Functionality over form for gadgets, Style over brand for clothing

One thing that’s really changed about me from the past is I no longer care about showing off my wealth; that’s something that I’ve criticized Chinese people for a lot and still do. I don’t understand whats the point of showing off your wealth by buying a fancy car or wearing expensive designer clothing. Like whats the point? You want people to know you are rich? Why? So they can rob you? Sounds arrogant to me.

I am actually quite blessed to say that since 2011 since I got my first job out of university, I haven’t really ‘struggled’ to make ends meet, per say. I’ve been living comfortably (I’m not rich.. just comfortable) for the past 6 years. But I was a poor university student before 2011 plus things in Canada usually cost more, so one of the first things I did when I first came to San Francisco was to buy up a lot of brand name clothing! A&F shirts, Lacoste polos, Lucky Brand / Guess jeans, you name it. I spent a lot of money on new clothes, only to realize that it didn’t really matter. I didn’t really care about the names and SF people really didn’t care either. When I lived in Korea I threw away all my American clothes and exchanged them for no name Korean brands – which were ironically better quality because they were made in Korea and alot of the name brand clothing was made in China. But the important thing is the style. I noticed in Korea people didn’t care about brands so much like in China – they cared about the style more. If it looked good, then wear it. Who cares who its made by? I learned this when I was in Korea.

So now I don’t care what brand I buy or wear anymore as long as it looks good. The opposite applies to electronics. I own laptops by Asus, Microsoft, Lenovo, Dell and Apple. My speakers are made by LG, Sony, Yamaha, Klipsch, Polk Audio, Creative, and Bose. My phones come from Sony, Apple, Essential, Blackberry and Google. My TV is Panasonic. My headphones are Sony, Fender, Monster, Audeze and Master&Dynamic. My microphones are Shure. My cameras are by DJI and Sony. My Keyboards are from Aorus, Logitech and Microsoft. My mice are from Asus, Microsoft, Razer, and Logitech. So yes I have brand name electronics – but they are all different brands. I don’t really have brand loyalty but I do care that they are not some cheap no name Chinese knockoff. That is important to me. But thing to note is that for electronics, I care about functionality of what I buy more than the design.

Take a look at this computer.

Apple MacBook Pro
Apple MacBook Pro

This computer is the epitome of form over function. It’s sexy looking, it’s thin and it’s made of aluminum. It’s nice looking. But it’s rather limited in functionality. There’s no touch screen. The graphics are integrated. The keyboard has shallow travel. There’s only 2 ports on it and one of them is for charging. The only reason I have this computer is for MacOS – which is essential for my programming tasks. It may as well just be a travel ultrabook – and even then the iPad Pro + keyboard kills it in portability, or Microsoft Surface Book 2 just kill it for the specs. Overall I only have this computer for the OS thats it. This computer costs $1900 when configured with the Core i7, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD.

Now look at this computer.

Lenovo ThinkPad TP25
Lenovo ThinkPad TP25

This computer is the epitome of function over form. I use this one as my main computer over the MacBook – even though it costs the same amount of money, $1900. It’s not sexy looking sure – it looks like it came from the early 2000s in fact – but it has way more functions than the MacBook has. It comes with the same specs first off – Core i7, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. Furthermore – it’s tested to military standards, keyboard is spill-proof, the keyboard is a full 7 row keyboard with at least 4x the amount of key travel the MacBook Pro has, it has mobile broadband (WWAN) and a removable battery (the Macbook you can’t even upgrade the RAM), it has a full set of 8 ports (no dongles needed), it has Nvidia 940MX graphics (granted not the most powerful but still better than integrated), you can use the pointer without taking your hands off the keyboard (its called a trackpoint), and it has a touch screen – and it weighs just 0.5lbs more, and a full 3 year warranty. So yeah. I’m taking this computer almost every time (except when I need to program or use Final Cut Pro).

Here I’m responding to TP25 haters…

Function over form. For much the same reason I have a Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact over the new iPhone X. Because even though that phone looks better with the thin bezels and OLED screens and stuff – mine has more battery life, microSD, headphone jack and IP68. top spec hardware specs too. And did I mention at half the price of the iPhone X? Yeah that too. I’ll always take the more useful over the more stylish for electronics. For clothing I take the stylish over the brand name. Because clothing is a huge part of how people see you and how you present yourself. A good stylish looking shirt or blazer is going to draw way more attention than using a sexy bezel-less iPhone X. I guarantee you.

Grammar Lesson 3 Korean

(ㄹ/을)래요 (intention to do, suggestion)

AV + (ㄹ/을)래요

This ending is another future form ending similar to (ㄹ/을)거예요 and (ㄹ/을)게요 except in this case, we intend to do something.
If we use this ending as a question, then it acts as a suggestion similar to (ㄹ/을)까요?
To make this ending, we conjugate the verb with ㄹ if the ending is a vowel and 을 if the ending is a consonant and add 래요 to the end.
With verbs ending in ㄹ already, we don’t need to add ㄹ/을.

1. This ending is used when we have a will or intention to do something.

2. When used as a question, this ending is used when we want to suggest something to other people. This ending is often paired with the honorific particle (으)시 to make 실래요? when speaking in semi-formal contexts.

3. The 반말 ending is (ㄹ/을)래.

4. In general, this is a more casual ending form, even when using the honorific particle question form.


혼자 할래요. – I want to do it alone.

영화 볼래요? – Do you want to watch a movie?

Grammar Lesson 4 Korean

(ㄴ/는)다,(아/어)라,니,냐,자 (intimate and plain forms)

In Korean there are different levels of politeness that one needs to be aware of.
We use the polite form usually with strangers (using 요 at the end of every sentence), and also we learned about the deferential form which we use for seniors and elders.
Now it’s time to learn two other forms, the intimate and plain forms.
The intimate form ending (called 반말) is easy. We just take the ‘요’ off of any polite sentence ending and that’s the intimate form!
We use the intimate form with anyone whom we consider either lower in age (like a child), or someone who we are close with (like a close friend or lover).
Now that we got the intimate form out of the way, the rest of this article will talk about the plain form.

1. What is the plain form? The plain form is used mostly in writings, and sometimes when speaking. When writing, the formality doesn’t matter, and when speaking, it is on roughly the same level as the intimate form, and is often used with close friends or family.

V + (ㄴ/는)다
DV + 다

2. The standard way of making a plain form statement is to replace the verb stem with ‘ㄴ/는’ 다 (ㄴ for vowel endings, 는 for consonant endings), but only for action verbs. Adjectives (descriptive verbs) don’t change at all, they use the dictionary 다 form. When speaking, the statement form can be used to draw attention to something.

나는 보통 7시에 아침을 먹는다. – I usually eat breakfast at 7am.

난 집에 가야 된다. – I have to go home.

V + 느냐?
V + 니?
V + 냐?

3. When asking a question in writing with the plain form, the ending is -느냐?, but when speaking in plain form, the question ending is either ‘-니?’ or ‘-냐?’, with the latter slightly more intimate.

커피를 좀 마시고싶니? – Do you want to drink some coffee?

혹시 난 널 사랑하냐? – Perhaps I love you?

AV + (아/어)라!

4. When making a request or imperative statement in plain form, we conjugate with -아라 if the verb’s last vowel ends in ㅏ,ㅗ, and -어라 otherwise.

김치 먹어라! – Eat some Kimchi!

AV + 자!

5. As mentioned before, -자 is the plain/intimate ending for making a suggestion.

같이 가자! – Let’s go together!