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I write about design, technology, and people. Sometimes I take photos of places I visit.

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Good books I read in 2018

Books on a shelf.

The past year was excellent regarding quantity and quality of books I read. It would make me ecstatic if I could repeat it this year too (a man can dream). Here are my top picks from 2018. Read more

Gapminder and Dollar Street

In my yearly review of 2017, I wrote about how different generations in my family have lived their lives and what technologies and life improvements they’ve seen for the first time. My description was based solely on conversations with family members and my memory. However, this year, I learned about Rosling’s country levels framework used by Gapminder Foundation. People living in extreme poverty are on level 1 while most affluent people in the world live on level 4. The majority live somewhere in the middle.

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Stability vs. disruption, and the three pillars of a big company

After finishing school, I worked in several small and privately-owned companies. The hierarchy there is simple—the founder is usually the CEO, and everyone else reports to him or her. Small companies often specialize and work in a niche.

It took me four years of working in a big company to figure out its structure and social dynamics of different groups of employees. Below is my current understanding. Read more

Wrinkles

I scribbled down a few thoughts about wrinkles back in early 2015. Yes, wrinkles. During the years up to that point, I’ve been noticing how much people yearn for youth and beauty, and started to think about what would it mean if I had wrinkles. The way I saw it then, having wrinkles would mean I’ve lived long and that I haven’t died in an accident or from disease too early. The shape of wrinkles would also indicate if I’ve smiled or frowned a lot. I really want the wrinkles from smiling.

I was onto something by hinting at the importance of how my time was spent, but couldn’t put it nicely in a short form. Then this year I read On the shortness of life by Seneca, a Roman philosopher. He wrote in the essay:

There’s no reason to believe that someone has lived long because he has gray hair and wrinkles: he’s not lived long but long existed.

If you want to read more, check out the archive.

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