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Ask HN: What things do you wish you discovered earlier?
332 points by arikr on Sept 9, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 241 comments
Where things = products, services, tools, strategies, books, systems, etc.

For me:

* Internal Family Systems made me more peaceful

* "The Sleep Book" by Meadows made me sleep better

* Apps: Otter for taking notes, Superhuman for email

* Websites: Wirecutter

* Books: How to Get Lucky, Self-Therapy

I've spent a ton of time as a developer trying to make money from various side projects and businesses. So most of my top "wish I'd discovered this earlier" list revolves around tech+business stuff:

* Strategy #1: Charge more. patio11 has been shouting this from the rooftops for years, but it didn't sink in until after I started Indie Hackers[0]. If you charge something like $300/customer instead of $5/customer, you can get to profitability with something like 50 phone calls rather than years of slogging. It's still hard, but it's way faster.

* Strategy #2: Brian Balfour's four fits model[1]. It's not enough to think about the product. You also need to think about the market, distribution channels, and pricing, and how each of these four things fit together. I imagine them as four wheels on a car. It's better to have 4 mediocre wheels than 3 great ones and a flat.

* Book: The Mom Test.[2] Amazing book about how to talk to customers to research your ideas without being misled, which is a step I've stumbled on before.

* Tool: Notion. I just discovered it recently. I use it for all my docs and planning.

[0] https://www.indiehackers.com - my latest business, and the one that actually worked

[1] https://brianbalfour.com/four-fits-growth-framework

[2] https://www.amazon.com/Mom-Test-customers-business-everyone/...

The mom test a million times over! When people hear the name, they assume it's about usability (i.e. make something easy that your mom understands it), but it's not - its' the best book on customer development that exists. I recommend it to every startup person I meet.

This is exactly what I was looking for. Mom's test purchased and going to read and implement the same.

how does one find business ideas that you can charge 300/customer? is it 300 per month or per year?

I'd err closer to $300/month.

How do you find ideas in this category? Simple: Just look at what people are already paying lots of money for.

Off the top of my head, consumers spend lots of money on education (courses, seminars, books, classes, workshops), events and experiences, travel and vehicles, rent and housing, clothing and accessories, food, hobbies, etc. Businesses spend lots of money on recruiting and hiring, hosting, advertising, marketing tools, analytics tools, productivity, real estate, etc.

I know tons of indie hackers building businesses that help others learn to code, for example.

Off the top of your head what are some of the more successful ‘learn to code’ indiehacks?

Wes Bos, Adam Wathan, Joel Hooks of Egghead, Quincy Larson of freeCodeCamp, Jeff Meyerson of Software Engineering Daily, Ben Halpern of DEV, Jessica Chan of Coder Coder, arguably Ben Tossell of Makerpad.

Any B2B idea should run 300/mo easily. Finding those businesses to sell to is the challenge.

But perhaps it's easier selling 300/mo to X businesses than selling to 5/mo to 60X consumers? You decide.

They also require very different strengths & skillsets in founders. B2B products are usually sold, not bought. Sales skills in the founder are paramount, as well as a personality that can take rejection well and find win-wins and value-adds for the customer.

B2C products live and die by viral growth and word-of-mouth, because margins are not usually enough to support a consultative sales process or any sort of intensive advertising. That requires a founder that's really good at reading the zeitgeist and identifying needs that customers never knew they had, and that understands human psychology on an unconscious level. Often technical skills (on the founding team) matter more for B2C markets as well, because it's more critical to stand out from the competition.

Timing also matters more with B2C. There are some time periods (now, dot-com bust, or the late 80s & early 90s) where there are basically no viable B2C ideas available. There are also time periods (early 80s, dot-com boom, 2009-2013) where they are abundant. Unfortunately you often don't realize this until hindsight reveals all the people who kept working on their B2C ideas throughout the bust.

> There are some time periods (now, dot-com bust, or the late 80s & early 90s) where there are basically no viable B2C ideas available.

What leads you to believe that? I know plenty of people with healthy B2C businesses started recently. Heck, my business is B2C and while niche, it's viable for me.

Interesting analysis, but why isn't b2c viable anymore?

Learning How To Learn (https://www.coursera.org/learn/learning-how-to-learn) and Barbara Oakley's book A Mind For Numbers. Completely changed my approach to studying and learning, and my academic efforts after taking it were tremendously better than before.

Also related: highly recommend Anki. It feels like magic when the spaced repetition works!

> Barbara Oakley's book A Mind For Numbers

Thank you for the recommendation! I am looking forward to reading the book. It is good know that someone who started off their education assuming they cannot do well in STEM subjects, can actually pick up the skills much later in their carrier, is refreshing. I belong to the camp that I did well in STEM subjects through formal education but then lost touch with math later on. Am looking forward to regaining this skill.

What would you say are your biggest take-aways from that course?

Here are a few:

* Diffuse mode vs. focus mode. After focusing hard on a problem, letting your brain wander can do wonders for coming up with insights and ideas. The classic example is coming up with something in the shower after working on it throughout the day. I've focused much more on giving myself some of the non-focused time after focused periods (ex. going for a walk/run/swim, taking a nap or shower, etc). I've started doing this more for work, as well.

* How memory works (short-term vs. long-term) and along those lines, spaced repetition. All through undergrad I would cram, but spacing it out (with the help of Anki for flashcard-focused topics) really does wonders.

* Importance of actively quizzing yourself, practice, and working through problems as you're learning something.

I’d recommend asking Tim Ferris.

Mr. Ferris certainly has a lot to say about the process of learning, but I haven't run across him saying anything about this particular course.

This was a joke.

Tim Ferris still promotes a “life hack” of paying other people to read books for you and provide a summary. Of course, this entirely detracts from the entire reason to read a book or any complex piece of information that might affect people differently depending on biases and past experience (so anyone who’s interested enough to read said information / content).

Which tools do you use for anki? Make your own decks?

The act of creating a deck is part of the practice. A really great illustration of this is (the book, haven't tried the app) Fluent Forever as referenced at https://fluent-forever.com/.

This is what I do. I make all my own decks, which obviously helps reinforce the material. Anki on desktop to create decks and cards, and Anki on mobile to review when I'm bored. Combined with appropriate material and labs, I have taken and passed 5 or 6 certification exams and countless college courses. I also use Anki for work things that I feel are important to remember 'off the cuff'.

Is it necessary to go through the entire Learning How to Learn course or is there a TL;DR somewhere?

I don't remember who posted it or if it's the same course, but https://workflowy.com/s/E9HW.jGUYboLrGj

Whoa cool these are the notes I put together. I'm glad someone remembered :)

I didn't find it useful at all. Not that it was bad - it's just that there was barely anything new for me and the content lacked depth. It all felt like obvious stuff. It seems to get a lot of praise though so clearly some people find value in it.

This comment is probably the most common reaction, and also the reason the course exists.

The course is really short. Like 4 hours. You could spend an hour per week and be done with it. Or just consume it over the course of a few days.

It's worthwhile. Try it.

You are the sum of your habits. I've always had "sort-of passable" ones, but they were never chosen by design, only by what had accreted with time. I had played with some systems and apps, but nothing had really worked until I took the time to write out in excrutiating detail what I would be doing for every minute of my morning and evening. At first I had to follow my schedule, but that didn't last long.

With the birth of my son, daycare, and a new job, I was finally forced to actually plan out a morning and evening routine. I wish I had done this in university.

Every day for the last 6 months, I have now a routine I don't have to think twice about:

* Woke up at 5 AM,

* Exercise hard, take a shower and have breakfast,

* Get to work before 7:30 AM with my day's tasks already in mind.

Similar for the evening preparing my breakfast, lunch and clothes. It's liberating to do these now without thinking. It took about a month, and my brain is now free to plan out the day or listen to an audiobook.

Read and fully implement Getting Things Done by David Allen. It’ll free up your mind even more.

How do you get to work before 7:30am with a child? Does daycare start that early?

I struggle to get my kids up, fed, clothed and in kidnergarten before 8:30 myself (which means I can be at work around 9).

My wife and I’s schedules are staggered. She takes mornings, I take the afternoons.

I don’t think the actual hours at which you start your day matter much, though. I find the value is in being constant at it.

Yes. Every time you take the low road, that part of you wins and gets a little stronger (even neurologically speaking). The reverse is true as well.

Nice job on Internal family systems OP! I'm not there quite yet but getting close

- TypeScript : Absolute game changer for JS. I can't imagine programming regular ES. Sort of hoping TypeScript becomes the next ES.

- Desktops : Desktop processors and video cards are insanely powerful compared to laptops. If you're doing any sort of compilation (even if it's webpack / frontend) this stuff helps a ton. A project that takes 90s to build on a mbp is 30s on a desktop.

- Windows 10 + WSL

- Attachment Theory: https://www.behaviorology.org/oldsite/pdf/AttachmentTheoryBe..., https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/1d36/ac75d7081fcd86d467f6d2... (The stuff by Cindy Hazan and Philip Shaver are very relevant for adults)

- Schema Therapy: https://www.guilford.com/excerpts/young.pdf

Look up Psychology in Seattle on Patreon and download the deep dives for Attachment Theory and Schema Therapy. After that it's easier to grok the research papers/books.

Do you mind sharing briefly what you got out of attachment theory and schema therapy? Or why are they worth a look?

To some, they're therapy frameworks, to other's they're analytical tools. I bring it up here is because they cut to the chase and get to what people want. We're not good at saying it, it makes us too vulnerable to. Some of us could save a lot of time and misery if we broke this taboo.

Are you to open to viewing things in a different perspective? First you'd get a gist of the theory/framework/model/whatever. Then you'd need to understand what thing/person/system it's being used on. Without that, it'd be making too many assumptions to explain to others without context. The perspective is subjective to the one applying it, a blend of art and science.

I grew up in a family / circle where as an adolescent, nobody gave me advice or cared about my emotions. Worse, my parents dumped their emotions on me. Despite being a child and having my own stuff on my plate, I was recipient to persistent, intense emotional outpourings of neediness, anxiety and anger. Day in and out, for years. I looked up papers as a survival tool. Various other stuff that messed up me having needs met.

What do people need anyway? Does everybody have them? Do people need to be loved, how is it defined? Does society ignore, shame, or belittle our basic needs?

Sometimes, I think so. This means people are suffering and they can't even articulate why.

What if more people could simply be cognizant of these needs? Could/would we be happier? I don't know. I'm still digging into it.

Thinking strategically from a career and life perspective.

Managing your investments

Eating right and exercise

Risk Taking - take big risks early in your life, ones which have the biggest upside. The terror of the unknown and leaping into it and coming out at the other end multiple times makes you fearless. The journey is all that matters, the destination is not in your hand. But the journey teaches a lot.

Some of the above, I was fortunate to learn early on from good mentors, and I've reaped big rewards, the rest I only wish someone had told me earlier.

I wish I'd learnt about investing before I was in my late 30s - and same about value of a good pension. Still - it is never too late.

What exactly do you mean by “investing”. The notion of “investing” in a few index funds or shoveling money to a financial advisor?

Just the concept of sticking £100/£1000 here and there into a an index tracker and leaving it well alone - ideally until a rainy day/emergency.

There have been plenty of times in my life I was 'cash rich' but I left my money in the bank, as I didn't know what to do with it. I used to then over pay my mortgage, which was crazy as I had a 1% interest rate and the stock market would have been a better place to put my cash.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a 'rich' man - but I've always put money aside (out of a fear/memory of being broke) I just could have worked that cash harder - and that was money that I could have taken some risk with.

I mean really understanding the subject of investing. A good book teaching this is "The Intelligent Investor" by Benjamin Graham ( Buffett based a lot of his philosophy on Graham's "value investing").

There is a lot of learning, that happens in school which has no bearing in later life. Why not have a course which combines economics+investing+accounting?

I wish i had learned that going to the gym is the thing to do when your brain is full.

My undergrad GPA would’ve been higher and i’d have gotten fit earlier in life.

I especially like the exact moment during the workout when you feel that "blood starts flowing in the head again" and you gain some sort of clarity. Especially if I've been working really hard that day.

I wish I had discovered Hacker News earlier.

I kept having customers sign up for rsync.net citing "Hacker News" in the "where you found out about us" but I assumed it was the old hacker news that was run by a certain defcon/cdc personality and was sort of a clone of attrition.org ... it had been around since 99/00/01 or so ...

It took me several years to figure out there was a new hacker news out there ...

I believe that one was the hacker news network (hnn) IIRC

Realizing how much incentives matter. Everything around you is driven by incentives: Coworkers, your boss, customers, personal relationships. More importantly, everything is driven by "personal incentives" more so than "business incentives", and those two aren't usually aligned. For example, if you are talking to a potential customer (who may represent a company), it's invaluable to understand what incentives drive this person (not company!). What is he or she trying to get out of working with you? A promotion? Recognition from his boss? A story to tell his family at dinner? What are his current life and career goals and how does that align with choosing you? What is his decision making progress and why? And so on. The same can be applied to your coworkers, or anyone else you're working with. Even to you friends and family, whose incentives may to be simply have a good time, feel loved and accepted, or have someone to listen.

There are rarely true "irrational" decisions. If a decision looks irrational to you, it's most likely because you don't truly understand the incentives driving that person.

If you're interested in seeing financial returns for your time/work, don't work as a startup employee, ever.

Friend gave up probably one of the best tech jobs in the world because it was too boring. The company is owned by a foundation, so they think very long-term and have their employees welfare as one of the highest priorities.

Well, for him that was too good a deal, so now he's working 60 hours for half the salary.

How about, don't work as an undercompensated startup employee who is relying on shares to become valuable. You can have incredibly rewarding jobs both personally and financially working for a startup.

I would love to hear more about your experience. In my experience, no startup comes close to the pay of a big and healthy tech company.

Specifically, even if you get the startup to match the base salary of the big company (which is almost always not true and comes at a 20-30% discount, but I'm willing to assume that it can be done), the equity that the startup will give you is effectively $0, whereas the public RSU the big company will give you are basically cash-equivalent (if you are really conservative you can adjust them by 20-30%?).

This last point is the major one for me: at least in the Bay Area, senior software engineers are offered equity grants that are effectively the same size of their salary every year, so by going to a startup you are immediately being paid at least half.

Could you elaborate? Seems like this is heavily dependent on the success of the startup and at which stage you joined.

The probability for this is extremely low.

Which is essentially a crapshoot, since there is no way to truly predict which will turn into a unicorn and which one will take 5 years of your life and leave you with worthless options. Ye old game of High Risk vs High Reward.

Replied above

I wish I had discovered the wonders of attending college earlier on. I spent a good chunk of my teens and twenties in a constant state of alienation because I wasn't around people who put much value towards analytical thought. It wasn't until when I finally discovered it on my own in my mid-20s that life started making sense. It seems like that for many, the high school -> university pipeline is the path of least resistance, but if you don't have any pressure from family or direct peers involved in that kind of thing, it can fall far under the radar.

#1 How to run. I hated and avoided running for 30 years, then I got to the point where I hated going to a club and I hated having a machine in my home (and not getting any aerobic exercise at all was of course intolerable) so I decided to give running a try. At first it sucked, but then I figured out I'd been doing it wrong so I fixed my stride etc. It sucked less. I still don't enjoy the activity itself, but I'm sure glad for the results.

#2 The power of compound interest. I was lucky to learn this one early, but I think a lot of others weren't so lucky. More than any other single thing, any skill, any stroke of luck, this is why I now feel comfortable about my financial future into retirement.

> I still don't enjoy the activity itself, but I'm sure glad for the results.

I don't think that's a sustainable or worthwhile approach. Exercise and training can be found in many forms and countless different activities - pick those you actually enjoy.

> I don't think that's a sustainable or worthwhile approach.

I have several thousand miles of evidence to the contrary. There's a lot of "exercise" not worthy of the name. For many people, especially at my age, the very heart/lung exertion that characterizes true exercise is at least mildly unpleasant regardless of how it's attained. Fortunately, one can harness competitive or goal-oriented impulses to make up for it. I count miles, I track my pace, I compare myself to other runners my age, I look at the scale, etc. Thinking about these results helps me keep going when I exercise just like it does when I'm hacking on some grotty piece of code at work, and I've been doing that continuously for longer than most here have been alive.

If I only ever did things that were fun in the moment, I'd be a bit of a failure, so I suppose learning the value of deferred gratification is another potential answer to the original question.

That's fine. I didn't mean to say that you only should do fun things, but I think there's a middleground. Personally, I think running is a very boring activity - road biking however, while similar in nature, is something I look forward to and it comes with the same benefits (goals, tracking, comparable stats) you seem to actually enjoy.

I can also recommend team sports - for me it's football (as in soccer), but specific sports are beside the point as those are very subjective. I'm just trying to say that I see no point in engaging in a sport I don't enjoy when there are so many options available that offer rewarding goals and provide enjoyment while you get there.

Anything that requires a specific time and place to do it with others is a non-starter for me as a primary form of exercise.

If I lived near a body of water, kayaking would be a good alternative in summer (or more if I move to a different part of the country). That could still happen some day, but not now. Cross-country skiing is an alternative, and one I intend to pursue more this winter since I now live near some good places for it, but of course that's only in winter.

Cycling is the kind of obvious alternative, but I'm not really sure I'd enjoy it any more at the same intensity. As I said, it's the intensity itself that creates discomfort, and I've seen too much mayhem involving intense cyclists too. Seems like that focus on results can have pretty serious consequences at bike speeds.

It's great that you feel like you have tons of options that both meet your goals and provide enjoyment at the time. Consider that it might not be the case for everyone, and some might still put the goals first.

Meh. I've run a marathon and several half-marathons while simultaneously not loving the act of running itself. A lot of the benefits come after a run, or from achieving a goal.

Through training I repeatedly tell myself (and believe), 'it is the hard that makes it good.' Not everything worthwhile is going to feel like sunshine and rainbows all the time.

Meditation. Download a free 20-minute guided meditation and do it every day. Maybe at some point read "The Miracle of Mindfulness" by Thich Nhat Hanh.

I can provide a good guided breathing meditation on request.

Meditation will help you be calm and focused. It will help you recognize and work through emotions with a minimum of harm to yourself or others.

I'm definitely not advocating self-immolation, but the same training that let monks sit calmly as they burned to death in the 60s (in an attempt to call attention to the horrifying war in Vietnam) will definitely help you deal with your breakup, illness, work troubles, or loss of a loved one.

This is something I also learnt this year after reading The Headspace Guide to Meditation & Mindfulness by Andy Puddicombe the founder of Headspace.

After only 10 minutes of meditation you feel a lot better than before. I can not recommend it enough to try it.

I use the Headspace App for the guided meditations and it's free to learn the basics in 10 sessions/days.

Not just the Vietnam war, but continuing now against Chinese occupation of Tibet:


I sometimes wonder if Buddhist monks are powered by lithium batteries.

I’d appreciate a link to a good guided breathing meditation

I’m not sure which type of phone you use, but I’ve been meditating off and on for years, and I’ve tried EVERYTHING. The absolute best guided meditations are from an app called “Stop Breathe & Think” - It gives you a 2 question survey and gives you a guided meditation based on what you need for the day. A lot of meditation apps feel very corporate and contrived, but not this one.

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.stopbreath...

iOS: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/stop-breathe-think/id778848692

Absolutely second this. Long-time PTSD sufferer here, just meditating 30 mins every day has worked wonders for me.

How to effectively learn and balance my use of mental energy.

My diagnosis of depression and ADD inattentive-type (my parents were great, but denied that mental health was a factor until I decided to at age 22). I don't fault them, but I know for a fact my years in highschool and college struggling to learn / focus but knowing I had cognitive ability will irk me until the day that I die.

Was going to respond with this as well. At 27 I decided to reflect on my abilities vs test scores and ability to focus and spoke to a doctor. Parents never considered mental health as a factor, and looking back—but without blame—opportunies and growth were missed. Care to expand on your case?

Edit: Saw your response below.

Glad to hear I'm not alone with my later-ish diagnosis.

Like you, I don't blame my parents. But I do wonder what I would've been able to accomplish academically when I was in high school and a majority of college if I'd had my diagnosis. Many of my friends in college (both ADD and non-ADD) assumed I had a diagnosis and was just distracted by personal projects to perform academically.

How'd you make up for lost time / improve your work habits after your diagnosis?

Well, I don't technically have a diagnosis—I don't think. I have been prescribed some medication that I think helps most of the time, as long as I can get started. 27mg Concerta up from 18mg. It's a subtle effect and I don't take it every day. To re-up this prescription, I'm counting on a walk-in clinic being able to do so by using my existing bottle. Aside from that, I'm also only maybe 3 or 4 months in to using it. What I found to be helpful in terms of study habits—I've been meandering through a degree for about 5 or 6 years—is taking physical notes frequently, for anything I do. Over the last few years it seems as though my working memory has deteriorated severely. This could be a result of a concussion or almost anything, but I've been taking B12 and it's improved a bit. Otherwise, I've reflected a lot over the last 3 years on the things I do and how I do them. In short, one thing I need to enforce in myself is only investing myself personally in stuff I can feel is worthwhile and creates value or is otherwise interesting. I can't work a corporate job for long, I'll get fired and become depressed. I do best with disparate, hard, and novel tasks that don't require me to be anywhere for any particular time. That isn't always sustainable though, so I've started grading my days to hold myself accountable towards tasks I don't want to do, so I can get better at that. That's in short. I've been fired or laid off from 6 or 7 jobs, but can think through complex reasoning tasks pretty well and easily fixate on tough theoretical problems that are approachable for my background. I'm extremely ambitious and aim for hard stuff, so I'd like to find a way to leverage that more.

How do you now balance the use of your mental energy?

I can catch myself when I'm going down a rabbit hole (even an educational or productive one) and re-focus myself or stop. More importantly, I can identify patterns when I'm stressed or diverting energy from something that needs to be done which means I'm falling back on my prior conceited self less and less often as time goes on.

So what did you do about it

Paid to be diagnosed by a neuro-psych and neurologist (which my insurance didn't cover).

Worked to find the right stimulants and antidepressants (fortunately I no longer take antidepressants) and most importantly focus on what I really valued in life which oddly made understanding how to learn more effectively much easier.

I understand there are arguments against ADD / ADHD being "real" ailments, but I can personally attest to being at least 50-70% more creative / productive as an engineer when I'm using stimulants in low-doses and eating right.

> I can personally attest to being at least 50-70% more creative / productive as an engineer when I'm using stimulants in low-doses and eating right.

I'm not saying that ADD/ADHD aren't a thing (as it happens, I'm pretty on the fence about that), but I just wanted to point out that pretty much everyone will be more productive/creative when using stimulants and eating right.

The problem is it's not about the productivity, it's the clarity and it's profound for someone with ADD/ADHD. So I started abusing nicotine at a young age (a very common ADD self medication) and I quit several times over the years and every time I quite my mind would be in a fog and never come out. I am not talking about 5-30 days, I am talking about 5 years later and I wake up every day feeling foggy. I tried everything, and at some point I just relented to the fact that I must have obviously damaged my brain with nicotine, I did not really think about how clear the first cigarette made me until I took recreational Ephedrine as a teen. The funny part is for people with ADD they don't really get that coke speed out from speed, they just get really relaxed and clear, but there is an energy to the relaxed.

So fast-forward to my 20's and I pretty much had ignored that speed makes me clear, when I have some issues and the doc tells me I have ADD, and wants to put me on meds. I opted to not do it, and just kept on abusing nicotine.

Anyways, in my late 20's I have kids and decide they are not going to have a smoker for a dad, and quit cold turkey and that is where things went to crap. I could not focus on work, could not get stuff done around the house and the worse it got, the further behind I fell and it started to look like depression which is what can happen with ADD when you get overwhelmed by not being able to get started on anything. I went back to the doc, they put me on a low dose Meth Amphetamine and it's night and day. I don't think I could have ever quit nicotine if it where not for ADD meds.

Funny part is, I am not really into speed, the few I took in my 20's I never really liked, I don't do drugs but I am pretty sure if I did, I would be a heroin junkie as the few times I have had to have morphine or other opiates (medically) where quite pleasant. Point being the lack of desire for speed seems to be a common sentiment among those with ADD/ADHD

Thanks for your response.

I can also relate to having to nearly abuse caffeine and energy drinks just to reach a point of relative mental clarity for difficult problem sets or serious programming work before I was able to be professionally diagnosed.

What other stimulants did you try and which ones worked the best?

I've only tried Ritalin and Adderall, both in small 5mg doses (at max 2x per day with breaks on weekends).

I've found personally that switching between the two every 5-6 months seems to be a productive course of action. I have not encountered any need to increase my dose due to building up a dependency.

pretty much tried them all, dextroamphetamine and methamphetamine work the best for me. Adderall has too many physical side affects for me due to the levoamphetamine which stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. Examples being twitching, tachycardia. All of the fetamine's do the same e.g Vyvanse. Dextro and methamphetamine are the most effective at targeting the CNS, with methamphetamine crossing the blood brain barrier in higher amounts at lower doeses. Therefore methamphetamine in the form of Desoxyn has the least amount of side affects, for me while providing me with almost super human clarity.

Keep in mind that if you are taking ADD meds and looking to switch meds, some doctors can be pretty funny about Desoxyn, it's an old drug, not many know about it, and some docs see Meth and freak out. That being said, it's no more dangerous of a drug than Adderall is.

Sometimes I wonder if low-dose stimulants should be available without a diagnosis.

Most people don't know this, in the US, a doctor can only prescribe medication for therapeutic use. A doctor can't prescribe someone a low dose of stimulants because that person genuinely enjoys using them, but has no medical need.

Thus, I suspect that some doctors will just write down ADD as a diagnosis because someone wants legal access to amphetamines.

I think the population would generally benefit from legally available low-dose amphetamines or drugs like modafinil.

If it can keep the airforce flying planes for 40hours straight it can probably help people learn more and be better educated.

Caffeine is readily available, even at high doses.

Whether there would be benefit in allowing access to amphetamines is an interesting question, but there are definitely stimulants available.

caffeine does not work for me, it gives me the jitters, anxiety and does not clear my mind at all. amphetamines, nicotine and cocaine (to a lesser extent), seem to clear my mind without causing the jitteryness that caffeine and phentermine cause me to have.

Diagnosed at 65 for the first time. It is effing real - not sure I knew what "attention" was before - not calm attention anyway. Don't take stimulants if you don't have the condition - or you just might give it to yourself. If you must try ephedrine - possibly illegal but still available online.

How much playing Bach would improve my piano ability as a function of time spent. Some HN comment recently mentioned this, so I gave it a try.

The importance of keeping a clean sleeping environment.

* Bouldering: Could be generalized as "a sport that fits you". Bouldering changed my life, as it is the perfect balance to a desk job. I met a lot of great people, improved my self confidence and am much healthier now.

* The power of routine: I never liked routine and thought it stifles creativity. In some ways it actually might, but creaitivity without productivity isn't worth that much.

* To not take myself so seriously: Life is so much easier and more fun if you can laugh about yourself, if you don't try to uphold a self-imposed picture towards others, and if you can accept that sometimes things go wrong, and sometimes it's your fault. - Not only am I happier now, I think it also made me a better person.

Hard Sci-fi.

Holy crap it just overdelivers. In addition to entertainment, a way to take my mind off things, it also delivers context to daily life and keeps me focussed on trying to deliver something truly worthwhile.

Any recommendations? I’ve read a ton of Arthur C. Clarke in my teens, I’d love to branch out.

Andy Weir - The Martian. Possibly the most well researched science fiction book I've ever read. Well worth reading even if you've seen the movie, since that leaves out about half the things that go wrong and the large majority of the technical details.

Andy Weir - Artemis. Weir managed to figure out a way for a city on the moon to make economic sense, while physics makes it almost impossible.

Neal Stephenson - Seveneves. First sentence: "The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason." What follows is the brutally, unforgivingly hard consequences.

Artemis was a poor showing. Felt like it was written by an angsty teenager. Full credit to The Martian, though.

I’ve read the first two but will certainly check out the third. I loved The Martian, but Artemis wasn’t my jam. Felt too far fetched to me.

Seveneves is great as are Snow Crash and Anathem by the same author. Anathem has a lovely epic feel. Tough read though!

I haven't read Anathem yet. Stephenson's Cryptonomicon and The Diamond Age are also excellent, but getting away from hard sci fi.

I've read The Martian in no time, I struggled with Artemis though

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, and the other two in the trilogy too. Hard, but accessible. I've never read a series so dense with cool and believable ideas that are unlike much I had come across before.

The Reality Dysfunction by Pete F. Hamilton (and the rest of the series). If you want something a bit more traditional in form. More sex, violence and so on.

Ach, loads of others. Roadside Picnic really stuck with me too. Though might not be what most people would call 'hard sci-fi', not sure.

Hamilton is great, but more space opera than hard sci fi. The Commonwealth Saga is amazing.

Yeah I guess that is true. I think in my mind 'hard sci-fi' is more of a trait than a sub genre. Actually now I think about I think maybe purist hard sci-fi fans might not be very big on Peter F. Hamilton. Greg Bear would have probably been a better bet for an extra recommendation!

Blindsight by Peter Watts. It's great at avoiding the "benevolent aliens that are basically just weird humans" concept that most other sci-fi books seen to enjoy.

I would recommend Collapsing Empire by Scalzi. Here is the blurb:

Our universe is ruled by physics and faster than light travel is not possible -- until the discovery of The Flow, an extra-dimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time that transport us to other worlds, around other stars.

Humanity flows away from Earth, into space, and in time forgets our home world and creates a new empire, the Interdependency, whose ethos requires that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It’s a hedge against interstellar war -- and a system of control for the rulers of the empire.

The Flow is eternal -- but it is not static. Just as a river changes course, The Flow changes as well, cutting off worlds from the rest of humanity. When it’s discovered that The Flow is moving, possibly cutting off all human worlds from faster than light travel forever, three individuals -- a scientist, a starship captain and the Empress of the Interdependency -- are in a race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse.

Larry Niven - Ringworld (+ Ringworld Engineers), The long Arm of Gil Hamilton, Oath of Fealty (Oh man! They had instant messaging wetware! ...And a diving board!).

Robert Heinlein, Joe Haldeman, and Issac Asimov are some other heavy hitters in this space.

I immensely enjoyed Children of Time by Tchaikovsky, coincidentally winner of the 2016 Arthur C. Clarke award :)

So did I, but I wouldn't classify it as hard sci-fi. Too many things left unexplained for that.

If we consider Three Body Problem as hard sci-fi (see above), then Children of Time definitely clear that bar too.

Ian Banks - The Use of Weapons

The "culture" series of books was the first coherent portrayal of a non-dystopian advanced society with AIs that I encountered. It’s a reasonable “good” future.

Iain Banks is his mainstream work, Iain M Banks is the science fiction. It's fantastic, but far away from hard sci fi.

The Red Mars trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson. All of terraforming Mars in a hefty triple-tomed story that leaves naught unexplained.

I dearly wish I had used something like Anki throughout college instead of many years later. And actually focusing on understanding and long term recall rather than passing tests. It would have been difficult though, since having multiple difficult classes simultaneously often requires cramming at the end followed by focusing on the next course. But if I went back to school now that's what I would have done.

I’ve used Anki to learn foreign languages and it has been amazing so I tried to use it in grad school but it backfired because all my courses expected understanding a few big deep ideas and not memorization of hundreds of small facts. I think it really depends on the domain, like medschool its commonly used but I’m not sure about other areas.

Do you have any examples? I'm genuinely curious. I'm using it for languages but also math etc. I've found that medium/big picture ideas come with some kind of "insight" that has to fit into short term memory, or consciousness, so it must be possible to construct some cue that reminds me of this insight. I've also learned over time that even though it feels like I could never forget an insight I just had, over time they fade as well unless I revisit them.

Examples of where I dont find srs productive- law and programming. Both are focused on deep ideas that do not convert easily to a short sentence and by the time you’ve gotten the idea the verbal reminder is not necessary. I know what you mean about an insight but for me when I really get something, for example an algorithm its more like a mental picture of moving parts in my head.

That cheap mice and keyboards will ruin ones hands beyond repair after years of heavy use.

Don't be that person. Learn to type and invest in your hardware early on.

This is important, but some people use crappy keyboards all their life and never have problems. I think more important is learning to be in touch with your body and applying corrections if and when things start feeling wrong. Unfortunately that's the kind of thing you learn from pain, though...

Expensive ones will ruin them just as well, for me the size matters a lot. I love Apple products but I can't stand their mice. They are just too small. The previous model (with the knob) and the current touch models are just instant CTS inducers for me (same as typing while standing, wrists bent). I stuck with large mice (Logitech gamer mice) and good touchpad (Apple) for the last few years and haven't had any issues since.

Apple mice are terrible. They are not made for daily use. My gf with wrist/arm problems swears for Logitech vertical mouse.She had Mx master before but the vertical one helped her a lot. I was also suprised Logitech wireless mice charge last for long time.

Do you have specific suggestions re: peripherals. I've been using the Logitech MX Vertical Wireless lately and it's been a huge improvement from my previous bulky Logitech G600.

I'm wondering if there are keyboard set-ups people really like? I'm enjoying my Gigabyte mechanical keyboard, but would be willing to give it up for something that'll let me get more mileage out of my hands/arms.

I use a Kinesis Freestyle2 split keyboard at my day job, mostly because it was one of the available split keyboards available through my work. I really enjoy it so far. The split lets my shoulders maintain a naturally open position, and the tenting allows a neutral wrist position (but unfortunately my hands are too big for the built-in wrist rests).

The only downsides were some initial soreness (I think my shoulders were used to being hunched/turned in), some initially missed keys (it turns out I used to type the letter y with my left index finger, which isn't possible with the split), and more difficulty typing one handed.

Side benefit is that I have a good place to put my coffee and snacks.

Related to shoulders, I found that raising my monitors with arms (budget option: programming books) greatly help reduce the natural leaned-over hunch I'd get from looking down at my monitor. These two in combination have greatly helped my default posture.

I really like the MS Sculpt keyboard. I use it with a Mac, my wife uses hers with her Windows machine.

I also recently learned about proper desk posture - I now sit with my stomach just touching the desk, and my keyboard is way further forward. My forearms rest on the desk almost all the way to my elbows, and my wrists rest on the keyboards wrist pads. I find that this greatly reduces the strain on my arms and wrists.

Although it looks terrible tables with that little arch cutout are pretty smart for this reason. Especially on standing desk.

Mechanical keyboards are nice and all, but by default they still don't solve for that awkward hand position. Take a good look at your hands while you type. Your wrist is bent sideways, your fingers are higher than the base of your wrist since the later is standing on your desk, but the keys are much higher than the desk. Also, since your hands are quite close to one another, you tend to hunch. Now your back will have some problems. Your strongest fingers both reach just one key, the spacebar, meaning all the other important keys and modifiers are to be reached with some good gymnastics from your part. Those are some unnatural positions you might find your hands in. I'm actually pressing both Ctrl keys with my palms, that being very handy in Emacs, but that brings again problems for the wrists.

So, for all these, I think the natural solution is to use a split mechanical keyboard with extra/configurable keys. The position of the hands seems to be more natural with these,





I haven't tried any of those since I can't seem to decide on one of them yet, but the hand pain is real after years of heavy use, so better try and become familiar with other layouts and find out what works best for your hands. The sad part is that you might not know that something doesn't work until it's too late.

As for the mouse, switching hands helps. So try learning how to use the mouse with the other hand.

The key press quality of keyboards affects ergonomics too. It doesn’t have to be mechanical, but some cheap keyboards are heinous.

I've used split keyboards since the original Microsoft Natural keyboard. Split keyboards are a must for me, to reduce strain on my wrists. I'm now using a Kinesis Gaming keyboard, which is the only split keyboard I found with Cherry MX switches (I'm using browns).

Kinesis Advantage. I bought one because my advisor had one. I got sticker shock. Spent a big chunk of my then salary on one. Spent a week getting used to it. After 10 years, it is safe to say I will use a Kinesis until I die. It's the perfect keyboard.

I’m surprised they aren’t more popular. I’ve been using mine for 10 years as well and I doubt a better keyboard exists. Also, they are built to last. I’m still using my original Kinesis and it’s held up perfectly, besides the finger grime.

keyboard.io has made it possible for me to touch type without shooting pain.

Really? I have an exercise ball which works pretty well.

I second this. A friend of mine recommend I get a balance ball me slumping. It has helped me maintain a better posture when working at a desk

No amount of telling yourself you're happy will make you happy. You can't just "make yourself happy", it's a side effect of other things you do in your life.

Yup. There was a recent guest on Tim Ferriss podcast - he was talking about depressed people, no amount of "you should be happy" or "there are people who have it much worse than you" is gonna help depressed people. It is only going to annoy them and drive them away.

That said, there are people who use affirmations successfully to get out their misery. I dunno what to believe anymore

I run a checklist in my head whenever im feeling really down. I think about things I know make me really happy, basic things. Friends, family, travel, motorbikes etc. And if when thinking about those I still feel down and pessimistic - I understand that it's my brain chemicals at play and Im in a funk.

Doesn't help me feel better in that particular moment, but does let me know that later it will get better and there some context and comfort in that.

If you are not depressed (big if), and you're just going through the motions of life, you CAN make yourself happier just by reading the right material (e.g., Feeling Good, The Four Agreements) or yes, even affirmations. The happiness will last for about a day, in my experience. Then you can revisit the material.

Just keep in mind that there is a difference between happiness and pleasure. There are unpleasurable things, such as helping at a homeless shelter and such, can bring you happiness. On the other hand, there are pleasurable things that can lead to unhappiness.

The Dalai Lama makes this point.

• Bread freezes and thaws really well, with little or no loss of texture and flavor. If I had found this out 35 years earlier, I probably would have replaced thousands of visits to fast food restaurants with sandwiches made at home.

What kind of bread? Homemade? Store-bought? Sandwich bread? Whole wheat? White? Does it matter?

Also, how do you thaw it?

Not op, but we've frozen pretty much all bread for years. You don't get the freshly baked feeling, but unless you live on top of a bakery you aren't going to get that anyway. Defrost either leave it out or microwave. Alternatively if making sandwiches for work, make them frozen and let it defrost during the morning.

Alternatively, slice it before freezing, and chuck it in the toaster to defrost.

This works really well, but with one caveat: you're not gonna store it for a really long time. Otherwise you get a lot of freezer burn between each slice, way more than on an uncut loaf.

But like a month or two in the chiller? All good. Had great results with homemade pain de mie that was sliced and frozen and eaten over 30 days.

Not OP. I personally haven't tested with anything other than whole wheat, but I know other people freeze white bread. Proper bakery breads might be a bit more hit or miss. As for thawing, just transfer it to the fridge the night before.

I’ve found the complete opposite, I can always tell when it has been frozen.

It’s probably better than what you get at most fast food restaurants though.


Get good sleep. At least 8 hours everyday. Get a good mattress.

A good sleep makes a happy life.

Also seek consult from a Sleep Laboratory at ypur local major hospital, if you snore people and people sleeping in the same room report you stop breathing during your sleep (even for a few seconds).

This might be signs of treatable pathological conditions that if not treated can (and most likely will be) detrimental to your health, quality of life and productivity.

I misread that as "Get a good mistress", which is also good advice.

Probably Karabiner. This tool is just crazy powerful.


Parsers / Lexers. I’ve been programming for twenty-ish years and only recently started playing with parsers and even a simple hand written one is quite empowering. I really wish I could have spent more time on this when I was younger and single. I for instance wrote a small not-fully-featured SQL parser [0] recently which helped me overcome a huge obstacle in my job.

[0]: https://github.com/donatj/sqlread

Therapy and having a spiritual Father. Then I would have discovered all the dumb things I did as a teenager and early 20s were as a result of a destructive feedback cycle consisting of depression/anxiety, low self esteem, and existential crisis.

I wish I'd really discovered programming before I did. Though, I'd been reading about it, messing with Excel, WP blogs and nibbling at the edges for my entire adult life, it wasn't until my mid 30s that I really got into programming.

It wasn't an easy mid-career move, but it's greatly improved my life options and can only imagine where I'd be now if I'd spent my 20s learning computer languages instead of human ones.

Be kind to yourself, if you can't you can't be kind to others.

Awareness that periods of high performance are not 'free'. How to leverage that balance.

Curiosity and aptitude for math. I've found this about 25 years too late for it to make much of a difference.

Can you elaborate more on the first sentence?

Sure, an understanding that I have a closed, fixed pool of resources to balance between efforts.

My personal model is mind / body / spirit (or mental / physical / artistic). I've learned through failure that high and exceptional performance in one direction draws fuel from the other(s).

If my performance is out of balance for a long enough period, I seem to accrue a kind of debt repaid over periods of burnout and depression.

This might sound simple, but in my mid 20s I discovered how effective I was at teaching myself new things..in the past I had relied on learning within the confines school. I just found it odd that I discovered I didn't need teachers to learn conventional subjects after I was already done with university.

I wish I had discovered interval training and olympic lifting earlier.

For those wanting a good starting program for lifting check out “Stronglifts 5x5”.

To learn form of complex lifts of squats or deadlifts, check out “So you think you can deadlift/squat” on YouTube.


That works, as long as you have a decent coach good with body mechanics. Kinda few and far between in my experience. But in general, lifting heavy things is healthy and I wish I had been doing it sooner. For cardio, intervals ftw.

The absurdity of taking student loans for education

This is highly location dependent though. I just happened to notice that the interest on my Swedish student loan is 0.16%. That in combination with the income-indexed payback scheme and the fact that the loan balance is forgiven at age 65 makes it an absurdly good deal.

Swedish higher education is generally free, or at least very cheap.

If you insist you can find places that are not free, but generally loans are taken to finance housing and living

public loans in the US are forgiven after 10 years (PSLF), even if you're on a payment plan.

I second this (U.S.). I came from a middle class family but college came straight from my pocket. I sunk nearly $75,000 into college and struggled to get a comfortable paycheck for a long time. I'm now 32 and feel that I can make ends meet but it came at the cost of destroyed credit, inability to purchase a home/car, etc. Slowly things have recovered and I now own a home, married, kids.. but I had never felt more depressed than when I realized the true cost of college. Teenage me didn't quite understand what I was signing up for, adult me regrets the decisions I made. (I went to school for Graphic Arts, I shifted to Software Development in my late 20s).

1. That sleeping over uncomfortable pending decisions and discussions helps a lot.

2. That a fixed sleeping schedule with at least 8 hours of sleep does wonders to my thought process and has a calming effect.

3. That my thoughts, especially under tough circumstances, are not really a true picture of reality. This one is tough and is still under discovery mode.

4. That I should never compare myself with others. The only thing I should rely on others should be for inspiration. The comparison part I knew my whole life but, like all simple things, it took a while for me to actually immerse in the depth of it.

Functional Programming, so much of my frustration with mathematics early in my education could have been allayed if just a small number of certain core ideas were planted in my head when going through it.

Explosive outbursts of anger over tiny tiny issues is a mental illness and not a normal part of life.

Probably not what OP was specifically looking for, but this single discovery has been the most profound in my life.

Here's a couple for web dev:

* how DNS works and how to configure common record types

* regular expressions - specifically for URL rewriting

* setting up good logging and monitoring

* asking for help earlier

When you think about scaling your service or application, don’t forget about how your logs will grow. Think about this impact on CPU and disk usage. If you wrote your own agent to ingest your logs, don’t forget to scale up your logging service.

Source: peak traffic event... person who did back of the envelope math based on p99 request size forgot about logs and specifically the increased log event volume.

Machines were about to tip over. I recall having to ssh to hosts to manually kill the log agent process because the logging ingestion service was shitting itself (not properly throttling either) and we had no other levers in place. Lolz did I mention deleting logs on live hosts because logs were just accumulating and not getting cleared off? Now imagine this across 20,000 hosts. Teehee.

> how DNS works and how to configure common record types

A DNS haiku:

It's not DNS There's no way it's DNS It was DNS

-Having a morning routine


-Reading consistently

-Importance of sleep (fixed my sleeping issues with CBT-I [cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia])

-Value of joining a leadership/self development group like Toastmasters

-Accepting you for who you are, and work with your strengths

-Stop listening to what people say/advice about your life, most of the time they're wrong and you know better.

> -Stop listening to what people say/advice about your life, most of the time they're wrong and you know better.

Yes, it will also reduce your stress levels. But it's easier said then done.

Discovering Hn, about 4 years ago. Although I did not choose which cs subfield to master yet, I think Hn will affect my decision heavily. But I wish I had taken a year break after graduating high school to know better about myself, so I could have chosen cs instead of eee.

Unsolicited cents of advice, but IMHO, a year off after undergrad makes far more sense than a year off before undergrad. The enlarged skill set should hopefully allow you to try interesting projects in that time, which would typically be a far more useful experience than sitting around and introspecting. Also, there's no fixed you to find out about... You'll keep evolving and changing... So it doesn't make much sense to stop learning/doing for an extended period to analyze :-)

That interacting well with people really matters. That it's worth attention and effort.

Perfect is the enemy of done

I wish I'd discovered writing "Morning Pages" a lot earlier.

I've been doing it for the last year, and it's helped me figure out much better solutions to so many issues in my life, than I would have without the calm, reflective thinking that writing for 30 minutes each morning brings.

Can't recommend it enough.


How to Read A Book by Mortimer Adler.

Also, ycombinator/pg essays. Before that I got my business advice from “the apprentice”.

The Pattern on the Stone.

Learning how to overcome imposter syndrome.

I didn't come from a top-tier school, didn't work for name companies, and had a zig-zag middle manager career. instead of a meteoric rise through the ranks. Multiple layoffs too. I'll never see my name lauded in a press release.

I've discovered that self-worth is just that - it comes from within.

All of these: https://jakeseliger.com/2010/03/22/influential-books-on-me-t.... Although if I'd read some earlier, maybe they wouldn't have been so influential.

I wish I'd discovered writing ebooks earlier. I enjoy doing it and have completed one, but haven't carved out the time to do another. Earlier in life it would have been far easier to write a number of them, which would likely have led to more career opportunities, if not more "passive" income.

Do you have any advice on where to start? any course?

Whenever I think about writing an ebook, I write out twenty blog post titles. If I can't get to twenty titles, I don't have enough knowledge or passion to write a whole book.

Then, the one time I wrote an ebook, I blogged each of those twenty titles. I set up a mailing list. I participated in forums on the topic, with my signature linking to the blog posts/email signup form.

Then, after I'd written the blog posts, I used leanpub to pull in the RSS for them. Then I edited them and expanded where needed.

That worked for me once, that's the path I'd take in the future.

Things to realize:

* writing a book is hard. I remember spending an hour on one sentence of my book (just testing to make sure I was correct about a statement).

* technical books have short lives. Tech moves on. That said, people are willing to spend money to save time.

* marketing is at least as hard as writing the book. Prepare to spend time doing this.

* If you aren't using the tech in your work (or won't be in the future) you better love the tech or your book will need changes and you won't want to put in the time.

Here's more about my book launch: http://www.mooreds.com/wordpress/archives/1339

For me Awarness book by De Mello, Anthony has been life-changing and I wish i discovered it earlier in life.

* Facebook has been the best dating site for the last 15 years

* Sites like HackerRank, Codility, etc. So fun.

* https://teachyourselfcs.com/

* Loop Habit Tracker (Android app)

* raylib

* Anki (thanks, HN)

* Queal

* Virtual desktops, took me way too long to start using them, lolsob

* The secret clouds area in 6-2

The anatomy of peace, helped stop being stuck and make a turnaround on my mindset and my life.

I wish I had discovered that uploading cat videos on YouTube might change one's life ;)

- Setting 3 daily goals every morning.

- Budget/money planning.

- The power of writing things done to make them happen.

The power of writing things done to make them happen.

Can you explain your process?

Sorry I meant "down"! I write everything down. Purchase decision, budget planning, daily goals, or even meeting agenda.

It is so simple that it's hard to believe how much impact it has.

I believe it takes away all the mental energy you have to put to process things in your mind. And somehow it gives some sort of value and priority to your plan when you write it down. It quickly becomes a discipline and works against procrastination.

One of those things that you always hear it, yet you can't believe it until you try it.

down probably. Just noting things in a list and having that list to base your actions of.

Alice Miller's Drama of the gifted child. Discovered the concept of developmental trauma, and unleashed a whole series of discoveries about human personalities and my lifetime struggles with many things in life.

There are rarely true "irrational" decisions. If a decision looks irrational to you, it's most likely because you don't truly understand the incentives driving that person.oke

Having a Work Journal. There are times that I wished I started one earlier. When I go back at my work journal, I'm amazed how much I have accomplished, even when its something insignificant.

My love for "preppy" sports like Golf and Tennis. Growing up I ignored those things because I felt like they were exclusively for boring rich people. I got my first taste of golf after college at a fundraiser that I reluctantly agreed to attend only because a friend was hosting - and I loved it instantly. I started playing Tennis because there is a public park with courts just a few blocks from my house - and I love that too.

Yoga. Another thing that I always assumed was for rich suburban moms and I didn't need to bother with. In my youth that might have been true, but the body ages poorly if you don't take care of it. Yoga is a fantastic way to be mindful/meditate and stretch/exercise.

TL;DR - Don't be so quick to judge that which you have not tried.

I wonder how many other things I have ignored throughout my life because I associated them with some preconvieved belief or stereotype.

+1 for your advice and your opinions on Yoga. I always thought it was for hippy/new age types. It wasn't till I tried it myself that my opions completely changed. As I mentioned elsewhere in this thread it's the best exercise I've found for my back pain and I've tried allsorts. If anyone reading this has achy joints, bones, muscles, etc, give it a go. There are thousands of videos on Youtube . Some of the instructors are a little cringe worthy with what they say - but the exercise is solid. I have a friend who's the same age as me (nearly 40) who teaches and trains in BJJ. He frequently fights people half his age (and wins) and he tells me the Yoga really helps him in that sport. If anyone reading this is wondering where to start I can recommend this channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/lesleyfightmaster/playlists

I should have known before was engineering in Computer Science rather than in Mechanical will help me a lot. Nothing too harsh, but I realized coding is fun very late.

Anki or space repetition, exercise every day, natural low-sulfer wines

books: thinking fast and slow, black swan/antifragile, why we sleep, the organize mind

>natural low-sulfer wines

How is this helpful?

wine in small amounts is very good for you, low-sulfer wines reduce hangovers.

AlleAktien — https://www.alleaktien.de for German stock ideas

The book How to Win Friends and Influence People and weight training for strength - Starting Strength, 5/3/1 etc.

Also, if you have a regular work task you need to do, block out time in your diary for it.

And the absolute joy than can come from having children.

If there's one thing in life you want to know before anything else, it's how to get better at things

Intermittent fasting and carnivore diet

- Living in the city instead of the suburbs.

- Living in an apartment/condo; instead of owning a big, stupid house.

Peace and understanding after being a 0311 and 0313 in the Marines during 2006-10

To never go autopilot mode.

need more details

this is unachievable

Stoicism. I was unhappy and angry most of my 20s

Being underpaid.

Hi Op, Can you invite me to Superhuman?

For me two things really come to mind: 1. YNAB (you need a budget) 2. Yoga

During my 20's & early 30's i had always had a well paid job but nothing to show for it. I also had big overdraft which I'd never done anything about. About 6 years ago I picked up a copy of YNAB 4 for about £8 of Steam. Within 3 months I'd completely changed my spending habits. Roll on a year or two and I'd paid off all my debts. And this program has allowed me to save for some big life events and trips - things I'd have probably borrowed money for in the past. Last year I bought my first car in full without the aid of a loan. The program also helped me when I went self empoyed a few years ago. Both mine and my long term partners finances go thought the program and we know exactly how little money we can live on - this is valuable info if times get hard. The program is basically a spreadsheet with a nice GUI but the methodology behind it work for me. If I'd have found something like this in my early 20's I'd be a lot better of than I am now. But hey, better late than never.

I do Yoga every day. Prior to me getting into Yoga I thought the only real way to exercise was to join a gym. I live in a rural part of the UK, so for me travelling to the gym is timeconsuming. A few years back I'd been suffering back pain due to long stints sitting at a desk all day. I'd also started to put on weight due to inactivity. Anyway, during one painful day I decided to Google "Yoga for back pain". I tried it and I was hooked. Not only did it fix my back pain, it eased it for around 3 days. Since then I've really got into Yoga and try to do at least 20-60 mins a day. Sometimes I might do it twice a day if I know I'm going to be sat down a lot. Like everyone else I have days when I'm worn out - for these days I have a couple of 10 min routines which I try to do. I'm a firm believer of trying to exercise every day, even if it's just for 10 minutes. It's a good habit to have and doing it daily reinforces the habit. Since doing regular practice I don't really get any achy joints. I also do HIT style Yoga 3 times a week which helps with body tone, strengh, and cardio. When you really get into Yoga you realise they're many different styles which can help different aspects of your health. For me, my main driving force was back pain - I've never done any exercise which fixed my back as well as certain Yoga exercises. For me Yoga is great because it's easy and free. You only need a Yoga mat (a beach towel can suffice at the beginning) and Youtube to get started. I keep myself in reasonable shape without having to travel or pay any gym fees. I never knew exercise could be so easy and cheap. I wish I'd known this in my late 20's, when I put on a lot of weight, and was suffering with back pain and other achy bits.

How to propagate uncertainties.

Daily journaling.

That I needed glasses.

Willing to ellobarate on your actual daily journaling processes. When? Where? Any structure around what you actually write/questions you answer.

* MVC programming (went to business school)

* Scikit-learn

* Road bikes

How do you look for stuff here


Exactly, This is the skillset that you will need for life.

What is?

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How do you get to work before 79:30am with a child?


* Full time remote jobs

* Conspicuous Signalling Theory

* The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

* Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault by Stephen R. C. Hicks

* The Ethics of Liberty by Murray N. Rothbard e Hans-Hermann Hoppe

* The Red Pill

* How a Cultural War works and who is waging it against Western Civilization

* Lifting & dieting. The importance of muscle mass for everything in life

* How to cook tasty meals that fits an intense fitness lifestyle

* How hypergamy works (alpha seeds / beta needs)

I see you're a fan of Jordan Peterson as well and the red pill philosophies. Do you listen to any content creators on Youtube? My top 3 are Ronin man, Sunrise Hoodie and Coach Red Pill. Many people just see the surface of the various forums and loudest idiots and write the whole thing off as dejected young men in the thralls of misogyny. In reality, they are modern day support groups for men who have have been raised or in relationships with boderline personality women and are going through abandonment trauma and or fucked by their friends and society; the lessons these men have to teach are invaluable and lifestyle it promotes is new age stoicism mixed with self survival and the ability to see through desires and wants for others and yourself.

I swear I cleaned up my room so now I'm heading to choose to lift some sacrifices at the gym.

Yeah, that the concept I am struggling with now. Picking my damn sacrifice (been struggling to quit cannabis, been using it as a crutch since I was teen)

Cleaning the room comes first (as metaphor). Then things will start to align around that and your new, more mature self, will signal you what's the new best use of your time/resources.

* Internal Family Systems made me more peaceful

Do you have any book recommendation or other sources?

I wish I had discovered interval training and olympic lifting earlier.

Thank you for the recommendation

Way better than before.

I wish I had been diagnosed as gifted earlier (around high school)

For the rest the timing was not that bad

If it's any consolation, it's common that children labeled 'gifted' early, either don't live up to the label or are affected by the label negatively.

Even in my own adolescence I watched the most 'gifted' child eat batteries and jump off the roof of the school.

I would actually prefer that label early on. I learned from my parents that back in preschool and early primary school i was math genius. Supposedly i astonished the ones administering preschool tests by doing stuff from two grades above effortlessly.

Sadly later on I was stripped of my potential by math teacher in primary school. I solved all exercises by writing the result outright, and she forced me to write down every. single. step.

I got so used to that over course of 3 years, that now I'm slower than average at mental calculations. i cannot do algebra efficiently without a piece of paper anymore.

That teacher is probably the only person in my life i genuinely hate.

I have a PhD in maths. Writing down every step is the only way to get things right and be able to verify that (essential for anything that actually matters). The best maths advice I ever got was a high school teacher (not even my teacher) looking at my work and telling me to write down more steps; suddenly my accuracy and speed got way better.

Maths ability varies widely, and I don't think being able to do things a couple of years earlier than your peers is that uncommon or really predicts your later achievements, except for the encouragement of early praise pushing you in that direction.

If you really want to be good at mental calculations, practice that. You haven't lost anything you can't regain. However, pen and paper is more accurate, more permanent, and can often be faster, though it feels slower because you're physically moving a lot. Your hatred is beyond futile, achieving nothing but hurting you and holding you back.

Different people need different advice.

I love solving problems and am very good at it but writing things down makes me hate maths, the act of moving the pen is much more effort than the problem itself. I used to stump my professors by solving the problems they were explaining in my head long before they would have gotten to a solution. But then I got diagnosed with ADD after I completed my masters, I can write down things no problem when I'm on medication, but if people forced me to write down everything in school when I were undiagnosed I likely would have dropped out of middle-school and maybe even committed suicide. Several of my siblings dropped out of middle school so that is not an exaggeration.

I don't think that not writing things down held me back, I think it forced me to become creative and learn things properly since I couldn't just follow algorithms blindly like my classmates. So maybe I should be grateful that I was diagnosed late and thus forced to invent my own maths throughout college. I likely would have gotten perfect grades with medication, but I'm pretty sure the things I learned and the intuition I built are way more valuable than grades.

But if someone like you came around and thought I did things wrong then you would have ruined my life. Please don't force that on someone else and when they inevitably fail you just say something like "I guess he wasn't that good after all, nothing I could've done!".

What has been your life trajectory, if you don't mind me asking

I won't get into details but after a sudden late collapse of my results at school, I have managed to integrate a CS cursus at university. I spent years moving from a company to another in programming or project management jobs as I was getting bored pretty quickly, until I found my own company. Then recently my son was diagnosed as gifted and while consulting for him suddenly a lot of answers came for some old questions I had about myself

I would open my cryptocurrency project, but if there was an idea that would change the whole world)

Merge statements in SQL. Sadly i have to work with piece of shit called firebird, which is both slow and full of exceptions. If you are forced to pick a file based DB - pick sqlite, don't touch firebird.

I also have to work with a database schema designed by someone mentally handicapped - i know for fact that it was designed in early 90s by someone self taught.. and it never had a single refactor. They just migrated their own file-based 'database' to firebird. Sadly this piece of shit software is used very commonly in my field.

Merge statements make complicated updates blazing fast compared to any other way.

That my engineering field is basically dead and i should've changed to software development sooner.

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