I indulged most of my childhood watching Japanese sci-fi anime like A Farewell to Weapons and Ghost in the Shell in Beijing, my hometown. When I came to the U.S. at the age of 15, I was attracted to the field of artificial intelligence on Kaggle. I was fortunate to study computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, where I learned rigorous problem-solving skills. I'm interested in mapping components of business decision-making processes to intelligent systems from the silicon up to complex software. I'm a member of the CMU automated learning systems group (Catalyst) and Neo. I'm currently working on Praxis, helping teams to integrate large, difficult external datasets.



I indulged most of my childhood watching Japanese sci-fi anime like A Farewell to Weapons and Ghost in the Shell in Beijing, my hometown. When I came to the U.S. at the age of 15, I was attracted to the field of artificial intelligence on Kaggle. I was fortunate to study computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, where I learned rigorous problem-solving skills. I'm interested in mapping components of business decision-making processes to intelligent systems from the silicon up to complex software. I'm a member of the CMU automated learning systems group (Catalyst) and Neo. I'm currently working on Praxis, helping teams to integrate large, difficult external datasets.
























(food for thought, but please don't take it too seriously or personal)

I was reading about The Gnosis of Elite Dangerous, which really got me thinking about the crypto craze over the past year. I first played the game when I was 15, and it wasn't until now that I realized that these moments could shed light on what it means to interact with the metaverse. The problem? No one seems to care. For a game that combines a 1:1 map of the universe, unique "ownership" in terms of attribution in Universal Cartographics, and highly immersive gameplay with top-notch VR and player-driven plots, it is never mentioned in any sources that are even remotely related to the role of gaming in the so-called "web 3.0" world. I think the key issue is that no one in the space actually cares about delivery. People innately stick to traditions, and it takes genuine effort and humility for pioneers to carefully craft the message to guide the world into a more equal and decentralized future.

Driven by pride and exacerbated by social media, the current web3 message is way too antagonizing, to the point that I believe it deters mass adoption. Gamers locally and abroad hate "the crypto." Why? The Bitcoin miners are driving the graphics card price up, and NVIDIA is even helping them. Ponzi schemes are taking away people's hard earnings, and Square sh*t Enix, who can't even fix their own servers, are suddenly into this new thing called NFT that is built on this thing called Ethereum that is warming up the planet? Must be another ploy to make them look good in the earnings call.

But if you are at least a little bit familiar with the ecosystem, you will know that there's a much much better side to all of it. A universal computing platform, secured decentrally by environmentally friendly consensus algorithms and enhanced by privacy and interoperability, will connect so many independent in-game economies and save gamers from what is realistically modern-day corporate serfdom. Think Steam's crack-down on CS-GO skins marketplace, one-way exchange of in-game currencies in EVE Online, and ridiculous grinding in War Thunder.

However, instead of getting down and real with these details, the majority of the web3 community simply chooses to deliver the message in a way that pleases only their investors and one of their own. Part of this is also taking projections and expectations as reality, which does not help make this new tech less hostile to outsiders. Ethereum, the leading candidate for gaming in web3, as a decentralized ledger may work, but as a distributed system, it unequivocally sucks as of 2021. Even in DeFi (decentralized finance), which is where it saw the majority of usage, is also crippled with problems such as garbage API reliability (literally heard this from a tech exec of an industry leader), limited code size, a wide range of attack vectors (see rekt.news), and obscure arbitrage opportunities such as Miner Extractable Value (MEV) discouraging newcomers. Not to bring up the contenders, who are either Ethereum forks or aspiring-but-equally-struggling Ethereum improvements (say, Solana, which just experienced a network-level outage). There are undoubtedly promising directions that can improve all of the above problems (also similar for the gaming community), and to name a few, zero-knowledge technologies (zkSync, Starkware) and "useful" (in the broadest definition possible) consensus mechanisms (Learning@Home). Still, we are at least two to three generations away from a massively adaptable, generalized computing framework ready to be adopted by specialized tech industries, such as gaming or machine learning, considering that they are also undergoing significant reforms and advancements. It's glad to see that nontrivial efforts are now invested into painfully realistic integrations of blockchains into customer-facing applications beyond "crypto-for-crypto's-sake;" to name a few: cost-efficient decentralized machine learning (Hivemind) and large-scale onboarding and stress-tests of financial systems (Diem, MakerDAO, Worldcoin), and more areas should be really explored, such as architectural norms and economic instruments to onboard and integrate AAA game economies through smart contracts, sustained organization-level autonomy (think Ready Player One, Person of Interest), and a variety of storage/database/rendering systems that now are more cost-effective, have zero downtime, fundamentally and cryptographically secures data, and empowers businesses by a natively interoperable platform.

You don't get to hear these from web3 evangelists. You only hear the buzzwords like "closed-protocols," "ubiquitous data," "S-curves," "trustless and permissionless," "fungible token," "ownership of value," and so on. What made it even worse? As mgnr remarks, "late vanilla memetics" ("probably nothing", bayc, tungsten cubes, "gm", "wagmi" etc). One cannot just invent a new construct and expects everyone else to start believing in them, especially when some of the top influencers don't really abide by the very rules they promote.

Equity of web. Look at this new punk I bought. Decentralization of power. $9,000 dinners in NYC during NFTNYC for "Sushi Partners." Unleashing creativity and productivity across borders. It has come to my attention that some people are using my source code for my generative artworks as the basis for NFT's (again). Open economy combatting banks and institutions. We are proud to announce our Series A backed by yada yada yada ......

I cannot stress how much this is provoking basically anyone outside of the crypto community. The reason why you see established professors and tech cofounders bashing NFTs, with prominent web3 operators, founders, thinkers & builders in the web3 space rebuking with the equal amount of unnecessary spite. I've seen incredibly well-constructed arguments on why web3 is a fraud and why it is one of the greatest achievements in history. It is not crazy to learn some from both of them.

One of the few amazing progresses over the past 10k years or so for humanity is figuring out how to communicate in more efficient ways. We could do better.