About

Hi, I’m Iris, a current college student based in Seattle and D.C. intending to major in government and economics.

I write reflective essays and creative nonfiction. My interests cover a wide range: technology, politics, law, business, sustainability, and China; it’s why I love sci-fi (especially cyberpunk). On the side, I love to read (check out my goodreads!), dabble in visual art (portrait and urban sketches), and run a studyblr. A lot of my ideas have been shaped and changed by my experience in high school debate

I’m always undergoing a process of self-discovery and trying to identify my purpose. Currently, I’ve come up with this question: How can we leverage technology and law to maximize well-being in an equitable and sustainable fashion?

My processes

I’m a lifelong learner and thinker. I create and educate to appreciate and inspire.

Collect and Synthesize: lifelong, omnipresent learner and thinker

  • Everywhere: Learning happens in the most unexpected places, so listen and observe. On nature walks, hear the birdsong; at the grocery store, notice the pricing techniques; in dreams, discover emergent sides of yourself.
  • Every source: Diversify your information and inspiration sources. Don’t label them as desirable or undesirable. Some of my favorite sources include: podcasts, fashion magazines, city scapes, Youtube vlogs, art museum descriptions, shopping malls, family walks, language roots & differences, and speculative fiction.
  • Across time: Information changes, new developments emerge. Maintain a flexible attitude, expose yourself to diverse perspectives, discuss, interrogate, reflect, and adapt.
  • Across dimensions: Idea synthesis and formation occurs both horizontally (across industries, disciplines, media types, etc.) and vertically (macro to micro, societal to personal, systems to behaviors). For instance, to answer the question, “how do we quantify human value?,” we could look at family decisions on whether to treat dying elders, the emergence of non-fungible tokens to commodify digital assets, and the politics of empathy in social movements.

Create and Educate: reciprocal practices that appreciate and inspire

  • Reciprocity: Creating and Educating are both processes and products that change both the giver and the receiver. By creating and educating, we can better synthesize the concepts we’ve collected, and the outcome is a new manifestation of an idea.
  • Omnipresence: Like how we learn, we create and educate even when we don’t realize. Creation and education are the ways we make our imprints on the world, whether that be a tweet, a novel, a TED talk, or small talk with the receptionist.
  • Openness: Translate, don’t transcribe; inspire, don’t dictate. Instead of copying and relaying information, consider how culture, social status, and identities interact with our ideas. Respectfully interrogate both the assumptions of yourself and others by setting heuristics that allow for idea refinement instead of rigid algorithms. Help others see beauty in the mundane, and always give credit where it is due.

World-view changing:

Novels:

  • The Dark Forest by Liu Cixin
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  • Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Non-fiction books:

  • AI Superpowers by Kai Fu Lee
  • Why Fish Don’t Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life by Lulu Miller
  • Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake
  • Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (read the first chapter in the New Yorker)

Short stories

Creative nonfiction:

Long reads:

Art exhibit:

Films:

  • Farewell My Concubine
  • Miracle in Cell No. 7
  • Spirited Away
  • Blade Runner
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire