Where are we?

Where are we?

At a coffee shop, on Jiuru street, a busy street in Kaohsiung.


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Posted in 怪しい日本語の工場🚧 | Comments closed

Why FREE $0

From the language materials on JapanTree,

to the website and marketing courses on DIYbocaratonSEO,

and everything else by Benfii

you’ll find a lot of things for free $0.

Here’s why

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This way Alice

Categories to fall into

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Exposing “Travel Charlatans”

This is not the first time I have talked about THE LIE – the fallacy of the “travel the world” cool-aid that is being promoted on the internet.
But it is the first time I have a name for them.
And that name is “travel charlatans.”

Travel Charlatans

Definition: People (often on the internet) who present an unbalanced view of travel, overemphasizing positive experiences – or portraying it as painless – and downplaying or failing to mention negative ones.

There is no shortage of websites pumping out travel-related material and most of the stuff out there I would label “travel porn.”
Some of these sites even describe their pictures as travel porn.

I would say the name travel porn is appropriate not only for their pictures but also their posts because they paint an incredibly unrealistic picture of what world travel and living abroad is actually like.

We could call it “travel snake oil” , “travel magic beans” , or some other pejorative and it might fit just as well.

The operators of “travel snake oil websites” of course paint the situation this way because 1) they want your money, 2) they want to make themselves look good/important/etc., and/or 3) they want you to keep reading (i.e. they want advertiser’s money).

The truth of the matter is travel and living abroad is asking for pain.
If a website is only presenting the positives (amazing pictures, tons of money, all your problems solved, living in the country of your dreams) you are in travel-porn land.

If you try to live in their dream,… be warned, you will have a rude awakening one day.

I first lived abroad as an international student at the age of 19. As someone who currently lives abroad and has lived abroad in three Asian countries (for several years each) and has had extended travel in a half dozen, I would say I have experience to rival the majority of the travel bloggers out there.
Over the time I have lived [on and off] abroad (totaling a decade) I have been:
An exchange and an international student (Japan)
A young professional
A visa-running nomad
A remote worker for a corporate company
An online English teacher
A local English teacher
A university professor (China)
A digital freelancer
A small business owner and entrepreneurial visa holder (Taiwan)

And all of it was pain.

While I have a good amount of experience, my experience level does not match those who have lived abroad the longest.
And yet, ironically, it seems that few of them are hocking travel porn.
But that should not be too surprising.

Those who are actually doing a thing often talk about it the least…

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A thought on truth and Robert Pirsig

For my high school international baccalaureate program I had to read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. I offer this quote from page 6 of it for your consideration:

“I’ve wondered why it took us so long to catch on. We saw it and yet we didn’t see it. Or rather we were trained not to see it. Conned, perhaps, into thinking that the real action was metropolitan and all this was just boring hinterland. It was a puzzling thing. The truth knocks on the door and you say, “Go away, I’m looking for the truth,” and so it goes away. Puzzling.

Interestingly, there are people who knock on your door. Their stated purpose is to share truth with you. We all know who they are.

Are you telling them, “Go away, I’m looking for the truth”?

food for thought.

For a free summary of Motorcycle Maintenance

For the book itself


For truth, open your door…

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What is a pioneer?

“The word originally had a military connotation, relating to a soldier, though not an ordinary foot soldier. It connoted a military engineer, one who preceded the main body and built bridges, roads and trenches. Hence, “to pioneer” came to mean to prepare or open the way, and a “pioneer” was one who took the lead, forging ahead in the face of odds or opposition, as the early settlers of the North American West did. The term suggests an individual who is intrepid, one who presses ahead until his goal is realized. “

Posted in Experiments, Mobilizer, Theory | Comments closed

Alexa plugin retiring!


It’s hard to believe that such a widely used service is ending…

It’s one of many services that I used long before it was bought by a giant.

(For example: grandcentral before it was bought and made into Google Voice)

I have often been an early adopter. There is hardly a google product I use that I didn’t use before it was bought by google (Writely, Youtube, etc.)

We used to be called early adopters, now it just means we are old.

At 39 years old I am a grandfather on the internet. Grandfathered in.

Some of us know a lot about how the internet works under the hood though.

Anyway, rant, over.

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幫助記憶的詞句 – a glace at the use of mnemonics by the Chinese

I was recently looking for websites that teach Japanese hiragana to Chinese speakers using mnemonics.
There are sites like tofugu that have mnemonics for English speakers who want to learn hiragana and katakana, but any for Chinese? I wondered.
Let’s see

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Communication tools

A very quick, but hopefully interesting post about communication.

(I hope I will have time to expand on it one day.)

What do GIFs, Emoji, Character Maps have in common..?

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