Why reading?

On the whole, I don't read a lot in my previous 24 years (even for programming books, I prefer to explore on my own and learn things in practice). While, for some reason, I think so-called "Internet Era" is chipping away at people's abilities of deep thinking and making sophiscated decisions. Then I believe I should control my mind in a "despotic way".

The reason why I read SFs

Influenced by one of my best friends Fan Luo. People love good old days, therefore, some of my best memories come from those old Nerd friends. Yes, I just feel nostalgic for the time we wrote our own science fictions about the countries of which we were the kings, week after week. Anyway, the script is lost though.

The reason why I read non-SFs

I didn't realize how important reading is until I see this line from Quora: "Your mind is the one thing that controls your thoughts everyday and the thoughts that you think create the reality that you see around you." Most people let their minds being shaped by the environment, getting whatever information they receive, reacting naturally, and loop. Mind is so critical such that self-aware protection is necessary instead of throwing it into chaos and let it survive on its own. It needs to be deliberately crafted by controlling the input channel. Naturally, reading books is the obvious way.

Currently Reading:

  • Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
  • Understanding Power, by Noam Chomsky
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams.
  • Power of Silence, by Carlos Castaneda

On My List:

  • The Singularity is Near, by Ray Kurzweil
  • Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley


  • 1984, by George Orwell (May. 2016)
  • Interesting read. Too real, even in today.
  • Guns, Germs and Steel, by Jared Diamond (Feb. 2016)
  • It is about everything: anthropology, linguistics, history, geopraphy, biology, archaeology, epidemiology and others. It's fascinating to put scattered pieces together and devise a grand framework as such to understand the human race.
  • Dealing with China, by Henry Paulson (Dec. 2015)
  • A very unique perspective to re-exam the Chinese economic reform in retrospect. As an executive of IB, partner of Chinese government, official of Washington and friends of quite a number of Chinese senior leaders, Paulson reveals his understanding of evolution of Chinese economy and the obstacles it faces.
  • 侯卫东官场笔记, by 小桥流水 (Oct. 2015)
  • Interested in the Chinese micro political system, as an outsider? Then this is a fun book to read. It is nothing but revealing the practical philosophy of surviving in Chinese political ladder and how the patronage-aided meritocracy works.
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez (Mar. 2015)
  • Spent three months to finish the read. It's difficult to keep the storyline in the beginning, then something is touched, is resonating. Maybe solitude is inevitable while aging, that's why we find ourselves in the book.
  • The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli (Feb. 2015)
  • From Zero to One, by Peter Thiel (Oct. 2014)
  • I finish reading on the flight to attend the first offsite meeting in .406 Ventures. Thiel discussed "startup thinking" instead of "startup manifest" in the book. Many ideas are quite inspiring.
  • The Ph.D. Grind, by Philip J. Guo (Jul. 2014)
  • A book every Ph.D. student should read.
  • 看见, by 柴静 (Jul. 2014)
  • 一地鸡毛, by 刘震云 (Jun. 2014)
  • I like the story "塔埔", it reminds me of the stories father told me about cultural revolution and the first National Higher Education Entrance Examination in 1977. "新兵连" is also pretty good. Liu likes to use a plain tongue to discuss misfortunes.
  • 温顾一九四二, by 刘震云 (Jun. 2014)
  • South of the Border, West of the Sun, by Haruki Murakami (May. 2014)
  • The Hard Things about Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz (May. 2014)
  • Ok. It's tough to run a startup. Persistent is the only solution.
  • Living History, by Hillary Clinton (Apr. 2014)
  • The shocking part for me is she is stark honest about the fears, confusions and predicaments she had in the young ages. Great men/women come from reflections and self-improvement afterwards.
  • Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card. (Nov. 2013)
  • One can think of his own life when reading it. Anyway, I like it mostly because it's very realistic.
  • 一句顶一万句, by 刘震云 (Jun. 2012)
  • One of the best books I have read. Life is doomed to be solitary, the whole journey is about finding someone you can talk to and treat as to yourself.
  • Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson (2012)
  • 三体三部曲, by 刘慈欣 (Oct. 2011)
  • Second one (dark forest theory) is pretty good, the ending is not my favoriate.
  • 超新星纪元, by 刘慈欣 (Nov. 2011)
  • I think it might be inspired by "Ender's Game", still pretty good story, bold background setting and reasonable imagination.
  • The Revolution of the Ants, by Bernard Werber (Mar. 2001)
  • One of the favoriate books in my childhood. Very unique perspective.

Special Section: Wait But Why articles

http://waitbutwhy.com/ has the very best posts ever. Tim Urban is such a genius, period. Here are some best posts I have read.