By Jerry

2014 Jul 28

A search for better things

What you have to understand is that we’re scared

Terrified

even if we do not show it

Life has been a little … harsh

We need community

people to teach us what it is to be human

and not just a thing to be used or discarded at whim

We need kindness and patience

not just a scripture plastered across the head

Sometimes, even that you think are good words,

were bad words to us instead

We need a safe place to stay

Consider that what might be normal to you

might seem just as foreign to us

Sometimes we just need a place to be

time to breathe

and see what “normal” really is

Some of us are hollow inside

little pockets of emptiness

Our need could suck the planet dry, but we still need you

Know where you stand

so we can know where to stand too

Sometimes we need you to help keep things clear for us

Live what you say

Trust is fragile thing

don’t abuse it

Listen to what we say, not what you want to hear

the story might not be nice, but it is ours

Sometimes it would help if you would hear it

and not try to fix it

The past will always be broken, but the future has a way to mend

help us hold on to that hope

and to know that good can exist

That maybe God hasn’t left us yet

Tell about the God you know

share your stories with us

Help us see the Light in things

without forcing us to believe

Walk with us

one step at a time

as we search for better things

(pp. 216-217)

Restoring the shattered self : a Christian counselor’s guide to complex trauma / Heather Davediuk Gingrich


2014 May 9

这是很大一盘棋 —《红袜棒球队经营改革的秘密》

我不是棒球迷,甚至也不是体育迷,对竞技体育也基本上漠不关心。《红袜棒球队经营改革的秘密》是部纪录片,一部和体育竞技本身无关的纪录片,这是一部关于生意的纪录片。

任何生意都一样,有进有出,进和出相辅相成。假使你要卖成人电影,首先,你得有货源:你可以从供货商进货,或者直接拍摄。后者的话,就得找演员,搞定设备、场地。其次,你得有销售,面向终端用户直销,或者卖给中间商代销,在网络或者实体店销售。进货时你得了解市场和客户需求,有的放矢;销售时你得刺激需求、扩大市场,这样你就又可以增加生产。

经营球队怎么办?首先,要有优秀的球员、教练,这样才能打出精彩的比赛。其次,有了好看的比赛,你就可以卖转播权,卖门票等等。听起来很简单是不是?但是这里面门道很多。

怎么挖到优秀的球员?球员在比赛时的表现都有量化的数据(有公司专门做这个),比如击球率什么的,你可以买这些数据,然后以此为标准去寻找合适的球员。一般的市场就是这样,那么有没有“投机”的机会?有,红袜棒球队的新老板发现了不同的数据分析方法,自定义了一个指标可以更好地量化球员水平或潜力。然后重新量化每个球员,重新量化之后的值一般和原有的值相差不多,但是对有些球员,两值相差较大。恭喜,找到不为人知的千里黑马了。红袜不仅在美国本土寻找,还去日本发掘。贱买然后加以培养,出了名可以高价卖出。这是一个现代全球版的懂得数理的伯乐的故事。故事充分体现了科研的重要性。别急,故事还没结束。自从红袜成功之后,其他球队也纷纷效仿,很快黑马的价格也上涨了,于是红袜又跑到中国来去培养一些运动员,从小培育千里马。虽然会花点钱,可是这背后13亿的巨大市场太太诱人了。

有了出色的球员,红袜夺得了阔别86年的冠军。那么收入从哪里来呢?卖门票,各种等级的门票。要让人掏钱,得让人乐意掏。红袜专门组织人员来和答复球迷的邮件,了解他们的需求,比如允许家庭比赛前提前进入场地,可以获得球队训练的球。此外,还改建球场,增加特殊的座位,这些座位随时有可能收到比赛时打飞的球。当然,这些机会和席位都价格不菲,可是都卖得很紧俏呢。甚至,因为球队中有日本球员,红袜还邀请日本旅行社的人来参观球场,游说航空公司开通当地到日本的直飞,以此来促进增加国际观众人数。除了门票,还有广告。卖美国、日本企业的广告位。连替补的球员都要利用,在他们的替补席前也加放广告。

整个纪录片主要着眼于宏观的管理,一些具体的实施细节只是简单地一两个镜头带过。这是一部关于商业模式的纪录片,也是一部关于战略管理的纪录片。战略管理原来也可以这么有魅力。作为我个人而言,日常的生活和科研大部分都是专注一些细节的东西,战略管理要培养起来。

哦,对了,还没说下这盘棋的红袜老板多么有钱。此人是在华尔街玩过对冲基金和期货的,有个私人游艇,在加勒比海飘着,游艇上常年有12个人伺候着。有机会我去花钱坐个一般的游艇就满足了。


2014 Apr 20

Textbook used for my Cognitive Behavioral Therapy class

Aaron Beck’s Biography


2014 Apr 3

Presentation Sentences

Some “sentence routines” you can use for presentation. This list shrank from several longer lists that I found on the internet. Credit goes to the individuals who originally shared them (sorry, I did not try hard to trace their sources).

Welcome/greetings/Opening remarks:

I’m glad you could all get here.

I’m glad to see so many people here.

Hello again everybody. Thank you for being on time/making the effort to come today.

Welcome to X Part II.

>

I am delighted/pleased/glad to have the opportunity to present/of making this presentation…

I am grateful for the opportunity to present…

I’d like to thank you for inviting/asking me/giving me the chance to…

I’ve been asked to…

I am honored/privileged to be here (with you this afternoon).

>

Right, let’s get started.

Thank you very much, Prof. Fawcett, for your very kind/gracious introduction/invitation.

Microphone/Lights:

Can people in the back of the room hear me clearly?

Is my voice loud enough?

Can you hear me if I am away from the microphone?

Dim the lights, darken the room a little more.

Could you please turn on the lights, please?

Now, we can have the lights on.

Topic/Intro:

the topic of my presentation is…

Today’s topic is…

Today we are here to talk about…Before we start, I’d like you to meet my team members…

>

Let’s take a brief look at today’s agenda…

Just to give you a brief overview.

there are five main aspects to this topic (…the first, … the second, …a third, …another, … the final)

I am going to examine these topics in the following order (…first, …next, …after that, …finally)

I’ve divided my talk into five parts…

I’m going to start with a general overview and then focus on this particular problem (…in general, …more particularly).

I want to start with this particular topic, and then draw some more general conclusions from it (…specifically, … in a wider context)

>

Take a moment and think of…

important to all of us, help solve a problem

By a show of hands, how many of you own a car?

Transition:

During the next ten minutes, I shall…

I know that time is short, so I intend to keep this brief

>

There’s an important point to be made here.

Please allow me to examine/explain this matter in more detail

>

I will not go into detail on it.

I am not going to spend too much time on it.

Let’s go through the following points very rapidly.

>

OK, let’s move on. Well, let’s move on to the next point.

We will now come to the second problem.

That brings me to my second point.

Next, I would like to turn to a more difficult problem.

I think we can move on to the next slide.

Let me show you the next slide.

>

To go back to what I was saying earlier, I think/you may be aware of/that..

At this point I would like to refer (again) to the question of methods in the first part of my lecture.

>

Are there any questions you’d like to ask at this point?

I’ll be saying more about this in a minute.

I’ll deal with it later.

I shall tell you in detail shortly.

To digress a bit.

Explanation:

This slide demonstrates …

On this slide, you can see…

This curve/figure/table/digram/picture/flow-chart in this slide shows…

This figure is taken from.., by Dr. Li.

This diagram is after that of Prof. Wang with some modification

Correction:

The first of such experiments began in 2000, rather than 1999.

May I have the lights, I mean the slides.

The temperature increased, I shall say decreased.

The population is 13 million, sorry, 31 million.

As you can see from the first row, excuse me, the second row, that the output increased two fold.

Conclusion:

So, to sum up?

That brings me to the end of my talk.

I am afraid that we are running out of time, so we had better stop here

That concludes our presentation.

Thank you for your attention.

Questions:

save your questions till the end.

If you have any questions, I will be pleased to answer them at the end of the presentation.

Don’t hesitate to interrupt me if you have a question or i

Can I come back to that point later?

We will go into details later.

I am afraid there’s no easy answer to that one…

Yes, that’s a very good point.

That’s a tricky question.

I think we have time for just one more question.


2014 Apr 2

How to give a good research talk

Similar to the previous blog, this one is also sort of a transcript of another video by Simon Peyton Jones. The video is about one hour long and I pressed fast-forward a lot during watching. Anyway here are some highlights of his talk from my standpoint.

  1. Present not your entire paper or all details. Instead, excite the audience to read your paper with concise information.
  2. Engage audience in the first 2-5 min. Use examples to state your problem; avoid shallow overview.
  3. Entertain audience. No slide numbers on screen.
  4. Educate audience. No (or limited) related work; talk mainly about your own work.
  5. Show enthusiasm, move around, use large gestures.

How to write a good research paper

The notes were taken from a video on how to write a paper by Simon Peyton Jones, a Microsoft researcher. He also has a webpage talking about other research skills.

  1. Ideas->Writing->Doing, instead of Ideas->Doing->Writing. This counterintuitive approach may sound crazy, but the writing can actually shape/guide doing research.
  2. (Great) ideas should be useful and re-usable. The greatest ideas are (literally) worthless if you keep them to yourself. (Note, this is one of the reasons that I start sharing ideas.)
  3. Tell a story.
  4. Introduction: introduce the problems (using examples), list contributions. Do not be too ambiguous or too general.
  5. State related work later in the introduction, that is, after your own ideas. (Note, this makes sense to me but I am not sure whether I would put this approach into practice.) Credit others’ work and acknowledge weakness.
  6. Put readers first. Convey intuition first, then details. Show direct route to reader.
  7. Listen to readers’ feedback, who could be a layperson or an expert in the field. Ask a layperson where he/she gets lost or less motivated.

2014 Mar 21

Learning to lead

Not a long time ago I started to read a book titled “Learning to lead”, because I have to have two undergraduate assistant do a project and also I want to build my leadership skills for my career. Today I practiced a bit the leadership by following the suggestions from the book. I think I did a good job. :) Here I would like to share the notes I took during the reading, in the hope that they may be helpful to the reader as well.

Goals:

  • Identify goals and schedules of the organization (challenging & realistic), roles of leaders (strategist, implementor, executer [also people related to changes: visionary, pragmatist, conservative])
  • Identify goals and schedules of the members, members’ strength

Delegation:

  • Delegate to save energy for more important things and to train people, even though you personally may do a better job
  • Clear written brief description supplemented with an interview
  • Don’t over-interfere the work if it has been delegated; instead check regularly (see the meeting section in the following)
  • Provide support. “Is there anything you want to bring to my notice?”
  • Roles matched to personality

Meetings:

  • Go to meeting with a plan for what you want accomplished
  • All documentation is distributed well before the meeting
  • Run an orderly discussion everybody has something to say
  • End meeting with a summary that includes an action plan with deadlines and personal responsibilities

Communications:

  • Treat members as competent people
  • Instill faith in people’s ability
  • Inspire excellence by sharing purpose and setting examples (leadership vs. management)
  • Show support
  • Show no favoritism
  • Don’t dissuade people from speaking out
  • Clear in mind, tone, ask if any reservations
  • Manage by exception
  • Consistent, trust can be difficult to build but it is easy to lose
  • If you have to criticize someone, do so in private
  • Prepare for misunderstanding
  • Share information, manage openly
  • Respect goes to expertise, not to rank or seniority
  • Seek to defuse emotion before tackling issues
  • Keep discussion informal whenever possible to ease stiff relationships
  • Reward by recognition (prizes, parties, vocations)

Other points:

  • Keep it simple and look first for the easy solutions
  • Does it serve a purpose or are yo doing to purely out of habit?
  • I concentrate less on small details and give more time to important matters
  • I clearly distinguish between what is urgent and what is important
  • I am a creative person who is always change-orientated (adapt to changes)
  • I choose between speed and perfection, depending on the situation

2014 Mar 4

写小说与发论文

本人生平的夙愿之一就是要写一部小说,为此我很早就买了一个专门写小说的软件,最近着手学习些文学创作的经验。这不,昨天听了余秋雨的一个讲座《文学创作中的未知结构》(视频/文稿),其中他说道:文学的逻辑是和读者一起思考一个未知的、两难的问题,作者和读者可以有自己的答案,甚至大家/人类都没有答案。比如《老人与海》中的老人是成功者还是失败者就是一个(永恒的)值得思辨的问题。

什么,写出来的东西没有提供答案?文学的这个逻辑对于被科研训练洗脑的人来说是一个不小的冲击,要知道平常我们阅读和发表的论文都是解释某个问题的。小说描写爱情等说不清道不明的情感,(心理学)论文说爱是奖赏通路中的多巴胺嘛,抑郁是一系列的注意、评估、记忆、决策等系统的认知偏差外加遗传、大脑结构和功能的异样。小说/文学刻意突出未知来引起人的思考、敬畏,然而心理学/科学专注从已知到未知的推进来解释、预测。

这时我才意识到,科学的理性主义只是人类众多思想中的一员罢了(新浪公开课上有个人类思想简史系列 /)。写小说与发论文是两回事。


2014 Feb 22

Purse the perfect research postdoc

Today’s job market is becoming more and more competitive—more doctoral students are produced than the past and the current economic situation is still tough. Meanwhile, the technical and theoretical expertise required to conduct high-level research have been pushed to a more sophisticated degree. Thus, pursing a postdoc before landing a real job seems a must instead of a plus. This is especially the case in the area of neuroscience.

OK, let’s face it. Undergoing a postdoc allows a fresh Ph.D to test the water of independent scientific research. On average, the duration of a psychology postdoc is about one or two years, during which one can conduct quality research, generate publications, learn to apply for funding, develop new research skills, gain a deep knowledge of a specific area of research and learn to supervise others.

In order to find a good postdoc position, the new academic being has to be realistic, proactive and flexible. Understand what the hiring committee is looking for and take an initiative early on to prepare yourself. Always have a Plan B.

The characteristics that a PI likes in a potential postdoc include:

  • Effective communication in presenting and writing
  • Productive past research experience, how the past experience fits the PI’s work
  • Research interests in the PI’s research
  • Independence: you decide what to do, have directions and vision while focusing on specific research questions
  • Reputation of the graduate advisor and research institution

As much as a PI interviews you, you should also interview the PI. Acquire information on the PI’s mentoring style and investment. How about the professional fates of the PI’s former postdocs? Speak with the PI’s current postdocs. What does the PI’s publication look like (quality papers, H-index)?

References:

  1. Pursuing the perfect research postdoc
  2. Postdocs: Striving for Success in a Tough Economy
  3. Doing Postdoctoral Work — Should I?

2014 Feb 14

英国纪录片Up系列

英国的一个纪录片:最初找了一组来自各个社会阶层的7岁孩童(7 Up),然后每隔7年采访一次,这个系列最近的也是最后一部是56 Up。

首先,拍摄手法挺特别的,这个调查方法也就是心理学上的longitudinal study。看完,我都想以后每年过生日、过年过节都录个视频,有一天也可以把采样的数据汇总写个报告。

其次,纪录片所反映的内容可以从政治学、社会学、心理学等不同视角去审视。Wikipedia上有每个人的一些介绍。看完感觉自己站到了一个不同的时空在看自己的人生。

此系列发行后,各国有人纷纷效仿,不过貌似中国还没有人在拍。


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