About Me

I'm James Liu, a software engineer. Currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I was born with infantile nystagmus syndrome. This has heavily impacted my visual acuity and focus. This has robbed me of my binocular depth perception and any semblance of hand-eye coordination. I can't drive (legally), and don't expect me be playing seriously in any ball sport.

From a young age, this disconnect with the physical world has made me turn my pursuits inwards. I've always loved the sciences, and held the great engineers and mathematicians of our time in high esteem. Our world, cold and indifferent to our existence, holds unfathomable complexity and beauty.

Core Personal Values

Hard work is a reward onto itself, even without external compensation. Recognition isn't necessary, but appreciated. The best work is done by the thankless. No great achievement in history is done alone, nor without personal sacrifice. Even if I don't wholly believe in the cause or enjoy my job, I take great pride in a job well done.

Speak softly, and carry a big hidden stick. Humility is a virtue that underpins all cordial relationships, but one must not be underestimated. Theodore Roosevelt's ideology mirrors this very closely, but is ill suited for the modern day. Overt military activity or personal aggressiion (the big stick) only makes others fearful of your future actions, so taking indirect covert action is preferable.

Time is not money. It can be exchanged for money, but money cannot buy back lost time. Thus money should never be the end goal, but always a means to an end. My life is too short to be spent chasing personal pleasure or fleeting profits.

Pragmatism over ideals. A world full of shades of grey cannot be dealt with in black and white. It also means that I don't attempt to show hollow support for causes that I know I cannot personally champion or tangibly impact, even if I strongly agree with the subject matter.

Guiding Opinions

Organized religion is net negative for us all. The faith of individiauls may compel them to be better people, but the net effects of organized religion on society are innumerable. The belief in the supernatural loosens our collective grip on reality, encourages irrational behavior and bigotry, and inherently requires in-group/out-group separation and groupthink. This doesn't just include the big name religions like Christianity or Islam, but also small cults in all forms, ranging from political cults of personality (i.e. Donald Trump), business cults (i.e. Amway, Herbalife, World Finanical Group), and celebrty culture in general (i.e. Hollywood stars, celebrity musicians, streamers, influencers, etc).

Financialization creates a class of leeches. Financial services are necessary in many parts of a modern economy, but fundamentally never create any value, just enable others to create it. It then begs the question: why the finance sector is growing disproprotionately large compared to the rest of the economy? This growth really just results in large companies engaging in increasingly convoluted corporate structuring and "financial engineering" to skim off the top without actually producing anything of value. This doesn't just affect finance, but has been encroaching into other industries, as large companies like Google are transformed into holding companies like Alphabet, where their primary purpose is indistiguisable from the institutional investor leeches in the finance sector. To put it lightly, I believe the psychopaths pushing for these changes should be retroactively aborted. This would include anyone with a MBA nowadays, as the Friedman doctrine has become ubiquitous in virtually every business school.