Welcome to the wonderful world of Cirism!
Followers of Cirism call themselves Cirists.
Cirism is totally not a cult, has been officially verified to be compatible with all major world religions.
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.
Things that are not nice such as:
- Taboola, Outbrain, and other chumbox
- Europe cookie law
- adhesive inside mobile phones and more generally, planned obsolescence
- Jupyter Notebook
- typographical characters that look like ASCII ones, but are not the ASCII ones, e.g. typographical quotes, em-dash. The non-breaking hyphen is not even whitespace, and by def Why not stick to ASCII when ASCII is good enough?
- excessive encapsulation
- replacement of master and slave terminology from technology
- mailing lists. And to add insult to injury, HTML on mailing list messages instead of plaintext.
- blank lines in code added by people trying to increase clarity, especially when there is already indentation for that. Every blank line must be preceded by a line comment explaining what the following block is about, or removed.
- messaging software that force you to have a mobile phone
- advertisements by telephone/SMS
- "state" such as global variables and object members, long live functional programming?
- mosquitoes, the only intrinsically bad thing about tropical countries
- projects with slow compilation times
- Microsoft Windows
- the 2019 Chinese government
- e-learning websites that only allows verified teachers to write content. Cowards who can't handle ranking algorithms.
- domain-specific language
- a build system without an out-of-tree option
- non-linear Git history: stackoverflow.com/questions/20348629/what-are-advantages-of-keeping-linear-history-in-git
- visual programming languages like Scratch. Waste of time. Text programming languages are already equally as visual due to indentation:
Just make good serious gamedev libraries and integrated development environments for those real languages instead.
if x == 0: x = 1
- software that prevents you from running as root. Let me fucking shoot myself in the foot if I want to. It is better than having to deal with your hand holding bullshit, which is done in a different way for every project. E.g.: stackoverflow.com/questions/17466017/how-to-solve-you-must-not-be-root-to-run-crosstool-ng-when-using-ct-ng/53099177#53099177
- luxury goods
- closed access academic journals are evil
- websites without OAuth
- shower room without a window to the exterior (mould!!!)
- single programs with their interface split across multiple windows, e.g. GIMP, ZynAddSubFX
- graphical user interfaces
- infinitesimals. Just use limit instead, please
- mailing list
- knowledge olympiads
- programming languages without a decent dominating package system
- closed source offline software used by millions
- security through obscurities
- dots in Gmail address
- things in websites that look like links, and behave like links, but don't let you middle click to open them on a separate tab
- numerical computing language
- fiscal paradises
- when the front-end of an website changes an important permanent state, but the URL does not change
- splash screens: you should show boot messages so that people will know what to Google for when things fail. Do you think computer newbies will be afraid and have nightmares?
- milk chocolate: why would you eat that instead of dark chocolate if you are older than 10?
- to talk about something without giving the real name to not scare off the audience
- mathematical symbol that looks like a Greek letter but isn't. Or perhaps mathematical notation in general
- when more than two people gather to play a board game or video game, and two or more people start chatting on and on about random subjects rather than concentrating on the game
- watching television while eating. Same for reading, or doing basically anything else but eat. The only acceptable activity is talking relaxedly, not about work.
- noises coming out of your bicycle. It is so hard to find where they come to fix them!!!
- code drop
- private cars as opposed to public transport. As a cyclist, you can just see the effect that large roads have on nearby areas, it just destroys nature.
- closed standards
- double consonants that make no difference to sound. Dilema? Dilemma? Dillema? Dillemma? Please!
- social media websites that show stuff from people you don't follow when you don't explicitly want that, including things which are not ads, just random suggestions. Twitter starting being like that cirac a 2022. Facebook got worse around that time. It is a constant fight against those stupid websites.
- socks with short legs that don't protect your ankle/lower calf from cold/scratches/dirt, e.g. liner socks
- Presta valves. Why would such a flimsy tech have become so popular compared to the infinitely superior Schrader!
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
Repairability scores: www.ifixit.com/smartphone-repairability
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.
Oh, there is some 2017 EU action actually: (archive) www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20170629IPR78633/making-consumer-products-more-durable-and-easier-to-repair
Good article: www.androidauthority.com/device-repairability-807585/ (archive).
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.
- reverse debugging
- E Ink
- web archiving
- integrated development environments
- UML: while it might seem like a over-thought thing and likely is, the basic idea that understanding "one to one vs one to many vs many to many" relationships between objects and which object can see which object, is a fantastic approach towards understanding complex object oriented code
- open source software, including open source scientific computing consultancies
- FOSDEM. Ciro Santilli attended in 2016, and felt extremely good together with all those amazingly smart open source hackers: www.quora.com/What-are-the-best-open-source-conferences/answer/Ciro-Santilli
- vector graphics, notably scalable Vector Graphics
- ASCII art
- command-line interface
- autodidacticism and self-directed learning
- end-to-end encryption
- The Criterion Collection
- version control
- Guerrilla Mail
- static website
- Freeman Dyson
- open access academic publishers
- unconditional basic income
- 2FA, and notably 2FA apps
- human-readable formats
- wealth tax
- Reproducible builds
- Can't get you out of my head by Adam Curtis (2021)
- drug liberalization
- molecular Sciences Course of the University of São Paulo
- meal deal
- clade, as opposed to taxonomic ranks
- lingua franca, see also: having more than one natural language is bad for the world
- zip hoodies
In the field of Love and Friendship, Ciro is a big believer in the merciless application of tit for tat. Never desire someone's love if you give and what comes back is not proportional. Cut your attempts to reach out immediately in such cases.
Never tell a woman you like her before she is in your bed.
youtu.be/Sb0VHGnhX4M?t=174 from Video "Charles Bukowski Scandanavian TV interviews":
The way to get a woman is not to have money, not to look nice, not to have a nice personality. The way to get a woman, is to always be available, night or day. Any time you phone, you're there, or you're at the bar. They know that you are available at all times. It is very, very important to a woman.
See also: Section "Ciro Santilli's wife".
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".
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.
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?
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.
So here goes Ciro's 2020 cynic answer:
I currently root actively against Brazil.
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.
After that, Ciro went through puberty he guesses, and noticed that the natural sciences are just cooler than this soccer watching bullshit.
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.
And importantly: It must be easy to change your area of study.
One of the main reasons for Section "Students must have a flexible choice of what to learn".
We've created a system where people just wait, and wait, and wait, never really doing what they really want.
They wait through school to get into university.
They wait through university to get to masters.
They wait through masters to get to PhD.
They wait through PhD to become a PI.
And for the minuscule fraction of those that make it, they become fund proposal writers.
And if you make any wrong choice along the, it's all over, you can't continue anymore, the cost would be too great.
So you just become software engineer or a consultant until you die.
Is this the society that we really want?
This is a pre-requisite of Section "Students must have a flexible choice of what to learn".
The lock-in periods must be much more fluid and shorter term than those, otherwise it makes the almost inevitable pivots to success impossible.
When I realized the biggest reason to continue my pdh was to be dr helps, that's when decided I should probably leave.
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 geniusCiro 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!
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.
Ciro has actually believes that this is possible, and offers the following possible explanation: most of pre-university knowledge is useless, and university selection system is crap, and Ciro wants to destroy it with a system in which anyone can learn university stuff from home.
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).
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:
- laboratories. Actually, one of Ciro's most important advices to kids nowadays is: when in doubt, choose the course that has the most experimental work
- one to one mentorship on advanced master thesis/PhD level projects
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. Or closely related, creating scholarships that focus on poor students. The entry requirements should be the same, but once you qualify, everyone should have enough money to lead a decent life during their studies.
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.
Ciro Santilli has mixed feelings about animal rights.
On one hand, his irrational side wants of course all animals to be happy.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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)
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.
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%.
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.
- 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.
More precisely, for students whose parents don't live near the school. Or alternatively, online-only courses that offer the same diploma as the presential version. Or a compromise where the best N% students get accomodation, where N is a parameter of how decent your society is overall.
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 workshop courses and week-long conferences, since the only reason for universities to exist should be the laboratories. 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.
Anything else is just incredibly unfair to the poor. Ciro Santilli has already witnessed two cases, in developed, and under-developed countries, where very high potential poorer students were forced to work to support themselves in parallel to a demanding degree because their parents couldn't pay their rent on a different city, and the students mental health issues due to this. In one of those cases the student had to abandon the course altogether.
It doesn't help that school has become a pure student-evaluation system, which basically implies putting studets through a lot of useless pressure.
One of the stories that Ciro Santilli's father tells is about how when they were dating, one of Ciro Santilli's mother's greatest wish for her hypotetical child would be that "they should not need to work during their studies as she had". As destiny would have it, Ciro Santilli's family had good conditions and Ciro never thought even once about money. And even then, school still sucked. Imagine without that basic, mandatory, stability!
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.
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.
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:
- start with an ambitious end goal
- learn a bit of tech to try and reach it
- realize that you can't reach your end goal and pivot a bit to a related end goal that seems more realistic: the side effects of ambitious goals are often the most valuable thing achieved
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.
- Ciro Santilli and many many others believe that backward design is a fundamental principle that should be considered by the educational system rather than wasting 90% of everyone's time with the 90% of mandatory curricula they don't care about:
- notably that school should be personalized and project driven:
- www.cartalk.com/content/rant-and-rave-36 "The New Theory of Learning" by Thomas L. Magliozzi section "Premise III: THE BACKWARDS LEARNING THEORY" says the exact same thing. Ciro actually found this when writing Cool data embedded in the Bitcoin blockchain.
- several well known teaching methods:
- a Coding Horror software specific take on this issue: blog.codinghorror.com/please-dont-learn-to-code/
Or: how to learn X.
This pops up on Reddit every week.
That is the wrong question.
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.
Another very important point to keep in mind is: Section "When in doubt, choose the course that has the most experimental work".
!!! Survivorship bias alert !!!
If you want to do something, but you are afraid to do it, then that is likely what you should do.
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.
Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.
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: do one cool thing every day.
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.
Healthy Disregard For The Impossibleis a phrase Sergey Brin uses. The Google Story claims he picked that up from academia, and quotes this from a september 2003 talk in an Israeli elite high school.
Find What You Love and Let It Kill You
- Cute boy things by Caroline Ellison:
if you are a boy with the confidence to advocate for unconventional ideas and take actions based on them you are valid
- How can I be as great by Justine Musk:
rock the boat
- From the 1922 poem Portuguese Sea by famous Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa, which gets drilled into the head of every Brazilian high school student:
He who wants to pass beyond the Bojador
Must go beyond pain.Quem quer passar além do Bojador
Tem que passar além da dor.
- Translation of a poem by Muhammad Iqbal TODO date:
One is reminded of As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.Said one gazelle to another, "I will Take shelter in the harem from now on; For there are hunters at large in the wild, And there is no peace here for a gazelle. From fear of hunters I want to be free. O how I long for some security."His friend replied, "Live dangerously, my Wise friend, if it is life you truly seek. Like a sword of fine mettle hurl yourself Upon the whetting-stone; stay sharp thereby. For danger brings out what is best in you: It is the touchstone of all that is true."
Don't be a pussy. Be a Based God
Ciro feels that this resonates a lot with his OurBigBook.com.
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.
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.
Mirror and morning are not required though, a computer screen will do just fine: www.reddit.com/r/depression/comments/6jtamj/im_at_work_just_staring_at_my_computer_screen/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
Someone who is not a pussy.
If you are a pussy and work a soul crushing job, this is one way to lie to yourself that your life is still worth living: do one cool thing every day.
Find a time in which your mind hasn't yet been destroyed by useless work, usually in the morning before work, and do one thing you actually like in life.
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.
Highly relevant on this topic: Video "What Predicts Academic Ability? by Jordan B Peterson (2017)".
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.
- 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.
Gandhi TODO source:
You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind
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)"
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:
- English as a universal language by Dan Dascalescu (2008)
- harmful.cat-v.org/society/cultural_protectionism from cat-v.org
- blog.codinghorror.com/the-ugly-american-programmer/ highlights that the situation is even more critical for software development. But he's a moderate ideology. Newbie.
- Charles Kay Ogden, creator of Basic English, according to the Basic English Wikipedia page:
Ogden's Basic, and the concept of a simplified English, gained its greatest publicity just after the Allied victory in World War II as a means for world peace. Ogden was convinced that the world needed to gradually eradicate minority languages and use as much as possible only one, English in either a simple or complete form.
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!
- International Computers Limited fully bought by Fujitsu in 1998 after a long decline. The Fujitsu Wikipedia entry contains the emblematic image caption:
The Fujitsu office in Bracknell, United Kingdom, formerly an ICL site and opened by HM the Queen in 1976So much for The Queen. This was a prelude to Arm's sale somewhat.
- Solexa sold to Illumina (American company) for 600M USD in 2007. As of 2020 is still the basis for the dominant DNA sequencing technology in the world
- CSR sold to Qualcomm (American company) for 2.5B USD in 2015
- Dotmatics sold to Insightful Science for $690M[ref] in 2021. To add insult to inujury, Insightful changed its brand to Dotmatics later on.
- Arm sold to Softbank (32B USD in 2016)? ARM being of course the fortunate leftover of Acorn Computers's defeat to the more edible Apple
Europe has basically become an outsourcing hub for the United States. The fact that its starts are all sold if they become large enough just means that R&D is also outsourced.
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/.
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
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.
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.
- www.youtube.com/watch?v=bldeaDRWJYcLecture 24: Unemployment, Re-employment & Income Security by Ian Shapiro (2019)