The author suggests doing something that makes you uncomfortable and makes you learn about yourself. He proposes a bunch of interesting things that have something lacking in common. They're all intrinsically good or semi-anarchistic things. I prefer my "go in the military" advice because it's completely opposite to one's anarchist penchant. And I think that's something important: to have a well formed perception, you need to experience things you don't necessarily agree with.
Note: here I assume that the reader is more prone to a free, somehow anarchist, anti-authoritarian point of view, and I suggest spending a decent effort in something contrarian to that.
The downside to a tour in the military is that of distrust and isolationism. Your most trusted life-long friends will probably be those that were developed during a short four-year stint. You will have difficulty relating to those that did not share this experience.
Finally, few people are suited emotionally, intellectually, or physically for some military branches;and those branches having a less onerous lifestyle seem to have increased entrance requirments. And of those that do enlist but fail to complete initial training (43 graduated boot camp out of my 78 member platoon, and this was before today's more difficult training requirements), many are broken mentally and/or physically. A suggestion to start in the military is profoundly serious and should not be issued with any element of whimsy.
I dont know why people always tell you that to learn you need to put yourself into uncomfortable positions. Yes, you should have an open mind, and talk to people outside your bubble. But there's no need to take a job that you'll hate, that will predictably change you, just to become "well rounded".
You can just as well do something that suits your world view. Join a charity, spend a few months helping poor and sick people. You'll learn just as much, and it will predictably make you a nicer person than spending that time in the military.
Your post is ironically self-unaware. You talk about working harder, but you're so lazy that your post consisted solely of a poorly selected appeal to authority that wasn't augmented by a single original thought.
I... gave this more thought than you would have guessed, when I was that age. Yes, they will push you, and that is both the upside and the downside; The thing that really scared me about the military was that you can't quit - if a regular boss asks me to do something that pushes me too far in any direction I can walk with almost no consequences. Not so, once you are in the military.
My understanding is that you give up a lot of your rights when you enlist... for longer than your initial term. They can call you back afterwards, and sometimes do.
I mean, I'm not saying it's a bad choice... I have worked with a bunch of ex-military people (mostly air force) - and some people get a lot out of it. It's just that enlisting is a much bigger decision than deciding to bicycle across Mongolia or whatever. You can't just quit halfway through your military journey.
That could be seen as an upside, too... but it's a much bigger deal, a much bigger commitment.
That said, for me? the kicker was that I had a couple years as a reboot monkey/windows/netware admin and could spell a few programming languages. It was 1997, so I took the obvious opportunities... opportunities that would not have been there for me in 2001.
I'd argue the same thing is happening now. If you want a computer job, get it now, because the current high demand will probably not last forever.
E.g. as somebody who picked up programming at 25, I already fear that my brain is now struggling to pick up concepts that my younger brain would have.
<insert Stockholm syndrome joke here>
Why does a non-reproducible study without a control group in which the experimenter was an active participant get cited so much? It wasn't an experiment; It was a historical incident.
I see these things as little more than memes at this point. I suppose the purpose they serve is to question commonly-held beliefs, which is not all bad. I just wish we'd question these things based on valid information.
(to be clear, it's not so much that the two examples I'm using are considered 100% bunk. It's rather that they're generally accepted to not be too well-supported, and definitely not well enough to cite them so much)
Why is the addiction study not reproducible? I agree that you should perhaps take an additional step of having 4 groups: heroin+rat park, placebo heroin+rat park, heroin+rat jail, placebo heroin+rat jail. And blind the researcher making the observations as to the nature of the substance.
It was only after I started a career in Software Engineering that I had the means to explore other directions as well.
Does the same apply for career?