On Arts

Rex Lui

In the 20th century, the pedagogical concept towards Arts Education is all about technical benefits: boosting creativity, aesthetics, relaxation, “side-dish entertainment”, to sum up. It’s about time to shift this concept. Arts is more than just Art for Art’s Sake. From the neurological point of view, arts is an essential cognitive method for learning and knowledge communication.

The saddest thing is, through out the entire educational systems all over the world, regardless of the advancement of the societies, Arts is still not a required subject in school. One best example is IB Diploma, where the group “Arts” can be replaced by any other subjects from other groups.

The solution is easily: make it a required subject for high school graduation, not necessarily be a requirement for college application though. Subjects like:

#1. Literary Art (Literature, Creative Writing, Journalism)
#2. Music (Performance, Composition)
#3. Visual Art (Painting, Photography, Sculpture)
#4. Media Art (Animation, Filmmaking, Comics)
#5. Design (Fashion, Graphic, Interior, Product)
#6. Performing Art (Dancing, Theater)

should be available. By re-establishing the quintessence of Arts Education, Art as an institution will take a more pro-active role instead of merely a follower within the social discourse.

Human evolves society progresses. Art, in the 21st century, will become more a member of “Truth Generator” instead of just a member of “Truth Messenger”. Art will be more a “Common Communication” instead of just a “Self Expression”. Art will be more a “Learning Method” instead of just an “Entertainment Tool”. Art will be more a “We” instead of a “MeP.

But it takes “Education” to execute this action.



On Olympics

Rex Lui

The decline of Ten-Toeism, the ideology that we Homo sapiens live our lives according to our own attributes and discriminating others, like:

#1. Religionism: my religion is superior
#2. Nationalism: my country is superior
#3. Racism: my race is superior
#4. Genderism: my gender is superior
#5. Ableism: my ability is superior

is reflecting perfectly in our public institutions. One of the most symbolic one is the Olympics. We Homo sapiens still have a competitive hunting mind in our primitive brains, yet being trapped in a highly “civilized” and highly “modernized” society. Competitive sports is a naive but effective solution to fulfill our game playing mind and boost our dopamine.

But times flows, knowledge grows. As we became more and more compassionate, Olympics became more and more like a co-operative institution for building bridge instead of a competitive tools for showing off. Therefore, we have Paralympics; as to make a wonderful sport event more inclusive. That tackled ableism.

But how about Nationalism?

Right now, although it’s in huge decline, we stupid Homo sapiens are still taking part of the event as a member of “nation”. The disaster is that in the 20th century, athletes are heavily affected by those technical issues such as politics, laws, and economics. In the 21st century, those nationalistic ideologies is heavily reduced: we start creating independent teams just in case of internal issues of a country. We even created refugee team for those who are without a formal nation flag on their shoulders. That tackled Nationalism.

But how about Genderism?

That’s the worst case scenario right now. We Homo sapiens still compete with only two genders, but biological speaking, we are way way more than just two genders. And we are not even getting into “gender” as a social constructed concept. In the 21st century, just as we created Paralympics and Refugee teams, it’s about time to make it more gender inclusive for other genders, other than just Female and Male. That will tackle genderism.

With the black fists in the black gloves in 1968. We tackled racism. And thanks for human progression, religionism have been so declining that religions have no influence in modern Olympics whatsoever. (Vatican participating in Olympics is actually not a big deal, as long as there is absolutely no monkey business for religionism promotion hijacking the sport event as a tool.) It completes the solution that Olympics as an institution for sport and as a symbol for human co-operation; thus eliminates the horrible Ten-Toeism from our society.

Personally I am a huge fan of Olympics. Not because of any Ten-Toeistic attributes like nations or genders, but because I’m also training in the same disciplines. Competitive sport is one of the most successful institution for Homo sapiens. It reflects the nature of us, a compassionate, cooperative animals progressing to be more healthy, more happy, and even more compassionate in the pathway of evolution. Let’s make it even more so. That tackles Ten-Toeism.


On History

11 thoughts on “21 Lessons for the 21st Century”
Rex Lui
I value sleep a lot. Lousy sleeping pattern is worse than smoking or drugs. I don’t think there will be any other book that I will spend my valuable sleeping time just to finish it. This is the one that I can’t put it down. The last time I was that excited to losing sleep was reading Jostein Gaarder’s philosophical young adult fiction “Sophie’s World” when I was a teenager.
Note that this is a social science book. Instead of stating the objective truth like Science Books do, historian Yuval Noah Harari did not attempt to constitute yet another social construct. Rather, he tried to deconstruct many institutions we Homo sapiens currently have. That’s why sometimes I can feel more doubts than optimism in the book that is quite common in the social science universes, as social scientists study the subjective narrative of Homo sapiens more than study the objective scientific truth of Homo sapiens. When our knowledge mindset cannot escape our own narrative discourse, at best we can’t find solution to solve the problems, at worse we will be fell to yet another anthropocentric trap.
So, here comes my eleven thoughts on Homo sapiens “21 lessons” for the next 100 years:
1. We are story animals, but we are also in the extremely primitive in the evolutionary scale. We are toddlers in terms of speciation. In fact, even within our tiny little seven thousand years of civilization, our “stories” keep changing. 500 years ago, it’s OK to use religion as a knowledge guideline. At 2018 you will be a laughing stock if you base your life on religion dogma. Just like you tell others you are living your life because an astrology column told you to do so in the 20th century. This book correctly points out that religionism as an institution is disappearing.
2. I was very surprised that a historian has widely adapted almost all general scientific laws for a historical book, from evolutionary biology to quantum physics, from big bang to genetic code. When I study neuroscience every single day, I might overlook how this field has become so impactful for the world that even the social science terra is gradually leaning towards science. For one second, I thought I was reading E O Wilson (to some extend E O Wilson’s “The Meaning of Human Existence” is the scientific version of this book). When I recognized that Jared Diamond is Harari’s grand master, voila.
3. Since 2017 I coined the word Ten-Toeism to describe all the umbrella human social constructs that are based on our own attributes: nationalism based on a contexture called country; racism based on a contexture called race; religionism based on a contexture called religion; genderism based on a contexture called gender. One of the most serious problem we Homo sapiens encounter in the 21st century is that we are living separately like unlimited separated square grids on paper based on those social constructs. We use race, country, gender city, religion to live our lives instead of objective truth. At best, sure, in the administrative scale, the concept of nation is wonderful to execute social public services, from tax to fire safety, from business regulation to hospitals. But at worst, most of human’s conflicts are just ignorant arguments among those fake attributes. Technically useful doesn’t mean it’s true. Especially there are so many evil actors exploiting humanity applying these ten-toeistic attributes, we should be more cautious than passively agreeing on the “usefulness” of these tools. Harari correctly pointed out all those attributes, but failed to condemn those who apply these attributes.
4. I was glad that Harari admit that free will is just another social construct. And it’s a good thing to understand we Homo sapiens are no different than Chimpanzees or Gorillas. By admitting that we are no different than a chimp is the best response to the arrogant religionism that the universe is based on the images of some mythological creatures. I am so glad that Harari provide a new paradigm to treat those illusive hats that we wear on our heads everyday, multiculturalism. Multiculturalism doesn’t separate Homo sapiens base on countries, races, genders, cities, sexual orientations, etc. Multiculturalism value human being solely based on knowledge and abilities. That’s why we could appreciate Shakespeare even we are not English heterosexual (?) bards in the Renaissance; we could learn Marie Curie even we are not women chemical scientists; we could learn Gwen Jorgensen’s physical talents even we are not double sport professional (triathlon and marathon) women athletes in three different disciplines (swimming, cycling, running). This book correctly mentioned that in this highly transparent 21st century, ten-toeism is a dead-end.
5. I was quite shocked that Harari spend a great amount of words to bashing about religions and praising on secularism. But then, secularism is nothing more than a temporary term because we still fighting against religionism. In the last five years, we don’t even use this term that often anymore. Because, who isn’t secular? All babies are secular humanist until we brainwashed them one by one. As at this very minute, religionism is no longer the norm, we don’t even need the term secularism. There is no term “anti-voodoo”, who isn’t? This is why I value this book so high.
6. One major plot hole that I was quite surprised that Harari barely mentioned is: compassion. Compassion is unarguably the single most influential engine that pushed Homo sapiens evolving forward. That’s why we are becoming more and more calm, and less and less violent. One prominent example is: in the 20th century, no one will argue if you kill a cockroach with your slipper. In the 21st century, we start to say, let them live (at least take it out to the backyard). That missing link about the deep root in our mind: empathy, explains that why social scientists are generally more pessimistic, and why scientists are way more optimistic. If we Homo sapiens are not cooperative animal, we won’t be here today.
7. The one point that I absolutely agree is: Education. Education is the most successful institution of human civilization. In the 21st century, knowledge is recycling so fast that learning became a daily constant. The action of learning should be no different between a fifteen years old or a hundred and fifteen years old. If I have to choose one single aspect to solve the social problem of the next one hundred years, it has to be, learning.
8. The one major point that I argue against is: “if a story is useful, then true or not true is secondary”. That only works in one institution: Art. In fact, we intentionally using lies (hence the name fiction) to tell the truth. The truth should always to the theme of human being. And it can’t be applied to another institution. Do you want your doctor to tell you that “the medical machine doesn’t work, you will die anyway, but as long as you feel happy, I will keep getting your money?” No, I don’t. Therefore, quite the opposite, comparing Harry Potter to those bible creeds not only “not” insulting those dogmas, but you are insulting Harry Potter by saying that Harry Potter is as fake as those bibles (or whatever your fake doctrines you like). That’s why we should bash out as much non-truth as possible using as many methods as possible in this anti-truth era.
9. A riveting perspective Harari mentioned in the book is about sport. Sure, a bunch of folks chasing a ball is technically rather stupid. I would challenge that the action itself is not the most stupid. We are celebrating and rooting for some illusive attributes such as country would be even more stupid. Why not celebrating other attributes like Women, Men, and, Transgender folks? Why not rooting for folks wearing purple and folks wearing orange? Sport as a culture is cheesy. But sport as an institution in the 21st century has a very powerful function: to make human being calmer and happier. Neurologically speaking, sport and exercise are having a major functional shift in the 21st century. Sport celebrities and spectacular sports are not center of the universe anymore. Everyone is exercising every day. The rising of the concept “exercising” would revolutionize the concept “sport”. We no longer need sport to promote Ten-Toeism. Instead, sport is a recreational hobby that leads us toward healthy and meaningful life.
10. When we recognize that we Homo sapiens only have 350,000 years of evolutionary history, within that only 7,000 years are considered advanced (hence the name civilization), we will be humbler to the Earth, to the Universe, and to million other species that co-living with us together. We will not arrogantly be shouting about my country, my race, my gender, my city, my sexual orientation that easily. Harari successfully reprehend the harms of culture-centrism.
11. One major afterthought: history as an academic discipline is quite controversial. Since we were kids, the “History” we were studying is technically nothing more than political history within only about four thousand years. As written language was invented 4,000 years ago. No wonder the epistemological concept “History” is changing in the 21st century. We no longer just study one country or just one period of evolutionary time. “The Big History” is a groundbreaking idea that we Homo sapiens should study ourselves from the big bang. Then even for human history itself we start combing anthropology into history. So that we start to teach human history at 350,000 year point instead of 4,000 year point. History or herstory or zestory or xestory or whatnot, we Homo sapiens love to constitute social constructs so as to compensate our ignorance for what we don’t know. We better admit early that we don’t know almost everything. By only adapting this conceptual ethos, could we be more humble-minded to knowledge of the universe and less ME, ME, ME, ME, ME under this grand Enlightenment Epoch. As Harari mentioned, no matter which century, the only constant is: “Change”.
Learn, adapt, survive. Harari is Darwin. This is a highly recommended book that I think anyone who loves to learn and cares about knowledge of the next one hundred years should read.

Do Universes Dream Butterfly?

Do Universes Dream Butterfly?

Rex Lui

Neurons meander. Perfect fluid? Na. Loving memory? Ya
Under the Large Scale Structure of Space-Time
A butterfly escapes singularity, discovers pre-Big Bang

The fifth grade encounter, changed my path forever
Being is brief, within our Brief History of Time
On the average planet, butterfly became an unaverage star

Nothingness and loveliness declares war
Wandering between Black Holes and Baby Universes
“Curiosity is the key!” Butterfly affirms

Rising apes? Sure. Fleshly ants? More likely
Humanity’s heaviness triumphs Nature’s lightness within Space and Time
Hovering between multiverses, butterfly composes enlightenment’s repertoire

A next silkworm metamorphizes into virtuoso
In library, reading The Universe in a Nutshell
Ignoring the arrow of time, butterfly traces the boundary of expansion

The theory of everything might be obsolete
But standing on the Shoulders of Giants
We breathe the butterfly’s molecules with exclaimer

No divines nor gods Created the Integers
Anti-entropyly, exit superstition, enter knowledge
Binding with wisdom, butterfly evolves
My beloved of all time
Reality and matter combines, hence The Grand Design
Cosmos blossoms, so as benignity and the butterfly

Warmheartness persistently defies quantum mechanics’ laws
If universes are the Dreams That our synapses Stuff Made Of
Do universes dream butterfly?

With the harmonics of Johann Johannsson’s ninth chord progression
Quarks and all elementary particle collapses
Butterfly’s entire Brief History march towards eternity


Statistics on Facebook Science News Reading Habits

At 20170425, I’ve done a little statistics on my own Science News reading habits on Facebook. The method is simple: just count how many pieces of news I shared on my post of the past whole year. So, here we go:



  1. Medical Xpress 62
  2. Neuroscience News 32
  3. Sciencedaily 29
  4. Phys.org 21
  5. Amazon 20
  6. Science Magazine 19
  7. Scientific American 18
  8. ScienceAlert 18
  9. Big Think 17
  10. Neil deGrasse Tyson 15
  11. New Scientist 14
  12. The Scientist 12
  13. Exercise & Sports Science Australia 11
  14. Nature 10
  15. Science News Magazine 9
  16. Nautilus 8
  17. Curiosity 8
  18. Searching For the Mind 7
  19. Cosmos Magazine 6
  20. Dalai Lama 5
  21. Neuroscience 5
  22. Neuroscience News & Research 5
  23. STAT News 5
  24. Bill Gates 5
  25. Mark Zuckerberg 4
  26. The Conversation 4
  27. Nobel Prizes 4
  28. Asian Scientist Magazine 4
  29. PNAS 4
  30. Genetic Literacy Project 3
  31. The New Yorker 3
  32. PLOS 3
  33. Chemistry World 3
  34. Harvard Medical School 3
  35. Exercise Right 3
  36. Compound Interest 3
  37. Science Insider 2
  38. BioMed Central 2
  39. FENS 2
  40. Aeon 2
  41. BBC Science 2
  42. New York Times Science 2
  43. Canadian Association for Neuroscience 1
  44. Guardian Science 1
  45. Wired Science 1
  46. C & EN 1
  47. Genome.gov 1
  48. RealClearScience 1
  49. 23 & Me 1
  50. Quanta 1
  51. NIH 1
  52. Molecular Creativity 1

Let’s see how it goes next year.

Top 5 Neuroscience News Sites

Here, in my humble opinion, are the top 5 most reliable and high quality websites for neuroscience research news.

  1. Neuroscience News: The most completed news sources available. top_10_1_neurosciencenews
  2. ScienceDaily/ Mind & Brains: The best general science news site and all sources are well cited.2_sciencedaily
  3. Medicalxpress/ Neuroscience News: The best medical news site. The news focusing on the clinical aspect of Neuroscience are exceptional.3_medicalxpress
  4. Scientific American Mind: Easily the best popular magazine focusing on Neuroscience.4_scientificamericanmind
  5. Psychology Today/ Neuroscience: A traditional psychology magazine but the quality on the science side is highly recommended. 5_psychologytoday