Sep 17, 2021

Pride and vanity

Ambition and the desire to be superior are symptoms of both -- pride and vanity.
  • Pride: Alexander learned everything of the intellectual life, at the side of one of the greatest thinkers the world has ever known -- Aristotle. He came to the ways of a truly rational human being, and he thrived in them. He saw how much better it made him than other people. And so pride grew. Pride places your own opinions, especially your opinions about yourself, above those of anyone else. Pride is the inordinate desire of one’s own excellence. Many of Plutarch’s anecdotes show that Alexander measured himself, not by the opinions of others, but by what he believed a virtuous man would do. Since he wished to see himself as virtuous, he did nothing that he would consider base: 
    • "But Alexander, esteeming it more kingly to govern himself than to conquer his enemies, sought no intimacy with any one of them [captive women], nor indeed with any other women before marriage, except Barsine." --- Plutarch’s Life of Alexander
  • Vanity: The vain person places his self-worth in what others think of him. That is how the vice of vanity is related to the adjective “vain” meaning “useless”. It is useless to care excessively about what others think of us. In the end, we can’t control what they think, and vanity locks us into a cycle of trying to please everyone, which, we all profess, we can’t do. So we end up dissatisfied with ourselves, and we blame the world.
    • "His conduct displayed many great inconsistencies and variations, not unnaturally, in accordance with the many and wonderful vicissitudes of his fortunes; but among the many strong passions of his real character, the one most prevailing of all was his ambition and desire of superiority." -- Plutarch’s Life of Alcibiades



Jul 1, 2021


The art of persuasion of a speaker. Aristotle -- the father of rhetoric -- suggested three ways to accomplish a successful rhetoric:

  • Ethos: an appeal to the teller's/speaker's character
  • Pathos: an appeal to the audience's emotion
  • Logos: an appeal to logical reasoning

Apartments at Des-Moines

  • Hubbell Tower Apartments
    • 6 mins drive
    • did not find one with balcony 
    • awesome building + nice interior
    • 634 sqft
      • pretty small and congested
    • little expensive
      • 1 month free (1 year lease + move-in by 7/31)
  • Rowat Lofts
    • not available
    • awesome building + interior
    • bit expensive



Useful references:

Jun 27, 2021

Olympic 2021

Track and Field

  • 100m
    • *ShaCarri Richardson (W) (US Best 10.64s)
    • *Bromel (M) (US Best 9.77s)
    • *Grant Holloway (M) (Hurdles)
    • Keni Harrison (W) (Hurdles)
  • 200m
    • *Noah Lyle (M)
    • *Knighton (M)
    • Gaby Thomas (W) (US Best ~21s)
    • Jenna Prandini (W)
  • 400m
    • *Rai Benjamin (M) 
    • *Sydney McLaughlin (W) (World Record Holder)  (Hurdles)
    • *Delilah Mohammad (W): (Previous World Record Holder) (Hurdles)
    • Michael Norman (M)
  • 800m
    • Clayton Murphy (M) 
    • *Athing Mu (W)
  • 5000m
    • Paul Chelimo (M)
  • 1500m
    • Cole Howker (M)
    • *Mathew Centrowitz (M)
  • Hammer Throw
    • *DeAnna Price (W): (US Record Holder 80m)
  • Shot Put
    • Ryan Crouser (M): (US Record holder 76'8.25'')


  • *Katie Ledecky (W)
  • *Caleb Dressel (M)
  • *Michael Andrew (M) 
    • Ryan Lochte and Nathan Adrian did not qualify
  • *Ryan Murphy (M)
  • Abbey Witzel (W) 


  • *Simone Biles
  • Suni Lee
  • Jordan Chiles
  • Grace McCullum
  • McKayla Skinner
  • Jade Carey

Apr 23, 2021

Pursuit of Happiness VI

Synthetic happiness vs Natural happiness.

People roll an eye on synthetically happy people. So why is the case that synthetic happiness is devalued to a lower status? One reason is 'economic interest'. Allowing people happy won't drive the market.

Do debunk the perception experiments were conducted to find out whether synthetic people are happy for 'real'. Looks like amnesiac people experiment supports that.

Reference: The surprising science of happiness - Dan Gilbert

Gershgorin Theorem