When people find out their food has been tampered with, they freak out. Why then, don’t we care about the quality of our news and information? Perhaps we don’t care because the internet has provided us with an seemingly infinite amount of choices for free news and information. This, in turn, has caused us to … Read moreClean Information Matters
Digital means that books should now be obsolete. But people keep buying them. I consider myself a very practical person, but still I cannot find the courage to throw away the books that I have read. Similar to my last post, it just feels too hard. Like I might be throwing away a part of … Read moreThe Best Books Have Coffee Stains
宇宙中心 (yuzhou zhongxin) is Chinese for the center of the universe. It’s also a common saying in reference to Wudaokou, the hub of university life in Beijing. But why do people refer to it as the “center of the universe?” Perhaps the reason is its proximity to Beida, Tsinghua, and many other well-known universities. Or … Read moreThe Center of the Universe Is Anything but Stable.
I would rather eat an extra spicy bowl of hotpot and then go for a ten-mile run than search for an apartment in Beijing. Why? At least when you go for the run there is the possibility of some intrinsic satisfaction and the runner’s high. When you look for an apartment in Beijing, it’s mostly … Read moreThe Dingiest Apartment in the Best Part of Town
Beijing isn’t a city well-equipped to deal with rain. It’s arid and rarely gets much precipitation. In fact, it’s quite surprising that the city exists at all given the lack of water. When the rain comes down, (as it did today), there will inevitably be problems. The city’s drainage system becomes overloaded, and the low … Read moreWhen It Rains In Beijing There Will Be Problems
I get a very particular sense of rage when I’m in the middle of doing something and I hear a message arriving on my phone. Here in China, the messages mostly come through WeChat, that lime green “do-everything” app developed by Tencent. I don’t know if I always used to get as angry when being … Read more“WeChat” By Higher Brothers ft. Keith Ape Is Fire
There is something about riding a bicycle in the heat of a summer afternoon. It’s so hot that your shirt gets soaked through with sweat. But there is a rhythm to weaving in and out of traffic while trying to move from one shaded area to the next. Maybe the heat is only bearable because … Read moreThe one with the CCTV Tofu.
Squid chuan’r is the kind of chuan’r that’s better left unordered. Yet it consistently seems to find a way onto my table. Go figure. I always try and explain to my friends that squid in Beijing just makes me think of the fresh seafood back home in New England. Of course, I leave out the … Read moreSquid Chuan’r (鱿鱼串儿）
Another hot and sticky summer in Beijing. I caught myself wondering today, as I occasionally do, about when I started to think of Beijing as home. Perhaps it was when I realized that it wasn’t the first time to sit on a sofa in a cramped apartment, sweat soaking into the cushions while the AC … Read moreHot and Sticky Beijing
Learning a language is a waste of time because… 1. The best jobs don’t depend on knowing multiple languages. 2. There is little economic incentive to language learning. 3. Polyglots have an eccentric, if not somewhat negative reputation. Learning a language makes you look smart, but it’s not going to land you that C-suite job. … Read moreLearning a Foreign Languages Is (Use)Less