Confessions of a researchaholic

November 7, 2021

With great power comes great hassles

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:35 am
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With great power comes great responsibility, but the real trade-off lies in the hassles.

September 5, 2021

News are like clues

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:15 am

News are like clues in a detective novel for us to piece together the world.

August 23, 2021

The past future

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:13 am
Tags: ,

I found science fictions from the recent past (like Star Trek and Dune) very interesting in that they envisioned alternative futures that are mostly extrapolated from the science technology around their time (e.g., talking computers hosted in giant mainframes and inter-galactic messages sent through physical tubes), serving as a reminder that our future may turn out to be very different from what we can possibly imagine today.

July 19, 2021

The feeling of predestination

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:48 am
Tags: ,

[I thought about this earlier this morning during a dream, which I happened to wake up and managed to memorize.]

Do you ever have the feeling of predestination, of meeting someone, being in some place, or going through some events?
I wonder if that is some kind of mental post-processing that tries to fit a narrative to a past event.

July 18, 2021

Cross-cultural casting

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:17 am

I believe our openness to cross-cultural casting in films and performances depends largely on our analytical and creative capabilities – seeing through the physical demography of an actor/actress for the actual performance and imagining the potential alternatives with curiosity.

(I really like to see a black or female James Bond, even though I might have difficulty seeing a male actor playing Wonder Woman outside a comical/satirical role.)

July 14, 2021


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:32 am

I found it odd that a functioning adult can be put under conservatorship in a country where people can carry guns, sometimes without permits.
(I am not taking stance on either issue; just pointing out the irony.)

July 12, 2021

Are drugs interfering with evolution

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:19 am

Natural selection has been fostering the formation of genetic traits that fit the environment better as well as addressing any imbalance between the relative populations of different specifies.
The introduction of drugs has interfered these natural mechanisms, such as antibiotics that made certain bacteria stronger, and hooking people on constant medical interventions.

Our efforts so far against covid-19 continued this trend. Nobody knows what will happen in the end, but the viral strains seemed quite adaptive to all our interventions so far and there is a chance that they can continue to do so unless we fundamentally change our genetics and/or behaviors.

July 11, 2021

Today’s wrongs

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:33 am

There were values and practices that people used to take for granted only turned out to be bad or evil later.
Examples in the specific realm of people include race (slavery, genocide), sex (women, and more recently LBGTQIA, rights), religion (more people have died in the name of God than Hitler, Stalin, and Mao combined), etc.

Which made me wonder: what are the values and practices that we take for granted (or consider to be normal) today will likely to become flipped in the future?

One immediate answer that came to my mind is the expansion of legal/ethical protection of people towards biological creatures and natural habitats, due to the increasing awareness of climate change and environment degradation.
For example, maybe one day we will have legislation that gives all (multi-cellular) animals and plants the same rights to live as humans so that killing them will be considered as murder, or dumping garbage into a river, ocean, or landfill is like littering your neighbor’s yard.
Would that make a better future world?

June 12, 2021

Design has to work, art does not

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:11 am

Saw this interesting quote today, which made me think that “engineering has to work, science does not” and “product has to work, research does not”.

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