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400 Million Chinese Cannot Speak Mandarin

PhamNguyen Re:Make it easier (562 comments)

Most Chinese I have spoken to on the issue say that Chinese characters are necessary otherwise they wouldn't be able to understand the old texts that form China's cultural heritage. Note this is not the same as keeping your own writing system for the sake of being different from other countires. A related reason is that characters give clues to the etymology of words, just like English spelling does. Just as changing English spelling to be phonetic would break the link with Latin, other Eurpoean languages, and Shakespeare, so would using pinyin break the link with Classical Chinese.

about a year ago
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400 Million Chinese Cannot Speak Mandarin

PhamNguyen Re:Cantonese is superior to mandarin (562 comments)

You are not really comparing like with like.

When you learn a foreign language, you learn the standard pronunciation. All of your training is done in this standard dialect.

Your description (I think) is is of living with people who speak a certain accent, then interacting with someone who speaks a much stronger or different variation of that accent. If you were to live in the hometown of those people you could not understand for a few weeks, I think you would have no trouble understanding them.

The difference between their speach and standard English is still much smaller than between, for example, German and English. But because you were rarely exposed to that particular version, you found it hard to understand.

about a year ago
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400 Million Chinese Cannot Speak Mandarin

PhamNguyen Re:Cantonese is superior to mandarin (562 comments)

While there might be cases where the accent can't be understood, this is fairly rare. And I think you would learn to understand the accent a lot faster than you imagine. China on the other hand has five main groups of dialects (and this isn't counting "ethnic minorities") none of which are mutually intelligible at all.

about a year ago
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Could Technology Create Modern-Day 'Leper Colonies'?

PhamNguyen It's very simple (452 comments)

When rich White people or Jews avoid areas with high crime, it is not racism, it is just them wanting what is best for their familty. When middle class and poor Whites avoid areas with high crime, it's racism.

about a year ago
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400 Million Chinese Cannot Speak Mandarin

PhamNguyen Re:Well, yes. (562 comments)

This article is addressing a slightly different issue, since it is talking about people who cannot speak Mandarin, not people who can speak it but choose to use their local dialect in public. E.g. all university educated people can speak Mandarin. As the summary states, this is mainly an issue relating to people in rural areas with less education.

about a year ago
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400 Million Chinese Cannot Speak Mandarin

PhamNguyen Re:Cantonese is superior to mandarin (562 comments)

Funny how people who are bigoted against Chinese always project their biggotry.

Hokkien is not Mandarin with an accent, it's more comarable with Pennsylvania Dutch. A native English speaker can understand a strong Southern accent with effort. Mandarin, Cantonese and Hokkien (and Taiwanese and Shanghaiese for that matter) are not mutually intelligible at all. I would suggest you work on improving your tiny knowledge of China if you are going to speak on this issue, and examine your own prejudices rather than accuse other people.

about a year ago
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Mexican Village Creates Its Own Mobile Phone Service

PhamNguyen Re:Well (110 comments)

No, you were making threats under the guise of warning him, which is a really pathetic thing to do (and you do it again later in the thread). If someone had started a thread saying "I am going to Oaxaca, what should I call the natives" your reply would have been totally appropriate. Given that the actual post referred to Oaxacan's as Mexicans in passing, your post was stupid and irrelevant. Also, my original reply was (A) worded exactly the same as yours and (B) clearly a parody of what you wrote, although you seem to dense to grasp this.

If you think calling Oaxacan Mexicans is offensive, just say so.

about a year ago
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Mexican Village Creates Its Own Mobile Phone Service

PhamNguyen Re:Well (110 comments)

Perhaps you are not a liberal, but what you share in common with them is making implicit threats, of the form "if you don't hold X opinion, SOMEONE is going to do violence to your for it. Not me, I'm not violent, but you would still deserve it".

You should cut that out because it's really pathetic, and also if you really thought that "might makes right", you should support the colonization of the Americas by Europeans.

about a year ago
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Mexican Village Creates Its Own Mobile Phone Service

PhamNguyen Re:Well (110 comments)

Who cares? You don't become a tough guy by proxy for taking their side in an issue that is absolutely nothing to do with us or them. I know some white guys who might decide to kill you for being such an annoying liberal.

about a year ago
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US Electrical Grid On the Edge of Failure

PhamNguyen Re:'extrapolated to the real world' (293 comments)

I could model power outages like dominoes, and my model would also predict that the power system was very unstable, but my model would not actually reflect the "real world physics".

about a year ago
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Wall Street Traders Charged With Copying Code To Start Their Own Company

PhamNguyen Re:I am surprised (145 comments)

Don't be: little guy steals from big company = criminal. Everything else = civil. The system is fucked.

about a year ago
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US States Banned From Exporting Trash To China Are Drowning In Plastic

PhamNguyen Re:Single stream is part of the problem (427 comments)

You should read this article, The truth about recycling. In particular

...the trend is toward co-mingled or “single stream” collection... But the switch can make people suspicious: if there is no longer any need to separate different materials, people may conclude that the waste is simply being buried or burned. In fact, the switch towards single-stream collection is being driven by new technologies that can identify and sort the various materials with little or no human intervention.

I think you may be basing your beliefs about single stream recycling on outdated information.

about a year ago
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Data Visualization: Too Easy To Be Too Slick?

PhamNguyen PC Mania (41 comments)

I like the way they consider the fact that a particular graphic was used by "White supremacists" to argue for a particular viewpoint, to prove that that graphic must be unscientific. I wonder if they would consider such graphics to be unscientific if they were used to argue that America was becoming more diverse, rather than that it was being 'swamped'.

about a year ago
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Excess Coffee May Be Linked To Early Death

PhamNguyen This is why I hate academia (220 comments)

Ok first, even though as about 20 people have posted "correlation does not equal causation", the authors are also aware of this and therefore control for many other things. So whenever you doubt the causual relationship claimed by a study, it's always good to actually read the paper.

However in this case, the "correlation does not equal causation" crowd were right, and the authors even admit it

Fourth, residual confounding may still exist even though we adjusted for all the potential confounders available in the present study. Smoking is likely to be one of the most important factors to cause residual confounding in this investigation. We therefore stratified the analysis by smoking status and the results are shown in Supplemental Figures 1 and 2, available online at http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org./ We did not [my emphasis] observe the significant association between coffee consumption and all-cause mortality both in current smokers and non-current smokers.

Not only do they find that the relationship goes away once you look at just smokers, or just non-smokers, but they hide this fact in a single sentence, and don't even comment on this result.

about a year ago
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The Rails Girls Are Coming to a City Near You (Video)

PhamNguyen Re:OMG Ponies! (162 comments)

Yeah those guys are a bunch of fat ugly (not that people should be judged by their looks, or we should promite thinness as a body image) pussy faggots (not that there's anything wrong with being a woman, or gay) who can't get laid (not that women are sex objects or we should promote an image of manlyness that involve having sex with lots of women).

I bet these guys are just bitter cause they got bullied in school while all the girls got with the cool kids (bullying's ok when they aren't gay, right?)

about a year ago
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In Praise of the King: 1.7M Social Media Comments In Thailand

PhamNguyen Re:This is a terrible thing (104 comments)

No I was just mocking the tendency of anyone who criticizes Israel being called an antisemite. I was pointing out that a person who said exactly the same thing about the Israeli policy, as people are saying about the Thai policy, would be called antisemitic.

The problem with saying "I'm an anti-Zionist, not an anti-Semite" is that it plays into the narrative that there are these bad guy anti-Semites out there, and every time someone criticizes Israel they have to prove that they are not one of them.

about a year ago
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In Praise of the King: 1.7M Social Media Comments In Thailand

PhamNguyen This is a terrible thing (104 comments)

But what's worse is that some anti-semites might compare this to what Israeli is doing. Clearly such a comparison would be unwarranted.

about a year ago
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Console Manufacturers Want the Impossible?

PhamNguyen Re:It didn't work last time (316 comments)

They just need to get some top notch CS guy to help them make the right abstractions.

E.g. you don't need to agree on a controller design, you just need to specify a functor from the category of user intentions to the program's control flow monoid.

about a year ago

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