If This Isn't Nice, What Is?

by Ziwei Huang

Ph.D student in Neuroscience at Tübingen.

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Science: The 1-hour workday

…as the years passed, I noticed a few senior colleagues who published with impressive regularity and always had a paper in the works. When I asked them what their secret was, I found that they prioritized doing small amounts of focused writing every day. I’ve since developed my own version of this approach. I call it the 1-hour workday, referring to the short, sacrosanct period when I do what I see as the “real” work of academia: writing papers.

Similar ideas could be found in How to Write A Lot. The problem is, how can I stick to this?…

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NYTimes: Creepy Clown Sightings in South Carolina Cause a Frenzy

“It has this kind of capacity to grab you emotionally before it grabs you cognitively,” Dr. Schlozman said. “That’s the key to making something viral online actually: to make people emotionally engaged before they’re intellectually engaged.”

In his years researching the things that scare us, Dr. Schlozman has also uncovered another truism: Horror is almost never about the thing that’s scary. The horror unravels once terrified people respond.

When the locals take their guns out and fire into the woods, it’s not that different from people going with their pitchforks into the woods after Frankenstein’s monster, he said, adding: “It never ends well.”

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德闻 | First Month in Tübingen

图宾根给我的第一印象,居然是跟特隆赫姆差不多:体量小却历史长,又因为是大学城而气息年轻。当然,稍微安定下来、了解多上一点之后,两市相像的地方也就只剩沿河的多彩房屋罢了。

要说德国和挪威最大的不同,首先要算上的必须是其「科层制」(bureaucracy)。如果说在挪威「什么都可以商量」1, 在德国大概就是「什么都不可以商量」,什么都要按规章去办事。来到 Äslanderamt 办理地址登记,因为缺少了一个文件,会得到「不好意思,我也很想帮你,但是这里不是这样子办事的」,如此这般的回应。然后需要什么文件,应该到哪里获取,也会一一得到解答,然而就是没有变通的余地。我手上的文件也是在各方(研究所、导师和好友)建议下收集而来、内容上跟要求一致的,但是却由于是通过「非官方」渠道获得,而不能够提交。

如果凡事都要官方的话,一来一回,就得费不少时间。譬如今天发去的咨询邮件,要三、四天才得到回复,然后被告知填写一个表格,需要再过一个星期才会生效。这样的事情也是会发生的,德国人自己也对此非常讨厌,来自英格兰的同事则称其为卡夫卡笔下的现实。所以,如果要给后来的人一点什么建议,那就是:可能的话,在抵达前就找到一个长期的出租屋,并且是可以马上去登记的那种。如果是暂时借住学生宿舍的话,则麻烦先跟宿舍管理打招呼,并得到居留的许可,这个过程非常耗费时间。

这就引出图宾根第二个让人很为难的地方:房源紧张,大概也是学生、学者巨多的缘故,每年的夏季准备开学的时候,寻租与招租比例就会严重失调。譬如我自己,通过租房广告网站发出邮件 121 封,得到回应的有十几个,最后得到面试(没错,就是面试)机会的 5 个。第一个,是按照预约时间来到门口,等待 20 分钟之后却被告知房子刚刚被人拿下了。另一个无论价位和位置都很不错的房子,房东说要在 20

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