Coconut Report 35

Minnesota, US

We are still in Rochester, MN. Days have been surprisingly sunny in recent weeks. We have been hoping for snow!

I started missing my apartment in Hangzhou and hoping both of us could enter China soon. Having been in the US since February, I almost forget the polluted air of Hangzhou or the not-drinkable tap water. China seems to be the safest place at the moment.

However, as the vaccine hasn’t been produced and widely distributed to the whole world, it’s been and will still be a worrying time for us all. Perhaps waiting and keeping away from people is the cautious and responsible choice.

We had a typical American style thanksgiving day here, with an American football game playing on the TV, a meal with roasted chicken instead of turkey. I spent a whole week searching for health and treatment while my partner was staying at Mayo Clinic.

The World Around

Rust China Conf changes the venue to Shenzhen, finally. It seems to work fine.

I recently started reading a book, The America-China Divide: The Race to Control the World, talking about China’s rising power from an American’s perspective. By reading around 50% of the book so far, I found that the book is about the writer’s opinions rather than based on evidence. It’s good to read though.

For example, this scenario can not be real from my perspective:

Baidu may well become the world’s predominant search engine and Weibo may supplant Facebook as the world’s largest social media platform.

Baidu has a trust problem for a million years as I can remember, and technical people in China use Google, Bing, Duckduckgo alternative search engines. More of my friends stopped using Weibo a long time ago that I hardly remember when. Like Weibo, social media platforms are strictly censored in China, which prevents its adoption in other countries. Not to mention who controls the databases.

The Economist this week gives a great article about people’s interests in China at the academic level is declining: As China’s power waxes, the West’s study of it is waning.

The country began tightening restrictions on work there by western academics.

It’s worth reading. By contrast, investing in China and assets management are more popular topics that attract global attention.

Hacks and

There is no progress on my Walnuts project or writing. More time was occupied by Substrate and ink. I wanted to pick up the BigAnnouncement project again and implement it on Substrate. I used cargo contract to create a new default smart contract on Substrate, and stopped at an error regarding the String type in the no_std scenario.

I am glad to see more discussions in the RiB Telegram group. Meanwhile, we see demand for sponsoring RiB. We asked readers in the most recent newsletter their opinions about ads, making sure the RiB community is aware of what is happening.

Although economic pain exists with open source projects, individual maintainers have to endure maintaining work without payment. In the future, we want to provide compensation to contributors once we can, but we don’t want to make money the incentive for building the RiB community. People hacking on things they like and also getting paid for their contribution shall be a means rather than an end.


  • Post: Life and Health During Pandemic
  • RiB
  • Hacks
  • Verified my website for Keybase
  • Extended my insurance for two months more
  • Updated study notes
    • Papers
    • PGP
    • Substrate
    • State machines
    • Game theory
  • Made brownie and honey-flavored whipping cream for Brian’s birthday
  • Made roasted chicken for thanksgiving
  • Chats
    • w/ rib emails
    • w/ previous colleagues in Cryptape
    • w/ EU friends
    • w/ RustChina friends
    • w/ a designer friend, coffee friend as well
    • w/ rib-covered projects
    • w/ former roommate in Hangzhou, and now she is in Shanghai

We felt lonely a lot, and we drew a honey hug.