Confessions of a researchaholic

March 31, 2014

Lullaby

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 6:28 pm
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Street noise
Is like a lullaby
For city boys

December 25, 2013

Cat pose

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 6:43 pm
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Cold winter day
Sitting on a warm hood

December 22, 2013

Two recent movies

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 11:51 pm
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Every computer scientist’s wet dream:

Every computer scientist’s nightmare:

September 28, 2013

The Klingons

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 6:47 pm
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Imagine you are a Klingon warship commander. After going through some hyper-warp to arrive at an alternative space time, you find that all Klingons are in gentle servitude to humans.

This is what I felt about the HK technology industry as a SF bay area computer scientist.

PS
If you are a Klingon in that alternative space time, work with that commander so that you will not turn into a pussy.

August 7, 2013

Father’s day haiku

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 7:10 pm
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A Y-chromosome
passed from dad to son
unchanged across millenniums.

July 28, 2013

The matrix concert

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 1:54 pm
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I went to the Matrix in Concert with the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Don Davis, who is also the composer for the Matrix trilogy.

Basically, what they did is to play the first matrix movie with music accompanied by the orchestra.
I enjoyed the show for a variety of reasons: I am a fan of the original movies, the visual setup (black dressing + green lighting) is fitting, and the music integrates seamlessly with the movie.

The most interesting aspect is that the music adds (yet) another layer of performance + reality, over the original movie, which is already layered. The music starts with the opening scenes and ends after the end credits. So the entire show starts before the movie starts and ends after the movie ends. In a movie theater, most audience would walk out during the end credits, but we should sit through this one. (It was very funny to see a few folks who left during the end credits.)

What has not changed is that I want to be agent Smith if I can choose to become one of the characters.
:-)

June 14, 2013

Aromatic association of cities I have lived in more than 1 year

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 8:01 am
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They say olfactory memory is the most visceral as it is within our primitive brains.

Taipei: soil within sidewalk pavement cracks

Kaohsiung: (strong) industrial waste water

Stanford: dry grass

Palo Alto: coffee

Mountain View: swimming pool chlorine

Emerald Hills: trees

Beijing: gun powder (sulfur)

Seattle: sea-weed/salt

Hong Kong: (humid) bean curd

March 3, 2013

Intrinsic

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 6:46 pm
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A really beautiful woman can shine without makeup or enhancement12.
A truly capable man can function without job title or institution13.

1Replace man and woman above with unisex nouns if you like. I do not mean to be a sexist; the sentences just flow better.

2To sense whether that someone is for you, see her true self; wake up early on a Sunday morning, sneak beside her bed, and watch her sleep.

3I spent my early childhood listening to my grandparents’ stories on how they survived WW2 and how untrustworthy governments can be. I became one of the few in my (and younger) generation with this innate distrust of institutions. (Self psycho-analysis indicated this is a main source of my inclination towards individualism + self-reliance and my philosophical difficulty working in a company.) If you have no idea what I am talking about, try “Wealth, War and Wisdom” by Barton Biggs. (The book succeeded in conveying the sense of institutional distrust, even though I do not agree with all the points.)

February 14, 2013

Liberal art

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 6:40 pm
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This is a random collection of thoughts after watching this movie, liberal arts, on a recent flight.

I like the movie; it is funny, informational, and the characters are cute (especially the one played by Elizabeth Olsen).

I finally got what it meant by liberal art college: basically, the kind of schools that trains one to be a generalist rather than for a specific profession. Quote from the movie: “I majored in English and minored in history just to make sure I am fully unemployable”.

I think computer science is some kind of liberal art: writing good codes is a lot like writing good proses, designing good algorithms is a lot like designing good plots, and making good UIs is a lot like making good plays!

From now on I am going to proclaim I do liberal art, in a more employable fashion.
:-)

January 27, 2013

漸漸

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 1:06 am
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【侯 文詠】漸漸

最近有個餐飲界的病人和我大談經營理念,談著談著我忽然豁然開朗。原來這個人經營的是色情酒店。不但如此,他得意地自誇旗下女將清一色是大專程度以上。知識份子怎麼會去從事色情陪酒行業?!我們不免好奇十足。

「其實很簡單,我刊登廣告,徵求大專程度以上的女性會計。凡是應徵者都必須檢具學歷證書。」

「你刊登不實廣告,誘騙應徵少女。」他神秘地笑:「我們的會計薪水是比別人高沒錯。不過每個小姐一來我都說得很清楚。我們這裡的確有色情陪酒。但是領會計的薪水絕對只能做會計的工作。和裡面陪酒的小姐完全不同。絕不強迫。」

「那 就領薪水,好好地做個會計。」我問。

「是做會計沒錯。不過日子久了,和裡面端盤子的小姐熟了,大家都一樣是大專畢業的,好溝通。忙不過來的時候幫忙端個盤子,送送酒,也是常有的事。這個時候我就告訴小姐;你看,當會計領一萬二千元,端盤子送酒薪水二萬四,端盤子又不陪客人,不是什麼壞事,反正你都常常端盤子,為什麼不乾脆領二萬四?」

「這樣說個幾次就開始動搖了。同樣都是工作,為什麼不領二萬四呢?俱樂部的規定是,端盤子的小姐不准坐下來陪客人喝酒,這樣和坐檯小姐才有區別。可是日子久了,客人熟了,也會意思意思要求喝杯酒。開頭總是不願意,後來熬不過就喝一杯。說是站著喝。」

「一開始喝酒就好辦了。站著喝酒薪水是二萬四,坐著喝是四萬八,客人給的小費還不包括在內。同樣都是大專畢業,為 什麼錢賺的比別人少?!就會有人勸她了,人都在裡面了,外面的人誰知道你是端盤子,還是坐檯呢?!再說自己真的清白,別跟客人出場就好了,陪客人喝酒,就算在社會上交際應酬也是常有的事。」

「於是坐下來當坐檯小姐。剛開始一定規規矩矩地喝酒。也不隨便跟客人出場。這一行競爭大,領四萬八慢慢就會嫌不夠了。只 好挑看得順眼的客人給帶出場了。作久了,總是會給厲害的客人佔便宜,哭哭啼啼鬧一陣子也就好了。畢竟讀過書,狠下心來做得更利落、更敢,客人喜歡,我也得意,這是兩廂情願的事。」

他停了一下又說:「我從來沒有強迫過別人,也從來不擔心找不到小姐,反正這個環境慢慢會改變她們,直到她們根本忘記自己原來的想法和樣子!!」

我愈聽眼睛睜得愈大,從不曾想過在這樣不疾不徐的瑣碎裡,竟也有血肉飛濺似的驚心動魄。豐子愷寫過文章感嘆:使人生圓滑進行的微妙要素,莫如「漸」;造物主騙人的手段,也莫如「漸」。

在不知不覺中,天真浪漫的孩子「漸漸」變成野心勃勃的青年。慷慨豪俠的青年「漸漸」變成冷酷的成人;血氣旺盛的成人「漸漸」變成頑固的老頭子!!

對時間的感嘆,本是人類共同的命運,儘管悲傷,大自然不變的法則是誰都沒話說的事。可是對於意識形態,價值之漸,卻叫人坐立不安。

原來是錯的事,為什麼「漸漸」變成對的事??原本可恥的事,為什麼又「漸漸」人人爭相追逐??整個臺北市翻翻補補,敲敲打打,還有政治風暴、金融危機、社會秩序動盪,彷彿整個城市快傾毀了,可是這時代更叫人無法忍受的卻是那種無聲無息,無法感受的(漸),扭曲意識形態,把人的尊嚴、我們活著僅仰賴的那一點感覺吃掉。

無從捉摸,無法抵擋的墮落與沉淪。 漸漸之可怕,在於我們的不知不覺。世界上沒有任何東西是永遠不變的,唯一不變的只有一件事,就是任何東西都在變!

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