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2017.08.16 McDonald’s Broke My Heart

Malcolm Gladwell 最新一集的 Revisionist History: McDonald’s Broke My Heart 说的是为何麦当劳的炸薯条今非昔比,吓的我立即马上分分钟不能等跑到麦当劳点了份薯条压压惊。Revisionist History Podcast 今年已是第二季,水准虽比去年有点点下降,但还是值得推荐。

冷知识一则:我很早就发现麦当劳的英文发音和成都话发音非常贴近,真的是会说成都话就会英语,会英语就会成都话。

冷知识二则:截屏里的 Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History 是神作,免费的神作!

IMG_0011冷知识三则:去新加坡的图书馆记得带毛衣,好冷~

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2017.08.15 Sapiens

It is rather rare to come across a book that is educational and interesting to read at the same time. Some focused on laying down a great deal of facts, but failed to or didn’t bother to connect the dots; and some couldn’t seem to get even the fact right (no, I am not talking about most of the self-enrichment books).

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari is a rather rare book.

With more than 400 pages, it did not attempt to offer much that I didn’t know. Instead, the author spent most of efforts in rationalising why history of humankind progressed the way it did. In other words, connecting the dots and forming insights.

Though the title writes “history”, it is not quite a history book. Quite often, I found myself contemplating life and the choices I made in my life while reading it. It made me think about myself and for myself. How many history books, or books in general, do that?

It is rare also in the sense that the author values objectivity higher than political correctness. He questions things that we’ve all been taught positively, agriculture revolution and individualism for example, and “praises” capitalism for uniting the world. The unconventional ideas do not make the book weird, they make it insightful.

I recommend this book to all, not only to know our own story, but as a member of the master species of this planet, “Is there anything more dangerous than dissatisfied and irresponsible gods who don’t know what they want?”

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2017.06.27 Auf Wiedersehen

拖了快五年,今天终于从博世离职了。

其实从一开始就知道那样的环境不适合我,走终究是要走的,只是时间问题。但头两年的坚持是因为一份工作至少两年的原则;第三年的延期是对德国工作环境的幻想;第四年则是为了对得起自己的时间而拼命想做出一个项目(虽然最终还是给管理层拖死了);到了今年则是对公司彻底死心,熬到年终分红后就毅然提出离职了。我在给人力资源的反馈中写道

“… no clear strategy, nor commitment to whatever shortlived ‘strategies’; making decent products is clearly not the top priority.”

回想我2012年入职的时候,还是个对未来智能方案充满幻想的青年,也做过主动跟老板要工作做的“蠢事”。五年的光阴不仅慢慢耗尽我的冲劲,也慢慢抹平我在之前的工作积累起来的大量的自信心,有时甚至开始怀疑自己的能力,再不走就真的是温水煮青蛙了。

庆幸的是,在什么都慢的博世,离职程序倒是出乎意外的顺利。

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2017.06.12 David Copperfield (not the Magician)

断断续续的用了半年时间,终于读完了狄更斯的大卫科波菲尔。

刚开始还真有点不适应两百年前的英语,感觉有点像读惯了白话网络文学的中文读者回头去啃晚清小说,虽然语言类似但总是有那么一点点不自然。两百年的时间里某些单词的含义也经历了明显的变化,印象最深的便是 ”gay” 和 “want”。

狄更斯经常使用 “gay” 来形容心情高兴,这层意思在现代英语几乎完全消失。We had a gay old time down at the dance hall.

而 “want” 在大卫科波菲尔里更多有“缺乏”和“需要”的意思,而非“想要”。比如,For want of anything better to do I read newspaper for a while.

不得不说,虽然起步不易,但读到后面小说却越来越引人入胜。昨晚晚饭后硬是一口气冲刺读完了最后四章才意犹未尽地把书放下。

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2017.05.24 北台湾十日

网上能找到的台湾游记不是八日游遍全台湾,就是一天一个酒店的折腾,对我完全没有参考价值。本来打算十日里除了台北再去体验一下花莲乡下的,后来我都觉得搬来搬去麻烦,最后索性决定干脆就扎根台北了。

机票是提前两三个月定的新航,价格还算公道。在airbnb找的连住九晚的公寓也因为入住超过一周享受了个25%的折扣,价钱优惠的不要不要的。台湾的通信费也便宜的令人发指,中华电信的十日旅行套餐只要五百新台币,无限流量,支持热点共享,还送通话费!配上在机场就可以买到的悠游卡,台湾十日的必要条件就齐活了!

因为去之前完全没做什么功课,也没有换房的压力,于是乎我们每天都是昏睡到十点才慢腾腾的起床,确定当日出行计划,等到出门最早也都是午饭时间了,而对此我丝毫没有负罪感,完全享受其中。

总结一下行程。抛开前后花在飞机上的两日,八天玩北台湾其实还是有点赶。

  • 第一日,蒋介石纪念馆。可以看看卫兵换岗,当日太热。
  • 第二日,台北故宫博物院。非常不错,管理的很有国际水平,我还能在这儿待一整天。
  • 第三日,九份。台湾的Pocitano。
  • 第四日,北投和淡水。其他的没什么印象,但离北投车站不远的豆花真的好好吃好好吃啊。
  • 第五日,西门町,永康街,101。吃吃吃,吃吃吃,101没意思。
  • 第六日,莺歌。九份安达窑的店员介绍的地方,台湾陶瓷重镇,我差点剁手个江玗的汝窑杯。
  • 第七日,国父纪念馆,台北信义。听我一句劝,如果你那位是买买买类型的,就不要来信义了。
  • 第八日,忠孝敦化。很不巧,台北当天暴雨了,不然这边的小巷小店逛起来应该挺有意思的。

连续十天暴饮暴食,结果只长了两公斤,我还算比较欣慰。

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2017.05.04 Life is Strange

Recent years have seen the release of a number of so called ‘interactive film’ games, in which gamer’s decisions affect the outcome of the gameplay.

My first game in this genre was ‘Heavy Rain’ back in 2015. It was quite a novel experience to me, but somehow it lacked the excitement of a conventional video game (allow me to label it this way for the lack of better term).

The second game, ‘Beyond: Two Souls’, produced by the same company Sony Entertainment, offered noticeable improvements in pretty much all aspects, especially the story-telling, though I would say it is still not a must-try.

My third game ‘Life is Strange’ by Square Enix takes the genre to a whole new level. I just completed it last night and my oh my… It is fantastic! The story is so well scripted, cinematics perfectly executed (by the gaming standard), and controlling well calibrated that I actually don’t mind to give it a second play through. I was able to enjoy it a lot more than the aforementioned 2 games because LiS somehow gave me the feeling that I was free to make decision, any decision, without needing to worry about potentially messing up the ‘true ending’. This level of freedom, in my hindsight, could only be the result of the pursuit of quality in every aspects of game design and production.

The only complaint, the conversation near the end of the game can be necessarily tedious. For this reason, I rate it 4.5 out of 5.

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2017.04.26 Lam Yeo Coffee Powder Singapore

两年德国生活宠坏了我的味蕾,原本还能接受的星巴克豆子现在已经变得难以下咽。不知是心理作用还是嘴真的变刁了,刚开封的豆子都觉得隐隐的有着一股霉味。在新加坡找一间像样的咖啡豆烘培店就成了当务之急。

于是老婆推荐了 Lam Yeo Coffee Powder (南洋咖啡粉店)。

别被这间店的南洋老旧风格给蒙蔽了,他家的东西真的很正,而且只卖星巴克一半的价格。上个星期六第二次去那边买豆子时,跟老板谈及我正在尝试煮土耳其咖啡,但苦恼于家里的磨豆机研出不了非常细的粉。选好整豆后老板竟然提议用自己的机器帮我磨个小包装先试试看,事后还聊了许久关于咖啡的种种。现在的新加坡,真的很难找到这样的店家了。

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