Schizomance from Love Hypothesis

The voices have stopped for quite a while in my mind, a couple of years I guess, before that stupid cheap and unrealistic love story elbowed its way through five of my precious weekday evenings.

Why does it have to tell the story of some biology grad school girl falling for some faculty who’s exactly 8 years older than she is; why does he have to show up literally every time she needed him for reassurance and courage; why do they exchange those text messages that make her grin; why he even helped her to revise the damn presentation slides; why they go get those sugary drinks and Japanese food and struggle over sharing a hotel room; and above all, why am I so boring that I have to binge read this imaginary shit?

Of course, there’s no screaming, but those chatters start again. The voices are not as annoying as they used to be, mainly because they don’t make sounds now. They talk via pictures, blurred but vivid pictures, and smells, clear and definable smells, and feelings, brief but sharp, with their own rhythm and punctuations. These things don’t tear me apart anymore. They just hovering above so I don’t have to actually fix anything. Guess I should be so grateful for this recovery.

On theories

Saw an article on PW about Hernan Diaz’s new book Trust. Maybe what Biao Xiang said earlier wasn’t right, not that our time is in urgent need of theories, but our time is the time that puts a limit to theories’ development. I thought he was right only because I rarely feel excited whenever I hear someone saying something. No theory is fun or eye-opening any more, like Freud’s or after him, Lacan’s. The only reason that no new theory is as enlightening is because all of the former theories are still good enough for our time. So it is not theories that need to evolve, but our society, our culture, and our technology. It is hard to jump ahead of our ancestors’ theories and give brith to something groundbreaking because our practice is far behind whatever the theories could be applied. For example, experimental physics cannot prove quantum entanglement exist while theoretical physics already established the possibility. We cannot blame that there’s no new theories better than quantum entanglement when we still cannot outlive the truth of it.

Cancel culture is bad as it puts “correctness” above the freedom of expression and the confidence that we can still ALLOW the existence of diverse voices. What we are lack of is not a descriptive term or a theory that could only fit into a dystopian kind of future, but to get to a place where we could out-see the former theorists.

Fahrenheit 451-Ray Bradbury

“She didn’t want to know how a thing was done, but why. That can be embarrassing. You ask Why to a lot of things and you wind up very unhappy indeed, if you keep at it. The poor girl’s better off dead. ”

“Luckily, queer ones like her don’t happen, often. We know how to nip most of them in the bud, early. You can’t build a house without nails and wood. If you don’t want a house built, hide the nails and wood. If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the Government is inefficient, top?heavy, and tax?mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of non? combustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely `brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change. Don’t give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy. Any man who can take a TV wall apart and put it back together again, and most men can nowadays, is happier than any man who tries to slide? rule, measure, and equate the universe, which just won’t be measured or equated without making man feel bestial and lonely. I know, I’ve tried it; to hell with it. So bring on your clubs and parties, your acrobats and magicians, your dare-devils, jet cars, motor?cycle helicopters, your sex and heroin, more of everything to do with automatic reflex. “

“There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us. Of course you couldn’t know this, of course you still can’t understand what I mean when I say all this. You are intuitively right, that’s what counts. Three things are missing. Number one: Do you know why books such as this are so important? Because they have quality. And what does the word quality mean? To me it means texture. This book has pores. It has features. This book can go under the microscope. You’d find life under the glass, streaming past in infinite profusion. The more pores, the more truthfully recorded details of life per square inch you can get on a sheet of paper, the more `literary’ you are. That’s my definition, anyway. Telling detail. Fresh detail. The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies. So now do you see why books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life. The comfortable people want only wax moon faces, poreless, hairless, expressionless. We are living in a time when flowers are trying to live on flowers, instead of growing on good rain and black loam…..'”

Summer-Ali Smith

“As in so what? As in shoulder shrug, or what do you expect me to do about it? or I so don’t really give a fuck, or actually I approve of it, it’s fine by me.

Okay, not everybody said it. I’m speaking colloquially, like in that phrase everybody’s doing it. What I mean is, it was a clear marker, just then, of that particular time; a kind of litmus, this dismissive not. It got fashionable around then to act like you didn’t care. It got fashionable, too, to insist the people who did care, or said they cared, were either hopeless losers or were just showing off.”-loc 67

*or we say so what cuz we are so passive in a situation as in Kafka’s novel that the failure is inevitable and we are so sure that we could change nothing.

“What if nobody said it in any original source and someone somewhere just made up that Hannah Arendt said it….”-loc 153

“Getting old is pathetic is you use it as an excuse for no longer being responsible.”-loc 331


Good Economics for Hard Times

“There is a reason for this. Most third-world cities lack the infrastructure they need to serve their population. According to a recent report, India alone needs 4.5 trillion US dollars in infrastructure investment between 2016 and 2040”- p73

“Making matters worse,….city planners who resist building dense neighborhoods of high-rises for the middle class, aiming instead for a “garden city.”56 India, for example, imposes draconian limits on how high buildings can be, much stricter than what is found in Paris, New York, or Singapore. “-p74

“…network connections, of which the family is a specific example, are designed to solve specific problems, but it does not mean they promote the general social good. It turns out, for example, that parents who worry about being abandoned in old age may strategically underinvest in the education of their children to make sure they do not have the option of moving to the city. ”-p77

“The status quo, the outcome of letting things be, serves as a natural benchmark. Any loss relative to that benchmark is particularly painful. This concept was named loss aversion by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky….Since their original work, a vast literature has demonstrated the existence of loss aversion and its ability to explain many apparently strange behaviors. For example, most people pay a huge premium on their home insurance plans to get a low deductible.67 This allows them to avoid that painful moment when, after some accident has damaged their house, they have to pay a large sum out of pocket (the high deductible). By comparison, the fact that they may be paying a lot extra now (to get the policy with the low deductible) is painless because they will never discover if it was a mistake. The same logic also explains why gullible buyers often end up with outrageously expensive “extended warranties.” In essence, loss aversion makes us extremely worried about any risk, even small, that is a consequence of our active choice. Migration, unless everyone else is doing it, is one of these active choices, and a big one; it is easy to imagine many will be chary of trying….Finally, failure in migration is something people take personally.”-p85

“The fear of failure is a substantial disincentive for embarking on a risky adventure. Many people prefer not to try.

“And if it is important to hold on to a certain self-image, then it also makes sense to burnish it. We do this actively by filtering out negative information…. Another option is to simply avoid taking actions that have at least some chance of rebounding badly on us. If I cross the road to avoid passing by a beggar, I won’t have to reveal to myself that I lack generosity. A good student may fail to study for an exam in order to have a ready-made excuse that will preserve his perception of being intelligent, should he not do well.”-p88

“There is also a long tradition in developing countries of governments using price and tax policies to benefit the urban sector at the cost of the rural.Some countries banned exports of farm products to keep prices where urban consumers wanted them. A by-product of these policies was to make agriculture unprofitable, encouraging people to leave their farms. Of course, these policies hurt the poorest people in the economy, the small farmers and the landless laborers, who may not have had the wherewithal to move…Mobility (internal and international) is a key channel through which standards of living can even out across regions and countries, and regional economic ups and downs can be absorbed. If workers move, they will take advantage of new opportunities and leave regions hit by economic adversity. This is how an economy can absorb crises and adapt to structural transformation.”-p100

How Google Works-Eric Schmidt /Jonathan Rosenberg

Don’t be evil.

-Messiness is a virtue.

-Stay in the office to communicate with your teammates, get away to be alone.

-Say yes as often as possible because it starts thing, it leads to new knowledge and new experience.

-Say “fun” instead of “fine!!!”

-The dress code is “you must wear something”.

-“We’ll figure it out” is a plan good enough.

-It’s always better to be the hedgehog knowing one big thing rather than the fox knowing many things, even you don’t know what that big thing is. In the 90s, Google works on one and only one thing-making the best search engine which is fast, accurate, ease of of use, comprehensiveness, freshness.

-Being open results in faster and greater growth of the industry. Being open means sharing more intellectual properties and research results and giving users East access to your platform. It also means world leading level classes available to all who has the basic technology to get access to the internet.

-We make it easy for users to leave us so that we win them by merits.

-Being open except for we are working on a fast growing new field that is fairly competitive. Google bought Android and decided to make it open while iOS choose to keep it closed. Both work.

-Don’t mind competition. If you focus only on your competitions, you can never create anything truly innovative.

-Great companies do the following: solve a problem in a innovated way; improve and spread that technology fast; grow upon a good product.

-Be a learning animal so you can stay forever young;)

-Set aside your prejudice and judgement when you walk into the door.

-If I open your browser, what would I understand about you that doesn’t show on your resume?

-Who you work with is more important than who you work for.

-We make position for the smart creatives to keep them. Do the right for the people, make the organization to adjust.

-If you love them, let them go after trying your best to keep them: listen to them; help them to recharge and make your commitment, ask them the elevator pitch and ask them to stay if the pitch is not good enough for us to invest; if the emotional attachment is still there, react quickly to adjust; if she really wants to go, let her go.

-Firing sucks.

-The best way to avoid firing is to avoid picking the wrong ones.

-Those who enjoys firing are afraid.

-The sexiest job involves in statistics. Take it! Learn how the right data crunched the right way will help you to improve fast.

-The best way to get ahead in a field is to know more about it. In order to know more, you need to read more. People complain about they don’t that’s the time. But it’s really just they aren’t making it a priority to learn as much as they can about their business.

-Combine passion to contribution.

-Blame Sergey! He felt hopeless about there when others were willingly to try. (and there’s a C*TV joke you don’t wanna miss out here… shhhhh)

-Make fewer decisions.

-Meet everyday for the very very important issues.

-If you want to change people’s behavior, you need to touch their heart instead of wining the argument.

-Spend 80% of your time in 80% of your revenue. You have to spend most of your time in your core business, and you have to love it.

-Internet is a tool, a mean, a method, all those successful companies are using internet to reimagining existing industries.

-In this world, information is hoarded as a mean of control and power. Most managers still think like those Soviet-era bureaucrats: Their job is to parse information and distribute it sparingly, because obviously you can’t trust those young rabble-rousers on the lower floors with the information keys to the company’s kingdom. But the Soviet Union collapsed, and while such a parsimonious approach to spreading information may have been successful when people were hired to work, in the Internet Century you hire people to think.

-Bill Gates in 1999: “Power comes not from knowledge kept but from knowledge shared. A company’s values and reward system should reflect that idea.”

-Always know the details and always know the truth; and create an environment safe enough for others to tell so.

-As the leader you need to hear the bad news. Allow people to share and communicate together by having a weekly company meeting called TGIF where everyone can talk about issues and problems. Everyone can submit questions via Dory, the question gets voted the most will be brought up in the next TGIF.

-Make your communication interesting and insightful. Make an argument or highlight to make things you want to communicate relevant to your team.

-Effective communication cannot be 100% outsourced. It needs to be authentic.

-Say yes to all forms of communications.

-Invest as little as possible when working on a new project that essentially benefit the end user but may hurt the revenue. Analyze the impact. When you bring it out as a product, it should be a finance decision based on sound data, and we will make the right choice.

-Focus on the user and the rest will follow.

-The users are those who uses the product and the customers are those who purchase the ad service. There are rarely conflicts between these two but when there is, we lean to the users.

-I sold Motorola to Lenovo cuz it’s not focused on a good product but having a tons of mediocre products instead.

-Think big. Set goals that are sound different but easy to accomplish. Objectives should make all steps measurable.

-Never worry about competition because it’s the fastest way to become a mediocrity.

-70, 20, 10 rule: 70% of the resource goes to 70% of the core products; 20% of the resource goes to merging projects; and 10% of the resource goes to the crazy ideas.

-Larry wants to digitize literally all books exiting in the world and hoping that when the day universal translation is available, users will be able to learning anything from anywhere. So he starts to take pictures of each page of a book and see how long and how much resource it’ll take to digitize a book and evaluate whether the project is feasible. This is the story of G Books.

-You have to run by ideas not hierarchies. The best idea must win, otherwise good people won’t stay.

-Trust people on making decisions!

-20% Time: hire good people and leave them alone. Allow them 20% of the time to do works doesn’t directly related to their work.

-Soft launch. When the product prove it’s a success, market it, market it hard and proudly, like G Home.

-Fail well. Learn from your failure. Any failure should yield to some technical and marketing insights and help to inform the next effort.

-Ask the hardest question.

-Ask what COULD change in your industry in the next 5 years. What could the company do to disrupt its own business?

-Computers and humans help each other to become better.

-Some young smart creatives may work on the next thing that may render G irrelevant. After all no business wins forever. Someone may find this chilly, but we find this inspiring.

After credit surprise

Smart Contact Lens that can monitor the wearer’s glucose level by measuring glucose in her tears. Spare your blood, spare your pain. 😉

The world is rushing restlessly and ruthlessly in a dark tunnel, but baby my baby, you are ahead of the plastic army, being the first one whispering to me, that there’s light at the end of it.