I thought about writing a paragraph to describe who I am. But it was hard, so I gave up. Instead, here is a collection of things from all over the internet that relates to me in some way. They are things I like, things I think about, things that have influenced me, and more.

Regular and artificial intelligence

My opinions that I want you to read are still under construction. I’ve only just started doing this, after all.

But every researcher and person curious about research should see (in order of increasing commitment to consume):

Here are things on the beaten path of artificial intelligence learning that I really liked. But I’m in no position to recommend to everyone:

Academic disposition

How I thought about school was more relevant when I was in college. But that wasn’t so long ago, and I’m still doing research.

The most important thing I ever read about American undergraduates was Violence and the Sacred: College as an incubator of Girardian terror. We were competing in a lot of meaningless ways. But it wasn’t all bad! I formed a lot of opinions about human nature. I also believe that the world really needs people who are intensely mimetic.

I might be biased, because one activity I participated in—college debate—some would say is the prime example of meaningless competition. It was a big part of college for me, and I loved it. Sally Rooney even wrote an essay about how stupid debate is (it’s socially insular, it promotes big egos and toxic idolization, etc.). But by the end of the essay we are both ready to win just to prove we can again. This essay is a trap. She must be happy about the irony.

I had a love-disappointment relationship with physics in college. Once, my naive self told a research advisor that I thought physics was the purest, highest tier of knowledge. My advisor (probably after rolling his eyes) told me I’m not special in a nice way: “Zhengdong, you’ll be able to find interesting problems in every field.”

So I decided not to apply for PhD programs in physics. But first, I found a lot of interesting things people have said about it:

The best philosopher is David Hume. I’m convinced by this essay and also this essay.

Fun fact: I have an Erdös number of at most four, from Paul Erdös to Vasek Chvátal to Yori Zwols to Thomas Keck to me. Crazy how that’s only one more than the median Fields Medalist. Anyway, I consider this a very scientific measure of my progress as a researcher, can’t wait for it to go down as I reach my final form.

Maximum fun

Where I give you fun recommendations.

Reading is so great. You learn so much. And it takes as much time as you want. And it can be free, if you want. My favorite books are:

My favorite poem is:

My favorite movies are:

My favorite music would take too long to explain and the explanations are a bit personal. So without explanation, here are:

My favorite podcast is:

Play these games with me:

Eventually I want to make a game. Right now I have no experience and am not serious about getting any. But it seems like one of the best ways to practice many skills—coding the game, writing the story, drawing the art, and composing the music. The peak exercise of renaissance ability. You’re creating a whole experience for people to enjoy. Watch Jenova Chen talk about designing Journey. I really admire people who did everything or almost everything for really great games:

Fun fact: the summer before college I switched to using Dvorak. My keyboard when I’m not on a laptop is the Leopold FC750R PD, yes, that color, with brown switches. If it’s good enough for The Machine, it’s good enough for me!

Random things on the internet: