Confessions of a researchaholic

April 12, 2020

Scaffolding knowledge

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:10 am
Tags: ,

Every information is a piece of an entire knowledge, so instead of treating what we learn as separate fragments, it is more effective to memorize and understand them as a whole.
This is possible because knowledge often repeats in different forms, such as through history or books.

In effect, Funes not only remembered every leaf on every tree of every wood, but even every one of the times he had perceived or imagined it.
To think is to forget a difference, to generalize, to abstract. In the overly replete world of Funes there were nothing but details, almost contiguous details.
– Funes the Memorious

April 3, 2020

The pandemic world war

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:21 am
Tags: ,

When this is all over,
The disease will dissipate,
The economy will recover,
But the world order will be very different.

December 11, 2018

Carlos Ghosn

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:41 pm
Tags: ,

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.

August 11, 2017

How to defeat an ideology

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:07 pm

The more we avoid or suppress an idea, the more powerful it becomes.

“The statements that make people mad are the ones they worry might be believed. I suspect the statements that make people maddest are those they worry might be true.” – What you can’t say by Paul Graham.

Engage and attack: attend-listen-embarass, rebut

July 27, 2017

John Urschel

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:10 am

Retiring NFL player who is also a current MIT math PhD student and his latest paper is about CVT.

July 17, 2017

You can measure the size of a person by what makes him or her angry

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:31 am

February 2, 2017

The hedgehog and the fox

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:47 am

Things are usually not all black and white, and worth further study before jumping into conclusions.

The travel ban of the seven Muslim majority countries is both cruel and ineffective, even though it might help me recruit students.

As reported in this NYT article written in 2015, the current H1-B visa system has plenty problems. Instead of a random lottery to address the over-demand (by mostly outsourcing firms), it is better to use a more market-driven system, e.g. giving higher priority to higher paid foreign workers.

In general, a skill-based immigration system, similar to what currently exists in Canada, can be better than the current family-based system in the US.

October 30, 2016

US election 2016

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:13 pm

All people are not equal across all space and time in human history.

Such inequality used to be determined by hereditary traits such as race and sex, but more by merits such as character and capability nowadays.

This election has been driven by a large negative force from those who want to revert to the old days of hereditary discrimination and protectionism.
But doing so is only going to make everyone much worse off.

I have cast my vote that can (albeit very slightly) reduce the chance of this disastrous outcome.

[after the election]

Like many people, I was initially very surprised by the upset.
But surprises are part of my day jobs: failed experiments, rejected grants, negative reviews, etc.
I am excited to see convention wisdom turned upside down.
A fully functional democracy can work things out even with a non-conventional president.
Maybe history will show that is exactly what we need.

February 2, 2016

Clinton versus Rubio

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:47 am

Barring major unexpected events, I could not see any other way for the 2016 US presidential election, and this will be a very interesting match-up.

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