The most popular programming news sharing forum of the 2010's by far. If your content gets shared there, and it stays on top for a day, the traffic peak will be incredible. Reddit posts are sure to follow.
Basically a programming-only Reddit-lite.
Ciro Santilli had a few of his content shared there as mentioned at the best articles by Ciro Santillis.
Repeat after me. Inertia is all that matters. Features don't matter. But algorithms matter.
Quora is crap in many, many senses, but in part due to some bad Stack Overflow policies, it is the best crap we've got for certain (mostly useless) subjects. Until dominates the world.
The worst thing about quora is that you cannot subscribe only to certain subjects on your feed. Quora just keeps pumping shit you never subscribed to, no matter what. Ciro, for sport, unfollowed every single idiotic subject it was proposing, but it didn't work, sooner or later Quora just keeps pumping more shit back. Mind you, some of that shit is fun. But it's still shit. Though on second thought, YouTube also randomly decides to reset Ciro's humongous "don't recomend this shitty channel" choices from time to time, which is not much different...
Other terrible things, they just seem to have an incredible ability of making the website worse and more annoying over time! Truly amazing:
See also: for a coverage of the intense pro-CCP astroturfing present on the website.
The best place to get answers to programming questions as of 2019. Google into Stack Overflow is always the best bet.
An overview of Ciro Santilli's Stack Overflow contribution can be found at: Ciro Santilli's Stack Overflow contributions.
Figure 1. Stack Overflow in a nutshell. Source.
As the "WTF look at my points" guy, Ciro Santilli approves of this meme. A few more elements could be added, notably deletion of the last link-only answer, but good enough.
By the profile image, the "Grammar Nazi" editor is actually appropriately the notorious serial editor Peter Mortensen, his edit count is insane, predominantly style and grammar. Ciro Santilli welcomes grammar fixes, but more subjective style fixes can be a bit annoying.
Figure 2. Catching mice by Nakanoart. Possible non-canonical source:
Stack Overflow does have an super naive reputation and moderation system and overly restrictive subject matter, which Ciro Santilli wants to improve upon with:
However, it is the best that we have now, and if you use it like Ciro, you won't get tired:
  • monitor only rare tags that you know a lot about, let others answer duplicates on big tags for you
  • only answer on bigger tags when you find a better answer than can be found on the page
  • accept that sometimes things are bound to go wrong, that reputation is meaningless, and move on
What else would you expect from a naive algorithm system that has 10 million newbies asking stuff?
  • always upvote questions you care about, to increase the probability that they will get answered
  • never upvote other people's answers unless you might gain from it somehow, otherwise you are just giving other high reputation users more reputation relative to you
  • only mark something to close or as a duplicate if it will bring you some advantage, because closing things creates enemies, especially if the OP has a high profile
    One example advantage is if you have already answered the question (and the duplicate as well in case of duplicates), because this will prevent competitors from adding new better answers to overtake you.
  • protect questions you've answered whenever someone with less than 10 reputation answers it with a bad answer, to prevent other good contributors from coming along and beating you
  • when you find a duplicate pool answer every question with similar answers.
    Alter each answer slightly to avoid the idiotic duplicate answer detector.
    If one of the question closes, it is not too bad, as it continues netting you to upvotes, and prevents new answers from coming in.
  • follow on Twitter/RSS someone who comments on the top features of new software releases. E.g. for Git, follow GitHub on Twitter, C++ on Reddit. Then run back to any question which has a new answer.
  • always upvote the question when you answer it:
    • the more upvotes, more likely people are to click it.
    • the OP is more likely to see your answer and feel good and upvote you
  • if a niche question only has few answers and you come with a good one, upvote the existing ones by other high profile users.
    This may lead to them upvoting or liking you.
    Even if they don't, other people will still see your answer anyway, and this will lead to people to upvoting you more just to make your great answer surpass the current ones, especially if the accepted one has less upvotes than yours. Being second is often an asset.
  • always upvote comments that favor you:
    • "I like this answer!" on your answers
    • "also look at that question" when you have answered that question
  • don't invest a lot in edits. They don't give you rep, and they can get reverted and waste your time.
    Why are you trying to help other people's answers to get rep anyways? Just make a separate answer instead! :-)
  • if you answer a question by newbie without 15 reputation, find their other questions if any and upvote them, so that the OP can upvote your answer in addition to just accepting
  • If you haven't answered a question, link to related questions you've answered on question comments, so more people will come to your answers.
    If you have answered the question, only link to other questions at the bottom of your answer, so that people won't go away before they reach your answer, and so as to strengthen your answer.
  • if a question has 50 million answers and you answer it (often due to a new feature), make a comment on the question pointing to your answer
  • if you get a downvote, always leave a comment asking why. It is not because you care about their useless opinion, but because other readers might see the comment, feel sorry for you, and upvote.
  • ask any questions under a separate anonymous accounts. Because:
    • intelligent people are born knowing, and don't ever ask any questions, so that would hurt your reputation
    • downvoting questions does not take 1 reputation away from the downvoter, and so it greatly opens the door for your opponents to downvote you without any cost.
How do you think Ciro got his rep? Just kidding.
Stack Overflow later forbade Ciro from advertising this project as described at: Section "Ciro Santilli's Stack Overflow suspension for vote fraud script 2019". Those newbs know nothing about security through obscurity.
After Ciro Santilli got a lot of attention on Hacker News his Stack Overflow account was suspended for 3 days新疆改造中心-六四事件-法轮功 and he received a magic notification that led to a private message:
I'm writing in reference to your Stack Overflow account:
I don't understand why you are actively promoting and assisting people to commit fraud on the site.
I've removed this from your profile and do not expect you to post it around the site.
I'm suspending you to gain your attention on this matter.
We have temporarily suspended your account; you may return after 3 days.
Stack Overflow Moderation Team
To: Aaron Hall ♦;Andy ♦;Baum mit Augen ♦;Bhargav Rao ♦;Bohemian ♦;BoltClock ♦;Brad Larson ♦;ChrisF ♦;Cody Gray ♦;deceze ♦;Ed Cottrell ♦;Flexo ♦;George Stocker ♦;Jean-François Fabre ♦;Jon Clements ♦;josliber ♦;Madara Uchiha ♦;Martijn Pieters ♦;meagar ♦;Michael Myers ♦;Rob ♦;Robert Harvey ♦;Ry- ♦;Samuel Liew ♦;Undo ♦;Yvette Colomb ♦
Ciro's reply was:
Hi mods,
Reply and unsuspend quickly followed, with link still removed:
I suspended you to get your attention. Your attitude about going to Twitter about it does not bode well with me.
Feel free to have whatever you want in your GitHub repo. Just don't advertise tools to make it easier for people to circumvent the rules. As easy or as hard as it may be to circumvent them, you're handing it to people who may not be capable of doing so. It doesn't help.
Don't make threats to upload on an anonymous account. Accounts created to circumvent previous warnings are not welcomed on the site.
We don't need a meta thread to discuss whether it's ok to post voting fraud links in your profile and we definitely don't need to give it anymore publicity.
I'll unsuspend you, now we've had this discussion.
Stack Overflow Moderation Team
A meta thread was later created by Yvette, kudos, to which Ciro answered with the correct unpopular answer that will be downvoted to oblivion:
Yvette had also previously deleted one or two of Ciro's answers for being duplicates, which is a policy Ciro is against: if the questions are not dupes, a single answer might still directly reply to both of them.
Yvette later announced that she was leaving the website: This is evil, but Ciro was happy. He does not mean harm to Yvette, but in their limited interaction, Ciro disagreed with her choices.
Video 1. The Great Places Erased by Suburbia by Not Just Bikes (2022) Source. Stack Overflow, and other online forums, can serve as a sort of a third place for its more active users.
One may dream.
If they belive that their reputation is a representative meaningful metric, then it should be fine!
And if not, then they should fix it.
Notably, more people would try to "game" the system by quickly answering lots of small impact answers which could tilt things off a bit. Not to mention straight out fraud.
So basically less money into developers doing useless new features for the website, and more money back into meaningful contributors.
How about 2k USD / month for the number one contributor of the year, going linearly down to 0 for the 200th? This would be 100k USD / month, so about 12 developers.
There's no point.
The question remains there, but people lose the ability to help the asker.
Reputation is meaningless regardless, since JavaScript gurus will always have 1000x more readers than low level junkies.
The deeper problem: the existence of multiple separate websites instead of just using the tags on a single website.
Stack overflow allows deleting content/making it visible only to 10k rep users.
Ciro Santilli is strictly against this, and this is an intended core policy of
If you delete people's content randomly, they will be much less likely to write anything.
Getting downvoted to oblivion is one thing, but data loss? Unacceptable.
Only illegal content must ever be deleted. Or extermelly obvious spam. But anything in a gray area should never be removed.
Deletion can be done by either:
  • votes of high reputation users
  • moderators
  • or worse of all, which happens often on the smaller websites: auto-deletion because come content has not received enough views/votes above some treshold! The most illogical thing of all is that the question is not even permanently removed from the system, only hidden from other/low reputation users! So it does not save any disk space at all! Mind blowing!
It's great right? You can't link to your other answer alone: Stack Overflow link-only answer policy, but you can't copy the other answer either.
And because not all duplicate close votes succeed, see e.g. the result is that someone else will come and answer the same thing in a different wording.
And some answers answer two questions that are not duplicates, e.g. superset/subset questions.
So just do a slight variation wording yourself and get all the reputation.
Why. Why. Why is there no limit to how much I can help, but there is a limit to how many thanks I can get?
At most, limit it to a single answer to avoid highly publicized events, e.g. an answer being shared on Reddit. But across answers? It makes no sense.
The two ways main ways to overcome this limit are the 15 point answer accept reputation and bounties.
200 reputation per day works out 73k a year BTW.
These are some users Ciro Santilli particularly respects, mostly due to their contributions to systems programming subjects:
Ciro also really likes the following users, a bit less like Gods, and bit more like friends:
Other interesting people:
Nothing personal, just Ciro Santilli strongly disagrees with the moderation philosophies of these users.
One particular type of user Ciro particularly dislikes are those who do more moderation than content. Ciro finds it very hard to understand why some people spend so much time moderating. Maybe that's how politicians exist, some people just like that kind of activity.
The moderators tend to have lower intermediate rep. They spend too much time moderating and too little time coding.
Infinitely many SQL answers.
As mentioned at Ciro Santilli's Stack Overflow contributions, he just answers every semi-duplicate immediatly as it is asked, and is therefore able to overcome the Stack Overflow maximum 200 daily reputation limit by far. E.g. in 2018, Gordon reached 135k (archive), thus almost double the 73k yearly limit due to the 200 daily limit, all of that with accepts.
This is in contrast to Ciro Santilli's contribution style which is to only answer questions as he needs the subject, or generally important questions that aroused his interest.
2014 Blog post describing his activity:, key quote:
For a few months, I sporadically answered questions. Then, in the first week of May, my Mom's younger brother passed away. That meant lots of time hanging around family, planning the funeral, and the like. Answering questions on Stack Overflow turned out to be a good way to get away from things. So, I became more intent.
so that suggests his contributions also take a meditative value. mentions he's an SQL consultant that consulted for several big companies.
LinkedIn profile: says he now works at the New York Times.
2021 Reddit thread about him: mentions that by then he had:
answered 76k questions about SQL on StackOverflow. Averaging 22.8 answers per day, every day, for the past 8.6 years.
Ron Maimon is a male human theoretical physicist with an all but dissertation started in 1995 at Cornell University[ref][ref].
Figure 1. Ron Maimon's Physics Stack Exchange profile picture. Source.
Ron is mostly known for simultaneously:
Ron seems to share a few philosophies which Ciro greatly agrees with as part of Cirism, which together with his knowledge of physics, make Ciro greatly respect Ron. Such philosophies include:
However he also subscribes to some theories which Ciro Santilli considers conspiracy theories, e.g. his ideas about the Boston Marathon bombing that got him banned from Quora (a ban which Ciro strongly opposes due to freedom of speech concerns!), but the physics might be sound, Ciro Santilli does not know enough physics to judge, but it often feels that what he says makes sense. mentions that he was at Cornell University and did all but dissertation, but he mentions that he was still self-taught:
Eugene Seidel: On your personal info page you write that you are not a physics Ph.D. but does that mean you were a physics undergrad in college then went to grad school and finished ABD... or are you entirely self taught?
Ron Maimon: ABD. I am self- taught though, I only went to school for accreditation. I had a thesis worth of work at the time I left grad-school,
Eugene Seidel: ok thanks
Ron Maimon: I was just kind of sickened by academic stuff that was going on--- large extra dimensions were popular then.
Eric Walker: Anyway, thanks Ron -- I'll get back to you with more questions soon, I'm sure.
Ron Maimon: Also I was at Cornell, my advisor left for Cincinnatti, and I was not in very good standing there (I was kind of a jerk, as I still am). Some friends wanted to start a biotech company called "Gene Network Sciences", and I joined them.
This is corroborated e.g. at: (original down as of 2023).
At from Video 1. "Ron Maimon interview with Jeff Meverson (2014)" he mentions his brother is a professor. At confirms that his brother's name is "Gaby Maimon", so this neuroscience professor at the Rockerfeller University is likely him: Looks, age, location and research interest match.
  • Ron Maimon answers about physics and math on Quora (part 1) by Sheng Li (2020) contains a selection of some amazing Ron Maimon posts
  • someone made a Reddit for him. Less than 100 users as of 2022, but has potential.
  • some Quora threads about him, oh the irony:
      I'm a physics grad school drop-out working in theoretical biology but I still do physics when I get a chance, but not right now because I am in a middle of a project to understand the properties of a certain virus as completely as possible.
      Also in a comment he explains something to a now deleted comment, presumably asking why he dropped out of grad school, and gives a lot more insight:
      It's a complicated boring story.
      I dropped out mainly to do biology with friends at a startup, because I figured out how you're supposed to do theory in biology, but also I truly believe it was next to impossible for me to get a degree without selling out, and I would rather be shot than write a paper with an idea I don't believe.
      My grad school phase was a disaster. I first worked for Eric Siggia, but I got away because he had me do something boring and safe, I figured I have only a limited number of years before I turn 30 and my brain rots, and I wasn't going to sell out and do second-rate stuff. I found a young guy at the department doing interesting things (Siggia was also doing interesting things, like RNA interactions, he just wouldn't assign any of them to ME), this was Philip Argyres, and got him to take me. Argyres wanted me to work on large-extra dimensions (this was 1998), but I made it clear to him that I would rather be boiled in oil. I worked a little bit on a crappy experimental setup that didn't work at all, because I didn't know enough about electromagnetic screening nor about how to set up experiment. But EVERYONE LOVED IT! This is also how I knew it was shit. Good work is when everyone hates it. But I learned Lifschitz's ideas for quantum electrodynamics in media from this project.
      Me and every competent young person in high-energy physics knew large extra dimensions was a fraud on the day it came out, and I had no intention of doing anything except killing the theory. Once Wikipedia appeared, I did my best to kill it by exposing it's charlatanry on the page for large extra dimension. That was in 2005 (after getting fired from the company), and from this point onward large-extra-dimensions lost steam. But I can't tell how much of this was my doing.
      Argyres liked N=2 theory, and we did something minor in N=2 SUSY models around 2000, but I was bogged down here, because I was trying to do Nicolai map for these, and it ALMOST worked for years, but it never quite worked. But I knew from the moduli interpretation and Seiberg-Witten solution that it must work. If I live long enough, I'll figure it out, I am still sure it isn't hard. But this was the link to statistical stochastic models, the work I was doing with Jennifer Schwarz, and I wanted to link up the two bodies of work (they naturally do through Nicolai map).
      But I had my own discovery, the first real discovery I made, in 1999, this thing that I called the mass-charge inequality, what Vafa and Motl called "the weakest-force principle" when they discovered it in 2006. It was swampland, and Vafa hadn't yet begun swampland. My advisor didn't believe my result was correct, because he saw me say many stupid things before this. So he wouldn't write it or develop it with me (but I had read about Veltman telling 'tHooft he couldn't publish the beta-function, I knew Argyres was wrong about this)
      Anyway, Argyres left for Cincinnatti in 2000, and I joined the company then. I was in the company until january 2005. Then they fired me, which was ok, by then it was a miserable hell-hole full of business types.
      I discovered Wikipedia, and started killing large extra dimensions. I wanted to finish my thesis, and some people agreed to help me do this, but I had told myself "no thesis until you get the Nicolai map sorted out" and I never did. I worked with Chris Henley a little bit, who wanted me to do some stuff for him, and I discovered an interesting model for high-Tc, but Henley said it was out of fasion, and nobody would care, even though I knew it was the key to the phenomenon (still unpublished, but soon).
      This was 2008-2009, and I became obsessed with cold fusion, so Henley dropped me, as I had clearly gone crazy. I developed the theory of cold fusion during the last weeks of working for Henley. Then I dropped out for good.
      Honestly, by the time I was gone, I realized that the internet would make a degree counterproductive, because I knew I had better internet writing skills than any of the old people, I was a Usenet person. Online, the degrees and accreditation were actually a hinderance. So by this point, I secretly preferred not to have a PhD, because I knew I was good at physics, and I could attack from the outside and win. It's not too hard if you know the technical material.
      The only problem is that I was unemployed and isolated in Ithaca for about 7 years after having gone through my first productive phase. But I developed the cold-fusion ideas in this period, I learned a lot of mathematics, and I developed a ton of biology ideas that are mostly unpublished, but will be published soon. It astonished people that I could have no degree and be unemployed and have such a sky-high ego. The reason is that I could evaluate my own stuff, and I liked it!
Video 1. Ron Maimon interview with Jeff Meverson (2014) Source. Ripped from Jeff's "Quoracast": Ron mentions he was an early-Usenet user. Key points:
Waste of time sub-sites that should instead be merged into Stack Overflow as different tags.
Nowhere is this waste more visible than at: A website just for some specific course that is completely covered by other sites of the network? What a humongous waste!!!
They sent one of the rare spams Ciro actually was interested in!!! Likely going down lists of top Stack Overflow users.
They have some kind of cryptocurrency, TCHME token, as a reward. Ciro wonders if the value of TCHME will ever be high enough to serve as a valid incentive.
Also, what is the total TCHME supply? Can the website devs issue as much as they want? They do giveaways e.g. as shown at:
And a centralized system with a certralized marketplace would work just as well for the initial phases. But fair play, the idea is interesting.
Ciro Santilli dislikes the fact that they take themselves too seriously. Ciro prefers the jokes and tech approach.
They could have been Facebook!
Ciro Santilli does the same via Google searches and Twitter/Reddit searches for himself, you can't invent anything new nowadays:
Kibo was known for his high-volume but thoughtful posts, but achieved Usenet celebrity circa 1991 by writing a small script to grep his entire Usenet feed for instances of his name, and then answering personally whenever and wherever he was mentioned, giving the illusion that he was personally reading the entire feed.

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