Originally published at Когда нас в бой пошлёт товарищ Путин и маршал Шойгу в бой нас поведёт!. You can comment here or there.
Recently, I met (online) this guy in a large city in Siberia who is a software engineer. And he actually did some difficult programming, like assembler for micro-controller for a Russian company. He also achieved 2100+ on TopCoder (almost red), which is better than I did. I asked him about Petr Mitrichev that demigod in competitive programming (though I think the younger Belarussian Gennady Korotkevich has surpassed him). He pointed to these humorous “facts” about Petr Mitrichev: https://habr.com/ru/post/23434/. They were similar to the “compilers don’t warn Jeff Dean, Jeff Dean warns compilers” bullshit you hear in the Google style cult of personality.
I conversed with him through Russian Facebook vk.com. And when I wanted to find that comment of his about Petr. I searched петр (we sometimes talk with Russian), and within a few seconds (or less) came out the following.
Well, the search result didn’t exactly have the link I wanted to navigate to, but I remember that I had commented with the Jeff Dean analogy afterwards, so I clicked on that scrolled up a bit and got to, from which I copy the link (that’s pasted here).
In contrast, on Facebook, which I deleted, the search function takes like forever to return and you’re only able to navigate through one by one. I also recall Facebook inserting ads in between my contacts on its Messenger app, forcing me to see them. Interestingly, once right after I complained about certain Jewish behavior that basically nobody likes to my WASP friend on Facebook, he sent me a screenshot of some ad targeted to him on Facebook of something that explicitly mentioned “Jew”. You see, these American companies are all after your money, actually creating a good product for the user is secondary concern to them.
Similarly, Disqus doesn’t have either search or content recommendation (imagine how much more ad revenue they could make with some content recommendation enabled). So I created a search for them, so that I could actually search through thousands of comments with keywords.
AWS had some functionality problems (surprised how lacking it was relative to my expectations), so I pointed the domain www.disqussearch.com to the Heroku instance instead. Below I am searching the Disqus comments of a user with over 6000 comments with “IQ” in it, limiting to the latest 1000 comments.
As for Chinese internet products, WeChat allows searching through your chats very quickly,
QQ Browser lets you easily navigate to and view the files and videos downloaded.
As far as video downloading is concerned, I do download some videos from YouTube with
youtube-dl (more need to perhaps since YouTube is blocked in China). The Chinese video sites, at least on mobile, pretty much let you directly download. Whereas, as I am told by that Siberian Russian, Google deletes all extensions from its Chrome web store, which facilitate downloading of YouTube videos.
By the way, I consider copyright and “intellectual property” to be mostly full of shit. Good thing China is not copyright obsessed the way America is. Videos are readily shared and content is copied online a lot. Many of the really high quality Chinese TV series and documentaries are free for you to watch online.
In the 1950s, from what I read, USSR for many of the designs it shared to China basically only charged a printing free. Whereas with America, it’s a whole other story. Even when China has gotten so little actual serious technology from America (I was told that there were even export controls for distributed systems technology, with some US company having to put its China servers in Singapore), the American media outlets are always whining and exaggerating about Chinese espionage. I would not be surprised if in the next year or two US mainstream media starts to report on “Princeton computer science professor Kai Li transferring American fingerprint recognition to the authoritarian Chinese regime.”
I guess you could say that the stuff mentioned here is not really technology, that it’s more stylistic, and that most of the foundational software is still “American”. I do agree with that, but I think Europe also contributed a ton to them (America takes the credit of course), not to mention that Russia is also not bad, with Nginx, Kotlin, Kaspersky, etc.
By the way, this reminds me of that article expressing low opinion of China in computing by Stanford computer science professor James Landay, who does “human computer interaction.” I think he, in a more stylistic field, is full of shit. I think that Americans and the Anglo world in general has really shitty taste. Look at the shitty American entertainment industry for example. I also don’t like the way they look, but I concede that this aesthetics is highly subjective. Still, I have a hard time imagining how anyone who’s not mentally broken would want to use English once they know Chinese or Russian, English is just such an ugly language. Its poetry is basically garbage. To the Chinese and Russians, Anglos have no soul.
I think the shitty taste of the Anglo world reflects in the aesthetics (and also choice of features) of its software as well.