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讀道德經

讀完老子《道德經》的全文。我的古文水平麻麻,為何突然要讀這部道家經典呢?事緣我無意發現陳鼓應《老莊新論》一書,書中他用西方哲學概念來分析道家哲學。我從前對中國哲學不是不明白就是沒有興趣,但是用他的角度來理解古人思想,令我恍然大悟,對道學另眼相看。《老莊新論》是討論老莊經典的書,我從未讀過老子,只從書中引述的章節間接接觸原著,有隔靴搔癢的感覺。《道德經》不過5000多字,於是決定一鼓作氣,不管自己文化根底有限,發力將原著連同評論一併讀完。讀後覺得甚有得著,所以在此把學到的紀錄一下。

未開始前我先得交代慚愧的事,《老莊新論》是我1996年買的。那時興致勃勃,一直想一有時間就會讀。這樣等著等著,書一直擱在書架上,轉眼竟然擱了15年!今日才終於開卷,算是未為晚也吧。

Laozi Word Cloud

道德經 Word Cloud
www.tagxedo.com

老子所說的「道德」和平常用語指的道德倫理有所不同,「道」是指老子以為的宇宙規律。陳鼓應對老子思想有很清晰的概論:

「老子哲學的特異處,就在於突破了(中國哲學)這一局限,把人類思考的範圍,由人生擴展到整個宇宙。他看人生種種問題,乃從宏觀出發,而又能微觀地作多面的審視。
老子的整個哲學系統的發展,可以說是由宇宙論伸展到人生論,再由人生論延伸到政治論。然而,如果我們了解老子思想形成的真正動機,我們當可知道他的形上學只是為了應合人生與政治的要求而建立的。」

老子哲學的最重要觀念為「自然無為」,「虛靜」和「柔弱」。我相信從古至今,他的思想都是反主流的,被評為是消極和逃避的。因為世人多用主流觀念來評價道學,而要真正理解它是必須超越平常思想的局限。《老莊新論》所做到的就是開放眼界,引導我們用新思維來理解道家學說。

老子認為任何事物都應順應它自身的情況去發展,不必以外界的意志去制約它。他從觀察山水萬物的發展得出這樣的結論,而我就從現代科學的認識來印證他的哲學。科學令我體會到自然是如何偉大,而人為意志的是如何渺小,這正是符合老子所提倡「自然無為」的概念。Complexity Science對我影響尤甚,用complex system的方法來分析各種事物,無論是氣候、生物、社會組織等均可見這些系統是如何奧妙,要用人力控制殊不容易。生命就是一個極奇妙的complex system,如何由基因發展成人,我們所知的還是很少,但每一項新的科學發現都令我們更欣賞自然的奧妙。一般人以為有病看醫生就是請醫生檢查,吃藥然後得以復原。然而醫學界對藥物之類的療法有個術語叫Medical Intervention,即是用醫藥科技來干擾人體。用干擾一詞是強調醫藥治療是不自然,可能會付出代價的。如果身體出了大問題不得已才用科技來干擾它,要是小事就寧可不去干擾了。小兒幾次傷風感冒看醫生,醫生檢查過認為無大礙,就叫回家休息行了,亦沒有下藥。這不是因為醫生不盡力,而是他明瞭自然的免疫系統才是療病的最大功臣。與其去干擾它,不如臥床養病,讓免疫系統自然地發揮功能為上。這就是老子「無為而無不為」的意思。

在日常生活當中有很多可以應用道學的地方,譬如我覺得做父母也應該「無為」一點。現代父母是太緊張孩子的發展了,為了孩子成功事事主動幫忙。但是孩子每次遇到困難有大人幫忙,不是害他失去學習機會,將來養成依賴的性格嗎?我有時嫌小孩做事太慢或者搞得太亂想幫手,想來也應該克制下。無為並不是不管教的意思,而是認識每個孩子都有潛在能力,父母應做的是消取障礙讓他們有嘗試的機會,過份干預反而會壓抑自然發展。最理想是做到「我無為,而民自化」,不用刻意教導而使孩子自己摸索出道理。

陳鼓應在篇末對老子作出一連串批評,譬如老子常用類比法(analogy)來建構論據,邏輯甚為脆弱。我覺得他的批評十分中肯,而這反而更能令我接納道家哲學。正是因為這些批評,解除了要以他作為古代聖賢,要全面擁戴的束縛。老子固然是開創了道學的偉人,但古人的思想用今日的科學邏輯標準來看自然是錯漏百出。讀書不能一字不漏照單全收,而是要批判地過濾不適用的部分以提取有用的精華。

譬如老子說人應該「柔弱不爭」,大家一定覺得這是很蠢的,是退縮和不長進的做法,在這強調競爭的社會根本是不可行的。那麼我們就靈活一點好了,不要單純地天天不爭,事事不爭。另一方面大家可曾細心留意過自己或者身邊的人常執著於無謂的爭執呢?有時是爭持不下,有時是勝了一仗,但雙方從此結怨,以後得不償失。這正是採納「不爭」思想的良機。不作無謂的鬥爭並不是消極被動,而是走出困局,開創新局面的靈機。

我是因為老子的批評而更接納它,這不是道學認為萬物皆有反面的例證嗎?

2012.04.25 [] - comments

 

Book Reading Statistics

The Kindler e-reader I got one year ago has sparked a major book reading drive for me. At the end of 2011, I have completed 35 books in a span of 15 months. The full list of book is compiled in the entries of Apr, Aug, Nov, Dec.

Even though the drive is triggered by Kindle, I am far from abandoning paper book for ebook. 17 out of the 35 books I've read are physical books. I have done a lot to clean out the piles book I've purchased but never read. But this is offset by the new paper books I've purchased recently. This drive has also gives me a lot of confidence to tackle long and classical books. It has instilled a discipline in me to follow through a long book to completion. I plan to read Les Misérables and 紅樓夢 in the coming months.

Here is a little tally. There are 8 technical (computer science) book, 5 fictions, 5 business and economics books, 4 popular science, 2 academics and 11 are uncategorized.

I am still stuck with a number of academic books. They can not be read at a fast pace like fictions. There are mathematics to digest, and in other cases, paper or programming exercise to do to really understanding the subject. I queue them up one by one and hopefully can see some result in next year.

2011.12.17 [] - comments

 

2011-12 Reading List

I have finished 5 more books in my last push in 2011. Many of them are short books however.


The Question of Separatism By Jane Jacobs (1980)

This short book from great thinker Jane Jacobs takes on the contemporary issue of Quebec separatism. Unlike other discussions on separatism, which is invariably emotion laden, Jane Jacob is making a largely rational and non-partisan argument on the issue that embroils her country.

Drawing on the lesson from the peaceful break up of Norway from Sweden in the early twentieth century, she lays down the foundation of an independent Quebec in this book. Ever skeptical on large centralized government and the bureaucracy it brings about, Jane Jacob believes it is possible for an independent Quebec to thrive. Ultimately it can bring economic development and cultural diversity that benefits both itself and the rest of Canada.


The 4-Hour Workweek By Timothy Ferriss (2009)

After reading Tim Ferriss's 4-Hour Body, I've already decided he is not my favorite writer. But the book has come through the library reservation system after many weeks. So I give it a look anyway.

The idea of 4-hour workweek is he shows you how to setup a Internet mail order company, outsource everything you possibly can to service firm, and cut down most of the things you used to do everyday because they are just time waster. When everything works according to his scheme, you will have so much time left that you can travel around the world while money automatically roll into your account with little work required from you.

There are actually quite a lot of wisdom and good advices in the book. The problem is they are so greatly amplified that they becomes just hot air. His contrarian theories are backed not by evidence or statistics but total self-conviction and a handful of anecdotes. If motivational talk is your thing then this is the book for you.

Ferriss is a huge fans of what I'd call strict Pareto principle. The idea is 20% of your work gets 80% of result. The other 80% of work is such waste of time that you should just not do it. I find the best way to practice strict Pareto principle is on his book. Since 80% of the book is going to be useless anyway, I just skim through the other 20%. The result is I've wasted much less time on this book. As least I can claim a small victory base on his method.


One Day, One Dollar 美國華工田園生涯 By Peter C.Y. Leung (1984,1993)

California's Sacramento river delta is a fertile agricultural region. Back in 19th century, Chinese migrant farm labor are instrumental in developing the estuary into productive farms. Chinatowns are booming along the river. They were bustling with activities back in the days.

Fast forward to 1980. These Chinatowns are in its last days. Most residents have already left. These once bustling towns are only left with a small number of elderlys. To record the history before they vanish, historian C.Y. Leung visited and interviewed the elders and compiled their history into this book.

Migrant workers recount their story in first person format. They left behind their village in China to escape poverty and found work in farms or packaging factories in the Sacramento delta. They worked really hard to make a living. Some of them are able to move up the economic ladder to become tenant farmer or merchants. Many travel back to China to get marry, but after only a short union, they left the spouse behind and return to California to work. In some case they did not get to see their children after many years.

This is a fascinating book on a forgotten history. It may be an really obscure book today. But when it is first published, it has received a well deserved recommendation from then California Secretary of State March Fong Yu.


Programming HTML5 Applications By Zachary Kessin (2011)

This is a short book on programming HTML5 applications. The best is the chapter 2 on JavaScript. It gives a great tutorial on programming JavaScript in functional programming style. Otherwise it is yet another resources on HTML5. I prefer Mark Pilgrim's presentation in his HTML5: Up and Running quite a bit more. (The coverage of this two books actually have little overlapping).


Gödel, Escher, Bach

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
By Douglas R. Hofstadter (1979)

This is a fascinating book that probe the nature and limitation of mathematics, artificial intelligence and human mind. It is intriguing but rather difficult book to follow, with concept that involves recursion, self referencing, meta-mathematics and meta-meta-mathematics and so on. Nevertheless it is a rewarding journey that really open your mind. Also it has the best introduction to molecular biology that I've seen anywhere. At least it is the best from the point of view of a computer scientist.

The book is uniquely brilliant that it intertwine the abstract concept above with the art of Escher and Bach. In fact the author has created his own parable of Achilles and Tortoise and use them and their dialog to reenact the concept he is exploring. His story is written with much talent and highly entertaining.

Gödel, Escher, Bach also has a personal meaning to me. I have stretched the reading of this book over many months. Every night when I try to rock my baby Hangchee to sleep I pick up this book. While I was gently swaying him, my mind is occupied with all these fascinating and entwined idea of Hofstadter. Soon enough Hangchee will get big and not need me to rock him to sleep anymore. But while he was a baby, we read Gödel, Escher, Bach together.

2011.12.15 [] - comments

 

2011-11 Reading List

This is one year after I acquired the Kindle reader. It spurs a great push for me to read lots of ebook as well as paper books. I have a great run in the last 3 months. Many of these books below are from library loan. Still I manage to complete them under the 3 week loan limit, including Daniel Yergin's 800 page treatise "The Quest".

Reality Is Broken:
Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World

By Jane McGonigal (2011)

Great insight in computer game and how it motivates us. See my October review.


The Great Reset Cover

The Great Reset:
How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity

By Richard Florida (2010)

Reflect upon the global financial crisis in the late 2000s, economist Richard Florida contend that it is one of the "reset" period in history when old economic order are disrupted and out of it a new economic order will ultimately flourish. He continue to champion the idea of creative class and regional economy. He argues we should move beyond the old American Dream of home ownership and suburban life into the creative economy of the 21st century.


4 Hour 4-Hour Body
By Tim Ferriss (2010)

Tim Ferriss' book promises rapid weight loss with little exercise and no diet. This sounds like snake oil salesman to me. I would not pay attention to him if I have not went to his talk in the respected SALT Seminar in San Francisco. After that I borrowed this brick side book on fitness and all kind of superhuman achievement and skim through it. It still sounds like snake oil salesmen to me. I am not interested in weight loss. I just try to find a few nugget to improve physical fitness. The few things about endurance are either too technical or not at all as easy as he make it to be. No free lunch as I always know.


What Should I Do with My Life?
By Po Bronson (2005)

I quit reading this book about one quarter of way, like walking out of the cinema in a really bad movie. The book's idea is Po Bronson interviews many seemingly ordinary people. In each of them Bronson find a life story to tell and important life decision to make. This concept has never worked. He is really molding other people's story into his narrative, portrait them as lost soul in need of his counseling. Big disappointment.


les camarade de classe cover

同班同學
By 柴門ふみ (1995)

An magnificent manga of matured theme. Two young lovers graduated from college, decided to break up, and each individual have to navigated their way in the new corporate world. Even as new love enter their life, the past romance is etched in their memory and never has faded. I first read this almost 20 years ago while I was in college. I finished the two volume manga in one stretch and was left misty eyed.


Mid-Century by the Bay Cover

Mid-Century by the Bay
by Heather David (2010)

It is a celebration of the San Francisco Bay Area architecture in the 1950s and 1960s. Heather David's picture book introduce us to the modernist, suburban architecture style she called mid-century. She bring us back to a time when the world war II has ended and country was in the midst of an economic boom, an era of optimism and suburban expansion.

Those buildings that remain standing after half century have become dilapidated. This book remind us of their glory days and call for their preservation. For me I enjoy looking back at these architecture just one or two generation ago. But as a product of suburban and car worship era, I am not enamored with it either.


The Quest Cover

The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World
By Daniel Yergin (2011)

Congratulations to Daniel Yergin for publishing his seminal work on energy, a subject of central importance to modern society. Se my full review on Amazon.

2011.11.20 [] - comments

 

Jane McGonigal - Reality is Broken

Reality Is Broken Cover

Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World
By Jane McGonigal (2011)

Computer games are often considered time wasting entertainment at best, and extreme violence to be avoided at worst. Jane McGonigal Ph.D, the Director of Game Research and Development at the Institute for the Future, say it ain't so. Not only is computer gaming enjoyable and beneficial to the players, it can be a wonderful way to motivate and to let people collaborate to solve some of the most difficult problem in the world. She uses the provocative title "Reality Is Broken" to highlight this situation. I find she make a convincing case in the book.

She starts by showing us why game is so wonderful. Playing games is a satisfying work. It offers us a hope of success, and for many players, a call for optimism. Good games can strengthen social connections. And it provides a meaning and allow us to be something bigger than ourselves.

The book gets even better as it move beyond computer screen into show casing some alternative reality game that people do in the real world. It applies many successful gaming concept, like leveling up your skill, promote pro-social interaction and increase our happiness (happiness hacking). Some inspiring examples are "Tombstone hold 'em". It takes player to graveyards and induce them to contemplate about death (with very positive effect to the players documented). The "Lost Ring" game is promoted in the official Olympic website. It turns the Olympic game from a spectator sports into a discovery participatory race that people from around the world collaborate on.

Jane McGonigal's work draw on the foundation of positive psychology and play's important role in development and social function. It is a must read to understand the wonderful possibility enabled by games.

2011.10.14 [] - comments

 

2011-08 reading list

My reading activity has slowed somewhat since April. I have finished just 6 books in the last few months. The list is below:

Building Scalable Web Sites
By Cal Henderson (2006)

Cal Henderson explains everything you ever need to know to build a scalable web application. Draw upon his experience in building the Flickr.com, the book covers a wide range of technologies such as application building, database tuning, optimization and monitoring. A notable gap is cloud based infrastructure, which isn't on the radar screen when the book is published in 2006.

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (Annotated Edition)
by Edwin Lefèvre, Jon D. Markman (1923)

A fictionalized account of Jesse Livermore, a stock trader of the early 20h century. Despite the decades passed, the war stories still resonates today. A lot of things haven't changed. I have learned a few things on how market making works. (His role is simply knowns stock manipulator, apparently legal and without negative connotation at the time). The frenzy speculation of railroad stocks back then is a reminiscent of Internet stocks bubble today.

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
by Edwin Abbott Abbott (1884)

A creative novel where the characters are simple geometrical shapes like squares and circles. Despite the simple idea, it manage to tells a good story and allude to a social commentary. For an object in 2 dimension space to perceive the existence of 3 dimension space is a great revelation!

Web services for the real world
By Leonard Richardson, Sam Ruby (2007)

How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built
by Stewart Brand (1995)

Stewart Brand's book is exceptional. Will write about it when I have a chance.

Swarm Intelligence
by Russell Eberhart, Yuhui Shi, James Kennedy (2001)

2011.09.05 [] - comments

 

Compassionate Instinct; Raising Happiness; 亲历可可西里

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt has noticed a puzzling emotion, despite having no direct benefits, when people see a stranger helping another stranger, they often feel good and inspired themselves. In an essay in Compassionate Instinct, he explain this phenomenon that he named Elevation. The three books below examine the good side of human, cultivate happiness and to follow one's passion in defending the nature. To read them is to feel elevated.

Compassionate Instinct

The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness
Dacher Keltner et al.(2010)

Where once science see human as Darwinian and self-servicing, today's scientists are uncovering many deep roots of human goodness - such as empathy, altruism, compassion, justice and peacemaking. The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley has compiled a collection of essays from many leading researchers from different disciplines. This book is an inspiring work that gives you great hope in humanity.

Here are a few highlight from the book.

  • Biologist Robert Sapolsky has observed a troop of Baboons in Africa. Due an accidental circumstance, they have acquired a peaceful culture for this otherwise aggressive species. The groundbreaking observation is that the culture in this primate group persisted across generations and has adopted by new comers from outside of the group. His work is providing a biologic basis on peace making.
  • Scientist agrees that gratitude and empathy strength social ties, increase one's sense of personal worth and happiness. Apparent passive activities like watching a movie or reading novels actually invites us to join the character's emotion trajectory in the story world. Keith Oatley explains the empathic process of literature and drama and how it can help shape our relationship with people in the real world.
  • Forgiveness is a complex social play between the offender and forgiver. Michael McCullough find that most people have both the capacity to forgive and a desire to revenge. His research look for conditions that make the world a more forgiving and less vengeful place. Fred Luskin has a practice that train people in forgiveness, which has found to help forgiver to cope with the past problem, moving on, and even improve physical health. I myself find reading stories of forgiving are often a very cathartic experience.
  • Philip Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment has shocked the world in the capacity of cruelty in normal people. Now he has flipped the question around. If there is a "banality of evil", wouldn't its opposite, the "banality of heroism" also exists? Once he started looking, many stories of average people rising up at crucial moment to help other people even at their own expense, begin to surface. Evildoers often draw news headlines. The altruistic acts from these average people instead happens quietly. Dr Zimbardo's study aim to understand the social conditions that promote or inhibit these heroic acts.

There are many more essay strive to understand and discover deep rooted goodness in people and the society. It helps me to appreciate the full complexity of humanity.

 

Raising Happiness

Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents
by Christine Carter (2010)

Also from Dr Christine Carter of Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, this parenting book is lot more practical and personal. We all want children to grow up happy. Backed by scientific knowledge, this book shares practical steps to help your children and yourself to lead a positive and happy life.

Parent are so eager to do anything to help their children. Carter's first advice actually ask them to "put on your own oxygen mask first". Spare a moment to make yourself happy. Because a child won't be happy if the parents are stressed out or depressed.

There are other chapters to help establish healthy relationship, guide them for gratitude, forgiveness and optimism, strive toward a growth mindset, forming good habits and enjoy the moment. This short book is choke full of good advices and exercises to try in everyday life. If you were to have only one parenting book, this is the book to have.

 

Our 10 Years Of Kekexili

《亲历可可西里十年》
Our 10 Years Of Kekexili

志愿者讲述 (2005)

Kekexili is a vast high plateau in Western China with average altitude of 4500m. For the most part the severe weather has keep it a wilderness and a refuge for wildlife. But once poachers discover Tibetan antelopes and its highly valuable wool - Shahtoosh, they are rapidly hunted down to endangered level. With little government resources deployed to combat poaching, a grassroot Chinese NGO took it upon themselves to finance, build and staff a patrol station there.

This book is the personal stories from some 20 volunteers from all over the country who has participated in various stage of work at the patrol station. From pouring the foundation to building a watch tower or conducting wildlife surveys, from grass root fund-raising to construction work in high altitude with no heavy equipment, the volunteers contributed with all their passion to protect the wildlife and the environment from being threatened.

Their work is an inspiring story. Perhaps even more encouraging is to see the broad-based support they have garnered from the society. One example, the Tibetan antelopes's migration route is made difficult because it is cut off by the busy Qinghai-Tibet Highway. At the peak of migration season, the volunteers attempted to stop traffic to give the animals a chance to cross. Since they have no authority there, this is only done by persuasion. Unexpectedly most drivers actually complied. They even show great support and great care about the well being of the animals. This gives me a lot of hope on environmentalism in China.

2011.04.24 [] - comments

 

Review: Mind Hacks

Mind Hacks

Mind Hacks
Tom Stafford and Matt Webb (2004)

Mind Hacks is a tour about the field of cognitive neuroscience, the study of the brain biology behind our mental functions. It is a collection of short articles that probes into the moment-by-moment works of the brain. It introduce us the scientific understanding. Each piece is accompanied with "hacks", experiments or demonstrations we can see or do in everyday life. They are fun, clever and often surprising tricks that help reveals the inner working of our minds.

This book will help you appreciate how amazing our brains are. How it can make sense of the world, finding the pertinent information from multitude of sensual stimulus, and do so in near real time. Today's gadget and human machine interface are primitive in comparison. So understanding what works and what doesn't for us also help us to design better tools and user interface.

I started reading Mind Hacks when it come our in 2005. Some how it stalled and I only pick it up again and finish it this year. One thing is you should be near a computer when you read this book. The book is full of URL links pointing to demonstrations you should open to get full appreciation of the topic. Kindle doesn't help because many demonstration are animations. One issue is that in just 6 short year after the book is published, perhaps 50% of links are already broken. 25% of them can be recovered by persistent search, 25% perhaps lost permanently, with some uses obsolete web technology such as Java Applet that's difficult to open today.

Mind Hacks is just a snapshot of what the new field of cognitive neuroscience has learned today. It certain is a very exciting field and we can expected many new insight in the years to come.

2011.04.14 [] - comments

 

2010 Reading List (post Kindle)

Since I have purchased my Kindle last year. I have plowed through whole lot of books. While I find many shortcoming in the current generation of Kindle, its superb mobility trumps it all. I like to carry it everywhere and I filled much of my idle time reading. [more...]

2011.04.13 [] - comments

 

The Facebook Era

The Facebok Era

Many of us are aware of the social network phenomenon, but for a long time, I don't really get it. A website for for people to add "friends", posting updates and pictures? Is it a hype or is it a real game changer? In her book, Clara Shih expounds how social network transform the way people interact with each other, how it can promote sales and marketing, facilitate innovation and help people to keep in touch. It is a book that really helps me to "get" the social network phenomenon and why it really matters. [more...]

2011.01.30 [] - comments

 

Book: The Secret Life of the Grown Up Brain

The Secret Life of the Grown-up Braincover

Many people are probably aware that the world's demographic is shifting toward old age due to declining birth rate and longer life span. Traditionally, we see middle age as a transition period. Our body and the brain is over the peak and undergoing a slow decline into our old age. But new understanding from the burgeoning field of neuroscience often contradict the conventional wisdom. The middle age brain is capable of growth and learning, and in many respect, works even better than younger brain. Author Barbara Strauch put together a lot of scientific finding on middle age brain in her new book The Secret Life of the Grown Up Brain. Here are some of the interesting bits: [more...]

2010.10.29 [] - comments

 

Super Sad True Love Story

super sad true love story cover

Just completed the novel Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart. I have a great time reading his super hilarious satire. And true to its title, the story gets sad at the end. His self deprecating image, the declining American Empire and the once glamor New York city evokes Woody Allen. But the first half of the book is so pack full of hysterical and absurd jokes that shows he is a peer of Quentin Tarantino in the literature world. [more...]

2010.10.24 [] - comments

 

Book review - Hackers - Heroes of the Computer Revolution

In Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, Steven Levy portrayed a tribe of people doing amazing exploration at the dawn of computing age. Incredibly brilliant, the genius from MIT students labs has discovered computer, which is a expensive commodity supposed to be sanctioned for academic research at the time. These hacker spend every hour exploring and advancing computer's capability, or sometimes just plain having fun. Their wizardry putting everyone in complete awe. [more...]

2010.10.04 [] - comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kindle 3 First Impression

I am not really a gadget person. When the Amazon Kindle first come out, I shrugged it off. It maybe a nice gadget, but what does it really do for me to justify the $300+ price tag? So I ignored it for 3 years. It was a surprised when Kindle 3 is announced, I latched on it at once. The affordable $189 price point is certainly a factor. And a web browser with unlimited 3G wireless? Perhaps I can ditch my smart phone and save big without the expensive data plan? So I placed my order immediately, was told it was sold out and the lead time to shipping will be about one month. The anticipation was overwhelming. I started to check for the order status and other user review obsessively. I have even ordered a few E-books to be really to load on the device. It finally arrived at my door step yesterday, one week before the promised date. [more...]

2010.09.08 [, , ] - comments

 

Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes

I have just finished a fascinating book, Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes by Gary Belsky and Thomas Gilovich. Traditional economics considers people as rational being, acting to optimize one's own welfare. In practice, few people really acting rationally all the time. Even well informed people have found to make many faulted financial decisions. Behavioral economics incorporates psychology and cognitive factor into consideration. It have found great insight into people decision making process. [more...]

2010.05.27 [, ] - comments

 

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