things that we can do. We are failing horribly at. It is so easy. Let me show you one.

Can I borrow someone’s phone please? Anyone? Thank you.

OK. There is a subconscious reaction to these devices when we use them. OK? What if I were to hold my phone in my hand while I’m talking to you.  I’m not checking it. It’s not buzzing. It’s not beeping. I’m not even. . . nothing. I’m just holding it. Do you feel at this moment that you are the most important thing to me right now? No you do not. Because there is a subconscious reaction we have to the device.  When it is out, it makes the people around us feel that they are less important.

So when we are walking down the halls in our offices and somebody says “Hey Boss. Can I ask you a question?” You go, “Sure. What’s on your mind?” We’ve just told them they aren’t that important. Or, we can go, “Sure. What’s on your mind?” And if you don’t have a pocket, find a shelf, put it on the shelf, come back and say “Sure. What’s on your mind?”

When we show up to a meeting, or a lunch, or a dinner, with our colleagues or our clients or our friends, or our families, and we put the phone on the table, we have announced to everyone in the room that they are not that important to us. And, by the way, putting the phone upside down is not more polite.

My favorite one is when the meeting or at a lunch with someone, that the phone will ring and the caller ID will pop up and they will go, “I’m not going to get it.”. Oh! So magnanimous! Oh, lucky to eat with you today. Or, they could just put the damn thing away. You can tell how addicted we are when somebody pulls out their phone when you are with them, how uncomfortable does that make us feel? You ae walking down the street with someone and they pull their phone out. We feel stupid, so what do we do? We pull our phones out.

We’re so addicted when somebody goes to the bathroom at dinner and: What? We have to sit there by ourselves and God forbid that we have to look around the room for five minutes. We pull our phones out. Meetings. Awful. What do we do when a meeting happens? Right. Everybody’s sitting there waiting for the meeting to start, “Bob’s running a few minutes late. Bob’s here. OK. Start the meeting.” Do you know when relationships are built? All that in between time. Thank you very much.

作为营销人员,我们有责任帮助客户使用技术将人们聚集在一起。作为公司的责任,我们有责任为在我们公司工作的人提供一种感觉,即我们正在帮助他们建立信心,我们正在帮助他们克服他们的成瘾,(和)我们将教他们耐心。

我要教他们如何建立牢固的人际关系。我们没有选择。我们有更高的负担,我们可以做很多小事。我们失败的可怕。这很容易。让我告诉你一个。

我可以借一个人的电话吗?任何人?谢谢。

好。当我们使用它们时,会对这些设备产生潜意识的反应。好?如果我在和你说话的时候把手机拿在手里怎么办?我不是在检查它。这不是嗡嗡声。这不是哔哔声。我不是。 。 。没有。我只是拿着它。你现在感觉到你对我来说是最重要的事吗?你不可以。因为我们对设备有潜意识的反应。当它外出时,它会让我们周围的人觉得它们不那么重要。

因此,当我们走进办公室的大厅时,有人说“嘿老板。我可以问你一个问题吗?”你走了,“当然。你在想什么?”我们刚刚告诉他们他们并不那么重要。或者,我们可以说:“当然。你有什么想法?”如果你没有口袋,找一个架子,放在架子上,回来说“当然。你有什么想法?”

当我们与同事或我们的客户或朋友或我们的家人出席会议,午餐或晚宴时,我们将电话放在桌子上,我们已向房间里的每个人宣布他们是对我们来说并不重要。而且,顺便说一句,将手机倒置并不是更有礼貌。

我最喜欢的是在会议或与某人共进午餐时,电话会响起,来电显示会弹出,他们会说:“我不会得到它。”哦!如此宽宏大量!哦,幸运的是今天和你一起吃饭。或者,他们可以把该死的东西拿走。你可以告诉我们当你和他们一起拿出手机时我们是多么上瘾,这让我们感到多么不舒服?你和某人走在街上,他们把手机拉出来。我们觉得很蠢,所以我们该怎么办?我们把手机拿出来了。

当有人在晚餐时去洗手间时我们上瘾了:什么?我们必须独自坐在那里,上帝禁止我们在房间里看五分钟。我们把手机拿出来了。会议。可怕。会议发生时我们该怎么办?对。每个人都坐在那里等待会议开始,“鲍勃迟到了几分钟。鲍勃在这里。好的。开始会议。”你知道什么时候建立关系吗?所有这些都在时间之间。非常感谢你。

 

Robo Cars of China is now on Youtube!

Here is a link to each module. The modules go from about three minutes to six. There is a little summary of the content with each link.

Robo Cars of China in 9 Episodes(Youtube):
1
Jack goes to China and learns about autonomous car R&D (Open Source). Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, this is the big push in China, and automated vehicles are data intensive.
https://youtu.be/kQBQtQj-RKg
2
Jack explains the organization of the video and gives some terminology.
https://youtu.be/BGOzcatJ9hk
3
Jack meets “Chase” for the first time and finds out about the “Hackathon” and creation of self-driving, open source software by the participants.
https://youtu.be/CAcAFtHxRzM4
4
How does Guiyang compare with other Chinese cities for technology? How did PIX  present itself in May at the Big Data Conference?
https://youtu.be/fqXTlncr8-g
5
Jack meets Nancy Lee. Nancy is the Marketing Manager for the Pixmoving Company. She told me a lot about PIX, driverless cars, and their open source (freely shared) software strategy.
https://youtu.be/KEvSAg7DA_c
6
Nancy explains how the Hackathon participants help to spread teh open source software around the world. She also introduces the Donkey Car competition.
https://youtu.be/yfkDfBpUwCs
7
The Donkey Car copention begins and the logic of the Donkey Car is explained.
https://youtu.be/uTNkVqp-AqM
8
The Donkey Car competition is in high gear with the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Meet the Clark Brothers, the American team.
https://youtu.be/bZaPWaSt2U4
9
The Donkey Car competition concludes. Clark Brothers, the American Team tell how they came to China for this competition and a little more about the industry progress. https://youtu.be/VHoZwwVukKE

Here’s the butter

I am often surprised at how fast young children can learn a language. I was helping a five year old learn English and the mother offered me some corn. I asked for some butter (huang you). I think I said the Chinese word once. So the search went on through the fridge. We talked about the butter and maybe I didn’t need them to open the big container.

Then the two year old walked over with a little package of butter that her father had brought home from the airport. He had been served a little container of butter with his bread, which he saved and showed his two year old. I was just amazed that this little child knew that the big box of butter had the same stuff as the little container. Kids need to learn language early . . . the earlier the better. It doesn’t matter which language. They are just little sponges.

Oops. Camellia Oil 山茶油 is San Cha You

Recently in the article about Jin Ping and Longli, Ancient City, we referenced a new oil called San Cha You. I believe this is also Camellia Oil 山茶油. I thought it was just a cooking oil with some medical uses. In fact it isn’t that new. Here is an article about the medical benefits: Oil Video #1 . I honestly don’t know if this is the same stuff that I took pictures of, but it looks the same . . . Here’s another hype kind of video that is claimed to have beautfying traits: Oil Video #2.This young lady seems pretty good . . . Oil Video #3  I don’t endorse any of this stuff, but this oil seems to be part of a poverty alleviation program. 

This is really funny because I got one bottle which I used to fry my eggs with because I thought it was just an expensive vegetable oil. It was ok with eggs . . . Here is the original article . . . LongLi Ancient City

Autonimous Vehicles (AV) and Testing

The following article relates directly to the testing and implementation of AV in Guiyang. It is worth thinking about:
Link to Original Story

Forget Self-Driving Cars. Bring Back the Stick Shift.

Technology meant to save us from distraction is making us less attentive.
By Vatsal G. Thakkar
Dr. Thakkar is a psychiatrist.March 23, 2019

CreditPaulo Keller/EyeEm, via Getty Images
CreditCreditPaulo Keller/EyeEm, via Getty Images

I was backing my wife’s car out of our driveway when I realized I wasn’t watching the backup camera, nor was I looking out of the rear window. I was only listening for those “audible proximity alerts” — the high-pitched beeps that my car emits as I approach an object while in reverse. The problem was that my wife’s car, an older model, doesn’t offer such beeps.

I had become so reliant on this technology that I had stopped paying attention, a problem with potentially dangerous consequences.

Backup cameras, mandatory on all new cars as of last year, are intended to prevent accidents. Between 2008 and 2011, the percentage of new cars sold with backup cameras doubled, but the backup fatality rate declined by less than a third while backup injuries dropped only 8 percent.

Perhaps one reason is, as a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put it, “Many drivers are not aware of the limitations” of the technology. The report also found that one in five drivers were just like me — they had become so reliant on the backup aids that they had experienced a collision or near miss while driving other vehicles.

The fact that our brains so easily overdelegate this task to technology makes me worry about the tech industry’s aspirations — the fully autonomous everything. Could technology designed to save us from our lapses in attention actually make us even less attentive?

Uber’s march toward a self-driving car hit a major speed bump last year in Tempe, Ariz., when one of its self-driving Volvos struck and killed a pedestrian. While a lot of focus was on how a vehicle with cameras and radar sensors could completely miss a human being on the road, less has been said about the failure of the most intricately programmed system in the vehicle — the brain of the human in the driver’s seat.

An investigation revealed that the driver was watching Hulu until the moment of the crash. Because the human brain is impeccable in its ability to filter out extraneous information, thistype of behavior should have been predicted. During normal driving, our brains are in a near-constant state of vigilance. But let someone or something do the driving for us and this vigilance easily fades.

Something similar seems to have happened with a handful of fatalities involving Tesla’s Autopilot mode. It seems that the drivers made little to no effort to intervene.

The introduction of safety technology has resulted in unintended accidents in other contexts as well. In December 2017, a patient died at a major medical center when a nurse searched for an anti-anxiety medication in an automated dispensing cabinet by typing only its first two letters. She chose the first drug that appeared in the results — Vecuronium, instead of Versed. Vecuronium is a paralytic drug that is sometimes used in executions.When it was administered, the patient’s vitals crashed and she died within days.

Technology seems to have turned against us once again in the deadly crashes of two Boeing 737 Max 8 aircrafts. In October, pilots on Lion Air Flight 610 in Indonesia seem to have struggled against the plane’s supposedly lifesaving technology. Investigators suspect that sensors incorrectly interpreted the plane’s ascent as too steep, causing the plane’s “maneuvering characteristics augmentation system” to kick in. It brought the plane’s nose down, ultimately into the Java Sea at 450 miles per hour.

Boeing had begun to develop a software fix, but it wasn’t ready in time for Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which just this month crashed, possibly because of the same bug, killing all 157 people on board. In these cases, no one can criticize the pilots for failing to pay attention. Still, the crashes were a wake-up call, especially because pilots weren’t required to be trained on the new technology.

Though a supercomputer will always surpass the human brain in terms of pure speed, the brain is beyond complex in its ability to reprioritize salient data inputs from multiple sources. If one input becomes less relevant, our cognitive systems shift their attention to the next most relevant one (which these days is usually our mobile devices).

But there’s one feature available on some cars today that can increase a driver’s vigilance instead of diminishing it — the manual transmission.

A car with a stick shift and clutch pedal requires the use of all four limbs, making it difficult to use a cellphone or eat while driving. Lapses in attention are therefore rare, especially in city driving where a driver might shift gears a hundred times during a trip to the grocery store.

I’ve owned a stick-shift vehicle for the last 20 years. I bought my first upon graduating from med school — a used 1994 BMW 325i. Years later, my best man wrote “just married” on the back windshield, and the next year my wife and I drove our newborn son home from the hospital in it.

Sadly, sales of manual transmissions are falling, and many automakers, including Audi, are discontinuing the option in the United States. It appears that I’ll have to keep my 2013 S4 model until 2026 if I want to teach my kids to drive a stick.

When I bought that first five-speed BMW, my dad cautioned me about safety, thinking that driving a stick would be more distracting and less safe. He was wrong. Though research on the safety of manual transmissions is scant, one study on the driving performance of teenage boys with A.D.H.D. revealed that cars with manual transmissions resulted in safer, more attentive driving than automatics. This suggests that the cure for our attentional voids might be less technology, not more.