Eric's Tiptop Cola

— Be the change you want to see in the world.

Random Dreams of the Middle Class

梦想。英雄梦想。狗屁随机可习得的中产阶级梦想。

我们赞赏勇者,我们制造梦想家,我们期盼怀揣梦想的勇者,信奉着仿佛存在一个无穷的象限去拓展希望的边界,让可能性永不收敛。

与此同时,我们刻意地对这个结构视而不见,这个层级分明、无论怎么掩饰怎么变换都泾渭分明的阶级结构,这个再混乱再复杂也依然有迹可循的金字塔结构。

开始的时候人都是版图里的一个点,每个点置身在其中的磁场,不安地碰撞、探索、交融而又徘徊于此,于是我们有了认知,我们有了猜测,我们有了所谓的价值观,我们也就有了高尚和卑鄙的尺码,我们把里面最遥不可及的内容叫做:梦想。梦想自然是高尚的,梦想是值得追寻的,因追寻所遭受的一切种种变成落难之美。甚至我们天真地以为,那就是一切,那光芒之下诞生的勇者们,也因而变得动人。

但是我们却羞于启齿说植根于环境的梦想它有上限。上限所及之处,是目光交接地平线最远的地方。科学家起名字说远方的远方是奇点,singularity,以此概括所有的未知;我们将自己称为我们,却同时糢糊了阶级的本质,忘记每个人的目光所及,会因自身的站位高低变得参差不堪——我和你,你和他之间,当梦想可以被衡量,梦想可以取束缚,梦想不再是弱者的遮羞布,而成了明码标价的皇帝新衣。你我皆不同,正如这中产阶级梦想,也仅仅是中产阶级的冀望,它不曾真正关心自作自受的社会底层,也不曾代言为所欲为的达人权贵,它只是中产阶层明哲保身的漂亮言辞,它可以被习得,但它不可能被实现,甚至其实现与否也无伤大雅,它只是这个阶层的人们身上带有的特征印记。

这个结构它真的存在吗?我真的存在其中吗?若然,我能最终习得它来突破结构造成的局限吗?否则,一切的努力不就成了阶层的条件反射了吗?如我之所思终归属于我之所属,我曾信奉的努力不都成了历史长流里面虽然扑打但依旧顺势的浪花一朵?我应该怎么处理内心的冲动与向往,来说服自己现在的彼岸其实一文不值?我难道不会失落吗?

失落。从中产阶级可以称为梦想的定词时,我知道这种失落无可避免。当意义不再拥有意义,当信奉变成空气,再坚强的人也无谓坚持原有的固执。梦想不再是一成不变的精神体,梦想成了投入产出的锤子买卖,梦想只是带有阶层印记的梦想,即便梦想带有颠覆阶层的属性,也最终会被归纳入该阶层特有的属性。人们会这样说,中产阶级相信通过人们有权利通过自己的努力,上升到社会阶层中应有的位置,可是啊,之所以分上中下,是因为位置都是稀缺的,中产阶级永远不能明白这个道理,他们拥有的资产仅仅足够在和平年代安享晚年,永远抵不过来自底层泄愤般的妒忌和上层撢灰般的扫除。他们的梦想就如他们本身一样经不起推敲。恰恰是这样一个群体,他们最容易接受鸡汤般的激励,与他们被包装得看似华丽却内容空泛平平无奇的追求形成强烈反差。此情此景,叫人怎么不失落?

台词说人如果活着没有梦想跟咸鱼有什么区别,我说何必自欺欺人。活着就是活着,咸鱼是死的,人起码是活的。活在圈子里,活在阶层里,活得世俗,活得仙骨,都是活着。人轻言梦,梦不坦途。让阶级的属性回到阶级本身,让遥不可及的梦想变成明天的待办,回到地上,褪去勇者的外衣,拾起落下的进度,仅仅做自己应该做的事。若绝望便开始思考,若赌气那就用力突破,或赢或输,不存在另外一个需要我拯救的世界。我不是英雄,你不是英雄。人们为自己买单,人们之所以活着,是因为他们正成功地让自己活着。只有活着才有可能在下一个阶段为那时候的自己做新的选择。为梦想而死并不高尚——假想一个墓志铭,“他死于当代中产阶级常见的假阳具般的强大幻想”,不太值。不值得为任何挫折伤感。

长跑路上你可以选择下一步跑或不跑,但不要假设有一个终点会给你救赎般的升华;有的人不会跑到那并不屑一顾,有的人早已从那出发头也不回,你也只是跑到哪算哪。

该还的钱一分别欠,该牵手的姑娘一刻勿耽。

Fuck the fucking random dreams of the middle class.

As Always

祸福旦兮不可知,美梦不可负。
芳心未暮,好言如初。

多谢惠顾。

What Really Matters

换手机最头疼的事情是同步旧资料。苹果可以备份并恢复系统设置相关的内容,但是第三方应用数据、过于陈旧的的照片、视频和录音都还不能直接恢复到新机器。一种方案是使用网盘,有两个缺点,一是数据会备份到服务器,如泼出去的水,日后会发生什么谁都不知道,二是上传和下载都慢,还没有批量操作;另一种方案是使用移动设备之间的AirDrop,亲测除了某些标签会混乱以外,传输还是很快和稳定,一步到位。

传相册的时候我弃掉了部分临时照片和截图,还有一些静物照,基本无一例外地把带人物和故事的集体活动记录都保存了下来。我是一个经常扔东西的人,没用的累赘的隔一段时间就会清理掉,至少在目前,生活中与朋友们的点滴我还不希望被弄丢,哪天需要翻出来的时候大家一起乐呵,取笑那些年我们当过的傻逼。

回应题目,本文并不希望结合事例给出类似“比起XX还是XXX更为重要”的结论,而是想说,我们最好想明白是什么对自己更为重要,因为我们避免不了在丢弃,而所丢弃的将不再能找回,同时所留下的将成为我们至死乃至死后的定义——题目是个问句。

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Technology and Education

Forward one of my comments on the education anticipation from e-learning Ecologies discussion forum of Week 1, CourseraThe main idea here is that technology, as a catalyst, rather than creating new education challenges or eliminating old ones, simply manifests the fundamental questions we tend to ignore in the past, by speeding up the evolution process. The questions stress on what to teach/learn, how to teach/learn and interact, and what roles are needed in this context. Nevertheless, globalized online education does make some effects on centralizing education resources, affecting the social specialization and thus forming a “new” form of monopoly.

Dear ***, I think you made a clear point here. I myself is not an occupied educator and I work for an Internet company. The lesson I learned from the high-tech world is that technology seldom really changes the reality of human interaction and communication, which also includes education. Rather, technology acts as a catalyst for speeding up the process of evolution. Put it into the education domain, it’s long before the fancy online technology came out that teachers suffered figuring out how to better their teaching. It has been the main theme since early that how students can study automatically, cultivate independent critical thinking skills and develop a sense of questioning rather than merely answering. Technology manifests these problems.

On the one hand, whether a teacher should be a mere source of knowledge contents or a facilitator that connects students and the knowledge world reflects different philosophy views. In remote areas where education resources are limited, teachers tend to be the former alike, for the latter seems less feasible and less practical, while a developed world would demand the latter as there are so much information around. When the Internet Education began to penetrate into the remote areas, information gets proliferated there. Thus a mere content provider can’t meet the education requirement and teachers will have to make a change. Nothing magic.

On the other hand, we should always keep this in mind that technology is not the silver bullet to any of our education challenges, and that it’s the teachers and students that matter. Would the teachers be replaced and lose their jobs? They would if they can’t adapt to the new world, but not because of technology pushing a new world, but because these teacher simply fail to improve their circumstances, like those in any other ages or in any other positions. So do the students. They learn better just because they attempt to, competing against others who don’t and end up falling behind, no matter what technology they have.

Back to the discussion, James Paul Gee certainly describes the fact in some way and he is not exaggerating. What’s implicit and we need to stress is that the Internet along with globalization is shifting the education competition battlefields from communities, cities to nations. Some of the educators will win, some adapt and some others fade, resulting in knowledge production monopoly(who kind of “centralizes” the knowledge contents), educational facilitative professional service(those facilitating tutors discussed in preview threads) and a revenue re-distribution. Sounds scary and odd? No, it sounds familiar in this capitalist world.

On a Higher Standard

Well this is a quick sketch of my personal scheduling starting from the end of June this year, even if the closing date of which is not as clear.

Let me list a few of the subjects as follows.
1. History and theory
a. Middle Ages, history, trend of developing
b. Economic Analysis, how the subject emerges
2. Financial Engineering, on pricing and derivatives
3. Education
a. History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education(Started)
b. Leaders of learning(July 8, 2014)
c. e-learning ecologies(Jun 30, 2014)
d. What future for education?(Sep 2014)
e. E-learning and digital cultures(Nov 2014)
4. Data Science
a. Statistical Inference(Jul 2014)
b. Regression Models(Aug 2014)
c. Practical Machine Learnning(Sep 2014)
d. Data Products(TBA)
e. ESL
5. Writing
a. Crafting and Effective Writer( Jun 23, 2014)
b. English Composition I: Achieving Expertise (April 2014)
c. English Grammar and Style(Sep 2014)
d. Priciples of Written English I/II/III(Started)
e. Writing II: Rhetorical Composing (Sep 2014)
f. First-Year Composition(TBA, 5-7 hr/week)
g. Writing in the Sciences(Started)
6. Movie
a. Film Experience
b. A Critical History of German Film
7. Linux Foundation(Aug)
8. Convict Conditioning

The whole study plan is divided into three components, namely career preparation, insight development, comprehensive self-improvement. In addition, among the three parts there is a hierachic relationship where insight development is of the greatest significance, while career preparation comes second and self-development stays last. However, it should be clarified that these three parts are all important during my private time section, comparing to other activities in and out of work.

In spite of the passion conveyed via the plan, can I really handle so many domains at the same time when every subject of these requires efforts comparable to what a short(even long) semester demands?

To be frank, two key parts came into my mind when it took my attention at the very beginning, and they are still the main concerns till I’m writing this passage.

First issue is the time available per week, that is, how much time I can spend on these on a weekly basis on average. I did a simple yet naive calculation, that ideally I would have 3 hours of spare time on each weekday, give or take 1 hour depending on my specific arrangement and work amount of that day, and 4 on both Saturday and Sunday, with no bigger variation than 2 hours per day. In sum, I would have 23 hours or so doing my weekly tasks. Well then, 23 hours for six domains, not to mention the energy drained out from working hours on weekdays or the distraction from social activities, is it a fair price for the expected gain that seems so unlimted?

Even if the first question can be fortunately worked out with strong determination and inhuman self-discipline, what about the second one, say, the effectiveness of such attention-intensive activities? We can’t work like machines with steady input and output in spite of the wishfulness, and we get fatigue. Either within the same day or across days, weeks or months, we face decline in efficiency if things are pushed too hard. If this question is not addressed appropriately, someday the whole Utopia would go bankrupt.

Having said all these, the plan seems still feasible to me in some way. Yes, time can be controlled by better scheduling technics. What’s more, efficiency can be retained too if proper pace is in command. At least that’s what I am believing in, with a long journey in mind as well as a patient preparation. To make a progress, I need a solid and concrete fundamental knowledge system, which can only be built step by step and from general overview to specialization. In other words, this progress is supposed to be steady, gradual, and firm.

Since here, I won’t bother you with the detailed scheduling and the calendar stuff, and we will see how it goes.

On Manipulation

我想过是否存在超然于世的自然状态,社会可以自发有序地组织,从而作为个体能享受到某种程度上不受其他人影响的自由状态。这种状态对于处在被操控(显性或隐形)群体不成立;对于有能力操控的群体,如果还需要进行刻意操控,则不得不面临被动的施加操控,从另外一个角度来看依然是“被绑架”的状态,这种状态或许也不是自由;那对于有能力施加操控并设计出具有自我修复功能的社会的群体,一旦他们目的达到后,他们大概就是自由态了?不,会有其他的操控群体出于获利动机而刻意破坏这种平衡,导致这种“无操控”的隔离地带不能实现。

这样导致的结果就是,绝对自由的社会模型并不存在,而控制与被控制的对立群体将持续动态波动。人活在这丛林里,就只能选择其中一个阵营:要么去操控,要么被操控。仔细留意身边,或者观察历史,就能发现。

所以与其追求不存在的自由,不如更务实地回到当下——
一,理解;
二,操控。

Prospect

热战争不太可能发生。黄金这种动荡下作为通货在政府中传递的作用会越来越弱。

人类将受限与资本与智力。媒体、教育机构、企业、政府将成为两极分化的媒介。军队和政治依然存在,但博弈已经不是简单的流血,而是在看不见的意识形态中。

反资本垄断有了,但是不存在反智力垄断。智力的进入门槛越来越高,同时还有知识产权,将其变现为资本,未来是知识的天下。

如果说军事的差距、资本的差距还能用“肉眼”来衡量和感知,知识的差距甚至是无法测量的。

对此,投资也好,未雨绸缪也罢。

Toast

过去的一年,物质关注得太多,轻权重资产策略占了时间里过大的比重,技能集的扩展和深化出现了第一次瓶颈。

这一年目标完成得并不尽如人意,但即便是这样,仍有一些关键checkpoints可以在这里作个简短的记录。

1. 摇摆中确定了起步行业和进入姿态,a)没有进入企业专业服务和大众娱乐类游戏,机缘巧合地进入了线上线下生活服务类互联网电商,b)根据自身积累和特性权衡再三,没有成为直接价值输出的专业技能执行者,不再尝试以成为优秀工程师为自我驱动主动力,而转向学习曲线较抖的业务支持角色,收集消费者情报,目标是五到七年后可以接触和吸收更深入的领域洞见;
2. 整理确定了信息不对称下的执行策略,一方面积累自身可进入的限制性可得资本,另一方面建立借用他人不对称信息的可靠信任关系,其使用策略是完全一致化合作、接受客观随机且概率可优化的产出成果;
3. 执行策略领域扩大和通用化,渗透至日常可见领域。

策略确定、反馈收集、目标系数调整是过去一年体现出来的主旋律,当然策略的摸索又属于目标系数里的子集,希望策略作为目标本身是自收敛的;而其他目标系数则是不收敛的,与其说是目标驱动,不如说是目标反向评估,即评估系数。

新的一年需要更多地专注在策略执行,降低反馈收集的敏感度,延长评估周期。策略的调整则更多回归到技能积累策略上,轻权重资产策略保持适当的关注。

感谢身边对我有足够理解、信任和耐心的你们。

期待水落石出的那天。

Handling Diseases

对待疾病,不胜其扰。现在的策略是,认真对待病因,从生活习惯上调整;降低症状关注的敏感度,加长治疗周期的预期,把注意力从疾病中解放出来。

换句话说,把需要的做了,剩下的一切随风。人活一辈子,疾病不能成为主旋律。

演进之歌(一)

人受到所有外界输入的影响(环境,食物,信息),进而内在系统会因此发生变化。人所有的“自由意志”、“价值判断”也因此产生。人或许可以“选择”其倾向的输入,并为此改变自己的生活工作居住环境和自己的行为饮食思考方式,但即使是这样,并没有任何一种方式可以保证最终形成的系统能一致收敛。也就是说,人会成为怎样的人,并非只有一种可能性,或并非只局限在某一类的可能领域,甚至其可预测性也是未知的。

然而,以上是从个体观测自身的角度来描述输入输出的关系,个体无法完全独立地控制其接受的外界输入。如果从宏观的角度来观测其他个体的输入输出,事情将变得不一样。

假设存在一个独立的社会实体,其可以影响甚至控制其他社会个体从一出生所有能接触到的信息、环境、和饮食,则受影响的社会个体的思考、选择和行为模式将很有可能被限制在一个特定的可能领域之内,甚至收敛。

而实际上,今天的政府、教育机构、社会媒体和企业,联合起来很大程度地形成了前文假设的社会实体,于是乎,身处这个环境的我们的思考、选择和行为方式都是可以预测的。

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