Jacky Tang

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What happens when the human population stops growing?

One of the most famous TED presenters was the late Hans Rosling. He was the master of statistical presentation and a deadly wielder of the long pointy stick. Hans had a talent for boiling down complex numbers into something that was not only entertaining to watch, but helped people to wrap their heads around what they really meant. What made his talks really special for me was the actual story itself that was the most captivating.

Hans was an optimist. He looked at global metrics of poverty and wealth like markers for how tall a kid has grown each year…


As much as we like to believe, reality is not the default

The propagation of fake news over the past few years has created wide reaching problems, elevated tension, and tearing at the fabric of a globalized society. The control of information has always been a critical tool throughout social development. One of the most widespread original uses of the printing press was to disseminate religious text. Within the realm of warfare, the gathering of intelligence is necessary to make informed decisions and strategies. Throughout the political sphere, the use of propaganda and its modern cousins, attack ads, are powerful tools to shape electoral outcomes.

This ability to manipulate information serves as…


Making the world a better place was just another tagline

The latest round of the billionaire, tech mogul dick-measuring contest came in the form of the privatized space race. Bezos took the lead in the meme-o-verse with his strong Dr. Evil vibes. From the cringey belly laugh to the penis-shaped rocket it was hard not to see the likeness. All he was missing was a hairless cat and a mini-Bezos. Meanwhile, Richard Branson also got his first taste of sub-orbital space, while Elon Musk’s SpaceX inches closer to abandoning Earth to become Martians. …


Covid wasn’t the worst thing to happen. It was just one more tragedy to handle.

That day I was coming home from some place I can’t remember. Probably work since it was the evening. Took my shoes off at the door. I noticed she was still sleeping. I felt sorry for yelling at her the night before. She tends to sleep off her pain, especially the kind from me. I hopped over to my computer like I always did, and waited for her to wake up to see how she was doing. Eventually the door creaked. I turned my head…


The place beyond two is filled with possibility

In the land of numbers things can get pretty competitive. Zero is often touted as the ultimate number invention even though it means nothing. Without the zero much of modern math wouldn’t be possible. It’s also a part of another favorite, the 10 which forms the global base ten system. Zero also makes up the dynamic duo of binary. Which brings us to number one. By definition it should be the best. It also represents the boundary between nothing and something, between fractions and a whole, and is the easiest part when learning multiplication and division. It also forms a…


How adaptability and stable thinking emerges, collides, and the place best suited for each type

Recently I’ve been getting back into tennis, and I started watching a bunch of matches of the Big 3 boys: Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic. As an amateur I was simply watching out of interest (and maybe hoping to absorb some skills from osmosis) so the actual skill is a little beyond me, but one thing that was very apparent were their differences in play style. Federer has this elegant kind of style where his movement and strokes are very fluid, especially his signature backhand swing…


Exploring the concept of inertia in thoughts, ideas, and beliefs through the lens of psychology and computer science

I was talking with friend during lunch recently about how we didn’t get along with our parents because we felt more progressive than them. We talked about how my friend’s Indian background affected his life, like how Indians can covet White people yet prohibit marriage to them, or talk down to White people and move to the West. I also mentioned how I never really thought much about racial bias as an East Asian, but with the recent surge of attention on…


The Medium Partnership program motivates writers to write for writers

When I first started to dig into how to become a content creator, it was very much a slog to dig through all the legitimate tips and tricks from the ones that lure you into thinking they can give you a way out of the 9-to-5 living into the passive income, fast cars, big houses, live how you want without working ploys. The former provides insight into how the industry and the algorithms work so that you can plan your work and start the climb. The latter focuses on selling…


Breaking things down into parts is at the heart of science, but also messes with our reality

The use of symbols in modern times almost seems like a given, like a natural part of the world around us. There are icons on every screen, logos on every device, the colorful geometry of street signs, emojis in our texts. Their ubiquity makes it seem like it could be no other way, yet we have to remember that it is part of a visual language we’ve learned through the process of decomposition and recombination.

Let’s step back for a second and first look at abstraction. Of all the symbols in our daily lives, the one that carries with it…


Where it came from and what it means for Western culture

I recently finished reading Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu, the first book in a sci-fi trilogy written by a Chinese author. It is very much a Chinese story that takes place against the history of the Cultural Revolution with distinctly Chinese backdrops. It was constantly brought up as one of the top books to read in recent times, and I thought I’d finally give it a try. I was glad I did. Typically I don’t read a lot of genre fiction. Something about the language and the types of storylines don’t seem to appeal to me. …

Jacky Tang

A software designer-developer figuring out how the brain bits work and sharing the findings along the way

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