If you are filthy rich and want maximize your impact per charity dollar on STEM education, read: how to give money to Ciro Santilli.
This website is written in Cirodown and its source code is located at: https://github.com/cirosantilli/cirosantilli.github.io
- Table of contents 
- 1. Ciro Santilli (三西猴) 
- 2. Natural science 
- 2.1. Physics 
- 2.2. Chemistry 
- 220.127.116.11.2. Sugar 
- 2.3. Biology 
- 3. Mathematics 
- 3.3. Algebra 
- 3.4. Calculus 
- 3.6. Game theory 
- 3.7. Geometry 
- 4. Technology 
- 5. Art 
- 6. Prizes 
- 7. Country 
- 8. Company 
- 10. Good and evil 
- 10.1. Evil 
- 11. Education 
- 11.2. University 
- 12. Religion 
- 12.1. Buddhism 
- 14. War 
- 15. Law 
- 17. Science 
- 18. Linguistics 
- 18.2. Alphabet 
- Nationalities: Italian and Brazilian
- Grew up in: Brazil
- Relationship status 2017-: married
- Chinese name: 三西猴, means "three western monkeys". Phonetic approximation to SANtilli CIRO. Semi-unintentionally reminds Chinese people of Sun Wukong (孙悟空). Given by ciro Santilli's wife, then girlfriend, as a semi-joke, and he took it up because the best way to take a joke is to go with the joker.
- Laptop: high end Lenovo ThinkPad
- Distro: latest Ubuntu release
- Vim or Emacs: Vim. But for The Love, will someone please make an open source C++ integrated development environment that actually just works?
- Tabs or spaces: spaces
- Mailing list or Git(Hub|Lab): Git(Hub|Lab), with passion: Section 10.1.4. "Mailing list"
- System or unit tests: system
- Default programming languages: Python and C++. He'll learn Rust and Haskell once he's rich.
- Favorite musical instruments to listen: Chinese Guqin and electric Jazz-fusion guitar
- Metric or imperial: metric, for the love. Science?
- QWERTY or Dvorak: QWERTY, alas
Ciro Santilli has sometimes wasted time with low impact projects such as those listed at Ciro Santilli's minor projects instead of doing higher impact projects such as those mentioned at: Section 1.2. "The most important projects Ciro Santilli wants to do".
But maybe "Everything you did brought you where you are now." applies, maybe it is during the "low impact activities" that one gets the inspiration and experience required for the "high impact ones".
This is the most important technical tutorial project that Ciro Santilli has done in his life so far as of 2019.
The scope is insane and unprecedented, and goes beyond Linux kernel-land alone, which is where it started.
It ended up eating every system programming content Ciro had previously written! Including:
so that that repo would better be called "System Programming Cheat". But "Linux Kernel Module Cheat" sounds more hardcore ;-)
- C, C++, POSIX
- x86 and arm userland assembly
- arm baremetal assembly. x86 baremetal is at: https://github.com/cirosantilli/x86-bare-metal-examples and would in theory be migrated, but he's lazy
- QEMU and gem5 emulation
His best answers are listed at: Section 1.4. "The best articles by Ciro Santilli".
Stack Overflow has been the initial centerpiece of Ciro Santilli's campaign for freedom of speech in China.
In Stack Overflow Ciro likes to:
- answer important questions found through Google which he needs to solve an actual problem he has right now, and for which none of the existing answers satisfied him, and close duplicates.
- monitor less known tags which very few people know a lot about and where the knowledge sharing desperately lacking, but in which Ciro specializes and therefore has some uncommon knowledge to share
In practice it It also happens that Ciro:
- Googles for his own answers to remember some detail he wrote down but with slightly different terms that were closer to mind at the time, and find other similar questions for which he has the perfect answer.
- learns something new by chance, e.g. some new flashy feature of a new version of the C++ standard, thiks "this is awesome, there must be a Stack Overflow question for it", and then there is a question and he answers it
When he gets an upvote on one of his more obscure answers, Ciro often re-reads it, and often finds improvements to be made and makes them.
He doesn't like to refresh the homepage looking for easy rep on widely known subjects. See also: online forums that lock threads after some time are evil.
The number two at the time was VonC, who had about 16 times more answers than Ciro in total! From this query: https://data.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow/query/1072396?&Date=2019-07-01&UserId=895245 it can be seen that as of July 2019, 1216 out of his 1329 answers were answered 60 days after the questions and constitute potential necromancers! Compare that to VonC's 1643 potential necromancers out of 21767 answers!
In terms of per year reputation ranks, Ciro was in the top 100 in of the 2018 ranking with 38,710 reputation gained in that year: https://stackexchange.com/leagues/1/year/stackoverflow/2018-01-01?sort=reputationchange&page=4 (archive). Note that daily reputation is mostly capped to 200 per day, leading to a maximum 73000 per year. It is possible to overcome this limit either with bounties or accepts, and Ciro finds it amazing that some people actually break the 73k limit by far with accepts, e.g. Gordon Linoff reached 135k in 2018 (archive)! However, this is something that Ciro will never do, because it implies answering thousands and thousands of useless semi duplicate questions as fast as possible to get the accept. Ciro's reputation comes purely from upvotes on important question, and is therefore sustainable without any extra effort once achieved. Interestingly, Ciro appeared on top of the quarter SE rankings around 2019-11: http://web.archive.org/web/20191112100606/https://stackexchange.com/leagues but it was just a bug ;-)
There is no joy like answering an old question, and watching your better answer go up little by little until it dominates all others.
Stack Overflow reputation is of course, in itself, meaningless. People who contribute to popular subjects like web development will always have infinitely more reputation than those that contribute to low level subjects.
What happens on the specialized topics though is that you end up getting to know all the 5 users who contribute 95% of the content pretty soon as you study those subjects.
Like everything that man does, the majority of Ciro's answers are more or less superficial subjects that many people know but few have the patience to explain well, or they are updates to important questions reflecting upstream developments. But as long as they save 15 minutes from someone's life, that's fine.
For example, Ciro's most upvoted answer as of July 2019 is https://stackoverflow.com/questions/18875674/whats-the-difference-between-dependencies-devdependencies-and-peerdependencies/22004559#22004559 was written when he spent his first week playing with NodeJS (he was having a look at overleaf, later merged into Overleaf, for education), which he didn't touch again for several years, and still hasn't "mastered" as of 2019! This did teach a concrete life lesson to Ciro however: it is impossible to know what is the most useful thing you can do right now very precisely. The best bet is to follow your instincts and do as much awesome stuff as you can, and then, with some luck, some of those attempts will cover an use case.
Ciro tends to take most pride on his systems programming answers, which is a subject that truly relatively few people know about.
Ciro also derives great joy from his "media related answers" (3D graphics, audio, video), which are immensely fun to write, and sometimes borderline art, see answers such as those under "OpenGL" and "Media" under the best articles by Ciro Santilli or even simpler answers such as:
Ciro's deep understanding of Stack Overflow mechanisms and its shortcomings also helped shape his ideas for: write free books to get famous website. So it is a bit funny to think that after all time Ciro spent on the website, he actually wants to destroy it and replace it with something better. There can be no innovation without some damage. It also led to Ciro's creation of Stack Overflow Vote Fraud Script.
After answering so many questions, he ended up converging to a more or less consistent style, which he formalized at: https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/18614/style-guide-for-questions-and-answers/326746#326746 Like any other style guide, this answer style guide, once fully incorporated and memorized, allows Ciro to write answers faster, without thinking about formatting issues.
Ciro also made a question title style guide: https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/10647/how-do-i-write-a-good-title/311903#311903 but for some reason the Stack Overflow community prefers their semi-defined title meta-language to proper English. Go figure.
Ciro started contributing to Stack Overflow in 2012 when he was at Ecole Polytechnique.
Like all things that end up shaping the course of one's life, Ciro started contributing without thinking too much about it.
Ciro's first upvote was for his 2012 question: How to run a Python script portably without specifying its full path?
When he started contributing, Ciro was still a newbie. One early event he will never forget was when someone mentioned a "man page", and Ciro commented saying that there was a typo!
When Ciro reached 15 points and gained the ability to upvote, it felt like a major milestone, he even took a screenshot of the browser! 1k, 10k and 100k were also particularly exciting. When the 100k cup (archive) arrived in 2018, Ciro made a show-off Facebook post (archive). At some point though, your brain stops caring, and automatically filters out any upvotes you get except on the answers that you are really proud of and which don't yet have lots of upvotes. The last remaining useless gamed achievement that Ciro looks forward to is legendary (archive).
From the start, Ciro's motivations for contributing to Stack Overflow have been a virtuous circle of:
- save the world through free education
- It feels especially amazing when people in the real world start taking note of you, and either close friends tell you straight out that you're a Stack Overflow God, or as you slowly and indirectly find out that less close know or came to you due to your amazing contributions.
It is also amazing when you start having a repertoire of answers, and as you are writing a new answer, you remember: "hey, the knowledge of that answer would be so welcome here", and so you link to the other answer as well at the perfect point. This somewhat achieves does what write free books to get famous website aims to do: for each small section of a tutorial, gather the best answers by multiple people.
Ciro feels that his Stack Overflow alter ego is the user kenorb, which has a surprisingly similar contribution pattern (one of the top necromancers) and subjects (Python, Bash). Ciro tried to contact him to say hi, but it was hard to find a contact. kenorb, feel free to send Ciro a hi one of those days.
Way to go.
Ciro also asks some questions on a ratio of about 1 question per 10 answers. But Ciro's questions tend to be about extremely niche that no one knows/cares about, and a high percentage of them ends up getting self answered either at asking time or after later research.
Like most people in the West, Ciro has always been for political freedom of speech, and therefore against the Chinese government's policies.
However, the seriousness of the matter only fully dawned on him in 2015 when, his mother-in-law, a then a 63-year-old lady, was put into jail for 15 days for doing Falun Gong.
And all of this was made 100 times worse because Ciro deeply loves several aspects of China, such as food, language, art and culture, and saw it all being destroyed by the Communists.
The rationale of this is to force the Chinese Government to either:
- leave things as they are, and let censored keywords appear on Stack Overflow (most likely scenario)
- block Stack Overflow, and lose billions of dollars with worse IT technology
- disable the Great Firewall
In the beginning, this generated some commotion, but activity reduced as novelty wore off, and as he collected the reply to all possible comments at: https://github.com/cirosantilli/china-dictatorship.
This campaign has led him to have an insane profile view/reputation ratio, since many people pause to look at his profile. He is point "A" at the top right corner of Figure 6. "Scatter plot of Stack Overflow user reputation vs profile views in March 2019 with Ciro Santilli marked as A.":
Ciro feels that the view count started increasing more slowly since 2020 compared to his reputation, likely every single Chinese user has already viewed the profile.
Further analysis has been done at: https://stats.stackexchange.com/questions/376361/how-to-find-the-sample-points-that-have-statistically-meaningful-large-outlier-r
These are some smaller projects that Ciro Santilli carried out. They are all either for fun, or misguided use of his time done by an younger self:
- Naughty stuff. Ciro likes being naughty:
- Stack Overflow Vote Fraud Script
- GitHub makes Ciro feel especially naughty:
- All GitHub Commit Emails: he extracted (almost) all Git commit emails from GitHub with Google BigQuery
- A repository with 1 million commits: likely the live repo with the most commits as of 1017
- An 100 year GitHub streak, likely longest ever when that existed. It was consuming too much server resources however, which led to GitHub admins manually turning off his contribution history.
- A repository with a 100k commit Git octopus merge. Now that is a true Cthulhu merge.
- 500 on adoc infinite header xref recursion: that was fun while it lasted
- Because Ciro cares about education, around 2014 he looked into markup languages and version control for books, before he noticed that this approach was useless and that ranking algorithms are all that matter:
- He implemented some large features and several smaller improvements.GitLab sent Ciro a free swag bottle later after they got funding on to thank him for his contributions: Figure 8. "Ciro Santilli in a dune lake in Jericoacoara, Brazil with his GitLab bottle.". He had to pay for the beach trip though.
- Markdown Style Guide
- karlcow/markdown-testsuite improvements: Ciro has implemented the test runner a few months before CommonMark left stealth mode and killed it instantaneously.At least MacFarlane was able to reuse part of the HTML normalizer he wrote, and he extracted the multi-engine comparison to: CommonMark Implementation Compare.
- isaacs/github public unofficial GitHub issue tracker: he has commented there so often that he was made a collaborator
- Vim: sometimes Ciro want crazy and wasted his time with Vimscript:
- Breakthrough Message: aliens!!! Creative / media project, powered by some Python scripts.
- making Google Maps reviews of places he's visited to help other people. Ciro's photos reached 1 million views in 2019: https://www.google.com/maps/contrib/106598607405640635523/photos (archive)
These are projects which Ciro seriously considering doing, and which he believe could have a considerable impact in the world, given a few months of work.
They are sorted in order of "most likely to get done first".
The initial incentive for those people is to make them famous and allow them to get more fulfilling jobs more easily, although Ciro also wants to add money transfer mechanisms to it later on.
The key intended technical innovation of the website is a PageRank-like algorithm that answers the key questions:
- who knows the most about subject X
- what is the best content for subject X
where any user can create any new subject X.
Ciro envisioned a Wikipedia-like page, where you can fork a version of any subject or header to improve it, suggest changes via a "GitHub-pull-request-like" mechanism, and create bug reports under any given header.
Then, while reading an article about a subject, say, "The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus", you would be able to click a button, and easily view the other best articles about that subject.
Many subjects have changed very little in the last hundred years, and so it is mind-blowing that people have to pay for books that teach them!
More than that however, if such project succeeds, it could fundamentally change the way university is organized, enormously improving its efficiency.
It could destroy the current educational system and replace it by one that lets people choose what they want to learn.
Ciro decided to start with a decent markup language with a decent implementation: Cirodown. Once that gets reasonable, he will move on to another attempt at the website itself.
The beauty of those subjects has always felt like intense sunlight in a fresh morning to Ciro. Sometimes it gets covered by clouds and obscured by less important things, but it always comes back again and again, weaker or stronger with its warmth, guiding Ciro's life path.
As a result, he has always suffered a lot at school: his grades were good, but he wasn't really learning those beautiful things that he wanted to learn!
School, instead of helping him, was just wasting his time with superficial knowledge.
First, before university, school organization had only one goal: put you into the best universities, to make a poster out of you and get publicity, so that more parents will be willing to pay them money to put their kids into good university.
Ciro once asked a chemistry teacher some "deeper question" after course was over, related to the superficial vision of the topic they were learning to get grades in university entry exams. The teacher replied something like:
You remind me of a friend of mine. He always wanted to understand the deeper reason for things. He now works at NASA.
Ciro feels that this was one of the greatest compliments he has ever received in his life. This teacher, understood him. Funny how some things stick, while all the rest fades.
Another interesting anecdote is how Ciro's mother recalls that she always found out about exams in the same way: when the phone started ringing as Ciro's friends started asking for help with the subjects just before the exam. Sometimes it was already too hopelessly late, but Ciro almost always tried. Nothing shows how much better you are than someone than teaching them.
Then, after entering university, although things got way better because were are able to learn things that are borderline useful.
Ciro still felt a strong emotion of nostalgia when after university his mother asked if she could throw away his high school books, and Ciro started tearing them all down for recyling. Such is life.
University teachers were still to a large extent researchers who didn't want to, know how to and above all have enough time and institutional freedom to teach things properly and make you see their beauty.
The very fact that you had very little choice of what to learn so that a large group can get a "Diploma", makes it impossible for people to deeply learn what the really want.
And all of this is considering that he was very lucky to not be in a poor family, and was already in some of the best educational institutions locally available already, and had comparatively awesome teachers, without which he wouldn't be where he is today if he hadn't had such advantages in the first place.
But no matter how awesome one teacher is, no single person can overcome a system so large and broken. Without technological innovation that is.
The key problem all along the way is the Society's / Government's belief that everyone has to learn the same things, and that grades in exams mean anything.
Ciro believes however, that exams are useless, and that there are only two meaningful metrics:
- reputation points for doing useful work for society
- how much money you make
Even if you wanted to really learn natural sciences and had the time available, it is just too hard to find good resources to properly learn it. Even attending university courses are hit and miss between amazing and mediocre teachers.
If you go into a large book shop, the science section is tiny, and useless popular science books dominate it without precise experiment descriptions. And then, the only few "serious" books are a huge list of formulas without any experimental motivation.
And if you are lucky to have access to an university library that has open doors, most books are likely to be old and boring as well. Googling for PDFs from university courses is the best bet.
Around 2012 however, he finally saw the light, and started his path to open source software Enlightenment.
Firstly, he was introduced to LaTeX, and his mind was blown:
Ha, so I can write my own books, and so can anyone, for free?he though. Why isn't everyone doing that!
The brutal openness of it all. The raw high quality content. Ugliness and uselessness too no doubt. But definitely spark in a sea of darkness.
University was not needed anymore. He could learn whatever he wanted. A vision was born.
To make things worse, for a long time he was tired of seeing poor people begging on the streets every day and not doing anything about it. He thought:
He who teaches one thousand, saves one million.which like everything else is likely derived subconsciously from something else, here Schindler's list possibly adapted quote from the Talmud: "He who saves the life of one man saves the entire world.".
So, by the time he left University, instead of pursuing a PhD in theoretical Mathematics or Physics just for the beauty of it as he had once considered, he had new plans.
We needed a new educational system. One that would allow people to fulfill their potential and desires, and truly improve society as a result, both in rich and poor countries.
And he found out that programming and applied mathematics could also be fun, so he might as well have some fun while doing this! ;-)
Prior art research: https://github.com/cirosantilli/awesome-reinforcement-learning-games
The goal of this project is to reach artificial general intelligence.
However, all projects so far have only created sets of unrelated games, or worse: focused on closed games designed for humans!
What is really needed is to create a single cohesive game world, designed specifically for this purpose, and with a very large number of game mechanics.
Notably, by "game mechanic" is meant "a magic aspect of the game world, which cannot be explained by object's location and inertia alone". For example:
- when you press a button here, a door opens somewhere far away
- when you touch certain types of objects, a chemical reaction may happen, but not other types of objects
Much in the spirit of http://www.gvgai.net/, we have to do the following loop:
- create an initial game
- find an AI that beats it well
- study the AI, and add a new mechanic that breaks the AI, but does not break a human!
The question then becomes: do we have enough computational power to simulation a game worlds that is analogous enough to the real world, so that our AI algorithms will also apply to the real world?
To reduce computation requirements, it is better to focus on a 2D world at first. Such world with the right mechanics can break any AI, while still being faster to simulate than a 3D world.
The initial prototype uses the Urho3D open source game engine, and that is a reasonable project, but a raw Simple DirectMedia Layer + Box2D + OpenGL solution from scratch would be faster to develop for this use case, since Urho3D has a lot of human-gaming features that are not needed, and because 2019 Urho3D lead developers disagree with the China censored keyword attack.
Simulations such as these can be viewed as a form of synthetic data generation procedure, where the goal is to use computer worlds to reduce the costs of experiments and to improve reproducibility.
- https://github.com/deepmind/lab2d: 2D gridworld games, C++ with Lua bindings
Experiments, the techniques required to to them, and the history of how they were first achieved, are the heart of the natural sciences. Without them, there is no motivation, no beauty, no nothing.
School gives too much emphasis on the formulas. This is bad. Much more important is to understand how the experiments are done in greater detail.
The videos must be completely reproducible, indicating the exact model of every experimental element used, and how the experiment is setup.
We should strive to achieve the cheapest most reproducible setup possible with currently available materials: recreating the original historic setup is cute, but not a priority.
Furthermore, it is also desirable to reproduce the original setups whenever possible in addition to having the most convenient modern setup.
Lists of good experiments to cover be found at: the most important physics experiments.
This project is to a large extent a political endeavour.
Someone with enough access to labs has to step up and make a name for themselves through the huge effort of creating a baseline of amazing content without yet being famous.
Until it reaches a point that this person is actively sought to create new material for others, and things snowball out of control. Maybe, if the Gods allow it, that person could be Ciro.
Tutorials with a gazillion photos and short videos are also equally good or even better than videos, see for example Ciro's How to use an Oxford Nanopore MinION to extract DNA from river water and determine which bacteria live in it for an example that goes toward that level of perfection.
Formalization of mathematics
Theorems are strings, proofs are string manipulations, and axioms are the initial strings that you can use.
Once proved, press a button on your computer, and the proof is automatically verified. No messy complicated "group of savants" reading it for 4 years and looking for flaws!
There are a few formal proof systems with several theorems in their Git tracked standard library. The hottest ones are:
- https://github.com/seL4/isabelle. Rumours have it that this is "uncompilable" from source without blobs. It does however offer a very rich IDE.
- http://metamath.org/ this one is likely an older and less powerful system, but the web presentation and tutorial are very good! Source: https://github.com/metamath/metamath-exe Here is a proof that 2 + 2 equals 4: http://us.metamath.org/mpeuni/2p2e4.html
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lean_(proof_assistant) | https://github.com/leanprover/lean | https://github.com/leanprover/lean4
And here are some more interesting links:
- https://github.com/awesomo4000/awesome-provable an awesome list of formal stuff
- https://devel.isa-afp.org/ Isabelle Archive of Formal Proofs. A curated list of Isabelle proofs, with minimal web UI. This is almost what we need, but without the manual curation, and with a better web UI.
- http://www.cs.ru.nl/~freek/100/ list of how many of the "Top 100 theorems" had been proved in several formal systems.
However, it is unbelievable that there isn't one awesome and dominating website, that hosts all those proofs, possibly an on the browser editor, and which all mathematicians in the world use as the one golden reference of mathematics to rule them all!
Just imagine the impact.
Standard library maintainers don't have to deal with the impossible question of what is "beautiful" or "useful" enough mathematics to deserve merged: users just push content to the online database, and star what they like!
Interested in a conjecture? No problem: just subscribe to its formal statement + all known equivalents, and get an email on your inbox when it gets proved!
Are you a garage mathematician and have managed to prove a hard theorem, but no will will read your proof? Fuck that, just publish it on the system and let it get auto verified. Overnight fame awaits.
Notation incompatibility hell? A thing of the past, just automatically convert to your preferred representation.
Furthermore, it would not be too hard to achieve this system!
Then, each person can publish packages containing proofs.
Packages can rely on other packages that contain pre-requisites definition or theorem.
Packages are just regular git repos, with some metadata. One notable metadata would be a human readable description of the theorems the package provides.
The package registry would then in addition to most package registries have a CI server in it, that checks the correctness of all proofs, generates a web-page showing each theorem.
All proofs can be conditional: the package registry simply shows clearly what axiom set a theorem is based on.
This is a close as we can get to Erdős' book.
If you are going to live, you might as well chase one of them.
You might not achieve them in your lifetime, but you never know. At some point, the pieces just "fall into place", and they happen.
And they will all come from deep tech.
But who knows? Maybe he can code some stuff in those areas.
And one can at least have some fun by learning deeply about those subjects.
Such advances could one day lead to both biological super-AGI and immortality.
First, during the 2000's, the cost of DNA sequencing fell to about 1000 USD per genome in the end of the 2010's: Figure 11. "Cost per genome vs Moore's law from 2000 to 2019.", largely due to "Illumina's" technology.
The medical consequences of this revolution are still trickling down towards medical applications of 2019, inevitably, but somewhat slowly due to tight privacy control of medical records.
But even 100 dollars is not enough. Sequencing power is like computing power: humankind can never have enough. Sequencing is not a one per person thing. For example, as of 2019 tumors are already being sequenced to help understand and treat them, and scientists/doctors will sequence as many tumor cells as budget allows.
Then, in the 2010's, CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing started opening up the way to actually modifying the genome that we could now see through sequencing.
Ciro believes that the next step in the revolution could be could be: de novo DNA synthesis.
Just imagine this: at the comfort of your own garage, you take some model organism of interest, maybe start humble with Escherichia coli. Then you modify its DNA to your liking, and upload it to a 3D printer sized machine on your workbench, which automatically synthesizes the DNA, and injects into a bootstrapped cell.
You then make experiments to check if the modified cell achieves your desired new properties, e.g. production of some protein, and if not reiterate, just like a software engineer.
This a place point we see the beauty of evolution the brightest: evolution does not require observability. But it also implies that if your changes to the organism make it less fit, then your mutation will also likely be lost. This has to be one of the considerations done when designing your organism.
Other cool topic include: simulations of cell metabolism, protein and small molecule, microscopy (crystallography, cryoEM), analytical chemistry (mass spectroscopy), single cell techniques (Single-cell RNA sequencing), ...
It's weird, cells feel a lot like embedded systems: small, complex, hard to observe, and profound.
He's a bit lazy to explain why here, but Googling will be more than enough.
There is a risk it will fizzle and the bubble pop, like any revolution.
But recent developments are making it too exciting to ignore.
Main article: brain-computer interface.
How hard could it be? You just have to learn the encoding of the neural spine/eyes/ear, add an invasive device that multiplexes it, and then the benefits could be mind blowing.
Interestingly and obviously, the initial advances in the area are happening for people that have hearing or vision difficulties. Since they already have a deficient sense, you don't lose that much by a failed attempt.
Hearing is likely to be the first since it feels the simplest. Ciro heard there are even already clinical applications there. TODO source.
Main section: fusion power.
This is a long haul. But we have to give it a shot.
Ciro posts updates on Twitter when new considerably cool ones are published: https://twitter.com/cirosantilli.
Some random in-tree essays will be present at: Section 1.15. "Essays by Ciro Santilli".
- Trended on Hacker News:
- x86 assembly
- What does “multicore” assembly language look like?
- What is the function of the push / pop instructions used on registers in x86 assembly? Going down to memory spills, register allocation and graph coloring.
- Linux kernel
- What do the flags in /proc/cpuinfo mean?
- How does kernel get an executable binary file running under linux?
- How to debug the Linux kernel with GDB and QEMU?
- Can the sys_execve() system call in the Linux kernel receive both absolute or relative paths?
- What is the difference between the kernel space and the user space?
- Is there any API for determining the physical address from virtual address in Linux?
- Why do people write the
#!/usr/bin/envpython shebang on the first line of a Python script?
- How to solve "Kernel Panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(0,0)"?
- Single program Linux distro
- How do linkers and address relocation works?
- How many GCC optimization levels are there?
- What is incremental linking or partial linking?
- GOLD (
-fuse-ld=gold) linker vs the traditional GNU ld
- What is the -fPIE option for position-independent executables in GCC and ld? Concrete examples by running program through GDB twice, and an assembly hello world with absolute vs PC relative load.
- C/C++: almost all of those fall into "disassemble all the things" category. Ciro also does "standards dissection" and "a new version of the standard is out" answers, but those are boring:
- What does "static" mean in a C program?
- In C++ source, what is the effect of
- Char array vs Char Pointer in C
- How to compile glibc from source and use it?
- When should
- What exactly is
std::atomicin C++?. This answer was originally more appropriately entitled "Let's disassemble some stuff", and got three downvotes, so Ciro changed it to a more professional title, and it started getting upvotes. People judge books by their covers.
- IEEE 754
- Computer science
- Heap vs Binary Search Tree (BST). Compared Heap vs BST vs Hash Maps.
- Is it necessary for NP problems to be decision problems?
- Git internals
- What are shaders in OpenGL?
- Why do we use 4x4 matrices to transform things in 3D?
- Is it possible to build a heatmap from point data at 60 times per second? Compared CPU vs GPU shaders.
- Image Processing with GLSL shaders? Compared the CPU and GPU for a simple blur algorithm.
- Ruby on Rails
- What is POSIX? Huge classified overview of the most important things that POSIX specifies.
- Systems programming
- Computer security
- Computer hardware
- Scientific visualization software
- Numerical analysis
- Computational physics
- Register transfer level languages like Verilog and VHDL
- Software optimization
- Quantum computing
- Home DIY
To contact Ciro Santilli publicly about any general subject that is not covered in a more specif repository, including saying hi or suggestions about his website, create a GitHub issue at: https://github.com/cirosantilli/cirosantilli.github.io/issues/new
For comments about China first read:
and then create a GitHub issue at: https://github.com/cirosantilli/china-dictatorship/issues/new
If you need private contact, extract Ciro's email from on of his GitHub repositories.
You can also use LinkedIn or any other public profile linked to from: accounts controlled by Ciro Santilli.
If you are a privacy freak or are going to tell Ciro state secrets, here's Ciro's GNU Privacy Guard public key: pubkey.gpg. You can also use Ciro's ProtonMail which is of form: "Ciro's GitHub username + protonmail.com". Notifications that such messages are sent an unencrypted mailbox Ciro views regularly, but the message content itself is not. Ciro aims to maintain the highest security standards feasible on that account.
Disqus comments were removed from his website in 2019-05-04, a manual dump is available here, removal rationale at: why Ciro Santilli removed Disqus comments from his website in 2019-05-04.
- if you are not filthy rich: 1 dollar/month on GitHub Sponsors: https://github.com/sponsors/cirosantilli as a symbolic way to boost Ciro's online popularity
- if you are filthy rich: see how to contact Ciro Santilli and then contact Ciro directly to discuss it. Think of amounts and time frames starting at 1 year OK tech worker salary in a tech hub of a developed country.
Like everyone else, Ciro Santilli's ultimate dream is to have the money to be able to work full time on his passions, while at the same time remaining in a low obligations setting.
Ciro's current ambitions require him to remain in developed countries, because Ciro wants to document advanced science and technology by liaising with top universities, and there is not as much high technology in poor countries.
Therefore, you have to ask yourself: does your contribution considerably help Ciro reach his full time independence goal?
And since the areas that Ciro has contributed to a somewhat niche, it is not currently realistic that a medium sized community will reach the goal with medium sized donations.
It is for this reason that Ciro currently recommends a very all or nothing approach.
For more intermediate values, consider instead donating to people doing awesome projects while living in cheaper locations, where such intermediate amounts could be much more significant.
Other alternatives was to give include:
- https://www.patreon.com/cirosantilli if you really don't want to create a GitHub account
- https://www.bountysource.com/people/25676-ciro-santilli for resolving specific issues
If after all this you still want to make a one-time donation of intermediate size, Ciro won't fight you further, please first contact Ciro to arrange a payment method.
Ciro believes that he has a rare combination of:
Having both of those, creates a virtuous circle, because Ciro:
- passion to learn and teach the natural sciences and link those into deep tech applications that might be the the next big thing, always aiming at a very concrete and profound level of understanding
- programming skills, including web development, to make tools to help teach those subjects, notably write free books to get famous website.Ciro's programming skills can also be used to create educational, or actually more production-like, simulations and illustrations.
- wants to learn and teach, so he starts to create content
- then he notices the teaching tools are crap
- and since he has the ability to actually improve them, he does
As explained at write free books to get famous website and high flying bird scientist, Ciro is most excited to make a contributions at the "missing middle level of specialization" that lies around later undergrad and lower grad education:
But on that middle sweet spot, Ciro believes that something can be done.
- at lower undergrad level, there is already a lot of free material out there to learn stuff
- at upper graduate level and beyond, too few people know about each specific subject, that it becomes hard to factor things out
Ciro's goal is to help create information in that area, and to help kids as young as possible to reach, and the push, the frontier of human knowledge as early as possible.
Because nothing is more motivating to students than that feeling of:
Hey, I can actually do something in this area that has never been done before!rather than repeating the same crap that everyone is already learning.
Ciro Santilli controls the following accounts.
With non-trivial activity:
- https://archive.org/details/@cirosantilli Ciro uses web archiving mostly for Ciro Santilli's campaign for freedom of speech in China, but also to backup random university lecture notes before write free books to get famous website has dominated the world
- https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Cirosantilli2 Ciro tries to upload all educational CC content he creates to wikimedia Commons as an extra backup and sometimes to use in wikipedia pages
- https://www.facebook.com/cirosantilli/ Ciro accepts all friend requests there, but expect a few non-technical posts. Unless you look like a massive honeypot account, please send context in advance in that case.
- https://www.reddit.com/user/cirosantilli/ is Ciro's Reddit account, mostly computer and China topics
- https://cirosantilli.imgur.com Proof: https://imgur.com/gallery/mexv1Bk/comment/1734086983
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Ciro.santilli also belongs to Ciro, but he lost the password
- https://framasphere.org/people/78a975c0b6c40133a3032a0000053625 https://framasphere.org/posts/1519871
- https://home.gamer.com.tw/homeindex.php?owner=cirosantilli but can't post anything publicly because cannot verify phone in many countries
- https://trac.ffmpeg.org/wiki/Waveform?action=history username
- https://www.flickr.com/photos/cirosantilli/ Ugly ID: https://www.flickr.com/photos/141515492@N02/
- https://www.instagram.com/cirosantilli/ Impossible to disable their notifications without removing your email, so all their notifications go to trash.
Accounts in Chinese websites. These accounts might be banned or altered or offer other limitations, so Ciro only communicates briefly through them. All communication through those channels should obviously be assumed to be compromised:
- http://www.tianya.cn/109285544 (can't post, no cell phone)
- https://hacpai.com/member/cirosantilli unable to login as of 2019-10-12, reason unclear, either ban or website too crappy.
- https://v2ex.com/member/cirosantilli: Ciro was blocked or account deleted on 2020-07-23: https://cirosantilli.com/china-dictatorship/#v2ex
- https://www.zhihu.com/people/cirosantilli. Ciro was prevented from posting in 2018-06-25, and the account and all content mentioning him were taken down in 2019-11-03.
- https://www.weibo.com/p/1005055601627311: started requiring a cell phone to login in 2020, and Ciro didn't want to give his cell phone number to the CCP and didn't have the patience to manage a secondary phone number, so he is not logging in for now.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Cirism!
Followers of Cirism call themselves Cirists.
Cirism has been officially verified to compatible with all major world religions.
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: large cohesive game world for robotic-like artificial intelligence development.
Natural language diversity is beautiful, but useless.
The fact that in poor countries a huge number of people do not speak the economically dominating language of the world (currently English), is a major obstacle to the development of those countries.
Despite us being in the information age, the people in those countries cannot fully benefit from it at all!
Teaching its people English should be the number one priority of any country. Without that, there can be no technological development. Everything else is secondary and can be learnt off the Internet once you know English.
And the most efficient way to do that, is that every country should create amazing free open source English learning material for their own language.
Also consider the European countries.
What big companies have been created in Europe in the past 50 years, that have not been bought out by American or Japanese companies? Solexa (600M USD in 2007)? CSR (2.5B USD in 2015)? Arm Holdings (32B USD in 2016)? So much so that much fanfare was made as Spotify reached a 50B market capitalization in 2020. An art company, so cute!
The key problem is that there are so many small countries in Europe, that any startup has to deal with too many incompatible legislation and cannot easily sell to the hole of Europe.
So then a larger company from a more uniform country comes and eats it up!
So why can't Europe unify its laws?
Because the countries are still essentially walled off by languages.
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, or the posting of parcels, which often get lost and require you to contact people who may not speak English.
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).
Remember that those ideas come from a person who speaks 3.5 languages in 2019, and see 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 however 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: https://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)
- https://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.
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.
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 Sao 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 write free books to get famous website 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 a fantastic full time course that any student could transfer to called Molecular Science Course (Curso de Ciêncisa Moleculares, CCM) (good Portuguese overview)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 Ecole Polytechnique.
Maybe not, but now this doubt will never leave his mind until the final day.
Similar thoughts crossed his mind when he started his campaign for freedom of speech in China, but this time he had learnt the lesson, and went for it, and it felt very good.
If you have a day job, but also have a dream, and want to keep the day job for a reason, try to reserve the time of the day that your brain works best before or after work for your dream.
Work a little less well for you boss, and a little better for yourself. Ross Ulbricht:
I hated working for someone else and trading my time for money with no investment in myselfSelling drugs online is not advisable however.
Even better, try to reach an official agreement with your employer to work 20% less than the standard work week. For example, you could work one day less every week, and do whatever you want on that day. It is not possible to push your passion to weekends, because your brain is too tired. "You keep all non-company-related IP you develop on that time" is a key clause obviously.
On a related note, good employers must allow employees to do whichever the fuck "crazy projects", "needed refactorings or other efficiency gains" and "learn things deeply" at least 20% of their time if employees want that: https://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 19. ""What Predicts Academic Ability? Jordan B Peterson" (2017)".
Pursuing a dream part time can make you feel afraid and tired. But at least, you will feel alive. I did it for me, Skyler.
Maybe you will be fired, but long term, having tried, or even succeeded your dream, or a one of its side effects, will be infinitely more satisfying.
The same goes for school, and maybe even more so because your parents can still support you there, some Gods who followed this advice:
- 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 simple finite groups, and had a short Wiki page because of that.He never did a PhD, and said that academia was a waste of time, and that you can get as much done by working part time a decent job and doing your research part time, since you skip all the bullshit of academia like this.Yet, he was still invited by collaborating professors to give classes on his research subject in one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Students would call him Doctor X., and he would correct them: Mister X.As a software engineer, he had done a lot of hardcore assembly level optimizations for x86 for some mathematical libraries related to his mathematics interests. He started talking microarchitecture with Ciro's colleagues.And he currently worked on an awesome open source project backed by a company.At last but not least, he said he also fathered 17 children by donating his sperm to lesbian mothers found on a local gay magazine, and that he had met most/all of those children after they were born.A God. Possibly the most remarkable person Ciro ever met, and his jaw was truly dropped.
Companies can help you grow because you see real problems from within them, but their end goal is to consume you as much as possible. Don't let that happen. Invest part of what you gain, in yourself.
Don't be a pussy. Be a based God.
When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That's a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it... Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again.
Of course, survivorship bias applies.
Ciro Santilli believes that there is a close link between the ability to create disruptive technology, and the desire to find bugs/exploits in systems.
Both of them destabilize society and enterprises.
Ciro feels that this resonates a lot with his write free books to get famous website.
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.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right."It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?"And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
And then he quotes form the Whole Earth Catalog, a paper Atlas from the '70s he admired:
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish
This is one of Ciro Santilli's most important principles.
Steve Jobs has a great quote about this. He's totally right on this one!
You've got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can't start with the technology and try to figure out where you're going to sell it.
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.
A Coding Horror software specific take on this issue: https://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, learn to program to achieve that goal.
And 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.
A quote by Ciro's Teacher R.:
Sometimes, even if our end goals are too far from reality, the side effects of trying to reach them can have meaningful impact.
If the goals are not ambitious enough, you risk not even having useful side effects so show in the end!
By doing the prerequisites of the impossible goal you desire, maybe the next generation will be able to achieve it.
This is basically why Ciro Santilli has contributed to Stack Overflow, which has happened while was doing his overly ambitious projects and notice that all kinds of basic pre-requisites were not well explained anywhere.
This is especially effective when you use backward design, because then you will go "down the dependency graph of prerequisites" and smoothen out any particularly inneficient points that you come across.
Ciro often has the following metaphor in his mind:
New discoveries are like very rough trails where you have to cut through heavy bushes (an original research paper).After a brave explorer goes through this rough path for the first time and charts it, it does become much easier for others to follow it later on, but it still requires a lot of effort to go through them, because there are still a lot of rush bushes and some parts of the map are not very clear (reading and reproducing the research paper to further advance the art).As enough people start going through, the probability that someone with a bad memory ends up walking it increases, and that person ends up pounding the earth into a beaten track and increasing the trail clearance of the beginning of the trail at least (review paper).There finally comes a point when even the local government starts to notice this trail is important, and pays someone to add some stone pavement and rails on the most exposed parts of the trail (post and undergrad education).And at last, Ciro Santilli comes with a bulldozer and creates an autoroute that thousands of people can cruise at high speed without any effort (Q&A, open knowledge HTML websites).
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.
This is of course just another version of one picture is worth a thousand words.
Ciro Santilli has mixed feelings about animal rights.
On one hand, his irrational side wants of course all animals to be happy.
On the other, he does not care about this enough to not kill and eat them, even though he believes that you could live off plants relatively well.
His more rational side says: humans are sacred. Either because you believe in the soul, or because your built-in empathy behaviours. If it is not a human, do whatever you want to it. Killing is already undoubtedly the greatest sin. It is not OK to kill a human painlessly is it? So if torturing it brings humans good, then do it.
Of course, this does get use close and closer to "the what is a human" question, which is more relevant than ever in the awakening of genetics: all species are after all a continuum right?
And Ciro does not have a simple solution to this problem, besides that in 99.9999% the answer is obvious to 99.9999% of the people, and for the others cases, we have to do it like the law and make flawed rules to cover the remaining 0.000099999% cases and let juries decide the rest.
Is it evil to take one neuron and torture it? What does that even mean? It will be fun when pain and pleasure are fully understood.
And you are going to have a really hard time when mosquitoes start transmitting deadly diseases that kill your family.
Laws in most 2020 Western modern societies have converged to a hypocritical balance between not offending people too much by hiding the killing and minimizing the pain when possible at low cost. Killing animals painlessly is basically always fine if it brings any "non sadistic" pleasure to humans. And torturing animals is fine with approval e.g. to make medicines.
This has the downside of increasing costs for society. Maybe there are practical benefits besides people feeling bad about animals? Maybe we would have more serial killers if people were free to torture animals? Maybe people in butcher shops would become depressive if their bosses weren't forced to use more expensive painless killing methods? Neither of those seems like huge arguments though.
It eventually comes down to: "how much more is a human life worth than that of an animal" which brings Jesus's Matthew 6:25-34 "Do Not Worry" (archive) quote to mind:
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Non-vegetarian pets owners also baffle Ciro, as most of them basically extend the sacred human line further arbitrarily to certain other cute looking animals like dogs, cats or rabbits, but will gladly kill a cow indirectly by paying someone to pay someone to pay someone to cut it into small pieces. Or they believe that certain specific individuals are sacred. Admittedly, the latter is more rational, and looks a lot of how we treat our own families well, and can accept that other families are not doing so well.
Ciro's even more rational evil side says: the real reason why humans are sacred is a practical one: people have families that love them, and they come to kill you if you kill them, and this starts endless chains of violence that make society unbearable.
While animals feel pain when their children are killed, their memory and logic is just not good enough to fully understand that humans in general have an evil plot to it, and they don't have a method to communicate between themselves and fight back.
For similar reasons, Ciro is pro-abortion.
Futurama's S02E15 "The Problem With Popplers" episode blew Ciro's mind so much.
Ciro should stop discussing topics in which infinite argument has already been had. Sometimes he writes things down so he can stop caring the next time the subject comes up, as there's no need to say it again once it is written.
This is of course easy for a white male from a privileged background to say, and infinite debate has already been had on this matter, but here goes again.
First, in defense to the personal attack, Ciro raises the fact that he has dedicated large chunks (all?) of his life to open source software and knowledge in general, which Ciro believes is the only way to actually make the world fairer to poor countries. His money (time) is where his mouth is.
One good argument in favor of the Brazilian quota system, is that the kids who enter university because of quotas do just as well as those who don't.
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 Ecole Polytechnique).
Maybe the fact that poor kids know that they are fucked if they fail, and so they have to succeed at any cost, might also help with motivation. Which is a terrible terrible thing, because only those who have to leeway to take risks end up taking them and making the the next big thing.
Ciro believes instead that only once kids have learnt university level stuff in their area of interest for free on the Internet should they go through selection based on that specific and much more concentrated useful knowledge.
And this competition must only be used to distribute resources which you can't learn from fucking computers:
- laboratories. Actually, one of Ciro's most important advices to kids nowadays is that if you are in doubt about what course to choose, make the choice that includes laboratories, because you can learn already learn computer stuff for free whenever you want, but if you don't take it now, that will likely be your last opportunity to set foot on a laboratory
- 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 recommends the following:
- create a few select high quality free K-12 schools in densely populated areas with many unprivileged students living in them, and give huge quotas there to poor/discriminated kids such that only exceptional kids can get in without those quotas.
- pay the teachers of those select excellence schools as much as the good private schools so you actually get comparably good teachers
- implement an early selection based on quotas and entry examinations for those schools
- allow kids from outside of the local region to come to those schools by giving them free accommodation
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 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 is most notable in University entry examinations of poor countries, where students often have to wast 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.
Brown University's Open Curriculum concept sounds exemplary:
And rightly so, since soccer in particular is truly ridiculously popular in Brazil, where "what is your local soccer team?" is just a valid a question as "which city are you from?".
So here goes Ciro's current ironic 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 very low, and must contain only a few mammoths that dominate some local 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.
A nine year old Ciro stopped watching the 1998 World Cup Final of Brazil vs France half way during the 3-0 massacre and went to his front garden to kick his soccer ball on the metallic fence gate which represented a goal.
After that, Ciro went through puberty he guesses, and noticed that the natural sciences are just cooler.
When he did the original website Ciro was in a "I must show off my skills to get a job mindset", but then after he landed a few jobs he moved to a "CV websites are useless, just do amazing projects and showcase them on your website to help them succeed" mindset.
As Ciro started getting a lot of comments on his home page about China, he decided that Disqus does not scale, and that it would be more productive long term to remove it and point people to GitHub issues instead.
Upsides of removal:
- Disqus discoverability is bad:
- comments don't have: decent URLs, titles, metadata like tags or open / close
- Disqus archival is bad: http://web.archive.org/ does not work, and no one knows how to export the issues: https://www.archiveteam.org/index.php?title=Disqus
- before, there were two places where people could comment, Disqus and GitHub issues. Now there is just one.
- Disqus has ads if you ever reach enough traffic, which unacceptable, especially if the website owner don't get paid for them! It also makes page loads slower, although that likely does not matter much.
- people are more likely to comment on Disqus than to create an issue on GitHub, especially because most people use GitHub professionally. But this has the upside that there will be less shitposts as well.
- with Disqus you can see all issues attached to a page automatically, which is nice. But for as long as Ciro is alive, he intends to just solve the issues, cross link between content and issues and tag things appropriately.
Ciro's stance towards China hasn't changed, and China comments and corrections about his website are still welcome as always.
Ciro only touches this very rarely, and always forgets and go into great pain whenever a change needs to done, so it is important to document it.
GoDaddy DNS entries:
where the IPs are obtained from: https://help.github.com/en/articles/setting-up-an-apex-domain#configuring-a-records-with-your-dns-provider (archive).
- Custom domain:
- Enforce HTTPS: checked
And the CNAME file is tracked in this repository: CNAME.
That which does not exist, cannot be broken.
True art cannot be consumed in mobile format.
It is true that one image is worth a thousand words, but unfortunately it is also true that one image takes up at least as much bytes as a thousand words!
Having one single page to rule them all is of course the ideal setup for a website, as you can Ctrl + F one ToC and quickly find what you want.
And, with Linux Kernel Module Cheat Ciro noticed that it is very hard to write so much intelligent prose that becomes larger than reasonable to load on a single webpage.
He then started using this technique for everything he writes, including this page and Chinese government.
However, if there are too many images on the page, the loading of the last images would take forever in case users want to view the last sections.
There are two solutions to that:
- be traditional and create separate web pages
- be bold and load images as they appear on the viewport: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2321907/how-do-you-make-images-load-only-when-they-are-in-the-viewport/57389607#57389607Edit: OK, it was standardized with
Ciro is still deciding between those two. The traditional approach works for sure but loses the one page to rule them all benefits.
The innovative approach will work for interactive viewing, but archive.org will fail to load the images for example, and there may be other unforseen consequences.
Wikimedia Commons is awesome and automatically converts and serves smaller versions of images, so always choose the smallest images size needed by the output document. Readers can then find the higher resolution versions by following the page source.
This also comes to mind: https://motherfuckingwebsite.com
Since images are large, they bring the following challenges:
- keeping images in the main Git repository with text content makes the repository huge and slow to clone, and should not be done
- storing and serving images could cost us, which we want to avoid
To solve those problems, the following alternatives appear to be stable enough and should be used decreasing preference:
- for all images, use the separate GitHub repository: https://github.com/cirosantilli/mediaThis way, the entire website is relies on a single third party: GitHub, so we have a simple single point of failure.We are at the mercy of GitHub's 1GB size policy: https://help.github.com/en/articles/what-is-my-disk-quota, but it will take a while to hit that.GitLab however has a 10Gb maximum size: https://about.gitlab.com/2015/04/08/gitlab-dot-com-storage-limit-raised-to-10gb-per-repo/ so we could move there is we ever blow up 1Gb on GitHub.Both GitLab and GitHub allow uploading files through the web UI, so downloading a large repo is never needed to contribute.GitHub does not serve videos like it does images however as of 2019.
- Wikimedia Commons for videos if the following conditions are met:
Since Wikimedia Commons has a higher level of curation and is an educational not-for-profit, it is the method most likely to remain available for the longest time.For this reason, we highly recommend uploading any acceptable files there as well as an additional backup.The downside is that its tooling is not as good, e.g. there are a bunch of messy unofficial tools for batch operations, and upload takes more effort.Another downside of Wikimedia Commons is that while we can choose the basename of files, it also adds some extra SHA crap to the beginning of URLs, making them harder to predict.
- in scope: "educational material in a broad sense", but not e.g. "Private image collections, e.g. private party photos, photos of yourself and your friends, your collection of holiday snaps and so on.". I don't think they will be too picky even with low quality photos.
- allowed format, e.g. images or videos, but not ZIPs
- allowed license: CC BY SA, but no fair use
- https://archive.org for anything else, e.g. videos that Wikimedia commons does not accept.All content will be tracked under the
cirosantillicollection: https://archive.org/details/cirosantilliarchive.org has a very convenient upload and lax requirements. The generated URLs are predictable (single SHA prefix for the entire collection).Never trust a website that is not on GitHub Pages, for-profit companies will take down everything immediately as soon as it stops making them money.Every external link to non-GitHub pages must be archived. And GitHub links must be forked.We should also backup images that Wikimedia Commons does not accept here in addition to the https://github.com/cirosantilli/media repository.
The following alternatives seem impossible because Ciro could not find if they expose direct links to the images:
The following do have direct links:
- https://www.flickr.com e.g. https://live.staticflickr.com/7437/27402357162_7d91b73cd5_z.jpg documented at https://help.flickr.com/en_us/get-the-url-of-a-flickr-photo-S1Hnnmjym Also does automatic image size conversion. But only provides ugly autogenerated URLs.
- https://www.instagram.com does not support upload from computer? Lol?
For videos, YouTube does not allow download, even of Creative Commons videos so uploading only there is not acceptable as it prevents reuse:
First install NVM/NPM as shown at and then:
Because when this gets converted to a write free books to get famous website page, it will be easier for people to copy paragraphs/fork and write a canonical page about Ciro.
Also, what do you do when creating a pull request? Do you say I, which is not true because Ciro did not say that, or do you say "John Doe thinks" bla bla?
And because his name is awesome! :-) Just kidding.
The website moved from Asciidoctor to Cirodown in 2020, making this section mostly useless. But hey, history!
The source code is located at: https://github.com/cirosantilli/cirosantilli.github.io
Build locally, watch for changes and rebuild automatically, and start a local server with:
The website will be visible at: http://localhost:4000.
Tested on the latest Ubuntu.
Publish changes to GitHub Pages:
GitHub forces us to use the master branch for the build output... so the actual source is in the branch
Update the gems with:
His website was originally written in Markdown, however those were deprecated in favour of Asciidoctor when Ciro saw the light, rationale shown at: markdown-style-guide#use-asciidoc
GitHub pages is chosen instead of a single page GitHub README.adoc for the following reasons:
- Ciro will want some unsupported extensions, notably mathematics, likely with KaTeX server side:
- when GitHub dies, Ciro's website URL still lives and retains the PageRank!
If your project does something awesome, hiring Ciro means that more people will be able to notice that it is actually awesome, and use it.
He likes to do this in parallel to contributing new features, quickly switching between his "developer" and "technical documentor" hats.
This means of course that he will develop new features a bit slower than others, but he feel it is more valuable if end users can actually use your project in the first place.
His technique is to provide upfront extremely interactive and reproducible getting started setups that immediately show the key value of the project to users.
He backs those setups with:
A prime example of kind of setup is Ciro's Linux Kernel Module Cheat.
- scripts that automate the setup much as possible to make things enjoyable and reproducible
- a detailed description of the environment in which he tested: which OS, version of key software, etc.
- a detailed description of what is expected to happen when you take an action, including known bugs with links to bug reports
- theory and rationale on the sections after the initial getting started, but always finely interspersed with concrete examples
- all docs contained in a Git-tracked repo, with the ability to render to a single HTML with one TOC
- short sentences and paragraphs, interspersed with many headers, lists and code blocks
While he create this setup, he inevitably start to notice and fix:
- annoyances on the public interface of the project
- the devs were using 50 different local scripts to do similar things, all of them semi-broken and limited. Every new hire was copying one of those local scripts, and hacking it up further.
- your crappy build / test / version control setup
Exploiting this skill, however, requires you to trust him.
When he tells to managers that he's good at documenting, they always say: great, we need better documentation! But then, one of the following may happen:
- managers forget that they wanted good documentation and just tell him to code new features as fast as possible
- they don't let him own the getting started page, but rather and expect him to try and fix the existing crappy unfixable existing getting started, without stepping on anyone's pride in the process >:-)This makes him tired, and less likely to do a good job.Good documentation requires a large number of small iterative reviews, and detailed review of every line is not always feasible.Too many cooks.
Ciro's passion for documentation and tooling has the effect that if you have crappy documentation and tooling and don't want them to be fixed, Ciro will end up trying to fix those tools instead of doing what you tell him to do anyways, which might lead to him quitting because he can't stand the tools, or you firing him because he's not doing the job you think I should be doing. So please, don't bother hiring Ciro if you have crappy documentation and tooling.
See also: the best articles by Ciro Santilli.
- English: Cambridge CPE grade B in 2004. Proficient, with minor defects in collocation/pronunciation. Learned from formal courses and from living in the UK for a few months when he was 10.
- French: TCF grade C2 in 2011. Proficient, with a bit more defects than English. Studied and lived in France.
- Brazilian Portuguese: Native speaker
- Chinese: see https://github.com/cirosantilli/china-dictatorship/tree/df0852b22e585785d734ec69719eddf63f9676a5#do-you-speak-chinese
When asked, Ciro likes to say that he speaks something between 1.5 and 3.5 languages in total, depending on how you count, because Portuguese, French and English are 99.99% the same, and Chinese is completely different but Ciro only knows about 50% of it if counted optimistically.
Ciro Santilli's energy throughout the day varies as follows:
- morning: highest
- 11AM: peak exercise performance
- after lunch: brain death. Possibly due to Ciro's partial Spanish descent?
- late afternoon and evening: can do some stuff
Ciro is a reptilian-like being with cold hands and feet and low blood pressure. For this reason he believes that he will die of cancer or some respiratory problem. If the Chinese government doesn't get him first that is. This also partly explains why Ciro is not a big fan of swimming.
Besides Chinese food, Ciro really likes eating fruits and roasted nuts, maybe partly because he was born in Brazil, and partly because of monkey nature, see his Chinese name. At home he is known as "水果大王" (the big king of the fruits). Ciro is also a sucker for yoghurt (natural without added sugars and full fat, fat-tree yoghurt is terrible, often eaten with fruits). Ciro's "favorite drink" could be tonic water with freshly squeezed lemon. Tied with fresh fruit juices. Chocolate-wise, although not a huge fanatic, a Lindt dark chocolate whole hazelnut pieces bar will do the job.
Like LDS believers, Ciro does not drink coffee or smoke, and only drinks alcohol and tea sparingly, because they are all addictive drugs and bring no overall benefit to energy and concentration. Ciro prefers to only enjoy a glass of tea when going out cycling, and one half pint of beer when going out with friends to a pub.
Ciro does not like receiving or giving gifts on expected social situations like birthdays or Christmas. Ciro believes that every day is equally precious, and can be a day to give, be it through awesome open source software contributions, or if you find something that your friend will like
When Ciro was a teenager, he was extremely cheap e.g. for clothes, food and video games, even tough his family didn't have bad financial conditions. This was mostly to save the world by not wasting resources that other people in need could use, and to save money so he could have more money to do more of whatever he wanted without the obligation to work. But Ciro admits that shocking people with the incredible level of low quality goods was also fun. Ciro changed after he came to Europe, especially in regards to food, perhaps corrupted by the fact that now the best chocolates, cheeses and breads in the world were not much more expensive than the cheapest brand you could buy. He still hates clothes that are just to look good like costumes though.
Living close to a small favela, Sao Remo, the favela next to USP, helped Ciro get frighteningly cheap goods on the shop frequented by the favela neighbours. One legendary story is that of when his flatmate dropped some past on the kitchen floor, and the bowl broke, but Ciro prevented the flatmate from throwing it away and ate some of it nevertheless. What spooked them out the most was Ciro's statement that the pasta now had a crunchy glass shard texture to it.
Ciro has some respiratory allergies. When he was around 5, he had relatively serious asthma crisis which scared parents were scared to death. Throughout his life, he appears to be allergic at an intermediate level to: mold or dust mites (or whatever it is that old books / pillows have), cats (itching on touch), hay fever (in May in the UK, likely grass pollen). Ciro believes however that this also gives him higher resistance to viral infections, since it has been many many years since he had a cold/flu, and when everyone in the office is going down with it, he's just fine. Ciro wonders if his active immune system will actually kill off cancers early, which he ranks as his most likely causes of death, along with respiratory and gastro-intestinal problems. Ciro has low blood pressure and cannot get fat, so cardio vascular problems seem much less likely.
Ciro is generally Democrat due to his high compassion level. He believes that politics is highly genetically determined, and that just like you enter a room full of people and immediately like some and dislike others, the same goes for politics. People just vote for whoever they want to see more of because their way of speaking makes them feel good. There is not rationality involved in it at all.
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.
Ciro like to interpret this as him having "a creative personality" with the tradeoff of generally not being amazing at his well defined jobs.
Ciro is a high flying bird scientist.
Ciro's natural fight-or-flight response is to hide in a little corner, and try to solve the problem out. Then get distracted and start procrastinating. And then he tries to solve the unsolvable. Someone Ciro barely new once told him quite correctly:
In the event of war, you would be the type that hides away and makes the bombs.
There are of course infinitely many videos on the "entrepreneurial mindset" online, and it is impossible to know if they are bullshit, or if everyone just feels like that, but OK, just let Ciro feels that he is specially creative will you?
Ciro also one heard a story, likely apocryphal, but still nonetheless resonated with him, that went something like this (TODO find source, Google wasn't helping, stuff that happened before website as usual):
The newly hired manager of some subsection of DuPont (or some other gigantic chemical company) came into the office, and found a chemical engineer, completely drunk in the middle of the day.Outraged, the manager searched for this colleagues who explained.Ah, don't mind John (or some other name), the guy invented Teflon (or some other substance) which accounted for 20% of our revenue last year. Even if he does not do anything else in his entire career, his salary won't make any difference compared to those gains, and we take the chance that he might invent something else later.
Ciro likes this story because although he does not drink, he feels his work mind works in a related way. Often, when there is something really hard he knows needs doing he hides, and distracts himself with less important tasks, or by watching crap on YouTube, because he knows that the hard task will hurt his mind. Then one day he wakes up and says: OK, fuck it, let's do it, and does it.
Once Ciro got a performance review from a colleague that said:
If Ciro spent as much effort on his job as he does on side projects, he'd be the most amazing worker.
Yes, low conscientiousness, give it to me.
Ciro feels that all really important and productive activities come spontaneously, without being internally forced upon people.
As another way to put it, Ciro has very little "self-discipline", and acts very heavily based on small passions that take hold of him.
You may also say that Ciro is an idealist, because what to do when the food will run out and you have to hunt? To which Jesus replies at Matthew 6:25-34 "Do Not Worry" (archive):
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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you - you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Ciro is also fond of the description of the work method of some writer that his father told him about, possibly Haruki Murakami 村上 春樹. Could not find sources, to treat as apocryphal for now. Basically something like:
Don't rush the work. Just let it happen. Every day at midnight, I would boil a teapot of tea. I would watch the steam rise, and with it feel my consciousness deepen. Everything was pure silence. When the hand was ready, it would, by itself, pick up the brush, and writing would start, by itself.
Another good one is Hemingway's work method:
Always stop while you are going good and dont think about it or worry about it until you start to write the next day. That way your subconscious will work on it all the time. But if you think about it consciously or worry about it you will kill it and your brain will be tired before you start.
Ciro Santilli has a bad memory for events that happened a medium time ago, for example in order of months / years. Especially if they are one-off things that have no relation to anything else.
For example, Ciro never remembers which places he travelled to just once, and who was in each trip! He has images of several places he travelled to in his head, and would recognize them, but he just doesn't know where they were!
The same goes for scenes from movies and passages from music, which explains why Ciro's art consumption focuses on innovative discrete "what happened" and "general gist" ideas, rather than, analog details such as colors and shapes.
Going back even further in time, Ciro starts to forget the less close friends he had, because the events start to fade away.
Ciro believes that there are two types of people, and most notably software engineers, which are basically data wranglers: those with bad memory and those with good memory.
Those with bad memory, tend to focus on automating and improving their processes a lot. They take much longer to do one-off specific deep knowledge tasks however.
The downside of the good memory ones is that sooner or later they will find tasks that no matter how much memory they have, they cannot solve without automation, and they will fail at those.
Also, good memory people don't enable others to join the project efficiently as much.
This dichotomy also explains why Ciro sucks at code reviews, but is rather the person who runs the interesting patches by himself and finds some critical problems that the more theoretical code reviewers missed.
If Ciro had become a scientist, he would without doubt be an experimentalist, just like in this reality he is a GDB/runtime person rather than a "static source analysis" person. Those who have bad memory prefer to just run experiments over and over and observe system state at runtime.
Just enough money to raise 3 kids in a rich country without having to work (so he can focus on whatever project he wants) and no more. Then maximize fame.
Fame is slightly convertible into money with generally little liquidity, but is more valuable if money becomes useless in a TEOTWAWKI.
Of course, in the end, one just does whatever seems cool and useful, and the Gods decide what proportion of fame/money/power they will get. Due to Ciro's love of open source software however, a higher fame percentage seems more likely than money.
Searching just for just "Santilli" on Google does not give any Ciro Santilli hits. The name appears to be a minor variation of the much more common "Santini". Since the name is not that common, it is possible to go over all noteworthy hits. Some relevant ones are shown at: interesting members of the Santilli family.
Searching just for just "Ciro" on Google does not give any Ciro Santilli hits, mostly some smaller brands that could be beaten, this is Ciro's main initial fame metric goal. Reaching it would require doing things known much beyond the programming community however, as Ciro has done until of 2019. http://ciro.com is from an electromechanics consultancy as of 2019, so it's not bad, let them be.
The ultimate dream however would be to beat Cyrus the Great himself on Google searches ("Ciro" == "Cyrus" in Portuguese), maybe becoming "Cyrus the Greater"? That one will be a bit harder though. Maybe if Falung Gong becomes the dominant religion in 2000 years like Christianism did, catapulting the Judaism benefactor Cyrus into greater fame, then there is some hope for Ciro as well.
During his teenage years, Ciro created an innovative new dance style combining elements of the various corporal practices that he studied a bit of across the years:
- Kung Fu/Taichi
- Brazillian Axé and Capoeira
- Modern dance
Ciro later called this style Cirodance.
Ciro's legendary dance style was famous during his university years, when Ciro would go to parties and dance like made while mostly unsuccessfully trying to woo girls.
Ciro has always been critical of dancing conditions in University parties, where people would always be cramped up doing boring non-creative moves. Rather, Ciro would go to to the edges of the dance floor to have enough space for his amazing moves. There is a perhaps a parallel between such tendencies and Ciro's highly innovative personality. Also perhaps being cramped would have helped wooing said girls.
Ciro later quit dancing, to a large extent because it is too hard to find suitable dancing locations outside: Europe is too cold, also ground conditions have to be perfect, and no patience to book a dance room somewhere. Kid's playgrounds are ideal, but Ciro is afraid of dancing there because kids parent's would freak out.
Therefore, all evidence of Cirodance seems to have disappeared into the depths of the Internet. There used to be a notorious video on YouTube from around June 2010 entitled "A Piriguete da Poli !!" ("Poli's bitch" in Portuguese) with comment "Sem comentarios... foi a atraçao da cervejada" (No comments... was the main attraction of the beer party) dancing the Piriguete by MC Papo Brazillian Funk carioca song. But the video was removed at some point, they were likely afraid of getting sued, the URL was https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T969azGjIeE as shown at https://www.facebook.com/cirosantilli/posts/133333123357495, but this was before Ciro noticed that every good thing on the web goes down and became an obsessive web archiver. But in any case, the title gives an idea of the amazing style of Ciro's furor poeticus Axé performance on that day. If the video owner ever reads this message, please please restore the video, or send Ciro a copy. TODO: which channel was it on? Knowing that Ciro would be able to try and contact them.
One legendary episode linked to Cirodance was when Ciro was living in Paris and jobless around 2014 (but not destitute as he leached from his girlfriend). Cirodance was his main physical activity at the time, and Place de la République, where the skateboarders hung out due to the perfect wide concrete floor and relatively close to Bastille where Ciro lived, was the perfect place for it. One cold dark winter evening, Ciro was practicing Cirodance with his headphones and crappy clothes (dirty public square floor, remember), when someone took him for a homeless person and offered him a bowl of soup! It must be said that Place de la République had many events of giving food to the poor. Ciro was a bit stunned, declined, and continued dancing. And so that was the day when a prestigious Polytechnicien was mistaken for a homeless person. And Ciro liked that.
Hand great span https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Span_(unit): 0.22m
UK shirt size: L.
Shoe size 30 year old, as in 2017-04 Nike Flex Experience RN 6 Grey running shoes:
- US: 11
- UK: 10
- EUR: 45
- cm: 29
31 year old:
- Chest: 94cm
- Waist: 81.5cm
- Hip: 85.5cm
- Inner leg: 92.0cm
- Length of back: 71cm (from base of neck to knuckle height)
- Collar: 38cm
- Sitbone distance (ischial tuberosity):
- sitting on cardboard: 110mm, this method felt accurate
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSWlwzqGKik water method: 90mm/100mm. Small butt!?
- Arm sleeve length: 61.5 cm
- Erect penis length: just kidding, just kidding. ciro Santilli's wife would kill him.
If Achilles' had his heel, Ciro had his knee.
Then, just after arriving in France for Ecole Polytechnique, the boys were playing indoor soccer, and to impress the girls Ciro was playing really hard, even took off his shirt, and suddenly when he was running by himself his knee snapped, he fell and it hurt like hell.
Ciro was on crutches for a few weeks, but the inflammation went away, but then he tried to play more soccer, but the knee was not as stable as before, and once he tried to run full speed, it slipped and hurt him a bit more (less severely) and so he gave up. For some reason it was not visible on the tomography made at the hospital.
Maybe Ciro should have investigated more though, certainly an experienced doctor could have done a hand pressure exam to determine which joint was damaged manually even. That was a medical failure.
So from this day on Ciro gave up on all interesting sports, and confined himself to more repetitive stuff like gym weights and cycling: Section 1.11.8. "Ciro Santilli's sport practice". At Polytechnique he was forced to take up swimming as his mandatory sport, that was unbearably boring.
This defect is likely genetic since a close relative had similar problems.
But oh well, his then not-even girlfriend was impressed enough by the soccer or sorry enough for the sucker to marry him, so it worked out.
Playing soccer just feels amazing, because you are constantly running around, but with a more specific goal in mind: to get that ball into that goal!
It is also true that under those conditions, the skin of your feet will get ripped off due to running on the slightly wet and flat sand no matter how thick it has become. But it is worth it.
Ciro became however disillusioned with soccer after his injury. It is a shame.
And so after that, Ciro decided to dedicate himself to sports where you can't hurt your knee.
Ciro hates water, so swimming is out of the question. What could be more boring than going back and forth on a fixed location a million times to gain some milliseconds?
Also, Ciro has an unidentified condition where his upper legs and lower torso often start to itch when he runs, to the point of being extremely annoying. If some doctor knows why this could be, please tell him.
And so Ciro has been left with the gym as the only main option for a while.
This is until he ended up living in a place with decent roads for cycling in the late 2010's.
First he was just cycling to work. But then he started to adventure out of town, and it just felt so good.
He had had the "cyclists high" version of "runner's high". A light euphoria in your head, or a pulsating feeling of pleasure in your legs and lower torso. This reminded Ciro of:
Like other drugs:
- it is addictive
- you will have some bad trips, e.g. went the wrong way on a highway and are afraid you are going to die crushed by fast cars, got flat tire on 1 hour ride and have no repair kit, destination cafe is closed and you are hungry, wind got so strong you can barely ride, half an hour in you find out that it is way colder than what you expected.
- you will have hangover after a long amazing ride
But for every such experience you survive, you learn something to reduce the chances it will happen.
Cycling just gives you an amazing sense of freedom!
The prospect of being able to reach nice new places keeps the experience fresh for a very long time.
Each time you try to find a new cool location, and sometimes you just stumble into amazing stuff without knowing about it.
It is funny, but sometimes this gives Ciro the same feeling that he had as a child playing 2D exploration RPGs such Pokemon and Final Fantasy VI as you explore the wild. Except that the world of cycling is much much more detailed and diverse, and the freedom is much more real. And if you die on a car crash there are no continues.
Also, as you start cycling, you can feel the endorphins rise little by little, until you reach a point where you fell like you are part of the road.
It is amazing how you feel much less cold and hunger when cycling, to the point of being dangerous: always carry some chocolate bars in case you hit the wall!
As a friend of Ciro once said: you start to become like a wolf, who knows every cyclable little road in a 30km radius around your home.
As of 2020, Ciro is at that "should I buy a more reasonable road bike" moment. Let's see how it goes. If he does, cycling trips with the bike on a plane are likely.
As a software engineer, trying to repair a mechanical system like his bike reminds Ciro very strongly of how the physical engineering is brutal. Millimetric changes can make huge differences, it is mind blowing! Good lesson to have in mind.
Another thought that often comes to Ciro's mind is that bicycles are not regular possessions because they break a lot. Rather, they must be seen as a kind of transportation tax that you have to pay to feel amazing riding them rather than feel crappy riding a bus or train.
One interesting feeling that Ciro gets from cycling is that it is an intermediate between walking and riding a car. Ciro felt this especially strongly when he lived near work, at a distance that you could either walk or cycle. When you walk, you can just see so much more of the surroundings, it is astonishing. When you cycle, you just go much faster, and you attention is much more towards the front, so you feel surroundings much less. On the other side, cycling allows you to feel different things. E.g. in wider open areas, there isn't much detail to see anyway, so you can better feel those areas on the faster speed of the bike. A similar feeling applies to how pedestrians feel like flies when you are on a bike, just like you must feel like a fly to car drivers. Ciro later learnt that a person of similar literary ability to his, Ernest Hemingway, had a famous related similar quote:
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and can coast down them.... Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motorcar only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.
Although Ciro does not run because of his itchy legs issue, he finds it interest to contrast cycling with running, notably:
- cycling has a much higher setup time or wearing appropriate clothes, unlocking your bike, and of course, bike maintenance
- running allows you to go into many more small paths that are not accessible by bike, thus offering a different sense of freedom. You can't go as far however. So maybe the ultimate sport would be to cycle to a good cross-country running location and then run over there?
Sometimes, these are more than just mechanics, but also have deeper life analogues. The title of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance comes to mind. Sometimes they are just mechanics.
With more philosophical metaphors:
- when your bike breaks, that provides an unique opportunity to learn how to fix it: try to fix your own bike before taking it to the shop
- if the wind is blowing against you on the way out, it will likely blow behind you on the way back. But remember that the other way around also applies.
- always take one extra clothing layer than what you think you will need in your back pocket or sport bag, especially when time is changing fast in Sprint and Autumn. The weather on the road outside of town can change very quickly!
- if you took a turn, and it feels wrong, stop to check the map, and possibly backtrack to safety. When it feels wrong, it usually is a bad idea, e.g. roads where cars are too fast/too many. But if you take a wrong turn and it feels right, then follow it without fear and see what it leads to!
- don't carry a speedometer on your bike. Analysis can be done afterwards on Strava. The only measurement that matters is "how awesome am I feeling right now?". Live in the moment instead of checking your speedometer every 10 seconds.
With less philosophical metaphors:
- learn how much water and food you need to take for a trip. Otherwise, you will bonk at some time, when you least expect, it happens very suddenly.And then you better hope to God that you can find a food shop nearby. Luckily this was the case for Ciro's first and only bonk so far.You will also learn that, surprise surprise, carbohydrates that you ate one or two days before a ride stay stored in your liver and muscles, and also greatly affect how quickly you will bonk, thus the concept of carbohydrate loading.And surprise surprise: heat can also make you bonk! Who would have thought!
- correct saddle hight is fundamental, your legs must be almost fully stretched at the bottom position
- it is impossible to reach the correct tire pressure with (cheap?) hand pumps, their only purpose is to fill up a flat tire so you can get home after a long ride. But a track pump.
- clean and lube your chain. The speed benefit is instantaneous and mind blowing. It also greatly improves gear shifting.This also prevents the chain from rusting, because the lube takes up the place where water would stay, and the muck makes it harder for water to evaporate.This is the most common bike maintenance mistake you see on the streets: people with that high pitched overly dry chain noise.
- when a piece on your bike breaks and has no clear name written on it, you can try to identify it Google images
- the more you watch YouTube maintenance videos without haste, the more you end up learn random new stuff that unexpectedly saves you later
- if you took a turn, and it feels wrong, stop to check the map, and possibly backtrack to safety. When it feels wrong, it usually is a bad idea, e.g. roads where cars are too fast/too many
- public place with lots of people are bicycle parking Hell, because due to anonymity and the large number of distractions, it becomes exponentially more likely that someone will fuck you bike somehow, e.g. by dropping it on the ground. Always search a bit for a reasonable place to park, and avoid overcrowded parking spaces at all costs.
- gear change matters
- when you get on your bike to start riding, start riding slowly and gradually switch up pedal forces and gears. Things may have shifted in a weird position as it gets kicked around in parking. Ciro managed to bend his derailleur like that!
- spin to win, AKA learn to user your gears
- it is not shameful to ride on your lower gears on a hill. You can actually go surprisingly fast with them, and conserve energy for later. Learn when to use each gear ratio.
- learn to identify your suppliers:
- https://www.wiggle.co.uk/: in Europe, this is best place to buy clothing from, and also good for some bike parts. It is the most organized website, and contains non-generic shit which Amazon is full of.For bike parts Amazon is also worth looking into however. Bike parts a bit different from clothing because you have to make sure that stuff fits, so you hopefully know exactly the part name before before buying it, and therefore website organization is not as crucial.Wiggle is however guilty of shameless: discounts that happen more often than not
- always take your lights off the bike into your bag when you park, anywhere, and for any amount of time, even if a quick stop. Drug addicts are everywhere, always ready love to steal and resell them.
Sometimes you get annoyed to death with your bike not breaking or changing gears perfectly as you would like, and the people at the bike shop never do the job well enough.
The problem with bike shops is that the employees are already swamped with work, and they don't get paid any extra for doing more work.
As a result, paradoxically, they are often happier, and respect you more if you are trying to get them to help you to fix your own bike!
Also, for the same reason, they don't have the time to go for a quick test ride after a fix to ensure that the bug was actually fixed.
So they ignore things that would obviously be huge ridability benefits (although they might not be obvious to newbie customers), for which customers would gladly pay more money for.
But you start to learn how to do stuff yourself and it feel amazing when you finally get there (after infinite trial and error).
Ciro dreams of a bike shop that actually calls you for the appointment and then teaches you how to fix the thing.
So the best strategy is to have a backup bicycle, and when your main one breaks, you just try to to the fix yourself. That means: identifying the broken piece, watching YouTube videos of how to do the job, buying a replacement on Amazon, and giving it a shot.
Then, if you fail to do the fix, that is OK, just take it to the bike shop, with the piece you've bought, and ask them to do it for you. At least this way you did not waste a golden opportunity to learn!
- 15: light long sleeves/tights start becoming necessary
- 18: the perfect cycling temperature. Shorts and sleeveless will suffice. In case of wind, maybe light gloves and a headband, but generally not needed.
- 25: heat stroke starts getting a little bit dangerous here, especially under noon sunshine on a road without trees. If you start feeling a bit dizzy, stop early, drink water, and take it easy.
These are people which Ciro never met personally, but which he is convinced are his brothers in some other dimension due to how many opinions or behaviours he feels they share:
- Dan Dascalescu due to articles such as:
- English as a universal language by Dan Dascalescu (2008)
- https://www.reddit.com/r/TheoryOfReddit/comments/9oujwf/why_archiving_old_threads_is_a_bigger_problem/ see also online forums that lock threads after some time are evil
- https://web.archive.org/web/20130922192354/http://wiki.dandascalescu.com/reviews/online_services/web_page_archiving see also web archiving
- https://stackoverflow.com/users/55075/kenorb see also Ciro Santilli's Stack Overflow contributions
When Ciro was very young, about 6, he was fatty, and other evil boys picked on him. Ciro was a bit stupid, and continued to try and hang out with those evil kids, and continued to get hurt. Advice to his children: stay away from evil people. If you come across evil people, smile a fake smile to them, and walk away, but never give your back to them, and always be ready to fight. If they laugh at you, know that you are shit like everyone else, pretend to laugh with them, and get out. Never show any weakness. If a fight is likely, always be ready, always have your friends and never be outnumbered. On the Internet, never care about e-bully posts, either block them immediately, and anyone that likes their posts, or follow Ciro's reply policy. Call parents or other authorities as soon as the situation becomes seriously bad, better a living free pussy than dead or youth detention for murder. Similar advice applies if you are going to jail I guess. If a physical fight is inevitable however, ignore Jesus this once and don't give the other face, but rather follow the Talmud and fight all out on the beaches:
If someone comes to kill you, rise and kill first.
The Sikh knife Kirpan also comes to mind.
Non-violence only works when you have bodies to spare from your followers.
In the year 2000, Ciro lived with his parents for 10 months in the Coventry, United Kingdom because his father took some courses at the University of Warwick. This was Ciro's most important educational experience, because it taught him the Holy Language of English, which infinitely expanded Ciro's Internet horizons, and shaped Ciro's having more than one natural language is bad for the world philosophy. When he came back to Brazil, Ciro skipped dozens of levels in his English school, and was put to study with much older teenagers who marveled at Ciro's incredibly cute, but since lost, British accent.
Another huge advantage of Coventry is that the Hearsall Community Primary School had two classes dedicated to foreign students to learn English before integrating with the British students. There were a lof of kids from Kosovo there due to the Kosovo war which was just ending, and it was there that Ciro made his first Chinese friend, yet unaware of course of the role the country would later play in his life. One particularly fun memory was that of playing soccer on the school playground with a sponge ball to avoid breaking the windows. Then one day it was raining, but Ciro still went for a header, and the soaked sponge ball was soaked and splashed Ciro with dirty water. Good days.
After Coventry, Ciro's family lived in the city of Santos, São Paulo, Brazil, which made a deep impression on Ciro, until he left to go to the University of Sao Paulo in 2007.
Ciro Santilli did a double degree program, and obtained degrees in both:
Ciro participated in a double degree program, so he obtained have engineering degrees in both:
Despite studying in great institutions with great teachers, Ciro feels that:
- most of what he knows came from the Internet, man pages, books and his parents
- actual projects matter much more than those pieces of paper called Diplomas. You should not do like Ciro who basically did nothing but school mandated work, but instead grow some balls and focus much more or entirely on your projects
This motivated Ciro to work on write free books to get famous website.
Ciro's parents put him to play the piano. This is partly influenced by Ciro's paternal grandfather, an energetic Italian descendant who liked music
The piano was fine, but a bit boring due to how it was taught.
The teachers were nice old ladies who followed a very traditional and methodic approach which was just like regular school, instead of doing what actually needed to be done: inspire kids into becoming creative musical geniuses that can compose their own stuff.
While in Santos, before going to university, Ciro somehow got into acoustic and electric guitar.
And so a young teenage Ciro once seriously considered becoming a professional guitar player.
Ciro remembers clearly rainy weekend days where he would go to a run down second hand shop near his home in someone's garage (Sebo do Alfaiate, R. Frei Francisco de Sampaio, 183 - Embaré, Santos - SP, 11040-220, Brazil :-)), and buy amazing second hand Jazz CDs. It was just a matter of time until he would start scouring the web for "the best jazz albums of all time" and start listening to all of them, see e.g. the best modern instrumental Western music of all time. https://digitaldreamdoor.com/index.html was a good resource from those times!
He also learnt that the computer is also an extremely satisfying artistic instrument.
Also, with a computer, boring dexterity limitations are no more: you can just record perfect played segments or program things note by note to achieve whatever music or action you want!
Although Ciro quit playing musical instruments, his passion for the music has remained, and who knows how it has influenced his life.
Found through Google with no direct relation known to Ciro Santilli
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santilli: wiki page for the glorious family:
- Ruggero Santilli: "fringe science guy", by far dominates Google as of 2019. Created the respectable R.M. Santilli Foundation
- Ray Santilli made a fake 1995 alien autopsy movie, YouTube sample: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVcaT2QnoDs
- Ivana Santilli: Canadian singer, pop-electric-chill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQRuVN0H8dM
- accounts on important websites
- https://github.com/santilli anonymous GitHub as of 2019
- http://santilli.com/ for rent by https://realnames.com/ (wiki page) as of 2019
- https://twitter.com/santilli is Marcel Santilli the guy who took the Twitter handle of the familyAlso Brazilian and tech related like Ciro Santilli.
- https://www.youtube.com/user/TheOverthrowShow https://thepetesantillishow.com/ Pete Santilli, American Conservative news commentator show, makes Ciro cringe of boredom. At least he has a passion.
- honorable mention to the similar name Santillo variant under Will Santillo who makes erotic artistic photos
If any of you ever read this, do send me an email to Ciro Santilli saying hi and we can agree on a clear separation of usernames.
Although if you are just starting out, maybe you should just go from scratch with a unique Internet alias.
A younger unrelated Argentinian homonym who likes soccer that can be found through Google:
Ciro used to like playing soccer too :-)
A summary of minor projects is given at: Ciro Santilli's minor projects.
This section is a dump for anything else, to keep those sacred first sections clean.
This is mostly stuff from before 2016 when Ciro was anxious to document his contributions to get a job.
Most of the projects here are also minor contributions, or Ciro later noticed that the projects were not useful enough to work on and that he was actually wasting his time.
Some of the contributions are subjectively self evaluated based on:
- How many significant lines changed (no indentation changes, moves, mass refactoring, trivial tests, etc.):
0 only trivial changes 1 < 20 2 < 150 3 > 150
- How hard it was to make it. 4 algorithmic lines are harder than 100 web development/documentation lines.
Only patches which were reviewed by at least one person with push permission will be listed here.
This may also include patches which were rejected in favor of another patch, but strongly influenced the merged patch.