Friday, July 29, 2016

Dangers of False Equivalence

Lately I’ve been noticing a growing trend of people (mostly feminists) talking about two very different things in the same context/sentence/paragraph, as if they were one and the same thing. I’m of course talking about the systematic abuse of women in Muslim countries and the gender pay gap in the West. One example: the #whatIReallyReallyWant remake video of the Spice Girls hit “Wannabe” by the charity “Project Everyone”.

On the surface, it seems to make some sense. Both are about mistreatment of and/or bias against women. But can we really suggest that the kind of abuses Muslim women throughout the world face on a daily basis is somehow related to the lack of absolute gender equality in the modern Western workplace? That practices like honor killings, banning of education for girls, child marriages, and female genital mutilations are somehow all issues on an equal footing with the perceived lack of equal opportunities and remunerations for working men and women in the West?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Football Sides

Consider with me the following scenario: you join a friendly football/soccer match that has already begun and is very much in progress. No one is wearing any uniform, and it’s difficult to tell who is on which side. You ask the nearest player (who is on your side) which side you are on. How does he respond?

Surprisingly, his response will depend on his national identity. (I write this from first-hand experience.) If you were talking to a Korean player, the player will have pointed to his own goal post to signal which side you are on. An English/American player, however, will have pointed to the opposite side and say, “we are shooting that way.” They both mean the same thing; however, they are pointing in the opposite directions.

From the two starkly contrasting responses above, we can gain an insight into the different psyches of different countries. It seems that in Korea, team identity is paramount. You first define which side you are on, and out of that sense of unity flows teamwork. On the other hand, it seems that in the West, the team identity is subservient to the overall purpose. The common goal (into which of the two nets are we trying to put this ball the most times?) defines the team, and shapes all strategy/tactic that follows.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Design as Communication

Good design is like a delightful conversation.

A conversation between the designer and the customer.

Over the last ten years, I have noticed that the most successful companies in the consumer tech space are the ones that are able to maintain a dynamic “conversation” with their customers, be it through regular OS updates, annual iteration/overhauls in product design, and though delightful features and functions that address customer needs and desires. Apple has established an annual rhythm; their conversations are both delightful and filled with a contagious passion.

It is the same with games. I am convinced that Nintendo will continue to thrive as long as the “conversation” between their game designers and the players remain as delightful as it has been up to now. Their established Mario/Zelda/Kirby/Pokémon IP means that they already share a common vocabulary with their fanbase, upon which to build more exciting and fun conversations. A more literal example of this conversation is their popular interviews, “Iwata Asks”.

What ramifications does this have for CEOs? Make sure that your engineers/designers are given the freedom to communicate effectively with the customer! Let them talk to the customers through thoughtful design choices. Be sensitive to the rhythm of the conversation that is always happening between them and the users.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Faithful Christian Friend Flowchart

A couple of months ago a dear friend of mine emailed me to let me know of an important decision he was about to make. Now, it was not a sinful course of action. I just thought it was not a very wise one, personally. But since the friend was not explicitly asking me for my thoughts on the matter, I didn’t tell him so; I just offered him my support and prayer. Looking back, I feel like that was the right thing to do. I thought about this for a while, and I drew up a flowchart that I used (at a subconscious level) to guide my response to my friend.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Apple, the most productive company on Earth

Apple unveiled their newest products during their “Hey Siri” September event. What grabbed my attention was the following paragraph from Farhad Manjoo’s NYT article, “Apple’s iPhone Keeps Going its Own Way”:

In many fundamental ways, the iPhone breaks the rules of business, especially the rules of the tech business. Those rules have more or less always held that hardware devices keep getting cheaper and less profitable over time. That happens because hardware is easy to commoditize; what seems magical today is widely copied and becomes commonplace tomorrow. It happened in personal computers; it happened in servers; it happened in cameras, music players, and — despite Apple’s best efforts — it may be happening in tablets.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

My Top 10 YouTube Videos (2014)

Here is my list of top ten YouTube videos that I’ve watched in the last few years.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

DSLR or iPhone 6?

A f1.8 shot (Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II)

Many people are deciding between getting a DSLR vs. just taking photos with their iPhones. This “article” will hopefully help in this decision.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The most valuable resource

Google recently overtook Apple as world’s most valuable brand for 2014, with a brand value of $158.5m vs. Apple’s $147.8m (link). It is arguably the most recognized company brand in today’s age, and certainly more valuable than Coca-Cola. And yet, I believe that if you ask someone today what it is they think Google sells, you will mostly likely get a wrong answer.

“What is Google’s main product?”

If your answer involved anything like “services” or “technology”, stop.

Because you are wrong.

Friday, May 02, 2014


Chester, at 14 months

Our family has been truly blessed to have had a puppy for the past year. Here are some lessons about my walk with God that I have learned during the past year of looking after a Norfolk Terrier.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

My Top 10 “daily driver” food/drinks

Here are ten food/drink products that I cannot live without every day!
(All pictures taken with my DSLR camera! Look at dem bokeh’s!)

1. John McCann’s Steel Cut Oats (SCO). 

I have had this for breakfast almost every day for the past year. Except for the hot summer months of July and August, when I have cereal instead (Shredded Wheat), this is how I start the day. If you have not done so already, I strongly recommend you give these a try. Steel Cut Oats, or Irish/Scottish Oats as they are known in the UK, are not to be confused with pre-processed Rolled Oats (Quaker Oats, etc); they cook much slower than Rolled Oats, at about 30 min vs. 10 min, but the cooking time is so worth it. If you’ve never liked oatmeal, it is probably because you have only tried the bland, mushy, inferior oatmeals made with Rolled Oats.

Not all Steel Cut Oats are created equal. You cannot go too wrong with supermarket-brand Steel Cut Oats, but the John McCann’s Steel Cut Oats give off the most nutty smell/taste. 

At $27.96 for four cans at Amazon, they might seem a little pricey. But consider this: I easily make 6+ breakfast for two per can. Add a few Craisins, a little honey, and some freshly-cracked walnuts, and you are having breakfast fit for a king, for around $1 per person. Now that is how I want to start the day!

Friday, January 03, 2014

My first DSLR

Small Christmas tree with LED lights from Walmart = $20.00
Dem bokehs in shallow-DOF Big Face shots of loved ones = priceless.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Joshua first moments. (Videos)

Our first son, Joshua, arrived safely on 9th August 2013. The past 20 days have been a blur; days and nights at the Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital. But we have been filled with such peace. So many people supported us and Joshua with prayer. It's been a true blessing.

Here's Joshua about one hour after birth. I’ve read about babies being really alert about one or two hours after birth, and then going back to sleep-eat-sleep mode for the rest of their baby-hood. I’m glad I got to catch this precious moment. (Click below for more videos)