Confessions of a researchaholic

January 23, 2021

git brunch

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:24 am

December 17, 2020


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:32 am

December 15, 2020

Email gift link

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:43 pm
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November 5, 2020

Two sides of the same coin

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:09 am
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You get your gift, and you get its curse.

October 31, 2020

Epistemic dependence

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:16 am
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I found this article a nice read, which highlights the much faster growth of our collective knowledge (accelerated by computers and algorithms) than our individual brain capacities (constrained by biology and evolution). Each one of us knows a shrinking slice of the world, and this has profound implications on our society and civilization.

One, as mentioned in the article, is the increasing need of collaboration among researchers, especially for experimental science. (At this moment of writing, it is still feasible to single author a computer science paper.)
Even though the numbers of co-authors of my papers have not increased too much, I do find it increasingly harder to know exactly what is going on in every aspect of a project, notably detailed implementations and user studies.

Another timely topic is about politics.
The policies can become so complex that nobody really understands what is going on.
Thus, each voter knows only a tiny aspect of each political topic or candidate, and thus can form drastically different opinions from one another. This can be a scientific factor driving political polarization, even without other factors like social media. Fortunately, Monte Carlo sampling indicates that with enough (sufficiently independent) samples, the aggregate estimation can still be robust (low bias/variance).
For example, the US essentially has 100+ million votes for the presidency, which should give us confidence on the outcome, no matter how ridiculous it may look.

April 13, 2020

Church-state separation

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:48 am

Why the US is celebrating Easter, a Christian holiday, but not holidays of other regions or cultures, such as Holi, Ramadan, or Passover?

What does it mean for a non-Christian to put her hand on a holy Bible in a state ritual like court oath or citizenship ceremony?

National holidays should be centered on nations (e.g., Independence Day), not religions.

April 6, 2020

Pay for individual articles instead of whole publications

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:35 am

Recently I noticed a few interesting articles that I would like to read but are behind paywalls that asked me to subscribe to the encompassing publications.
Since not all articles of a given publication are of sufficient quality or interests to me, and different readers can have different preferences anyway, I wonder if it would make more sense to pay for individual articles instead of entire publications.
The publishers may be able to charge more per article and yet readers can choose to pay what they need.
The readers, writers and even advertisers can be better aligned, rewarding good individual writers and articles over bad ones.

Unbundling is already happening for music and academic papers, and could be more prevalent for news.

April 3, 2020

The pandemic world war

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:21 am
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When this is all over,
The disease will dissipate,
The economy will recover,
But the world order will be very different.

April 1, 2020

Peak Asian American

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:14 am
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This is the best time to be an Asian American.
Half a century before, it was better to be an American.
Half a century after, it would better to be an Asian.

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