Confessions of a researchaholic

November 28, 2023

Cellular reincarnation

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 10:45 pm
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These “sleek” cellphones tend to slip and break easily so that new ones have to be bought constantly.

If the process of copying apps and data from an old to a new phone is like reincarnation, then the phone number is like soul or consciousness in that it is unique and can be associated with only one sim-card at a time.

November 24, 2023

Thanksgiving dinner sketch

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:41 pm
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Familiarity brings comfort, including holiday meals.

November 19, 2023

Sunday morning read

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:52 am

So who is going to win control at OpenAI, the ones who can design and train the models or the ones who can bring in the money to pay for the compute and talent?
Both are needed for the success of the company.

In any case they will likely change the corporate structure so that the board better represents the investors.
(It is kind of ridiculous that Microsoft invests 10+B for a 49 percent stake but has no representative on the board.)

November 18, 2023

Saturday morning read

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:57 am

After a hectic working week I finally got a chance to follow up some recent tech news, in particular (as you could expect) about the surprise ousting of OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman and the interim CEO.
On the way I also noticed yet another headline about X.

Looks like the tech industry is no less dramatic than the entertainment industry, but with far more consequential real-world impacts.

November 12, 2023

A political balancing act

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 9:31 pm

A small island, squeezed between two big powers, has only a very narrow path to navigate, and requires high political skills to do so.

November 7, 2023

Stuck in traffic

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:38 pm
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I tried to take bus 281 from Palo Alto transit center to SJC18 and the bus got stuck in traffic on university avenue near highway-101 for more than an hour. (It took me about 40 minutes to walk the same trip.) I got a chance to draw a painful facial expression of one of the passengers.

November 6, 2023

St. Andrew’s cross

Filed under: Imaginary — liyiwei @ 6:41 pm
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I read Septology I-II by Jon Fosse just to see what the Nobel literature prize is all about.
The story is basically a single long sentence recording the continuous thoughts about art, religion, life, and relationships of the writer with talent in art but deficiency in other mental aspects.

A painting titled “St. Andrew’s cross” is repeated mentioned in the story, which I tried to visualize.
I plan to read III to VII later if I can find an ebook version from my library.

November 5, 2023

Restless dreams

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 10:20 pm
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When waking up around 5:36 am this morning, my Fitbit tracker gave me a sleep score of 49 (out of 100) which is much lower than the usual 70+ scores I received.
My brain felt fine despite a bit “dry” (not moving as fluidly as it used to which I attributed to the time switch), but the tracker might have a point given that I could recall having a lot of vivid dreams from earlier this morning.

In the dreams I first encountered a bunch of intruders in my home. I told them that I am going to “incapacitate” them one by one, but before any excitement could happen my dream switched to the realization that I have a bunch of unfinished blog posts (which I guess is a metaphor of all these pending tasks awaiting me) about a city monk, altruism and selfishness, personal finance, french fries and mussels, which I plan to expand into real blog posts later.

Later in the night I created a visualization of my dreams by Adobe Fresco and Photoshop, iterating between manual drawings and generative fill so that I can have some control of the content without having to draw everything by hand.

November 4, 2023

Restaurant tricks

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 7:15 pm

Ever since the end of the pandemic, I have been avoiding eating in or ordering from restaurants due to the increased cost-to-quality ratios, which could turn off other customers as some restaurants might have realized and thus started to pull off different tricks.

One is to offer reasonable prices on the menu, but during ordering the waiters would recommend higher margin add-on items when the customers are less likely to check the prices.
A recent example I saw is a large bowl of steamed mussels (22 USD) with a “recommended” set of french fries that turned out to cost 9 USD.

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