Why does sleep become more elusive as we age?
I’ve slept better as I age because there isn’t a government enforced mandate to force me to wake me up early in the morning and go into a room with my same age peers. Not being in poverty helps as well.
I found children were set up to fail so spectacularly when it comes to sleep that I wonder why it would become more elusive with age.
Giving a Shit as a Service (2022)
The Forks episode of The Bear is one of my favorite stories on giving a shit: a fork polisher at a fancy restaurant learns you don’t work in food service because you love polishing forks. You do it because you want to bring people joy and polishing the forks is one of many steps to that end. You can find purpose in fork polishing through both excellence and empathy for your customers. There’s a lot of days the code I write is about as exciting as fork polishing, but you do it for your teammates and users.
WiFi without internet on a Southwest flight
When my son was younger - maybe 9 or 10 or so, we were on a plane and he was using his phone and I looked over his shoulder and realized he was on the internet... but I hadn't paid for an internet plan. I said, "son, how are you using the internet?" He said, "oh, a kid at school showed me - if you go here" (he opened up the wifi settings where the DHCP assigned IP address is) "and start changing the numbers, eventually the internet will work." Apparently, at the time, on American Airlines, when somebody bought and paid for an internet plan, it gave them an IP address and authorized it to use the internet... if somebody else guessed your IP address (which was pretty easy, it was a 192.168 address) and spoofed it, they could take over your internet connection with no further authorization.
I had to tell him not to do that, but I was kind of proud of him for having the temerity to go for it.
Andreas Kling (@awesomekling)
I don't mind if someone believes something is impossible; that's just how some people are.
What I do care about is when they spread these limiting beliefs to others, especially the younger generation. Keep your defeatism and low ambitions to yourself.
For the last 12 years MANY gamedev educational institutions have focused their courses on specific game engines (mostly Unity), many of those students, now devs, will need to learn other low-level technologies in a hurry, it could be tough. Schools should learn a lesson from this
Mum fumes as school sent daughter home for wearing £100 Vivienne Westwood shoes
The whole uniform thing seems to be a bit of a scam.
Why is it that one shop / supplier in a city is allowed to carry the specific uniform the school demands?
Why does this uniform cost many times that of an unbranded one from ASDA or wherever.
Why are some schools investing so much time making sure kids are wearing the expensive version of the uniform, what does that accomplish.
I guarantee there are kickbacks and parents are being robbed. Just like with all the new academies under the Tories employing a family members company for IT etc...
Teaching with AI
Those who really desire to understand how things work will be undeterred by the temptation of AI. There are two types of people: those who care to know and really understand and those who don’t. Should we really force people, past a certain point, to care when it’s clear they don’t and are only doing something because they are forced to? I would argue that people should spend more time on the things they truly care about. That’s the critical difference; when you care about something and get enjoyment and satisfaction out of it, you want to understand all the fine details and have a thirst for knowledge and true insight. When you don’t care, you take the absolute shortest path so you can make time to do whatever it is that brings you true satisfaction. That’s perfectly okay with me because I do it all the time for things I couldn’t care less about.
If someone who wants to be a software engineer can’t be bothered to learn and understand the fundamentals I’d argue that software engineering isn’t the discipline for them. The more you understand, the larger the surface area of the problem you have for which to explore further.
What Is Permaculture?
Ah, they didn't have us apologize to plants - only to thank 'em. It wasn't a guilty thing we did, but it was a lesson to appreciate that they were growing and that we could enjoy them.
I'm surprised you didn't stop at the idea that it also implies plants have hearing and can understand language and process some kind of human meaning - I feel like those are more absurd than the idea than a plant feels. (More organisms on this planet demonstrate something like feelings than the capacity to verbally communicate.) But yes, I project the idea the plants have something like human feelings, and that's definitely a product of that kind of education reverberating through my life. It was a kind of spiritual lesson, and the school incorporated other spiritual elements like performing the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address during some school assemblies and camping trips. I'm not confused about those as an adult.
I also know that a plant's experience on this planet is alien to mine, and it's silly to apply human meaning to what I think it's going through. I think our brains have enough space to hold these ideas up there though and reflect on them, and I think children deserve more than a functionalist education. I don't think I'm messed up as a result of that education, and I'm living a happy life - fair to say I had a heck of a time catching up on math and language in middle school though!
What Is Permaculture?
I went to a small Montessori school on the Rio Grande while I was growing up, and among the other "new age"-y things going on at the school, we would spend half a day every week in permaculture class. We spent that class doing things like gardening, constructing adobe stuff like ovens and a gathering space shaped like a turtle (the head formed a pizza oven too - it was really cool), collecting eggs from a chicken coop, recycling fibers and scrap paper into (very brittle) paper, and making tea out of the herbs we grew - mint, chamomile, lavender, etc.
One of the most profound memories I have from that school is of Ms. Susan teaching us to say "thank you" to the plants when we took a few of their leaves for the tea. We'd look at the plant, find some good leaves, pluck 'em off, and then say "thank you" and move to the next one. It was kind of an intimate moment to share with a mint plant haha. It was probably also very cute for the teachers to watch a flock of kids roam around a garden and stare intently at some herbs for an hour.
It was the kind of thing that really sinks in when you're a kid. I didn't know it wasn't a "normal" kind of education, and I just figured, "we take our time and say thank you to the plants when take something from them" was a general rule of life that the adults follow too. I really cherish those memories now! Sometimes I thought they were boring af at the time - learning about compositing toilets isn't really priority #1 for a 9 year-old - but I hope other kids growing up are taught a similar connection to nature today. We've gotta say thank you to the plants!
Sold a Story: How Teaching Kids to Read Went So Wrong
As someone who's both worked as a teacher and as a software engineer, my feeling is that what happened in reading education is roughly what engineers' jobs would be forced by their CTOs to use software methodologies and languages that came from their university professors who've never really spend much time (at least not in well over a decade if at all) doing actual salaried software development where code had to be shipped. They may have even "observed developers" or "measured output" in constructing these things, and thought they had figured out The Way and knew how to systematize it, and deserved to sell it for millions of dollars, along with training, books, etc.
EDIT: Also, I would be remiss for not mentioning this, but if you are the parent of a kid stuck in a horrible reading program like the ones in this program, you can take matters into your own hands with this phonics-centric, well researched book: "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons". You don't have to be great at teaching, either. It gives you the exact prompts and feedback to use with your kids on every exercise. Lessons are short, repetitive, and you need to do it daily or near-daily. Anecdote: it worked for my kid.
AI-enhanced development makes me more ambitious with my projects
In Jiro Dreams of Sushi, the new staff starts from cooking rice perfectly first and perfecting roasted seaweed before moving on to preparing an egg sushi and then graduating to fish.
It's not grunt work.
It's how new engineers learn the ropes and gain experience doing low risk work; it's part of the learning process that only feels like grunt work to a senior dev.
I would love to have enough time and money to go to an office to work all day
In my opinion, my ideal walkable/livable community is the university town. It has everything you need in walking distance. Most people who work in the community live in the community. Public transportation is well-used, to the point cars are often outright forbidden. Lots of greenspace, with good wifi through the whole town. Well managed library and IT infrastructure. Very inclusive and welcoming community, as they are arranged around the idea of incorporating new people into the community on a regular basis.
I'm one of those lifers that went to college and never left, now entering my 5th year as a professor. That's a lie -- I had 3 years in industry, and I just hated it. I mean, the people were okay, but "the real world" seems to be a euphemism for having to put up with the shitty systems and communities that everyone else has to.
But here's the thing (and sorry to rant for a minute), calling academia an "ivory tower" in contrast to the "real world" is an admission that we have to accept the shitty systems and communities past generations have built for us. Because with all of the craziness in the banking sector and tech sector lately, it's hard to convince me that academia is any more divorced from reality than other large industries out there that are trying to run the world. How is academia any more of an ivory tower than silicon valley? And aren't those silicon valley bankers and billionaires the ones who are trying to shape the world in their image, while crashing banks and laying off hundreds of thousands of people? To me, that is a dark tower, and one we should not be trying to emulate at a country scale; whereas my community, the places I walk, the people I work with every day, the relationships I build with them -- that's the real world. Or at least my world. /r
Yes academia is a bubble and unique, but at the same time, that's what allows it to be a place where you can have the things you say you want. Is it sustainable? You know, probably not, but at the same time many of these communities are over a century old. I know my University has plans for sustainable growth for the next 100 years. There's surely still work to do to make such communities more sustainable, less costly to manage, and larger and more widespread. But still, the university town is a model that proves we can at least build walkable communities in America. They definitely exist!
In the past, I've had students call my problem sets “emotionally trying”
My favorite history professor in college gave open book essay exams.
He asked your opinion on topics, "what were the motivations of the leaders of the US revolution?" Even better were the questions that ended in "why or why not?"
There were no right or wrong answers, if you could justify your answer in a reasonable manner, you got full points.
Some students hated his tests, some students loved his tests. The students who hated his tests really hated them, the students who loved them, really loved them. (I was in the loved them group!)
Getting a Computer Science degree felt awfully similar, especially in higher level classes. Students of course had to do a senior project, 6 months to make something real in a group of 5. One group of students spun their project out commercially and and made some good money off of it.
My group make a photo library management app that was designed to allow for rapidly tagging hundreds to thousands of photos, utilizing custom experimental UI concepts. (This is when Google Picassa was still a big deal) When we started out we didn't know if we'd succeed, after all "experimental UI", "handles libraries with thousands of photos" and "desktop app written in Java" weren't typically phrases that went hand in hand back in the mid 00s.
But we did it! Which kind of summarizes my entire career in software engineering. If I'm not scared and uncertain of how I am going to do something, of if something is even possible, than I probably am not tackling a hard enough problem.
Persistent and pervasive impact of being bullied in childhood and adolescence
It's actually a different problem than most people realize. What happens is that you have criminal assault and abuse being tolerated by adults and then blaming the victims. To try to understand, take the behavior of the "bullies" and imagine it is being done by adults.
It really comes down to a lack of responsibility and accountability for managing the behavior of children in schools. Instead of dealing with children who are totally out of control, they blame the victims and compartmentalize the assaults as being somehow different since they involve children.
These assaults are actually even more critical to address in childhood because as they are allowed to form patterns that persist in criminal assaults and fraud in adulthood.
This type of failure is one reason that we don't truly have a civil society. There is this facade of order, but really at the heart it's just the animal kingdom. There is some aspiration by those with the responsibility, but on average the teachers etc. have little real resolve, courage, or capability to actually deal with the broken and dangerous children that are common in schools. So they blame the victims.
Persistent and pervasive impact of being bullied in childhood and adolescence
I was bullied pretty severely as a kid. So bad in fact I was put on medication just to deal with it. I was a weaker kid when I was younger owing to the fact I was sick a lot.
In America there is a concept of "zero tolerance" that keeps the bullied compliant and the bullies in charge. It was not until I started to get very violent that the bullying stopped. I would fight at a moments notice even sometimes in classrooms. Spent a lot of time suspended and my parents had conferences. I never lashed out at anyone. Though if someone tried to insult me, push me around, etc I would immediately switch modes and start swinging. As I got bigger and stronger it became less of an attack of weak punches to full blown knockouts.
The only way we can solve bullying is by teaching our kids that violence is not only necessary but expected. Teach them to be violent, and teach them to control it. You must defend yourself from these people. Enrolling your kids in an actual martial art (some combination of boxing, bjj, muay thai, etc) will help. When they break a bullies nose/arm/etc and get suspended you should not only encourage them to continue you should celebrate the victory. You can't win with bullies by "being the better person". Bullies aren't beat enough at home, so it's your job to bring the beatings to them. School systems are DESIGNED to protect bullies and subjugate the bullied. In America, they are prisons. The sooner children realize this the sooner they realize the methods to staying alive aren't much different.
"If you are not capable of violence you are not peaceful, you are harmless."
EXCLUSIVE: Nick Clegg sends son to £22k school after branding private education 'corrosive'
Tory in disguise isnt he.
Private schools are corrosive. Kids who come from private schools stick out like a sore thumb at uni.
EDIT: A lot of private school kids triggered that they can easily be picked out in social situations. Yeah you have disadvantages from being privately schooled. It impacts on your ability to interact socially as you were constricted significantly throughout your youth. All those months probably without a loving family around you actually alters the way your brain develops.
Ask HN: Anyone go through Montessori education until age 12 (end of grade 6)?
I did Montessori from kindergarten until grade 6 (age 12), in Mexico.
I really, really like it.
I think it reinforces the kids natural curiosity.
In middle school, my first year out of Montessori, I was shocked at how little other kids cared about learning. I remember the teacher discussing something about astronomy, and I raised my hand to comment on some fact I had read, and what followed was mockery by my peers and antipathy by the teacher. I learned quickly to never again show that I cared about learning.
This was a huge contrast with Montessori where most us were eager to learn and share what we had learned. I had friends that had built the solar system to scale out of their own initiative (in hindsight they may have taken some liberties, nonetheless).
I kept tabs more or less my classmates that came out of the Montessori, and I think they overall overperformed the non Montessori people in middle school and high school. Harder to gauge adulthood success.
I also liked that they had children of various years in the same classroom. I think it promoted knowledge sharing from the older kids to the younger ones, and it removed barriers for friendships. Some of my best friends back then where older than I was. That would never happen in middle or high school.
Finally, I don't think it's perfect. Because we were all expected to join a traditional school after grade 6, the school made some effort to make sure that the outgoing class had covered all the basic requirements (a not necessarily a simple thing since we had great liberty of pursuing what was interesting to us).
All in all, I would strongly recommend it.
Remote work may have aided the reversal of America's long decline in birth rates
I can understand that it's probably easier to track the numbers of children born to 'women' instead of 'parents', but my observation has been that remote work has resulted in a sea change as to what it means to be a full time working parent.
My boss works long hours and now has 2 kids under the age of 4. Pre-Covid he would have been out of the house from about 7-7 and only able to have moments of interaction at the edges of the day. Now, he works about the same hours, but when he takes a break, when he gets lunch or coffee, when his wife is busy, he can spend time with the kids. Play a little peek-a-boo, read some Dr Seuss, watch them grow. Our company is pushing back-to-work policies and he's pulling every string to get exceptions for our group. I think if push comes to shove then he's gone.
My brood is older but boy I like being there to help with the math homework. Even 10 minute to go though the process of "Here's the strategy, here's an example, here's why it works this way" makes a huge difference. I let them work out the problem by themselves, and 10 minutes later they come back with "I got it!". My partner, the scientist, is in his element. If we're not careful the kids are going to be going back to class and correcting their teachers.
It's redefined what it means to be a working parent. I hope it sticks. I'm old enough that I'm seeing the regrets from parents who quit their jobs to stay home and are in a unenviable situation post-divorce.
The 4th Year of SerenityOS
I think it’s that most people are doomers and/or are defeated by doomerism. Most people think it’s impossible to build an OS or a web browser (and are told this when they ask for help building one.)
In reality engineering is straightforward, you just need someone to show you how to properly write data structures and algorithms and to break problems down.
Andreas showed these kids this, reinvigorating the web based hacker culture I grew up in. Anything is possible and even if a problem ends up being more than you can handle at least you learned a ton along the way.
Now days searching for how to code leads you to a ton of tutorials about gluing modules together. I feel sorry for young people with that thirst who won’t be satisfied thanks to the commoditization of learning to code.
Spaced repetition turns reading into a physical activity with feedback. If you had an activity that required the knowledge you were hoping to acquire, you would learn at the same rate or faster by practice. Most lessons are encoded really poorly. I think spaced repetition is great, but practice at something is better.
A hacker is just someone who has practiced learning independently and has become exceptionally good at it. The reason people say you can't teach the hacker mindset is because without the underlying drive, there's nothing you can tell anyone. It's like when teachers who lament students don't care what they say so long as they get the right grade, it's because those students are optimizing for approval in a system because that's sufficent for their limited purposes. The more you profess to them, the more you reinforce that learning is passive submission to authority. If you want to make hackers, start with necessity, and technique will emerge as the artifact of navigating constraints. If you want to make people smart, challenge them instead of just telling them things. Hackers aren't defined by knowing more, they're defined by having physically done more. Spaced repetition as it's usually presented optimizes for outcomes in an approval environment that produces people who have been rewarded for cheating themselves out of knowledge and expereince.
I would say, want to learn physics? Build mechanisms or make radios. Number theory? Break cryptosystems. Astronomy and geometry? Sail at night. Lead? Ride horses. Fluid dynamics? Tune engines. Statistics? Write a spam filter. Speak a language? Tell their jokes, etc. Imo, most education is set around meaningless but scalable exercises of professed skills instead of meaningful exercises that are more powerful, but don't scale. We've optimized for scale at the expense of quality. It's the solution to an inferior problem.
So sure, learn spaced repetition, but really, find something and practice it for more joy and better results instead.
School vs. Wikipedia
Any new media has this problem. I know we think of digital media as being old and well understood at this point, but that's far from the truth.
Media moves too quickly for most people to understand it. By the time you understand it, it changes again. That was true for newspapers, radio, television, digital media, and now ubiquitous computing.
As people who build these media platforms (hackers) we need to do a better job designing the technology for humans and educating people to approach it with a more sophisticated mindset.
Ex; social media has been a disaster.
Remember, it was not that long ago that everyone got their information from the same places. This is going to be a long road.
Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder - Nassim Taleb
Their experiences are often formalized by academics; indeed, history has been written by those who want you to believe that reasoning has a monopoly or near monopoly on the production of knowledge.
The 'attention economy' corrupts science
And yet, in my career, I've noticed the rewards are increasing for being the person who is willing to focus on one thing for a long time (for several weeks, or months). For instance, I've never been the kind of software developer who could write obviously clever code. But I have written code that was admired and praised, and sometimes seen as the salvation of the company I was working for -- but not because I'm especially skilled as a software developer, but only because I was willing to think about specific problems, deeply, for longer than anyone else at the company. In 2012/2013, to the extent that I helped re-invent the tech stack at Timeout.com, it was because I was willing to spend weeks thinking about exactly why we'd reached the limits of what we could do with various cache strategies, and then what would come next. I then introduced the idea of "an architecture of small apps" which was the phrase I used because the phrase "microservices" didn't really become widespread until Martin Fowler wrote his essay about it at the very end of of 2013. Likewise, I now work as the principal software architect at Futurestay.com, and my main contribution has been my willingness to spend weeks thinking about the flaws in the old database schema, and what we needed to do to streamline our data model and overcome the tech debt that built up over the 7 years before I was hired. We live in a world where there are large economic rewards for the kinds of people who are willing to think about one thing, deeply, for weeks and weeks or even months and months, until finally understanding a problem better than anyone else.
I have to hope some young people eventually escape the attention-sucking technologies that try to sabotage their concentration, and eventually discover the satisfactions of thinking about complex problems, continuously, for months and months and months.
Ask HN: In what ways is programming more difficult today than it was years ago?
> Spending months to get the basics up and running in their React frontends just to be able to think independently of hand-holding tutorials for the most basic operations.
Frontend devs who were present before the advent of the major web frameworks, and worked with the simplicity of js script + DOM (or perhaps jquery as a somewhat transparent wrapper) benefited from seeing the evolution of these frameworks, understanding the motivations behind the problem they solve, and knowing what DOM operations must be going on behind the curtain of these libraries. Approaching it today not from the 'ground up' but from high level down is imo responsible for a lot of jr web devs have surprising lack of knowledge on basic website features. Some, probably a minority, of student web devs may get conditioned to reach for libraries for every problem they encounter, until the kludge of libraries starts to cause bugs in and of itself or they reach a problem that no library is solving for them. I feel like this is particularly bad outcome for web devs because web I feel is uniquely accessible for aspiring developers. You can achieve a ton just piggybacking off the browser and DOM and it's API, the developer tools in the browser etc. But not if you are convinced or otherwise forced to only approach it from the other side -- running before you crawl, or trying to setup a webpack config before you even understand script loading, etc.
How Writing Has Spread Across the World, from 3000 BC to This Year
I'll highlight Japanese because that is what I know.
A lot of imagery can be conveyed with choice of characters. Whether alternate readings in a novel, or brilliant neon signs on the street, you get a lot more information at a glance due to the overloaded meaning of the word being represented. Even more so in the case of compound words.
In spoken language you say のむ (nomu) - to drink, and contextually it doesn't matter how it's used. However, in writing 飲む means to drink a liquid, while 呑む means to drink alcohol. Imagine an author using the former for the latter as a particular word choice, probably to convey something like an alcoholic drinking alcohol as if it were water!
The language also has the problem of having a ridiculous amount of homophones. Deciding to use the more phonetic-like hiragana system inversely makes adult level reading even more difficult, not simpler. Texts would become longer (one character kanji vs multiple hiragana), and the implied meaning would be lost.
Get in Zoomer, We're Saving React
That's a pretty inexperienced take, out of context. People should absolutely learn from elders, even if they feel the elders are wrong. Which is pretty much, every young person who has ever existed. There are often nuggets of wisdom buried inside resistance to change.
I often wonder how much further along we'd be as a society if we didn't spend the first couple decades thinking we know everything. Myself included.
My students cheated... a lot
Cheating is the natural result of an exclusive funnel for entry into the middle class.
This has been going on for decades in Asia (which is why Chinese students cheat so much), and now America is finally here as well.
Academics like to wax poetic about how students are "only cheating themselves" and "losing out on the educational opportunities", but the reality is much more mercenary and down-to-earth: Either you pass this hurdle by hook or by crook, or you spend the rest of your life flipping burgers. It's not a hard choice.
Once you have the piece of paper (regardless of how you got it), you're in the club. So the goal is to obtain that piece of paper by any means necessary.
Human brain compresses working memories into low-res ‘summaries’
I think this is why it's hard sometimes to argue in support of something you believe, even if you're right.
At one point, all of the relevant facts and figures were loaded into your working memory, and with that information you arrived at a conclusion. Your brain, however, no longer needs those facts and figures; you've gotten what you needed from them, and they can be kicked out of working memory. What you store there is the conclusion. If it comes up again, you've got your decision, but not all of the information about how you arrived there.
So when your decision is challenged, you are not well equipped to defend it, because you no longer retain why you arrived at that decision, just the conclusion itself.
It's immensely easier to trust that you arrived at the right conclusion and the person who is in disagreement is missing something, than it is to reload all of the facts and figures back into your brain and re-determine your conclusion all over again. Instead, you can dig in, and resort to shortcuts and logical tricks (that you can pull out without needing to study) to defend what you've previously concluded (possibly correctly, but without the relevant information).
If this finding ends up being generally an approximation of how our brains work, it could explain a lot about what's happening to global conversations, particularly around the Internet and on social media specifically. It also suggests a possible solution; make the data quickly available. Make it as seamless as possible to re-load those facts and figures into your working memory, and make it as unpleasant as possible to rely on shortcuts and logical tricks when arguing a point.
Ask HN: If you used to be socially awkward and shy, how did you improve?
I was watching Euphoria these days, and reading your comment reminded me of a thought I had watching that. School is like prison. People are forced to spend most of their living hours with one another for long periods of time. So like in prison, weird social dynamic develops itself. Once you're out of prison, everything is much smoother. You can simply exit any toxic situations.
Dominant languages can spread even without coercion
What's already happening is that languages that aren't tied to their own unique literary cultures are slowly shrinking. The countries that don't have their own media import it, and will often learn other languages to access it rather than waiting for translations of varying quality. France, Germany, South Korea, Japan, and India all have enough unique, untranslated culture to get people to consider learning the languages that culture is written in.
This isn't the case for, say, the Netherlands, or Sweden. And I'd specifically cite the need to import English-language cultural works as driving the use of English in those countries. There's plenty of other countries' whose languages never really had a literary culture to begin with, too - although usually at that point you can find some kind of forced cultural erasure rather than mere economic need to learn English.
>Multilingualism (both in countries and individuals) lessens the zero-sum nature of language competition. But it is costly, in both time and money. Ultimately, some societies may have to put a price on a cultural inheritance that, once lost, is nigh-impossible to recover.
That being said, this is peak anglobrain. The EU bloc is already a deeply multilingual society, and people are perfectly willing to dabble with multiple language proficiencies. Ironically, this is because much of the EU just falls back to English - like, to the point where the EU has it's own dialect of it. French, German, and Spanish are also commonly learned and used as second languages, too.
This "languages are hard to learn" meme is, more than anything, the product of bad educational practices, lack of student motivation, and difficulty in finding speaking partners. For some reason, the entire anglosphere is just plain bad at language education. That's not to say that learning a new language is easy, of course. It's just that we aren't even really trying. The anglosphere is perfectly willing to just sit and make the rest of the world speak our language.
 This is known as Euro English.
 And, arguably, Japan.
 The UK is so bad at it that it was probably the deciding factor in Brexit. Nobody wants to immigrate to countries they can't speak the languages of. This meant that the UK had a uniquely lopsided ratio of immigrants to emigrants, and that much of the UK simply didn't get the benefits of being allowed to leave.
UK: Students could be prevented from taking university courses deemed low value
I think about this all the time. The combining of seemingly unrelated skills brings new perspectives and it helps people go from being cogs to creators.
Willingness to Look Stupid
After a terrible breakup years ago I took a trapeze class. Before we got up on the trapeze bar, I spent most of the class telling everyone how bad I was going to be at it. When I got home I lay in bed confused. Why did I do that? This article is spot on. I was afraid of being seen to be bad at something.
Have you noticed? We spend almost our entire adult lives doing things we’re good at. Anything we do that we’re bad at, we either stop doing or we get good at it. So all roads lead us away from the experience of being a beginner. For me, it had been too long. And I’d accidentally forgotten how to do it.
So I took up dancing (which I’m bad at). That was really terrifying. And trampolining. And more recently improv. At the moment I’m learning to draw - which I spent most of my life wanting to do. But I never stuck with it because I hate drawing badly. But that’s just what it feels like to be a beginner. The trick is letting that go, because it doesn’t matter. You don’t get to be good at anything without first being bad at it. And being comfortably, visibly bad at something gives everyone else permission to play.
Eliminating gifted programs won’t make education fair
Speaking as someone who moved around a lot as a child, and would be identified as a G&T candidate in each new place if there was such a program available there; when it wasn't, school was unbearable. In the last 2 years of High School, I stopped going to class, and stopped handing in assignments, and still did well... enough. My teachers liked me, could tell that I didn't belong there, helped out where they could.
I think it's helpful to think of G&T kids as having a learning disability. It sounds strange, but if they aren't stimulated, they are miserable, and will not do well in school.
Eliminating gifted programs won’t make education fair
Worse, eliminating gifted programs seems like its done mostly from spite. Like "i'm going to make these kids do worse to make it fair", not "i'm going to make these other kids do better to make it fair". What we want is to make the kids who do worse do better, not some abstract ideal of "fairness", because not everybody has the same aptitude so the only way you will get that is by reducing to lowest common denominator.
Was Germany’s 19th century industrial expansion due to an absence of copyright?
I think the notion of proliferation of broadly available technical knowledge is correct, but I'm not entirely convinced whether literature in particular was so relevant.
In How Asia Works, a great book on industrial expansion in Asia, Studwell notes that when Taiwan was moderately prosperous and dominated by industry half of the workforce could not even read. What really benefited East-Asia was a grey-collar culture, a national, egalitarian educational system and corporatism rather than a white-collar, classist and academic culture more common in say, England.
This is something you also find in Germany. The education system was designed to be broad. Schools were universal and focused on practical knowledge, with few ivory towers. Knowledge was historically and is still spread around between institutes (Frauenhofer say), firms, and industry-friendly universities, dispersed and practical rather than concentrated, theoretic and elitist.
This Prussian style system which is really where most German institutions come from also was quite literally copied by a lot of now industrial powerhouses in Asia.
The case for mutual educational disarmament
This is basically right. Quite a lot of education is a waste, it's window-dressing actual learning.
For instance, you might have spent some time getting exam prep advice: read the instructions, skip questions that are hard and come back later, try to memorize this or that formula / molecule / map / argument, if it's multiple choice strike out obviously wrong answers, look for hints to part 2 in part 1, if you can't figure out the integral guess that it's 0 or 1 (LOL a lot of high school integrals are elegant).
You have to spend real time learning this kind of sharpening exercise in order to do exams, or you will get less than what you should get, given what you actually understand about a subject.
There's no value to this time. You'll never need to remember how to reverse a linked list, because in real life when it comes up, you will just find it in a browser. Similarly with most things that require a precise answer, the effort in sharpening the answer is way more than what might reasonably be worthwhile in a real-life setting. Eg. I needed a Bessel function at one point in my career. Could I write down its form from having seen it at uni? No, of course not. Did I spend time doing just that at uni? Yes.
The real damage is we end up not educating people. We give them a bunch of answers to memorize and never test them on how the question is important. Did anyone ever examine you on why complex numbers are a big deal? Or what the big gap between classical and quantum physics was? I bet you only had exam questions about how to do the calculations and derivations. Get a number or a formula, that's easy to test. Whether this formula makes sense to use, that's hard.
The part about education being positional is also important. There's quite a lot of jobs that could be done by someone with no degree at all, including mine. My first boss in the City still has no degree, and didn't need it despite options trading having a reputation for being mathematical. All that's happened is nobody wants to not go to uni, and nobody wants to hire a non-degree holder to trade options anymore, because both groups think that going to uni signals that you're smart. Neither group actually thinks you need any of the actual skills you learn in uni, though.
Parser generators vs. handwritten parsers: surveying major languages in 2021
I took the compilers class at Stanford and never really understood the algorithms of bottom up parsing, or even really how grammars worked. I just made the tool work.
I then went to work at a private company, and an older guy who had gone to a state school that taught recursive descent (his was the last class to teach it) taught me how to do it. In a month or so I had learned more about how grammars actually work, what ambiguity is, and so forth, than in my whole class at Stanford.
I now teach compilers at a university, and I teach recursive descent.
Difficult math is about recognizing patterns
I think the pattern recognition happens once the concept “clicks”.
At some point you build a machine in your brain that automates and simulates some mechanics and your role shrinks into feeding the machine with the relevant information. Then it’s easy, you can imagine what will happen just by looking at the problem.
I believe the trick is to properly understand the low level basics, explore edge cases and play with the machine as you build it.
Many people will try to learn the basics of the highest level possible, then proceed to master methods and cases without deeply understanding the subject. They cannot compete with the person doesn’t know too much but has very deep grasp on it, working the way from there.
Brain Signals Translated to 18 Words per Minute
Grammarly might seem like an improvement if you have poorly developed grammar, but it’s a limited substitute for educating yourself in the English language. Why? Because if you outsource expression to an app you lose the personal dimension of your thoughts. This is more than nuance - it is a straight jacket because it stops you from thinking about what you are saying.
Minimum Viable Self
>Online provides a forum for people to get the sort of attention we might like. "Look what I can do!" or "Look at me!" Still, one of my gripes about social media is that there are so many people who lurk.
There's a lot to learn from lurking. My mother watches Tik Tok videos and doesn't post herself, but cooks more now than ever based on the ideas she sees on there. You can learn about a cultural trend, a social cause, a musician, a resource, etc. There are lurkers with agendas, sure, but many are just bored and don't take pictures of everything.
Message boards like this offer even more to learn. Many people repeat what's already been said. The lurker respects this or has nothing to say and moves on.
I don't like that Burning Man curator's quote calling their saying a form of "inclusivity" when it doesn't include the lurker. It also suggests that "being present" is necessarily not being observant, but doing things that are supposed to be done at their festival, which I don't agree with. That said, I'm sure a space like that would actively become less of what its meant to be if there were tons of people just spectating. They should own the exclusivity that they want.
Most Teen Bullying Occurs Among Peers Climbing the Social Ladder
I'm increasingly of the opinion that grouping school children with others kids their age is hugely damaging.
The major figures in most kid's lives are parents and teachers, who are in an authority position; siblings, who have a complex relationship that often turns competitive; and their school friends.
Kids are missing a chance to socialise with children who are older than them, learn from adults who are not in an authority role, and to care for and mentor younger children.
Instead they spend all their time with other kids who are have they exact same emotionally immaturity as they do. You get feedback loops of bad behaviour, and put them in bubbles where their peers and their psychopathic games (like bullying) make up 100% of their reality.
The only consistent counterpoint I can think of are cousins, who are typically slightly older or younger, and are outside of kids' normal peer groups. As a result these are often very positive relationships.
How to kill the university | thesephist.com
But a good university isn’t just one deep and lasting community. It’s a super-community, hosting the births of many more infinitely diverse communities every year interlinked by a higher level common identity of the university campus. This aspect of the university community, the ability to birth and grow new independent communities over time, is the best feature of universities.
I am French and got a top education by French standards (two Grandes Ecoles (the equivalent of Ivy League in the US) and a PhD). I worked really hard to get it, especially to get into the first school due to the completely crazy and unique French system (prépas - two years of suffering taken from your young life).
My son who is 14 had very, very average marks last year. He is a very bright and capable boy so I was really dissapointed. This year he is top of his class with an average mark of 18/20.
As you can imagine, I am all happy and everything and I told him that I am proud etc. - all the right things a parent says.
To what he told me that the marks in the class he is in this year decide which high school he will be admitted in. And he wants to be admitted to the best one.
So he obviously started to work hard to get good marks. That lead to the best high school. Where he will be probably average until the marks start to have a meaning again etc.
I was initially bemused at this approach, so far from the work ethics his father tried to instill in him.
And then, after some thinking, I think he is right (which is a major change in the way I was thinking). Grades are nothing more than a gateway to the future and ultimately do not mean anything more.
So "hard work" when it makes sense to do so.
Plato, Gödel, Spinoza, Ahab - 3:16
It's really sad that philosophy isn't a core part of the US curriculum and I can't figure out why that's the case. We were required to read plenty of novels that attempt to be philosophical, but analyzing them was always a nightmare because it's completely subjective. Is this paragraph literal? Symbolic? Metaphorical? Nothing at all? In many cases the author never explains, so there's no way to know. Everyone is free to project their own opinions onto everything.
I still remember being extremely frustrated when our teacher kept telling us it was "ironic" that the most physically fit character drowned in Stephen Crane's The Open Boat (sorry for the spoiler). It wasn't ironic at all because he was foolish, and foolish people get themselves killed all the time!
Why childhood and old age are key to our human capacities | Aeon Essays
So, childhood and old age – those vulnerable, unproductive periods of our lives – turn out, biologically, to be the key to many of our most valuable, deeply human capacities. They nurture and facilitate our exploration and creativity, cooperation, coordination and culture, learning and teaching. In some ways, we are at our most human before puberty and after menopause. In those times of our lives, we have the luxury of focusing on learning and teaching, instead of the four Fs (feeding, fighting, fleeing and … reproducing) that occupy most other adult primates (and are, understandably, so important to humans in our middle years).
Why childhood and old age are key to our human capacities | Aeon Essays
But there’s a catch, vividly illustrated in the work-at-home world. It’s hard to simultaneously teach someone else to do something, and to do it effectively yourself. (Sunday pancakes take twice as long when the kids help.) Gurven and his colleagues found that, mathematically, the best evolutionary strategy was to have the old teach the young. Let the peak, prime-of-life performers concentrate on getting things done, and match the younger learners with older, more knowledgeable, but less productive teachers. They analysed more than 20,000 observations from more than 40 different locations around the world, and found that this was the precise pattern in many different contemporary hunting cultures. The grandparents, in their 50s or 60s, weren’t as strong or effective hunters as the 30-year-olds, but they were more likely to be teachers.
Why childhood and old age are key to our human capacities | Aeon Essays
When babies play with things, they do it in ways that seem designed to give them the maximum amount of information about how those things work. Young animals, and especially human children, are also notably impulsive, random and risk-taking. That might be a bug if you want a system that will exploit effectively, that is, act in an efficient, focused way to achieve its objectives. But it’s probably a benefit from the perspective of learning.
Victims of school bullying are at a higher risk of developing violent behavior
It's an attack on the system. In the end it wasn't really the individual kids that are bullies that are the cause. It's the system that allows them to bully. That's why you see so many school shootings. School is essentially bully heaven.
Victims of school bullying are at a higher risk of developing violent behavior
As a victim of bullying in my childhood, I can attest to this. When I hear people say that they cannot fathom how a person could walk into a restaurant and kill everybody, I don't tell them, but I do know what kind of anger you need to develop to be able to do such thing. That could have been me, but fortunately, it wasn't. I'm grateful I was able to overcome that.
So you want to buy a farm?
I want to show people it's possible to work with natural systems to create self-renewing wealth and document my journey so others may reap the benefit of learning from my experiences so they may avoid simple mistakes.
Especially starting out, there are plenty of places to waste time and energy and the feedback loop of waiting multiple years to see results of a test is too slow, if we are to gain adoption we need a better way to transfer to each other what works and what doesn't.
A video is one way to do that.
A person might watch a 5 minute YouTube video and take with them something which took me years to get right. That 5 minutes could translate into many years of learnings which may be applied immediately to their system if they share a similar context.
Being rich is a mindset, and therefore anyone who identifies as it, is it. In most ways, I'm already rich.
Sharing my journey could be considered philanthropy for the planet and all living things on it.
Yes, I spend time making videos but I think this is my most important work so far, if I don't share then the experience dies with me.
I will have no regrets for trying.
I'm only one person after all, and we need global change so I need help and community. This post is a call-to-action, will you join me?
In Search of the Philosopher's Keyboard
What if your keyboard had access to your memories? What if it could complete your thoughts, not based on what you'd previously typed or learning generic responses or dumb rules, but based on a personal database of places, books, web pages, and notes of all kinds?
In Search of the Philosopher's Keyboard
The other problem is that most people don't have an explicit personal database, just a bunch of personal data locked up in silos. Fixing that is another and honestly bigger step, but it can be handled one person at a time.
When is no-code useful?
The ultimate no-code tool is Excel. It is the beach to code ocean. It’s about lowering the threshold of results possible to the widest possible group of people. You can have extra modules and plugins and you will always see people who have never dabbled with code before snorkel down to more and more complex functionality. No code done right is a gym - you get users willing to do something, and you enable them to do whatever they are willing to work for. I was one of those users - started with Flash, then trickled into action script, then trigonometry and animation, then JS, PHP. Stereotypes and preconceptions about code are the biggest hurdle for many. All you have to do is let them play and see whose brain naturally carries the load and asks for more. So Id say no code doesn’t replace engineers, but makes more of them.
My kid can’t handle a virtual education, and neither can I
In my opinion, the issue here isn't virtual learning (the what), the issue is how we are doing virtual learning (the how). We can't use zoom the way we use a physical classroom. It's a totally different medium. I teach a group of kindergarteners online every morning for 3 hours. The first thing we do is make sure their space is set up to allow for movement. They can jump up move, around, wiggle, whatever they want. I also take huge advantage of the screen share feature. If kids have a question about bugs, we look on youtube together for a great bug video. Every morning they get to pick a video on cosmic kids yoga, and then we do cosmic kids together. Considering she's the best kids yoga teacher in the world, we're taking advantage of the online medium to give them the best possible experience. When I read to them, I also screen share, so they can follow along (a much better way to get kids to read a long than in a classroom where I have to hold the book up.). Are there advantages to a physical classroom? Absolutely. Do we live in an age of technology? Yes, this is absolutely true. Let's learn to use these incredible tools well with our kids, rather than just dismissing them because they don't replicate the classroom experience.
Young children would rather explore than get rewards
For anyone interested in this type of stuff, I can recommend reading Drive.
Briefly, human behaviour can be motivated for extrinsic and intrinsic reasons. The rewards in this article are extrinsic motivators. Exploring is rewarding in an intrinsic way; it is a strive towards autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
In adults (and in older children) applying extrinsic motivators kills intrinsic motivation. Once the extrinsic motivators stop coming in, there is no desire left to do the task. Intrinsic motivation is practically infinite, as long as the environment is set up right to enable it.
Extrinsic motivation also tends to produce behaviour that does the bare minimum to get the reward (or avoid the negative consequences) whereas intrinsic motivation is what makes us want to excel.
Of course, I've skipped many important points and not countered any counterargument here, but I recommend reading Drive first if you think you disagree.
But the worst part of it all?
The schooling system, with its grades, signed slips, and whatnot, is set up through extrinsic motivation to teach obedience, conformity, and smothering the intrinsic drive so necessary for the creative work we will expect from the children later in life.
Why can’t we just hold classes outdoors instead?
Something to keep in mind: education is simultaneously universal but also deeply diverse, to the point that there won't ever be any feasible one-size-fits-all solution. Thus, it's easy to point to this as a non-starter at scale, but, like the article, I do think it's something that can be considered by specific communities in the specific circumstances. I actually know some teachers who ran an outdoor learning program, and it was incredible, but that kind of solution is something that can only happen on an individual basis and can't be deployed as a cure-all for the country. I don't think we should wholly discard the idea of outdoor schooling, I think it should be seen as a potential pivot for individual schools existing under very specific conditions (e.g. largely agreeable weather, logistical considerations of space/noise/contingencies able to be adequately and safely addressed, curricular design based around that setting, etc.).
I didn't do University until late 20s. And it was a C level state school. But darn it, it was the best 3.5 years of the best bang for buck dollars spent. My major was pure math. I loved it. No boss. No office BS. Just me and my homework. I came to love English the subject I sucked at throughout K-12. I'm forever grateful to Judy Newland (if memory serves that's her name) for holding the line on writing. She told me my semester English paper was a total F. Thank god by my 20s I'd matured enough to stop making excuses. For the first time I took the criticism and asked how can I fix it? Five drafts later I got a C and improved from there in time and more classes. I aced literature classes. I still remember laughing out loud during an Enlightenment Lit final about a quote from Voltaire (satire, "Candide"). Folks, second chances are great. I needed it. And when you're ready to grow Harvard may be great but so are many state Universities too. That's why I tell my older son who's in university now that it's more like a mirror. If you're on fire it'll reflect that back to you. And if you're just passing through uni will be a ok Las Vegas weekend at best: in-out-done as there was no long term vision anyway. I'm less and less convinced that human organizations can light kids up. We gotta come lit up and some hard knocks often helps get that fire started.
A College Degree Is No Guarantee of a Good Life
"Some kids think they know what they want to do after college, but others don’t, so for them college is like buying an expensive insurance policy"
Expensive is an understatement. At the same time, being unsure of what you want to do before college is what makes it a great place to sow the seeds for what you do in life. Funnily enough that happens mostly outside of class through people you meet and projects you work on.
Since the physical aspect of college is in question this upcoming year, I feel that it isn't worth it. You can probably do a lot of school without actually paying tuition, and find new ways to meet people and work on projects.
How a flawed idea is teaching millions of kids to be poor readers
I think the real problem here is systemic, rather than being linked to any one cause. Reading is an active process, it's something you have to want to do. Kids mimic the adults around them, so if a child lives in a household or neighborhood where no adults are ever seen reading for pleasure, how is are they supposed to know that reading is something worth doing? Another issue is aversion to hard work: unless you practice the difficult task of trying to understand symbols you don't recognize, you're never going to get better at reading. Those sorts of mental hurdles are unpleasant for most, certainly enough to throw many readers off track.
On another note, who's to say there's any one best way to read? Surely there's more than one way you can get something out of a book. People's brains are wired differently, some might learn better one way than another.
Online classes are not worth cost of full tuition
A couple of years ago, I was looking into MOOCs for tech education, Udacity's nano degree in particular. I remember stumbling across a video on Youtube where some Udacity folks were discussing the merits of online education with college professors and admins.
What stood out to me was how vehemently the college folks were against online education. They were visibly livid - there was no way substituting a live class room environment with online education could be as effective, they shouted. They were obviously threatened - they did not want the world they were so comfortable with to change.
Now they are singing a different tune once they don't have a choice - not only are colleges embracing online classes, they are trying to justify full cost for it too.
College students heading into the fall semester should take a gap year. I know I would.
Circle of Competence: Avoid Ambiguity Traps
A piano teacher my junior year of high school had me do exercises I didn't understand. A teacher in my college audition heard the result of those lessons and started me down another path of exercises. Essentially, the one teacher had communicated certain skills through me to the next teacher without my knowledge.
During one particular lesson my junior year of college, everything clicked and I began to play a melody with more control and direction. It was only at that moment that I could hear and feel the result of those exercises.
Furthermore, that teacher later speculated about the lessons my previous teacher had taught me. That speculation lined up pretty well with what I remembered of the exercises she gave me. And it was only then that I understood the efficacy of those lessons toward connecting a melodic line on the piano.
That's about 4 1/2 years and two mentors setting me toward developing a skill (in addition to others, granted), the process of which I didn't really understand for another half year after that.
And that's the best case of someone willing to do what seems like arbitrary work, and lacking the skills at the time to rationalize persuasive reasons to avoid doing that work. In my experience adult students are experts at talking themselves into the skills they think they already have, and talking themselves out of the will to learn new ones.
So without a decent mentor I'd speculate most people are hopelessly incompetent at assessing their circle of competence. Or at least they are if we widen the circle from "getting ahead in business" to "life."
It’s time to hear what adolescents think of mindfulness in schools
I've seen it suggested in other articles here before that mindfulness programs for employees are often a way for employers to try and get their staff to be more accepting of crappy conditions, or unpleasant, meaningless or unethical work.
It sounds to me like the same kind of thing might also apply in schools.
I'm sure the school teachers and administrators mean well. I'm sure they don't consciously realise what a nightmare their institutions have become for many of the students in their care. Even if they do realise, they didn't choose for it to be that way.
The sad fact is that modern life has become a horrible nightmare for many people, grownups and kids alike. Mindfulness has become a popular attempt to paper over the problems, but in truth, many people who are having coping problems coping or exhibiting "mental illness" are just having understandable reactions to the dysfunction they're sensing in the world.
To be clear: I'm in no way averse to emotional wellbeing techniques that are effective and that increase the agency of participants. I've gone very deep on this kind of work in my own life, and have benefited greatly.
But I think the outcomes, and indeed the intentions, of mainstream mindfulness programs are quite different to this, and are sadly far more focused on maintaining the status quo for institutions and modern mainstream society.
Why Tacit Knowledge is More Important Than Deliberate Practice
And so if you are a programmer, or designer, or businessperson, an investor or a writer reading about deliberate practice, you may be asking: “Well, what about my field? What if there are no established pedagogical techniques for me?” And if you have started to ask this question, then you have begun travelling a more interesting path; this is really the right question to ask.
The answer, of course, is that the field of NDM is a lot more useful if you find yourself in one of these fields. The process of learning tacit knowledge looks something like the following: you find a master, you work under them for a few years, and you learn the ropes through emulation, feedback, and osmosis — not through deliberate practice. (Think: Warren Buffett and the years he spent under Benjamin Graham, for instance). The field of NDM is focused on ways to make this practice more effective. And I think much of the world pays too much attention to deliberate practice and to cognitive bias research, and not enough to tacit knowledge acquisition.
Why Tacit Knowledge is More Important Than Deliberate Practice
Could it — in principle — be possible to externalise tacit knowledge into a list of instructions? Perhaps we could extract expert decision-making into a multi-branched process, and code that into an ‘expert system’. Or perhaps we could turn it into a process list, and give that to every practitioner in the field, instead of having them learn tacit knowledge the traditional way.
The consensus answer to that question seems to be: “Yes, in principle it is possible to do so. In practice it is very difficult.” My take on this is that it is so difficult that we shouldn’t even bother; assuming that you are reading this because you want to get good in your career, you should give up on turning tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge and just go after tacit knowledge itself.
Why Tacit Knowledge is More Important Than Deliberate Practice
What is more important is emulation, and action — that is, a focus on the embodied feelings necessary to ride a bicycle successfully. And this exercise was quite magical for me, for within the span of an hour I could watch a kid go from conscious incompetence to conscious competence and finally to unconscious competence.
In other words, tacit knowledge instruction happens through things like imitation, emulation, and apprenticeship. You learn by copying what the master does, blindly, until you internalise the principles behind the actions.
Repetition and Learning – misconceptions about effective studying
I teach Sanskrit to adult enthusiasts. It is mind boggling how people think that they can learn a language by being a passive consumer - that I need to do all the talking while they just sit and listen and take notes. I repeatedly tell them you need to be a producer and not a mere consumer. Creating your own sentences forces you to actively recall what you have learnt and is going to be far more productive than reading what is written. (Though reading is important too in learning a new language.) Being a producer and "active recall" require both effort and time and people give up quickly. Only the tenacious ones remain and they are the ones who learn.
Average adult will spend 34 years of their life staring at screens
Meanwhile we put 5-6 year olds in kindergarten classrooms with UV-blocking windows all day, for about 9 months during the part of the year with the least sunlight available, and we've cut recess time down to almost nothing, and schools increasingly don't send kids outside if the weather's anything other than perfect. At my kids' school they don't even have indoor recess if they keep them in! They just watch a damn movie. WTF. Of course there was some stupid educational fad that led them to remove all the toys from lower-grade classrooms to make room for "learning centers" (I gather this has happened more or less state-wide), so I guess if the gym's not available they can't really do indoor recess anyway, not that it helps their eyesight either way. And this is a very highly-ranked school for our state.
1.5 hours of recess daily minimum or bust for 3rd grade and under, I say, and I think that's not quite enough, really. Screw this 30 minutes crap. Know how I can guarantee my kids have behavior problems at home? Coop them up inside all day. Know how I make a day run smoothly? Make sure they're outside running around at least a couple hours while the sun's up. Then consider that they're giving a bunch of them nearsightedness on top of definitely creating behavioral and learning problems. It's crazy.
“It never gets easier, you just go faster.” – Letters To A New Developer
Just like learning isn’t linear, neither are careers. Your path will be your own. What you are doing today may or may not be what you’re doing in ten years. You might go into any number of other areas in software, or stay the course as a developer. It’s your life and all those choices are equally valid. One of my former colleagues quit to make hand-built microphones; another makes goat cheese in the Catalan Pyrenees. My personal philosophy is that at each opportunity to make a career decision, you should pick the direction that interests you most. Just like you learn faster when you are interested in your subject, you will ship better software (or make better cheese) when you are interested in your job.