WRITING 165: HOW TO MAKE PROGRESS

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Hi, PL,

I hope you are doing well.

For this project, I have invested lots of time, especially for cracking two major challenges.

Since last Dec., I haven’t received anything from you. I wonder if you are still ‘in’ the project.

I understand people may have different priorities under different circumstances. Please let me know your choice. If you are still in, let’s bring it to the end; if you are out, I am also fine.

I just cannot waste more time.

Best,

ACTION415

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Hi ACTION415,

You are perfectly right. Was teaching MBAs for the first time and could hardly find any time.

My students have the exam today, so I am done with my teaching. I have 10 months now completely free for research.

Our project is in my priority list. I want to submit it very soon. I have worked so much on it, believe it or not. Let’s bring it to the end.

Best, PL
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2016-02-19 00.18.46

WRITING 158: GAMES WE PLAY, 5

DESPITE MY CONTRACT FOR 4, THE BOSS HAS UNILATERALLY INCREASED MY WORKLOAD TO 4.5 FOR THE PAST FOUR YEARS. THIS IS BLATANT BULLY: HE KNOWS I AS JUNIOR CANNOT ARGUE AGAINST THIS INJUSTICE.

BUT NOW IT IS A DIFFERENT TIME. I HAVE MY SECURITY AND I WON’T PUT UP WITH THE BULLY ANY LONGER. ALSO, NOW IS A GOOD TIMING. ALREADY, HE IS CHARGED FOR SEVERAL VIOLATIONS. LACK OF SUPPORT, HE IS IN A PRECARIOUS STATE, WORRYING THAT HE MAY LOSE THE POSITION. SO, PUT IN HIS SHOES, THE LAST THING HE WANTS IS ANOTHER COMPLAINT/CHARGE FILED AGAINST HIM.

OF COURSE, HE MAY STILL PLAY NASTY. AFTER ALL, HE HATES ME SINCE DAY ONE. THE WORST OUTCOME IS THAT HE REFUSES, FOR HE DOES NOT WANT TO LOOK WEAK STILL. AGREEING ON MY TERM WILL ANGER THE REST: AFTER ALL, WHY THEY SHOULD TEACH 4.5?

BUT HE WILL ALSO HAVE TO CONSIDER, WITH FAIR CERTAINTY, THIS TIME I WILL NOT LET IT GO WITHOUT PUTTING UP A FIGHT—I WILL SURELY FILE THE CHARGE, THE ACTION I AM READY TO TAKE.

WITH THAT CONVICTION, I EMAIL HIM TODAY. NOW THE BALL IS IN HIS COURT. LET’S SEE HOW HE PLAYS THE GAME.

—-
DEAR Y,

I HOPE YOU ARE DOING WELL.

I AM WRITING REGARDING MY TEACHING LOAD. MY CONTRACT SPECIFIES THAT

“YOUR TEACHING LOAD WILL CONSIST OF THREE QUARTER COURSES IN THE FIRST TWO YEARS OF YOUR APPOINTMENT AND FOUR QUARTER COURSES BEGINNING IN YOUR THIRD YEAR WITH SUBSEQUENT REVIEW OF TEACHING LOAD AT EACH MERIT REVIEW.”

THE UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN ME AND THEN DEAN DS IS THAT, AS LONG AS I PASS MY MERIT REVIEW, MY TEACHING LOAD REMAINS FOUR.

SINCE I GOT MY PROMOTION (EFFECTIVE FROM JULY 1, 2015), ACCORDING TO THE CONTRACT, MY TEACHING LOAD SHOULD BE 4, NOT 4.5, FROM YEAR 15/16 TILL NEXT MERIT REVIEW. I HOPE THE SCHOOL MAKE THE CORRECTION.

YOUR CONSIDERATION IS MUCH APPRECIATED.

BEST REGARDS,

ACTION415

2016-02-19 00.18.59

[KEY WEST, FL, MARCH 2015]

WRITING 150: ACAMEDIC POLITICS 7, THEY SHOULD SAY NO

We had the personnel meeting meeting on Friday, a rare occasion one can actually meet other people in the school. Most of time, people teach and leave; the place is pretty much in comma.

To my surprise, publication is not the dominant determinant ofthe merit cases. Teaching and service matter, too. In fact, CZ was voted down simply because of his dismal teaching, despite his publication record.

But this is unfair. Publication consumes at least ten times as much energy. Yet when publication, teaching, and service are considered together, they somehow acquire equal weight.

And it is just too easy to cast a doubt on any issue. Take CZ, for example. Although his student comments are terrible, his teaching rating is actually comparable to AO’s. But RZ’s remark totally destroyed his case. RZ told us, openly, CZ said he does not want to teach. This attitude problem caught others’ attention, because it resonates with students comments—condescending, arrogant, these have little to do with the difficulty of the subject. In this case, no one can defend him on the subject ground. Indeed, M.E.’s wife was axed mainly because of these kind of comments. Already, M.E. had highlighted all such comments to take CZ down.

PC asked about SH’s service performance. JH implied that she was strategic in committee meetings: she always sided with the side that has strongest voice. J.h. then added that juniors should not sit on such committees. Once in, they are compelled to endorse the opinions of the boss.

This is nonsense, I disagreed, “they should say no.” I did. Why cannot they? If they don’t want to anger the boss, then they shouldn’t complain about the ensuing coercions. It is their appeasement that perpetuates the bully, cultivating the sick ass-kissing culture in the school. In fact, if you stand up to them once, they won’t bother you in the future. But if you give in once, they will push you around again and again. And that is what exactly happened in the school.

So if you don’t have the balls to say no, then don’t complain—you did have the choice to say no, and you didn’t. Now take the consequence.

2015-03-20 14.48.19

[ST AUGUSTINE, FL, MARCH, 2015]

WRITING: NOTES ON AO

This morning I had a discussion with A, mainly on the pooling equilibrium.

The basic model is as follows. The supplier S has two distribution channels: direct sell to the end consumers, and through a retailer R. The retailer is more efficient in retail operations with less retail cost. However, the retail channel suffers efficiency loss due to  double marginalization (DM) (we assume that the channel is managed by the wholesale price contract). In addition, the supplier’s type of retail cost c_i is his private information, high or low. The consumer demand is linear. Both parties are risk-neutral and profit maximizing.

We frame the problem as a signaling game. First, S learns his type c_i and sets wholesale price w(c_i). Second, R orders quantity q_R. Finally, S delivers q_R and sells q_S directly to the market. Hence the market clearing price is P= a - b(q_R+ q_S). The payoffs for R and S are
(P-w)q_R and Pq_S + c_i(q_S + q_R), respectively.

A will have a draft this weekend. Afterwards I need one more week to finalize it.

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[Key West, FL, Spring, 2015]

WRITING: ON HABITS, 2

Habits are self-reinforcing. The actions taken now affect not only today, but also future. Once we form a habit, its repeated nature will set you on an auto-pilot mode to the destination.

Therefore, habits are self-fulfilling prophecies: once you set the direction, the mere belief will eventually lead to that very predicted outcome. This mechanism implies that, to develop a habit, we may first talk ourselves into believing its rosy outcome. Then the very belief will set offs chain of repeated actions fulfilling that prediction.

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[Seven Mile Bridge (featured in movie True Lies), Key West, FL, March, 2015]