Factory Girls review

At the surface, this book tells about what the lives of poor factory workers are like — millions of them — but at a deeper level, Factory Girls explains so much of China’s migrant culture, which is present in so many Chinese people. From high to no education, young Chinese people leave their hometown to […]

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Ajax

“14:00 this Sunday?” someone asks in the WeChat group. Our chat is named ‘五人小场群Wǔ rén xiǎo chǎng qún’ (Five people small field group) and holds 36 guys from the neighborhood, including me. We play football without a schedule, usually weekly. Someone mentions a time, and critical mass (ten or more) either does or doesn’t form. […]

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Garden of the mind

My New Year’s Resolution is to look for the good in people — as daft as it sounds. Because you see and feel what you look for. You can focus on bad shit and be totally right. But it’ll grow and grow until it becomes all of who you are. You can only be happy […]

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Life after life review

It took me in between hundred to two-hundred pages to get into this book, and even after that, the pace of ‘Life after life’ comes and goes. Some pages are so full of Ursula stepping over carefully described objects or through carefully decorated rooms. The high-level English is an obstacle for me, and Atkinson’s writing […]

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who hiring

‘Who: The A Method for Hiring’ review & summary

‘Who: The A Method for Hiring’ by by Geoff Smart and Randy Street is a fantastic book on hiring with practical advice that saves you time, and prevents you from hiring the wrong people. Who summary Here’s a summary of the tips for my own reference (and perhaps, yours): The goal is to hire ‘A-players’, […]

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Visiting a tier-4 city near Shanghai: A day in Danyang

When I search for tier-3 or tier-4 cities on Google or Baidu, I’m always looking at the same kind of photos: grey skies above a wide river, a park with leafless trees, and maybe an aerial photo of a harbor or monotone residential area. And other hits on Google would be a blog from a […]

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Solar panels versus coal mines

An asset or resource is something you dig up (like coal), or someone you hire like a great CEO (yes, that’s why they call it ‘human resources’). When you’re a car company, you use resources like steel and rubber and leather to make engines and wheels and seats, and in the end; cars. You can […]

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No Rules Rules review

I was a bit afraid to start a non-fiction book again, and after the great introduction this book is also slow to pick up the pace. I was asking myself “Why do I read non-fiction books again?” They’re usually blog posts stretched to 250 pages. But No Rules Rules picks up the pace quickly and […]

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Hackers & Painters review

The book started unexpectedly well, blending programming, art, and history. Paul Graham’s writing style is really pleasant: in an almost childish way he looks at things from the most basic way, and then extrapolates that to either a bigger picture or the future (usually both). Each page is full of dialectic paragraphs, which is a […]

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Returning pants, tracking your kid, and scheduling dinner or a football field: 4 functions of Chinese apps

Lots has been written on apps like WeChat or Tmall, but rarely articles zoom in on details. I’ll pick four functions here showing how well everything works together. These apps are not thrilling, but extremely functional. Mind you, these functions are used daily — not just by people handy with phones but most people between […]

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