Year 2017 phones should not be about screensize (dumb), battery size (dumb), fingerprint sensors (dumb), camera quality, number of camera sensors, how much ram, headphone jack, OS version (all dumb), it should be about whether it comes with a built-in AI/ML acceleration chip and how actually smart-phone it is.
Then again, it’s so in its infancy that any AI chip created in 2017 is going to be superseded in 2018, and super-superseded in 2019 in ways we cannot even imagine right now. Still, it gives us something to look forward to in the next generation of phones. Other than better screens, better batteries and better cameras.
After a few trips to HK, it was time to see something new, ie a day trip to neighbouring Shenzhen to visit Huaqiangbei electronics market and Dongmen Pedestrian Street.
How to get from HK to Shenzhen via train
a. From within HK, get to the East Rail Line. it’s the light blue line that runs vertically upwards. From Causeway Bay you can take a bus across the tunnel to Hung Hom Station.
If you’re on the other side, you can take the green line to the interchange at Kowloon Tong. It’s a long journey ~>30mins, so take a seat and enjoy the scenery.
When boarding the train, watch out for the ending station. There are two, either Lo Hu Station or Lok Ma Chau station. Both stations have a border entry, but I went to Lo Hu as it is closer to the places we are heading to. Make sure your Octopus card has sufficient value as this long ride cost more than the usual downtown trips. I think it was probably 30-40 HKD in total.
b. HK Customs
Since you are leaving HK, you’ll need to go out of HK customs. Alight from the train at Lo Hu station, follow the escalators and signs and customs is right upstairs.
c. China Customs
You’ll walk like 100m and then it’ll be the China entry customs. If you need a visa, you should be able to apply for one upstairs. I didn’t need one as Singaporeans get visa-waiver for trips less than 15 days.
Customs was a pretty straightforward process.
Once you step out, you’re right at the entrance of the escalators down to Shenzhen subway green line Louhu Station in the basement, and on the right is the Lohu Commercial City mall. Apparently you can start shopping right there but we heard their prices are so good so we didn’t bother and instead took the subway to Dongmen.
Once you exit from Laojie Station, you’ll be right at the shops. I suggest you get out to the ground level to get some bearings on where you are. There are many many exits for the station but most exits are fine. Use Exit F if you need to choose one.
It’s a very large area with tens of buildings so enjoy walking around.
I went to Huaqiangbei as well. Same, use the green subway line 1 for another 5 stops or so. Cost is still another 2 yuan.
You can go into the all the buildings left and right of the pedestrian street, between the stations Huaqiang Road and Huaqiangbei.
Good luck looking for what you want.
Ease of travel: Good. It was convenient, just follow the subway lines and signs, no complicated routing or taxi necessary. Cheap journey as well. Both subway have languages and announcements in multiple languages including English.
Safety: Generally we felt pretty safe. Minimal beggars / touts. Overall service was pretty decent and good. Just be a normal level of mindfulness as per usual travel and you’ll be ok.
Note that Google Maps in China is either restricted or lacking in info. You might want to arm yourself with Baidu Maps before getting in. Baidu has more precise location and information, but it’s all in Chinese.
Currency: You’ll need to use local Renminbi. We didn’t try with HKD. Even if you succeed, you won’t get as good a bargain. There’s plenty to shop – clothes, bags and shoes.
There are also tours etc that can bring you into Shenzhen, if that’s your thing. But a one-day solo trip is definitely doable.
“It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.
I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig. Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me.
So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly my darling, on tiptoes and no luggage, not even a sponge bag, completely unencumbered.”
I often wonder what people in the future will find barbaric about my life. We tend to look back on our ancestors with a mix of amusement and disgust: amusement that those poor fools managed to survive without things like toilets, electricity, and selfies; disgust that their lives were filled with things we find vile.
But are we any better?
Well there, a great title and quick article that describes what I’ve been feeling lately, well perhaps not just lately, but oftentimes I bemoan to my wife on the terrible state of things around us – from big things like the horrific traffic system, governments, religious systems, to little things like human habits, speech patterns, etc. I can’t remember half of what I complain/whine about.
She says it sounds like I’m complaining about everything, that I’m unhappy about everything, and always seeing the negative side of things. (I love that she’s such a nice person, who is nice to everything, unlike me.) Every single thing I touch and come across, I have some negative comment of its flaws and how it could be better, much better. It’s true, I do sound like this, which is really unfortunate because my mind just picks up on things, understand it, how it works (that happens immediately as usually it’s trivial), and I imagine how it could be better at doing what it is trying to do. Just a reflexive thought, as they say no hard feelings.
But the fact is that it’s true, alot of things could be better. The status quo is not good enough. It might be doable for now, if we don’t care about making it better, faster, cheaper, more efficient, more optimised, more elegant, more beautiful. It doesn’t negate all the effort we’ve taken to come this far. Motorised cars are a lovely achievement from horse drawn carriages (HDC). Yes recently I had this huge thought-process on horse drawn carriages. Looking back, HDC were obviously a stupid, inefficient, smelly, slow, expensive, inefficient system. I can’t even imagine all the horseshit in the streets – which the movies don’t show you. But how did we manage to get from HDC to motor cars? So many technological advances. If only, if only, we can learn how we took that step, examine it, and learn to make the next step, toward the next super technology. Not just self driving cars, but some radical new design, maybe flying cars (another separate thought process), maybe rocket powered, maybe anti gravity, maybe something I cannot even imagine today. And this will give us 10x, 100x, 1000x the improvement over the current system.
We have to make these jumps forward, we cannot forever stay in this crappy system of fossil fuel cars, traffic lights, human drivers, rubber tyres (did you ever see a horse carriage with rubber tyres? or a car with wooden wheels?), etc. As terrible as the horse carriage design was, that is how terrible the motor cars look to a future human being. Intolerably bad. Something that belongs in a museum.
If all humans just accepted the status quo, we would never move forward.
Kelly: Listen, I’m under Evelyn Waugh. Shh. Okay?
John: Okay, yeah!
Kelly: Okay, arigato. [to Charlotte] Aarigato.
John: [laughing] Moshi moshi!
[Kelly walks away]
Charlotte: Evelyn Waugh?
Charlotte: Evelyn Waugh was a man.
John: [shocked] Oh, c’mon, she’s nice. What? You know– You know, not everyone went to Yale. Its just a pseudonym, for Christ’s sake.
Charlotte: Why do you have to defend her?
John: Well… why do you have to point out how stupid everybody is all the time?
Charlotte: I thought it was funny. Forget it.
Charlotte: You ever switch seats?
Bob: Uh, I like this one. If I fall, someone will notice.
Charlotte: Yeah. So, you having a nice time?
Bob: Can you keep a secret? I’m trying to organize a prison break. I need like, what, an accomplice. We have to first get out of this bar, then the hotel, then the city, and then the country. Are you in or you out?
Charlotte: I’m in.
Charlotte: I’ll go pack my stuff.
Bob: Get your coat.
Charlotte: See ya. [walks away]
Bob: I hope you’ve had enough to drink. It’s gonna take courage
An Olympic pool is framed by tall glass walls with the Tokyo
view. Bob is handed a swim cap and goggles.
Bob watches a Japanese BUSINESSMAN swimming, he looks like
an over-grown baby.
Bob swims laps in the pristine pool.
He continues his laps. Under water he sees the jumping legs
of MIDDLE-AGED WOMEN.
A disco mixed tape starts, and above water we see a WESTERN
INSTRUCTOR in tight shorts leading an aqua-aerobics class to
the group of WOMEN, They jump up and down to Sister Sledge.
Bob: How long you’ve been married? [lights Charlotte’s cigarette]
Charlotte: Oh, thank you. Two years.
Bob: Try twenty-five.
Charlotte: You’re probably just having a mid-life crisis. Did you buy a Porsche yet?
Bob: You know, I was thinking about getting a Porsche.
Charlotte: Twenty-five years. That’s, uh, well it’s impressive.
Bob: Well you figure, you sleep one-third of your life, that knocks out eight years of marriage right there. So you’re, y’know, down to sixteen and change. You know you’re just a teenager, at
marriage; you can drive it but there’s still the occasional accident.
It’s odd that I like this movie. Never heard of Bill Murray before that, nor particularly liked his other work much. I think this movie is full of very quiet, precious moments, and dialogue. It does so well in capturing fleeting moments, in-between moments. Sweetly bittersweet. His dry witty remarks, her smiles. His indecipherable whisper, her gazes.
These movies with one-off stories…well those that actually work out, are gems. Plenty other movies fall flat.
“a smart and thoughtful movie”
I think I also love films dripping with poignancy. (what a lovely word. poignant.) like Boyhood. so beautiful, so real. films that simply take my breath away.
a review quoted “Had we but time and world enough, ”
woah that’s quite a poem https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/44688
“This is what you must remember: the ending of one story is just the beginning of another. This has happened before, after all. People die. Old orders pas. New societies are born. When we say “the world has ended.”, it’s usually a lie, because the planet is just fine.
But this is the way the world ends.
This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends.
For the last time.”
Also, her second book in the series The Obelisk Gate. and a third book yet to be published.
A pretty good effort at science fiction. The first book was enrapturing. It could be more detailed, and could be even more eloquent (like how Ada Palmer’s Too like the lightning was downright amazing), but this was good enough, and also a lighter read.
The second book was too much of a filler, and dropped the ball significantly. Hoping the last book in the series would properly fill out the storyline.