Confessions of a researchaholic

December 11, 2018

Carlos Ghosn

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:41 pm
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Mediocre people, when they have the right chance, can still hurt better people in unexpected ways. I am glad that I learned this lesson early enough so the damage I received is quite limited.
I am less sure about him though.

December 3, 2018

Integrity, intelligence, and energy

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:48 am
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Warren Buffett once said to look for three qualities for people to work with: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And without the first one, the other two will kill you.

However, history is full of people who committed grave atrocities due to lack of intelligence, even with good intention and integrity. And I have witnessed people causing less damages who are not as dangerous but still annoying.

Thus, lacking intelligence is no less dangerous than lacking integrity. Avoid such people as much as possible.

November 24, 2018

Objective perception of subjective reality

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:24 am
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A core skill, in art, science, or even life, is the ability and willingness to objectively perceive subjective reality.

Notice the swap of the two adjectives. Supposedly, perception is subjective and reality is objective. However, that is a fixed given condition. Our bodies and brains act like filters, so reality is always subjective. What we can strive for is objective perception and depiction of the (given) subjective reality.

For example, in drawing, one has to perceive what is really out there, which can vary depending on the individual subjectivity, in the physical world, in the memory, or in the imagination.

In deriving a math proof or following a scientific argument, one has to rely on what is assumed to be true (axioms, theorems, conjectures) which are subjective by nature.

Shifting competition

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:12 am

When I was a kid I skipped most art classes to focus more on competing against my peers (e.g. math).

Now, no longer feeling such needs, I shift the focus to compete against myself. To beat the past version of me, my best chance is to develop soft powers, such as artistic and personal skills. I could pick these up so far even lying dormant inside me for all these years.

November 5, 2018

A bipolar city

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:43 am
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In a fancy restaurant, two guys in their early twenties were boasting about the funding of (their?) biotech startups, faces red with excitement boosted from their blood alcohol levels and profanity-filled conversations which, even without biotech background, I can detect nonsense from their tones, facial expressions, and body languages.

Meanwhile, on the streets scattered a few guys gathering manhole cover heat, and on a BART train, a guy was telling random strangers about his difficulty of finding jobs.

October 27, 2018

Academic lineage

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:57 am
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My academic lineage traces to Jung and Freud instead of Gauss, Laplace, Newton, or Leibniz.
I guess this partially explains my research interest and mentoring style.

July 25, 2018

Wild boar

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:19 am

Important message from Executive Vice-President [of HKU]

Dear colleagues and students,

The University was informed by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) that there had been an incident of a wild boar attacking pedestrians at Lyttleton Road Exit this morning (July 24, 2018).

For safety sake, please stay at a distance from any wild animal, and if possible, please avoid walking close to the hill side. The AFCD will visit the campus tomorrow and provide professional advice and appropriate actions.

Any sighting of or encounter with wild boars on or near the campus should be reported to the University’s security team immediately.

July 23, 2018


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:39 pm

A rising star in HCI pinged me about my physical whereabouts. I asked if he would like to drop by for a visit, and he told me that he was here last Friday for the fellowship award ceremony, which I skipped to get some work done despite the UR manager knocking on the door.

Like many wise people have cautioned, we never regret not doing enough work.

June 18, 2018

Tour of hell

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 11:54 am

According to the guided tool of hell in SF Asian art museum, what we experienced during our journey to hell is a synthesis of our own (negative) thinking and experiences accumulated during our life time, such as desires and regrets. To get out of the hell, we need to free our own minds.

I stood there thinking what kind of hell I would go through, and I counted (1) not spending enough time with people I care and (2) failing to fully realize my abilities to benefit others.

June 9, 2018


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.

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