~ Archive for philosophy ~

“invisible hands” v.s. “palpable feet”


At the end of the 18th century, Adam Smith coined the concept of “invisible hands,” and it played a irreplaceable role in creating market-based economy. However, market itself has inherent flaws, and will led a disaster, and today’s world financial crisis has been spreading much out of the hands of the market. Thus, we might think some rescues, one of which is “palpable feet”.

In the 21st century, we need to consider a creatively old concept of palpable feet — a government’s role in the market. Invisible hands are hard to control because of collective individual dynamics, whereas the palpable feet are easier to see and oversee because of the efficient and hierarchical functions. Invisible hands are hard to see, but the palpable feet can examine by bootprints.

Philosophically and empirically, invisible hands should collaborate with paplpable feet in dealing with financial crisis.

… to be continued.

Winners have something in common, so do losers.


In China, there is a old saying that “英雄所见略同

In Russia, there is a saying, that “Все счастливые семьи похожи друг на друга, каждая несчастливая семья несчастлива по-своему” by Лев Никола́евич Толсто́й

Today, I will say great leaders have something in common.

In 1917, Lenin used Marxism to launch the October Revolution, and further created the Soviet Union in 1922; whereas in 1919, May Fourth Movement introduced Marxism to China, leading to the birth of Communist Party of China in 1921, and Mao further used Marxism to create the New China, the People’s Republic of China.

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush coined the concept of “Harmony” in his speech to Congress on “new world order”, where he said “the nations of the world, East and West, North and South, can prosper and live in harmony;” whereas during the 2005 National People’s Congress, President HU Jintao proposed the “Harmonious Society” concept.

As for losers, to be continued. . . .

movement — Enlightenment


Enlightenment was a historical period when dozens of schools of thought blooming and debating in various fields of studies, such as philosophy, law, politics, science, art and music.

From its cradle — France, Germany, the Britain, Netheland, and Italy — to the rest of Europe, and even to America, the intellectual and philosophical movement has create the modern western world. For example, Adam Smith’s ‘wealth of nation’, Edward Gibbon’s ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’, Jean-Kacques Rousseau’s social contract theory,  Thomas Paine’s ‘Common Sense’, Montesquieu’s separation of powers theory, John Locke’s theory of the relationship between state and individuals, Gottfried Leibniz’s invention of calculus, Ignacy Krasicki’s ‘Fables and Parables’, Immaneul Kant’s ‘Critique of Pure Reason’, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin’s contribution to ‘the United States Declaration of Independence’, Thomas Hobbes’s ‘Leviathan’, Johann Gottfried von Herder’s prolific philosophical ideas (e.g. the dependence of thought on language), Father of the Symphony Joseph Haydn’s influnce on music, and Denis Diderot’s creature of Encyclopédie.

Enlightenment, just like other parts of the human history, has its up and down. After WWII, the Enlightenment has become the burden to the development of a modern society, and thus evolved into divergent point of views, such as liberalism, socialism, and etc. In the macro background of changes across the globe, with the micro level of necessity of development, Englightenment has forced to leave its historical importance, if not voluntarily, in favor of new model to fit in the needy society and solve raising problems.

secret of success checklist by L. John Doerr


I had a great meeting with L. John Doerr on Friday, and I learned that the success is not that difficult from him, or perhaps any of us. By the way, he is a very successful venture capitalist, backing Google.

In the next few days, I will post several lessons and advices from him in terms of his definition of success. Here is the checklist number one: Execution.

“Everyone has a good idea, but the execution is the most difficult one.” If we have an idea,  just go for it. Don’t wait for the approval, which is another way of saying “no.”

The Art of War and Law School Admission Test (LSAT) – Chapter Five


Chapter Five


The practice of a typical question is no difference than do a dozen; it is just a matter of the proportion of the numbers. The practice of all questions is the same as practice the only very representative question types; it is just a matter of the skills and ways of thinking—the lawyers’ way—you need. In order to get the highest score, the good test takers are dividing the questions in each section into different segments. You are set to win big by winning small. Whenever needed, you can use the strategy of one question to answer the similar type in the same setting. To answer each question, you need to be more flexible than only using the dogma without change. It is called innovation or creativity. All the question types are only either single or mixed.

Doing test, the good test takers are always creative to answer questions, but the normal test takers are just simply match strategy to each question type without flexibility. Thus the creative test takers are like the shape of the sky or that of sand in the earth, it is changeable. It is also like the water in the sea, which is unexhausted. The creativity is just like the days and nights, the end of one day is the beginning of the next. The sunset of the day means the moonrise of the night. The end of the winter leads to the start of the spring. For example, the music notes are just CDEFGAB, but the sheet music is numerous, and all the great works are only based on these simple notes. The basic color is only 7, but the change of the basis light up this beautiful world. “There are not more than five cardinal tastes sour, acrid, salt, sweet, bitter), yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted.” In the LSAT, there are only very limited questions types, but the derivatives are numerous. The visible question type or the mixed ones are intertwined together, like the circle within which you cannot find an edge. Thus you need the creativity and flexibility.

The reason why the rush of the torrent can roll over huge heavy stones is that the force of the water is in its course. The reason why the swoop of a falcon can strike and destroy its predators is the speed is like super fast. So the questions came down to the LSAT, good test takers are using the force to ace each questions and answer each questions very fast—fast reading and fast selecting answers. “Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow; decision, to the releasing of a trigger.”

Among all the questions in the real LSAT on test day, there seems to be questions without clear question types but they are under all known questions types. For all confusion and chaos, you may not be able to see the exact question type as you previous see and yet it is just the small derivatives of each question you have ever done. It is very easy and you do not have to be frightened by the exam. The principle of the question type does not change but the format, and thus the good test takers need to calm down to figure out what the test makers are trying to portrait in the mixed.

In the real exam, the LSAT master can always see the question types in existing questions, but it is not the case for most average people. They can always creatively use the strategy in the practice test rather than average-scorers’ using only the doctrine. They can always at ease no matter how confusing the questions are. “Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline, simulated fear postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength.”

Therefore, not confusing by the tedious language of the questions, good test takers should move the sentence around. If you rearrange and use your own words to translate long sentences, you will take the full advantage. If you become very clear even though LSAC tried to confuse you, and skip around questions to answer the easiest question first, you will be the master of the LSAT.

To conclude here, the good test takers do never blame the questions if they are hard or the LSAC are stupid, but they do find tactics to ace each question by using their strategies learned in the practice questions. Those can make a call based upon the different questions and creatively answer rearranged the questions. Answering hard questions in the LSAT is similar to moving a heavy rock; you need to use the round wood as a tool to roll it rather than dragging it. “For it is the nature of a log or stone to remain motionless on level ground, and to move when on a slope; if four-cornered, to come to a standstill, but if round-shaped, to go rolling down.” Thus good test takers with highest score would be like roll to move a solid and heavy stones in the highest mountain; it is all about the force or energy….

To Be Continued….

The Art of War and Law School Admission Test (LSAT) – Chapter Four Practice


Chapter Four


In the LSAT history, a good test taker presumes s/he is going to fail while the test is really hard. To arm test takers against failure lies in our own hands, but the difficulty of the questions is provided by the LSAC itself. Thus, a good test taker will strengthen and secure them while weakening the positions of the difficulty of the tests. Thus you can hope to win but there is no guarantee of winning. If you assess that you will lose, just wait for longer before you take the real test. If you think you can ace it, go ahead and take it. If you hold then you need to force you to practice more tests; if you decide to take the test, then you need to be confident to ace it. Those who do not feel comfortable to do the real test just go ahead and delay the LSAT while those who are good at taking the LSAT just move on and ace it. It is the strategy of defense and attack, in similar words, hope for the best while preparing for the worst.

To know what other people have known is not a master LSAT taker. To ace the test without knowing why one did it is not a master test taker. It is just like to lift a hair cannot be called great strength, to see the sun or moon cannot be regarded as sharp sight. To hear the sound of thunder is no sign of a quick ear. The LSAT masters are getting very high score without any exhaustion or feeling bad. The good test taker who gets the highest score will not necessary the smartest or the bravest. The reason of getting 180 is to seize the right opportunity to win. Therefore, the good test takers are good at securing their own advantage – knowing which questions are easy and which are hard, but protecting their disadvantage – practicing more wrong questions. Thus, the good test takers are winners before they take the test. The losers lose before they take the test in the same way. Therefore, those who are good at the LSAT are stimulating the desire to ace it and practice more to get the feeling to do so. Thus they ace the LSAT methodologically.

The method of the exam is that: measurement, estimation, calculation, balancing and victory. The practice leads to measurement; measurement leads to estimation, estimation leads to calculation.…

In addition, the good test takers are good at detailed things; in contrast, losers do not care tiny things at all.

In conclusion, the secret here is that: the winners are practice and practice to arm its brain to win the Law School Admission Test (LSAT); it is all the practice.

The Art of War and Law School Admission Test (LSAT) – Chapter Three





1. Sun Tzu said: In the practical art of war, the best
thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact;
to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is
better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it,
to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company entire
than to destroy them.

2. Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles
is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists
in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.

3. Thus the highest form of generalship is to
balk the enemy’s plans; the next best is to prevent
the junction of the enemy’s forces; the next in
order is to attack the enemy’s army in the field;
and the worst policy of all is to besiege walled cities.

4. The rule is, not to besiege walled cities if it
can possibly be avoided. The preparation of mantlets,
movable shelters, and various implements of war, will take
up three whole months; and the piling up of mounds over
against the walls will take three months more.

5. The general, unable to control his irritation,
will launch his men to the assault like swarming ants,
with the result that one-third of his men are slain,
while the town still remains untaken. Such are the disastrous
effects of a siege.

6. Therefore the skillful leader subdues the enemy’s
troops without any fighting; he captures their cities
without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom
without lengthy operations in the field.

7. With his forces intact he will dispute the mastery
of the Empire, and thus, without losing a man, his triumph
will be complete. This is the method of attacking by stratagem.

8. It is the rule in war, if our forces are ten
to the enemy’s one, to surround him; if five to one,
to attack him; if twice as numerous, to divide our army
into two.

9. If equally matched, we can offer battle;
if slightly inferior in numbers, we can avoid the enemy;
if quite unequal in every way, we can flee from him.

10. Hence, though an obstinate fight may be made
by a small force, in the end it must be captured
by the larger force.

11. Now the general is the bulwark of the State;
if the bulwark is complete at all points; the State will
be strong; if the bulwark is defective, the State will
be weak.

12. There are three ways in which a ruler can bring
misfortune upon his army:–

13. (1) By commanding the army to advance or to retreat,
being ignorant of the fact that it cannot obey.
This is called hobbling the army.

14. (2) By attempting to govern an army in the
same way as he administers a kingdom, being ignorant
of the conditions which obtain in an army. This causes
restlessness in the soldier’s minds.

15. (3) By employing the officers of his army
without discrimination, through ignorance of the
military principle of adaptation to circumstances.
This shakes the confidence of the soldiers.

16. But when the army is restless and distrustful,
trouble is sure to come from the other feudal princes.
This is simply bringing anarchy into the army, and flinging
victory away.

17. Thus we may know that there are five essentials
for victory:
(1) He will win who knows when to fight and when
not to fight.
(2) He will win who knows how to handle both superior
and inferior forces.
(3) He will win whose army is animated by the same
spirit throughout all its ranks.
(4) He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take
the enemy unprepared.
(5) He will win who has military capacity and is
not interfered with by the sovereign.

18. Hence the saying: If you know the enemy
and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a
hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy,
for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.
If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will
succumb in every battle.

The Art of War and Law School Admission Test (LSAT) – Chapter Two Waging War


Chapter Two

Waging War

On the real test day (only four times a year), you need the four sharpened 2-B or HB pencils, one watch or timer, eraser, ticket to the LSAT, and your snacks and drinks. As long as you have the logistics ready you can go and take the test with your confident out of the practice. When you go to a test less prepared, your patience will weaken, your brain will grow seemingly dull. When the intensity is high and the pressure is on the rise during the test, you will be overwhelmed and disoriented by that. If you are preparing without necessary practice, the test will drive you crazy due to the intensity of the test and long hour of mentally exercise. Specifically, when you do the third section before the break, the time and pressure will drive you crazy: you will get overwhelmed and exhausted, your brain will become dull and unclear, you will feel sick and abnormal, and all the tests will suddenly become a monster to you to scare you. If so, you might not get only the normal result you expected, even you are super smart. Therefore, the hasty and unpreparedness of test taker will lose whatsoever. We have never heard of anyone who are unprepared can ace the LSAT. If you do not know the disadvantages of you, you will not know or better use your strength of you in a whole.

So my point here is whoever, good at taking the test, never stop practicing or delay it more than twice, never take breaks more than 3 times during the full test. Mastering the time and making full use the resource you available during the test, then you do not have to worry about or complain the time and paper not enough.

You are frustrated by the lack of time and paper is due to the mental sickness of the test – long hour, super intensive exam. The long hour and intensity of the test cause test takes to be exhausted. Weakened body causes your brain to consume more of your energy, and thus impacts on your blood flow to react sharply or even normally. Therefore, you will become less confident and irritated by the fact. Then you will become more exhausted and more burn more energy viciously. The loss of time in the real test is at the ratio of 10: 3. The loss of your time in the real test means: you will not finish your test, you will not remember of any of the strategies, you will get a feeling of sickness of mentally ill and physically sick. All this will cause the test result much worse.

In addition, the wise test taker would take advantage of the real time allotted rather than time needed. It accretes by seconds. One second in the real test situation equals 20 seconds in the practice test. The energy exhausted in the test is equals 20 times of that in the practice test.

In order to ace the test, you need to adjust yourself to the best of yourself during the test. Besides, you also need to award yourself if you get higher score during the test, even the practice one. Reward is a integral part of the process of acing the exam. After each, including practice, test, you need to always remember to reward yourself. For examples, giving yourself a big meal, watching a favorite movie, or watching red sox game when you get a higher score each time. The test is deadly hard, even god knows it, so it is your challenge to practice. It is challenging, and thus it is rewarding as well. But you need you to practice and practice. Therefore, it is called acing the test while you are doing the test.

Besides, it is better to ace the LSAT in shorter time rather than longer.

In conclusion, the leader who knows the questions, and who understand the tactics and rules, will take full control of the test and drive it toward test taker’s advantage.




1. Sun Tzu said: In the operations of war,
where there are in the field a thousand swift chariots,
as many heavy chariots, and a hundred thousand
mail-clad soldiers, with provisions enough to carry them
a thousand li, the expenditure at home and at the front,
including entertainment of guests, small items such as
glue and paint, and sums spent on chariots and armor,
will reach the total of a thousand ounces of silver per day.
Such is the cost of raising an army of 100,000 men.

2. When you engage in actual fighting, if victory
is long in coming, then men’s weapons will grow dull and
their ardor will be damped. If you lay siege to a town,
you will exhaust your strength.
3. Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources
of the State will not be equal to the strain.

4. Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor damped,
your strength exhausted and your treasure spent,
other chieftains will spring up to take advantage
of your extremity. Then no man, however wise,
will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue.

5. Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war,
cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.

6. There is no instance of a country having benefited
from prolonged warfare.

7. It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted
with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand
the profitable way of carrying it on.

8. The skillful soldier does not raise a second levy,
neither are his supply-wagons loaded more than twice.

9. Bring war material with you from home, but forage
on the enemy. Thus the army will have food enough
for its needs.

10. Poverty of the State exchequer causes an army
to be maintained by contributions from a distance.
Contributing to maintain an army at a distance causes
the people to be impoverished.

11. On the other hand, the proximity of an army causes
prices to go up; and high prices cause the people’s
substance to be drained away.

12. When their substance is drained away, the peasantry
will be afflicted by heavy exactions.

13,14. With this loss of substance and exhaustion
of strength, the homes of the people will be stripped bare,
and three-tenths of their income will be dissipated;
while government expenses for broken chariots, worn-out horses,
breast-plates and helmets, bows and arrows, spears and shields,
protective mantles, draught-oxen and heavy wagons,
will amount to four-tenths of its total revenue.

15. Hence a wise general makes a point of foraging
on the enemy. One cartload of the enemy’s provisions
is equivalent to twenty of one’s own, and likewise
a single picul of his provender is equivalent to twenty
from one’s own store.

16. Now in order to kill the enemy, our men must
be roused to anger; that there may be advantage from
defeating the enemy, they must have their rewards.

17. Therefore in chariot fighting, when ten or more chariots
have been taken, those should be rewarded who took the first.
Our own flags should be substituted for those of the enemy,
and the chariots mingled and used in conjunction with ours.
The captured soldiers should be kindly treated and kept.

18. This is called, using the conquered foe to augment
one’s own strength.

19. In war, then, let your great object be victory,
not lengthy campaigns.

20. Thus it may be known that the leader of armies
is the arbiter of the people’s fate, the man on whom it
depends whether the nation shall be in peace or in peril.



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