I study Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at the University of Oxford.
Officially, my job is the president of an Oxford-based pre-seed incubator, co-founder of a biotech startup, and a venture scout.
But really what I do is OODA.
Bloggers who inspired me
I stand on the shoulders of these giants.
I spent my childhood playing Civilization V, watching History Channel, and reading the great Greek, Norse, and Egyptian mythologies.
My parents refused to buy me toys. So I made my own action figures by wrapping trash figures with parcel tape. I also tried to make my own model fighter jets and Saturn V rockets.
In line of the expectations of the Asian education system, I became a STEM kid. Schools taught me how the rate of reaction works while I wanted to know why the world works the way it works. So I read and read and read.
Until I discovered philosophy and the social sciences. I was the annoying kid asking teachers questions all the time. I decided that instead, I would ask the greater philosophers, historians, and political scientists questions - by reading their work. Internet was the game changer for me, opening up a door to infinite knowledge.
Talents vote with their feet. I moved to the UK for high school and saw the rise of the Belt and Road Initiative. I decided to study Arabic. I went to Qasid Arabic Institute in Amman, Jordan after 2 years of private tutorials. I wanted to be a diplomat in the nexus of Sino-Arab relations. Hence, this aspiration brought me to study PPE at Oxford.
My undergraduate studies at the University of Oxford are supported by the full-ride scholarship (selected as the only one at the undergraduate level in 2019) offered by Kwok's Scholars Association. I am grateful for their generosity.
Related to what I study
- History, politics and comparative systems of espionage
- Why certain political institutions perform better than others (= 'comparative government')
- Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its impact on Sino-Arab relations
- Chinese politics (elite politics and authoritarian resilience)
- Multi-agent system design
- Ergodicity economics (EE)
- Philosophy of Time
Unrelated to what I study
- Synthetic biology e.g. stem-cell, biochemicals & biomaterials, personalized medicine, GRN, BCI, xenobots, and post-humanism
- Astrophysics and cosmology e.g. spacefaring civilization, megastructures and obviously, the weird physics of black-holes
- Futurism e.g. post-scarcity world, politics of colonizations, world government
- Deep-sea exploration and extremophile bacteria like here
- Decentralized Finance (DeFi) – are we re-living Wall Street 2.0 pre-2008, or are we re-building Wall Street from the bottom up?
These are my moonshot interests. For startup/VC-related interests, read 'My Work'.
- Interintellect: an online community with an active Discord group and self-organised 'salons' almost every day
- the Existential Hope group at Foresight Institute: an online community of scientists, philosophers, innovators and policy-makers engaged in long-termism
- On Deck Catalyst 2
If you would like to join these groups, please send me a message for referrals.
I used to do pool and open-water swimming competitively. Now I am an amateur triathelete.
I also used to cover pop songs. Now I occasionally sing. I know how bad I am.
- A 20-year-old like me should make use of optionality, take asymmetric bets and eat risks for lunch.
- Jack of All Trades is an okay signal.
As you can see, I have dabbled a lot. Some might say it is a bad signal because it means that I am everywhere but also nowhere.
I disagree. As a 20-year-old, being everywhere is literally the best signal ever.
Being everywhere is a signal of intellectual curiosity. Being everywhere is a signal of hustling.
3. Intellectually curious hustlers seek out other intellectually curious hustlers. And writing this blog is one of the ways I can seek out other hustlers. Time to build a RICH (rebellious intellectually curious hustler) mafia.
All he cared about was what was right, not who was right. That's what makes Bill very very dangerous.
A reminder that most of the time we 1) are not right, 2) do not even know if we are right:
Hustle and hustle
Stay childish and stay hungry.
It’s a good bet these present-day hobbies will seed future industries. What the smartest people do on the weekends is what everyone else will do during the week in ten years