Confessions of a researchaholic

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.



January 23, 2019

Doing projects versus developing people

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:06 pm
Tags: ,

I like the technical part of Mengqi’s SIGGRAPH 2018 presentation, but even more so at the end when she talked about never giving up.

During the early stage of my research career I focused more on doing projects, but have gradually shifted more towards developing people, which I found to be an even more interesting and rewarding experience.

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
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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
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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.

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