Raising money

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Livingston: What advice can you give about raising money?

Graham: The advice I would give is to avoid it. I would say spend as little as you can, because every dollar of the investors’ money you get will be taken out of your ass — literally in the sense that it will take stock away from you, but also the process of raising money is so horrible compared to the other aspects of business. You can’t work your way out of it like you can with other problems. You’re at other people’s mercy.

— Paul Graham

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2010.11.30 Tuesday ACHK

三種煩惱

這段改篇自 2010 年 4 月 8 日的對話。

有些煩惱,是因為思考不清晰而引起的。只要調整思考,你會發現所謂的「煩惱」,根本不成煩惱。

另一些煩惱,是真正的煩惱。它們是因為外在客觀的問題所引起的。要有具體行動,化解那些問題,才能令那些煩惱消失,而不能單憑調整思考。化解問題有兩個方法:「化」和「解」。

「解」的意思是,直接解決。「化」的意思是,有很多時候,「解決問題」的最好方法,未必是「直接解決」,而是「把問題 transcend 掉」,令到原本的問題不再重要。

— Me@2010.11.29

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away. 

— Philip K. Dick

2010.11.29 Monday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Box

In quantum mechanics, a particle in a box has discrete energy levels, while a particle in infinite space has a continuum of energy levels. The discreteness comes from the “compactness” of the box. Can we use this idea to explain why spin is quantized? Yes! The “box” in this case, however, is the group SU(2)!

Geometrically, SU(2) is the same as what we mathematicians call S^3, or the 3-sphere – which is the unit sphere in R^4.

— Spin and the Harmonic Oscillator, John Baez

2010.11.29 Monday ACHK

自我虛實篇

The Buddha attacked all attempts to conceive of a fixed self, while stating that holding the view “I have no self” is also mistaken. This is an example of the middle way charted by the Buddha.

-– Wikipedia

— Me@2010.07.19

自我虛級化 7

2010.11.29 Monday ACHK

Users

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My philosophy on these types of companies — consumer-based Internet companies — is that you don’t need to worry about the business model initially. If you get users, then everything else follows. Basically any technology can be copied, any concept can be copied. In my opinion, what makes one of these companies valuable is the users. That can’t be copied.

— Mark Fletcher, Founders at Work

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2010.11.29 Monday ACHK

奇幻衝擊波

互聯網普及之後,情況不再是那樣。Paul Graham 的另一篇文章講,摩爾定律令硬件廉價;開源軟件令軟件免費;互聯網令 市場推廣 便宜。利用互聯網的話,「市場推廣」不必再是成本高昂的工序。依靠「自僱工作」為生,沒有以前那麼困難。 

有時,你所追求的東西,其實一早已經在你的身邊,只是你沒有留意。例如,互聯網在一九六幾年已經面世。但是, 1995 年才是互聯網發展史的轉捩點。那時,大眾才發現互聯網的存在(the public discovery of the Internet)。

Paul Graham 的再另一篇文章講,互聯網開始普及時(大約 1995 年),人們其實已經可以自由發表自己的文章,毋須任何中間人。但是,那時很少人這樣做。大部分人還習慣「要發表文章就要投稿和要出版社的認可」的思維模式。他們不能接受太美好現實:有了互聯網,出版文章竟然沒有困難。

結果,要等了 8 年(2003 年),才有大量人開始寫網誌(the public discovery of blogging)。

— Me@2010.11.28

The origins of the Internet reach back to the 1960s with both private and United States military research into robust, fault-tolerant, and distributed computer networks.

— Wikipedia on Internet

2010.11.28 Sunday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Debugging

Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it.

— Brian Kernighan

2010.11.28 Sunday ACHK

The Prestige

死亡魔法

Copyrighted by respective owner.
Do not use this image commercially.

The Prestige 令我心緒不寧. 一套戲, 竟然可以有百幾條伏線.

初中時, 我有學過少少魔術, 可惜沒有開花結果.

或者, 科學就是真正的魔術.

— Me@2009.02.27

2010.11.27 Saturday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Reassurance

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It’s natural to seek reassurance. Most of us want to believe that the choices we make will work out, that everything will be okay.

… But everything is never okay.

Finding the bravery to shun faux reassurance is a critical step in producing important change. Once you free yourself from the need for perfect acceptance, it’s a lot easier to launch work that matters.

— Seth Godin

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2010.11.27 Saturday ACHK

考試大事

這段改篇自 2010 年 4 月 8 日的對話。

將「日常生活」化成「考試」,就等如將「考試」化成「日常生活」。如果你將日常生活化到好像考試那麼緊張的話,你的考試就會好像日常生活那麼不緊張。

(CN:考試其實是很小事。)

不可以這樣說。我並不是說「考試是很小事」。這類句子,都是不負責任的講法。可惜,市面上偏偏流行這類說話。

放榜(公佈成績)前後,很多人會同莘莘學子講:「不用太緊張。考試只是人生的一個小小階段。」其實,我極不喜歡這類講法。知不知這類講法有什麼不當之處?

(CN:什麼?)

這類講法是「風涼話」。現在不需要你去應付,你當然講的輕鬆。如果要「現在的你」去具體面對和切身感受考生的處境的話,你就不敢再說這類「風涼話」。

易地而處,如果你是當事人,而又有人跟你說「考試只是人生的一個小小階段」的話,你只可以選擇憤怒或者無奈。不夠的話,還可以加點不安和恐懼。

負責任的講法,應該是要教年青人,如何以健康的心靈,用正確的方法,去面對「考試大事」。同樣重要的是,要在放榜前指導他們,放榜後面對不同成績處境,應該採取什麼對應的策略,執行什麼具體的措施,去為自己的前途,爭取最大的保障。

— Me@2010.11.27

2010.11.27 Saturday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

In between frames

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Scott McCloud’s classic book on comics explains a lot more than comics.

A key part of his thesis is that comic books work because the action takes place between the frames. Our imagination fills in the gaps between what happened in that frame and this frame, which means that we’re as much involved as the illustrator and author are in telling the story.

Marketing, it turns out, works precisely the same way.

— Seth Godin

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2010.11.26 Friday ACHK

自僱退休 1.4

(安:那可以引申什麼呢?要麼就在細小公司工作,要麼就自己創造一些工作,即是自僱?那樣才符合自然定律,對人的身心健康,以致人際關係,都會是最好的?)

大公司的內部運作,就好像共產主義一樣。對於每一個員工來說,無論自己的工作質素幾好或者幾差,所得的金錢和精神回報,都會和其他大部分員工差不多。當一間機構不是論功行賞,甚至所謂的「功」很容易就給其他人奪去時,正常的員工即使原本是鬥志頑強,很快都會變成神志失常。

(安:但是,「細小公司」或者「自僱人士」在自由市場中的經營成本太高。化成「大公司」的話,可以大大降低交易成本。所以,「大公司」還有它們的存在價值。)

互聯網普及之後,情況不再是那樣。Paul Graham 的另一篇文章講,摩爾定律令硬件廉價;開源軟件令軟件免費;互聯網令 市場推廣 便宜。利用互聯網的話,「市場推廣」不必再是成本高昂的工序。依靠「自僱工作」為生,沒有以前那麼困難。 

— Me@2010.11.26

Moore’s law has made hardware cheap; open source has made software free; the web has made marketing and distribution free; and more powerful programming languages mean development teams can be smaller.

— Paul Graham

2010.11.26 Friday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Scale

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So we have definitely said to ourselves, “We don’t want any outside money. We actually don’t even want to grow our team.” We’re trying to design our products in a way that they can scale with more users without us having to scale as a company.

— David Heinemeier Hansson

— Founders at Work

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2010.11.25 Thursday ACHK

互化法

這段改篇自 2010 年 4 月 8 日的對話。

人生,就是一場考不完的試。

以我現在的心理年齡,我再不會有特別的考試壓力,因為對我來說,每一日的生活,就好像考試一樣。

試想想,如果在某一天你原本打算做七件事,而到頭來只做到三件的話,你會睡不著覺。又例如,如果你在某次演講中詞不達意,你會在演講後鬱鬱不歡,無法釋懷,直至下一次演講成功為止。

我以前做中學教師時,每日的生活就好像考幾次口試一樣。平均每二十課課堂,我覺得只有一課是表達得好,沒有遺憾的。其餘的十九課,都是失敗收場,從而令我之後神志失常。那也沒有辦法。人生就是那樣。

將「日常生活」化成「考試」,就等如將「考試」化成「日常生活」。如果你將日常生活化到好像考試那麼緊張的話,你的考試就會好像日常生活那麼不緊張。

— Me@2010.11.25

You do not have to fear the exams, for every day is an exam.

— Me@2009.11.04

2010.11.25 Thursday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Continuations

Basically, continuations let you put “time travel” into your code. This allows you to do things like run programs backward, sideways, or in other crazy ways.

— Land of Lisp

2010.11.24 Wednesday ACHK