Life on Coronavirus Lockdown in ChinaThe New Yorker

何伟(Peter Hesseler)对武汉隔离生活的惟妙惟肖的描述。在新型冠状病毒肺炎在武汉爆发伊始,大家还在争论不休究竟是蝙蝠还是穿山甲把疫情带来华南海鲜市场的时候,我便在李如一的《一天世界》频道上看到了分享的何伟的《汤里的老鼠》(A Rat in My Soup)。然后就对后续关于隔离生活的报道的故事有所期待,果不其然,这一篇终于来了。

After the epidemic began, though, I saw that recurring phrase—“I’m going to the hospital!”—in a new light. The textbook was accurate: if somebody’s ear hurts, often her only option is to go straight to the hospital. In China, there’s no comprehensive primary-care system, which is one reason that the coronavirus spiralled out of control so quickly in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province, where the epidemic started.

These costumes of the quarantine, along with all the other restrictions, helped turn citizens inward, and people directed their energy toward whatever space was left to them. Among the packages in my lobby, I noticed many home furnishings and cleaning implements: a Pincai-brand storage cabinet for 602, a Deema vacuum cleaner for 2304, a giant carpet, wrapped in tape and plastic, for 303. There was home-office equipment (wireless mouse, 4201; file cabinets, 301). By the forty-fourth day, somebody in 3704 had felt the need to buy an electric footbath machine from Kosaka. (“Powerful by Dreams.”)

There are many types of loneliness in this world, but it’s a unique sensation to feel that you are the only individual in a forty-three-story building who is drinking his way through a quarantine.

That part was easy, because it was rare to have an old-fashioned mask-to-mask conversation with anybody. Apart from home life, my interactions were mostly by e-mail, phone, or WeChat, and often the subject of these exchanges was the isolation itself.

N.Y.C.’s 911 System Is Overwhelmed. ‘I’m Terrified,’ a Paramedic Says.The New York Times

New York City’s soundtrack has always included the sound of ambulance sirens. But now, with many of the city’s businesses closed and its neighborhoods quiet, endless wailing seems to echo through the deserted streets.New York City’s soundtrack has always included the sound of ambulance sirens. But now, with many of the city’s businesses closed and its neighborhoods quiet, endless wailing seems to echo through the deserted streets.

‘We Take the Dead From Morning Till Night’The New York Times

这是纽约时报对意大利 Bergamo 地区疫情中心的图文报道。仿佛曾经看到的关于战争的画报——代入感太强烈,不适感也随之而来。这可能是最直触我心的报道了。

The Coronavirus Crisis Reveals New York at Its Best and WorstThe New Yorker


Infected but Feeling Fine: The Unwitting Coronavirus SpreadersThe New York Times


The Coronavirus Patients Betrayed by Their Own Immune SystemsThe New York Times


Usually, the stronger your immune system, the better. But what if the strength of your immune response is what betrays you? — Apoorva Mandavilli (@apoorva_nyc)

Back from the BrinkThe Daily, The New York Times

这是纽约时报播客的关于 3 月初新泽西第一例病例的经历和他与记者的对话。这个人恰好是个华人,而且是个和中国大陆医生有联系的医疗从业者。从他被确诊到治愈的经历看到的当时美国医疗系统准备之不充足是相当令人震惊的。

One of the things that I’m hearing from doctors is that until you are in this moment and experiencing the onslaught of patients, it is very hard to imagine it. You can’t really know until you’re actually living it. And you know, every hospital in this country is likely to have its James. It’s going to have that first patient who comes in, who is really ill. They’re not exactly sure how to treat it. And you know, every hospital in this country is likely to have its James. It’s going to have that first patient who comes in, who is really ill. They’re not exactly sure how to treat it. We still really don’t know how best to treat this virus. That is the hard, cold truth of it. There are some protocols that we hope will help, that are thought might help. But it’s unclear. It’s so new. And it’s going to be really hard for all those hospitals. And they’re going to have to make difficult choices. They’re going to have to make complicated ethical choices. They’re going to have to make decisions on the fly and build up their clinical experience. And it’s not going to be easy for any of them.

The Return of the GovenorThe Daily, The New York Times


生活在纽约市,大多数时候,州政府、市政府的存在感是很弱的;但这一次疫情,现实让我重新认识了市长 Bill de Blasio,又认识了州长 Andrew Cuomo。要不是疫情的爆发,我其实对于州长「govenor」里的「govern」几乎没有什么确实的概念;这次疫情也是对美国政治体制认识的一个绝好机会。


以下两段节选自 Olivia Laing 的 The Lonely City 的第五章 The Realms of the Unreal

Lonely child vs. healthy child

在 20 世纪初的阶段里,为了照顾到婴儿的身体健康,人们忽视了婴儿的心理健康,这反倒让婴儿更脆弱。

这次新型冠状病毒(COVID-2019)在中国肆虐了一个月并逐步得到控制,却又在海外大肆蔓延。算到现在,病毒已经连续轰击我们的精神有两个月之久。在纽约亲历这次 COVID-2019 在席卷于美国大地的阶段,在家中努力做到 social-distancing,但读到这里不免会让我再一次想到关于身体和心理健康的有趣关系。

This sounds like common sense, but at the time of Darger’s childhood the consensus among health care providers of all kinds – from psychoanalysts to hospital doctors – was that all children required in the way of nourishment was a germ-free environment and a ready supply of food. The reigning belief was that tenderness and physical affection were actively detrimental to development and could in fact ruin a child.

To modern ears, this seems insane, but it was driven by a genuine desire to improve child survival. In the nineteenth century, child mortality had been enormously high, especially in institutions like hospitals and orphanages. Once germ transmission was understood, the preferred strategy of care was to maintain hygiene by minimising physical contact, moving beds apart and limiting interactions with parents, staff and other patients as much as possible. While this did indeed successfully reduce the spread of disease, it also had an unexpected consequence, which took decades to be properly understood.

In the newly sterile conditions, children failed to thrive. They were physically more healthy, and yet they wasted away, particularly the infants. Isolated and untouched, they went through paroxysms of grief, rage and despair, before eventually submitting passively to their state. Stiff, polite, apathetic and emotionally withdrawn, their behaviour made them easy to neglect, further entrenching them in acute, unspeakable loneliness and isolation.

The art of collage


Loneliness here is a longing not just for acceptance but also for integration. It arises out of an understanding, however deeply buried or defended against, that the self has been broken into fragments, some of which are missing, cast out into the world. But how do you put the broken pieces back together? Isn’t that where art comes in (yes, says Klein), and in particular the art of collage, the repetitive task, day by day and year by year, of soldering torn or sundered images together?

I was thinking a lot at the time about glue, how it functions as a material. Glue is powerful. It holds fragile structures together and stops things getting lost. It allows the depiction of images that are illicit or hard to access, like the homemade pornography David Wojnarowicz used to make as a child from Archie cartoons, taking a razor and turning Jughead’s nose into a penis; that sort of thing. Later, he used to wheatpaste discarded supermarket ads on walls and hoardings in the East Village, on to which he’d spray-painted stencils of his own design, making his visions adhere to the skin of the city, its outward shell. Later still, he worked intensely with collage, bringing together disparate images – fragments of maps, pictures of animals and flowers, scenes from pornographic magazines, scraps of text, the haloed head of Jean Cocteau – to construct the complicated and densely symbolic paintings of his maturity.

Like Wojnarowicz, they understood the rebellious power of glue, the way it lets you reconstruct the world. […]


在知乎问题最近 ACG 圈里面出现了很多饭圈粉,什么时候才会结束这种状况?中用户浅色回忆讨论了爱好者时代和饭圈时代中社群成员的差异在于「参与者身份和需求的变化」:

在“爱好者站点”时代,社群的身份归属,是“创作者”和“付出者”。 在“饭圈化”时代,社群的身份归属,是“消费者”、“依附者”、“狂热者”和“被误认的个体”。


换言之,以往社群的身份归属,“创作者”和“付出者”的职责部分被平台接了过去,剩下的部分就算依旧有社群,在互联网的声音里也成不了主流 […] 被剩下的社群参与者的核心目的,在商业化的推波助澜下,就蜕变成了“认同感”、“优越感”和“获取物质利益”。除了最后那个目的之外,大部分的行为是“被动的”,“被他人组织的”。这样的社群,自然会给人留下“攻击”、“排外”、“无知”等印象,让人感到不舒服。




Science + Food

Pocket Casts 1.6.6 更新日志,来自热爱曲奇、量子物理和牛奶的圣诞老人。

I gotta go, there’s cookies to eat and quantum physics to manipulate. You try fitting down a damn chimney after drinking 6 billion glasses of milk!

Pocket Casts 1.3.1 更新日志
Pocket Casts 1.3.1 更新日志

Portal 插曲《Still Alive》,在活着的时候边啃蛋糕边开发黑科技。

Aperture Science:
We do what we must
because we can
For the good of all of us
Except the ones who are dead
But there’s no sense crying over every mistake
You just keep on trying till you run out of cake
And the Science gets done
And you make a neat gun
For the people who are still alive

Anyway, this cake is great
It’s so delicious and moist
Look at me still talking
when there’s Science to do
When I look out there, it makes me GLaD I’m not you
I’ve experiments to run
There is research to be done
On the people who are still alive

And of course, The Big Bang Theory opening, Chinese food + Physics!

Big Bang Intro
《生活大爆炸》片头 (credit: CBS)


知乎用户贺师俊在回答怎样看待王垠的《我和 Google 的故事》?中提到王垠在 Google 经历到的种种不快,其实是来源于他「恐怕并不追求『改变世界』,而是一个纯粹以『解决难题』为『驱动力』的人」。于此,他反思到

其实我对这样的结果是很伤感的,我自己其实也是以「解决难题」而不是「改变世界」为驱动力的人,他的缺陷(比如「述(guang/wa)而(shuo/keng)不(bu)作(lian/tian)」)我一样有 —— 很多时候我倾向于,既然我已经想明白了,问题就已经解决了,剩下的事情(比如实作)不重要,我的时间和精力应该花在那些我还没想明白的事情上。



这一对于「解决问题」与「改变世界」的反思对于身处于 Ph.D. 过程中的我是非常有现实意义的。

之前在于长辈的探讨中也有意识到「解决问题」与「改变世界」这一分野。许多以「改变世界」为目标的人最后去做了企业家,或者至少是去开发产品;而学术界则不乏享受「解决问题」的研究者,他们只是在恰到好处的时间节点开掘了一块曾经无人涉足之地而从此奉献一生。但说到底这两种乐趣并不应该是完全割裂的。在从前的许多年里,我做的许多事情并没有被真正 deliver 掉。想给自己 Ph.D. 这一目标也是想再给自己一个训练自己在共同体之下留下自己痕迹的能力。


在英文语境之下,每每读到对抽象概念的精确的具象化描述的尝试总让令我折服,让我觉得抽象的概念其实原来也并不是那么无厘头的嘛。纽约 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 2019 年夏季新展 Artistic License: Six Takes on the Guggenheim Collection 上一段介绍性文字将战后艺术(postwar art)描述为「一套因战后暴戾与破坏而生的实验性艺术语言」的文字仿佛直击这一类艺术作品的存在目的。

The term postwar art has most typically been used to describe art created in the aftermath of World War II within a North American or Western European context. The advent of the atomic age – initiated by the United States’ bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945-and the atrocities of the Holocaust, perpetuated by Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, challenged artists and intellectuals to invent new languages and forms that could respond to the un-representable. The disjunction between Western ideologies and the realities of violence and devastation led many European and North American artists to embrace non-Western aesthetics and modes of thought.

In the visual arts, abstraction provided an experimental vocabulary with which to signify the magnitude of destruction caused by the war and the gravity of horrors unleashed by the nuclear bomb. It also offered artists an openended approach to envisioning other psychic or emotional states, as a respite and refuge from the harsh realities of the present. Simultaneously, figuration and performance art flourished, as artists sought to portray the radical fragmentation of the body-a result of the violence wrought against it and the environment, the cityscape, and the countryside. Art offered both a critique of and an escape from a war-weary world.

并不是因为创作于 1950–1970 它们才叫做战后艺术。







在《滚石》(Rolling Stone)杂志的编辑笔下,电视节目正变得越来越像是当代的音乐文化,每一个粉丝群体,在变得越发分裂和孤立。《滚石》2019 年 4 月刊 Editor’s Letter: Goodbye to ‘Game of Thrones’

Game of Thrones had a global reach like nothing before it on TV. When you factor in illegal downloads and streams, the previous season was viewed by at least a billion people — meaning one of seven humans on the planet. “It does things you never expected TV to be able to do in terms of dragons flying and burning up entire armies, and zombies storming down a mountain,” says Alan Sepinwall, our chief TV critic, who has never missed an episode. “It’s viscerally thrilling in a way that almost nothing in TV has ever been before.”

When Game of Thrones debuted, back in 2011, TV was a totally different place. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon hadn’t begun to create their own programming, and the audience for great shows wasn’t splintered across niche genres and formats. It was actually possible (and enjoyable!) to keep up with GoT and other great shows like Homeland, Breaking Bad and Mad Men as they unfolded week to week. Now, dozens of original shows, docs and miniseries are dumped onto streaming services every month, and even the best of them reach smaller, fragmented audiences.

“TV is like the new music, and more than a little tribal,” says Rolling Stone entertainment editor Maria Fontoura. “Everyone has their favorite shows, and people judge each other’s taste by what they’re watching.”

李如一笔下的 Apple News+ 也在让杂志变得越来越像是音乐。《一天世界》博客 Apple News+

苹果最落后的地方是反复讲各种「最好」和「最有创意」。汇集最好的杂志,找最好的创意人来做最好的电视节目。她们没有收到风,最好的时代已经结束了。没有最好,也没有更好,只有各种各样的好。不仅没有最好,甚至最火都已经没有了。已经不再是 for the rest of us 的苹果不懂这个。


Bangumi 番组计划网友 Jadeity 2018 年 12 月 20 日在~技术宅真可怕~小组的讨论中发表了题为「自动炖汤机」的帖子:


Nature 杂志 2018 年 11 月 29 日新刊 Steiner 等发表一种化学合成的描述性语言来控制自动化的化学合成过程 Organic synthesis in a modular robotic system driven by a chemical programming language 并冠以「Chemputer」之名:

The synthesis of complex organic compounds is largely a manual process that is often incompletely documented. To address these shortcomings, we developed an abstraction that maps commonly reported methodological instructions into discrete steps amenable to automation.

2018 年末,用机器代替人手这件事,还是一种迷人的浪漫。



今天读 Donald Preziosi 的《艺术史的艺术:批评读本》(The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology)的时候看到编者 1998 年撰写的开篇文章 Art History: Making the Visible Legible 中提到

Art history and museology traditionally fabricated histories of form as surrogates for or parallels to histories of persons or peoples: narrative stagings which served (on the model of forensic laboratory science) to illustrate, demonstrate, and delineate significant aspects of the character, level of civilization, or degree of social or cognitive advancement or decline of an individual or nation.