Pandemonium

E: Can you just, you know, like, just tell me the answer?

J: Sorry?

E: You know, the answer. To everything.

What’s the point of love if it’s just disappear?

There has to be meaning to existence, otherwise the universe is made of pain and I don’t like the thought of that.

So, tell me the answer!

J: The more human I become, the less things make sense.

But that’s part of the fun. Right?

E: What do you mean?

J: If there were an answer I can give you to, how the universe works, it wouldn’t be special. It would be just a machinery fulfilling its cosmic design. It would be just a big, dumb food processor.

But, since nothing seems to make sense, when you find something or someone that does, it’s euphoria.

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In all of this randomness, in this pandemonium, you and Chidi found each other and you had a life together.

Isn’t that remarkable?

E: Pandemonium is from Paradise Lost. Milton called the center of hell “pandemonium”, meaning “place of all demons”.

I guess all I can do is to embrace the Pandemonium.

Find happiness in the unique insanity of being here, now.

— The Good Place

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2019.01.27 Sunday ACHK

接觸永恆 2

Publish! 11

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每個人,都需要有作品。

你的作品,就是你的人生意義。

每個人,都依靠自己的作品來生存。

作品,就是一些,不會隨自己的消失而消失的東西。

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你,有沒有自己的作品?

— Me@2011.07.03

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2019.01.13 Sunday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Almost nothing new

The most valuable insights are both general and surprising. F = ma for example. But general and surprising is a hard combination to achieve. That territory tends to be picked clean, precisely because those insights are so valuable.

Because these start out so general, you only need a small delta of novelty to produce a useful insight.

A small delta of novelty is all you’ll be able to get most of the time. Which means if you take this route your ideas will seem a lot like ones that already exist. Sometimes you’ll find you’ve merely rediscovered an idea that did already exist. But don’t be discouraged. Remember the huge multiplier that kicks in when you do manage to think of something even a little new.

It’s not true that there’s nothing new under the sun. There are some domains where there’s almost nothing new. But there’s a big difference between nothing and almost nothing, when it’s multiplied by the area under the sun.

— General and Surprising

— Paul Graham

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2018.04.22 Sunday ACHK

The favorite place to find work

fecak 4 months ago

The problem with job boards is that unless they are rather unknown, everyone is using them. Applying through boards is essentially like getting into the back of a line and hoping you get noticed.

When I coach job seekers on finding new work, I typically encourage them to be careful not to spend too much time on the boards, and instead rely on their networks/meetups or personal research.

Using LinkedIn to search for open jobs is similar to using any other site, but it’s greatest value is as a research tool.

Say you’re a Python programmer in a suburb somewhere and you’re looking for a new gig. If you use LinkedIn to search “Python” and set a geographic preference, your results will likely be other Python programmers in the area. Where do they work? Where did they used to work? Sometimes LinkedIn will offer other profiles in the sidebar (“people also viewed”) – click those and see where they worked. Now you’ve got a list of companies that have employed Python devs, so you can do a bit more research to see if they are the type of place you might want to work – and pay no attention to whether or not they have any jobs listed on their site.

Once you found some companies that interest you, use LinkedIn to figure out the best person to reach out to. Might be their CTO if it’s a small shop, could be an internal recruiter or hiring manager for a larger firm. Make the approach, tell them why you’re interested in the company, and make a soft close to try and get them to agree to a conversation.

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iridium 4 months ago

Something I read a while ago that stuck with me – ‘When you are looking for a new opportunity, you are really just looking for a person.

This reframing totally changed how I look for new jobs, and what suprised me more was how willing people were to refer me, even if they had never met me.

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fecak 4 months ago

That is great advice, and to take it a step further I’d say not to focus on getting an interview but rather a conversation.

If people you haven’t met are referring you, you are already doing something right.

— Ask HN: What is your favorite place to find work? | Hacker News

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2018.03.21 Wednesday ACHK

Writers

keenerd 9 hours ago

> Three practices set romance writers up for success: they welcome newcomers, they share competitive information and they ask advice from newbies.

That last one is interesting. People entering a field do so for a reason. It might just be to do a job and get paid, but it could also be because no one is making what they want. Newbies unconsciously represent gaps in the market where someone with better execution could make a killing.

Brb, got to dive beginner programming forums and look at the types of projects that are so pressing that someone is willing to learn how to program.

— What gig workers can learn from romance writers

— Hacker News

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2018.03.08 Thursday by ACHK

Physical information

Information itself may be loosely defined as “that which can distinguish one thing from another”. The information embodied by a thing can thus be said to be the identity of the particular thing itself, that is, all of its properties, all that makes it distinct from other (real or potential) things. It is a complete description of the thing, but in a sense that is divorced from any particular language.

— Wikipedia on Physical information

2014.09.12 Friday ACHK

反白論起點 2.2

這段改編自 2010 年 4 月 10 日的對話。

無錯。上司時常無故出現的公司,不會是效率高的公司。那正正就是老子講法的一個反例。

最佳的領袖,就是那些人民不覺其存在的領袖,因為最佳的領袖,會令到這個社會,無災無難。既然是無災無難,人民就自然不會察覺,其領袖的存在,亦不會察覺,其領袖需要存在。所以,人民反而會以為,這個領袖好像無所作業,可有可無。

正如壞醫生沒有能力,或者沒有意願,一次過醫好你,令你時常要去光顧他。換句話說,他會時常在你的世界出現。但是,好醫生有能力,亦有意願,一次過醫好你,令你短期內,也毋須再去光顧他。換而言之,他極少會在你的世界出現。那樣,你就自然不會察覺,他的重要性;甚至,你直情忘記了,他的存在。

一般人也以為,「無災無難」是自然現象。他們以為,萬事不作,就自動萬事大吉。實情是,這個世界,因為天災人禍,是一個地獄。「有災有難」,才是自然現象,才是預設狀態。

如果你不覺得這世界是個地獄,那是因為有很多人,包括你自己,為你提供了一些保護罩。例如,「上班」就是「滅災滅難」的工序之一。雖然,上班十分辛苦,但是,如果不上班,你就要捱餓,更加辛苦。

「無事發生」,就即是「無災無難」。「無災無難」,近乎是一個奇蹟。所以,單單是「無事發生」本身,就要領袖,以至是全體的大部分人民,十分刻意、十分艱苦的經營。

— Me@2014.08.03

2014.08.03 Sunday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

反白論起點 2.1

這段改編自 2010 年 4 月 10 日的對話。

Chapter 17 (第十七章)

太上,下知有之;
其次,親而譽之;
其次畏之;
其次侮之。
信不足焉,有不信焉。
悠兮,其貴言,
功成事遂,
百姓皆謂我自然。

Great rulers are hardly known by their subjects,
    Then come those the people draw near and praise,
    Then those the people hold in fear,
    Then those the people revile.
    When one lacks trust, one finds no trust.

Reluctantly, without boasting;
Perform actions, accomplish deeds;
The people will say it happened naturally.

— Tao Te Ching (Wikisource translation)

老子的《道德經》之中提到,最佳的領袖,就是那些人民不覺其存在的領袖。人民反而會以為,這個領袖好像無所作業,可有可無。

(安:我現在的上司,就沒有這個智慧。我上司很刻意地,要下屬知道他的存在,繼而再顯示自己的存在價值。

我上司的管理方法,就是 Joel Spolsky 所講的「hit and run micromanagement」。「Hit and run」的原本意思是,駕車撞到人後,不顧而去;學名叫做「肇事逃逸」。

把我上司的管理方法,如果真是「方法」的話,比喻成「肇事逃逸」的原因是:

他有太多下屬,所以他其實不太知道,下屬正在執行的工序是什麼。即使知,也不會知其詳情。所以,他為下屬工作所出的主意,通常也有害無利,只會打亂下屬的工作流程,干擾公司的正常運作。

但是,他自己是不會知道那些惡果的,因為,他下了令後,就立刻走到另一組下屬的工作單位,繼續故亂下令。

從任何一個下屬的角度看,我上司就是「肇事逃逸」—— 他一時衝動,下了一些不經大腦的指令後,立刻不顧而去,導致引發一片混亂,傷亡慘重。)

無錯。上司時常無故出現的公司,不會是效率高的公司。

— Me@2014.07.28

2014.07.30 Wednesday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Feynman’s Blackboard, 5

Teaching is not filling a vase, but lighting a fire.

— Michel de Montaigne

From constructivist theories of psychology[,] we take a view of learning as a reconstruction rather than as a transmission of knowledge.

— Seymour Papert

— Wikipedia on Constructionism (learning theory)

What I cannot create, I do not understand.

— On his blackboard at time of death in 1988

— Richard Feynman

2014.03.20 Thursday ACHK

Try something impossible, 2

知不可行而行之

— 孔子

2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

— Clarke’s Three Laws

— Arthur C. Clarke

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. 

— T. S. Eliot

We need to believe in the impossible in order to remove the improbable.

— based on Oscar Wilde

— based on Satya Nadella

— Me@2014.02.07

2014.02.15 Saturday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

量子力學 1.17

因果律 1.22 | 語意互相推卸責任論 1.22 | Verification principle, 5.22 | 西瓜 9.22 | Make a difference, 3.3

這段改編自 2010 年 4 月 3 日的對話。

換而言之,根據「印證原則」和「萊布尼茲同一律」,你至少要在原則上,講得出有什麼方法,以什麼形式的實驗,分辨到哪一句對和哪一句錯,「量子自由論」和「量子決定論」,才算是「兩個不同」的理論。

如果,就連在原則上,你都講不出,如何分辨它們誰是誰非 —— 所有可能的實驗結果,「量子自由版本」和「量子決定版本」,都必定一模一樣的話,「量子自由論」和「量子決定論」就根本是「同義句」。

(安:那就即是話,如果「量子物理定律」是正確的,無論我「相信」「量子自由論」,還是「量子決定論」,我都沒有錯。)

無錯。你可以根據個人喜好兩選其一,去作為你的世界觀。

我個人的取態是,相信「量子決定論」,取其作為我的思想架構。「量子決定論」不可以直接運用,不代表不可以間接運用;不可以全部運用,不代表不可以部分運用。而「間接而部分運用」的方法是,透過「局部版因果律」,去理解世界:

我們越詳細地了解,越多的物理定律,只要掌握某一個時刻,某一個物理系統,越精緻和越豐富資料,我們就可以越準確地,推斷到該個物理系統,在其他時刻的狀態,無論是過去或者將來。

簡而言之,

所知越多,預測就越準確。

— Me@2013.10.14

2013.10.14 Monday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

量子力學 1.16

因果律 1.21 | 語意互相推卸責任論 1.21 | Verification principle, 5.21 | 西瓜 9.21 | Make a difference, 3.2

這段改編自 2010 年 4 月 3 日的對話。

根據「印證原則」(confirmation principle/weak verification principle)的延伸,或者根據萊布尼茲的「同一律」(identity of indiscernibles),無論句子甲乙的字眼有多大的不同,如果,即使只在原則上而言,你都講不出句子甲和句子乙的意思,在什麼情況之下,有怎麼樣的分別,句子甲乙就根本地,有著同一個意思。兩句只不過是,同一個意思的兩個表達方式而已。

正如「二加二」和「五減一」,雖然貌似不同,實質意思一樣。爭論「二加二」和「五減一」哪個才算正確,只是言辭之爭,浪費時間。

「自由意志問題」的核心難處,正正是帶著這種性質的言辭之爭。「自由意志問題」的意思是,究竟人或者其他有意識的物體,有沒有自由意志?

一個人的意志是自由的,可以做自己的決定;還是,一個人的意志,其實都是受制於各個自然定律,各個決定都是注定的?

簡化起見,我暫時只講,眾多意見中的其中兩個。其一是相信量子物理定律,而認為人有「自由意志」,簡稱「量子自由論」。其二是相信量子物理定律,但卻認為沒有任何東西,可以有「自由意志」,簡稱「量子決定論」。

「量子自由論者」認為:

雖然,宇宙萬物都要遵守『量子物理定律』,隨之而演化,但是,『量子物理定律』本身,內置了隨機性,不單只『容許』,甚至是『勒令』,要有『一因多果』的情況。

那樣,雖然,在同一個處境之下,人不會有無限個選擇,即是不會有絕對的自由,但是,在同一個處境之下,人往往有超過一個,可能的未來。

由『量子物理定律』所容許的,幾個可能未來之中,選擇自己最喜愛的一個,把它實現,就是在運用『自由意志』。

「量子決定論者」則認為:

宇宙隨著量子物理定律演化,一切事件皆是必然的,包括每一個人的每一個決定。而人有自由意志,只是一種錯覺。

雖然,『量子物理定律』本身,內置了隨機性,但是,那些『隨機性』只不過是來自於,邏輯上,我們沒有可能,收集到整個宇宙的所有狀態資料。如果,我們可以知道宇宙,在某一個時刻的全部資料,宇宙之中的所有事件,無論是在過去或者將來,包括每一個人的每一個決定,都可以用『量子物理定律』,運算推斷出來。

一因只會有一果 —— 在同一個處境之下,人只會有一個可能的未來。一切事件皆是必然的,包括每一個人的每一個決定。

(安:你想講,「量子自由論」和「量子決定論」,其實沒有分別?)

無錯。「印證原則」的意思是,你起碼要假想到,「量子自由論」和「量子決定論」在什麼情況下,有怎麼樣的不同結果,它們的內容才算是,真正的「有分別」。

而「同一律」的意思則是,「沒有分別」的東西,就為之「相同」。

The difference that makes no difference makes no difference.

換而言之,根據「印證原則」和「萊布尼茲同一律」,你至少要在原則上,講得出有什麼方法,以什麼形式的實驗,分辨到哪一句對和哪一句錯,「量子自由論」和「量子決定論」,才算是「兩個不同」的理論。

如果,就連在原則上,你都講不出,如何分辨它們誰是誰非 —— 所有可能的實驗結果,「量子自由版本」和「量子決定版本」,都必定一模一樣的話,「量子自由論」和「量子決定論」就根本是「同義句」。

— Me@2013.10.09

2013.10.09 Wednesday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

量子力學 1.15

因果律 1.20 | 語意互相推卸責任論 1.20 | Verification principle, 5.20 | 西瓜 9.20 | Make a difference, 3

這段改編自 2010 年 4 月 3 日的對話。

那彷彿就好像,你中了彩票,獲得了一千億元的獎金,存入了你的銀行戶口。但是,銀行的職員跟你說,你每日最多只能從那個戶口中,提款一百元。你就立刻發覺,窮你一生,甚至是十世的時間,都不能用盡那一千億元。如果你的朋友問你:「你是否擁有一千億元?」

你就唯有無奈地答:「那要視乎你『擁有』的定義。擁有而不能用,還算不算是『擁有』呢?」

安:但是,你又真的可以,從那一千億元的戶口之中,每天提取一百元去用。因為那些一百元,始終是來自那一千億元的,你不能說,那一千億元完全沒有用,完全不屬於你。)

無錯。

在這個例子中,你既可以說

我有一千億元的金錢,不過每日只可以提取一百元來使用

」;

亦可以說

我根本沒有一千億元的金錢,不過之後的每一天,也可以得到一百元的獎金。

(安:兩個講法之中,哪一個講法才是正確的?)

兩個都正確。兩個都可以用,因為兩個講法,都準確而完整地,描述了事實。

(安:那樣,哪一個講法,會比較好一點?)

因為兩個都正確,所以客觀上,並沒有所謂,哪一個會比較好一點。主觀上,你可以用經濟原則 —— 哪一句精簡一點,你就用哪一句。但是,在這個例子中,兩句的字數差不多。所以,基本上,你喜歡用哪一句,就用哪一句。

根據「印證原則」(confirmation principle/weak verification principle)的延伸,或者根據萊布尼茲的「同一律」(identity of indiscernibles),

無論句子甲乙的字眼有多大的不同,如果,即使只在原則上而言,你都講不出句子甲和句子乙的意思,在什麼情況之下,有怎麼樣的分別,句子甲乙就根本地,有著同一個意思。兩句只不過是,同一個意思的兩個表達方式而已。

正如「二加二」和「五減一」,雖然貌似不同,實質意思一樣。爭論「二加二」和「五減一」哪個才算正確,只是言辭之爭,浪費時間。

— Me@2013.10.03

2013.10.04 Friday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Try something impossible

知不可行而行之

— 孔子

Sometimes you have to try something “impossible”, because you are looking for exceptions.

Even if you cannot find any existing exceptions, you may still be able to create some new ones, in case the opportunity cost is still acceptable.

— Me@2013-08-19 12:37:42 AM

2013.09.05 Thursday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK