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May 25, 2010

最近来西雅图的人不少,有从北京微软过来的,有从美国各地来的。好多人都在问西雅图附近有啥好玩的,也有不少攻略,比如这个。我也来写写:

Mt. Rainier的野花

搜一下就知道Mt. Rainier的野花有多美了。Mt. Rainier 是西雅图附近的一座休眠火山,也是西雅图附近的三座国家公园之一。看野花的时间最好是在6月底7月初,到了8月野花就不多了,而蚊子会特别多。一般在Rainier看野花的地方,主要是Paradise,可以开车到那里。想看野花,停车场边上就可以,不过最好是沿着skyline trail走一下,能看到更多的品种,另外还能看到旱獭。旱獭是一种胖胖的小动物,平时不怎么怕人,就在路边的石头上趴着晒太阳,如果有危险,会吹口哨,然后附近的旱獭们就一起钻到洞里去了。

在山的另外一边,是Sunrise,这边的野花没有Paradise那么多,不过是另外一番风景。

开车到Paradise的过程也是很让人身心愉快的事情 - 前提是司机不能怕开山路。Mt. Rainier的山路还是很安全的,刚进公园的地方是一片森林,里面有很多巨大的针叶树。从森林里面出来,就可以看到路边很多的Paintbrush野花,没错,微软的画笔软件就是这个名字。有Paintbrush的地方海拔就比较高了。绕过某个限速5迈/小时的弯,Mt. Rainier巨大的山体会突然出现在眼前。后面的事情,就是去体验了。

对Mt. Rainier看野花的基本评价:

  • 难度:简单
  • 车程:2.5到3小时(从西雅图出发)
  • 最佳时间:6月底到7月
  • 注意:防蚊防晒

从Issac的buzz里面看到virushuo的《美国馆和他们的社会化 媒体》,里面说道:

好玩之处是,西方的geek比东方健谈,他们似乎更愿意和人交流,而不象东方geek们随身带着各种数码装备,手机,笔记本,iPad一应俱全,随手拿出 来就开始玩。不知道这种差别是什么造成的,但是想想”宅”这个词也是发源于东方,似乎也有点道理。

这个我想除了两边文化和教育的不同之外,还有一个就是:美国的人口密度比中国低太多了。

有这么个笑话:以前没出国的时候,听说美国人都特友好,见面就打招呼,hello how are you的。出了国才知道,那哪是友好啊,根本就是憋的。好不容易才见到一人,赶紧打招呼。这要是搁中国大街上,见人就打招呼,就算别人不斜眼看你,自己也累够呛。

所以我看国内的geek们用那些电子产品,其实是想给自己创造一个过滤器,减少干扰。

当然美国的文化教育也是另一个方面。很多美国家庭教育孩子要对人友好,见面要打招呼。美国熟人见面,要谈笑风生才好,说话少了就觉得冷场;国内的孩子如果不说话,会被人夸真乖。

这是某次出去hiking的时候,和朋友聊起来的话题:脑子是如何组织信息的?

我的看法是:脑子组织信息的最基本方式,一定是非常简单直接的。因为脑子最早不过是几个神经元,是不可能有任何复杂的形式的。这个论点是从神经网络那里借来的。之所以提起来,是因为现在的很多软件系统,无论是编程语言,还是社交网络,都过于复杂,而基础复杂的东西,是很难形成大规模系统的。复杂是系统的基本构件被多次重复以后的一个不良后果,是需要被尽量避免的,而不是追求的目标。

以OO语言和SQL为例,两者都是定义对象,OO语言是定义类,SQL是定义schema,这种从一开始就定义好对象有多少属性的方式,很工程化,很有效,但是未必是脑子组织信息的真实方式。

我更喜欢这句话:

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck — it is a duck.

听起来很幼稚无知,但是我觉得,这个更接近人认知世界的方式。

May 24, 2010

http://cdixon.org/2010/05/22/while-google-fights-on-the-edges-amazon-is-attacking-their-core/

这篇东西有意思,回头有时间写写

May 21, 2010

早上起来,看到信箱里躺着建硕的来信“创业公司需要孵化吗?”。如果不是老婆孩子还在熟睡,我会笑出声来的,同样会让人难堪的尖锐问题,建硕总是有办法问的很得体。

建硕把企业比喻成野兽,我也用过同样的比喻。在我看来,一个初创企业的原动力之一,是创始人的意志。如果创始人能够推动企业不断的前进,那么成功的几率就大一些;如果创始人失去了这种动力,那么企业就失去了动力。从某种意义上说,初创企业其实是创始人制造的某种工具,用来执行创始人的意志。这种工具在开始的时候,因为各种限制,只能很简单,简单到类似一双筷子,以后或许会变得复杂,但是灵魂人物不能缺。

startup能成功,需要有和其他企业不同的地方,需要非常的不同,才有可能脱颖而出。这是一种气质,一种被自己的想法兴奋,有点狂热的感觉。

在国内工作的时候,我和同事讨论《只有偏执狂才能生存》这本书,当时我们的人事经理说:我觉得偏执狂这个词翻译的不好,应该叫《惶者生存》。我们几个小兵事后嘀咕了一下,觉得还是更喜欢偏执狂这个词,主要是感觉更好一点,也说不出为什么。现在回想起来,惶者似乎太文雅了,缺乏那种彪悍的感觉。

另外提一句,techstars似乎是另外一个incubator, 但是他们做事略有不同。有时候,细微的差别是很重要的。

May 20, 2010

昨晚去参加了西雅图2.0的颁奖仪式。网站在这里。这是一个西雅图web类startup的聚会,里面有很多成功人士,还有像我这样正在向成功努力的人。

Picnik的创始人Jonathan作了keynote,讲述了他做startup的几个心得体会。Picnik是他做的第三个成功的startup了,也是他做的第二个被google收购的公司。

这是一个小圈子,我在party上遇到了上次在DEMO的活动里面遇到的好几个人,还遇到了One Bus Away的作者,U. Of Washington 计算机系的博士生Brian.这也是一个快速增长的圈子,按照TechStars的创始人的数据,去年Seattle还只有300多个startups,今年就有500多了,当然还有无数他们不知道的startups在成长。

说实话,能够找到这样一群聪明的,有趣的,疯狂的人,实在是很好玩的一件事情。

这里要感谢我的朋友,skyglue的创始人Eric送我的票。

May 14, 2010

记得10年以前上网的时候,对论坛上面的很多话,我是相信的,因为那个时候互联网还年轻,还没有触及到政治利益,还没有五毛和美分,也没有把某个国家的国务院要求开着服务器当成很光荣的事情。那个时候,因为新闻联播和美国之音这对兄弟实在是让人厌烦,于是我上网,相信网络上面不认识的人的话。

现在互联网触及了政治利益,网络推手遍地走,五毛美分不如狗,论坛上面随便一个人都不能轻信。回去相信新闻联播和福克斯新闻(Fox News)吗?我脑残啊我去信狐狸的话?那么活生生的身边的人呢?也不行。经常有西服革履的销售人员,带着职业的笑容面具,龇着贝壳一样白净的牙齿,咬牙切齿的对我说:让我来告诉你,我的朋友,真相是这样的…

而我心里的那位agent mulder就会操着一口的京片子说:真相?小样,就凭你?你承受的了真相吗?

无论哪个人提供的建议,都是从自己的利益和视角出发的,即使是最爱我们的父母,也有不同于我们的经历,他们的看法也未必合适。每个建议,在带来信息的同时,也带来影响我们决定的偏见。

May 11, 2010

这里有一个关于编程语言的笑话:

http://james-iry.blogspot.com/2009/05/brief-incomplete-and-mostly-wrong.html

我本来想翻译的,因为实在对geek们来说,太好玩了。不过翻译了一段再一看,实在是无趣的紧,大家还是自己去看吧。如果你对编程语言不了解,或者英文不够好,那不看也罢,因为你会觉得很无聊的。

这是以前在旧金山湾区的时候,和一个俄国小子开玩笑的事情。当时我们俩比赛说浆果的名字,我们从草莓开始说,说完了我们知道的所有英文名字里面有berry的东西,然后他说:只要是有藤的,然后上面长果子的就算。于是我们继续,说了西红柿和葡萄,最后他说:西瓜!我承认他赢了。

西瓜变成浆果,主要是我们改了定义:有藤的果子就是浆果。那么西雅图到底是不是硅谷?你可以说:当然不是!西雅图是多雨的,书卷气的,充满了各种自然美景的软件圣地;硅谷是晴朗的,冲动的,两边都是山的硬件天堂。可是如果你改一下定义,把硅谷定义成创新的人才和资金的完美融合之地,那么这里其实也是一个硅谷。微软,Amazon和Expedia在这里,zillow,redfin和Evri在这里,google来办了分部,Michael Arrington搬到西雅图了,虽然他被人叫做混蛋,facebook也要来办分部

这里的投资虽然还不像湾区的阳光那么充沛,但是至少也有西雅图雨季那么连绵。等等,办软件和互联网公司,需要那么多钱吗?你甚至连车库都不需要,你只需要一台上网本,坐在有免费wifi的咖啡馆里就可以了。

说到咖啡馆,星巴克的第一家店在哪里?:)

May 3, 2010

原文在这里