I debated all week whether to write about tech news and China today, per usual, or share something more personally and philosophical, given the violence against Asian Americans that reached a new height last week with what happened in Atlanta.

I decided on the latter. I’m sorry if that disappoints you. Obviously, there are many big news items in the tech and US-China world -- high-level bilateral meetings in Alaska, Tesla being restricted from Chinese government and military employees, to name just a few. My thoughts on all that can wait.

I’ve been pondering on a notion that I’m calling the “lived experience quotient.” Basically, what it describes is the amount of information and opinion that is based on the lived experience of the person doing the sharing. You can apply it to anything you read, watch, and hear.

This “quotient” is critically important to our learning and understanding of...everything! Living in a time when information production and dissemination is easier and cheaper than ever before, from where and whom to learn from has become the new challenge. The way I make this judgement is by assessing the “lived experience quotient” of the information source.

I try to keep the “lived experience quotient” high in every Interconnected post as well. That’s why the three most popular topic tags on this newsletter are “open source”, “China”, and “cloud industry.” The intersection of these three topics is where my lived experience was and is. If I do bring in my perspectives on regulations and government policies into the mix, they are drawn from where I personally worked (the White House, the Department of Commerce) and my function (media and communications).

You should never come here to learn about the latest consumer tech trends in China; for that, go to Rui Ma’s Tech Buzz China. You should never come here to learn about the profitability, margins, and CapEx implications of the semiconductor industry; for that, go to Mule’s newsletter. When I do write about the semiconductor industry, it’s usually from a more macro and interdisciplinary angle, where I think my own lived experiences are relevant.

It’s hard to be disciplined though. I sometimes slip, because opining is easy, listening and learning are hard; commenting is easy, researching and analyzing are hard. This isn’t to say people with less lived experience cannot share their opinion, just that they should do more question-asking and listening.

I caught myself slipping this past week after the massacre in Atlanta happened. I wrote several tweets voicing my anger, dismay, and frustration. Even though I am an Asian American and can certainly speak to the rise in anti-Asian violence from that lived experience, the focal point of this tragedy is the victimization of Asian women -- a perspective for which I have no lived experience.

So instead of commenting on this tragedy more, I would just leave you with the names of all the victims and a video put together by the Asian American Journalists Association on the proper way to pronounce the names of the ethnic Korean and Chinese victims.

If I ever write about other topics on Interconnected, it will be because my own horizons and lived experiences have expanded. That’s my commitment to you.

As we all continue our knowledge-seeking (dare I say, truth-seeking) journey, I hope you find voices and sources of information that draw from lived experiences. Meanwhile, be aware of information that may cater to your existing assumptions (thus easy on the eyes and brain), but aren’t based on anything other than second or third-hand information, packaged as “insight”.

In short, look for organic food, where the “lived experience quotient” is highest, and try to stay away from processed stuff.

Not all opinions are created equal. Not all lived experiences are created equal. It’s worthwhile to figure out the difference.


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我一直在思考一个概念,我先称之为 "生活经验指数"。基本意思就是,衡量信息和观点背后是基于多少分享者个人的生活经验的指数。可以用于任何您读到的、看到的和听到的东西。

这个 "指数" 对我们学习和理解基本上所有事情都很重要。大家都生活在一个信息产出和传播比以往任何时候都更容易、更廉价的时代。从哪里学、向谁学成为了新的挑战。我在筛选信息来源时做出判断的方式就是评估来源本身的 "生活经验指数"。

我的每一篇《互联》文章中,也在尽量保持较高的 "生活经验指数"。这也是为什么本博客上文章最多的三个话题标签是 "开源"、"中国" 和 "云行业"。这三个话题的交界点,就是我过去和目前的“生活经验”。如果我把一些关于监管法规和政府政策的观点带入文章中,那也是基于我个人亲身工作了的地方(白宫、商务部)和我的工作内容(媒体和信息传播)。

您绝不应该来这里了解中国最新的to C科技趋势;要想了解,应去读马睿的Tech Buzz China。您也绝对不应该来这里了解半导体厂家的盈利能力、利润率和资本开支的影响;要想了解,应去分析师Mule写的博客。如果我写关于半导体行业的话题,也是从一个更宏观和多元的角度,把自己有的相关的生活经验带入文章。





当我们继续自己的求知(甚至可以说,求真)之旅时,希望您能找到可靠的声音和信息来源,基于扎实的生活经验。同时,要对那些 "包装过的信息" 保持警惕,它们可能会迎合您当前的喜好和设想(因此对眼睛和大脑都更“舒服”些),但都是第二或第三手信息被包装成的所谓 "专家见解"。

简而言之,多吃点 "生活体验指数" 高的“有机”食品,尽量远离“加工食品”。