Monday, September 09, 2019

Publication by former student

Rickard Stureborg, a student from my summer ENGW 3315 (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing) course, revised one of his projects for class and submitted it to "Towards Data Science," an online publication of articles about data science and machine learning. The other day he wrote to tell me that they had published it! Yay!

Here's his article, "Artificial Neural Networks for Total Beginners." Using an example of how to predict the height of a tree based on the soil content of the ground, Rich explains how models would be created, tested, and refined using machine learning.

Note: I know that almost 20 years ago I argued against teachers "advertising" students' publications because it struck me as being an appropriation of their work.  But as Rich told told me, the more I share it, the more people will see it. (Now I have to go back and revise that paper...)

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Hajimu Masuda on Andrew Grajdanzev

In a comment, "yh" pointed me to a book review of Hajimu Masuda's Cold War Crucible, which contains a paragraph about Andrew Grajdanzev. Here's the passage:

For folks who can't see the Google book (users of Google Chrome?):
The case of Andrew Grajdanzev was even worse. Born in Siberia, and having spent almost his entire life in Harbin and Tianjin, China, before immigrating to the United States in the 1930s, Grajdanzev was Willoughby's number one target and had been placed under strict surveillance in 1946. He was tailed, his room was secretly searched, and his letters were read, though there was no substantial evidence that he had done anything wrong. A three-week counterintelligence investigation found that he tended to eat by himself, stay at home, and visit the same places frequently. This last behavior did attract an investigator's interest, but it turned out that he was regularly learning Japanese and teaching English. Nevertheless, when he returned to the United States, he could not find a job in government at all, due to rumors and attacks, despite his work experience in the SCAP, a Ph.D. in economics, and fluency in Russian, Japanese, Chinese, and English. Eventually he studied library science, starting over completely, and got a job at a small local library. (p. 30)
Willoughby, as I mentioned in an earlier post, was a witness during the IPR hearings. But he wouldn't say anything about Grajdanzev because a Presidential Directive and Army orders didn't allow him to (see page 387).

Friday, August 23, 2019

New year's resolutions for the 2019-2020 academic year

Although in some ways this is a bit of a masochistic exercise, I'm going to write up a short list of resolutions for the academic year as I did last year and some years before. Two of my main motivations for doing this are that 1) I haven't posted anything in August yet, and 2) I should be working on revising a book chapter that's due Sept. 3 and/or writing a new syllabus for the first-year writing class I'll be teaching in a couple of weeks. And nothing beats procrastination as a motivation for making new year's resolutions, right? No? Hmmm....

Well, anyway, last year I had deleted my Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ (RIP) accounts, so I was able to get more work done (somewhat). Unfortunately, I have drifted back onto Twitter, which I'll probably have to disconnect from sooner or later because it's so depressing. If I can keep away from Twitter, I'd like to do more reading and writing (in addition to the required reading and writing I do for my classes). I'd like to try to do some of that reading and writing in Chinese, too.

I could also try to spare some more time for family activities. Last fall was nice for that (at least for a while) because we had "family time" on Fridays, but this fall we'll all be in school on Fridays, so we might have to join the crowds on Saturday.

Hmmm... this is beginning to sound more like a wish list than a list of resolutions. Maybe I'll come back and fill in the blanks later... [Update, 8/27/19: I took action on my "wish list" yesterday by deleting my Twitter account. So I'll either get more things done or I'll spend inordinate amounts of time skimming my LinkedIn feed...]

Monday, July 29, 2019

Desperately seeking an early manuscript version of Formosa Betrayed

I have written before on this blog and in my intro. to the Camphor Press edition of Formosa Betrayed about the book's pre-publication history. It's a complex affair that I have not come to the end to. Right now I'm trying to figure out where to track down a manuscript from the late 1940s or early 1950s, titled, variously, The Development of Modern Formosa, Formosa--Yesterday and Today, Formosa: The Five Fateful Years, 1945-1950, and The Formosa Question, 1945-1951. (There are probably other titles I haven't come across.)

I have come across (through Google) two books that cite Development in their bibliographies: It was evidently seen by Jan Erik Romein because he cited it in his 1956 book, De Eeuw Van Azië. It's cited as "Kerr, G. H. The development of modern Formosa, 1950." Romein was a Dutch Marxist historian. His book, whose English title is The Asian Century: A History of Modern Nationalism in Asia, was also published in Japanese in 1961 as アジアの世紀 : 近代アジア民族主義史. Anyway, I wonder if there was a connection between Romein and the Institute of Pacific Relations.

Kerr's book is also cited in The Statesman's Year-Book: Statistical and Historical Annual of the States of the World for the Year 1952, and listed as being published in NY. Wonder if the editor of this book also got a copy of the manuscript. If both this book and Romein cite it as 1950, that means that they had an earlier version of the ms that Kerr eventually withdrew from the IPR.

No manuscript shows up, that I've seen, in any of the IPR archives at Columbia University, U of Hawai'i, or U of British Columbia. Guess I'll keep looking. I'm open to suggestions...

Thursday, July 25, 2019

A couple of news articles featuring Andrew Grajdanzev

On this cool Library of Congress website, "Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers," I found a couple of articles from the Washington, D.C., Evening Star that cite Andrew Grajdanzev:

Haven't gone through all of the "Andrew Grad" articles yet. Gotta get back to my main task for today ... choosing shower tile...

Friday, July 12, 2019

Heart in Taiwan

I was watching an interview the other day between Dan Rather and Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart, and I was surprised to hear them mention that the Wilson sisters had spent some time in Taiwan as children. Their father was in the Marines, and they were stationed in Taiwan for 3 years. At the time, according to their memoirs, Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock and Roll,* Ann was six years old, and Nancy was "only a few years old."

In 1956, Ann, Nancy, their older sister Lynn, and their mother took a troop ship from San Francisco to Taiwan to meet their father, a major who had already gone to Taiwan a few months earlier. Ann Wilson recalls that as the ship left San Francisco, they stood on deck to wave goodbye, and "Nancy was wearing a tether harness tied to a railing on the ship to keep her from falling into the sea. She pretended she was a wild horse."

Ann Wilson describes their three years in Taiwan as "an innocent time, but always one of tension." She recalls the typhoons and frequent trips to air raid shelters, but also remembers how her mother tried to make life normal for them, decorating the house and organizing the Girl Scouts.

They don't have much else to say about their three years in Taiwan (perhaps not surprising since they left when Ann Wilson was 9 years old). They don't even mention where they were living in Taiwan. It would be interesting to know where their father (Major John Wilson, USMC) would have been stationed there. (Ann Wilson mentions that Wilson's father had been a general in the Marines. Their grandfather was the Brig. Gen. John B. Wilson that Camp Wilson at Twentynine Palms, California was named after.)

I'm not sure they ever went back to Taiwan (perhaps for a Heart concert), but I do recall that during my first trip to Taiwan in the summer of 1990, ICRT (the English-language radio station in Taiwan) was playing that awful song, "All I Wanna Do (Is Make Love to You)"--don't worry, Ann Wilson hates it, too, calling it "hideous" in the interview with Dan Rather:

* Link is to a 2012 interview on WBUR radio.

Sunday, July 07, 2019

US State Dept Human Rights Reports on Taiwan, 1979-1987

These links are mainly for my own reference, though maybe they'll be useful to someone else, too. These are country reports on human rights practices "submitted to the Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate and Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives by the Department of State in accordance with sections 116(d) and 502B(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended."

The links go directly to the Taiwan reports:

There are more, but this goes up to the end of martial law, anyway.