决定的由来

今天又是晴朗的一天。和昨天看上去好像没有什么区别的样子。紫色的缀缀的花絮依然俏丽的挂于枝头,随风碎碎的摆动起来,好像那清香的气息也被缱绻进清凉的春风中,飘香远方。碎落于地上的花瓣也铺成了一层细细的富有浪漫气息的阳光地毯,怕是会小心翼翼的从边上绕过而不忍心于触碰到那还欲滴的紫色的魅力。阳光照耀在黄绿色的柠檬树的枝头,青青的柠檬映射出温和的金色的光芒,仿佛暗示着即将来临的丰收和成熟。楼下的绿地小草依然还是那么清爽和友好,不知道什么时候我会双手触碰大地,抬头仰望天空,或是看其万里无云,或是看云舒云卷。

日复一日,年复一年。花开花落,春去秋来。沧海不曾变桑田,物是却人非。回忆至三年前,若是现在的自己回到过去,告诉当时的自己,这三年来都发生了什么,当时的自己会是一种什么样的心情来倾听。说,你三年后会坐在客厅,目视窗外而浮想翩翩,身处于斯坦福,身边有关系很要好的朋友,还有一个爱你的男人,你会作何感想。若是我自身,想必,应该会很高兴罢,情理之中意料之内?或是说,这一切都是我应得的。但是生活永远比故事要来得精彩的多,但当然,也复杂的多。我从不对未来做任何具体的期待,但是却又忍不住很早就开始为其做准备。所以有人说,现在的自己全是要归功于三年前的决定。

三年前,两年前,一年前。一年前,我看到了斯坦福和哈佛的项目,凭着兴趣申请,然后最终选择了斯坦福。两年前,我开始骑车的旅行,我开始发生让我自己都惊讶的心灵成长。三年前,我好像在什么都不知道的情况下做出了骑车旅行的决定。同时三年前我好像开始计划要提前一年毕业。三年前我好像突然醒悟,对一个人很傻很认真的付出得不到回报是因为,建立于关心和自我牺牲的感情岌岌可危,如空中楼阁,轻易的一些创伤就可以即刻倾塌。三年前,我不知道我会何去何从,学习心理并不是一个传统意义的决定,因为她不是一个经典已经很多人走过的道路,我并没有很多前车之鉴。三年前,我身边也有着一群无话不谈的好朋友,和他们在一起是让我觉得人生有意义的很重要的一部分。三年前,我积极的参加各种活动主动的去认识各种各样的人,但是别人说,你认识别人不算厉害,而是应该让别人都认识你。三年前,我的英语好像还是很不自信,于是还沉浸于每次发言之前都要脸红心跳的状态。三年前,我是个小姑娘。我懵懂却懂得如何规划自己的人生,即使看不到前方的可以歇脚的地方,因为我相信,我对生活虔诚认真的态度是会有回报的。

转眼三年都过去了。我也不知道我如何实现到了现在的这个样子。我只知道,一切我认为有意义的事情我都会去做,我不会让我的青春后悔,人生只有一次,没有机会可以让你重新来过。三年中,我对自己最满意的地方就是,勇于去尝试少有人做的事情。虽然这些事情都是很辛苦很艰难,很多超出了我的预料,但是我既然选择了它就一定要坚持下去。因为我懂得,我的选择代表了我的意志,遵从我的意志就不会让我将来后悔。至于,能实现到哪一步,我控制不了也预计不到,何不留些悬念和惊喜,只要现在认真的踏实的走好每一步,对每一步都负责不后悔,那么实现到的结果多半也是不会后悔的。人生是个复杂的概率游戏,人算不如天算,手头的信息永远是局限的,与其精打细算,步步为营,不如步步踏实,目视远方的目标,遵循自己的人生原则,一点点的走向那里。还记得和同学聊天说,开始谈恋爱,Why so serious? 同时想起当时初中某人说,怎么不多谈几个玩儿玩儿呢?其实当时,我根本没有意识到这个话是什么意思,玩儿玩儿是什么意思?为什么多谈几个就是玩儿玩儿了?总之就是不太明白,直到后来,我开始一段感情后,才逐渐意识到,这句话是什么意思。每个人都是精彩的,不同的,和不同的人深入了解,是会看到不同的乐趣,说实话,若是从我的专业背景来讲,我应该是真的很愿意去做这样的事情,因为我的兴趣永远是在人,本身。回到那个问题,他们说, Why so serious?我立刻说道,Why not so serious? 他们说,又不是谈婚论嫁的年龄,干嘛要认真。其实我懂得,他们也就这么一说,真正做起来的时候,可能也就身不由己了。不过我总感觉,好像,不是结婚就不要认真了么?如果不认真的话岂不是很容易辜负了自己的一片真心?还有就是,为什么不要认真呢?分开和认真其实本质上真的只是两个问题。分开可以有很多很多的原因,而且很多是人本身决定不了的,但是认真不认真却是完全由自己来投入的。认真不代表一味的付出,不代表死守关系绝不分开,不代表你就是我唯一的天堂。我认为认真代表做一切认为自己是对的的事情,尽自己的努力,不失尊严,快乐的去创造。若是两个人齐心协力认真的奋斗耕耘,不是一件很幸运的事情么?若是对方始终认真不起来,那么就应该认真的对待自己,做出正确的决定。

学习,生活,感情,工作,一切一切。其实很多时候,最重要的是坚守自己的原则,切不可随意倾听,随便认为他人嘴中所讲就为绝对真理。要会去质疑,去思考,这样做对自己,对别人,对这个世界会带来什么样的改变?为什么他人说的就是对的?其实很可能,是因为大多数人都这样做了而已;若愿成为主流的一部分,跟着走下去怕是没有什么问题的。但若是要对的起自己的内心,过出自己的生活,怕是更多的决定要自己亲力亲为,反问自己,这是我想要的么?我为什么要这样做?我甘心承担他的结果么?这样做我会不会快乐?

若是认真,对己,对人,对事,对物,怕是很难给自己后悔的机会,人生也应该过的是踏实充实的吧。若是认真,对己,对人,对事,对物,怕是很难给自己后悔的机会,人生也应该过的是踏实充实的罢。今天,窗外的片片紫色依旧的的亮眼动人,春色一片,展示着生命的魅力和力量

精英|责任

今天终于写来了这篇文章。我一直很坚定的认为,如果你认为自己是这个社会的精英人才,那么就要有觉悟去承担相应的责任和义务——利用你所学到的知识,能力,来帮助解决你所生活在的环境里的问题,为一个更加美好的生活环境来尽自己的一份力量。

具体说来,最近新的流感爆发,影响很大。我看了一篇讲猪肉小贩因病去世的故事。看完后真的很伤心,家里的顶梁柱为了孩子有个更好的生活环境,很辛苦的来到大城市拼命打工却不幸染上了疾病而去世。家里的孩子还小,想到小朋友没有爸爸了就更加难过起来。看文章的评论说,医院怎么样怎么样,医者不仁慈什么的。我不想带着一种中国式惯有的世态炎凉偏见的态度来看待这些问题,因为事情的缘由细节谁也不清楚,也许医者确实有问题吧。在我眼里,事实是,悲剧发生了,同时又想到,他这样的并不是个例,也许很多人被欺负,很多人被打压,很多很多人遭受着我可能根本想象不到的悲惨经历。想到这里,一边感谢自己可以有机会在很平和的环境里看完这个文章,一边感觉到,还有太多太多的问题等待着有能力的人去修复填补。那请问,谁是去修补的人呢?

原来,最经常看到的评论就是,“政府干什么去了!”“实在是太失望了!”之类的。虽然政府有着人力,财力和精力来解决这些问题,但是,他们不是唯一的解决途径,这样的说法仿佛是在说“我没有能力解决这样的问题,只有政府有,但是他们又什么事情都不做,真是太不应该了!”于是就开始大骂特骂。每一个个体把自己和政府的关系划的清清楚楚的——你是你的,我是我的,我管我的生活,你管你的社会,咱俩没啥关系,你要是没管好社会,那是你的问题,我肯定要骂你,对吧?你还拿了我的税钱呢!在成功的谈判里,最重要的一条前提就是,双方懂得自己真正想要的东西是什么,不能纠结在眼前的一个表层的问题上而忽略了核心问题,打个比方:我要买你一个手机,我说我就出两千,你非要三千,那如果我们纠结两千还是三千,是很难妥协的。其实真正的问题是,双方彼此认为如果妥协了对方,自己就亏了,那么什么是亏了?就是不合算,价值不够高。如果明白了是价值的问题,那我完全可以说,我出两千,同时我借你用我闲置的电脑两个月,也许你就会同意,因为你正好需要用个电脑。这个例子有点长了,不过意思就是说,如果只纠结到底谁错了这个很表层的问题,真正的问题是不会得到解决的,所以注意力应该被投放在真正的问题身上。问题有很多, 比如,空气质量低下,食品问题,教育资源问题,或者一些个人的,社区里的空巢老人等等。难道面对着你的小区里的空巢老人,在你力所能及可以做到一些什么事情的时候,你却抱怨说,政府干什么去了?

社会上的问题太多太多了,如果没有人去解决,只能越来越多,恶性循环,使人丧失信心和希望。虽然我本科不是在国内读的,但是多少知道一些国内大学的情况。多少人占用着国内最好的资源却没有在做有意义的事情。有人说,这是我努力奋斗的结果,这些是我应得的!是的,我没有质疑你哪里做的不对,因为每个人都会对自己有特别的思量和考虑,而且我也尊重你的决定。但是如果你从开办学校的本忠出发思考的话,学校存在的意义是什么?学校是为了社会的发展输出可以实现它的人才,但是不幸的是很多人早已背离了它。再说回来,当你享受着得天独厚的资源的时候,你完全有机会可以更好的利用它不是么? 而且你也应该想实现一个更有意义的人生不是么?如果你觉得帮助别人解决问题不够现实,不够可以赚到大钱,不够霸气,那我只能说,你太幼稚了。积极的去解决问题和能不能赚钱完全是两个问题,请分别考虑,还有就是,在衡量一些事情的价值的时候,看得到和看不到的两个不同的标杆,请一起考虑。只是,当你看到你身边的人在努力奋斗为了一个更好的社会的时候,那种敬佩之情不会油然而生么?不管他们做的是非盈利组织,还是盈利组织。之前耶鲁村长的报道不少,那么我简单说一下我直接的感受吧。我当时问他,你为什么要来做这个事情?他说,我认为这个是我能起到帮助和实现价值的一个很直接的机会。我看过他给当地老人院画的建筑图,我看到他在给当地教育进行着积极的尝试,我看到过他的军布鞋和曾经在耶鲁的西装革履的意气风发的照片。我还有一些其他的朋友已经在其他地方最大化的去实现自己的价值。我不敢说我自己已经如何如何,但是我认为有些声音,那些认为自己是精英的人应该听到。

这是一种责任,你可以张开怀抱接受,也可以转身离开,但是一定要意识到,这同时也是一个机会,你可以发挥作用,产生影响的时刻。我认为,本职工作做好就已经很值得尊重了,若是让自己的视野放宽,时刻抱着一种“我来解决它”的思想,生活会变得更加丰富和有深度。大家都不希望自己的人生像纸片一样,随着时间之风而瑟瑟发抖,最后不知被吹向哪里。推卸责任不如承担责任,最开始,总是艰难的,但是,已经有人在做了不是么?这个社会已经和十年前不一样了,嘴上功夫已经过时了,改变是靠每一个人的努力,若你是精英,就请发挥你的能力,来创造和实现更多的价值——从解决身边的问题开始。 

每一个人都会是精英。

教育,不仅仅是为了让人毕业后有口饭吃,而更多的是为了让人性得到锻炼,洗尽铅华而愈发的神采奕奕

问,你——觉得来名校,很厉害么?

答,不吧。好像——有了一个做一个正常人的机会。

来了名校或者是什么良好的录取,是对过去的承认,但是更是一个新的开始。至于厉害不厉害,也是分阶段性质的,正所谓好汉不提当年勇。更何况,这个年龄,还谈不上厉害不厉害,更多的还是在为自己而奋斗。

所以什么样是‘厉害’实现了别人没有机会实现的事情?也许。比如,在我心目中Elon Musk这样的就会被我由衷的认为,是个厉害的人。Steve Jobs? 袁隆平? 白芳礼?太多了。简单的总结一下,发现,这些在我心目中‘厉害’的人,不是走在人类进步的最前沿,就是创造了很多的社会价值。

厉害的人,你看到他们,是嫉妒,还是羡慕?别人说,嫉妒的产生是因为你比别人高出一小步,别人怎么也不甘心;而羡慕则是你超出了别人一大截,短时间内别人无法超越或者根本没有途径超越。嫉妒是带有负面色彩的,而羡慕,则是一种对别人生活事迹的憧憬,以及对自己生活而感到的暂时性的不满。

嫉妒,是灰色的,因为它包含了一种要采取措施夺回自己想要的东西,或者报复他人的态度。嫉妒是,得与失——成者为王,败者为寇的斗争中的牺牲品。

嫉妒的世界里是灰色的,若走出,便是光明;若沉浸,便是黑暗。而这个选择,在人本身,也在于那些把他送入到这个环境里的人们。不论如何,承担后果的,却真真实实的是那个一步步走下去的人。

多少人,面对嫉妒的心态是——宁可“选择玉碎,不为瓦全”,也不要另辟蹊径开辟一片天空。

微薄上有个同学说:

“(在复旦)读书的时候,老师经常在班上搞不平等,成绩好获优待,成绩撇受鄙视.鼓吹竞争赶超,搞的同学间各种小心眼,"只要我考得比你好,什么都不重要鸟"。所以中国教育的学生没有互助意识。有人说国人的生活准则就是:只要我过的比你好。互害社会就是中国教育投下的毒。

这里,我不想谈太多关于中国的教育。想必亲身经历过的人,必定对上面的话有所感悟。

我只想说的是,若得与失过于明确,在极其竞争的环境中,嫉妒在所难免。

因为,所有人都认准了一条路,挤破了脑袋也要在一起竞争,杀个你死我活,方成就功绩累累的‘自豪’。这又让我想到了之前看的一条微薄,说,若是一个荒凉的地方中,一个中国人开了一个酒店并且赚到了钱,那么其他中国人也会争相去开酒店,激烈的竞争,价格越来越低,最后谁都没得到什么好处不欢而散;而故事的另一边是说,其他人并非开酒店,而是加油站,商场等等,于是把这个地方变成了一边繁荣的小镇。故事很简单,除了故事里最明显的对某些人群的一种指责之情,我更愿意理解为,很多人思考的时候,思维太局限,觉得眼前看到的就是自己生活希望的全部,而忽略了更广阔的机会。

人,生活在这个社会里,已经习惯于这个环境了,不管是身边的小环境,还是大环境,很难,跳出来,历史的局限性。同时,心理学里的一些实验结果证明的是 ,人生而为善,这是本性的东西。后天的教育,可以升华本性,也可以蒙蔽双眼,无法觉醒,不觉其中。

做人,比做学问要难。育人,比做人还要难。

人,是蕴含着无比深刻的魅力的,岂是白纸上的几个数字,钱包里的几张卡可以来衡量的?!

教育,不仅仅是为了让人毕业后有口饭吃,而更多的是为了让人性得到锻炼,洗尽铅华而愈发的神采奕奕。身为人,必然会经历7宗罪的诱惑,这是人性中的阴属性,应当理智的对待。而教育,便是让人有足够的精神力量,来掌舵自己的人生航向。仅仅一技傍身而让自己的欲望吞噬掉善良的本性的时候,教育是失败的。外表金玉,内在以溃烂不堪,一击崩溃。

教育发展需要时间,需要人力,物力,财力,还有整个社会的关注和支持。

最急迫需要的是对人性的发展和关育。只有最基础的人性得以稳固,才不会白费一片血泪来搭建空中楼阁。

The Definition of Wisdom

Chinese Post 智慧的定义  

——“你想活的长久么?”

她说,“如果是的话,那么你就需要智慧。你需要思考你自己的思维,你需要锻炼它,而且你现在就应该开始。

你必须让你的思维变的顺畅平和。

你必须要让你的思维坚定稳固。

你必须要让你的思维坚韧而富有活力。"

今天在读上课的一个阅读作业,是下面这本书的第二章(不知道有没有正式的翻译,我就直接翻译并加入我自己的一些解读):

Wisdom Sits in Places: 

Landscape and Language Among the Western Apache

作者:Keith H. Basso

坐落于地方中的智慧:西部阿帕奇(Apache:美洲印第安人的一种族)中的地理风景和语言

作者简介:

Keith Hamilton Basso is a cultural and linguistic anthropologist noted for his study of the Western Apaches (specifically those from the community ofCibecue, Arizona) since 1959. He currently teaches anthropology at the University of New Mexico. He is the son of novelist Hamilton Basso.

Basso was awarded the Victor Turner Prize for Ethnographic Writing in 1997 for his ethnography, Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language Among the Western Apache. The work was also the 1996 Western States Book Award Winner in Creative Nonfiction.

“场所/地方是所有存在之首位,因为所有存在于这个地方的东西,在离开这个场所后是都不可能继续存在的。”

本章大概讲的就是一些很有智慧的小故事是和当地的一些风景联系起来的,用来教育后代和磨练智慧,比如,“曾经在那个山上,我们的祖先。。。;曾经那个河边上,我们的祖先。。。” 

|我认为非常有意思的就是这个概念,places/场所 和 智慧的联系。我们主流的社会的正式教育里并不常见自己的前辈用各种各样的和地方相连的故事来教育自己的后辈的事情。但是试想一下,在那些部落里面的人们,他们的生活,教育,繁衍,和当地的自然环境紧紧相连,自然而然,利用客观存在的地理风景来作为记忆的触发点是再合适不过的了,加上通俗易懂的描述,人生哲理会很容易的被理解和传递下去。

(前面讲过一个小故事是说:从前有两座山上有两个美丽的姑娘,有一个在中间要爬山的男人。两个姑娘决定逗一下这个男人,于是其中的一个就冲男人喊,来和我睡觉吧!然后这个男人就情不自禁的开始爬这个山。爬上一半的时候,另一座山上的姑娘喊,来和我睡觉吧!这个男人就激动地下了山开始爬另外一个。这时候第一座山上地姑娘又开始喊同样的话,然后这个男人居然又下山开始爬第一个山。。。于是就这样无限的重复下去了。这个故事被用来讲述男人们成为了自己欲望的奴隶。于是每当教育自己后代的时候,这两座山的名字就会被引用到。)

p.s. 针对这个小故事,虽然听上去非常的简单和愚蠢,但是我们周围这样的人也不在少数。|

下面这一段话让我看到了,在非人类文明为主流的地方,当地人民对智慧的描述,甚是有启发,特此跟大家一起分享。 

翻译:

“你想活的长久么?”她说,“如果是的话,那么你就需要智慧。你需要思考你自己的思维,你需要锻炼它,而且你现在就应该开始。

你必须让你的思维变的顺畅平和。Smooth 

你必须要让你的思维坚定稳固。Steady 

你必须要让你的思维坚韧而富有活力。Resilient”

(Resilient and Steady 是 smooth的先决条件)

|自古以来对智慧的定义就层出不穷,这个简单的定义让我联想到了最近硅谷附近特别盛行的meditation/静思冥想:不断的去锻炼自己的思维,而达到最后的一种安静平和的境界,触及在内心深处涌动的快乐。所以活的长久不长久和智慧的锻炼程度确实是有直接关系的,有种说法是,人不是老死病死的,而是被气死的。如果可以做到内心的强大和平常心,生活也会跟着跃动起来,充满活力和欢乐!|

“你的人生就像一条小路。当你在前进的时候必须要保持警惕。不论你走到哪里,都会有一些潜在的危险会发生。你必须有能力,在它发生前而预料到。你必须要每时每刻保持警惕。你必须在危险发生前大脑里已经可以预料到即将可能发生的情况。”

|人生处处充满了危机:人际关系上,自然环境上,小概率事件也会曾出不穷;如果能及时或者提前预料到可能会发生的危险,人生也会自然的被延长|

“如果你的思维不够顺畅平和,你就会看不到危险的存在。你会相信自己的眼睛,但是他们也会欺骗你。你就会很容易被欺骗和愚弄。那个时候,就只是麻烦了。所以你必须让自己的思维变的顺畅平和。”

|有点抽象,可以理解成,一叶障目,关注眼前利益,过分依赖于眼前所有的信息。平和顺畅的思维就好像泉水一般细细长流,可以轻轻的绕过礁石或者覆盖住它而继续涓涓的前进下去。|

“如果你的思维不够坚韧而富有活力,你就会很容易被惊吓到。你会很容易感到恐惧。你会尝试快速思考,但是却不能思考的很清楚。你会阻碍住自己的思维,然后限制住它。那个时候,就只是麻烦了。所以你必须让自己的思维坚韧而富有活力。”

|张弛有力的思维是可以轻松应对各种挑战,不会心生恐惧|

“如果你的思维不够坚定稳固,你会很容易生气和沮丧。你会变的非常的傲慢。你会小瞧其他人,你会嫉妒他们,想占有他们的财产。你会不加思考的说出关于他们的事情:你会抱怨他们,说长道短,批评他们。你会渴望他们的女人。这时候其他人就会鄙视你,其他人会将这个力量用于你自己的身上,他们会想杀掉你。那个时候,就只是麻烦了。所以你必须要让自己的思维坚定稳固。你必须学会如何忘记自己。”

|这也许就是我们现代人最需要锻炼的一种品质了。如果,你眼中没有敌人,那么你就天下无敌;如果,你不去和别人比较,那么所以的事情都是无法比较的。但是这些都是很难克服的,既然如此,在不断尝试克服的同时,也应该坦然接受自己身为人类的罪恶(7宗罪: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride). 这样的接受是为了让自己更加了解自己的行为,从而更容易判断出它们发生的时刻,来以此针对性的去克服它们. 我们的生活是要自己来控制的,而不应该让自己的欲望覆灭了自己作为决策者的权力和理智。|

“如果你可以让自己的思维变的顺畅平和,你将会有一个很长寿的人生。你的人生之路也会被延长。不管走到哪里,你会对一路上潜在的危险而做好了准备。你的大脑里会预料到那些危险,在它们发生之前。”

“那么你怎么才能在智慧之路上走远呢?你必须去遍很多的地方,近距离的观察它们,记住它们。你要记住你的亲戚家属告诉你的每一句话。你必须要亲自做这些事情,因为没有其他的人会帮助到你,除了你自己。如果你做了这些,你的思维就会变的平和,坚韧,稳固。同时你就可以走的很远,活的长寿。”

“智慧存在于场所之中。它就像永不枯涸的泉水。你需要喝水来存活,对吧?那么你也需要从不同的地方场所里来饮用智慧。你必须记住关于它们的每一个细节,故事,不断的去思考琢磨。这样你的思维就会越来越平和,然后你就可以预料到潜在的危险,你会变的有智慧,人们就会尊重你。”

|智慧,mindfulness, 是要不断的通过经历的累积,自我反省,和别人交流,汲取外界知识而逐渐形成的。每当有任何的挑战和机遇出现的时候,应当当仁不让的抓住机会,来不段提升自己的智慧和人生格调。|

原文:

Basso, K. H. (1996). Wisdom sits in places: Landscape and language among the western apache. Univ of New Mexico Pr.

Chapter 2

屏幕快照 2013-02-17 11.56.18 AM.png

The Missing Part - Emotional & Humanistic Touch in IT Products

First of all, I should make it clear that I do not do programming. So what am I doing? I study psychology and education, two of the most fundamental subjects that are related to human being. 

But I do have many expert friends who are doing programming, including my boyfriend. I hang out with them and interact with them. Because of that, I start paying attention to all those web products, mobile Apps, and all those "star products" born in Silicon Valley. Whenever my friends introduce me the latest product, I am like, so impressed and fascinated by it. Say, some Apps can help you change the screen color based on the time at your local area; some Apps can help you control videos by using hand gestures instead of touchpad; some Apps can help your kids develop cognitive competency…There are tons of them. I used to feel a little bit proud of myself because I know lots of Apps than my non-tech friends do. 

I have seen many (of course not as many as CS people do) web and iOS Apps for all kinds of purpose, like social and entertainment. Here in Stanford, I have been seeing so many people rushing into this platform and trying to achieve something in this huge trend of technology mania; I have seen how enthusiastic CS people are when talking about their products and how they will solve a problem; I have seen my non-tech friends playing with some apps and laughing at a picture of me with a fat head…My general user experience of IT products is gradually becoming complicated along with my studies at the Graduate School of Education. 

I start doing some reflections. The reason people using technology is complex and I will never have a chance to figure it out. For example, online learning platform is a hot topic in my school. Researchers are discussing about MOOCs and only a few researches are done to demonstrate that appropriately using technology in education will benefit early education; investors are focusing on online learning and it seems like their actions are suggesting our next giants on Forbes; some schools start utilizing IT products to help students get prepared for their future life and many parents/educators do not even know the potential consequences of using technology.

Is it good? Is it bad? It's hard to tell based on the information we have now. The only thing I am pretty sure is that the development of information technology will continue, with a even faster growth rate. No blame. Here is Silicon Valley, where is the paradise for information technology and entrepreneurship. If people in Silicon Valley is not crazy about IT, who else should be? 

All those thoughts come together making my user experience with technology bittersweet. Today, I talked to my advisor and we all thought that human relationship has been changed a lot because of the development of technology, especially the intimacy part. Indeed, technology makes communication extremely easy to happen, but all you can see is friends are checking their phone when waiting for food. Our life is shifting to a virtual world, which brings me a huge question mark: what are people's behaviors and psychological state when they are interacting virtually online? Before answer the question, I always try to make sense of the reason I asked about it. I think the IT trend is inevitable within next 10 years, so I hope people/developers can truly understand the fundamental reason why we are using IT products. 

Last quarter, I attended a talk at IDEO, San Francisco. The topic was how to design a good product. The best examples demonstrated there were Instagram and Flipboard. The conclusion was that: UI design should follow people's existing behaviors, like flipping pages; for Instagram,  the person said, "You think people use Instagram is because of its filters? Think about the instant camera, you take a photo and then it's printed out. Next, you give the picture to your friends -- you see the social behavior that is more powerful than a single of photo there?" Yesterday, ironically, a friend of mine told me that she stopped using Instagram because she was too lazy to input her password after the App updated. Meanwhile, I was complaining about the ugliness of the new User Interface. However, I do not stop using it, and my only reason is that my boyfriend is using it. I use Line because we are using it. I use Wechat because my friends are using it. Otherwise I could have deleted them all! I am easy to get bored, and if I cannot see the point of using it, I will dump it no matter how beautiful the UI is and how "wonderful" the UX is. 

User experience design, how ironical it can be for me, as a UX designer/researcher. Just 1 hour ago, I was listening about a person talking about user experience design in 3D environment, like how to design hand-guesture-control user experience. The product design classes that I have taken highlights on human-centered design principle. USER IS EVERYTHING. If we consider from that perspective, maybe we should know more about human? we should know more about how they think, feel, talk, and act? Do human have emotions? I think every designer will say, oh yes, definitely. However, if you see all those products there in the market, what's the thing that is missing?  

It's the emotional attachment. Technology makes our lives easy. But, when everything becomes extremely easy without taking any effort, the value of it will drop down to the ground. When birthday greetings become automatic that are sent out by the system, will you still value them? I still remember how happy I am when I receive real letters from my friends, because it's rare, and because I know that my friends spend time on it. Everything can be a routine when it becomes extremely easy to do. Routine is hard to generate happiness. Therefore, it's a trade off between productivity and happiness. Emotional attachment is hard to gain if there is no bond among your users. One of my friends talked about her use of IFTTT to inform her mother that she is safe by sending out a message. In this way, IFTTT becomes a signal for her mom that her daughter is safe. Here comes the emotional attachment. I know this can be more on a marketing side, but I strongly think that designers should see the big picture and value the emotion elements in their products - make the IT product more human like. I believe that if more IT products are involved with emotional and humanistic touch, the revolution of Informative Technology will become more acceptable and friendly. 

At least, I will sincerely appreciate the beauty of information technology. 

Architect of Life

This will be a short blog, because I want to get enough sleeping time but do not want to miss the chance expressing this valuable thought. 

Let's rewind to 3 years ago, Aug. in 2009. My parents and I had a serious talk about my major. They were conservative and considered that Architecture could be a wonderful major to pursue, since my father is doing civil engineering stuff; however, I did not agree with them. It was not because I was not interested in Architecture, but the "superficial" reason they considered to be legitimate. Certainly, that should be a very important factor to think about, but I was extremely unsatisfied with their persuasion, which I regarded as kind of short-sighted. Finally, I chose psychology as my major, and I could not guarantee it was the "correct" decision, but at least, I successfully defended the control of my life from their "attack." lol 

At this moment, and from now on, I consider myself to be an architect of life. Even though I like part of my life to be random, I still would be glad to actively construct each part of my life and the world around me. Positive psychology helps me know that it takes efforts to harvest even happiness, which I took for granted as the fruit of luck in the past. Everything without polishing is raw and rough, so is life. For me, I want a different life, which may need more efforts to polish. As we all know, "No Pain, No Gain", here in this blog, I hope it to be "No Efforts, No Fun."  

So, 3 years ago, I started the journey of my own life. Now, I want to polish it and make it shine. 

Good Night.

Love, Ivy.

Traveling & Wayfaring 10/13

Lines: A Brief History by Tim Ingold

Chapter 3 ——Up, across and along 

[It is about dots, lines, and life.]

"Wayfarer moves with time, but the transported travelers traces against time."

TRAVELING

Transient

Traveling means I go from here to there, from this point to that point, via transportation. It is a point-to-point connector. In my past travelings, I kept reminding myself that the pleasure was not just from my destinations, but also "on the road." This summer, we did a road trip from Champaign, illinois to Seattle. Each day, we drove the mileage planned beforehand. Even though we stopped several times along the way to enjoy the sceneries, my mindset was still like, "we should arrive at our destination at least by sunset." Whenever there is a target or goal pushing us, it is very likely that we will ignore what is happening now, because  our eyes are always focusing on the goal. At the moment, we become travelers. Fortunately, I do not consider myself as a perfect traveler. I like to question about, everything, including purposes of my traveling, justifications of the destination, and whom I am traveling with. This might be the reason. 

WAYFARING

Transient

Wayfaring means I move freely. I see, I think, and I learn along the way. The path may not be a straight line, but can be a curve, a spiral, or a mess; there are no starting or ending points, the continuity of the path is random, or say, is led by the wayfarer's heart. What does it mean in our life? I believe the power, or the "engine," which motivates us to keep moving, is the combination of our passion and the joy rewarded by what we are doing and what we have done. Our passion will guide us, and light up future path at every moment. Am I a wayfarer? I think, I am exploring and getting there (maybe). My past 18-year-education did not allow me to think about being a wayfarer anyway. However, is wayfarer better than traveler? Perfect travelers should always know their destinations, even without abundant information. This means, if they have no idea about where their destinations are, they may get stuck on the way, or they might be panic and anxious, because they lose the sense of control. However, for wayfarers, their control is about themselves, the inner control that "whether I know about my passion." This control is constant, and relatively stable.

I guess it does not matter whether you label yourself as either traveler or wayfarer. As long as you feel happy, everything is fine. However, if you do need some change, the transition will take time and efforts, but it will pay off eventually. To be or not to be?

[In]Share experience for others 9/19

I've got a question for a long time:

Usually, I want to share my experience with my families, friends, and strangers after I have been through a fun or hard period that they have never experienced before. However, I am always thinking that will they be curious about it? Or they just feel indifferent? I guess the answer is “It depends.” Technically, this is a very complicated question, because others’ behaviors will depend on factors such as relationship, relevance, and free time. Therefore…put it in a simple way, the solution is that "say what you want to tell and see how others react." In fact, this is how we communicate naturally! Maybe it is just because I am kind of sensitive to others feeling making this “problem” a problem.

Ok, that is not the question.

Here comes the question.

How about, we all have gone through a period of struggling? I succeeded, but some of the people I know (may not know) failed. At that moment, should I come to them and say, “Hey, I will help you!” Or, should I wait and let them figure out by themselves? Or, should I just continue my journey without giving any help? Maybe someone else will offer more useful help!

If that is too abstract, let’s think the problem in a real scenario,

Ivy wants to write a book about her life generally in S University. She believes her experience will help some students know more about her school. However, she is afraid that someone else would do a better job than she does. Ivy is hesitating…continue? Or shoot down the idea? She is absolutely confident about her ability to do a good job, but the uncertainty of possibilities makes her anxious.

Ok, go back to our discussion, though I am the only person discussing, lol.

I guess the answer is, I should be more confident and provide an extra option for others. In this way, other people will make the choice, not me. 

But, I am not too sure about my answer. How could I be more confirmed about this answer?

Today, I met Alexandra. She used her experience explaining the answer in a deeper way. She was from a poor family and her parents never went to college. One day, her mom rushed to her and told her that she heard something about college, like, Ivy League, and Dartmouth. Without having any knowledge about Dartmouth. Alexandra’s mom seriously told her, “Dartmouth, you must go there.” Fortunately, Alexandra worked hard and got the admission letter! However, after the big change in her life, she started feeling frustrated and unsecure. Before the college, she thought she was prepared, but the cruel fact showed that she was not ready yet. She got F for her course and her families could not provide any help either. She was disappointed and confused about her future. She left school finally.

However, she didn’t stop thinking about the problem. After a year, she went back to school and got good grades! You may wonder, what happened in this year? I don’t know the answer, but it seems like she picked up her confidence and seriously dealt with the unexpected college experience. After Dartmouth, holding a strong belief and specific goal that is to help the students who may suffer the same problem, she went to S University and studied Education. After she got her master degree, she talked to many educators about dropouts’ situation and found out there was actually nobody helping with this type of group of people.

So, she started her business (may be NGO), which is helping students get ready for college life academically and psychologically, especially for students whose parents with limited education background. 

What I am impressed about this story is that, she transferred her own experience to real actions and make changes for others’ lives!

Now I feel like, the answer is super easy. Just do it, AND it will be helpful. I know that there must be someone who can do a better job than I do, but the thing is, no single person can save the world, and there are many superheroes as well! Lol! The world is diverse. We love all useful stuff (sometimes love junks too!)

Never let overthinking kills the willingness to make a change. Share experience, and provide help. This is my first step.