Several people have asked if I’m still able to connect with my recently departed friend Ron who died in a car accident on August 14th. The answer is yes. He’s been hanging around often. The connection is so strong that I don’t have to meditate or anything. I just think of him and can instantly converse with him. I’ve never experienced such a strong connection before.
Seriously, read the whole thing, he claims his ghost friend helps him win at blackjack.
Then Ron [his dead friend] says to me, “Put the water bottle back on the table. It makes it easier for me to see.”
And wouldn’t you know it? As soon as I return the bottle to the table, I start winning again — fast.
All I'm saying is this guy isn't a credible source. He makes fantastic claims with no evidence, and people should be aware of that.
But you have to admit he is unusually self-aware for a crackpot:
If you haven’t concluded by now that I’m totally nuts, this post should push you over the edge.
The fallacy here is that acknowledging some opinion exists in no way implies you have have seriously considered it; let alone have refuted it.
However once he started in with the nonsense I bailed out and started looking to other intellectuals for inspiration.
People who are new to SP don't need to be warned. They will get what they want out of it and eventually come to their own conclusions ;)
(I forgot to mention that in 2005 I'm pretty sure he claimed to have 1 single degree in CS)
During my 2 semesters of intense credits, I was able to have a social life too, but that consisted of eating with classmates during our study sessions and spending several hours in the library.
The only thing I regret from that experience was that I didn't challenge myself sooner.
Scrolled to the bottom of the page, and sure enough, it is so.
I also wonder how the author handled pre-requisites. During the third semester wouldn't he be taking courses like linear algebra, differential equations, compilers and artificial intelligence at the same time? I am quite impressed that someone can absorb all that course material while working a 40-hour a week job.
Same guy that wanted an open relationship.
Same guy that sells talks to get rich but got rich selling talks.
The guy is poison.
"I believe that the real purpose of planning is simply so that you remain convinced that a possible path exists."
This guy is crazy, but in the awesome kind of way.
Pavlina was a student at University of California, Berkeley in the early nineties. He performed extremely poorly in his studies, because he devoted his time to shoplifting. Pavlina claims he then went on to earn two degrees (computer science and math) from California State University, Northridge in three semesters (also incorporating advanced placement credits for courses he had taken in high school).
1. He's claiming this and it's never been proven, despite how easy it is to actually prove. If he truly did this and people didn't believe him, he can simply show proof. (if you read the post, just like he showed proof to the people that doubted how many classes he was taking).
2. IF it is true, then it's widely fudged. The guy had APs and (bad apparently) college credit. This "3 semesters" claim is akin to someone going to school for a couple of years, accumulating a lot of credit, transferring to another school and graduating in 1.5 years. Seriously not that impressive.
There are great blogs with successful students that went to extraordinary lengths in college. But this just isn't one of them. He also seems to be someone who got rich by talking about how to get rich; excuse me for not admiring that.
Aside from all that, here's the really important point I came to HN to make: instead of a 'do it now' attitude, don't rush it Seriously.
College is a few years of your life and an amazing experience. Our society has this issue of rushing things and making races out of events that weren't meant for that. This reminds me of Norvig's rant on books with titles like "Learn Advanced Java in 24 Hours".
Challenging oneself with more classes in college is one thing; taking so much that you couldn't possibly retain such knowledge is another. Slow down, concentrate, and actually learn the material. College isn't a race; it's a journey. I say make the most of it.
Take that rant however you want. As a recent college-dropout (start of 4th year), a lot of the celebrated and arbitrary things in college (from how many classes you're taking to how many majors you're studying to how fast you're finishing college) just don't seem that interesting 99% of the time.
"Every activity has an opportunity cost."
I'm dumbfounded by the number of entrepreneurs and engineers I run into who don't understand the concept of opportunity cost. If you aren't consciously aware that every month you spend doing X is a month you didn't spend doing Y, then you're going to be very inefficient. A startup is a race against the clock (your diminishing bank account), so inefficiency can mean death.
"Work all the time you work."
One of the unofficial mottos of MIT was "work hard, play hard". In other words, when you're working, work, and when you're not, don't. The most miserable students were those who attempted to study while hanging out, watching movies, etc. They'd spend entire days in a half-work half-play state, which of course results in no work getting done, and less-than-satisfactory entertainment as well. I should know -- that was me for a year. There are some pretty good techniques for breaking this habit, but first you have to be consciously aware that you actually have this problem.
"People who succeed also fail a great deal."
This is cliche, I know. But it's some of the most misunderstood advice of all time. People only think of it on a macro level, because the examples are always of the form, "Person X failed at starting 3 companies before he created SuperSuccessfulMegaCorp!" But I think it's more important to understand this advice on a micro level. For example, I used to be an incredibly shitty web designer, but now I'd say I'm pretty good at it. What changed?
When I first started, I would make a design, it would suck, and I'd say, "I suck." Then I would release my shitty design and move on to something else. Nowadays when I make a design, it still sucks... but instead of releasing it, I start tinkering with it. It continues to suck. I fail for hours and hours. At some point, I usually lose confidence in myself. But I keep working and, on a consistent basis, I always manage to "stumble upon" a great-looking design. So learning to fail is, in essence, learning to be a perfectionist. I think this is a useful skill for any creative profession (writing, coding, designing, etc).
Seriously though, I'm graduating a year early with a single B.S. (mathematics) and I thought I was doing well -- but I'm not much more busy than an average student (mathematics has low credit requirement).
I'm tempted to try to slam through the requirements super fast now -- especially since, as a regular student, I only have about two hours of homework a week.
However, my college has various requirements (e.g. so-called colloquium, a thesis, a "comprehensive" course) that are only offered at specific intervals. It's designed to allow graduation in four years. I wonder if this is a relatively new phenomenon?
edit: after a little research I see that I would end up paying about the same amount even if I cut off an extra semester, since my college charges $875 per credit over 24 a semester -- I would be taking about 30. Since it doesn't save me much money, I don't see the point. That idea ended quickly.
The blog has a wealth of information: http://calnewport.com/blog/
Still it's one of those "if it's 80% true it's still amazing" stories.
He already got college credits from high school and studying at Berkeley, this important detail is nowhere found in the article.
I've also found that most of the advice sounds great but is hard to impossible to apply.
He appears to be exceptionally clever but a term paper on math and engineering problems are not written with a 12h marathon on the weekend, at least not on my university.
Can anyone recommend serious advice?
He's currently doing a year-long experiment where he's attempting to complete a 4-year MIT Computer Science course in 12 months.
"Understand that failure is not the opposite of success. Failure is an essential part of success. Once you succeed, no one will remember your failures anyway."
Thank you, oh pyramidal guru of total bullshit.
You do, indeed, have to fail a lot on the way to success, unless you get very very very lucky.
"If You're So Smart, Why Are You A Motivational Speaker?"
I just, errr, haven't got round to writing it yet.