After twelve productive years as a software engineer (I don't look it, but I'm 35), I decided that it wasn't my calling in life, so I'm now at San Jose State University to get a Master's in Economics. Why San Jose State? Well one, it means I can continue to work as a software engineer part-time. Secondly, SJSU specializes in the Austrian School of Economics, which has been highly influential in the libertarian (or classical liberal) movement.
I was happily married for five years, but we separated in November and filed for divorce at the beginning of the year. But it's an amicable split, and we hope to remain friends. And much like school, I'm finding that I am enjoying the single life a lot more the second time around, but I'm still looking for that special someone. I am also happily owned by a kitty cat (Miette, named after a character in City of Lost Children) and some freshwater fishies.
Anyway, to get the boring stuff out of the way, I live in Sunnyvale, California (in Silicon Valley). I'm a Taiwanese-American, born in Atlanta (of all places), though my family moved around alot on the East Coast before settling in California. I reacted to all that moving around by retreating into a shell, but I think I've come into my own in the past few years. If you're a blogger also in the Bay Area, I encourage you to come meet me in person at one of the local South Bay Blogger Meetups. Note that I tend to be a lot sillier and child-like in person than I am online (at least, once you get to know me).
If you've ever read any of my stuff, you probably noticed that I love to write... a lot. And that I have strong opinions on a variety of subjects ranging from politics, economics, film, philosophy, television, music, and sports. I don't claim to be an expert on any of these topics, but I give most of my positions a fair amount of thought and research, and I'm always open to hearing other views and learning more (thus the whole sponge thing). Hopefully that makes me at least as qualified as the next blogger or Op-Ed columnist. My hope is to gain as much knowledge and understanding as possible (which is one reason I'm going back to school) and then translate that knowledge (such as it is) into language that everyone can understand. And I'm a little too fond of parentheses (in case that wasn't ridiculously obvious (indeed, I sometimes even nest them)).
If you're wondering about the fling93 moniker, fling was my e-mail address at my last company (yes, first initial and last name), and a few people just started calling me that. I already explained the '93 part. Yes, it's terribly uncreative, but I was eager to jump into a message board discussion and didn't want to spend a lot of time thinking up a username. If you want to know my real name, just ask. I'm not secretive about it. I just don't want potential employers to be able to Google it and find my blog, so please do not use it online.
Anyhow, thanks for bearing with my verbosity (hey, I warned you that I like to write a lot), and I hope you find something interesting to read here.
Here's a sampling of what I think are my best posts so far:
- The Case Against Bush - not a shrill, liberal rant, but a carefully-assembled rational and nonpartisan case. If you like it, you might also like my post on Rumsfeld, Iraq, and Troop Levels.
- Electoral Reform, Part I: The Problem with Plurality - a graphical explanation of what's wrong with our voting system (another problem is that it marginalizes third parties).
- Comparative Advantage and Opportunity Cost - I explain David Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage that argues for free trade, and for my example I use... Lisa Simpson and Calvin of Calvin & Hobbes.
- Supply Side Economics- Art Laffer had some things right, but not everything.
- The Factors Behind a Country's Choice of a Multi-Party or Two-Party System - Self explanatory, I hope. This was a term paper for my Comparative Governments night class. I think I went a little overboard in thoroughness.
- Congressional Over-Raich - I dabble in law as I explain all the issues behind this Supreme Court decision regarding medical marijuana.
- Suburban Nation - my take on a great book that explains that the sprawl issue is less about environmentalism and more about designing efficient communities for people instead of cars.
- Lefties in Baseball - ever wonder why there aren't any lefty shortstops?
- Analysis of The Matrix Revolutions (Spoilers!) - no, it wasn't a great film, but there's a lot more going on than you might think.
- Blogging vs. Journalism - why journalists should be very afraid.
- On Marriage - what makes a good marriage vs. a bad marriage?
- From Beneath You... - a rare humorous anecdote.
- iTunes visualizations & G-Force - I don't know why, but this is my most widely-read post. G-Force is a great visualization plugin that runs on more than just iTunes.
- CommentBlogging Ahead of My Time? - I stumble upon a practice that is somewhat innovative, and I didn't even realize it.
- Review: The Brown Bunny - A lot of reviewers praise almost everything. Since I'm usually very selective on the films I watch, a good many of my reviews are also positive. Here's a very notable exception.
- Media Bias? - how can bias exist in a free market?
- One for the Gipper - my tribute to Reagan.
- Microsoft and Bundling - bundling itself isn't the issue here.
blogging (DUH!), Natalie Portman, fishies (DUH!), photography, baseball (Giants, Mets, and I love scoring games), hockey (Sharks, Rangers), writing, Winona Ryder, flirting, polyamory, drawing, music (here are a couple samples, such as they are), Natalie Portman, kittycats, films, redheads, billiards, bobbleheads, Natalie Portman, MP3s, TiVo, science fiction, Natalie Portman, Formula One (Juan Pablo Montoya & McLaren-Mercedes), playing basketball, economics & politics, sex, drugs, and (most of all) CHOCOLATE AND PEANUT-BUTTER COOKIES!
Tori Amos, Radiohead, Rush, Tool, Dar Williams, Poe, Peter Gabriel, Shawn Colvin, Dream Theater, Pink Floyd, Aimee Mann, Jill Sobule, Allette Brooks, Death Cab for Cutie, the Flaming Lips, Infected Mushroom, Liz Phair, Joe Satriani, Led Zeppelin, Jonatha Brooke, Tara MacLean, U2, ELP, Ani DiFranco, Yes, Alanis Morissette, Prodigy, Jewel, Sarah McLachlan, Foo Fighters, Suzanne Vega, Feeder, Smashing Pumpkins, Kate Bush, the Who, They Might Be Giants, and bad 80's music.
I have a complete listing of my movie ratings here. But here's a short list:
Finding Nemo, Shawshank Redemption, L.A. Confidential, Godfather, City of Lost Children, Aliens, Brazil, Fight Club, Immortal Beloved, Being John Malkovich, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, My Fair Lady, Braveheart, Schindler's List, Dark City, Monsters Inc., American Beauty, Contact, Rear Window, Princess Bride... and anything with Natalie Portman.
Brain-Suckage Television Shows
Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, thirtysomething (argh, that describes ME!), Firefly, Carnivale, The L Word, Mythbusters, Lost, Battlestar Galactica (the new one), Robot Chicken, Six Feet Under, South Park, How I Met Your Mother (Alyson Hannigan!), My So-Called Life, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, That 70's Show (surprisingly, not for the redheaded Prepon, but for Mila Kunis, go figure), Weeds, Family Guy, The X-Files, The Sopranos, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Relativity, Party of Five, Dharma & Greg, Farscape, Who's Line Is It Anyway?, and soft-core porn... whoops, was that out loud?
Favorite Musicals (and where I saw them)
Rent (too many places to remember, although one had Daphne Rubin-Vega, the original Mimi -- she didn't seem really into it, though), Les Miserables (San Francisco, among other places), West Side Story (San Francisco), Phantom of the Opera (Los Angeles -- Robert Guillaume played the Phantom, which was just weird), "Once More, With Feeling" (on television -- it was a 6th-season Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, prolly doesn't count, huh?), Evita (college performance somewhere in SoCal), Beauty and the Beast (Los Angeles -- and I have a thing for Susan Egan), Mamma Mia! (San Francisco), The Secret Garden (Los Angeles?), The Producers, the new Mel Brooks musical (San Jose), Miss Saigon (San Francisco), The Lion King (Los Angeles), Thoroughly Modern Millie (on Broadway, while Sutton Foster was still there -- though I still kinda wish I'd seen Susan Egan), Aspects of Love (San Francisco -- Sarah Brightman!!).