This is the 3rd post on OKR, although it is almost three weeks late. Like the last two OKRs, I should give an update about the current situation of the world.

Epidemiologists warned the world about the 2nd wave of the pandemic, even when the 1st wave was still ongoing. As I have written in the 2nd OKR, lockdown was lifted in many countries during the summer. People traveled during the summer. Was it a logical response?

The logic seems to be: we will have a 2nd wave, so let’s relax the lockdown. I didn’t see this as logical from the day 1. The 1st wave subsided because of the lockdown. It is like a fire is subsided because you have put some water on it. Should you stop put water on the fire, when the fire is weaken? If that were the principle for firefighting, I think everything will be burned on to the ground.

What the epidemiologists said was indeed correct. The northern hemisphere is entering the cold fall season and the virus strikes back. We are indeed in the 2nd wave.

Two or three weeks ago, Germany was still bragging about how they are doing fine, while all the surround countries has fallen into the 2nd wave. This raging 2nd wave is more intense, although seems to be less lethal (probably because those infected are younger). ICUs around Western Europe are again flooded with patients.

In the last 2 weeks, Germany, likes its neighbors and as expected, is fallen too. The incidence is now doubling every week. My calculation is that it will reach 20000 cases per day the latest this Friday. Today (28-10-2020), Germany finally decided to have another lockdown starting next week.

Politically, people are focusing on the US election next week (Nov 3). Joe Biden vs Trump. No one knows what will happen when either one of them wins. Will Trump admit defeat when Biden wins? Will more American die due to Corona when Trump gets reelected?

Talking about myself, as always, I am doing fine. You know, one should always be humble in this raging pandemic. If you are having the same position as you did yesterday, it is already something to be grateful for. There was a little setback during the summer (which I can’t share in this blog), but one should always see the big picture. After all, the net gain is still positive.

Last time I said I have been summoned to go back to office for face-to-face meetings. These meetings were indeed happened during the summer. However, due to the resurgence of the epidemic, most, if not all, meetings are now online again.

My wife has undergone multiple waves of awakenings. It is better for you to read it on her blog. She is now learning amazing things such as physical chemistry and … emacs…

Before saying anything about OKR 3, there were actually some anniversaries in the Q3. I have been in German for 3 years. I am now 39 years old and I have been elected as the incoming secretary of ICA Computational Methods Division.

think out loud

I did exceptionally well. I have published 6 blog posts on various topics. Some posts has been featured in RWeekly and ICA Computational Methods Twitter accounts.

I particularly like the post on side projects and elisp development. The side projects post means a lot to me. It is sort of like a ritual of exorcism.

Another highlight is the German post. I had not written in German for so long.

I have some other drafts in the production. Some take months to finish. For example, I still have a draft about my experience of ICA 20 in May…

contribute to open source


I did quite good with this one. I have shipped readODS 1.7. Planed the road map to 2.0. Also, the package has been submitted to rOpenSci 1.

Oolong is improved. A paper is submitted to Journal of Open Source Software. Honestly, I am quite frustrated by the review process. Of course, this is the corona time and one can’t expect things to be perfectly on time. But it is slow (although it is expected to be fast). In the same period, I got 2 papers accepted in some methods journals. But up to this day, the oolong paper is still stucked.

I have also contributed some code to others’ projects, e.g. r2eng.

I think the most important try is to develop some emacs lisp. I think I truly understand the inner working of emacs, only after I have written some emacs lisp.

publish top papers


Last time, I said I’ve met my quota for this year. But papers keep coming.

I have published three papers in this quarter. All in great journals.

The highs paper published in Communication Research. I have written a very long blog post about this paper.

The second paper is the rectr paper. It published in Communication Methods & Measurements (the most important methods journal of the field). People always assume I am a method guy, but this is actually my first methods paper (at least in the social science space). The revision process was very harsh but very rewarding. A half of the summer was actually devoted to update the paper and the software within the minuscule 60-day R&R cycle. I worked days and nights back then. I remember one night I solved a problem at 22:00 and made a huge sound. That made my wife startling. There is no better paper than a published paper.

The third one is the off-the-shelf paper, which has been accepted by Computational Communication Science. The preprint is available on osf.

This paper is tricky to describe. It was sort of a direct product of my trip to Illinois (The link is a Chinese blog post). This one should actually be my “first” methods paper. The trip was in late January of 2018, which is just a few months after my arrival to Mannheim. During that trip, there was a hacking session that I can analyze the data that the Illinois team have. And I thought it would be interesting to use that data to tell a horror story about dictionary-based methods. And the rest is history.

The paper has been rejected both internally and externally, for multiple times and for multiple reasons. The angle of the paper has been changed multiple times, the number of sentiment indicators included in the paper exploded exponentially. But it ends up good. Once again, there is no better paper than a published paper.

I really think I have met my quota for this year. I have a couple of papers out there. I also have some half-baked papers in the pipeline. I will not be sad, if there will be no new paper published in the Q4.

improve myself

I can’t believe I have done 1000 days of Duolingo.

I think my German listening is again improving. I have watched a lot of news lately.

I did many “new” things in this quarter, e.g. developing elisp, soldering, teaching my wife emacs…

publish a book

I did nothing for this goal, which is a shame.


That’s for the OKR3. I can anticipate the Q4 is gonna much more crazy, probably not as productive. Until then, stay healthy.

  1. rOpenSci is a repository of open science software. The big part of this is software review.