Welcome to the wonderful world of Cirism!
Followers of Cirism call themselves Cirists.
Enlightned Cirists donate money to the cause at: Section "Sponsor Ciro Santilli's work on OurBigBook.com". It is totally optional of course, your soul will just be eternally damned if you don't.
Ciro Santilli once proclaimed:
Thou shalt eat thy watermelon in the morning, and thy melon in the evening. Thou shalt not eat thy watermelon in the evening, nor shalt thou eat thy melon in the morning.
Unconditional basic income is Ciro Santilli's ultimate non-transhumanist technological dream: to reach a state of technological advancement and distribution of resources so high that everyone gets money for doing nothing, enough for:
  • basic survival needs: food, housing, clothes, hygiene, etc.
  • two children to keep the world going. Or immortality tech, but is harder and borderline transhumanist :-)
  • high speed computer and Internet
Once a person has that, they can "learn, teach" and create whatever they want. Or play video games all day long if they wish.
Ciro santilli will not live to see this, and is content with helping it happen faster by increasing the efficiency of the world as. And having at least two well educated kids to carry on the project after he dies :-)
Technologies which would help a lot towards unconditional basic income, and might be strictly required required are:
So in the worst case we can just grow brainless bodies and replace the cavity hole with a computer that controls the body, possibly with high level decisions coming from a remote building-sized genetically engineered biological AGI brain.
Of course, it is all about costs. A human costs about 130k 2010 USD/year. So how cheap can we make the AGI / robot human equivalent / year for a given task?
AGI + humanoid robots likely implies AI takeover though. It would then come down to human loving bots vs human hating bots fighting it out. It will be both terrifying and fun to watch.
AGI alone would be very dangerous, in case it can get control of our nuclear arsenals through software zero days or social engineering. Although some claim that is unlikely.
Humanity's best bet to achieve silicon AGI today is to work on: Ciro's 2D reinforcement learning games.
By Charles Bukowski mentioned e.g. at tatyanany.medium.com/slavery-was-never-abolished-it-was-only-extended-to-include-all-the-colors-6ca21d586e7e:
Slavery was never abolished, it was only extended to include all the colors.
Bibliography:
Video 1. Easy street by Stan Kenton and June Christy (1945) Source. TODO exact lyrics for copy paste? There seem to be several variants, and I don't have the patience to transcribe. Close enough: lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/e/easystreet.html. Except that with UBI there won't be a:
guy that you can hire to plant trees so you can have shade
because most people will have something better to do. That's where artificial general intelligence comes in!
Figure 1. Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1563) Source.
Even the Bible writers already know that multiple languages suck as seen from the Tower of Babel parable
Isn't it incredibly fitting that the building of the European Parliament looks like the Tower of Babel?
The fact that in poor countries a huge number of people do not speak the economically dominating language of the world, the lingua franca, English as of 2020, is a major obstacle to the development of those countries.
Despite us being in the information age, the people in those countries cannot fully benefit from it at all!
Teaching its people English should be the number one priority of any country. Without that, there can be no technological development. Everything else is secondary and can be learnt off the Internet once you know English.
And the most efficient way to do that, is that every country should create amazing free open source English learning material for their own language.
European countries are perhaps the most perfect example of how many languages destroy once powerful countries: Section "European Tower of Babel (Europe is doomed)"
The Sapir–Whorf hypothesis is bullshit outside of poetry, and the ending of Arrival (2016) makes one want to puke, where learning a language changes not only your brain, but also Ciro's precious "laws" of Physics!
Much more likely are To Serve Man/A Small Talent for War events which we have already seen countless times!
Remember that those ideas come from a person who speaks 3.5 languages in 2019, and sees absolutely no practical difference between them.
Of course, like all non-constructed languages, English is not fully optimal in terms of regularity and information density. It could be argued that other languages are better in those aspects.
For example, Ciro does believe that spoken Chinese is a better language than English overall from a purely "ease of learning from scratch point of view" as mentioned at: github.com/cirosantilli/china-dictatorship/tree/6fdeb5aa3826c69f7c058de4e6f652a6924bc08a#does-ciro-santilli-speak-chinese. Chinese writing is completely insane of course, completely out of the question.
However, Ciro just doesn't think that the difference is that great to justify replacing English which is already dominant. How much more efficient can a perfect constructed language be than English? 1.01? 1.001? Such margins don't matter. Once you have learnt it young, it's done, for good.
English-based a posteriori constructed languages that regularize English further are perhaps the only reasonable alternative, like how C++ evolved from C by creating a low cost upgrade path. Although in practice they will never take off unless a dictatorship rules the world:
One interesting anecdote is that Ciro met his wife in French, and talking to her primarily in English feels really weird, so language does matter in love.
Different languages might also good at producing interesting diverse touristic locations, with different diverse and interesting foods. Because that's what tourism is all about. The exotic. The unique. And therefore, also necessarily the inefficient.
People with similar ideas:
Video 1. English spelling - a bit mad, but perhaps the best system around by Lindybeige (2015) Source. To be taken as a semi-joke, but he does mention the interesting point that English insane spelling helps disambiguate reading, like an intermediate between Chinese characters and more regular spelled languages.
What big companies have been created in Europe after World War II, that have not been bought or utterly defeated by American or Japanese companies?
Because of all these failures, much fanfare was made as Spotify reached a $50B market capitalization in 2020. An art company, so cute!
ASML, and perhaps more maeaningfully its parent/predecessor ASM International from 1964 is perhaps the biggest exception.
The key problem is that there are so many small countries in Europe, that any startup has to deal with too many incompatible legislation and cannot easily sell to the hole of Europe and scale. So then a larger company from a more uniform country comes and eats it up!
Talent mobility is another issue:
  • people can't generally work remotely from different countries for the same company as regular employees, only as contractors. This is because of fiscal incompatibilities across countries[ref][ref], and has become an increasing problem in the 2020's with the increase in remote work possibilities during/after COVID-19.
  • it is quite rare for people to study at university in different countries than their own, because the entry examinations are in the native language and have local history knowledge components. This also means that people from different countries don't easily recognize which are the best Universities of other countries, making you take a hit if you want to search for jobs elsewhere
So why can't Europe unify its laws?
Because the countries are still essentially walled off by languages. Europe is the perfect example of why having more than one natural language is bad for the world.
There isn't true mobility of people between countries.
You just can't go study or work in any other country (except for the UK, when it was still in the EU) without putting a huge effort into learning its language first.
Without this, there isn't enough mixing to truly make cultures more uniform, and therefore allow the laws to be more uniform.
Europe can't even unify basic things like:
  • a marriage registry
  • the mail system, parcels often getting lost and require you to contact people who may not speak English
  • the train systems: www.linkedin.com/posts/hinrich-thoelken_cop26-activity-6863490595072045057-Xhlg/
    This year, I decided to travel from Berlin to #COP26 in Glasgow by train. The journey was expected to cover 4 trains from 4 different railway operators and to last 17 hours. I had planned for at least 30 minutes transfer time in Cologne, Brussels and London.
    Well, as you might have guessed, in reality the trip took 32 hours and I spent one extra night at a hotel in London.
Equally so, it can't force little fiscal paradises who effectively benefit from being in Europe like Ireland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Switzerland ("not European", but should that be allowed?) and Cyprus (the EU can't even maintain its territorial integrity, let alone fiscal) to not offer ridiculously low taxes and incentives which make them entry points for foreign companies to rape Europe.
For this reason, Europe will only continue to go downhill with the years, and the United Kingdom will continue to try and endosymbiose into a state of the United States (although at times it seems that it would rather endosymbiose with China instead).
Historically, this disunion is partly due to the European balance of power, whereby countries would form alliances with old enemies to prevent another country from taking over. Also linked are failed military unification attempts by Napoleon and Hitler, though we are likely better off without the latter succeeding!!! Though those also partly failed due to wider balance of power issues involving the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and USA, not only due to internal balance. Of course, none of that matters anymore after World War II, where other more unified Europe-sized potencies rose, first the USA and the Soviet Union, and then China, and now European disunion is nothing but a burden.
Evidence such as those makes it clear that the European Union is a failure.
One thing must be said in favour of Europe's mess however: it favours international collaboration in huge projects as a more neutral middle ground. This can be seen more clearly in the ITER and the fiasco that was the Superconducting Super Collider that was cancelled a couple of billion dollars in partly because it failed to attract any foreign investment, compared to the Large Hadron Collider which went on to find the Higgs boson as mentioned at www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-supercollider-that-never-was/.
!!! Survivorship bias alert !!!
quoteinvestigator.com/2018/05/07/overcome/
If you want to do something, but you are afraid to do it, then that is likely what you should do.
quoteinvestigator.com/2013/11/08/not-bend/
Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.
www.goodreads.com/quotes/50458-whatever-you-re-meant-to-do-do-it-now-the-conditions
Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.
For example, when Ciro Santilli was deciding what to do in university, he wanted mostly to do pure physics.
But because he was afraid he was going to die poor and unemployed because of that, he picked engineering instead.
That was a mistake.
His family was not even poor. He was young and did not have a family to support. His father even told him: "do whatever the fuck you want, we support your decision".
But he was a coward.
It was also in part because a physicist uncle which he respected suggested that as an engineer Ciro might be able to make useful contributions to tooling required by physics. When Roberto Salmeron died in 2020, Ciro's friends shared this 2013 video interview with the late professor, where he explains he first went to the University of São Paulo to study engineering (like Ciro), but then fell for his passion for physics (like Ciro?), his first task being to build a Geiger counter, thus explaining the likely origin of the uncle's theory. But who knows, maybe he was right. Maybe Ciro's OurBigBook.com will become huge and help a lot of people, and it might not have had Ciro not done engineering and learnt programming. Destiny operates in weird ways sometimes.
Furthermore, while in University, Ciro learnt about the molecular Sciences Course of the University of São Paulo, a fantastic sounding full time course that any student could transfer to called that teaches various natural sciences topics which Ciro loves (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology) and which students from the entire university can apply to transfer to only after joining the university, with the guarantee that they can go back to their original courses if they didn't adapt to the new course.
But did Ciro do it? Nope, he remained an even larger coward.
Had he studied more sciences, he might have been happier, and might have had greater achievements later in life, in particular when he went to École Polytechnique.
Maybe not, but now this doubt will never leave his mind until the final day.
Similar thoughts crossed his mind when he started his campaign for freedom of speech in China, but this time he had learnt the lesson, and went for it, and it felt very good.
If you have a day job, but also have a dream, and want to keep the day job for a reason, try to reserve the time of the day that your brain works best before or after work for your dream.
Work a little less well for you boss, and a little better for yourself. Ross Ulbricht:
I hated working for someone else and trading my time for money with no investment in myself
Selling drugs online is not advisable however.
Even better, try to reach an official agreement with your employer to work 20% less than the standard work week. For example, you could work one day less every week, and do whatever you want on that day. It is not possible to push your passion to weekends, because your brain is too tired. "You keep all non-company-related IP you develop on that time" is a key clause obviously.
On a related note, good employers must allow employees to do whichever the fuck "crazy projects", "needed refactorings or other efficiency gains" and "learn things deeply" at least 20% of their time if employees want that: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/20%25_Project. Employees must choose if they want to do it one day a week or two hours per day. One day per month initiatives are bullshit. Another related name: genius hour.
Pursuing a dream part time can make you feel afraid and tired. But at least, you will feel alive. I did it for me, Skyler.
Maybe you will be fired, but long term, having tried, or even succeeded your dream, or a one of its side effects, will be infinitely more satisfying.
The same goes for school, and maybe even more so because your parents can still support you there. Some Gods who actually followed this advice and didn't end up living under a bridge:
  • George M. Church "[We] hope that whatever problems... contributed to your lack of success... at Duke will not keep you from a successful pursuit of a productive career." Lol, as of 2019 the dude is the most famous biotechnologist in the world, those "problems" certainly didn't keep him back.
  • Freeman Dyson proved the equivalence of the three existing versions of quantum electrodynamics theories that were around at his time, and he has always been proud of not having a PhD!
    Video 1. Freeman Dyson - Why I don't like the PhD system (95/157) by Web of Stories (2016) Source.
  • Person that Ciro met personally and shall remain anonymous for now for his privacy: once Ciro was at a bar with work colleagues casually, it was cramped, and an older dude sat next to his group.
    The dude then started a conversation with Ciro, and soon he explained that he was a mathematician and software engineer.
    As a Mathematician, he had contributed to the classification of finite simple groups, and had a short Wiki page because of that.
    He never did a PhD, and said that academia was a waste of time, and that you can get as much done by working part time a decent job and doing your research part time, since you skip all the bullshit of academia like this.
    Yet, he was still invited by collaborating professors to give classes on his research subject in one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Students would call him Doctor X., and he would correct them: Mister X.
    As a software engineer, he had done a lot of hardcore assembly level optimizations for x86 for some mathematical libraries related to his mathematics interests. He started talking microarchitecture with Ciro's colleagues.
    And he currently worked on an awesome open source project backed by a company.
    At last but not least, he said he also fathered 17 children by donating his sperm to lesbian mothers found on a local gay magazine, and that he had met most/all of those children after they were born.
    A God. Possibly the most remarkable person Ciro ever met, and his jaw was truly dropped.
Companies can help you grow because you see real problems from within them, but their end goal is to consume you as much as possible. Don't let that happen. Invest part of what you gain, in yourself. www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/paradox-going-outside/ The Paradox of Going Outside by James Somers (2012) puts it incredibly well:
I work, for instance, as a Web developer. It's a very good job. Our office is a block south of Union Square, a 12-minute commute from my apartment. We're served breakfast every morning. Our kitchen is stocked with "provisions" of organic beef jerky, coconut water, craft beers, chips, and two restaurant-class espresso machines. We have two ping pong tables and buckets of 3-star ping pong balls. (A new office manager bought "1-stars" once and some of the guys protested by crushing them.) We work on 4-cored Apple Mac computers with dual monitors. We have an unmolested hour for lunch, 10-minute breaks in the morning and afternoon, and a "do not disturb" policy past the working hours. We even have a specific email address where employees can ask for free things: genuine maple syrup, hot chocolate, a $900 chair, a new keyboard. Most of the programmers make six figures, and many of those have only three or four years of experience.
It's impossible to say so without sounding like the spokesperson for Entitlement itself but working there is still sort of soul-crushing. It's soul-crushing in the way that any job that doesn't command your full passionate attention must be. What happens is that I will be in my chair in the early afternoon and I will accidentally step out of myself and all I'll see is time passing, nine-hour parcels of healthy consciousness forever being packed away as the user experience of clerical workers or consumers or whoever gets marginally better; and I'll end up thinking that this enterprise of mine is not so much creative but bureaucratic, that what I've gotten good at is reading the instruction manuals of other people, finding my way around their insignificant warrens. And in those moments the whole business will seem to me like kind of a tragic waste.
Other quotes:
Don't be a pussy. Be a Based God
Figure 1. Dilbert "A small brain irrationally puts more weight on a small loss than on a huge opportunity" cartoon (2000) Source.
Figure 2. Jake Likes Onions "Slowly" cartoon. Source. This is what trying to reach a dream part time feels like. The cartoon reads: "The tiger pursues its prey. Slowly. The human pursues its life goals. Slowly. Very slowly.".
Video 2. Excerpt from the documentary film "Steve Jobs: Secrets of Life" (1994) Source.
When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That's a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it... Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again.
Of course, survivorship bias alert!
Video 3. What Would You Do If Money Were No Object by Alan Watts. Source. Sample transcription: genius.com/Alan-watts-what-if-money-was-no-object-annotated:
What do you desire? What makes you itch? What sort of a situation would you like?
Let's suppose, I do this often in vocational guidance of students, they come to me and say, well, "we're getting out of college and we have the faintest idea what we want to do". So I always ask the question, "what would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life?"
Well, it's so amazing as a result of our kind of educational system, crowds of students say well, we'd like to be painters, we'd like to be poets, we'd like to be writers, but as everybody knows you can't earn any money that way. Or another person says well, I'd like to live an out-of-doors life and ride horses. I said you want to teach in a riding school?
Let's go through with it. What do you want to do? When we finally got down to something, which the individual says he really wants to do, I will say to him, you do that and forget the money, because, if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You'll be doing things you don't like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don't like doing, which is stupid. Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.
And after all, if you do really like what you're doing, it doesn't matter what it is, you can eventually turn it - you could eventually become a master of it. It's the only way to become a master of something, to be really with it. And then you'll be able to get a good fee for whatever it is. So don't worry too much. That's everybody is - somebody is interested in everything, anything you can be interested in, you will find others will.
But it's absolutely stupid to spend your time doing things you don't like, in order to go on spending things you don't like, doing things you don't like and to teach our children to follow in the same track. See what we are doing, is we're bringing up children and educating to live the same sort of lifes we are living. In order that they may justify themselves and find satisfaction in life by bringing up their children to bring up their children to do the same thing, so it's all retch and no vomit. It never gets there. And so, therefore, it's so important to consider this question: What do I desire?
Video 4. Keep Chargin' from a Show of Hands by Victor Wooten (1996). Source.
That's the way I live my life, I give it my all. I think that a person should really make up his mind what he wants to do, and when did made up, he cannot fail at it. The basic rule to sucess I think, is when the going gets tough, that is a positive signal to keep chargin'.
Closely echoes Video 3. "What Would You Do If Money Were No Object by Alan Watts". Survivorship bias? Maybe. Beautiful? Unquestionably. So glad he was allowed to upload it officially to YouTube.
Video 5. Your Life is Your life by Charles Bukowski. Source.
Charles Bukowski is one of the most hardcore don't be a pussy people ever. It's alsmost scary. Beyond Ciro level.
thebestamericanpoetry.typepad.com/the_best_american_poetry/2008/11/the-laughing-he.html
your life is your life
don't let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can't beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the Gods wait to delight
in you.
www.goodreads.com/quotes/39207-if-you-re-going-to-try-go-all-the-way-otherwise
If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don't even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery--isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you'll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the Gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It's the only good fight there is.
I have one of two choices - stay in the post office and go crazy... or stay out here and play at writer and starve. I have decided to starve.
Figure 3. Bukowski kissing his typewriter. Like Ciro Santilli and his computer!
Someone who is not a pussy.
Someone once called Ciro Santilli that: archive.is/W1ocv. It's an overstatement, considering that Ciro's parents have some money. Not infinite. But still. Changes everything. A real Based God is someone like Charles Bukowski, who had to work decades at the post office.
Ciro Santilli believes that there is a close link between the ability to create disruptive technology, and the desire to find bugs/exploits in systems.
Both of them destabilize society and enterprises.
Some examples:
  • Jobs and Wozniak's blue box
  • Robert Noyce's stealing a pig for a university party somewhat as a joke. This was actually a felony, but he got away with a compromise by paying the owner and being suspended for 6 months. The law is not blind, and thanks for that sometimes.
    Oh, and apparently he also got a university girlfriend pregnant, and she had an abortion.
  • Mark Zuckerberg's FaceMash
And yes, this sometimes leads into a fine line between legality and illegality:
Ciro feels that this resonates a lot with his OurBigBook.com.
Supercut:
The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked far more interesting.
And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.
Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life.
If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.
Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backward 10 years later.
Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
Then:
You've got to find what you love.
And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers.
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.
And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking.
Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it.
And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.
So keep looking until you find it.
Don't settle.
And:
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right."
It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?"
And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
And then he quotes form the Whole Earth Catalog, a paper Atlas from the '70s he admired:
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish
This is one of Ciro Santilli's most important principles.
Steve Jobs has a great quote about this. He's totally right on this one!
You've got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can't start with the technology and try to figure out where you're going to sell it.
Video 1. Steve Jobs Insult Response excerpt from the 1997 WWDC. Source. TODO understand the context of the question a bit better. It is something to do with an OpenDoc thing and Java.
Decide your goal first, and then do whatever is needed to how to reach it.
Don't start randomly learning tech, because that means you will waste a lot of time learning useless stuff.
There is of course some level chicken-and-egg paradox in this, as highlighted by Dilbert, since choosing an achievable goal in the first place requires some level of technical understanding.
Figure 1. Dilbert cartoon about designing a nuclear power plant from user requirements (2002) Source.
This cartoon illustrates well how when doing deep tech and fighting against the laws of physics, you can't just start from user requirements, but you also have to also think "what can we actually get done at all with this new technique".
The best research engineers are able to identify what is just on the cusp of the "possible", but which has the greatest value. This is the endless dance between the tech push, and the market/need pull.
However, it is much more common that people will get way too involved in learning useless stuff and lose sight of the useful end goals.
Rather, take an iterative approach:
There is some truth to the counter argument that "but if you don't spend a lot of time learning the basics, you can never find solutions".
However, these people underestimate your brain. The brain is beautiful, and human intuition is capable of generating interest towards the things that are actually useful to reach your goal. When you feel like learning something related to your goal, by all means, give yourself the time to do so. But this still be much more efficient than just learning random things that other people tell you to learn.
Bibliography:
Or: how to learn X.
This pops up on Reddit every week.
The right question is: what is the most awesome project I can do to improve the world?
Then, once you decide to try one, if that involves programming, only then learn to program to achieve that goal. And don't stop learning what's needed until you either get the thing done, or decide that it is actually not a good idea, or not possible, or that there is something else more important to be done first.
But if doesn't involve programming, then don't learn to program, and learn whatever you actually need to reach that goal instead.
Having that goal is the only way to be motivated to do something.
This is the essence of backward design.
This term was invented by Ciro Santilli, and similar ideas certainly already exists with different names by other people. As the name suggests, it basically involves combining free education and gifted education, but with other more specific aspects crammed in that would make a precise name too long to read, as descried below.
Government must create selective, K-12 and university-level teaching institutions that are completely free.
As mentioned at pick few good bets and invest enough on thems, these do not need to be given to all students: what we have to do is to ensure that the top N-percent of the best students will get in, and that none of them will pay. Where N is as large as the budget society decides to put into this project, the larger the better. Therefore, perhaps "gifted education" is not the ideal name for this idea, as it generally implies very small N (1%?), while this project hopes for larger N, maybe 10%. But a minimal level of quality must be attained, it is pointless to dissolve the resources too much, if we only have enough for 1%, then so be it, start with 1%.
Since all the learning resources will be available online on OurBigBook.com, or through online 1-to-1 chats with mentors, it might be cheaper for students to work either from their parent's homes if their home has reasonable work conditions: a silent room with reasonable Internet access and no drug addicts in the house.
Alternatively, a public local library with free WiFi would do as well. But there would need to be a strict silence policy enforced, unlike most public libraries we see today. Ciro once saw a bird shaped noise detector that would sing if the noise went above a certain threshold, that was a good idea. Just like linting, it is easier to let machines decide deterministically on subjective questions to reduce useless arguments over who is right. Ciro has even seen libraries where the local council uses the same library open space as a citizen councelling area. What's the fucking point... these people have never done any deep work in their lives.
Then the state only needs to pay transportation and temporary accommodation to attend concentrated month-long laboratory courses and week-long conferences. In cases where the home conditions are not good enough, the state can either pay for on-demand WeWork-like offices near the student's home, of for a full on-campus accommodation as in a boarding school. What is indispensable is that all students who pass the entry criteria must have such working conditions. Students who stay home can also earn a scholarship to help pay for their rent, food and Internet access.
These institutions must start from the very first school year, and go all the way up through K-12 to the end of university. It is useless to start at university-level only otherwise only the rich students will have a chance of getting in, like Ciro Santilli saw in Brazil at the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo in the late 2000's: one day all students were gathered in the amphitheater, and they asked the students who had only gone through free government K-12 schools to raise their hands. Those were notably worse than the corresponding private schools, and the situation is inverted in university, where the best schools are the government ones. Out of about 500 people, at most 10 raised their hands!
These institutions should not have affirmative action entry quotas, including most importantly at the university level. Both rich and poor should be able to apply. Passing the selection criteria is all that matters. We just must ensure that the schools are widely advertised amongst disadvantaged communities, so that they will at least get their children to try to apply from an early age. This way, even if the rich always have an advantage due to better overall conditions, the poor are so much more numerous that the majority of students accepted will still be poor.
The school should follow the basic principles of how to teach, notably:
  • students must have a flexible choice of what to learn. There will be no classes, all learning will happen either OurBigBook.com or on 1-to-1 meeting with tutors, or in discussions with fellow students.
    The term "gifted education" might suggest elitism, but Ciro Santilli strongly believes that different people have different skills, and that if everyone could focus on whatever it is that they want to do in life, be it engineering or the arts, rather than just pass a bunch of useless exam, then having the 10% "best" of each interest group would already cover a huge percentage of the population.
  • Through it, students will be helped to directly achieve their greater life goals.
    There will be no teachers: each student will be assigned senior advisors, and together they will come with an individualized research proposal or business plan.
    There will be no useless mandatory institutional exams. Exams only need to be taken if a given advisor requires it to filter candidate students. But if you manage to impress them through other means, they can just accept you without the exam.
    A fundamental part of this is to fill the the missing link between basic and advanced. We want to help students to reach the state of the art of their field of interest as fast as possile.
  • group students by interest, not by age
These schools must pay mentors as much as the average good non-free schools so you actually get comparably good teachers. Mentor selection would also be highly competitive, just as that of the students.
Once admitted, students will have guaranteed access to the school resources for a few years. This way, they won't need to worry about passing useless exams every three months.
All that matters is that they are progressing in their development plan. Rather than exams, students will do regular progress report sessions with their advisors, and will get periodic reviews from other advisors with similar interests.
Such projects could be funded by much needed wealth tax or other measures to tax the rich, which the people should claim through Referendum, that would be come more common with the adoption of electronic voting. Because the politicians are simply not being able to do it.
Figure 1. On a plate by Toby Morris (2015) Source.
Figure 2. On a plate by Toby Morris (2016) - 2.
Figure 3. On a plate by Toby Morris (2016) - 3.
Figure 4. On a plate by Toby Morris (2016) - 4.
A quote by Ciro's Teacher R.:
Sometimes, even if our end goals are too far from reality, the side effects of trying to reach them can have meaningful impact.
If the goals are not ambitious enough, you risk not even having useful side effects so show in the end!
By doing the prerequisites of the impossible goal you desire, maybe the next generation will be able to achieve it.
This is basically why Ciro Santilli has contributed to Stack Overflow, which has happened while was doing his overly ambitious projects and notice that all kinds of basic pre-requisites were not well explained anywhere.
This is especially effective when you use backward design, because then you will go "down the dependency graph of prerequisites" and smoothen out any particularly inefficient points that you come across.
Going into such productive procrastination is also known informally as yak shaving.
There are of course countless examples of such events:
  • youtu.be/qrDZhAxpKrQ?t=174 Blitzscaling 11: Patrick Collison on Hiring at Stripe and the Role of a Product-Focused CEO by Greylock (2015)
The danger of this approach is of course spending too much time on stuff that will not be done enough times to be worth it, as highlighted by several xkcds:
Figure 1. xkcd 974: The general problem. Source.
Figure 2. xkcd 1205: Is it worth the time. Source.
Figure 3. xkcd 1319: Automation. Source.
These are "original" thoughts that Ciro had which at some point in the past amused him. Some would call them pieces of wisdom, others self delusion. All have likely been thought by others in the past, and some of them Ciro thinks to himself after a few years: "why did I like this back then??".
After Ciro's colleague was doing that in a project:
Chuck Norris can parse pseudocode.
On the theory vs practice of computer science:
Whereas Turing completeness is enough for mathematicians, humans need "run-on-Debian-complete".
On how human perception of media is completely unrelated to the computer's transmission mechanism:
Media for humans is not byte streams. It is magic.
On how you make the best friends in life when dealing with hardships together.
The bond between men is like the bond between two metals: it is better made under fire.
In Ciro's case, this in particular means going through high school/universities studies and work projects, though of course war would apply particularly well. Perhaps inspired by as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
This is of course just another version of one picture is worth a thousand words.
Ciro Santilli has mixed feelings about animal rights.
On one hand, his irrational side wants of course all animals to be happy.
On the other, he does not care about this enough to not kill and eat them, even though he believes that you could live off plants relatively well.
His more rational side says: humans are sacred. Either because you believe in the soul, or because your built-in empathy behaviours. If it is not a human, do whatever you want to it. Killing is already undoubtedly the greatest sin. It is not OK to kill a human painlessly is it? So if torturing it brings humans good, then do it.
Of course, this does get use close and closer to "the what is a human" question, which is more relevant than ever in the awakening of genetics: all species are after all a continuum right?
And Ciro does not have a simple solution to this problem, besides that in 99.9999% the answer is obvious to 99.9999% of the people, and for the others cases, we have to do it like the law and make flawed rules to cover the remaining 0.000099999% cases and let juries decide the rest.
The only other sensible sacredness barrier is the common vegetarian "nervous systems are sacred" one. But how can you believe that if you also follow the religion of physics, where everything is just made of atoms?
Is it evil to take one neuron and torture it? What does that even mean? It will be fun when pain and pleasure are fully understood.
And you are going to have a really hard time when mosquitoes start transmitting deadly diseases that kill your family.
Laws in most 2020 Western modern societies have converged to a hypocritical balance between not offending people too much by hiding the killing and minimizing the pain when possible at low cost. Killing animals painlessly is basically always fine if it brings any "non sadistic" pleasure to humans. And torturing animals is fine with approval e.g. to make medicines.
This has the downside of increasing costs for society. Maybe there are practical benefits besides people feeling bad about animals? Maybe we would have more serial killers if people were free to torture animals? Maybe people in butcher shops would become depressive if their bosses weren't forced to use more expensive painless killing methods? Neither of those seems like huge arguments though.
It eventually comes down to: "how much more is a human life worth than that of an animal" which brings Jesus's Matthew 6:25-34 "Do Not Worry" (archive) quote to mind:
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Non-vegetarian pets owners also baffle Ciro, as most of them basically extend the sacred human line further arbitrarily to certain other cute looking animals like dogs, cats or rabbits, but will gladly kill a cow indirectly by paying someone to pay someone to pay someone to cut it into small pieces. Or they believe that certain specific individuals are sacred. Admittedly, the latter is more rational, and looks a lot of how we treat our own families well, and can accept that other families are not doing so well.
Ciro's even more rational evil side says: the real reason why humans are sacred is a practical one: people have families that love them, and they come to kill you if you kill them, and this starts endless chains of violence that make society unbearable.
While animals feel pain when their children are killed, their memory and logic is just not good enough to fully understand that humans in general have an evil plot to it, and they don't have a method to communicate between themselves and fight back.
For similar reasons, Ciro is pro-abortion.
Futurama's S02E15 "The Problem With Popplers" episode blew Ciro's mind so much.
Ciro should stop discussing topics in which infinite argument has already been had. Sometimes he writes things down so he can stop caring the next time the subject comes up, as there's no need to say it again once it is written.
Ciro Santilli is against affirmative action university entry quotas that reserve spaces e.g. for students from discriminated races or poor families. Instead, he believes that affirmative action should take place on earlier stages of education as described at: free gifted education.
Notably, Brazil has implemented a very heavy university entry quota system after Ciro had left university there: www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23862676
This is of course easy for a white male from a privileged background to say, and infinite debate has already been had on this matter, but here goes again.
First, in defense to the personal attack, Ciro raises the fact that he has dedicated large chunks (all?) of his life to open source software and knowledge in general, which Ciro believes is the only way to actually make the world fairer to poor countries. His money (time) is where his mouth is.
One good argument in favor of the Brazilian quota system, is that the kids who enter university because of quotas do just as well as those who don't.
Both the top end of the quota and non-quota kids are basically equally capable of doing useful stuff therefore.
Only a tiny fraction of what you learn in high school is useful for university or your career.
And possibly more importantly than knowledge, Ciro saw many of his colleagues (basically all of which were from relatively privileged backgrounds) "do badly" in university, because of lack of motivation, because they had chosen a course only to find that they were not interested in it because the existing high school educational system is crap and does not help them find what they love and because it costs you several years of your life to change your choice in most universities (long live École Polytechnique).
Maybe the fact that poor kids know that they are fucked if they fail, and so they have to succeed at any cost, might also help with motivation. Which is a terrible terrible thing, because only those who have to leeway to take risks end up taking them and making the the next big thing.
Ciro believes instead that only once kids have learnt university level stuff in their area of interest for free on the Internet should they go through selection based on that specific and much more concentrated useful knowledge.
And this competition must only be used to distribute resources which you can't learn from fucking computers:
Once this point knowledge is reached however, it starts to become unclear if a single "everyone takes the same test to avoid discrimination" test is feasible anymore, and we start entering the much more relevant (and potentially discriminatory) "I am a teacher trying to advance the state of the art, and I need a person mildly skilled in the art to do some slave labor for me", which is PhDs selection work.
If quota are in place, what will happen is that parents of the rich kids will start investing less in education, and possibly just put their kids in high schools, and do home schooling instead. This would therefore reduce the total investments the country makes in education!
Outside of the obvious technical evolution proposed, Ciro is a huge proponent of free gifted education.
Then let those kids pass exactly the same university entry exams, and watch them crush the average privileged kids.
This advice is similar to what is mentioned at: what poor countries have to do to get richer. When you don't have money to do everything, you must select a few good bets and focus on them. You can't pay a lot to every public school teacher, so you must select a few select places that need it the most. As those smart bets pay off, you start to have more and more money to expand the system further.
Video 1. Inside Westside Barbell by Vice News (2018) Source.
One sentence of this nice documentary about the notorious Westside Barbell gym where the openly pro-performance-enhancing-drug powerlifting legend leader and cult-leader-like personality Louis Simmons teaches just stuck to Ciro Santilli's mind. His top tenant and manager Tom Barry talks about Louis:
The man [Louis] lives in his own world, and he just rejects everything outside of it, it doesn't matter. Like: "what's your name"? He doesn't care. If you lift numbers, he cares about that, that's more important.
Ciro admires this level of focus, directness and meritocracy. Just don't take drugs, children. Louis' creation of a cult-like training atmosphere is another interesting aspect, see also: Section "Group students by interest, not by age".
Ciro wonders if Louis is a white supremacist though, this was asked here but is inconclusive. But being composed almost exclusively of a bunch of white bald ex-prisoners in the US makes it a bit suspicious. Racism is bad BTW.
This is one of the main reasons why Ciro Santilli invested in OurBigBook.com.
Ciro believes that the only thing students must be forced to learn is to speak read and write English and that a teacher's main job after that is to help students find their next big goals and also ties into the backward design philosophy.
Everything else, the student must choose.
This idea is generally known as self-directed learning.
This is most notable in University entry examinations of poor countries, where students often have to waste one extra year of their lives to go through preparation for the useless university entry exams. And then, surprise surprise, if they actually get in, they find that this is not what they really wanted to do, and they just go through to the end miserably because they understandably they don't want to risk another year of their lives.
Ciro saw this first hand École Polytechnique which was way freer than his university in Brazil.
Steve Jobs's university dropout stories from Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address also come to mind.
Video 1. The Purpose of Education by Noam Chomsky (2012) Source.
  • 0:00 discusses education as a system of indoctrination: indoctrincation for people to comply with the Establishment and pass tests, vs the Age of Enlightenment in which education should help you achieve your own intellectual/life goals. He suggests without specific evidence that after the 60's there was explicit intervention in the US to increase the indoctrination aspect, of which debt is a part.
  • 15.45: assessment vs autonomy: exams are useless, except as a tool to help improve teaching and self assess. Tells anecdote about little girl who wanted to learn more about a subject, asked teacher how to learn more, teacher said you can't, you have to study for this useless national exam instead which will determine your future, and if I'm rehired or not.
www.nature.com/articles/081121a0. paywalled after more than 100 years, thanks Nature.
From the abstract:
Much money, his student went on to say, is spent by various Governments in attempting to discover those people whose thorough education may be expected to bring in a return of value to the State, and the question how best to discover latent genius is an eminently practical one. After cogitation, Prof. Ostwald came to the conclusion that it is those students who cannot be kept on the rails - that is, who are not contented with methodical teaching - who have within them the seeds of genius
Ciro Santilli couldn't agree more... notably students must have a flexible choice of what to learn.
This is a good initiative. It doesn't go nearly as deep as it needs to go to fix students must have a flexible choice of what to learn, but it is a start!
Since Ciro Santilli is Brazilian, this is understandably a common conversation opener.
And rightly so, since soccer in particular is truly ridiculously popular in Brazil, where "what is your local soccer team?" is just as valid a conversation starter as "Which city are you from?".
So here goes Ciro's 2020 cynic answer:
I currently root actively against Brazil.
The ironic reason is simple: maybe is Brazil loses more on this useless art, then maybe people will get tired of it, and instead invest on more useful and beautiful arts.
Notably, what Ciro really wants people to root for are:
  • the number of Brazilian Nobel Prizes, which is zero, yes, zero, as of 2020, despite a population of 210 million people. But thank God for our one Field Medal, what an epic start, even though Mathematics is useless.
  • the number of high tech companies that have a global impact, which is likely extremely low as of 2020, and must contain only a few mammoths that dominate some local commodity market and therefore got enough money from that to expand a bit of technology worldwide. But they were mostly not classic tech startups that did world innovation from the start.
  • how low your country's Gini coefficient is
Don't get Ciro wrong.
Observing professionals who do it amazingly can be beautiful.
But why the F do you have to root for a team unless your wife or children are playing in it (and even then..., how will that help?)?
What will you get from that?
Even if it is your national team, why does it matter if they win or lose?
Hooliganism just takes that uselessness to a hole new level.
Now some confessions.
A five year old Ciro will never forget when the feeling of Brazil won the 1994 World Cup on the penalties and everyone went mad that evening.
A nine year old Ciro stopped watching the 1998 World Cup Final of Brazil vs France half way during the 3-0 massacre and went to his front garden to kick his soccer ball on the metallic fence gate which represented a goal.
After that, Ciro went through puberty he guesses, and noticed that the natural sciences are just cooler than this soccer watching bullshit.
Video 1. Football, Football, Football by Mitchell and Webb. Source.
companies are getting too much power to distort regulations and destroy privacy.
Taxes pay for the physical car roads, so why shouldn't they also pay for the "online roads" of today?
The following services are obvious picks because they are so simple:
Other less simple ones that might also be feasible:
All of them should have strong privacy enabled by default: end-to-end encryption, logless, etc. Governments are not going to like this part.
And then if you ever forget a password or lose a multi-factor authentication token, you can just go to an ID center with your ID to recover it.
Ciro Santilli thinks that maybe the government does not need to provide those, but it needs to regulate the fuck out of them, notably control over censorship in those platforms: the deplatforming of Donald Trump.
Related:
Ciro Santilli is a big believer that there is value in tutorials written by beginners, because beginners are more likely to explain things in a way that other beginners can understand.
Even though they make more mistakes, this more approachable point of view can be very valuable.
And mistakes/omissions can be corrected on comments by people with more knowledge, so that the writer also ends up learning something new.
By other people:
  • jakobschwichtenberg.com/about/ from Jakob Schwichtenberg mentions quotes C. S. Lewis book "Reflections on the Psalms"[ref]:
    It often happens that two schoolboys can solve difficulties in their work for one another better than the master can. [...] The fellow-pupil can help more than the master because he knows less. The difficulty we want him to explain is one he has recently met. The expert met it so long ago he has forgotten. He sees the whole subject, by now, in a different light that he cannot conceive what is really troubling the pupil; he sees a dozen other difficulties which ought to be troubling him but aren't.
Good pious Cirists earn Cirocoins.
Cirocoins are the most valuable form of currency that exists at any point.
Cirocoins can only be issued by Ciro Santilli.
Cirocoins are strictly nominal, and cannot be traded by recipients with anyone but Ciro, i.e. they are extremely illiquid.
Cirocoins can be removed from recipients at any point if they commit non-Cirist acts.
It is not possible to give a precise number to how many Cirocoins anyone owns. This is decided on a transaction by transaction basis. Ciro can therefore only inform you if your Cirocoin balance increased or decreased, but any attached number has no value, and thus are equivalent to expressions of type "you gained/lost a Cirocoin".
The following inferior currencies come to mind:
Notable lists:
Things that are not nice such as:
And of course, 4chan just takes that to a whole new level, usually closing on the same day, and then getting deleted within a week. Why would anyone contribute non-illegal content to that king of system?!
Ridiculous, so when new information comes out, we just duplicate all the old comments on a new thread again?
The first time Ciro Santilli Googled this was when trying to repair his cell phone.
2019 cell phones are glued together with adhesive, which makes them impossible to repair them unless you have a heat gun, spend hours and hours learning and planning, and accept the risk of breaking the screen
If you take a phone less than 300 dollars to a repair shop in the first world, they will say: I've never repaired this crap, and likely for the price of the repair you should just buy a new one, and so to the trash goes the old one, polluting the planet, and in comes a new one, enriching the manufacturer further.
European Union, I need you now.
These are obviously just a manipulative lie sales practice to make you want to buy at regular price.
Shame on you.
Similarly, recurrent Internet payments that give you one year's discount, and make you put up on your calendar to call them one year later threatening to give more discounts to be as cheap as competitors or I'm out.

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