Take it on

This is the ethos of our generation and my own vision for the kind of work that I plan to do.

Make change. Just do!

The world's most successful social movements are started by a small group of like-minded people, says the World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. The next major task is to end extreme poverty globally by 2030 and we need everyone - writers, artists, engineers, economists. http://www.worldbank.org

Social Computing

Sep Kamvar of MIT noted that the impact of social computing comes from it being the medium of physical communities. You’re giving physical communities a place online to “sit” (in reference to William Whyte’s ethnographic work).

The phenomena that emerges is that the internet becomes the tangible manifestation of our human condition. In the masses of data, derived from communication with systems and people, emerges the plights affecting various groups in society—especially with the increased accessibility to the internet that has been afforded by low-cost technologies.

There is a huge space in social computing that is being explored, about the nature of communities and the web. Researchers are examining the relationships between people internally on the web and with the physical communities it aims to represent online.

I just bring this up because of what emergent technologies reveal about our society. Such as the Darknet, a manifestation of human vice and sin that anonymity allows to be exposed (ie. the Silk Road). Or on Reddit, where offshoots of human society feel comfortable to raise their voice, giving ridiculous conspiracy theorists a “place to sit” and make heard their opinions and stories of what they think truly goes on in our physical world.

Obviously in the converse, we have the overly gushy Upworthy and, in appeal to our tween magazine reading selves, Buzzfeed.

I’m currently examining the presence of the homeless community on the web as well, to see in what ways this community is given a place to sit online.

Recently, there has emerged a trend of moving digital artifacts into our physical realities. The first one that comes to mind is Printstagr.am which lets you print your Instagrams. Exploring the reasons why we decide to make things physical will be an interesting exercise… now I’ve just thought of a possible research topic.

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"You want people to feel that whatever you’re developing is inevitable. This is like having a gust of wind at your company’s back. “If you can convince the reporter at lunch that whatever you’re doing makes intrinsic sense and that they can see it realistically happening, your journey to relevance will be that much shorter. That’s what gives you momentum.” If it doesn’t seem like whatever trend or movement you’re a part of will eventually come to pass, you’ll be fighting against the wind.

Mark Zuckerberg has often said that even before he founded Facebook, he believed that a technology company would help connect the world; he just never dreamed that he would play such a defining role. The idea of connecting the world seemed inevitable, it just wasn’t obvious that a group of young people were going to be the ones to do it." - Caryn Marooney

The Best PR Advice You’ve Never Heard - from Facebook’s Head of Tech Communications

Came across this article on Twitter. This bit about inevitability lasted with me as I think being able to portray anything like this is key--whether it be your product, professional value etc.

Son Lux

Got to see them last Saturday at the Loft and they put on such an amazing show! I didn't realize Son Lux was more than just Ryan and found out that the drummer, Ian Chang, was the same one I saw performing with Body Language in NY two years back. Crazy. He's still really good.

I talked Ryan after the show about finally embarking on this music thing I've been trying to do since I got to college... I have a quarter left to fulfill this dream. Ryan's advice? "Cancel your plans." Tempting.

Picked up my guitar again and I'm dedicating my spring break to experimenting with music. It's a nice break from this routine of networking. I love meeting people but turning off sales mode for some time feels nice. On this note of actually making and doing things, I'm dedicating all of my last quarter to finally experiment, build and prototype like I've always wanted to do ever since exhibiting at the Creator's Project. 

UCSD doesn't support experimentation by undergraduates but we're working to change that next quarter with the design competition. Some sponsorship money will be going into decking out a studio space for undergraduates to make cool stuff.

Anyways, here's my favorite by Son Lux. Thanks Ryan for being a catalyst.

Lost it to Trying


"In design, we often give credit based on intention--for effort--when we should really be giving credit when these intentions actually produce something good." - a butchered quote from Scott Klemmer, during a discussion we had about this quarter's Intro to HCI course.

Dong Nguyen on Flappy Bird

Nguyen wanted to make games for people like himself: busy, harried, always on the move. "I pictured how people play," he says, as he taps his iPhone and reaches his other hand in the air. "One hand holding the train strap." He'd make a game for them.

Nguyen understood the mantra of game design that Nolan Bushnell, creator of Pong and founder of Atari, described as "easy to learn and difficult to master." He modeled the game on one of the most masocore analog creations ever: paddleball. The toy was a simple design – just a wooden paddle with a string attached to a rubber ball. But players would be lucky to bounce the ball more than a few times in a row.

The Flight of the Birdman: Flappy Bird Creator Dong Nguyen Speaks Out


Interaction '14 was a whirlwind but thankfully I was able to stay an extra day to take things in. I decided to visit my friend Youge who studies design at TU Delft and he graciously took me around both Rotterdam and Delft!

These are a few iPhone (+ VSCO naturally) photos I was able to snap during my brief tour through the Dutch cities.

Imagine Dragons x Kendrick Lamar

I don’t really follow the Grammy’s but this is probably my all time favorite Grammy moment. I don’t quite care for Imagine Dragons but this mashup has so much energy! It’s what people have been trying to do with hip hop x rock for ages.

On Ethnic Studies Requirements

I have a deep appreciation for the ethnic studies courses I was required to take by UCSD/Muir College. As an Asian American, I've realized that much of our community hasn't realized the important steps others had to take in order for us to gain racial equality in the US. Asians just didn't appear out of thin air to become the model minority.

People dread these kinds of requirements but it's essential for every person living in a racially diverse country to take ethnic studies courses--to better understand the make up of our nation and the steps it took to get here. As we appreciate, we'll be conscious of our contexts as we take steps in whatever future endeavors we pursue.

This is in response to this article : Cal State L.A. students, faculty debate ethnic studies requirement.

Blood Orange

Didn’t realize Dev produced Sky’s Everything is Embarrassing and Solange’s Losing You… just validates how much I love his music.

The Women Who Make America


These are my heroes. Makers.com brings together the stories of women who have paved the way for future generations of female leaders. 

The accomplishments of women like Sally Ride and Hilary Clinton in the STEM fields and in politics have been the most influential to me growing up. Seeing the extent to which they had an impact in the world really helped me feel empowered and unafraid to make a difference. That sounds cliche but I've been more recently surprised at how disempowered some of my female peers feel today.

This is exactly the reason for Makers.com to exist. Getting the stories of these women out there will be the most effective way to show girls what they can grow up to be :)

Design education has been something I've been passionate about as it is incredibly empowering once you realize its potential. I've been working to get the students of UCSD on board with this vision, but I hope in the future to do the same to help empower girls.

Digital Social Contract

Recently, I came across an article in Slate titled Every Scary Weird Thing We Know the NSA Can Do. Reading through the list brought me back to an article I read where a journalist invited hackers to investigate him.

The thing is, underground hackers have been able to do what much of the NSA is doing now. As governments are expected to grow increasingly technologically competent (arguably, they should be at the forefront) it would be foolish if they weren't able to do what most of the underground hacker community can do. In fact, I’d be terrified.

In an increasingly technological world, there are much more vulnerabilities to exploit and in turn, potential for cyberwarfare. So there emerges this idea of a digital social contract we sign with our government. We give up some of our privacy, and the governments keep us safer in that regard.

This sets itself up for Big Brother comparisons but I think the whole process, if approached warily and cautiously, might turn out okay. We've assigned that trust to our current governments so I think there are ways to accomplish a balance.

Accent Wall

3am shenanigans. Putting up the signature Jollody accent wall.