Book Review: The Fault in our Stars April 25, 2012
Just read “Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking” by Susan Cain. It will be put in the league with the ground breaking books such as “Outliers”, “EQ”. It started with debunking the myths of introverts being shy and anti-social then it went straight comparing the traits of extroverts and introverts. The most intriguing part of the essay is how introverts can learn to adapt to be a pseudo-extrovert for the sake of survivals, people they love and vocation they devote to.
Coined by Dr. Brian Little, the term “Free Traits” means one can switch between different modes, however, introverts need the “down time” to restore to their true self, it seems paradoxical, to be recharged to mask themselves into the extrovertive persona.
One part of the book also delved into the cultural aspects of personality types, Cain did a thorough study on HS students in Cupertino, Clearview High, revealing this “introverts haven” where being nerdy and bad in sports is norm and respected. However, once they graduated and went into the real world, the world of meritocracy collapsed. Asians were often left out of the leadership roles because their quiet, unconfrontational ways often made them become invisible, voiceless.
The lessons can be drawn from this book on education and parenting is also incredibly insightful and invaluable. Cain shed a new light on how the “clashes of personality types” happend among parents/child, husband/wife and how the extroverts and introverts learn and relate differently can drastically impact their well beings. Especially for introverts, often sensitive and enjoy “deep, meaningful” relationship with people, often wonder why they are surrounded by people sometimes can be intimidating and even bullying.
For anyone who wanted to have “deeper”(my introverted self talking) understanding of their personality traits, to make sense of that uneasiness feelings of not “fitting” in sometimes, to charge ahead in this extroverted society(American is arguably the most extrovertd people) without being taking advantage of, it’s a must-read.
On the Movie “Avatar” January 24, 2010
James Cameron? I would never link the name to any meaningful display of dichotomy of civilization and primitiveness, an emotional journey of self-discovery and awkening or even a political statement with stunning persuation. Yet he achieved most of these goals amidst the busy “IMAX” visual effects hooplas and delivered one of the most commercially and morally successful movie of all time.
By no means Cameron is Peter Jackson but maybe the comparison is invalid because we don’t need a poet to convince the general to seize fire before the war. We need a messenger/diplomat, and the message he tried to convey here is undoubtfully humanely touching, political convincing and morally gratifying. It took a lot of imagination and soul-searching to “dive” oneself into a seemingly primitive world and reveal the truth, beauty and strength beneath the hostile nature. Just as exotic as all the living and non-living beings in Pandora, the satirist of Cameron is the exotic James Cameron I hardly recogize and believe.
I see the ideas of Tolkien and Miyazaki’s Nausicaa, but to jump from the universal “environmental awareness” theme to the heart of “pro-war” sentiment of Washington D.C. is rather timely and heavyhearted. The good old James Cameron without too much rhetorics and poetry is what we need, a no-nonsense style on condemnation of imperialism and colonialism can be appealing to the most self-serving human being. Avatar is a metaphor of empathy to the extreme, which might be the only cure for the cruelty of human selfishness.
Regarding to having a second child April 3, 2009
I’m wondering why there is not a whole lot of publications on this, for me a cause of much agony and anxiety. Among all the myths a woman has to endure and live with, very few attention or splitting of views is given on the choice to have one or more kid.
I’m standing at the crossroad, knowing this decision is inadvertently the most important one for my whole life and trying to lay out a good foundation for argument. As the maternal instinct pushes, all the for votes go side by side with the conventional wisdom. One child is too lonely, too possessive, selfish and a sibling can change the equation like no others. Plus the benefit of having another person to love, needless to say to be conforming to the majority of multiple-kid families categories.
However, when I look the past four years of my motherhood, the most prominent feeling passing the glory and joy of loving a child, is really how much the “woman” behind the “mom” has been altered, my career had to take a setback, personal development impeded, most of all, a sense of feeling your own person, not a diminutive “mini” person living in a big shell of “mom” has to take a back seat.
For me, I see that little person is trying so hard to come out of the shell, and finally the curve is heading up from the slump. Having a second child means to push me back again, physically, emotionally, intellectually, economically, the more I think about it, the more I see the road divided right at this junction. I love my son wholeheartedly and he will remain my sole devotion, and he will realize having mommy being a whole person is probably more important than having a sibling to play with.
Friends and family, your opinions are welcomed and appreciated, like I say, let the great debate start…..
Outliers March 9, 2009
You have probably heard about this bestseller sensation but may wonder what kind of book it is to be one of the most popular non-fiction titles ever. In one of the most fascinating books I’ve read, “success” was examined and analyzed in the most unusual way. Outliers tries to demystify so called personal attributes such as talents, efforts or social-economic class to determine one’s success. What do three most important figures in PC history, Bill Joy, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have in common? Surely they’re outstandingly talented but the answer will definitely surprise you.
Does IQ, hard work or family upbringing really play main roles in determining one’s success? Or is it more the sheer luck of being born in the right time, the right culture and the right community in order to create a “genius” of our time? Chapter after chapter, the author weaves through compelling evidence of case studies and cultural analyses to show us the truth behind a success story. Amazingly insightful and ingenious, Gladwell takes the readers in for a treat to dissect the parts and pieces which put an individual or culture ahead of the curve. And by the same token, he found compelling reasons why certain individuals or cultures just couldn’t make the cut. Chris Langan, world’s smartest man, whose IQ is above Einstein’s, is a quintessential case of why just high IQ is not enough to be an outlier.
In searching for a high-quality non-fiction title for teens, I found myself extremely gratified with this groundbreaking book. Teens will be immersed with Gladwell’s refreshing ideas in a mission to find the factors that made one an “outlier”. Also try his earlier works “The Tipping Point” and “Blink” with the same kind of enlightening power.
If you give Wall Street a Bailout January 4, 2009
A poem inspired by ” If you give a Mouse a Cookie”
If you give Wall Street a Bailout
If you give Wall Street a bailout,
He is going to ask for unfreezing of the credit market;
When the market remains frozen,
He will want you to lower the interest rate;
When the low interest rate doesn’t rally the stock market,
He will want you save his friends in Detroit;
If you save his friends in Detroit,
He will also want you to lend hands to his friends the homebuilders;
But when his Detroit Friends show up in private jets,
You get angry and bellow “No bailouts to all of you tonight! Now go to bed.”
But when Wall Street is getting weary again,
He will come to you for an even lower interest rate;
Chances are when the interest rate approaches zero,
He will need a bailout to go with it.
Reflections and Resolutions December 22, 2008
It’s not that I like the sentiment of the Wall Street and the likes, but boy am I happy that 2008 is near its end. All of sudden, I found myself living in Dickens’s ” It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. Obama’s win marked the high point of history and the avalanche of the global recession marked the low.
At the personal level, 2008 has been pretty monumental with many news still leaving me in disbelief. As I flipped through the reflective issue of the Time magazine, I couldn’t believe how my personal life was paralleling to the historical backdrop. A year marked with numerous scandals(Spitzer, John Edwards, Madoff), a year will have generations to come to ponder the definition of greed, bailouts, deleverages… Am I a participant in the midst of the craziness or merely an analyst trying to make sense of it? Maybe a little of both, but I do wish I have a turbo-charged spirit to soar through the gloomy moods of people and media. This is a year that I found my happiness is no longer solely depending on my own well-being but also people and events surrounding me. I’m 37, don’t tell me that’s called the mid-life C word.
And here’s to 2009, I will be always preparing for challenges in life. Be more vigilant and preemptive, be more proactive and disciplined in finding solutions to problems. Be more resourceful and helpful to all people who need me. But most importantly, be able to feel thankful and happy for what I have accomplished so far.