Ciro Santilli
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The side effects of ambitious goals are often the most valuable thing achieved | 🗖 nosplit | ↑ parent "Cirism" | 392

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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.
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If the goals are not ambitious enough, you risk not even having useful side effects so show in the end!
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By doing the prerequisites of the impossible goal you desire, maybe the next generation will be able to achieve it.
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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.
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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.
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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).
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