Category Archives: Uncategorized

Concert night by bike, Amsterdam

I ride and ride and ride into the dark,

Street lights are shimmering, the bridge is about to collapse into the thoughtful river,

and the facades are re-painted by the evening rain.

With a sharp turn I saw the pillars of the concert hall,

and “To the strings and keys of tonight”,  I drank up a palm of darkness.

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The City of Two Tales

Hong Kong is the city of two tales.

Around the universities where I have studied at, it was quite, young and innocent. The sea is harbored by the small bay, like we are by the libraries. 

In the neighborhoods at Sheung Wan where I live, life unfolds every corner of its diversity. The smell of the sea becomes the smell of the fish. This is the life that local people are living. Before I could realized it, I found myself already chatting with the old doorman in my broken Cantonese.

Grothendieck

Maths people got surprised when I laughed at some Chinese translation of Grothendieck, because they do not think I shall have heard of him.

The fact is that I definitely have NO knowledge about algebraic geometry. But I got to hear some stories and myths(among which the fact that his nationality is “none” is the most hilarious) about him through reading the book The Mathematician’s Brain. It is an intriguing and heart-soothing book! Many of my friends have read it, and I recommend it to the rest of them that have not read it.

Afternoon with David Hume

The sun was shining this afternoon. A rare event at this time of year in the town that I live in.

I was listening to an audio recording of a David Hume book. Nothing beats the inspiration when I watched the shadows of the trees projected onto the wall, with the words read into my ears.

I am not religious, but I am spiritual. I hold the deepest doubts about the human kind, but I am also willing to share profound admiration to the human minds that rocks our brain. 

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You Just Need to Kill

If you want to join a gang, you need to kill people. Once your peers know that you have committed murder yourself, they feel sure that you will not group with the police or betray them. Not that every gang member is morally bad, but their situation just left them with no choice. That is why gang violence is hard to control: Violence is the thing you do to show your commitment to your gang peers.

The same mechanism works for corruption in China. Not that every bureaucrat is super greedy. The reason is, if you do not corrupt, you cannot show your commitment to the group of your corrupting peers. That is why corruption is so pervasive in China: corruption is the certificate of commitment to your colleagues.

Academia is no exception. At the beginning you just need to kill in order to survive!

Curtains Alike

During my Europe trip last month, I was reading a book by Milan Kundera, entitled  ‘The Curtain: An Assay in Seven Parts.’

Most impressive to me through this book was a good comparison made by Kundera between the poet and the novelist. The poet is one who ‘gives voice to his inner world so as to stir in his audience the feelings, the states of mind he experiences.’ (Hegel), or as Kundera recalls in his introspection that ‘ I have long seen youth as the lyrical age, that is, the age when the individual, focused almost exclusively on himself, is unable to see, to comprehend, to judge clearly the world around him.’ The novelist, on the other hand, should be ‘born from the ruins of his lyrical world’, because ‘to pass from immaturity to maturity is to move beyond the lyrical attitude.’

Modern novel-writing, according to Kundera, is to unveil the counterfactuals of life. Life has weighted the events by a vector of probabilities, but the novelist re-weights the events so that the ‘counterfactuals’ (those with low probability to happen in real life) can unfold themselves. Modern science is the same. Scientific facts might not be obviously realized, but we should not deny their existence. As modern novelists, we are tearing curtains alike.

2012

This is my second new year in Amsterdam in the past 3 years. The four of us spent the ending hours of 2011 at the streets of the red light district.

Fireworks, canals, bridges and bicycles. The scenes that I am quite fond of.
Among the crowds of Amsterdam, everything is distantly close, and every moment definitely maybe.

Happy new year!
“It is better to burn out than to fade away.” (Kurt Cobain)

Barcelona

Gaudi melted the city into a mystery of nature and human kind. The human race is so sad to lose him in 1926.

A fascinating city, currently topping my list of favorite cities, in tie with Amsterdam.

Playa de Ingles

This is my first time to spend Christmas on the beach. I merged myself inside the waves of the Atlantic, and let the cool breeze take my breath away. It was winter time, but it feels like summer.

The sands make the place a “Yellow submarine”. We tasted wines in our apartment, and tasted life outside.

Merry Christmas. Feliz Navidad!

Snapshot testing

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