From: Huong Nguyen
NEWASIA GLOBAL LEARNING
19th Fl, Indochina Park, 4 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Dist. 1, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
www. newasiagloballearning.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/huong-nguyen-014084132/
Saigon, November 13, 2018
To: Prof. Richard H. Thaler
Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service
Behavioral Science and Economics
University of Chicago
5807 South Woodlawn, Chicago IL 60637, USA
Re: Your study of Misbehaving – Asking your opinions about my case and in education area
Dear Prof. Thaler,
My name is Huong Nguyen, used to be PhD candidate at A&M CC for Leadership of Higher Education (2014-2017). My profile has been written in the top of this page for your reference.
I am writing this letter to you, not in the position of PhD candidate, but from a normal person who read your books about behavioral studies and decision making, especially in education area, the field I have really focused more than 25 years.
In your book Misbehaving – The making of behavioral economics, I am interested in 2 points:
(1) Your behavioral study does not try to tell people what to do, but help them to achieve of their own goals [in Vietnamese version, Chap. 32, Go to Public]. The studies might offer some things that help people (targeted people: I am not sure here whether they are the targeted or not in your study?) to make mandated choice or chosen choice, and by some tactics when use specific images or anything that might impress to people’ mind.
(2) All your concerns in behavioral economics is to study “human role” in our progressive society, including the ways how to help teachers, parents and kids might get involved more in educational improvement. This is quite new interesting for me and I have more than 3 years to experience with US educational system to reflect how it works/does not work, for me in person.
But the most impression to me is your warning:
“Some companies or governments with the bad intention might impose all science results to make money for few, and cause trouble money that make their people who were nudged pay off all. All thieves do not need to read my book to learn how to make quick money” [Chap. 33]
I used to be a good and active person, from I was a little girl till 12/2016, when I realized that no one in my PhD program could explain clearly why they did or not take camera in our classes; or why they changed my program from campus class into online classes (more than the laws request for international student, 3 credits/one class/semester). I walked around campus to ask my professors, management and Student Affairs; no one can convince me that it is a good intention for a new hired PhD candidate. During that time, because of hardship that caused by not having campus job as promised by program when they hired me in, I must go to decide to withdraw out from the program, losing 2 years and half, huge amount saving money from my personal (as I went there to study by my own, under commitment from university to provide scholarship and job for PhD candidate) and the “dysfunctional” mindset (this is my mother called my status when I backed to Vietnam to take a break in 2016/2017).
When I dropped out, I spent time to review my case under studying why I must drop out, what happened and why it happened. It is noted I was in your university in August 2015, at ABF program and just within 2 days, they made me quit out, simply because of a meeting with ABF’ fellow who honestly said that I was wrong there…But I was very right there and around US, around this world since 2001 to help someone to study my life and my mind. Some, not all, what happened to me, you might find it here http://www.newasiagloballearning.com/tin-tuc.html, at my personal website that I wrote to reflect my thoughts about what happened and by that, I requested some related people and authorities to pay special attention to “HUMAN” role like you studied, not only in economics but in all areas, especially, in education, in teaching, in learning and how do you treat your students in learning environment.
I learned from my case, when I faced with something that is unclear or not right and no one might give direction or hand-on, I dye. I voluntarily die after trying the best to find the answer. And the answer, sometimes, is a joke for me and for millions of our people in this world. In some ways, it is very simple: you die for others making money! It might happen in business, people can understand. However, no one might believe the education system might “kill” people, but it’s true, in some terms and meanings of “killing”. You might die even you still alive, you still breathe, especially, like you said, some bad guys might explore the science result into bad intention, someone might read your mind, showing how they read and they react to your thinking.
I understand that they spent huge time and efforts to study me to learn how to read “me”. It is not surprised to me any more when in the last book of Thomas Friedman, he shared that our technology has been improved to copy 30 years of human working experience by just one day/night [Thank you for being late].
The questions I appreciate you and Thomas might answer here, in my case and in our education area are:
(1) When we study on real human, what are conduct codes that we must follow? I understand that IRB in every university shall take serious responsibility on this matter, but in your book, even we might control in our study, but it is not sure who might explore it for bad intention after publication. So, how to ensure that people like me, have the right to NOT be chosen to study, to test or having experimental trial with “behavioral studies”?
(2) At the very end of your book, you mentioned about Africa and Asia markets, where people live in poverty, is the best challenges for scientists to study in behavioral experiments to overcome their status quo and the challenges in teaching/learning. Honestly, I am so concerned about this paragraph, as I am Vietnamese, I am Asian, and I spent more than 25 years as Asian international involvement in biz. That is a part of key reasons making me died, when someone learned that I am fitting with their purposes to do biz through my networking (the same way social media do biz). When you study with some governments and organizations in Africa and Asia, where the laws on human rights are so weak, where corruption is popular, where one guy like me is equivalent to less than $400/death, where government high senior official might “sell” their people and country for online gambling (in Vietnam, just search Internal Affairs back-up online gambling, you might get the insights of Vietnam culture). How do you, American scholars might keep the same conduct codes and ethics to study in the fields of Asian and African countries, where everything you can sell and buy, and the matter is just how much you pay for people like me to be chosen? You will never know how many nights and days I cried in the US and in Vietnam…till now for all what happened to me! You will never know how I make myself dying and invisible, at my campus (when I learned how they tried to inform me “University might reserve the right to take camera in any area to promote school/program activities” without any clear explanation by relevant authorities), at my home cities (Hanoi and Saigon) (when I realized that I was sold by my “government” and my “friends” because of their trade deals with foreign). So, what are we different when you are my American, I am Vietnamese and someone else is African, under the sciences and under the ethical views?
(3) When I read your book about Misbehaving, I remembered my professor in philosophy – Dr. Bryan Griffith with his book “Imagined Truth”. Something happened to me, because of some reasons. Not all I read, I observed is correct, but because I was chosen to test, to learn how to react, to build a program for the next 30x30 generation (we always need someone die for next generation, especially in education area), how to learn the good habits from old generations, reflecting them to the new generations…especially, for the new markets with internet-based foundations. All are for business, except I am the human. And not only me, my daughter – a child less than 15 year old when she came to the US to study high school there. All her time spending at international environment with me was studied to set up something they called “Global Citizens” which I wondered it started in 2001, the time I studied HRM with my friends around Asia and from professors around the world. We love to learn to study in order to help people to achieve their goals…I trust you when you said this in your book. But the reality is proving another truth – hard truth, that the good sometime goes wrong and might “destroy” other life totally! Why did they build “imagined truth” in my daily life? Why they must “chase” my life into the very tight corner, such as cutting all support at campus when I studied PhD program, walking around all shops/corners to find jobs to survive but they might “quit” out $30 in my every $6,75/working hour (Chinese owners and very rich in my town), or even when I realized that I could not find anything support in the program and the main purpose they did with me is to make me becoming “Asian internet hub”, not the PhD student, they still follow and “read” my mind for another purposes to date.
What happened? What will happen? For people like us in this world? For kids like my daughter in our schools?
Who have the rights to study, to read and apply the science results to their People, without their knowledge and consent?
What is our future in the world, when everything you read, you think, you do is under supervision of someone you have never ever known?
Why do people need to learn, to be creative, to be responsible, when just one day/night, all they have in their mind might copy and study for AI and for someone’ biz?
As an individual, as a mother, as a human, I honestly do not know who I am, what I should do in this situation. I don’t believe that I am still human anymore at the time I realized I and my daughter have been tested for specific purposes.
My concern is that, when they did with us, they might do the same for many million people that we might ever know…and how pity for human progress when we are now facing to the fact that human becomes the “testing” method for artificial!
Imagined truth: is that the goal we – the scholars try to lead our people to go there? By studying their behavior and applied by the bad guys for the bad intentions?
I understand clearly that we – scholars, we must have responsibility with our study, but the first priority in any activity we must take is our responsibility with our People. When studying for publication, we must ensure that no one might apply to “destroy” our People; no matter they are our Governments or our financial sponsors. That is not only for us, but for our children and for our future safe!
You might read through a short notice from FBI saying about student data and how risk it might impact if someone explores them in bad intention: http://www.newasiagloballearning.com/tin-tuc/fbi-education-technologies-data-collection-and-unsecured-systems-could-pose-risks-to-students.html
Imagining what will happen, if 7, 5 billion people in this world is reading by someone, under management by someone, and influencing by someone? We are going to die by ourselves.
I am writing to you with hope that you might give a strong warning to scientists, our governments, our economists, that before doing anything, we must take our people as human first. Without human exists, this world is nothing and we do not need any study that is not serving for people’ progress.
Many thanks for your time, and please kindly convey my best wishes to Chicagoan.