Confessions of a researchaholic

June 9, 2018

Suicide

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:34 am
Tags: ,

Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade;
Someone with my genetics and psychology will probably never understand;
I will just Kublai everything and anything that stands in my way.

May 19, 2018

Antisocial irrationality

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:18 pm
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In a recent party I attended I did not socialize as much as I should. I was either too arrogant to think talking to people is not worth the time compared to just idly walking around, or too lazy to chat which is not difficult for me at all.

If I am in a social gathering, I should talk to people; otherwise I should just go somewhere else to do something useful.

In a future party, if you find me antisocial (not abnormal, which is normal for me), please remind me that I am behaving irrationally.

March 18, 2018

Productivity, rest, and distraction

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:56 pm
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Recently, I read several good articles from World Economic Forum about
distraction, nap, and productivity.

Distraction

Sometimes when I needed a break, I went to Slack, email, or social networks, only to find out that I was simply context switching to another task: more work, less focus, no relax.
So now I forced myself to simply take a walk, look out the window, or causal chat with people; anything that will NOT fork another work thread.

Napping

I took naps all the time, and I plan to keep on doing it.

Productivity

Planning is important, but sometimes I found it much simpler to just pick something and do it to avoid over-thinking.
When I feel over-whelmed or hard to decide, it is usually a sign that all the tasks at hand are similarly important.

March 5, 2017

Psychometrics

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:18 pm
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I instinctively ignored this upon first sighting a few days ago, but it popped up again on my social feed. I read it, and found the report fascinating.

There are two links under that article providing 2 ways for the said personality test: one via FB likes, another via questionnaire. Out of curiosity, I tried both, as a test of consistency. The results differ quite a lot. I guess this is because I use Facebook as a friendlier version of LinkedIn (I didn’t realize this until my wife told me so a few days ago), so it probably doesn’t reflect my personality well.

This is just a sample size of one, but I suspect how many people truly reveal themselves on social networks, and this can influence the accuracy of such data analysis algorithms.

May 9, 2016

Recursive interviews

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:20 pm
Tags: , ,

When you were interviewing the candidates I was also interviewing you.

You opened yourself like a book.
🙂

February 10, 2016

It might not be good to be a good student

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:12 pm
Tags: , ,

It is usually not too hard for smart kids to perform well in schools; just excel in what you are told to do, such as taking courses.

This is a deterministic process with well-defined goals and tasks that reward smartness and hard working.

However, real world is chaotic and ambiguous. You have to figure out what to do, with shifting targets and ever-changing environments.

This is why school performance does not directly translate to real-life performance: the required mentality and skills are not the same.

This is also why being a good student might not be a good thing for you. You are so used to this deterministic input-output process that you might be very frustrated by the non-deterministic nature of the real world, when starting your first job or research project.

In contrast, not-so good students might adapt better to the real world, because they already have enough failure experiences and are not yet cast into conformity.

PS
I was lucky to be a student who was considered good in performance and bad in behavior.
🙂

December 31, 2014

Frame of motivation

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:55 pm
Tags: ,

As a game of self-motivation, I used to frame and hang rejection letters on the wall and remove them only after getting even.

Today while cleaning my office I found the very last one sitting in a corner. Looking at it feels like a guy bumping into his high school crush who rejected him years ago but now appears totally fat and ugly.

With amused satisfaction, I threw the letter away but kept the frame. Time to fill it with another motivation.

Frame of rejection

A photo posted by Li-Yi Wei (@liyiwei) on

February 22, 2014

Be different

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 1:37 am
Tags: , , , ,

This is likely a unique local phenomenon, but I often see these student representatives wearing suits and sitting in meetings for various organizations.

It is extremely difficult for me to understand why anyone wants to do this. Young people should dream of being different instead of rushing into conformity.

Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.

– Steve Jobs

October 14, 2013

Brainstorming

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 1:48 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I stumbled upon this article about group brainstorming today.

It echoed well with my own personal experiences and my general take that meetings are almost always completely useless for research/creative works.
I do meetings only when absolutely necessary, such as resolving major confusions or conflicts among multiple team members, evaluating live demonstrations of a UI design, and interviewing (i.e. reading) people.

Some managers and administrators like meetings. Fight them with all your power. Do not let less intelligent people waste your time or reduce your effectiveness.

September 22, 2013

Cycles

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:47 pm
Tags: ,

It is actually very easy to maintain a good work-life balance: just have stable cycles, working steadily and consistently every day.

It always puzzles me why some people cannot heed to this very simple strategy. They slack off while away from the deadlines and work inhumane hours near the crunch time. And they get burned out, causing the next round of slack off. And the unstable cycle continues.

I work almost exactly the same amount of hours every day, except during travels (when I work a bit less) and bailing out my collaborators who lack enough discipline (when I work a bit more).

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