I'm curious if reading HN bring anything valuable into your life or is it just pure entertainment. Did you learn something valuable, found a job, meet your wife. :)
This wasn't the first time I had gone through this, and it seemed to be happening more often. So I remember lying there and wondering if the politest way to commit suicide would be on a plastic tarp in my car in the parking lot of the coroner's office. If I could make it there.
There's a tablet mounted on an arm on my headboard that I can read on my back. I got to an Ask HN item asking what books had most changed your life. The top post at the time was about Dr. John Sarno's book, Healing Back Pain. I've read a lot of books in that genre, but I was desperate and figured, if it helped one guy it might help me. So I surfed over to Amazon.
The book ad pressed all my skeptic buttons. No drugs or exercise. Talk therapy for back pain. This isn't all in my head damn it! But I saw so many hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon and elsewhere, and the book was $6.99 on Kindle, so I bought it and downloaded it immediately.
Maybe an hour later I had finished the intro and chapter one. I slowly and painfully got up out of bed and started waddle/stomping around as best I could. Collapsed into bed a few minutes later. Got up again, rinse, repeat. A few hours later I was basically functional again. A week later I had to pay attention to notice the pain. Now a couple of months later I still get twinges, especially when doing heavy yard work. But the fear has subsided. I've been able to work through it.
That doesn't mean the pain won't come back. And I'm positive that this approach won't work for everyone. But I'm doing great. And my yard looks much better. That one HN post lifted me up and saved me, not quite literally, but almost.
A month ago I read a comment about the book This Naked Mind and how it helped him/her with their alcohol consumption. Getting serious about my alcohol consumption has been on my todo list for a while, so after seeing it had 4.7 stars on audible I bought it. I listened to it in its entirety in 3 days during my commute and haven't had a drop of alcohol since.
To give you an impression of my level of drinking. I'm not a heavy drinker, but I am a habitual drinker. I drink either 2 or 3 high alcohol beers or a bottle of wine almost daily. I've always been worried about the sheer amount of empty calories I'm consuming and if just by cutting out alcohol I'd lose weight for free.
Today is day 25 since I've had any alcohol and I'm just so pleased with the outcome. Maybe the book can help you too!
 - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17834081
My consumption is generally on the weekends, 4-5 drinks per outing with friends. I've gone out for drinks twice since then and couldn't bring myself to order more than one drink. There's a lot of reason behind her arguments against it and I never really realized just how much of the perceived "benefits" of it are simply placebo effects or misattributed to other factors entirely. I'm not sure what the extent of my behavioral change will be after but it's safe to say I'll never look at alcohol the same way.
For anyone else on the fence - read it! At the very least, entertain a different perspective on the pervasive drinking culture we find ourselves surrounded by.
Now I always tell everyone about Dr. Sarno's as a means of helping others even if it sounds to good to be true. His books have given me my life back too.
Let's hope we can all help more people who are struggling with this issue :)
I will say, this works better if you’re on the edge and just want to try anything.
Keep it strong.
Was having manageable lower back pain when my pack suddenly froze up. It feels like your body is just stuck, and moving it will cause your spine to rip out - all from just muscle spasm tightening it.
It causes this mortal fear to rise up inside you. wondering how long you'll be incapacitated, living in pain, and useless.
Fortunately it was about 3 days like yourself, but you don't know that when it starts.
Sarno's theory is that just like the brain can make the cheeks flush with embarrassment or go white with fear, via the autonomic nervous system it can constrict the capillaries and deprive various tissues of oxygen. He thinks this deprivation is minor and doesn't cause permanent damage, even though it can cause much pain. The solution, as for a charlie horse, is the opposite of immobilization, which is what I was doing. Mobilization heals via oxygenation.
He also believes that the ultimate source of the problem is the brain's reaction to sublimating emotions, that it deprives these tissues as a strategy to distract you from the sublimated feelings. That simply by raising this gambit to consciousness you can defeat it. I don't find this part of his theory as convincing, but I think the rest holds up without it.
There are lots of back problems that are more like a broken bone than a charlie horse, where mobilization is dangerous. I took the risk and got lucky. Even so it may have been a stupid move. It's a really good idea to get examined by a specialist first, which Sarno emphasizes.
What do scientists say about that? Is there any research regarding that? If it's so well working solution, why doctors seem to be not aware of that?
I don't have back pain, I'm just interested in topic.
Things of value added were
Deleting my FB when other people are flabbergasted by the thought and I feel so much better for doing so.
Always looking for constant ways to automate my job to free time up to think/rest.
Realizing that working 80 hours won't get me some amazing outcome at a company because pursuing that game(the rate race) is completely out of my control.
Learning about stoicism and really realizing no one cares about me and that's not a bad thing, but a good thing.
I love to lurk here because people hold each other to a high standard of information. If you say something that sounds false, someone will call you out on it and ask for your source. I don't know any of you, but you are some of the coolest f###ers I have never met.
I was working as an editor at a metro newspaper, doing editing half the day and programming the other half. I saw a startup's job ad in a "Who's Hiring" thread and figured I'd check them out. I got hired soon after, and I've been with them for the past seven years!
I've also gotten decent exposure, and some helpful feedback, for some of my side projects that I've posted over the years.
And every once in a while there's a good opportunity to plug one of my books in a comment thread. By the way, have I mentioned what's hitting bookstores this April ... ?
Back then, I was working at a mind-numbing job in private equity and hating every minute of it.
HN encouraged me to move to SF, learn new skills, join a startup (where I met my wife), which led to an acquisition, which led to joining a YC company as an employee, and eventually starting my own company.
For a bunch of strangers, this community was, and still is life-changing.
Also, HN has shown me that I seem to have a rhythm to my mental health. I have a few good weeks where I post good comments and get upvoted, then I have a few bad weeks where I post crappy, poorly thought-out stuff and get downvoted. I'm working on it and apologies for using the community to track my personal well being.
One thing that made my day recently was "Logic Programming and Compiler Writing" by David Warren, 1980; ( https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17674859 ) about using Prolog to implement compilers. I was in the middle of writing a compiler for Joy (PL) in Python and it opened my eyes to Prolog. It turns out I've been working too hard. After a quarter of a century I've pretty much given up imperative languages and my productivity has gone way up (more functionality from less code, with fewer bugs, written in less time.)
Ooo, and one time I got to interact with Alan Kay!
Thanks to HN I learned that silicon valley culture is toxic and all those companies and startups are full of scumbags and people who were as naive as I once was.
This saved me from making some very bad decisions.
This post is not sarcastic.
This post is not sarcastic either.
Serious question: what did you decide to do instead of working at a startup or a big tech co, and why do you feel that your life now is better than it would have been otherwise?
I know that comes across a bit rude, but I'm genuinely curious.
The folks there were about 10% scumbags, 30% jaded, and %60 naive. The scumbags cause the B.S, the jaded folk work around it, and the naive don't notice it.
The scumbags are a problem (at all levels... Project Dragonfly) but they tend to get weeded out if they make too much trouble, or too many mistakes.
The jaded folks don't really care about the B.S. around them, they just want that paycheck. The Stanley Hudson character on the American version of "The Office" is the archetype: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Hudson "This is a run-down-the-clock situation, just like upstairs." I worked next to that guy. His name was Deepak and he was slightly warmer, but otherwise he was pretty much the same guy.
The jaded people are useful if you don't let them waste their time. They do not care what they do, as long as they don't get in trouble, so they will happily spend weeks or months solving the wrong problem.
The naive folks seem innocent and sweet, and they are, but it's only their naivete that lets the whole thing keep running.
"Right, but OP said he was fired before he had options vested. "So he took 2% options at a 50% pay cut, but then got fired and that screwed him out of the 2% options before he could vest. Welcome to the valley." -- bb88
If you're a founder, you'll either fail, do well, or succeed spectacularly. If you're a startup employee, you won't do better (except in the rarest of circumstances) than you would somewhere else. Be a founder or a tech worker somewhere established with market rate pay, but do not be a startup employee (unless you're desperate for experience and literally have no other options).
My opinion and advice would change if the value proposition to startup employees changed substantially, putting them on par with founders.
I also make heavy use of the job threads, my company gets great candidates out of the WhoisHiring monthly post.
Also, HN introduced me to YCombinator. I eventually applied and got into the fellowship, which definitely brought something of value to my life... I found out about HN through a link someone sent me early on to a discussion.
It also provides different perspective on startups, politics, health etc. Best part is "ASKHN" where people are willing to share their experiences.
Also recommended HN to lot of my friends :-)
The wiki and the app are super useful. I think the founder is a little bit of a salty dog, and his subscription model for the paid version of the app is just plain silly. That being said, he's given a lot away for free in terms of information and the free version of the app is still great, so for that I thank him and the people on HN for introducing it to me.
I started researching, read the book, and then one day a certified gym opened in my area. Healthiest I've felt in years.
What I like about it is that it requires very little equipment to fully implement the program. A couple of months ago I bought a power rack, barbell and bumper plates, and have been lifting from home (usually when I take a break from work in the middle of day)
At first it is very easy to do the exercises in bad form, but as you progress in weights, you will "feel" if you are doing it incorrectly (and probably won't be able to progress much).
For example, as I progressed in squat weights, I started feeling knee pain. This should NEVER happen, if you are feeling knee pain, you are not activating the proper muscles. In general, if you are feeling any pain besides sore muscles, you're probably doing something wrong.
I started doing this program in a normal gym, but the coaches were terrible and couldn't offer any advice besides things like "this exercise is very dangerous, I don't recommend it". Yes, free weight can be dangerous, but it is also the most effective form of workout.
My general advice is: be conscious about form and always visualize in your head what you're going to do before starting a set. Also do regular reviews of your form (ask someone to record you on smartphone).
When you say pain in your knees after squating, do you mean while doing the actual squat or afterwards? It’s funny you should mention that as an example as my knees have been feeling a little sore from Friday’s workout this weekend, which is a first for me.
It's funny, when I first created an account 7 years ago, most of the discussion was way, way above my head, or so I felt. I don't feel that way any longer.
It might be life experience, or it might also be that all our filters and shields are up much higher than it used to be. Or we've all grown up together and became curmudgeonly together as well so that the glove still fits.
(But yes, the quality of discussion in HN has taken a sharp dive starting about 1-2 years ago, in my opinion.)
Hopefully there's a healthy dose of nostalgia tinging these opinions.
It's certainly been a great source of interesting information for me.
I've used many comments and stories for material for presentations I've given.
I've learned so much I'm not sure I can list it all of the things!
Aside from the politics, I have learned a great deal from HN about my own technical domain: the hegemony of the Linux operating system, advantages/limitations of RESTful APIs, python as the (arguably) preferred scripting language, and much more. But the best aspect of HN is, in my opinion, the continuous stream of commentary and discussion about books on a variety of topics. It was here that I discovered Joseph Frank's magisterial biography of Fyodor Dostoevsky, which alone was worth the price of admission.
Overall, I consider HN to be an intellectual oasis in the chaotic desert known as the Internet. Many thanks to the women and men who develop and maintain this remarkable web site. Bon courage.
I re-read it every few months. Helps me to spend more time with my kid.
Aside, there are quite a few benefits and lots of distractions. But, it really depends on the day's schedule. I've noticed I don't visit HN for a few days when I'm in the flow of working on something exciting.
On a more personal level, I have found much advice in various Ask HN threads that has really impacted me. Everything from career advice, to what's really important in life and how one should deal with the inevitable negative aspects of existence.
Since HN is crowdsourced, it is my trusted go-to source for authentic and newsworthy news. Secondly, I always search my queries on HN before Google. I believe SEOs are over-rated when it comes to searching for your needs.
As it ranks content (articles) based on what "experts / insiders" feel about said content. AKA it's almost all very high quality news / information about a given topic.
Unfortunately, the moderation is mostly unhelpful, I read the raw "new" stream for the good stuff, even though it's noisy.
Most of the tech stuff is good but everything else seems more and more disconnected from my personal experience, such that it’s becoming easier and easier to walk away.
I got a job in London/UK and hired a person for my team in Vancouver/CA (one of the best hires I've ever made.)
Now I continue reading it on a very selfish way. It makes me feel, if not smart, at least cleaver. I love to read about stuff I never heard about, or progress in a field I like. And I love to understand what I read. Good for the ego !
All in all I am finding myself spending a lot of times on Hacker News
I also learned a lot about Silicon Valley and the prevailing culture there, much to my dismay. Ok just kidding but my jokes triggered some people and I got hellbanned. Where I come from, people are much more chill and love to share good sarcastic jokes.
I'm glad to see that your good comments are getting vouched for, though. That is the vouching system working as intended. If you decide you want to follow the guidelines and use HN fully as intended, you're welcome to email firstname.lastname@example.org.