Confessions of a researchaholic

April 13, 2019

塞翁失馬焉知非福

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:50 am
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A few years back I was having a hard time deciding between two job offers from institutions X and Y. After joining Y, I found out that the hiring manager in X left, which, if I had joined, might have succeeded the position. I kept on thinking this is the first (and only) career mistake I have made, until I heard recently that the positions in X are funded temporarily and are being slashed.

April 12, 2019

Digital artist

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:13 am
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A guy boarded at the Palo Alto Caltrain station and sat in the line of sight between me and my drawing subject a few rows away. After being assured that I was not drawing him and excited about our common profession in digital art, he enthused his experience about being one of the first artists using Photoshop and other tools, nearby art gallery sponsorship, etc.

After disembarking the train, I finished the original drawing from memory (notice the inconsistent perspectives and such).

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Quick sketch of an evening train passenger

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

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Quick sketch of an evening train passenger

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

April 2, 2019

Employee experience

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:26 pm
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During my lunch people watching in the sandwich place, the lady waiting for her food across from the table started to chat with me.
She was entirely smooth in starting the conversation (along the line of: your lunchbox looks cool) and talking about other topics like office location and work division. She is part of employee experience which explains her style and skill. All I needed to do was to ask her the same questions.

Adversary

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:42 am
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“Hate traps us by binding us too tightly to our adversary.” – Milan Kundera

I guess this is another way to say “don’t get mad, get even.”

March 31, 2019

Receptive

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:48 pm
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I was in a meeting with a colleague and an immigration lawyer a few days ago. I was prepared to argue for a difficult case, but found the lawyer surprisingly receptive. She spoke tersely and stopped frequently to ask for any questions or feedbacks.

EQ gradually outweighs IQ in determining career success when one becomes more senior. Maybe that explains why that lawyer is a partner already, and behaved quite differently from a more junior lawyer previously handling the same case.

March 25, 2019

Social network peer pressure

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:34 pm
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Most people use social networks for venting, boasting, and scheming.
I use it mainly for fun and motivation, such as my progress in drawing.

So much intrigue to sight, so little time to draw.

I spotted this passenger on the upper deck while sitting on the lower deck.

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Quick sketch of an evening train passenger

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

View this post on Instagram

Quick sketch of an evening train passenger

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

I had to draw this one partially from memory as the subject kept on changing postures.

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Quick sketch of a cafe patron

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

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Quick sketch of a cafe patron

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

March 24, 2019

Subjective depiction of objective reality

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:30 pm
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A drawing subject has expressed concerns about the lack of similarity between her self-perception and my depiction. I told her that since my drawings are a long way towards professional maturity, she should be concerned about her appearance much less than I about my drawing skill.

This applies to other discrepancies between what others depict us and what we think of ourselves. The former can provide opportunities for improvement, but should not cause disturbances if we truly understand and believe in ourselves.

When I was a kid, my grandfather once told me that only fools care about what other inferior people think of us.

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Profile sketch of a laptop user

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Profile sketch of a laptop user

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Sketching a language learner

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

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Sketching a language learner

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March 14, 2019

College cheating scandal

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 1:35 pm
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I am not sure what kind of lessons these parents are trying to teach their kids by cheating with college admissions; maybe they have successfully cheated towards their own career successes and believe their kids can follow suit.

February 7, 2019

Imposter syndrome

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:55 am
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A colleague recently told me that he felt like being an imposter in our lab. I was surprised because in my view he has been very successful all around.

Many members of our research community feel likewise and need to shore up their facades. I guess we can all relax a bit once we realize everyone else is just like us.

Or you can be like me, too insensitive or self-absorbing to really care what others think about us. (I still pretend I do, mostly to fit in.)
🙂

February 2, 2019

Self programming

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 12:46 pm
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Instead of the current medical technology which looks like ad-hoc hack, I look forward to the day when we could program ourselves (e.g., at a molecular or genetic level) as we could with artificial entities, so that we can adapt to any environments and resist all diseases, including aging and death.

Maybe eventually we will still die, but we can at least watch the collapse of the universe.

PS: Reincarnation is probably the best form of immortality.



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