Here is my answer: I’m not going to stay in HCI as a scholar. HCI people think the problem, or solution, lies in technology. (Yes, some of them see things more holistically, but most of them are more excited about technology.) I disagree. I think the problem is elsewhere. The problem is not only about technology, but also about people, about society, about how all of them come into being, about how they are perceived and treated now, and about what consequences will be brought by these perceptions and treatments. It’s futile to talk to an audience that cannot and is not willing to get this. I don’t even bother to try.

Given my current situation, shall I still want to stay in academia and work on the few topics I truly care about, my choice is strictly limited. First, I want to switch to STS, so that I can talk to a more relevant group of people (and being understood better). Second, I want to be closer to him. There is one place and it is the only place that I could try. If it doesn’t work out, I’d prefer to leave academia, stay with him, and figure out something else to do.

It’s good that I finally get this, thanks to the help of a calm, chill late-summer night, as always. The answer to my personal conundrum is this: It is that I’m certain the core problem is not about technology that makes me not want to talk about technology, or hold very little interest in itself (maybe “want” is the wrong word; it’s more like avoiding subconsciously). The Western audience is less a challenge to me, if I’d really want to get my message across, although it’s definitely part of this mess. Now it makes so much sense and looking back, it is indeed due to this reason that led to most of my decisions (and my papers rejected), being aware or not.

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