Saturday, April 20, 2019

Playlist/播放列表: 5 Stages - Denial

Denial (否认)
1. So What - P!nk
2. Don't Wanna Know (feat. Kendrick Lamar) - Maroon 5
3. It Ain't Me - Kygo & Selena Gomez
4. Treat You Better - Shawn Mendes
5. 我们说好的 - 张靓颖
6. 最后的风度 - 罗志祥
7 . 我不难过 - 孙燕姿

1st stage of grief.
The amazement of everything failing apart so quickly.
The alleged confidence that everything is going to be fine.
The I don't have time for this right now.

______________________

This has been something that I had worked on ~7 years ago. Picking this up now and trying to consolidate this list again, with new songs that are now in my song library.




Saturday, August 8, 2015

Becoming Steve Jobs



I'm blanking where I came to hear about this book, I just remember reading somewhere that this book would be good.

Turns out, for me, it was a much much better read than Walter Isaacson's version of Jobs. As a preface, I might suffer from confirmation bias from my previous article of Isaacson's book.

I won't cover much of the book contents, there are the usual bits of history, but not as much as the Walter Isaacson (I mean, one being a biography, I'll attribute it to a style choice).

Instead, I would describe this book as a compilation of mini stories throughout his years starting from 1979. This isn't a retelling of history that you can find on Wikipedia. (Well actually you can now after this book is published.) As a journalist covering the industry, Schlender has a lot of notes from different eras of Steve Jobs life. Moreover, he interviewed various people that crossed Steve's path. They say that wounds heal with time, and remembering a figure that has been passed on has made a lot of people being interviewed a little more candid and opinionated about things.

Schlender interviewed a lot people in the inner circle including both Tim Cook and Lauren Powell Jobs for this book during 2013 to 2014. Constructing stories that we know with these interviews brings more life and passion to the stories, and also to the people.

There is an entire chapter devoted to much shared/retweeted 2005 Stanford University commencement address. The trials and tribulations of getting to the stadium, Steve Jobs panicking at the last minute. The entire speech is reprinted in its entirety. Something even which Isaacson's book does not have. (It was used with permission from Apple and Lauren Powell Jobs.)

Continuing with the mini-stories, the last chapter wasn't something that summarizes the feelings of everyone interviewed, or having an title that is . It was titled "Just tell them I'm being an asshole". It came from a conversation that Schlender had with Jobs about not being able to make it to an important roundtable due to his health. Without wanting to tell the others the real reason for his absence, he simply said:
"Just tell them I'm being an asshole. That's what they'll probably be thinking, anyway, so why not just say it?"
I felt that was the best representation of Jobs' attitude at his age. He's owning up to that part of his history, embracing the arrogance of his youth, perhaps poking fun at it a little.

Maybe Walter Isaacson was caught in the Steve Jobs reality distortion field that was so famously described in his book. Don't get me wrong, his book is still the way to go for people who wants a historically accurate version of Steve Jobs. However, it is missing that spark and passion that Jobs himself embodies. In engaging/courting Isaacson for his biography, he rises to the list of people that Isaacson has wrote biographies about: Einstein, Franklin, Kissinger. The Isaacson story is a story that was essentially told by Jobs. Reading that book and this book has told me a lot about how Jobs' wanted control. Control over product announcements, control over leaking bad news, control over how his story is written. Even when he didn't interfere with Isaacson's version, the side/version that Jobs told Isaacson was essentially what he wanted the world to see of him, of his legacy.

It is sad then, that that book is the official biography of Steve Jobs. There are so many things that can be inferred, so many anecdotes from the interviews of Lauren Powell Jobs, Bill Gates, Ed Catmull, Tim Cook and Jony Ive, that complete the picture of Steve Jobs.

I recommend this book to people who have read Isaacson's book and came away feeling that they've missed parts of the story. Reading this book will not tell you the entire story of Steve Jobs, but you'll leave with a very good idea of who Jobs is and what he stands for.


PS: After doing some wikipedia reading which links to the articles, seems like Apple endorses this book as well. That's great to know. Maybe that's where I remembered it from.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Weird Al and his 8 days of coverage



Weird Al Yankovic has a new album out. Mandatory Fun.

To me, it wasn't how good his songs were that was interesting.
It was how he advertised for this album.

He said that he would reveal 1 new video in each day for each day. He certainly started out strong with Tacky, his parody of "Happy" by Pharrell. Then followed by "Word Crimes", and so on...

He could have just revealed everything on his website, or stuck with a particular website, or his Youtube channel, or VEVO like every other artist.

Instead... he did this:
1st video on Nerdist
2nd on VEVO
3rd on CollegeHumor
4th on Yahoo
5th on FunnyOrDie
6th on Popcrush
7th on his own YouTube channel
8th on The Wall Street Journal

The order of the website is interesting. Perhaps alluding to the amount of influence each site has on the release of his album (VEVO being a conglomerate of multiple record companies including Sony Music Entertainment, which label RCA is releasing this album), on him (He hosts a show on Nerdist), on the internet (CollegeHumor/Yahoo/Funny or Die) or on mainstream coverage (WSJ).

As the days went by, I was trying to guess both which song was going to be shown and the website on which it was to debut on.

The only one I don't understand is Popcrush. It's not a particularly big or important enough site for a Weird Al video to "exclusively" debut. As of writing this, it is still on the front page, albeit relegated to a link under "Latest News" [for something 3 days ago...].

Then again, by giving these websites exclusivity, he probably saved a lot of production / promotion fees for these videos. By grouping these videos together in a 8 day barrage, each website gets more views from different demographics and in turn, perhaps, encourage the person visiting to check out more of the site.

Out of his parodies in this album, there was one song that was left out. "Inactive", a parody of Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive was not made into a video. He did make the right choice though, I felt that it was the most uninspired song in the entire album. For parodies of the fluffy, he himself left a huge shadow with his 1988 song "Fat" [or even "Eat It" to that extent].

I leave you with my favourite song in this album:




EDIT:
Turns out most of it has been covered by The Atlantic. Oh wells.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

忙里偷闲



我很忙吗?

看起来不像吧,但是有许多事情要处理。
有些事情不是我自己能够解决的,目前还是要自己解决。

是我觉得我不行还是我真的不行?

不知道。

一位朋友过世打断了每天的奔波。
要怎么去过这段人生,要怎么面对未来。
这位朋友上个星期对我说,
in the nicest of ways: Have you figured out what to do with your life?
Well I know what I want to do today, I know what I will be doing a month from now, a couple of months from now. A year?
一年算长吗?我还真的没想这么远。

老妈也是帮个倒忙。要顾虑的有太多,不确定的有太多。
要在这里面寻找平衡,一个能够满足所有要求与条件的少之又少。

再找呗。

给这位朋友的歌:
Listening to: John Legend - All of Me

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Movie Recommendation: Shanghai Calling

You're welcome: http://youtu.be/GB_Doaxx7HI

You know the thing that people do when they pretend it's a place but they aren't actually there?

I hate this in films, I hate this in video games.

Media that misrepresent the places and the people whom live in these places.

After watching the trailer for this movie, I had a good feeling that this was going to be at least not bad.

But this just exceeded my expectations. Turns out it was excellent.

I got a real kick out of watching the city I remember, all the crowds, all the places, all the Shanghaiese, and the side characters saying stuff that are not subtitled.

The plot is meh, but I really really love the setting. (I'm biased like that)


Fun fact: Daniel Henney really isn't Chinese, he's Korean.