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Weekly Report #64 - Living Here ("Stoner" and "Normal People")



This article is a record and reflection of life during the week from 2024-07-01 to 2024-07-09.

I persisted in getting up early to study for a few days this week, and my efficiency was very high. However, it will still take time to adjust to a regular schedule. I am also exploring how to enter/switch to work mode more quickly. I have been reading several books simultaneously, including "Atlas Shrugged," "Normal People," and "What My Bones Know." I had a discussion with a senior student about the book "Stoner," which she is currently reading, and it led to some thoughts on various aspects of life. There were also many interesting things that happened.

Normal People and Stoner#


"Normal People" is a British drama series that I watched a long time ago, probably in 2020 or 2021. It left a deep impression on me, and recently I remembered it and decided to read the original book. Although most of the content is about love and trivial matters in school, I can see a lot of myself in the male protagonist. I can relate to his deep-rooted cowardice and uneasiness, his obsession with life despite being lost, and his eventual acceptance of the way life is. "Stoner" is one of the books I selected from a book blind box I won some time ago. I have already read it twice, and I can't remember the plot very well, but it always feels fresh when I recall it. It depicts the essence of life with plain language.

These two books together made me rethink some questions about self and the meaning of life.

Living Here#

Last night, my senior student and I went on a long-awaited date to a nearby Japanese restaurant. We both dressed in a funny way. She wore a gorgeous dress on her upper body but wore slippers on her feet. I didn't dress much better either, with a shirt, sport shorts, and slippers. While sitting at the bar waiting for our meal and chatting, there was a mixed feeling of half ceremony and half ordinary life. It felt like a combination of life and rituals.

We often say "living elsewhere," implying that life elsewhere always seems more attractive. But if we look back, the life here is also charming.

We talked about our current lives and felt that there wasn't much to complain about. She is doing well in a job that she neither likes nor dislikes, and I find joy in my own field. The pace of life in Hangzhou is better than the hustle and bustle of Beijing. We can often take leisurely walks or have a home-cooked meal. But it seems that we both have expectations. She wants to paint, and I want to leave this comfort zone and start a new chapter of life in another country. However, these expectations are overshadowed by the current satisfactory state of life. It becomes difficult to break free because decisions driven by personal desires are always more challenging. It seems that I always have the responsibility to disrupt the tranquility of life.

The Meaning of Nothingness#

When I was studying and just graduated, many younger students would come to me for advice on career transitions and life choices. Even now, some friends who have learned about me from technical tutorials or courses ask me questions about learning Web3 and the industry. I have always treated them with caution and seriousness because I often think that if I had received some advice earlier, I might have taken fewer detours. However, I am cautious about my tone and attitude, and I don't want to become a "know-it-all" due to survivorship bias.

So I often analyze the pros and cons and share my thoughts based on each person's situation. After exchanging seven or eight messages, they often come back with a few questions, as if what I said was irrelevant and not the answer they were looking for. It feels absurd, like a sense of futility:

"Is computer science a lucrative field? How can I successfully transition to coding?"

"Are Web3 salaries high?"

I used to like a sentence from a long-discontinued blog, which was written by a blogger I admired. It roughly said:

"I tell you all the truths I know, just to make sure you don't live a good life."

Sometimes I wonder if it is because I pursue the meaning of nothingness too much and hold onto some principles that I make myself less happy. The more one knows, the harder it is to move forward. Life is only 30,000 days. Perhaps being content with external things and with life itself will make life more relaxed.

So there was a period of silence when I stopped asking myself and the world questions. I learned to enjoy the present moment, but what I gained was more emptiness.


Work Status#

Recently, I have been working on a troublesome requirement for about a week. Technically, there is nothing particularly difficult about it. It mainly involves reading configurations from the blockchain and scheduling the restart of various services (but not from the deployment level like Kubernetes or other deployment platforms; it needs to be handled internally by the program). Therefore, there are many details to consider in the process, requiring focus and meticulousness.

During this week, I have also been practicing getting up at 5 am and immersing myself in writing blog posts, reading, learning Rust, etc., until gradually transitioning to work mode around 9 am. Getting up early has been quite efficient, but I found it difficult and slow to switch from a learning state to a state of complete focus on work. This is what Randy mentioned in the one-year anniversary livestream, the concept of "single-threaded" and "context switching." It is difficult to deeply think and do two things at the same time.

I also remembered last week when my colleague Ares and I worked in a cafe in Liangzhu. Although we only chatted a few times during work, and the conversation was not directly related to the work we were doing, it seemed to immediately create a good working atmosphere. It is not always easy for me to achieve this at home, which is probably one of the downsides of remote work.

Daily Life#


Recently, this is the doormat in front of my house (the mental state of contemporary young people 🤣).

Interesting Things#


Although most of the interesting inputs are automatically synchronized in the "Yu's Life" Telegram channel, I will list some of them here. It feels more like a newsletter.



  • Normal People: I really like this British drama. These days, while reading other books, I suddenly thought of this one and plan to read the original novel.
  • What My Bones Know: I read about half of it last year. These days, I thought about issues related to family and psychological healing, so I read about one chapter a day.
  • Atlas Shrugged: It was a gift from a reader. I have read the first two chapters.




  • The Swimmer's Heart: The Chinese translation of the English title "Young Woman and the Sea" as "The Swimmer's Heart" seems a bit plain. After watching it, I think "老娘与海" (Old Woman and the Sea) might be more suitable 🤣. The themes of sports, women, and inspiration are not particularly novel, but the protagonist's growth and the support around her are portrayed perfectly. The protagonist's mother and coach, Abby, also leave a deep impression. My senior student previously signed up for the cross-Hong Kong Victoria Harbour swim and is now preparing for the cross-Hangzhou Qiantang River swim. Although the difficulty is incomparable to the English Channel, after watching the movie, I seem to understand the obsession and charm behind it better.


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