Unnaturally Long Attention Span

AvatarA blog about Grad School at Stanford, Working in a Silicon Valley Internet Company, and Statistical Machine Learning. mike AT ai.stanford.edu


I've moved this blog to http://miketung.com/blog/

Friendly Big Brother is Watching You

I'm actually a supporter of increased government surveillance.

My friends know that whenever I go to events, I rarely take pictures. I am the un-documentarian. And thus, I have suffered, as my episodic memory is not that great. I think the federal government should improve their tracking and satellite surveillance abilities. That way, I can have great photos and videos of myself wherever I go, 24 x 7, and never have to worry about bringing along a camera. They should also improve their internet traffic monitoring systems to snoop on my network activity, so that I never have to backup my e-mail files again. While they're at it, monitor all my financial transactions so that they can do my taxes for me automatically every year.

If you're reading this blog post, federal government, also consider this: After you've started collecting this huge database you can then create a premium level web service. Allow users to pay an annual subscription fee to log in with their federal credentials. You might even make some money off this and start paying back that deficit. I'd totally use this service as it's much more likely for the U.S. government to be in business in the long term than Flickr or Picassa.

UPDATE: http://io9.com/5191353/what-happens-when-security-cameras-get-involved-with-matchmaking

Jarvis 1

>hi there old friend
Have we met?

War On Demand

Peace Fail.
Hope you are all well and are safely enjoying your holidays. But sadly, all is not well in the world and we should remember those that, in these tough times, are far worse off than us. The Israeli Defense Minister just proclaimed that Israel is now in an all-out war with the Hamas-led Palestinians, formally ending the Egyptian brokered truce. Quote the Israeli Defense Minister Barak (not Barack):

This will not be a short operation. The war on terrorism is an ongoing one, and we will have to stand firm in order to change the situation in the south...I am confident that the American government would not have waited one day before they would have responded if San Diego would have been bombed or shelled or rocketed from Tijuana (Mexico) with thousands of rockets.
Sound familiar? Who would have thought that the Bush Doctrine of "bomb first and ask questions later" could be invoked by other countries as well? It seems things have devolved into "if the US can do it, then so can we." Meanwhile, Condoleezza Rice said yesterday that soon we will start to thank G.W.B. for what he's done for America. I guess we can start now. He did help get the first black President elected.

The Nature of Fish


Swirling and falling down from the glimmering surface

A school of fish spiral down in synchronized dance,

Tunneling into a dark, watery abyss. White fish,

Black fish, their souls darken as they approach

The nadir, each midlessly following his

Leader, continuing the structure of

Fish rules and Fish society.

They never recognize

The Truth. There is

No control,

No will.


This weekend, I came across an old tape backup of my old files. In the mass of outdated document formats, I came across some poems that I wrote back in high school, more than a decade ago. I'll start posting them here.


You may think me foolish, or rash,
As youth are prone to disregard the advice of elders.
You say, my wings have not hardened, that I am not ready to alight.
You warn me to hold a steady course, to keep to the middle.

But, I value adventure over safety.
I long for the exhiliration of the whistling winds beneath me and the freedom of unrestrained motion.
For the chance to soar among the eagles,
I would spit in the face of danger because I realize that many never attain such an opportunity.

No, Daedalus, old man, I prefer not to choose the middle path.
I long for this chance to steal divine insight.
You see, this is much more than a flight from this wretched place, it is an emancipation.

Look, Daedalus, watch how high I can soar!
Higher, and higher, and higher, as far as my breath can sustain me.
I will reach the sun. I will go beyond the sun, into the heavens, and escape from the pull of the Earth, which is humanity's bane.

But, what? Oh, no. It's seems my wings have deteriorated.
Cursed Apollo. They're playing a cruel prank on me.
Because they can't stand mortal intruders or boys with wings.

So, I fall.
Down into the violent, freezing waters below.

I will die soon.
However, you never even knew what life was.
Life is not measured in years, but in split-seconds.

It was worth it.


Picked up this cool t-shirt when I was hanging out with my brother this weekend, which is great, because I love cute animals. I'm a smart donkey!