A Project

A personal update: I am full time running ML Collective now.

What that means is, on the one hand, I will continue doing the same thing as before: being a researcher and trying to advance science, but just under a different organization and with different collaborators (here is the best part: with any collaborator, as the whole idea is that we don’t have to be affiliated the same way to be able to work together).

On the other hand, I will be getting into the nonprofit ecosystem, figuring out what rules of that world is, and how to survive—have a sustainable business—there.

On a separate note, I have a new project.

It’s not a work project, instead it is—well, we as a society lack a proper word here. Some people run marathons, some climb trees, some build vans and some go hike the length of Pacific Crest Trail. Yeah, that kind of projects. Maybe “personal” projects? But MLC is also quite personal for me. Given the term “work-life balance”, perhaps the word we are looking for is “life” here.

Anyway, I decided to do this thing that’s a combination of {challenging, time consuming, whimsical, orthogonal to career advance, and hard to make sense to, say, parents}, but rather meaningful at this special time of my life.

I like words; you probably figured. I actively write, and I want to figure out why it is so hard for non-native English speakers to sound “right”, in terms of pronunciation, intonation, stress and rhythm, and something else, which altogether construct what I call the “native effortlessness”.

So I take a challenge to read through my favorite book “Travels with Charley”, practicing each piece extensively until it’s perfect. (It would be a whole of 16 hours of reading, and I realize it takes about tens to hundreds of practices to produce each 2-page/4-minute continuous take. But maybe it gets easier.) But of course it won’t be perfect. The persistent imperfection will be a genuine reminder to us all that some things one regards as easy, as natural as breathing and walking, can be very hard for others.

I dedicate the project to this special time of our lives, as my best friend just set off to do Travels across the country, and I just got my own Charley: each of us fulfilling half of the book’s theme.

Such is my new life project. Some people make paintings or pastries or potteries; I make audio files.

They will be added here. Each piece is one continuous take.

TwC-Part1-003 (Charley's first appearance!)
TwC-Part1-005 (Ignore the construction noise)
TwC-Part2-007 (Finally the journey started!)