Ciro Santilli
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If you want to do something, but you are afraid to do it, then that is likely what you should do.
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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.
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For example, when Ciro Santilli was deciding what to do in university, he wanted mostly to do pure physics.
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But because he was afraid he was going to die poor and unemployed because of that, he picked engineering instead.
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That was a mistake.
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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".
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But he was a coward.
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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.
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Furthermore, while in University, Ciro learnt about a fantastic full time course that any student could transfer to called that teaches various natural sciences topics which Ciro loves (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology) and which students from the entire university can apply to transfer to only after joining the university, with the guarantee that they can go back to their original courses if they didn't adapt to the new course.
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But did Ciro do it? Nope, he remained an even larger coward.
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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.
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Maybe not, but now this doubt will never leave his mind until the final day.
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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.
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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.
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Work a little less well for you boss, and a little better for yourself. Ross Ulbricht:
I hated working for someone else and trading my time for money with no investment in myself
Selling drugs online is not advisable however.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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The same goes for school, and maybe even more so because your parents can still support you there. Some Gods who actually followed this advice and didn't end up living under a bridge:
  • George M. Church "[We] hope that whatever problems... contributed to your lack of success... at Duke will not keep you from a successful pursuit of a productive career." Lol, as of 2019 the dude is the most famous biotechnologist in the world, those "problems" certainly didn't keep him back.
  • Freeman Dyson proved the equivalence of the three existing versions of quantum electrodynamics theories that were around at his time, and he has always been proud of not having a PhD!
    Video 11. Freeman Dyson - Why I don't like the PhD system (95/157) by Web of Stories (2016) Source.
  • Person that Ciro met personally and shall remain anonymous for now for his privacy: once Ciro was at a bar with work colleagues casually, it was cramped, and an older dude sat next to his group.
    The dude then started a conversation with Ciro, and soon he explained that he was a mathematician and software engineer.
    As a Mathematician, he had contributed to the classification of finite simple groups, and had a short Wiki page because of that.
    He never did a PhD, and said that academia was a waste of time, and that you can get as much done by working part time a decent job and doing your research part time, since you skip all the bullshit of academia like this.
    Yet, he was still invited by collaborating professors to give classes on his research subject in one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Students would call him Doctor X., and he would correct them: Mister X.
    As a software engineer, he had done a lot of hardcore assembly level optimizations for x86 for some mathematical libraries related to his mathematics interests. He started talking microarchitecture with Ciro's colleagues.
    And he currently worked on an awesome open source project backed by a company.
    At last but not least, he said he also fathered 17 children by donating his sperm to lesbian mothers found on a local gay magazine, and that he had met most/all of those children after they were born.
    A God. Possibly the most remarkable person Ciro ever met, and his jaw was truly dropped.
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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.
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Don't be a pussy. Be a based God.
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Figure 36. Dilbert "A small brain irrationally puts more weight on a small loss than on a huge opportunity" cartoon (2000) Source.
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Figure 37. Jake Likes Onions "Slowly" cartoon. Source. This is what trying to reach a dream part time feels like. The cartoon reads: "The tiger pursues its prey. Slowly. The human pursues its life goals. Slowly. Very slowly.".
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Video 12. Excerpt from the documentary film "Steve Jobs: Secrets of Life" (1994). Source.
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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.
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Of course, survivorship bias applies.
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Video 13. Alan Watts "If Money Were No Object What Would You Do" talk. Source.
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Ancestors

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