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Ask HN: What have the past 12 months taught you?
181 points by chauhankiran 63 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 227 comments
The same question was asked a year ago with so many amazing answers, experience, and deep advice. Asking the same question again after almost a year.

Previous entry: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17316120

- We need to apply the same principles of consumption that we do to food to information. Consume responsibly. Be aware of the sourcing. Don't binge. Know what's junk and what's nourishing. Give back to positive sources to nourish and grow them (sustainability).

- Income inequality is huge. Slavery still exists but in a misdirected, slight-of-hand way. Work or the system will abandon you and it's "your fault".

- Learn the macro-game that you are a part of and the micro-game that you are a part of. You can only ever play/influence the micro-game so focus on that, but the macro-game can give useful context.

- Look where the sun doesn't shine. When everyone's looking one way, see what they're missing.

- Virtues are important. Virtues conflict. Meekness is a virtue, but don't make it your only one.

- Wealth has three portions: financials, relationships, and intelligence. Nurture all three.

- It's difficult to break out of the middle-class. It's even harder to break out of the middle-class mentality.

- There are many loopholes to fast-track you to your goals. Live your life by the orthodox narratives, and you may miss out on something fortuitous that crosses your path.

Any tips or resources on breaking out of the middle class mentality?

Seek out people who aren't bitter about the "elite", but students of them.

Some good reads, although they may at first make you a bit depressed: https://www.ribbonfarm.com/2009/10/07/the-gervais-principle-... and The Developer Hegemony.

Robert Kiyosaki, of Rich Dad Poor Dad fame, has some pretty solid fundamental advice - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftBeTIDv8Vg

Developer Hegemony is interesting. I don’t agree with Erik that you can classify the corporate/business world as simply as he does, for one I think the “idealist” part of his spectrum is probably two to three separate personas (idealists, chronically-anxious, grateful/approval hungry). I do value, greatly, the encouragement to strike out on business though.

Rich Dad Poor Dad has some ok mental-model ideas that are great if don’t come from a background/family that exposed you to “the business world”, most of the rest of it is repetitive drivel.

What do you think?

I think these are fair assessments. I don't treat either or as gospel, and I'm always quick to invoke "all models are wrong, but some are useful". However, they both have some interesting insights that have helped my personal journey.

Rich Dad Poor Dad (Kiyosaki) helped me see debt differently. I grew up with the mindset that all debt is bad, it's slavery, and it should be paid off... and that money is meant to be saved. I now realize that money is meant to be deployed. Also RDPD has helped push me along to realize that debt is a tool, and like all tools there are ways to use it that can be advantageous.

Cool. I agree with the debt lessons/mindset changes from that book. Cheers

All valid points. Can you please elaborate on the final loopholes part?

I identify with that part, so I will explain my interpretation of it:

If you do things the way they all do, you go on the path well-traveled. But if you dare to do what your heart tells you to do, even though it is outside of the "standard" way of doing things, then you stop being a commoner and become special.

If you didnt dare to be special, you will never know what you will have missed. True courage is living your life the way you want it (without harming others in anyway, of course) and not by the socially constructed dictates that are ephemeral anyway.

Be real, stay cool, and enjoy the journey!

Loopholes often get conflated with "tax loopholes", but I just mean to say look for all opportunities instead of the ones that are common societal narratives (those are the ones that are very easy to get conditioned by!)

A common example: when everyone was caught up in the Gold Rush, the common narrative was "strike it big by finding gold!"... however, the guys selling the shovels were better off than the average speculator. The shovels were where the money was to be made.

Another example: there are many ways to climb the career ladder at a corporation. There's the HR policy way, where they hand you a list of bullet points and checkmarks and you tick them off, put in your time, and slowly climb your way up. Or you can take a risk, maybe try out a low-risk, high-reward experiment on your own time, show proof of a highly successful outcome, get to know influencers in senior positions, and find ways to market your accomplishments. Those skills will probably get you way further.

Anyone can run, you just need to reset your expectations.

Backstory. I used to not like running at all. Every time I ran, my mind would count down either time left or distance left. It always felt easy in the beginning but very soon would be unattainable. But now I can run decent distances without getting mentally or physically exhausted.

So here are the lessons:

1. The first 1 mile is the hardest.

2. Second mile is hard but not nearly as hard as the first mile.

3. For the first few weeks do not run more than 1- 3 miles (based on your history) even if you can. There is no need to. The habit is more important than what you achieve on any given day.

4. Run slowly, lean forward and really reduce the impact on your knees. I started running one mile in 12 - 14 minutes, that is really slow.

5. Breathing. If you run slowly and let your body do it's thing, then your breathing will become rhythmic and in-sync with how much energy your body needs.

6. After a few weeks magic happens. You can run 8 miles in about one hour, not get bored, not think about it. You mind zones out and focuses on something productive.

I learnt more things, but wanted to share this.

Also: learn to run properly. It's insane how many people simply don't know how to run and slowly injure themselves.


lol @ 8 miles per hour for an entire hour after a couple of weeks. I used to run 15 miles a day (7.5 to work 7.5 back) and even then that would've been tough. and I worked up to that over basically 3 years. a

Yes, in my experience there are people that are natural runners and there are those who are not. I myself am running for 18 years already, around 2 times per week and even in my best form never reached 8 miles in one hour. A friend of mine picked up running and surpassed me after a few months. People are different, and GP forgot that!

I did that in a race (8.7 in 70 mins, hilly) and it took 3 months from sedate but the thing about a race is the regime is geared up for that day so it’s not like I could knock that one out at any point along the way.

Errrm., not everyone can run. Some people experience excruciating pain due to herniated discs when running, fortunately there’s biking :)

Yes not everyone can run. I inevitably get shin splints because I have very flat feet. Barefoot running doesn’t help.

Can everyone biking?

“After a few weeks magic happens. You can run 8 miles in about one hour, not get bored, not think about it.”

This is exactly how I got a bad case of shin splints. I don’t mess around with upping mileage this quickly anymore.

On a shin splints related side note. Something not sure intuitive for non runners. If possible take the 1 minute-ish analysis at the shop to find out how your feet roll while running. If they roll to much inside (pronate) your appropriate shoe has more support in that area. If you roll too much outside (supenate), they add it on the outside. If you dont roll too much, shoes for either or these can cause shin splints or stress fractures in the medium to long term (still preferable to inactivity). Most of the time this is the key thing to consider when buying running shoes.

I'd be very skeptical of any analysis that takes one minute at a shoe shop. I'd wager those machines are there to anchor, so to speak, a buying decision.

Too much running before the body gets strong enough to handle it, along with hard surfaces are more likely the culprit behind shin splints than poor choice of shoe.

You don’t need a machine you need someone to observe your feet as you run. Then based on your roll, buy shoes that support your feet. This is not rocket science, you need new running shoes every year or two. Protect your shins, get proper shoes, if it’s a minute to analyze on a treadmill (“machine”) then take the minute. If you have a friend, have them take a minute..

How often did you run starting out?

I’ve been doing 1 miles after my strength workouts ~3x a week, and it hasn’t gotten much better. Been doing it for about 2 months.

This is years ago, but when I was doing strength workouts, I found that I was burning through my sugar reserves. It takes a while of running before your body moves from burning mostly sugar to burning an even mix of sugar and fat. It does it faster the more cardiovascularly fit you are, but when you first start it can take up to 30 minutes. If you only run 1 mile, you aren't getting there.

I recommend swapping the running and lifting for a couple of months until you get that working better. Once you are running 3-5 miles then you'll give yourself enough time to switch to burning fat as fuel and you won't have so much trouble running after lifting (the first mile is always hard, though).

Or at least that was my experience. Haven't done it in more than 20 years... (stopped lifting -- kept running ;-) ).

If you're doing lifts first, you're not giving your body a chance to adapt to the cardio. Maybe switch it up and one day a week run first then lift. Then maybe add a just running day.

Do Couch to 5k on 3 of your rest days. When you finish, progress to Bridge to 10k.

I took a seemingly dull job for good, reliable pay and long-term prospects. I thought I was sacrificing personal interests for the sake of being a responsible adult, but in fact the income and generous work-life balance has given me more freedom to pursue outside interests than ever before. And the work isn't as dull as I expected.

That's great! I'm starting to view things through your lens as I get older--that work is more about setting up the foundation for the rest of your life instead of being the central focus of your life. I think if you can make it the central focus of your life and manage to succeed--however you define it--that's a wonderful thing, but there's also nothing wrong with taking, as you said, a "seemingly dull job", performing well at it, and then coming home and pursuing other interests. It doesn't sound as defeatist as it did when I was in my late teens and early 20's. It sounds practical and even somewhat motivating to me, that your work doesn't have to be this grand adventure. It can simply be a job that you show up on time to and perform well in, and then afterwards you can close your laptop and do something else.

Absolutely, and I'll admit I definitely had a defeatist attitude starting the job search knowing that the goal was security & stability. I'm 27 now and spent nearly two years self-employed and/or job searching in the last five. It was definitely a stressful roller coaster of an experience, but it was just the kick in the pants to reevaluate my priorities, and quickly.

This. I pole vaulted to a bigger company which was more stable where decisions have long term consequences and not short term reactions. My free time is more important as I get older. I'm happy I made the decision to pursue the new job.

The long-term vs short-term mentality was a refreshing culture shock for me. Coming from scrappy digital agency life, everything was fast-paced and reactionary. Anything long-term was nothing short of daydreams. I've been far more effective at solving complex problems when I know I have X days to whiteboard something to start implementation Y weeks later. Plus, I can be as fast-paced as I want with my side projects now

I am exactly at this juncture and struggling to make a decision. I keep interviewing and rejecting reasonable (dull) offers.

I spent 6 months applying and interviewing "sexier" jobs, but not hearing back. A recruiter approached me for a contract-to-hire opportunity and it was the first that sounded more promising than a rejection. Started making more than I ever have in the past and I enjoyed working with the team. I learned that the people you work with are far more relevant to the dullness of the position. The work isn't always enlightening, but I look forward to coming in because I learn a lot and have a good time with my team.

•You are what you consume - People, music, news, etc. If you mostly consume the “positive” side of life, your mindset will follow. •Moving upwards in society is not as easy as I thought. “Classes” reproduce themselves in the dress of habitus. •You can only rely on yourself. “Friends” are stage of life companions. •Finding a partner in crime seems like a tough task - don’t settle with someone, who you are only with to not feel lonely. •Your phone won’t make you happy. Risk a glance to the left and right. •Politics will make you depressed. If you are not going to be a politician let things be.

> You are what you consume

I'd like to highlight this – especially for those searching for insight in the comments.

Pick and choose what media & content you consume. The adage "you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with" applies directly to media.

Over the past ~6 months I've filtered a lot of stuff I read. I don't read online arguments. I don't read much political content. I try not to read anything that won't leave me feeling better afterwards.

This has lead to a marked improvement in my attitude and approach to life – I'm a much more positive person. Attitude changes have huge run-on effects in your life – my personal and professional relationships benefited hugely.

>> I don't read online arguments.

Don’t you simply bored with those? I genuinely find them incredibly formulaic and then I just stop reading - most of the opinions are barely worth a dime unless the author actually did some homework supporting what they say.

Especially on YouTube, there are quite a lot of people whose opinions are not calculated, fact-backed and experience-baked, who merely say things because they gotta say it.

> Politics will make you depressed. If you are not going to be a politician let things be.

Unfortunately, while you are ignoring politics your boss, your landlord, your insurance company etcetera aren't. So by ignoring politics you are leaving it to them. And that is something you probably can't afford.

I think it is a sliding scale where local politics are more important and national/global politics are a backdrop. Heck, when I was in California, my state vote mattered none due to how districts were drawn. My vote very much does not matter at the national level. However, my voice and vote can be important locally (city, county).

>> "Politics will make you depressed. If you are not going to be a politician let things be."

I would suggest a modification: follow newsletters for organizations focused on rights you consider important. I follow the ACLU so I know when politicians try to legislate people I care about out of public life (or life period). The EFF is important for the same reason since digital rights are key to advocacy in the 21st century.

SCOTUSBlog's newsletter is good too. They track cases that made it all the way through to the highest court and have the biggest potential impact.

You either pay attention or find yourself on the boot end because you weren't paying attention as everyone less safe got carted away. Politics can't be avoided, but you can set boundaries on how you stay informed.

Related to your first point: I added the following to my hosts file 4 months ago and haven't looked back. www.youtube.com youtube.com googlevideo.com ytimg.l.google.com ytimg.com youtube-ui.l.google.com ytstatic.l.google.com youtubei.googleapis.com youtu.be l.google.com m.youtube.com

If someone sends me something, I'll watch it on my phone and I have a timer to limit YouTube on my phone to half an hour a day. My mental health has improved dramatically as a result.

YouTube is actually the one major social media network that has a more positive than negative psychological effect:


It depends a lot on the person. I don't get distracted at all by anything on YouTube; it's about as entertaining as a library to me. Same with something like TvTropes. My distraction channels are forums like Reddit and FB.

Different people have different closed loops.

>>You are what you consume - People, music, news, etc.

Real life > HN > tech news > political news >= crazy uncles on antisocial media

A lot of HN is political and it has it's fair share of crazies.

Maybe I haven't been here long enough to see the worst of it, but even with the political stuff I usually find the discussion is fairly nuanced and nowhere near as angry as the rest of the internet. But if there's another forum that you would recommend, I'm always open to recommendations.

A lot of the world is political and has its fair share of crazies. HN is a part of the world.

I actually enjoy HN's crazies as they're from an angle that doesn't appear elsewhere.

Sometimes they are interesting, mostly it's just annoying.

The past year I've changed quite a bit about myself due to self-reflection. My SO and I were having some issues and I told her outright I wished she put as much effort and time into our relationship as she did her career.

But that got me thinking about how I'm perceived professionally versus how I'm perceived personally. How am I regarded to everyone in my life outside of work? Around the office, I've worked hard to be seen and described as a calm, level headed guy who is well rounded with both hard dev skills and soft skills. Am I that outside of work? The truth is I can be impatient, I can be fierce, and my standards can certainly feel unachievable from others. I consciously draw a hard line showing that in any workplace setting. I get it from my father and upbringing. He was a hardened road cop for work and a loving, yet strict father at home. I was living his work-life temperament in reverse. I didn't want to reverse it, just carry over the good. I'm now in my early thirties, about the time he had me.

Easier said than done, but simply put, I've stopped giving a shit about the little things that ultimately add up to so little importance in life. The ingraining of this took a while, but I'm (nearly) unphaseable now. I live life with better temperament. I'm a warmer person. It's led to less stress and and a happier personality. I've also striven to see my parents more and to be the catalyst to spending time with friends. It feels better to give out to others than take in. I still live a perpetually busy schedule, but days are relatively easy and fulfilling, rather than a grind like before.

Point is I believe this thread is targeted to the workplace, but don't ignore everything outside of it. It took me long enough to realize it's much more important.

also in my early thirties and wanting to escape the 'grind' mindset. What sorts of things do you give less of a crap about?

I now know what true loss feels like. Lost my grandmother (who raised me and was a mother to me) about six months ago. Things have felt weird ever since, but I'm handling it better than I expected. It might be a different story once I feel comfortable starting to go through her things (I lived with and helped take care of her). I've gotten closer to some other family members since.

I realized that I can handle more than I thought, even though it is a pain I haven't felt before. Just trying to make the best of every day since then and keep moving forward.

I lost my mum just slightly over a year ago, so I know the feeling. And all I really can say is that I'm truly sorry for your loss and that I hope you can one day look back and remember the good things. I guess that's all that one can ask for when presented with situations like these.

Good luck with everything.

Thank you. We had all sorts of good times, so it’s good to have a reminder to focus on those.

Sorry to hear that, friend.

Thank you.

I believe I am an optimist. Last several months made me a realist.

Toned down my habit of almost compulsorily seeing the good in people. I am less trusting of new people now. Made me more aware of my own characteristics that I had not given much thought to. My patience levels have gone down the drain, compassion out the window and I have more of a GTFO attitude for anything that, in my opinion, is bullshit.

Several traits have changed. I don’t like some of the changes that I see in myself - but I suppose that happens when someone slowly shreds your life and emotional and mental well-being over several months.

The lowest point in my life was probably over last few months. Most of what I built over last 5-6 years is gone, but that’s okay.

I am at peace, with occasional bouts of depression over past events. Perhaps I will be able to learn my lessons and avoid making the same personal mistakes in the future.

I am rebuilding. Let’s see how that goes. Hope I see this question next year. :)

I'm guessing your employer or your gf walked away with a good chunk of what you had.

> Toned down my habit of almost compulsorily seeing the good in people.

Do you think this is a good thing? I've personally tried to do the complete opposite, and I think it's thoroughly improved my life and mental wellbeing.

I think it's very possible to be introspective and aware of oneself while still seeing the good in everyone.

I hope you feel better :) Life has it's ups and downs, and I've found that time fixes most of it - we just have to learn to enjoy the ride (which can be nigh impossible at times, don't get me wrong)

No, I don’t think it is a good thing. It goes against my base nature/attitude but I noticed that I am not actively doing it. It has just become so. :(

I am hoping that this is just a temporary effect of all the damage sustained over last year. As I recover and move on, hope to get back to normal. It is really a positive trait to have - for your own well being as you are not mentally consumed by negative thoughts about others.

You are right! It will all get better, and I am going to give as much time as needed to ride this phase out.

1. Work-life balance is more important than money.

2. Don't trust your company to do right by you even if you really believe that they will. Only you can look out for you.

3. Cannabis is medicine.

What I have learned in the last year is that Cannabis can be a medicine, but when it's over-used, it can become an escape from your problems. May be common sense to a lot of people to use it responsibly, but it's easy to go from responsible use to getting baked every night after work and watching TV.

Not that there's anything wrong with coming home, getting baked, and watching TV / gaming. We all gotta unwind, and that is healthy. But you just have to watch and make sure it's not interfering with your goals. It seems that the key to everything in life is moderation.

In my experience most people lean on it as an escape from problems and it detracts from medicinal benefits and legitimate uses.

I never believed number 1 until relatively recently. After growing up in a family where work was life, it didn't make sense to me to do anything but work (even if constant work made me miserable).

Now that I'm out of school and I have had a chance to see how others live their lives though, I get it now. It's difficult to enforce in myself since I've been set in my ways for a while, but actually doing things outside of work/for myself is so fulfilling!

My experience has been that building a strong boundary between work and not-work life has made me more effective at work and made my not-work life much more enjoyable and refreshing. I don't get work emails on my phone, and my boss has only called me after hours twice in the last year, and both times it was completely understandable and didn't bother me.

Giving your brain a chance to relax and focus on other things rejuvenates its capability to solve problems when you need it to.

From my experience, cannabis can be medicine but most people just smoke bad stuff they don't know or get addicted to either real cannabis or the bad stuff. Cannabis unlike, say mushrooms, is addictive so watch out. It can make one crave, especially if they experienced neglect, bullying, or violence in childhood. Enjoy it with moderation! :)

i would make the argument that anything can cause a psychological dependency if it triggers your reward system in your brain properly. so sure, cannabis is addictive, but then again, so is sugar, running, driving cars at really high speeds, positive attention from others, and so many more things :)

that being said, i do think people should be careful with their consumption and make sure that they are actually using it for what they claim and not just using their claims as a false justification for just mindless consumption. that isn't to say that recreational consumption is bad, because in that context it isn't mindless, it is specifically being done for recreational purposes. but ultimately it's just important that one is doing what they actually want to do and not just pretending to want to do it for some ulterior motive

What is the "bad stuff"? What do you mean by that?

When it is mixed with some other chemicals to either increase its amount to increase the "high" effect. Not sure what kind of canna-ibis you take (e.g., grass? hashish?), but hash is usually mixed with all sort of things where I live. Grass can also be sprayed.

Mind elaborating on #3?

I have a flight reflex which makes me run away when things get tough. I quit a number of jobs because of that and then rationalized it to myself by blaming it on whatever wasn't perfect at these companies.

I like to feel I'm the victim of circumstances, blaming hardships on some abstract entity (like fate), subconsciously hoping that 'fate' will prove me wrong by making something good happen to me.

I am using substances (nicotine, sweets) and certain activities (web browsing, video streaming, podcasts) as distractions so that I don't have to face emptiness, loneliness, and boredom.

I am constantly looking for short-term rewards and expect instant gratification for pretty mundane things.

I am very judgmental towards other people and think I can see through their little lies to themselves, but don't dare to look at my own.

I crave recognition and care way too much about what other people think of me. I cannot take it when other people think I'm stupid, didn't get something, acted carelessly, wasn't on top of things etc

I am afraid of facing uncomfortable truths about myself, my history and my current situation.

I focus too much on where I'm not entirely the way I would like to be and have a hard time accepting myself the way I am.

And yes, I realized almost all of that only in the last 12 months.

There is a Japanese TV show called "How do you like Wednesdays", where 3 or 4 guys go travelling around the world doing crazy things -- not crazy like Youtube crazy. Just things like trying to visit every European country by car in 2 weeks. They do stupid eating challenges, etc, etc.

One of the things I like about the show (apart from the improvised humour) is that the director tells them what they are going to do and it usually involves something that at least one of them hates. Then they all laugh about it and go do it. The suffering is part of the humour.

One of the things I think modern life has been bad for is that it promises to alleviate suffering. But I've found that suffering is something that brings as much good as it does bad. When we avoid suffering, we avoid all those good things. We become like an animal in a zoo -- everything is provided, but there is no point.

I wouldn't go crazy about this, but you could consider trying to add some suffering intentionally to your life. Just something silly like purposely eating food that you don't like. Then revel in the audacity of it. Brag about how you conquered the evils of liver or whatever. When people ask you why you ate it, then say something stupid like "I ate it because it was there".

Slowly, slowly introduce more things that you can do. Make fun of them, like the boggart in the Harry Potter series. Laugh at the stupidity of intentionally doing these things.

One thing I will say almost for certain if you try it: You say you have a hard time accepting yourself the way you are. You probably don't actually know what way you are (and I'm not trying to be accusative here). You've been trapped in your cage of comfort. You will surprise yourself, I guarantee it.

Good luck!

This idea is a major component in stoic philosophy, and it's something I learned from growing up with my dad. He frequently would sleep on the floor with only a blanket, or even sleep outside in the yard sometimes. He would not wear a coat to work one day in the winter. I was working with him in the mountains of Colorado one winter, and about 15 minutes before we got to work (we had about an hour commute to get to the job site in the mountains), he would roll the windows all the way down. He said, "It makes it much easier to get out of the truck when you get to work."

When he got out to fuel up his truck, he would not wear a coat, nor would he get back in the truck while it was fueling.

He had a truck that had a removable top for awhile. He took the top off and left it that way for a whole year. He parked it under an awning at night, so the snow wouldn't be covering his seats, but otherwise he was open to the weather, whatever it brought.

He always took cold showers, and we always parked at the end of the parking lot farthest away from the doors, because "You can always find a parking spot there, and you always remember where you parked."

I could go on with a lot more examples from his (and my) life, but the important insight that I gained from this kind of effort was that by choosing to add discomfort to your life, and learning to be at ease while being uncomfortable, makes it much easier to stay level-headed and relaxed when things happen in your life that are uncomfortable that you didn't choose. You become much more capable of absorbing adversity when you practice absorbing adversity.

I highly recommend ice cold showers to anyone looking to explore this direction. They’re easily available, don’t take very long, and produce immediate benefits.

You might have me jump into my pool on winter!

This is probably just a funny statement but be careful about submersion w/o conditioning yourself for it prior: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_shock_response

I'd also like to hear what good things you found out about yourself!

It's good to be self-aware, but don't just pick at your bad points. How would your friends and family describe you. If you were your friend, how would you describe yourself?

Thanks for asking, this is indeed much harder to answer for me.

I think I have a good sense of humour, I am broadly interested, I can listen to understand, I give other people room and don't push myself into the foreground, I keep my promises, I am honest, I don't take myself too seriously, I like harmony and want others to be well, I can sense the atmosphere in a room and adapt to it, I can explain things well for a given audience, ... plus some skills which help mostly professionally.

Thanks again for the prompt to get me thinking about this. I'm actually happy with that, I can see a common theme, and maybe even how some of the traits I see as positive are the flipside of those that I see as negative.

This is actually something I deeply believe: you cannot really diminish or boost one isolated aspect of your character, without also diminishing or boosting its counter-weight on the other side of the spectrum. If you become more organized, you probably also become less creative and out-of-the-box thinking, if you become more self-confident, you will be perceived as more arrogant than before etc. No yin without yang, no light without shadows.

Can we get in touch, please? Sounds like my mind has worded these sentences. You find my mail in my account. Thanks!


<3 to you, too! :) Your profile looks great, if I was looking for an Engineering Manager, I would want to get to know you!

I'd forgotten how much I loved Megadeth, having not listened to them for well over a decade. I realize that Peace Sells and Rust In Peace are phenomenally written, in whatever musical context you'd want to judge them by. There are some amazingly iconic riffs on these two records. I also realise how I got sucked into playing/learning all this other music as I got older, when all I ever really wanted to do was play some Megadeth riffs in my bedroom.

"Hello me. Meet the real me."

Peace sells is a great album.

I've learned that despite earning in the 98th %ile, working a job will likely not make me rich. I define rich as ~5M in assets including primary residence. Thus taking a "career" is a non-starter and I would advise everyone considering working for someone else to either 1) resign themselves to a distinctly middle class life or 2) reconsider and start a business.

Careers that reliably earn > 500k could be considered equivalently good. Notably this excludes most STEM careers.

reconsider and start a business

There was an interesting chart linked from here a couple of months ago, sadly I didn't bookmark it. It showed that the bottom decile of entrepreneurs earned less than the bottom decile of employees. The top decile eared a lot more than the top decile of employees. Everybody else was roughly equivalent.

It seemed most of the entrepreneurs were happy with this, business wasn't a get rich scheme for them, rather a way to avoid traditional employment.

Please do try and find the article/chart/video. I think it is very important to give it wider publicity.

The reason is that, contrary to what the media might sell, "Small Businesses" make up the majority of Entrepreneurship (particularly in the Developing Nations) and this data might shed some insight on it. Entrepreneurship does NOT mean "go big or go home". It is basically setting an acceptable and steady level of income which gives one the necessary autonomy over one's own life. All mom-and-pop businesses fall under this category. I would love to look at some data on the size of this "Economy" which is often ignored completely.

Here's the closest I could find on it: https://80000hours.org/2016/02/what-the-literature-says-abou...

It's not as drastic as I expected. It's mostly unincorporated income that's worse (freelancers, hairdressers, corner shops). They're mostly people who try to escape work even if it means a lower salary.

The incorporated businesses earn more money across the board.

To me the lure of money is in the nit having to go to work. Work becomes a choice. 5mill might do that but a good side hustle might also have the same effect and be a lot easier to achieve.

I have a couple of family members who fall in the category you're talking about here, and here's what I've seen from them: 1) when you have a lot of assets, you still need to keep your eyes on them and have a system for monitoring and managing them quickly. But you never really get to the point of "set and forget". 2) You might be at a point where your income is essentially guaranteed for the rest of your life, and very adequate. But you probably only have a few (if any) friends in the same financial situation. That means that you might be able to stop working and just travel or do things you find interesting, but you will probably find that those things are only interesting for a short time when you are doing them alone. So you start a little side project for fun and for something to do, and it is successful and starts to grow quickly and now you are working again, because permanent vacation is honestly pretty boring.

I'm struggling to find the balance between the life I'd like to lead eventually without over-compromising the life I'm leading now. Delayed gratification is one thing if there's a near guarantee of the goal in sight. (eg. college now, travel in a year or two).

I think that's why you hear a lot of stories about people who regret trading passions for some unreached goal. Or maybe those are just more compelling/comforting stories we need to tell ourselves.

I understand that being an owner will have potential greater upside than being an employee almost ever will. I cannot think of a business idea for anything (at least, nothing with the possibility of profits, haha).

I learned a lesson to solve this years ago: you are not talking to enough people.

Start conversations. Ask questions. Don’t boast. Let people share their problems with you.

Also, if you really can’t think of something start copying something you like, tonight, but worry about all of it from the start. How will you sell? How will you market? Write that shit down, and start copying.

Agreed, what makes this worse is that the tax system is not set up to benefit those who work jobs.

1) when getting things done: the connective tissue of human relationships is at least of equal importance as the technical merits of a solution

2) in relationships: over and explicit communicating is never bad

3) always be an optimist - the world has always had problems, and not every problem will be solved in my lifetime - so push the needle, and live happily.


A sister team under the same director offered a relevant platform, and we couldn't really turn it down. We went with an architecture based on human relationships instead of technical merit. The team sitting next to me, facing the Sisyphean task of operating a correct and reliable product on this platform, all burned out and left within a year.

I've taken away the opposite of your #1.

The first one is so beautiful it'll stay

life, existence, other people are endlessly complicated. Spending too much time observing and figuring them out, prevents you from living and enjoying it. Something like Heisenberg uncertainty principle in quantum physics.

All my emotions are there with a reason, it's important to figure out what is it.

self-discipline and pursuit of your goals is a road to healthy, stable self-confidence and self-esteem.

Everyone around you seem to know how you should lead your life, listen to only those whose life is similar to what you aspire, filter out the rest.

Surround yourself with people that make you feel good. Cut out the toxic relationships and habits.

Practise gratitude for the people in your life, your health etc...

Do things that matter to you.

> listen to only those whose life is similar to what you aspire, filter out the rest

So I believe for the most part, I have been following this advice and I'm not sure if it has been optimal for achieving my goal. I'm not debating, I quite literally don't know. I'm current attending university.

The issue is, I aspire to start my own company, and eventually build a billion dollar company. That is my life's ambition and I will do anything to make it happen. The issue is, the vast majority of people Ive met in university just want to work for Google or Facebook, and don't have any other aspirations outside that.

I purposefully push people away and don't listen to advice because I don't think somebody whose entire purpose in life is to work at Google is somebody I want to be close friends with. I'll be nice to them, but not super close. It really stings because I haven't really made any close friends here and have a hard time fitting in. That's a sacrifice I'm willing to make but I'm not sure it's the optimal path to my goal.

Maybe the optimal path is becoming close friends with these people even though your goals aren't aligned?

Am I going about life wrong?

In my experience being good friends with people =/= accepting and applying their life advice. I have plenty of people I consider good friends who do almost nothing to further my career goals but are worth so much to me in terms of emotional support, companionship, and sharing in common interests.

Regarding the Google/Facebook group of potential friends: I would describe most people there as hardworking, diligent, and smart - all wonderful traits to look for in friends even if your end goals aren't necessarily aligned. And given the nature of the companies they're working for - there's plenty of value in hearing their perspective of how things operate from the inside of these companies in addition to the potential networking/social connection opportunities.

My advice (for whatever it's worth) would be to focus on finding a few people you could consider mentors or advisors - preferably people that have founded or are in the process of founding companies and look to them for advice on your particular path and situations. You're right that you likely won't find these people at school; I'd say the a better bet would be something like AngelList, Twitter, in-person events, or even cold-emailing those who you think you can provide some value to (this is important).

Best of luck on your adventure!

Exactly! It doesn't necessarily mean that you shouldn't be good friends with people, only because you wouldn't apply their life advices. There are many other qualities in people that you can benefit from.

> Everyone around you seem to know how you should lead your life, listen to only those whose life is similar to what you aspire, filter out the rest.

Well put. I thought about this a bit when collecting advice on next career steps from a range of acquaintances and contacts earlier this year - I realized that it made almost no difference the level of detail/context I provided to them about my situation - they invariably ended up suggesting something in line with what they wished they would've done themselves.

So my way of handling that was just like you wrote - working backwards and prioritizing the feedback from people whose path seems to be in line with my own and heavily de-prioritizing the rest regardless of who they were.

> Do things that matter to you.

Also, simple but true.

Glad we're on the same page with this.

What I thought I wanted was not really what I wanted. My mind just concoted those goals, so that I could go towards them and escape current unpleasant situation. Once I did that, I learned that the grass was not greener on the other side.

I can connect with this. My current situation is not the greatest and I'm frustrated with it daily, but from an outside view (which I develop myself), things are pretty peachy and comfortable. It's a struggle thinking about what could be and what is, especially when you don't have the foresight to know how either will actually pan out.

I can relate to that. For me the lesson is: We are often confused about what we want, and society/evolution makes us want stupid things. It takes conscious effort to really author our desires

I learned I do have a case of mild autism (thanks to someone here posting a relevant link) and maybe ADHD-ish.

While this isn't a great news in itself, I'm grateful that I've been able to benchmark my oddness. Now that I know, it's easier for me to be more self aware and prevent my weird half to do stupid things.

I still trip and fall, and probably will keep doing that forever, but I'me better at falling without hurting myself too much. Sometimes it does drive me to a light paranoia but still working on the tuning of the feedback loop.

I haven't fully digested this yet, a bit tough to swallow at nearly 30 yo but hey that's life.

Also, as a result, I don't fit too well into corporate environments and therefore, for the sake of my own baseline happiness, should keep them at bay.

What's the link?


Here you go. Good luck, it's 80 questions. (My pet theory is that going through all those questions is already an answer in itself)

- Following your curiosity and passion often leads to amazing things

- Sometimes you simply don't have enough information to make a super calculated decision and you have to trust your gut and just go for it

- Performing stack traces on my beliefs and following them down to the people & things I originally got them from has allowed me to clear some real garbage out of my mind

I'm really interested in how that third one works. Can you elaborate on the process involved?


So this really began with reading through Eliezer Yudkowsky's post series on LessWrong about Fake Beliefs [0].

In summary: start with a thought/opinion/belief (the more recurring or obvious the better; thoughts about what I should or shouldn't do, beliefs about society, economics, politics, or biology). I then try to write out my understanding of that concept and try to dig at two questions (and I find typing this stuff out is much better than doing it in thought, but talking to someone works as well):

1. Where did I obtain this understanding of the world - was it my education, something in the media, friends, coworkers, family, childhood) and is it factually accurate? Generally this involves research and attempting to see how in line this understanding of the world is with evidence-based literature or people I trust.

2. Does this belief or understanding actually allow me to make falsifiable predictions about the future or the state of the world, or does it merely give me the feeling of doing that while occupying space in my brain? [1]

Personally, this involved facing and digging into assumptions I had about the world that were given to me before I had a chance to form my own judgement of their validity. Beliefs about morality, societal expectations, and sexuality were at the top of the list but I fixed plenty of my perceptions of economic policies and government regulation. I will say this is an ongoing process, one that I think will never actually end - but it's allowed me to become much more sure of who I am and what I base my decisions on.

[0] - https://www.lesswrong.com/s/7gRSERQZbqTuLX5re

[1] - https://www.lesswrong.com/s/7gRSERQZbqTuLX5re/p/a7n8GdKiAZRX...

In the last 12 months, I begun understanding:

- what attachment theory was, as a tool/framework analyze myself, others, and the world around me

- about western philosophy (Plato, Socrates, Marcus Aurelius)

- about eastern Europe or it's history (e.g. Alexander the Great, Siege of Constantinople, the Crusades, Subutai)

- TypeScript

- how to say hi in Polish or Ukrainian

- how powerful desktop PC's are compared to laptops, esp. at compilation (that includes webpack)

Can you share your learnings / point me in the right direction for learning about attachment theory? That sounds really interesting!

> TypeScript

I can relate! Made development so much nicer for me.

Attachment Theory Deep Dive, 15+ hours, Dr Kirk Honda, Psychology in Seattle. (The series is paywalled behind their patreon.)

Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ji2QKcKqY7U

They are above the quality of a normal uni lecture, but not polished as a Teaching Company/Great Courses thing.



For adult attachment Cindy Hazan is everywhere.

Typescript... now you are truly enlightened.

Lisp is sitting on another mountain, smiling at you.

Typescript is fantastic. So grateful it exists.

All companies look better from the outside.

1) Health start becoming your nr1 priority around the age 40.

I wish I exercised more, did more yearly blood tests checks and was more considerate around my diet.

2) That one should be thankful for what they have

Agree that your health becomes the highest priority as you realise that your family depends on you.

Thanks for the reminder.

I quit the highest-paying job I've ever had to work for peanuts on a political campaign. It didn't lead to the new job opportunities I was hoping for and the job I got after the election does pay anywhere close to what the previous one did, but I have no regrets. It was the coolest thing I've ever been part of, and the new job, though less well paid, is more fun, more fulfilling and less stressful.

Wow, cool wo/man!

1. Bad situations will pass. 2. Family will always be by your side. 3. Money does not equal happiness. 4. Make decisions you're happy to live by. 5. Don't take yourself too seriously.

Moving to another country means life will be both completely different and entirely the same at the same time.

No matter where you go, there you are.

Do you have lower back problems and digestive problems? They might be related, even if you have a MRI showing degenerative disc disease.

Every time I "forget" that I'm lactose intolerant, I pay for it in the bathroom and in my lower back for the next few days, even if I use lactase enzyme pills.

Keep away from all lactose for a week? Back is generally fine.

Have you tried overdosing on fermented foods?

I thought I was allergic to so many foods, but I guess my gut ecosystem was just messed up. Eating loads of fermented foods everyday has allowed me to eat all the foods I thought I was allergic to again.

Of course, varies per person, but it may help.

Which fermented foods do you overdose on when you go through this process?

As many as I can, e.g. kimchi, sauerkraut, fermented beats, fermented carrots, fermented sprouted mustard seeds (so good), fermented ginger, etc etc

There’s loads of ferments out there, just gotta find them and find ones you like so you’ll sustainably keep eating them. Consistency is key I think.

I usually just cook a mix of brown rice and lentils to spread on a plate and throw a bunch of these different fermented foods together on it, mix it all together and it’s delicious and ideal gut food.

Thanks, I'll look into this.

I'm sensitive to lactose, but eating too much of anything in one sitting will give me horrendous breath, especially (red) meat and onions.

Omeprazole is required at this point.

Are you sure you are lactose intolerant? That sounds more like a protein intolerance. I don't know that much about it, but maybe it will point you in a constructive direction.

maybe I was wrong about considering other avenues of seeking income. for the longest time I mostly just focused on web dev, tech support, and just general tech oriented stuff because that's where my aptitudes lie, and never considered trying anything in the service industry for instance. however I managed to acquire a job working as a busser at a restaurant, and for the first time in my life, I felt like what I was doing at work actually mattered and that I was actually part of a team that cared about my existence and needed me there instead of just being another nameless face among droves of others.

granted I just got fired yesterday because i guess i just wasn't good enough at it and too slow. what a wonderful birthday present! but that transitions to my next point: just because something happens that society would generally deem as bad or undesirable, doesn't mean you have to get caught up in depression or anxiety over it. what happens, happens. sure it sucks i lost my job especially given my situation currently, but hey, I'm still alive and still have the chance to find something else. the problem is never unsolvable no matter how much your mind tries to tell you that it is. all that you need to do is simply just choose to act. not doing so is what contributes to being trapped in the depression and anxiety that have driven my life for longer than I can remember.

That despite being physically fit, at the very least decently looking, earning well, having interesting interests (such as doing a cool PhD and being a competitive dancer), despite having a decent social network and meeting lots of women, I will likely die a loveless virgin.

It's unspeakably depressing.

You're probably being too picky. There are lots of women who would practically throw themselves at somebody like you describe, no matter how shy you are, if you faintly returned their interest. We all have our standards, but it's a bit disingenuous to claim that you're cursed to a lifetime of virginity.

I may have some standards, but I have never had a chance to reject someone. This is actually very puzzling to me - most guys seem to at least have the option of meeting the extremely unattractive / obese women. I don't.

something doesn't add up. If you have any close friends or relatives, discuss with them. They are very likely to point out that you are sorely lacking that one piece of social skill. Once you improve that there will be no lack of meeting and choosing right woman for you. Ps: From 40+ yr old married guy.

Rather than giving up, maybe you should see a therapist. This sounds like a problem that would be up their alley.

A good one might be able to help you deal with the things that are holding you back.

It might not work but it beats not trying.

I tried therapy, didn't help one bit. Maybe my therapist was not very good, maybe not..

It is true that not all therapists are good. Not all doctors or lawyers or engineers are good, for that matter.

I will say that people are complicated, and as a person dealing with people it can help to have another person who understands and respects you to help you figure it all out. You have to be ready to listen, though, and that isn't always easy, but when your own understanding of the world fails, it helps to consult another persons to see what you could be missing.

Source: Am also a person who deals with people

Go down that rabbit hole. https://www.reddit.com/r/TheRedPill/ It will give you a toolkit for "debugging" relationships.

More correctly, it will give you a toolkit for identifying vulnerable women who do not have the self esteem to detect and avoid abusive relationships, and a set of behaviours you can use to exploit their insecurity to build physical relationships with women you despise. If you're looking for relationships that have emotional connection, support, and mutual respect and understanding, you may want to look for advice elsewhere.

I have studied the Red Pill in quite detail. It is not really for me to apply (being shy is the opposite of imposing your will on others), but I think the principles are sound. At least I couldn't find any hole in this "worldview", though I would love to, since the the picture it presents is very bleak.

It's possible that you may be inadvertently behaving in ways that amount to "sexual anorexia", a pattern of actions that amounts to self-sabotage where you unconsciously prevent yourself from getting the very thing you want. Maybe these will offer a different perspective:



I am assuming you're a man. If all of what you said are true you almost certainly will not die a loveless virgin. Give me contact info if you're open to assistance.

I assume there is something specific you’re not mentioning? In which case, I highly recommend paying for it — both sex and companionship.

> I assume there is something specific you’re not mentioning

Yes, I'm shy, which is pretty much a universal deal-breaker.

I was super shy (still can be).

I had to make a concerted effort to put myself in social situations. I used Meetup.com and went to anything that looked remotely interesting in groups that had women in them for two straight years, and just kept showing up at groups and making small attempts at chit-chat until people started recognizing me and started inviting me to other things.

I slowly became a lot more comfortable talking to people I didn't already know well (I'm still not great at it, though). It led to a few dates (not as many as I was hoping, but some) and the whole process got me more comfortable around women that I met via other methods, like online dating. Eventually one of those decided to stick around and we're getting married in the next couple of months after dating for over four years.

It took a lot of time and energy though, time I previously would spend hacking away at personal projects (I still did them, just a lot less). My social circle shrunk quite a bit after we started dating for awhile and I stopped going to meetups regularly. But that was one of the main goals I had for attending them and it ended up being successful for me.

It's pretty funny, I'll tell people I know from these groups that I'm a shy guy and an introvert, and they'll tell me "What are you talking about? You seem pretty extroverted to me!" They never saw the years where I only had a few friends I hung out with regularly and had trouble speaking to anyone else, though.

If I could, I would have gone back in time and started the process way back in college (but it would have been school clubs then).

I don't know if something similar will work for you, but you might want to consider it. If there's already several people you see all the time, you might want to try meeting some strangers, as they don't already have preconceived notions of who you are. Part of my personality was re-inforced by my friend group, and it took meeting a whole new set of people to allow me to help rewrite those perceptions.

Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I spent the past year going out so much... Some weeks I went out every night. Clubs, parties, Toastmasters, interest groups, assorted meetups, ... to no avail. I think I'm done with that, back to square one, writing code from my "basement", talking face to face to maybe 1-2 people a week.

Before you were a competitive dancer, you were not a competitive dancer.

Before you are not shy, you are shy.

Just as you‘ve learned to become a competitive dancer, you can learn to become a non-shy person.

The bad news is that it’s probably a lot of work. But so was becoming a competitive dancer, I assume.

Look for a professional who can professionally help you learn what you need to learn.

I‘m well aware that my comment might feel very arrogant. But I’m making it in a certain spirit: Long ago, someone told me that what we all really need is someone who tells us that we must do what we can do.

Find a good counsellor.

That shouldn't too hard to make some personal progress on.

Damn, heavy blackpill. You can always go to a legal brothel in Nevada. No shame in that, men have been doing it since the dawn of time.

That awful people I'll never meet, in countries far from mine, can have a negative impact on my mental health.

Last 12 months

1) Took a mini-retirement.

2) Spent a lot of time with my son (who is 12 now).Shared with him passion for reading books. Knowing languages.

3) Found out that I am not as tough as I thought myself to be.

4) Learned to understand a lot of layers in the ongoing conversations. (Earlier I only heard what was told on surface. I may be overdoing layers now)

5) I strongly believed that I will exercise once I have enough time on my hand. Guess what? Even after having all the time in the world I wasted most of it without working on reduing my weight. (obesity)

6) I wanted to taste the theory that you will not die of starvation (not in todays world). This is true. Even if you do not earn money you still can manage to have twice a day meal. (I am well educated MBA Engg et al)

7) When I saw the UNDP SDG Goals #1 Noone will be left behind. I constantly wondered if the opposite can be the case. Now I think its the government which is getting left behind. (They are so slow to adopt anything new)

8)I did a 1-year diploma in Disaster Management from Disaster management Institute. (I was in Bhopal when the worst Industrial disaster took place of Union Carbide). I learnt very little of value from classes but a lot more from educational MOOC courses.

9) Social life goes for a topsy-turn when you do not have an answer to question "What do you do for a living ?" I told them I just live, Most people did not believe me.Eventually they started distancing from me and then I found a totally new set of friends who lived nearby but had totally different value system. ( I kept my living extremely frugal)

10) These days I work with young minds and try to ignite the spark of innovation by telling them stories and work with them on the small time projects.

Wow that's a awesome. Thanks for sharing. Do you mind to be on a podcast to discuss further?

Charity never fails. If you resolve to love and accept people above all else, then the rest will take care of itself.

This is not easy to do some days, but it is failproof. Try it and see for yourself.

For more information, research "charity, pure love of Christ" and Lojong, which is Buddhist mind training for compassion. Effectiviology also has an excellent article on how charity can be used in arguments: https://effectiviology.com/principle-of-charity/

In all honesty, when to keep my mouth shut. This is really hard for me. I still see tons of bullshit, posturing, and nonsense, I'm just better at censoring myself.

It's useful but surprisingly stress-inducing.

It never hurts to ask, never say no yourself. Let other people do that for you. Opens so many doors!

I was in meet-up where one of attendee asked a question to speaker on how to say no to customer when they have crazy requirements?

Speaker - There some times when you can't say no and in that situation you have to choose different path. One of my customer asked me to create the existing CRM like Google search page. It should show only one search box in front and all search should work like Google. I said sure and here is the budget for this change. After hearing the $$$ she just stop asking for!

I seem to be an alcoholic, I guess? I dunno, I now drink like maybe 80oz of beer a night? Is this a problem? I'm not sure. I don't know if it's affecting me in anyway (I'm primarily concerned about my brain). I never feel drunk, but maybe that's also a problem?

I'm trying to reconcile with how I feel (only mildly buzzed at the end of the night) with how much it sounds. Hell, in college, I would have considered that a moderate amount/alot depending on the night.

Maybe other people have some similar (or different) experiences? I guess it's not a problem if I don't think it's one (according to the DSM), but maybe it will become a problem?

There's a lot of question marks in this post, because I'm unsure about how to feel about my own alcohol consumption. But I wouldn't want someone who doesn't have an alcohol tolerance to get the impression that I'm going crazy hard every night.

Anyways, I just finished my 7th 16oz beer (man 112oz sure seems like a lot), but I feel pretty normal... (a year ago I probably would have felt this way after 3 beers)

Also I work super long hours (12+) per day, and used to have bigger problems. Heroin, cocaine, etc...

I feel like I deserve alcohol as long as I don't touch the other stuff...?

The best way to figure out if you are an alcoholic or not is to meet other people who self-identify as alcoholics (or addicts more generally), and see if their stories ring true with you. It's only a problem if it's a problem for you - or for other people you care about, or for any individuals who end up suffering as a result of your drinking.

I am in no position to tell you whether you have a problem or not, but I know from experience (my own and others') that one of the reasons some people continue drinking or using drugs to excess is to escape from reality, so they can remain in denial about the mess they have caused in their own or other people's lives. This might not be you. But also, it might be you.

Maybe go and check out a few meetings and see if you learn anything that helps you to decide:



Another experiment to try: what happens if you don't drink anything for a night? How many nights can you go without drinking anything? Can you tell yourself, "I'm only having two beers tonight", then actually stop after having two beers?

I learned, that working in a cutting edge field in a huge well known/respected company (europe) is most of the time really not that exciting and the actual work not that cutting edge.

My feeling is, that we were doing more complex problem solving at university and my personal projects are much more challenging than most things we do at work.

It's honestly quite a bit frustrating. And makes me want to build something up myself. Problem is, I am just not an idea-person...

Sometimes, the grass really is greener on the other side.

Graduated from school last May, had a week before I started a full-time job (did that for 2 months then landed where I am now). I learned it's difficult to have a good social life when work + commute takes ~50 hours a week (and that office politics isn't just a meme). Learned that I need to create my own meaning in life, and that friends and family are more important than anything.

If only there was a technology solution to eradicate this office politics?!

In the last year I've learned about the worth of a man, how big a burden a family can bear, and the extraordinary lengths a mother will go to save her dying child.

Last July, I was fired from my dev job. This was a shock to me as I had been seen as a high performer at my last job. Well, my last job before my last job at least. I was scared, confused, and really down on myself after this happened. I'd quit the job before because it seemed like a toxic environment. My wife was pregnant, I applied for unemployment which was embarrassing and felt pretty bad. Honestly the place was pretty bad but I tried to hold on because of my wife's pregnancy and I knew it would look bad to lose/quit two jobs back to back like that. In retrospect I would just leave randomly at 3pm, "work from home" (take naps), and was overall a pretty terrible worker during my tenure there. After losing that job, I didn't just "bounce back". I got depressed. I thought about what was different compared to my jobs before, and came to the obvious conclusion it's the adderall, stupid. Taking adderall turns me into a super performer. It makes me really, really good. It also makes me feel like I'm "broken" in some way that has to be fixed by a drug. I'm simply not a great developer and can't achieve the intellectual goals I have for myself without taking it paired with a mild anti-anxiety medication. Eventually I decided to start taking it again after a year and a half without it. I just got my performance review at work and got glowing praise from my manager. It makes me feel good. It makes me get rewarded financially. It's also interesting because there's two groups of developers that have very, very different opinions about who I am and what I'm like to work with. The first class has worked with me drug-free. These people don't much care for me. I'm forgetful, get distracted easily, will constantly be away from my desk walking around, if I'm even in the office. The other group have worked with me and see me as someone who can solve any problem they throw at me. I'm getting the reputation as the one to give complex and difficult problems to. People think that other people are immutable and can't change, too. Both groups have fixed about me. If I stopped adderall tomorrow my coworkers give me the benefit of the doubt, feel that if I'm stuck on a problem for a long time it must be because it's complicated, not because I'm astutely avoiding solving the problem. The other group just thought I was a total loser. I hated it, because they were right. I know what I'm worth, and what makes me worth that. It's not all me.

Last October, bleary-eyed and exhausted at five in the morning, my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl via c-section. The labor had not gone well. Her water had broke and there was meconium (baby feces) in the water, which is a sign that the baby is in distress. We rushed to the hospital and my wife labored for eighteen hours, screaming "just cut her out of me, something is WRONG!!!". The doctor ignored her and encouraged her to keep pushing. Finally, he relented and a Cesarean section was performed. The nurses took her away. Someone told us "Your daughter has myelomeningocele. Listen to me. Don't Google it. Just get some sleep.". So I did. I remember waking up to the children's hospital ambulance crew asking my wife to sign the documents to transport Lucy to the hospital. She had been born on the same day as her namesake, her great-great-grandmother. We didn't have Thanksgiving last year. We didn't have Christmas last year. There was only the endless march of days at the hospital. I accepted my new job the day my wife went into labor. I just had to deal with it. What else could I do? Throwing myself into the work certainly helped me forget that my daughter might never walk, that she probably won't be able to control her bowels, that she'll need to catheter herself whens she's older to prevent her kidneys giving out. At a happy hour, I mentioned to some coworkers about her condition. A gray-beard developer took me into a back room and got really serious. For a second I thought he was going to fire me, honestly. He said "I want you to know I have spina bifida. Everything is going to be okay." That's one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.

In January, they told us Lucy was going to die. There's a malformation of her brain stem, the part that controls unconscious breathing. When she got upset, she held her breath. It's a horrific thing to see, your child turn blue. Then they turn white. She looks dead. As a gentle snow fell outside, my wife performed CPR on our four month old while I frantically called 911 from my wife's phone because mine had just died. I'm a dumbass. Our four year old is twirling in circles as the paramedics arrive. She asks the cop if he can open her milk, she's thirsty. Lucy had started breathing again. We told the paramedics the doctors had said this might happen, but that we should call the paramedics "just in case she doesn't recover on her own". The paramedic looks at me and asks "what's her prognosis"? I didn't really understand, but she was asking "is your child going to die?". They took her and my wife away to the hospital. The doctors read some research and told my wife that the majority of kids with this complication, called PEAC, die. They don't ever "get over it", even kids as old as 12 have died. We ask if there's anything we can do. The doctors shrug and the palliative care psychologist wants to talk to us. My wife spends the next few days glued to the computer. She asked the doctor for the print outs of the medical research he's referencing. She finds more. She finds a doctor at the Mayo clinic who had done some research prescribing a specific anti-anxiety medicine and found that the mortality of these children had gone to zero. Admittedly it was a small sample size but initially the doctor brushed off the suggestion of the medicine. My wife wrote a long email with citations describing Lucy's symptoms, and the treatments outlined in the medical literature. She emailed it to the hospital's social worker since you can't communicate directly with the doctors. The next day the doctors had the bright idea of prescribing the anti-anxiety medication. Lucy's breath holding spells stopped. There's a surgery that's also suggested in the literature. My wife asks for that. The head of neurosurgery says he won't do it. We call a doctor who is an expert in her condition and he says she should get the surgery. We say we want to transfer to that hospital, hundreds of miles away. Once he hears that, the head of neurosurgery says he'll do it. My wife sighs in both exasperation and relief. The doctors have fought us every step of the way.

Lucy came home two weeks ago. She's actually a pretty normal baby. Cognitively she's right on track, even though she doesn't wiggle her toes. We're provided with a night nurse twelve hours a day because her breathing can be irregular sometime. But her breath holding spells, the thing that was most likely to kill her, have completely stopped. Things are starting to feel normal, the nurses are kind to us and to our daughter. My wife seems to be relaxing for the first time in eight months. It looks like she has a future. Life is no longer paused until further notice.

I've learned I'm worthwhile. I'm more worthwhile if I take stimulant drugs. I've learned that a family can endure far more than you might think it can. I've learned that my wife will move mountains if she has to for our kids.

>Our four year old is twirling in circles as the paramedics arrive. She asks the cop if he can open her milk, she's thirsty

I teared up at this point. I've got a 4 year old and that is the exact kind of thing they do. Just kids being kids don't realize how even the most mundane, simple, innocent of their behaviors can be stress inducing at the easiest of times. Then they do the same things they always do but this time all hell is breaking loose and you're like "please, just don't".

Thank you for sharing. I have a 10m old son, who had some complications at birth too (he's well now) and as his condition was comparatively mild I cannot begin to imagine the trials and fears you have gone through. I'm very glad to read that Lucy is doing better now. Best wishes for the future!

i Love you lessons and am amazed at your candor. Thank you for sharing. An amazing story. I’m so glad your baby is home and breathing!

Thank you.

1. Working 100% remotely has led to a massive increase in my quality of life.

2. Make the time for exercise, no matter what.

I learned that we change, prevails the life we were a minute ago. Minute by minute, we progress a whit farther with each cycle. Considering the assets of one's beginning are irrelevant; how and what one does with the aptitudes of life are what ascertain who you are. I learned that it's okay not to know what you are doing with your life. It's a misprint to select your paths based on the sins you bear. Seriously. Whatsoever happens, happens man. I'll add this too, heard this from somewhere, but couldn't recall precisely where 'The fake is of far ample worth. In its ruminate efforts to be real, it's more real, more than the real thing. Let's just say I become totally WOKE and sympathize with that from the experiences of the past 12 months.

Never take your health for granted. Be grateful for every day that you have.

Patience isn't about waiting for something to take a little bit of extra time. It's about working on something and being willing to wait for _years_ if necessary to see it happen. To know that what your waiting for is out there on the horizon, is visible to you at all times, yet there is no way of speeding up your journey toward it. Ultimately, it's about how we live in the space between the moments we anticipate.

It's been a very frustrating, but important 12 months.

The amount of effort to raise 2 kids verse 1 kid is not linear.

Curse of knowledge is real when it comes to teaching younger kids. Pace yourself and learn to simplify you explanations with good stories.

Breathing and mindfulness are very simple but helpful concepts. Stay present.

You have to keep reminding yourself of the most important things and you have to make a concerted effort to work towards those bigger goals.

Time keeps passing at a faster rate, this is mainly a function of how much responsibility you take on.

I learnt something most youg developers all ready know. When having a program in Java and want to feed gui in Web, Spring Boot api is so simple, fast and nice to use.

It's always too late (and harder as you get older) to work towards current needs, so plan ahead and work for things you expect to want/need in 5 years.

Only apply design patterns when they are solving a problem

The past few months have taught me that I suck at my job. But I've gotten better at bullshitting my way out of a tight spot.

Also learned that running can feel good.

That final sentence caught my attention. I tried to make a daily habit of jogging. I really tried. I held on to the habit for more than two years before finally giving up. It just never started to feel good. Not a moment of it. Got any good advice on how to make running feel good?

Well, I didn't even tried to do a daily jog, closer to a weekly one. I had to prepare for a short (5 km) foot race, with some elevation (200 m) with my uncle, which I was doing mostly on a dare, when I hadn't run in a few years. I've never done a lot of sport either (a little bike riding and rock climbing, currently).

So started doing some weekly job on a short distances (4-7 km) on a nice run (île au cygnes + banks of the Seine) and it just felt good, whereas the last times I felt pretty terrible. Perhaps because those times I didn't push myself too hard or unlike the previous times, stretched afterward. I don't know.

And I finished just behind my uncle, less than a minute after him, I was a little disappointed, but still happy to have made a good time (~ 30 min, if I remember right).

I share that experience with you. I always hated running. Even made myself do it for months on end. Nothing made it feel good. Always just sore and tired. I definitely made gains in my ability to run farther without stopping. It never gave me that good feeling that people always talk about.

It was always just suffer and put one foot in front of the other for the first 15 minutes, then you get the "runners high." That part wasn't all that amazing either. I see how you get in the zone, and it gets easier to keep going, but it's still not enjoyable at all for me.

1. You don’t have to be some programming celebrity to be qualified to speak at conferences

2. If you have the intention, you can achieve what you want

3. Don’t skip steps in business

1) Either life in the modern world has become more and more unpredictable, and/or it was always less predictable than I used to be aware of.

2) The trouble with 'living in the now' is that eventually tomorrow will become now. Sufficient preparation for -that- now is not a strong suit for many of us. Consequently, humanity has built an existential debt which mere bankruptcy cannot erase. GOTO 1).

Few things are as important as consistently getting quality sleep. Not doing so slowly, slowly ruins your life. So slowly that you’ll think it’s other things, or that the side effects of your sleep deprivation are the causes themselves.

Don’t trade sleep for anything. Just don’t.

Coming into a significant amount of "paper" money didn't really make me any happier.

You kind of have to practice gratitude.

"I'm glad I didn't have any trouble paying the security deposit so I could move." "Good thing I can afford this dental care I need." "Isn't it nice that someone will just tow my car for me? When you have the money it's very convenient."

That I need help and need to seek treatment for adult ADHD. I know all of my tasks and my deadlines, they're on paper but avoidance always makes me do things on the last day.

The main thing I learned is that there's no such thing as a perfect day. If you sit around and wait for it to come, you'll be waiting until they haul your corpse away. The truth is that things always come up, especially as you get older. You have to plan around uncertain events instead of planning for your day to go a certain way.

Over the past few months both of my parents have been in and out of the hospital repeatedly. I live closeby, so I've been taking a lot of days off work or working remotely to help them get to and from the hospital, and then to help them get situated afterwards. I had to carry my mother up the stairs in her home a few weeks ago because her knees are giving out. I didn't think I would have to do something like that at this age--I'm in my late 20's--but, as the phrase goes, "shit happens."

The reason I brought that up is because I've also been thinking about making a job change to a different company. It'll probably require a few weeks of preparation, and then another few weeks to interview with various companies. I'm also a little scared about the whole situation because I'm woefully underprepared, so I don't know how I'll perform.

So I keep telling myself, "tomorrow, when I'm fresh in the morning, I'll come up with a study guide!" Then something comes up, and "tomorrow" becomes "this weekend." Then something else comes up, and "this weekend" becomes "next week." The something's aren't always bad things--I've been attending a lot of weddings recently, and also some of my friends and family are having kids, so it's been an overall positive thing--but distractions are still distractions, and I haven't been able to plan out any of those.

So I think what I have to do is just carve out time when and where I can. I might not get the six hours of uninterrupted study that I could get when I was 19, but I could certainly have done a far better job of studying than I actually did.

I have some more thoughts on all of this, but I really liked this question because it made me think about how these past few months really went.


I just wanted to edit this post and say that there are some outstanding responses in this thread. I'm never less than amazed at how reflective and thoughtful people can be. There's probably enough life advice and experience in this thread to fill a few books.

I have this habit of checking how "great" people have responded to certain situations, but now I'm realizing that "ordinary" people (whatever that means) might have just as thoughtful, reflective, and wise approaches to things. Instead of looking up the 18th article of how entrepreneurs respond to stress, I could probably sit down with my grandmother and ask her what it was like moving to a foreign country by herself where she didn't know a single person or speak the native tongue.

I'm rambling now, but I just wanted to say that the advice in here is pretty spectacular. I usually regret the time I spend on Reddit and YouTube, but I seldom regret the time I spend on HN (unless I find myself in a political thread).

This is basically describing exactly how I've been stuck at my current job that I hate for the past year, although instead of 'attending a lot of weddings' it's 'planning our wedding'. Something is always coming up, and I keep putting off doing what I need to do to prepare for and land that next job, especially with the insane technical quiz hurdles thrown up at pretty much every job interview nowadays.

At this point we're less than two months away from our wedding now, so I'm pretty much just saying "let's get past the wedding and then I can get the hell out of here". But that's still putting it off.

First, congratulations on the wedding!

Yeah, exactly--you nailed it. The mind is incredibly capable of coming up with excuses to put things off. If you don't plan things out and come up with a schedule, then you'll inevitably find that the time has more or less slipped out of your grasp.

Today, it's, "I'll wait for the wedding."

Tomorrow, it's, "We just got married! I want to spend some time settling down!"

And so on and so forth.

Best of luck to us both.

I wish I had that 'spend some time settling down' excuse. We've been living together for over two years now, and we bought a house together a year ago.

It'll probably be something else, though, like "I need to get caught up with everything around the house we've been neglecting for months" or something.

That it is good to go back and review the basics of programming, like SOLID, from time to time -- and not to get too caught up in it.

Also: tribalism rules the day in politics.

Finding remote work is nothing like finding a local job

Not to trust business partners that are eager to invest in you but not follow your instructions.

I've failed, I'm not as smart as I think and in the end, I know I'm useless.

Hey, don't talk about yourself that way. It is really hard working in an industry and learning in an environment where we are surrounded by people who are invariably much smarter than us. Don't let it result in self-hatred. I know I can't solve your problems in a HN comment, but please know that these feelings you have are common among many of us, and we need to take an active role in fighting them. You have worth as a person in so many more ways than you imagine.

While the first two might be true for all of us, you def are not useless and I hope you have someone to talk to out there as that sounds like a dark place to be in right now. I highly recommend https://www.7cups.com/anonymous-chat/ or drop me an email at bwbbwb@gmail.com if you want to chat. We all fail, we are all not as smart as we think :), but none of us our useless.

Without giving you simple platitudes, here is some advice;

First read and keep a copy of Rudyard Kipling's poem "If" always at hand - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If%E2%80%94

Root Advice: Do not compare yourself to others constantly. This is the root of all evil. You should only focus on bettering your "present/future" self over your "past" self.

>I've failed,

If you have failed in some, you have succeeded in others. "Failure" is relative. Maybe you have had some major failures but that is no excuse to lose heart. You still have to soldier on and live the rest of your life without allowing a single event to define the future. If you live it positively you will make yourself lots more opportunities and make up for any past failures.

>I'm not as smart as I think

Actually, you are on a multi-dimensional "Smartness" scale where there is always some people much smarter and some people less smarter than you on any given dimension. You have to focus on your strengths i.e. where you are more towards the positive end of the scale and not obsess on the negative dimensions.

>I know I'm useless


Unless and until you are biologically impaired, nobody is ever useless. They always can define a position for themselves in Society. Do not allow Society to define it for you but define it yourself to find some meaning for your life. That is enough.

PS: The ancient Hindu Text "Yoga Vasistha" opens with a strong emphasis on "Self-Effort" which is worth keeping in mind. Note that you don't have to believe in God/Religion/etc. to get the positive message. Here it is with some slight edits;

Sage Vasistha says: In this world whatever is gained is gained by self effort; where failure is encountered it is seen that there has been slackness of effort. This is obvious; but what is called fate is fictitious and is not seen.

Self-effort, Rama, is that mental, verbal and physical action ...

... When there is obstruction in the fruition of self-effort one should examine to see if there is [wrong] action, and if there is, it should be immediately corrected. There is no power greater than right action in the present. Hence, one should take recourse to self-effort, grinding one’s teeth, and one should overcome ... fate by present effort.

The lazy man is worse than a donkey. One should never yield to laziness ... seeing that life is ebbing away every moment.

One who says “Fate is directing me to do this” is brainless and the goddess of fortune abandons him. Hence by self-effort acquire ... and know that this self-effort leads to [results].

If this dreadful source of evil named laziness is not found on earth, who will ever be illiterate and poor? It is because of laziness that people live the life of animals, miserable and poverty stricken.

As is the effort so is the fruit, O Rama: this is the meaning of self-effort, and it is also known as fate (divine). When afflicted by suffering people cry “Alas, what tragedy” or “Alas, look at my fate”, both of which mean the same thing. What is called fate or divine will is nothing other than the action of the past. The present is infinitely more potent than the past. They indeed are fools who are satisfied with the fruits of their past effort (which they regard as divine will) and do not engage themselves in self-effort now.

If you see the present self-effort is sometimes thwarted by fate (or divine will), you should understand that the present self-effort is weak. A weak and dull-witted man sees the hand of providence when he is confronted by a strong and powerful adversary and succumbs to him.

Self effort is based on these three – knowledge ..., instructions ... and one’s own effort. Fate (or divine dispensation) does not enter here.

Fate or divine dispensation is merely a convention which has come to be regarded as truth by being repeatedly declared to be true. If this god or fate is truly the ordainer of everything in this world, of what meaning is any action at all?

Thank you all so much for your wonderful replies. I have been struggling with Uni, work, my family, friends, everything. It takes a lot to get over and fix my mistakes

- Man is a social animal

- Don't make me think

- You can bear anything for 10 seconds

- Everything can be modeled as a system

Not taught:

- Just a reminder I could die one second from now. Tuesday a friend of 21 years, had his heart stop. CPR was performed all the way to the hospital where they found a blockage that they cleared, however his brain had been without oxygen for quite some time and there was no brain activity. 72 hour protocol was started (arctic sun) but he died Wednesday evening leaving his girl, 1 kid and 4 step kids.


- The general population is extremely ignorant to climate change and the rather serious consequences it brings. I've had many people tell me it's fake, it's just something politicians use in debates, it's a conspiracy, that we aren't experiencing global warming but in fact are headed for a mini ice age, that they don't care because they can't stop it so they're going to keep on living their life how they want, etc.

- That without a college degree, you are effectively a second class citizen in the workplace. I've had company after company reject me in the past 18 months for not having a degree, including one company doing the exact same job I do now that wouldn't even interview me citing "we require a BA/BS degree as well as previous experience" while at the time I had 12 years of experience and their company was 5-6 years old... my own employer does not promote without a degree, they will flat out tell you to get at a minimum a BA/BS and then preferably immediately start an Masters. Oh if I could go back 16 years and tell myself to get a degree.

- I've learned that tech is largely elitist. Founders only want to deal with other founders once they've had a taste of mild success. Those in power can be college dropouts but they require BA/BS at a minimum for entry-level, non-technical, roles in their companies. They will tell you things like "the best way to stand out is to complete a major project or produce an important result" for entry-level work in their form rejection email.

- I've learned that most of the current people at the helm will admit they were extremely lucky to have a mentor, that helped them without hesitation, when they had no experience or accomplishments behind their belt and were effectively still naive children, but they will only help those people that are well qualified on paper and stand a good chance of making them bank. They would rather bet on a likely win by throwing investment money for a cut at someone and introductions instead of helping someone by actually giving them work, creating something in their empire that the person can prove themselves on, and then give them more responsibility, and more, to let them learn by doing and building a reputation. Instead it is "come to me when you have a sure-fire idea, I'll buy a ridiculous amount of your company for a small sum, and you can make a little while I do little and get richer".

- That Silicon Valley is comical. I'd always pictured it as these brilliant people doing neat stuff, making breakthroughs and driving future technology. Last year I had a lot of introductions made and had the opportunity to talk to a lot of people in the Bay Area that I never would have without the introductions, being a non-STEM, no-degree, no billion dollar idea guy in Indianapolis. While some of these people were truly brilliant, I realized nearly all of them are extremely myopic on one thing that interests them, they mostly don't care about anything else and they will pursue their idea at all costs even when it's something ridiculous or so fantastically unlikely to ever pan out. You'll ask for an introduction "I'd love to help, but I'm really busy" you'll ask if they need a janitor so you can get your foot in the door somewhere to try and build out your CV because you lack a degree "I'd love to help, but I'm really busy", they're friends with umpteen Giving Pledge members and you ask if they could introduce you to someone at one of the dozen philanthropic entities because you'd just like to ask them some questions and see what drives the organization and what they are doing so you can have insight to a different world "I'd love to help, but I'm really busy" you look at their project as an outsider, with an entirely different set of world experiences, and point out that only their friends know what a continuum transfunctioner is and that 99% of people don't and maybe it would benefit them to bring a few popular science YouTube influencers around and show them some of the public stuff on tape and "I'd love to do that but first I want to get this continuum transfunctioner fully operational even though experts in the field think it may never work, so maybe in 4-5 years when I'm not busy I can have the team think about actually explaining what we are doing to 99.9999999% of the world".

Am in the same boat. Have 15 years programming experience, and can literally code circles around many or most of the people I am interviewing with, but because I don't have a degree, or interview poorly, I am getting rejection after rejection. It's funny. I always think about the Frank Zappa sketch: "What's in a diploma? A: Absolutely nothing." It's a piece of paper, but I guess it is a symbol of your subservience to a system, which in kind shows you are good at deferring to authority or something. If I were hiring, I would explicitly go after non-degreed programmers who show they can code. Dogmatic college kids often write terrible code, but they proceed with unchecked hubris because everyone tells them they're great, even though they never paid any dues or done real systems programming.

When talking to me someone once referred to a degree as a "de facto dues card" and, that's basically what they are in many cases. Sure you need an education to be a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, things that require licensing but come on, my employer doesn't care what your 4-year is in...it could be in Late 15th century Peruvian funerary basket weaving... and that's fine with them, they just want that accredited degree.

With companies that have rejected me for not having one the past 18 months, I've found that (via LinkedIn) a notable percentage of their employees have random liberal arts degrees and then 2 years out of college they are on their 3rd-5th job upgrading their title at each stop...

Hi, hello, I've been at my job 13 years. I'm in it for the long haul if you pay me well, I only want to leave my current employer because after 13 years on the job I make a whopping 34k a year in a state where the hourdly median wage was 16.25 in 2016 which is within 500 dollars of what I make (a bit less I think). When people were making a big fuss to raise minimum wage to 15$ a year or three ago, I was like "no, that's what I make after 10-12 years on the job and I know my employer won't increase my pay!"

"subservience to the system" -- frankly theres a large degree of difference between someone being subservient and someone playing the game (one in which the rules are discussed ad-nauseam for a good decade in primary school at that). Believing that college is completely worthless & that people don't really gain anything there is its own form of unchecked hubris, so we do agree on really narrowing that down in the workplace, at least.

Without a college degree, you are effectively a second class citizen in the workplace.

That's a minority of workplaces. There are many workplaces. Choose a better one or start your own. You are just as powerful as anyone else, so figure out what creates inefficiency in your area, figure out how to solve it, then build it.

Remember we can move to cheap places and be self-reliant during at least the initial phase of company building, so the financial bar to founding may be lowered. If you have no savings at all, you can also take a relatively intellectually uninvolved job with plenty of free time (night security shift supervisor, etc.) to keep you financially afloat while working on your idea.

Remember also there is venture capital out there for good ideas, it's not easy to get ... but it's available.

>hat's a minority of workplaces.

No, that's nearly every publicly traded company.

> or start your own

See, here's the Silicon Valley disconnect again. You don't just start a company outside of a place like Silicon Valley and go "hey someone give me a ton of money to do this thing so I can get a building, hire employees, buy furniture and computers, I have a vague idea and no experience!"

Public companies are by definition large and bureaucratic. You are asking for a high-risk, high-touch hiring experience in a large bureaucracy. That is not realistic.

Contrary to your assertion, I've never lived or worked in SV. You don't need real estate, employees, furniture or computers to run a company. If you'd tried, you'd know that as I do.

Sorry about your loss.

I lost a friend of 17 years last spring (he was 30) to a similar cardiovascular issue, and I'm still picking up the pieces more than a year later. It hit way harder than losing grandparents.

It also showed me that people I'm surrounded by are a lot shittier than I thought compared to him. It taught me to look out for my personal interests more, especially when it comes to health and compensation for my time, and generally standing up to obnoxious bullies.

> The general population is extremely ignorant to climate change and the rather serious consequences it brings. I've had many people tell me it's fake, it's just something politicians use in debates, it's a conspiracy, that we aren't experiencing global warming but in fact are headed for a mini ice age, that they don't care because they can't stop it so they're going to keep on living their life how they want

I think we have to realize that people vary wildly in their cognitive ability, and some people may just never be able to grasp complex abstract concepts. It doesn't make them worse people, but I don't want to be subject to the tyranny of ignorance either. Another part of this is that people are dealing with personal crises much of their time (like loss of loved ones) and that their focus cannot be diverted to global problems for too long. Life's hard enough without having existential crises about the survival of your species every week. Not sure how to tackle this one.

> That Silicon Valley is comical. I'd always pictured it as these brilliant people doing neat stuff, making breakthroughs and driving future technology.

The one place that changed my view of technology is, surprisingly, HN itself. For the same reasons you state, I've committed to being a generalist, because most HN posters and the tech cargo cult shows how easily you lose perspective if you are successful in a narrow field of tech. It circles back to your earlier point about tech being elitist. Just the idea of people who have very narrow perspectives being elitist is hilariously ironic to me.

>Sorry about your loss.

Thank you. Even at 33-35 we've lost a lot of friends already but this one seems to have hit a lot of us pretty hard because it wasn't a bullet, it wasn't an accident, it wasn't cancer... it was just a heart going "nah, I'm done" and CPR was started almost immedieately and they cleared the blockage quickly in the hospital and got him hooked up to arctic sun but it was just all a little too late, too much brain damage had been done. Also perhaps because his bio kid is only about a year old, he finally had a good job, ya know finally had 'the dream' going for him.

While we were all getting way too old to go to punk shows for bands we went to as kids, we still did and now one of us won't be there.

St Thomas Aquinas is a genius of humanity

A good question! Although I wonder why the timeline is set at 12 months....

This is what I learned:

1- amateurs try to hard sell and persuade with much energy. That is how you know they are amateurs. They make up for competence by inflating their confidence.

2- true experts are those who can explain things patiently and completely (and sometimes enigmatically and paradoxically so that it makes sense on a lower level that we understand even though its seems like there is more to it than our understanding allows) and dont feel threatened by your learning them, too. All the rest "experts" are bozos.

3- I learned that the limit of my achievement is the limit of what I don't know that I don't know. Which in turn can be expanded by directionless search in random directions, kinda like how probabilistic methods solve deterministic equations in higher math.

4- I learned that the ancient saying "women lack reasoning" is false, because women have a different kind of reasoning machinery. And it works on a different wavelength than is normally assumed. It is not important to know exactly what wavelength a woman's reasoning systems operate (you won't ever find out) but you gain some advantage knowing that it is DIFFERENT and always CHANGING.

5- Body language is approximately 10 times more powerful than verbal communication. It includes tone of voice, the way your eyes look on to the world, silence, and even how you socialize. It is the ultimate tool to prevent people from getting fresh with you. Ignore the nasty ones, and it hurts them way more than engaging them.

6- I learned that small differences (and issues and squabbles) dont smoothen out with time. They become bigger and worse. Prevention is 100 times more effective than cure.

7- I learned that the most intelligent and wisest writer born in UK is Robert Burton, not the moronic Shakespeare.

8- I found out that all the smart cats (and some wannabes like me) hang out on news.ycombinator.

9- I learned that deadlines are necessary but they should be quantity-based, not temporal. "I have to finish reading two chapters today" sounds like an ideal deadline than, saying "I must finish this book in 2 months".

10- I learned the best way to learn something is by reading books, not watching lectures or videos. They put me to sleep, videos do.

11- I finally managed to create a site such that the buttons turn on like a light bulb. Www.jans.surge.sh

12- I realized that optimism wins even when failure is guaranteed. Better to lose a game you enjoyed than to win one you didn't.

I could go on. I will stop because I have more things to learn!


1. Worked on a idea it's sort personal project. Stack is Google cloud(Firebase RTDB & hosting, cloud functions, Storage, app engine, crowns, pubsub), JS, NodeJS, CSS, mySQL, Java. My day job is Db2 DBA z/OS Mainframe, so cloud is but new to me. I would say i good when compared to others on what I did. Focus was the key here, day job 8-5 all be at home 6:30 & start my programming or learning from 7 till midnight 1 or 2. This I did continuously for over a year. Before that I used to have normal life like gym or running(used to be a half marathon runner), I stopped everything to focus on the idea. To help me focus, I had to stop certain things like exercise as it takes time but I walked weekly two times for 1hr, Watching movies or TV series, getting into heated arguments with people as it takes my focus off Ruins ideas I was working on and giving unnecessary thoughts, stopped seeing people faces sometimes like walking mostly look at the ground. I decided to have two notebooks one for office and one for my project all the ideas I get I dump into these to notebooks and work on them. I like my current work as salary is ok but what's awesome is work-life balance due to that I can work on my personal project. Almost completed 80% of the project now only thing remaining shifting the batch workload from my system to Compute engine.

2. In the meantime, everybody around me is finishing cloud certs mostly AWS/Azure and me who is talking about cloud has no certs but working in them. It's sort makes me look like a guy who talks but nothing to show. So when I was confident that ok only thing remaining in my PP is shifting to compute engine. I started to prepare for Google cloud associate data Engineer certification from March 2019 and took the exam two weeks back and got certified. Yeah, I am the only Google certified person in my building there's a lot of Azure and aws. This certification wasn't an easy one, I had to study lots of products which I wasn't using, what good about it was, each time I study, I was thinking how I could this for my project. So definitely bigquery & cloudSQL I will have to check it out on migrating data from local to cloud. QWIKLABS is sort of must to get hands on GCP. Take sample tests from Google cert site itself it's free mostly you get the same questions if you take multiple times but gives you an idea of what will come in the exam.

3. Being a workaholic, I had lost focus on my personal life. Single and 33, soon 34. There is this girl who has been working in team next to me for over two years, if I had kept my head up and looked at people or tried to hear their conversations or discussions happening next to me. I could have seen this girl, but me nooo focus on the work & Personal projects. Just about time I took a break PP and started to focus on cert exam, this girl caught my eye and I was staring at her for almost a month. I had to stop it as I thought it was rude to stare. So I approached and told her that 'i like her' in May. Now July, I sort of have an idea she likes me but she didn't tell so far. No idea what's going to happen as well. So I am currently working on this project.

4. I am more of a dreamer. The guy who is 80% of the time caught up in the head or lives there. So I had to bring myself to focus on things before me, reality. So started to listening to Ted talks on mindfulness, imapct theory, Power of Now(audible), Dandapani, Earl nightingale. And in a video I was hearing about this smart drug that top University students were taking to improve their intelligence. I was a bit curious is it something like limitless. Adderall is banned in my country but modafinil was available. Tried one tablet, 4th hour heart beat increases a bit which sort of makes you to focus on what before you and you will be in that mode for 3-4hours. Side-effects if you are diabetes you are fucked. In accucheck I get normally 130 after this it was 230. Now started dieting & started walking to get it lower a week after now I am at 185. Curiosity has its price. I am going to throw away the remaining tablets. I am going to revisit power of now first 5 chapters, that's the phase I am in.

So at the moment focus will be in that GIRL, focusing on what's before me(being present), Db2(work), GCP(bigquery, kubernetes, compute engine, cloudSQL), possibly check if there is good paying job in GCP with work life balance, gradually start exercising again as I have lost all muscle and weight in last two years.

I learnt that my family de-classed the last couple of years and that now everyone is scarred by unemployment. I am scarred too, and it's just sad to watch as time goes bye. Optimism helps to stay afloat, psychologically, but this kind of optimism can only take me that far. All the ways I could have ever been are far beyond reach like stars, and if I stare enough I only get watery eyes. Precious future memories. Very precious.

I learnt that my location in the world as an individual determines my life chances. Some places just have too much bad stuff: too much religion, too much sexism, too much unemployment, too much propaganda, too much ignorance, too much loneliness. There's laughter about all this in society, but I used to laugh about intelligent things and it feels sad to know I haven't had that laughter in a long time. All laughter is cynical, impractical, and at times even manipulated by the gov. Laughter is not laughter. But it makes me smile to at least remember how it used to feel. Very precious.

I learnt that South-North divide is all about borders. Logic dictates (at least according to neoclassical economics) that if people freely flow around the world then the unequal global parts, like connected vessels, will adjust. North countries building more borders is one major way the world keeps going poorer, not to say that inequalities within North countries are decreasing; inequalities everywhere are rising.

I learnt that academia is just another throat-cutting business. If your projects do not sync with the trend, nobody will fund them. I also learnt that most universities in Europe are opaque: you're most likely to never know why you are rejected. In Oslo, though, there's a law that obliges the university to share with you the feedback of the selection committee. You learn and get better from transparency. From opaqueness you learn not to learn, and may even get a bit paranoid or demotivated if you're "not that strong" (probably meaning you haven't read enough good novels, and if you have maybe you haven’t taken them deeply; in the latter case, maybe find something you like and care about? There are novels about everything).

I learnt that being on my own is always better as I get half-Oblomovian and half-creative. But most of the time poverty makes me share things—space and time— with people of all sorts and I find myself driven in all directions and businesses. All lives will know this in time, when AI (if you believe so) will take over most jobs. A room of one's own and some money, the right to housing plus a universal basic income, is what should... yeah.

I learnt that Moroccan politics is inexistent and I avoid it like the plague (how can journalists interview the king if as a matter of protocol they have to kiss his hands or shoulders before asking a question? Who can question these people? The king is so many people, of course.) but if Trump is to be re-elected it'll scar me forever. I'm not an American citizen, but we all know the US elections spill over borders like nothing. I’m literally asking my American friends to vote for a democrat like Warren or Bernie or Cortez or whomever they like. Nothing less than fascism is on the rise and we all have to mobilise for these eletions, even if we’re not US citizens.

I learnt that my relationship with my gf can survive everything. She's doing better financially and sometimes for a split second I think that she should be with someone her equal financially. But these ideas never get hold of me. I was in a better position so love never came, or came dramatically (useless). Now that I am unemployed for a year, “love” (for lack of a better word, but undramatic and with good communication and good sex and good humanity) is around—and it helps. I won't let it go just because she spends more. She will have my money if I get a proper job. Or we can live on so little. Consuming much, after all, is a sing of carelessness towards the climate crisis. If she ever decides to leave, that will be totally fine. In the end we all end up with the people we end up with. But for now she’s in and that’s sweet, and even when problematic it’s problematically sweet.

I learnt not to buy any new clothes/equipment/perfumes (I learnt that my sweat is better than Coco Chanel, the perfume) etc. I strictly buy second-hand stuff, trunks included. Probably not many people think about this, but poor people should be proud. We don't get to kill as much life as the better off—the West evidently— has been doing for the last couple centuries. But today's world is stuck in consumerism and is old-fashioned; status, be it symbolic or social, is exclusively distributed according to material criteria, instagramability and the likes. In fact, fashionable people are more like the jailbreak/rooting/open-sourcing developers, the voluntary human extinction movement, or followers of the philosophy "make kin, not babies," or so I think. I am fashionably stingy, although poverty is a disgrace.

I learnt that some friendships reach their expiry time; instead of artificially prolonging them in order to keep the stock of social capital intact, it's best to burn the bridge. Maintaining social capital long after the emotions are gone is a business approach to friendship. I'm not gonna sell the rest of my soul to capitalism. But speaking up is unnecessary. Our friends understand us. And, maybe there’ll be new encounters and new bridges to build, or not. Language is overrated and underrated at the same time. As I grow, I try to understand it and use it just as necessary.

I learnt that friends are the only practical capital I have left. Family and nation rest in peace in this regard.

I learnt that swimming is the balm of my life. I like to swim in a swimming pool-like beach, and without people I know around. Incognito is such an experience. It’s a new feeling or experience. I feel even my best of friends can encroach if they go with me. I don’t even use my smartphone there. I literally connect with the things—I sync and only the fish know it.


It's possible you're trolling, but it rubs me the wrong way that you're getting downvoted just because people don't agree with you.

For the most part I don't agree with you, but your comment is as valid as any other in the context of this thread (unless you are in fact a troll).

Edit: I accidentally a letter

I personally am not a big fan either (because stuff that's perfectly valid or even thoughtfully written/explained then gets hidden by bury-brigades), but it's definitely within site rules & practices and happens all of the time.

surprisingly hostile. If I didn't feel comfortable with the site I wouldn't post. But yeah, lesson learned.

How'd global warming get on that list?

Dude, you okay?

probably not.

I have never seen someone hold all of these opinions simultaneously.

Careful not to cut yourself on all that edge.

what took you so long? Oh, and add quantum computing to the list.

Preach it!

l'ultime blackpill

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