И КОЙ КАЗА...Created on 20161217
Драги бивши и настоящи възпитаници на бъдещата новооткрита Софийска ПМГ,
Не исках да си използвам тежката си дума, но иначе толкова чистата ми и подредена стена във фейса се петни от тъжни, печални и гневни писма от мои почитатели, които искат лично да коментирам ужасът на премахмането на буквичката. Всичко започва така...
“Възможно е моето училище наесен да не съществува”? Ъм... Защото ще му махнат буквичка от името?
НЕ, ДАНИЕЛЕ, БУКВИЧКАТА ЗНАЧИ МНОГО, ТЯ Е СИМВОЛ НА ИЗРАЖЕНИЕТО НА ЛИРИЧНИЯ ГЕРОЙ И НЕГОВИЯ КАТАРЗИС В СИНЕТОХАТА НА ...
к, chill. Знам, знам, и аз съм бил в час по БЕЛ и държал матура (отуична пуи това). Знам, името е важно, кей?
Обаче... Не викахме, когато направиха 8ми клас подготве да учим чужд език. Мех. Не викахме, когато сложиха резултатите от изпита по БЕЛ като изискване за влизане. Че аз само заради това успях в Н/СПМГ - математика и физика FOREVA. Не викахме когато махнаха системата "15% отсъствия и си вън". Падна ни стандартчето, на олимпиади се представяхме все по-мех и все по-се напивахме, но не викахме. Не се срещахме с президенти, не ни даваха по националната телевизия. Когато беше стачката нашия 9ти клас бяхме повече от щастливи, че не учим. Не викаме, и че всеки иска да се профилира по неговия си предмет, но учим глупостите от средното образование. Сега викаме, че ще ни махнат Н-то?
И, кво, проблемът е, няма да можем да се дуем, че сме Национална? Че ще дойдат събратята ни от Бургаското ПМГ и ние няма да можем да скандираме Н-П-М-Г а само... нещо друго?
АМА, НЕ, НАЦИОНАЛНА Е ВАЖНА, ЗАЩОТО СИ Е ГОРДОСТ. ТИ СИ СРАМ ЗА НАШАТА ГИМНАЗИЯ!!!
Да, бе знам, териториалност. Носталгия на бивши ученици и статут на настоящи. Хубаво де, всички си имаме дозата горделивост, важна или не, грешна или не.
Хубаво, Н-то е важно, убедихте ме. И аз искам да съм на 3000 километра и някой да изкрещи “И КОЙ КАЗА?“ и аз да се провикна като един иначе толкова възпитан претопен и толерантен англичанин от село Бърдо - “Н-П-М-Г”.
Не, бе, честно, яко е, няма да споря!
А, между другото, там тия поправките в закона, ако чета правилно (може и да греша, не съм законо-човек, само програматор) си има изисквания за името Национална, които ми се виждат fair-enough. (Тука щракате - и после Ctrl+F “Национална“). Честно казано, има логика Национална да се казват само училищата, които изпълняват поръчките на Партията майка ИЛИ пък имаме малко повече чуждоземци (за хората с ограничена РАМ памет, които не могат да отворят още един таб - трябват ни поне 20 ученика от други области и някакви мн сложни математични правила).
НЕ, БЕ, ДАНИЕЛЕ, ДА ТЕ ТАКОВАМ В ИРОНИЯТА!!! ТО Е ПРОСТО ЧАСТ ОТ ГОЛЕМИЯ ОБРАЗОВАТЕЛЕН ПРОБЛЕМ НА ДЪРЖАВАТА, ТОВА Е ПРОСТО ПОСЛЕДНАТА КАПКА!!!
Ако е така, аз съм с триста ръце ЗА.
Защото имаме много проблеми в образованието. Но ми се струва, че вдигаме малко повечко шум за Н-то.
Айде тая енергия дето сте я поели за Н-то да я пренасочите към истинските проблеми. Примерно, да протестираме срещу домашните работи? Ще спасите много часове на много хора.
И все пак, да сме съпричастни #НеПипайМоятаГимназия бе кеуеши, приемете си законите за референдумите и пр, не се занимавайте с нашата си гордост, да ви...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Н П М Геееееееееееееее
Казах си думата.
Чакам си псувните.
Айде, Лека нощ.
Коя мафия си избирате?Created on 20161107
Изборите са идиотско нещо. Моят свят е свят на избор в момента - дали защото съм в такава възраст или пък светът полудява, или съм в “мехурчето“ от новини и социални коментари - не знам. Брекзит, Тръмп, Радев. Но ето, че гласувам за шести път извън страната - шест от шест пъти навън.
Този път, както и първият ми път, е за президент. Но картинката е различна. В САЩ имаме Тръмп срещу Хилари, в България - Цачева срещу Радев. И в двете държави се гласува за президент, и в двете са мъж срещу жена, и в двете хората се опитват да изберат между по-малкото зло.
Уважаеми сънародници: Коя мафия си избирате? Изборът винаги е между по-малкото зло. Искаме мафията на човека, който еднолично държи държавата под шах, ако загуби на които и да е избори. Или искаме мафията, която от опит знаем, че ще разграби държавата. Това е изборът пред който стоим.
След като сегашният ни мафиот обяви, че ако загуби на “Не се сърди човече“, ще подаде оставка, тъй като неговите лични късметлийски качества очевидно не са в състояние да управляват държавата, сега сме в ситуация на страх. Искам ли държавата, в която не живея, да няма бюджет 2017, да изпадне в едно половин годишно безвремие, следвано от управление на едни иначе толкова симпатични хора? Не искам. А искам ли всеки път, когато искам да избера нещо различно от статуквото да ми се казва, че държавата ми ще се срине, ако не избера статуквото? В смисъл, каква е разликата между това да си имаме реален диктатор и символичен диктатор, който ако изчезне ще последва крах и пагуба?
Ще последва ли? Не знам - едва ли. България няма ядрени оръжия да погуби целия свят ако избере грешния човек. Но родителите и приятелите ми са достатъчни, за да ме е грижа какво се случва.
Баща ми обича да казва, че ако изборите решавали нещо са щели да ги забранят. Започвам да минавам възрастта, в която от идеалист ставам малко циничен и тези думи започват да звучат съблазняващи. Не от гледна точка на вяра, че някои тайно ни манипулира, сигурно ще стигна и до там някой ден, но по-скоро, че избора като че е някаква илюзия. Като гласувах вчера не почувствах, че имам избор. Усетих, че съм от стадото, което отива да гласува по инерция, защото просто логически не виждам какъв избор имам. Избрах „по-малкото“ зло. Тази фраза е просто навсякъде тези дни, но дали не е просто част от живота?
Прочетох една книга наскоро “The subtle art of not giving a fuck“ (“Изящното изкуство да не ви ... ъм... пука“ - майка ми е от малкото редовни читатели на блога ;). Съвета, който взех от нея е, че понякога е важно да се съсредоточиш върху лошата част от избора и кой предпочиташ. Лесно е да избираш между две щастливи ситуации - все тая. Въпроса е, коя от ситуациите има проблеми, които предпочиташ. С други думи - да си във връзка и да не си във връзка си има своите негативи - кои предпочиташ? Проблемите с комуникацията и отделенето време, липсата на други сексуални контакти или предпочиташ самотата и несигурността? Предпочиташ да учиш и да се тормозиш с изпити и безумни упражнения или да умираш от скука от 9 до 5 в безумна работа?
Не съм песимист, и точно заради това урокът от книгата ми отвори очите към нова идея. Сега при нас, както и при американците, както и при британците стои избор на по-малкото зло.
Ми да си го изберем. Ние си решаваме мафиотски диктатори срещу мафиотска дружина. И в давата случая не е яко на върха, но то пък кога ли е било яко?
А пък в крайна сметка, както казва един друг мой приятел - 'се едно, лятото ще си дойде и аз ще съм си на Кара дере-то :) Айде с мир.
This post starts normally talking about interviews and transitions into a life crisisCreated on 20161005
I will be having interviews these days. I guess I am giving up my dream of starting a startup, maybe few years down the road when I get more experience. Don’t judge me. It’s hard. So let’s do some standardized interviews, that is good and stable. Get a job that you will be happy.
Algorithms and data structures. Binary search trees, DFS, BFS, Heaps - the regular stuff. You know, the stuff that you do every day as a programmer. Not debugging or refactoring, not testing or googling. A hackerrank ™ online test which shows your capabilities best, implementing things you haven’t done in years but hey - ADS must be important. I can’t possibly have 3 good programmers around me at the time of the interview that google like crazy and help me to pass it.
If I was the only one complaining, I would consider myself just plain uncapable of my profession. And maybe I am. Maybe the actual coding stars out there don’t complain on HN and can just breeze the interviews about ADS and laugh at the amateurs like me that they don’t know the simple things. Maybe I am so low in the hierarchy that I still can’t see the use, I am just a regular work-man level.
And that makes sense - I am just 24, no industry experience except my (failing?) startup, a Bachelor degree and an internship or two. I do not pretend my knowledge is good enough. Hell, what do I know? Seriously, no irony, I get it - maybe ADS is the right way. I just highly suspect it is not. /modesty. Let’s move on.
But if that is true, then why do companies examine me on “tech star” level things? Shouldn’t they just know if I can bash my way out of a stuck python terminal and hire me anyway? If I am supposed to be a low-level worker, why not just test me if I can do for loops, if statements and hire me?
Hypothesis: “A company wants their employees to be obedient.”
Hiring is costly. People quitting is costly. People who are adventurous, hackers, people who do open source or side projects, startups are kind of risky. If they hire such a person, she could resign in 6 months because of her side projects. Considering an average 3 months to get up to speed in a company, that leaves (at best) 3 months of work of that candidate. This is not good. And as far I understand, it is rather hard to fire a person these days. So if you hire somebody, it better be for good and better be for long.
What if we can filter people who we know they will stay for a while longer and will not be tempted to leave? Give them a test that: A. they will have to spend a week or two brushing up on their skills OR B. they are so fresh out of college that they will know these stuff anyway and would not have the experience of the real world to tempt them so quickly to leave
Also ADS is great sweet spot to see if you are/were a good student. And a good student means obedient student - one who does all the exercises and, maybe complains a bit, but excels at them. Why are ADS sweet spot? Well, they are a bit trickier than the other stuff. They do require a bit more abstract thinking, maths etc. “Great” - HRs say - “this is what programmers do, right? Maths? And abstract thinking? Yeah, let’s do that!”
So now, I am brushing up on my AVL rotation skills. Which I haven’t done in 3 years. And which if I have to do anytime after the interview, I will just google and copy the code anyway (of course, only from SO or github with the proper licence and attributions, yadda-yadda). But I wouldn’t trust myself to do it on the spot in 15 minutes. Why not? See, I would trust myself setting up a flask webserver on the spot even with no googling. Or writing routes, models, doing migrations, scheduling tasks with workers, running a debugger. I will trust myself doing list comprehension, designing classes and inheritance, refactoring or unit testing, I would trust myself using bash to find files that contain a string recursively, changing permissions, setting up nginx, uwsgi etc. Why? Because I’ve done this hundreds of times and the first 20 or so with googling. Then it becomes quicker to get it from brain than the slow Internet, we all know I/O kills everything, brain is quicker. But my small cache doesn’t really have AVL because it wasn’t accessed that often.
Why is that possibly true
I can’t prove my hypothesis that companies do that only because obedient people would sit down and study the things that a company tells them to do. I mean, it makes sense I think, but again, I have very limited experience and maybe once you grow up from setting webservers, you do start writing algorithms. Maybe having algorithms in cache is a good signal or correlates well with “knows how to do shit”. If there is research like that, please let me know.
And don’t get me wrong, I can reason why to use a list or a dict at certain situation, I do think about my data structures, I do think about algorithms. But I don’t write my own merge sort, ever, I use sorted(). I don’t write my hash functions with random probing collision resolution, although I was interested enough to look up how python does it and am aware of edge cases and limitations - but even that is trivia that I don’t really need to know. Just I need to know dictionaries are better for looking up keys than storing the same info in a list of lists. And other things of course.
But I think it’s correct, the hypothesis I mean, because I’ve heard and read about tons of programmers who I consider much, much better than me to complain about the same thing. Complain that they couldn’t pass a Google interview because they asked them to implement a red-black tree on the spot in 15 minutes and they couldn’t. But if they could it would mean that they have a track record of knowing how to do it in the past or are scared enough to sit down and learn that thing for a company because they need a job. Or that they are pure machines that eat Algs for breakfast, Data structs for lunch and dynamically program their pizza for dinner.
So what is a good interview then? Billion dollar question isn’t it. Seems that nobody knows, or at least that is what I read. Bad things that we know didn’t work in the past:
- Brain teasers - You know, you have 10 coins, 3 of them lie all the time the rest are put inside of a blender that starts spinning in 10 seconds, what would happen if you put the blender on a manhole which is square and how would you time these 10 seconds given you only have a boat that can carry only one thing and a giraffe inside of a fridge? These turn out not to be good predictors for success, although they were asked by the Big 5 in the past. Most Good companies ® stopped using them. I used to play tons of this in the time when Internet was still not a thing and I was socializing with the children at my grandma’s place. My 5 year old-self would be able to pass these interviews, no problems, I knew so many words, in fact I knew the best words, I had the best words... but not anymore.
- Maths. Duh. Answering 100 questions in 25 minutes aptitude-get interview that a calculator would do and if my fingers are fast is not a good predictor except maybe that I am a fast typer and have drunk 2 red bulls before that. And if you give me some of that crazy alien symbols, some of which are greek, some of which are inverted greek that don’t even look like an equation but behave like one if you divide both sides by square root of -1… I will just give you a reference to a friend of mine who gets high on square roots.
- IQ. Maybe a good predictor still but as with all tests, if I practice enough pattern seeking and number sequences, I am pretty sure I can get 30 points which is a lot, right?
I think ADS will be added to this list at some point in time. It just sounds too much like “if I study it for a week or two, I can fake it for 20 minutes”, similar to the above of the list.
So what is left?
Writing actual code. Can’t go wrong with that and many companies do it. If I have to hire a plumber and he can’t do pipes, I don’t care too much if his engineering skills are a blast and he could draw me a sketch of the Golden gate bridge in a flash.
But then how should candidates write code? IDE, text editor or white board? Can they use Google or documentation or man pages? Only brain cache? What is the measurement? Time? Space? LOC? Yeah, I think that last one would be great. It’s so easy to pass it to an HR and measure the amount of LOC - the more lines, the better programmer and it’s an easy decision! HIRE!
These are hard questions and it probably depends on a company. You are free to decide, of course. But you will be wrong if you don’t decide like me. MY BLOG POST, MY RULES, GET OUT OF HERE!
I would go with full blast - you can use IDE or vim, you can use docs and duckduckgo or whatever you will use if this actual problem is given to you at work. Hell, why limit her? I don’t get it - let her call a friend, ask around, ask the interviewer, try things around, run it, break it, let her watch a youtube video of a cat or whatever she is into (no porn… unless it’s… no, no porn), stretch a bit, go for coffee, come back, try again… Why limit the available resources when programming is hard enough even when you do have all the resources?! I mean, if it was that easy to code with Google, probably I would be a superstar coder immediately, no?
I would give only 2 restrictions or differences:
- You can’t copy-paste code verbatim. In any way it is a good practice to remember code and avoids liability for a company, especially if the code is not explicitly stated as free to use
- You have to sort-of walk us through what you are doing and why you are doing it. Which is not that much different than pair programming.
And you can BYOLaptop if you want, show us some cool .vimrc or whatever to kick things off, make it more of a normal conversation. Of course, there is an imbalance of nervousness on the sides of the interview and it’s hard to balance this one, the candidate has a lot to lose but if I can do this on an interview, I would be 10 times calmer since it almost sounds like a normal work day.
And for fucks sake, don’t ask me about my weaknesses if you don’t want to hear them.
SPOILER: The crazy part starts here. Mom, please don't read below this.
My weaknesses? I am an angry, lonely, insecure perfectionist who gets distracted by sexy red heads, solving his problems with occasional running or eating until regret, over-stressed quarter-life crisis millennial who believes is entitled to a meaningful job, an over-controlling freak that draws diagrams at 2 o’clock in the morning of the-meaning-of-my-life, fucks that, then fucks his right hand instead of his girlfriend because he believes his life is worthless and he doesn’t deserve to be happy whatever that means. But I think that improves me in a way, yeah? How are you crazy? What do you do at 2 o’clock in the middle of the night? Do you check your facebook wall? Or do you think about work? I know I think about my startup and how to make it work even though I have said about 50 times in the past month that I am done and only 45 times that I think it will actually work, is that crazy? I know I dumb my senses with binge-watching Mr Robot because I don’t want to face real-life decisions. How do you destress Mrs HR? Are you happy, do you stay positive?
Don’t ask me about my 5-year plan. I am not in school anymore, yeah? I don’t know what 5 years is anymore, too many decisions. Will I have a baby? Will Trump become president and start a nuclear war? Would I do programming or switch to something else because of FOMO? How should I know? Do you? Can you predict the future? Can you give me your plan? Can I follow your plan? Because you have one, and I don’t, yours is better? Let’s just build a wall.
Will I be a team player or a leader? Better both. I can show you examples of these, does it matter? Am I hired? Am I a good person?
Oh, boy, I am complaining. I am a white young male in the western world with first world problems, shit! I have too many choices - I can become anything! ANYTHING, you hear?! ANYTHING! People in Africa would kill for these choices. And I sit here complaining when I should be studying rotations. Fuck!
I don’t want choices. I am too smart. I am too dumb. My parents know what I should do. My girlfriend knows what I should do. My business partner knows what I should do. How come I don’t know what to do?
I don’t know. I ain’t no HR. Obviously, for now I ain’t no businessman either. I will probably try again at some point. Now, I need to pay the rent. Or should I go back to my home? No, that’s not good, we decided we are a “person-who-lives-in-the-western-world”. We? I mean I. I MEAN ME. Suck up with interviews, give up my entitlements, dumb my senses, starts living an average life. “Just” be normal. “Just” stay positive. “Just” enjoy the journey, the beautiful life you’ve been given. You have 1 in a trillion chance being born and you just have that many years to enjoy the journey. It’s a struggle, everybody struggles, but you learn from it. Hapiness must come from within, you can't control the external stuff. You are responsible for your own life and you decide how to me happy. Here, read that self-help book. Here, watch that guru talking on youtube, he has his life figured out.
Meet friends, don’t isolate yourself.
But I hate people.
But I am lonely.
I need people.
But I hate people. I should hate people right? I am an introvert.
But I love my girlfriend. Yeah, let’s just stick with that. Make a family. Enjoy the little things.
But I need to socialize.
Let’s go to a party.
Fuck, I don’t want to talk about “what do I do”? I don’t know what do I do. What do you mean, I guess I code? I sort-of-have a business. I don't anymore. Or I do? How do you decide if your business fails? It's a mirage. But it's my baby. Would I ever give up on my baby? Should I give up.
Dude, just chill. You are living the dream. Just enjoy it, it’s not that bad, you have friends, family, you are healthy, you are smart, educated. Why do you think you have so many problems? You know how many problems I have? Dude, tons of problems, yours are nothing! You have a choice, you can work wherever you want. Just send your CV, just pass that interview at that company. Just be happy, okay?
“Just” say “just” one more time motherfucker, say “just” one more time, I dare you, I double dare you!
The Third World War is coming. What to do about it?Created on 20160728
The Third World War is coming. Everything is set in place for the war to unlock at any moment now. ISIS are the most powerful and cunning terrorist organisation the world has ever seen. There is nothing that can stop it. The Islam religion is so powerful, they want to kill people and they will do it over and over, more and more often. Because they are promised salvation. It is always the Islam. It is the wrong religion. 9/11. And we now let them in our own lands because they want asylum? Ontario, France, Belgium and Germany. But they are different. They are not like us. We let them kill our children. How long? Who do you fight with? There are the lone wolves that are impossible to track. Or so they tell us. Maybe they know. The more powerful, the people at the top, they know. Putin has been the worst dictator humanity has known yet his country is not attacked by ISIS. Why? Because he is part of the plan. He will be more manipulative and hungry for more power until the war breaks out. Then he will hide in a bunker. Together with all the top people that we know and that we don’t know. The people who are pulling the ropes from behind the scenes.
The war is coming. And it will be terrifying. Everything is set in place. Trump will soon win the election. He has already said it will withdraw support for NATO countries. Every man for himself. There will be no support of small nations. It will be the two big powers now. They went through a cold war but the world needs a war, the Empire needs wars to survive.
The war is coming. Is it a coincidence that the Brexit just happened. Just now? The European Union is in a state of collapse and the effect of the domino will soon follow. The Netherlands and France will soon be out, Germany will not want to forever support countries like Greece. Europe has always been too different to be united.
The war is inevitable. The world economic debt is monstrous! There will be a scarier economic crisis, worse than what we have seen. And the Bible predicted it - the doomsday is coming. Nostradamus said that this pope, pope Francis, will be the last pope before the Second coming.
The war is coming. And it will be more destructive than ever. Einstein said that he doesn’t know what WW3 will be fought with but the fourth will be fought with stones and bricks. And it’s these scientists who are saying that gays and lesbians are normal. It is these scientists who make women equal. And because of that, women will actively participate in the war. Oh, no, it will not be only men this time. They will have to carry the gun and shoot people and be shot. And there will be no place to hide. There will be atomic bombs all around the world. Total destruction, oblivion of all the nations.. And only the selected secret officials will be saved. Because they have planned this all along. They have the bunkers in which they will survive and let humanity kill itself. They want that because we are overpopulating! It will be a new world. A new order. With new species. We have proven to be impossible to live with. All we want is sex and war and drugs. We do not deserve to live but all of the secret societies, the new people, the new era. They will be the ones.
The war is here. There is nothing to do now but to participate and probably die. Or you would wish to die. You will be injured so badly that you would wish to die. Every night there are bombs. Every day there are drones above your head killing your friends, family. Destroying all you know. The war is inevitable. The destruction of all of that beautiful life is inevitable. It will be the greatest suffering and dying the Earth has ever seen. And it has already began.
Are you afraid?
Are you terrified?
You should be.
But There is a way out. I know the secret. I know the soft spot and I know how we can make our country great again. We will tighten our borders. We let no one in. We kick all the Jews out of the country. We kick all Mexicans out of the country. We will not allow some bureaucrats in another country deciding what is right for us. For our community. For our freedoms. For our democracy. I will build a great wall to stop everyone coming from abroad passing through it. I will have guards 24/7/365 around the border. It will be a great, powerful, independent country. We will be a safe heaven. But just for us. For the people in this room. For your families and your friends. Vote for me in November and let’s make our country a safe great powerful country.
Let's do it! But I know... death is frightening... I want to provide you with a different view...
There is one thing they can’t take from you. It is your belief in the Almighty. God knows who is rightful in his heart of hearts. He knows and he promises eternal lives for everyone who accepts Him. He protects you here on Earth and it will not let anything happen to the ones who are true to Him. It is said in Mark “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”. And God will welcome you. He will welcome his children because he is all knowing and all good and all powerful. And he is forgiving. Your belief in the Lord is the one that will save you. Belief it is said in the scriptures, and belief we shall.
Doesn’t it provide solace and peace? But actually... does it all matter?
Fear not. Because this evening I will tell you the solution. And it will shock you. It is the simplest truth there is. You will be thinking How didn’t I think of that before? My Gosh, I wish I knew it all along. It is money of course. If you have enough money, you can buy anything. You can buy a position in the government. You can buy a safe heaven for your family. It doesn’t matter the world will be at war, but to be honest - I don’t think it will be at all. Why? Because the world is driven by money, no one is interested in wars, wars make businesses go broke, what is the point. But on the off chance something happen, wouldn’t it be nice to have enough money to buy yourself any position that you want? And I know how to make money, this is the only thing I know how to do in this world. And I can teach you, it is so simple. My company, Straiten Oakland is known for making normal everyday people rich overnight. We have thousands of people around the world who turned millionaires in a month because of the simple system we teach here. And you know what the best part is - you can quit any time. No questions asked. But if you stick to it, believe me, you will wish you found about me earlier. You will not be sorry.
Do you get it?
Or do you feel confused.
What am I proposing?
Now. What I’ve done, is the most generic fear message that anyone can say and anyone can believe. From the politician, to the priest, from your slightly weird Uncle Bob to your close friends after a bottle or two, the TV news and the print media, the social networks, the videos on YouTube and the blog articles on Medium. The message is so powerful it is almost impossible to dismiss. It is so powerful because it touches the single thing that all biological species share - fear. Fear makes you do things more than ANYTHING ELSE in the world. It is unavoidable, everyone is guided by different fears. And in this talk, I have touched on a particular kind of fear. The fear of not having control.
And then, your mind is tuned to getting back control. To a solution. To a salvation. To a resolution. About what to do. What can you do now? Fight or flight or freeze? What’s next step that can help you survive. You want to hear that nevertheless, you will be saved. Your family will somehow beat the odds and it will survive. Somehow you can get into the bunkers of these politicians. Somehow, you will be this general or warrior who win the war. It doesn’t matter, because religion will save me. Or you will just dismiss me. And say I am a lunatic. A psycho. That life will just go on and nothing will happen. There are doomsday predictions all the time and they never come true. Right?
So, the three roles - the politician, the priest and the salesman - provide a simple thing. A solution to a problem. What is the problem? It is the inevitable war, remember? The three roles appeal to different people. Any of them could have said the generic thing that I started the evening with. Any of them could have said the things I have said in the beginning.
But. These solutions are not real. They are still outside of your control. They try to project that you are going to be back in control but what really happens is, they take control away from you even more. The politician searches for power. Once it is there, the world goes according to his life. The salesman gets the money from you, gives you a system but doesn’t really care. You will say, yes, but religion gives me the Bible, the book to solve all my problems. And that is almost right. Religions actually always start with good intentions. They want to help humanity to find meaning, to answer all of the fears. But the most powerful way to convey their message for search for meaning is through fear. And fear corrupts. They want to make you scared. And they can make you more scared the more powerful they become.
And you are back to square one. You hear the media talk about the fears, you search solutions, you vote, protest, pray, buy books, go to seminars, try to provide for the family, for yourself and try to find meaning. And all you have from school is how to solve quadratic equations. Not really helpful.
So you buy into these solutions. Not realising that the only thing you need to do is...
Recognise the fear. Is it real? Fear is powerful but is-it-real? Does Brexit really wakes you up at night? If so, why? What are you so afraid of?
Fear is the most powerful thing in the world that makes you take action. It is a biological truth no less true than gravity. And fear makes us move unpredictably. It makes us take quick decisions which are good for the jungle - fight or fly - but society is more complex. Fear is good in the context of the jungle and politicians, religious people and salesman have learnt ways to capture that fear and make it work for their own needs. Rarely situations in modern life are jungle quick. Most can be taught out calmly, rationally. If you only understand that it is fear that is moving so much of your life choices.
But if you recognize the fear, if you capture it, if you stop and think what you are so afraid of you will realize you have so much more control than you thought. So much of your pain is caused by you listening to pseudo solutions that don’t give you real power and control over the situation.
So what is my solution?
We Need Education
No, not maths and science of the Big Bang or evolution. Not biased history lessons where you have to remember the dates or which countries have the highest GDP per capita. Let’s be honest - unless you are in a small minority of so called scientists, you don’t care about science. I want to redefine education. How?
Let me ask you - What are you really interested in? I will give you two lists of questions.
List number 1:
- What is the structure of the DNA?
- How did the Universe begin?
- How to solve 5x+6x^2=87
- How to analyse dogmatic pieces of text?
- Which year was the battle of Waterloo?
List number 2:
- How should I make a lot of money?
- How to find true love?
- How to be less anxious?
- How to be successful?
- How to find meaningful work or life?
- How to be a valuable member of the society?
Which one is more appealing to you? I guess list number 2. Sure, list number 1 provides all the technological advancements which help society. But there are things more basic than advancements. Compassion, caring and understanding. Yet, we all teach list number 1 in all the schools, in all the countries around the world. And only a small minority cares about education. If you ask yourself, what is the point of education, it is obvious - to prepare you for life. Yet, we all know, education systems don’t prepare us for life. It teaches us things that everyone has asked “When will I need that?”.
This is the problem.
It is not your fault. You are not stupid. You are not dumb whatever the education system has tried to tell you for so long. You are normal human being just the same way I am and everyone is.
Education does not speak the language of the people. It speaks a weird language that just a few understand and want to speak. So you get frustrated. You don’t feel in control of our own destiny, we are not prepared for life no matter how much we try to hide it from the people around us and even ourselves. No one helps us find out what should we do with the single life we are given.
So we lose control. And we try to get it back through politicians, religions and salesman - the ones who are “educated”. But giving up control, gives up our ability to think and decide for ourselves. We can’t do it, because we are not educated to decide for ourselves.
I am not educated. I do not feel an educated person. Not in the sense that I have redefined it. Education didn’t matter. It was fake, it was meaningless, it was useless.
I want a worldwide reform in education. Real education. About the things that I and you care about. And the way I see it, there are four paths.
Number one - individual level.
Learn all the stuff that you need to know by yourself. Chances are you are either educated enough to try to find ways to do it yourself, or you have already given up control. If you don’t have a clue, you are the second group.
Number two - business level.
Open up private institutions for education. Businesses need money, some people can pay money for additional education but not everyone can find the energy to do that.
Number three - volunteering
Organise people who can help you get a direction in life for free.
Number four - government level
Massive request from your governments to provide us with free education, but the one you care about, the second type. Change the system for the young and re-educate the older ones.
I can’t take it much further. I am a single man with a single voice. Do you think it matters?
If you do, share this talk. Not only to the people in your circle. Break the bubble. The talk starts with the fear message for a reason. It has the click-bait title for a reason. If you don’t talk in people’s language, they won’t listen to you. You have to win them over before you present a new idea.
Use the hashtag #WeNeedEducation to start the talk in social media.
I am open for debates.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: You can’t really believe we can have all the people to be educated. Who will then dig the land, make crops etc?
A: We are talking about a completely different kind of education. Emotional education, spiritual, a school of life if you wish. Understand one’s own emotions and needs rather than just acquiring more skills. In this education it will be taught how to think about the questions that we are really interested in such as how to find meaningful work, how to find love, what is happiness and success and how to deal with anxiety.
Q: Why education?
A: In short, I believe that education in a sense about one’s self and the other people around you could be the root problem of many social ills. Understanding how your emotional decisions could compromise living in a society for which our biology is not used to. If we want to get all the benefits from a society, we need a way to understand society and how it functions not just let someone take decisions up top.
Q: Do you think I am stupid?
A: I don’t know you, but probably not. And it doesn’t really matter to be honest, however you define stupidness. I go from the basic idea that every person on the planet deserves happiness. I want to maximize the number of people who can be happy. But in our day and age we have lost the ideas of what makes us happy, the media gives the wrong impression with super stars, richness and we think money, power or popularity makes us happy. Understanding one’s emotional self could help understand what makes us happy and go for it.
Q: Whatever you try to do, “They” will stop you
A: Well then what is the alternative? Not even trying? I understand that if we do it alone, it is useless. If the idea does not hit enough people, a so called critical mass - it is going to be a drop in the sea. Even so, if the idea is associated with a person and organization, They will stop us. BUT if we find a way to distribute the idea of re-education to enough people and disassociate it with a person or a party or anything, if it is an idea as simple as the fact that the sky is blue, when everybody knows that we need re-education as a fact, not remembering who first said it, then things may happen.
Q: The NSA/Illuminati/Secret societies will not allow you
A: As far as we know, they are still only people. If such conspiracy theories turn out to be true, then indeed maybe nothing we do will ever be of any use. But - what if they are not true? Are you willing to consider that the NSA is not really all that all-powerful? Are you willing to consider that Illuminati are still just people with no extra-sense abilities? I am willing to doubt that this is all true. If we all believe the king is wearing clothes, then the king is wearing clothes whether he is or not. But if he isn’t and nobody says he isn’t, is he still wearing clothes or not? What is fact and what is speculation? I do not possess hard proof that Illuminati rule the world. So I am willing to point out that the king is indeed naked. How about you? Willing to take a closer look and just maybe try?
Q: How exactly will the re-education happen?
A: I don't think it is not the time to talk about that. It will just muddle the picture. That's why I just put a small sections of ideas of how it may happen to bring the spark but it's not the main point. First we need to get convinced that this is indeed what is needed. I may be wrong but if it rings a bell in a lot of people and we manage to permeate the message to enough people in the right way - then maybe it's a thing that is needed for the better of humans.
Q: You are crazy young person wanting to change the world. You will never do it.
A: Not a question but a good notice. I am idealist. But tell me - does the argument not convince or I don't convince you as a person? I am trying to do what is of no power to any single individual. We are talking about a global initiative. I am a young person, only one and besides - if the idea gets associated with me personally or with an organisation, then there is no point. It will get destroyed, killed, faked, mocked etc. See above question about "They" will stop you. If we make it a fact. An undeniable fact that the education system is mostly useless in the form it is now (this is almost a fact now) and people get to know that they have other needs than merely acquiring skills for work and everybody believes in it... Then maybe we stand a chance.
Q: I don't like you mocking my religion / my political party / my business
A: I am sorry if it sounded like that. All I wanted is to convey a message and I know that this message will be dismissed outside of my bubble if I didn't speak the language of many people. I know religion, politics and businesses play their roles in society, I don't want to dismiss them. Not for a second! Read the message again. But none of them currently provide this education that I am talking about. They are about fighting ideas for most people. How should we call our God? Jesus? Allah? Muhamed? Budha? We are not talking about the real issues. Of course, religion works for some people and it could be a great part of the solution. But people killing each other because of the name of the God some of us believe in? Or the allegiance to a political party? The color of the skin, sexual orientation, nationality? This is the wrong part.
Q: Why don't you make your money and live your happy life with the skills you have, why change the world?
A: I honestly don't want to wait until a friend of mine is killed for useless reasons. I don't want to be dragged to the war that I've described at the top. We humans are so small part of the vastness of the Universe, it is so useless to argue about things when we can find peace and harmony and work together. I am not talking about communism, please. It has nothing to do with it. I am talking about understanding each other and solving problems that we really need to face off together - Global warming, the energy crisis, hunger, poverty - these are things that can be faced and solved together only if we change the way we understand ourselves first. I am motivated because the work that I do I feel it is meaningless in the global picture. I belief I have one life and if I just make myself satisfied - I won't be when I see so many problems we can work together to solve but instead we work on the completely wrong ones most of the times.
Q: What is paying you for this? Who are you? Why should I trust you? What authority do you have to tell me these things? Why should I listen to you?
A: This does not matter. I cannot possibly convince you I am not Illuminati, a reptile, paid by The Witnesses of Jehova, ISIS or that I will not make a business out of this in few years time. Ideally, I don't want to be the author of the idea. Because it doesn't matter. (See They will stop you). I know in this day and age it is hard to talk to people and telling them I have nothing on the back of my mind. I can't possibly make you believe no matter what I do. So I want this to be spread out in different channels, in different medias, in different ways, languages, in different emotional languages. I am one person with one way of saying these things. The Idea for #WeNeedEducation needs to be global, anonymous in order to succeed. Read the idea. If you like it, if you like the idea that you and your children will be more prepared for the Real Life rather than solving useless equations, then share the idea the way you like it. The idea, not the person. I am Mr. Nobody.
Q: Humanity is actually not that bad - see we make telescopes and skyscrapers, people mostly have got to eat, we are actually in the best place in history ever
A: I agree with all that but that does not diminish the fact that we have so many other problems right now. A so called "Third world" problems. These are problems that are beyond just eating and having convenience. We are more anxious than ever, we have new-age diseases of the mind and body which are things that we need to understand together and fight it off to increase the happiness in the world. We are in the best times but there still is pretty bad places on Earth where people don't have Third world problems yet, but they will in few decades. And we better face them now and not dismiss them. Education itself is actually a third world problem. So I propose to start from there as I see it as the root cause of a lot of other things.
Q: I still don’t understand why education? Why not poverty? Hunger? Why not the economy? Energy crisis? Global warming? World peace? Why not cancer or ASL? Why not suicide, loneliness, drug abuse?
A: I believe a lot of these problems are really good to tackle. The problems are very valid. But they are not the root cause of why we will always have trouble tackling these problems unless we are educated as a society. It is a bottleneck problem - any optimisation before or after the bottleneck is useless. Take Global warming. There is no evidence that there is no Global warming, that is, everybody who can look at the data, understand the numbers and listen to the people that do the science - knows that there is global warming. Yet, we get tricked by politicians with the old tricks that I described in the beginning of the talk. The problem is we so don’t know ourselves, we don’t understand when fear is being used as a trick. It looks normal talk but it is not. Any conversation that we start before we all have common ground will be useless because we will all be speaking different languages. People who are scientists will tell you yes, there is global warming logically. But people are not logical creatures, they are emotional first and then logical. There is fear installed by politicians in some people that using money for fighting an non-existing global warming instead of giving the money for health is stupid. So scientists cannot convince by logic until people understand what lies people say and why they say it.
"Catching" Panic AttacksCreated on 20151126
I am experiencing a panic attack right now. It's a second day in a row and I've promised to myself I will be observing closely as I know getting one is never the whole story. They come in bunches. It's a very irrational thing - my heart rate is elevated from seemingly unknown reason, you can actually hear it in your ears, I want to hide, isolate or run away somewhere. Fortunately I've experienced enough of those that I can deny the urge and explore...
People don't come with debuggers. That would be a highly useful thing. Why?
When writing a computer program sometimes things go wrong. You have introduced a bug. Depending on the programming language and type of bug, the program might "throw an exception", i.e. understand that the program has run into an exceptional condition which is not the "normal flow". For example, when you see an error like this
it means that your Operating system encountered something it couldn't handle. Different languages talk differently about it - throwing/raising an exception/error or ironically, the language I am learning right now (go), calls it panicking.
Broadly speaking there are two types of exceptions - ones that you have anticipated and others that you haven't. Anticipated exceptions can be surrounded by some code that handles it. Again, different languages call it catching/handling, go calls it recovering. A program can recover from something unexpected, probably notify the user, but overall - it continues working as it should.
For example human society has invented a way to recover from anticipated exceptional conditions like bumping into someone. You naturally anticipate when walking in a crowd that you may hit someone. The way polite people recover from it is to say "Sorry". In Bulgaria many times, we recover by looking evil-y at each other. Doesn't matter, we anticipate, we recover and move on.
However, the unanticipated exceptions can be the tricky ones. You haven't thought of them, sometimes they appear randomly. In that case, you run another program which inspects your program and runs it step-by-step. It's called a debugger.
A debugger generally has play/pause/forward buttons which allows you to fine control the execution of a program in human understandable times. A processor is much quicker than a human (in terms of the operations in which the processor is good at - well, duuh) and executes program lines in thousandths or millionths of a second. A human may need a few seconds or several minutes to understand what is happening. So you press the pause button (or set a break point somewhere in the code) and inspect what the program state at this moment is.
Now humans as well as computers handle poorly unanticipated exceptions but the reasons are different. In computers, the programmer hasn't written that piece of code to handle the exception, thus introducing a bug. So the program crashes. It can die, hang or otherwise be a very bad program. Humans respond differently too - they can cry, shout, depress, overeat, become unresponsive or millions of other things. As in programs, sometimes we know what caused it - e.g. your spouse cheated, sometimes we don't.
With my current panic attack, I don't. So if I was a program, I would run a debugger to try to investigate. Unfortunately, in humans, you can hardly be a rational debugger while the exceptional situation is appearing.
Debugging for humans
But I will do what a debugger does - write as much as I can about my state at this moment and what led to this state trying not to judge as to why, because I know I won't be rational. In programming terms, I will just dump all I know about myself right now and try to analyse it later.
Stack trace as the panic started occurring: * Travelling to my part time job as a research assistant at the University of Glasgow. I was reading hacker news and particularly this article about startups * I've been awake for 1.5 hours, basically packing and commuting. * I've slept relatively well compared to previous 4 nights (Android sleep tracker helps me quantify this - 5.5 hours compared to about 3.5 of deep sleep in the last 4 nights previously). * I've been more optimistic about the start up than usual in the past week, working hard on doing it. Evident by the number of commits, lines of code and subjective attitude. * My appetite is down in the past 3 days. * I have been poorly exercising in the past two weeks. * Broke up my 2-months relationship two days ago.
Handling panic attacks
I have some tricks to handle panic attacks when they come. The first time I had one, I didn't have a strategy. Other than...well... I called an ambulance at 2 in the morning and scared the shit out of my room mate that I was dying. If you've never experienced one, it's pretty intense. Especially when you don't have the knowledge of what is happening, you feel you might be getting a heart attack. It probably doesn't make sense when you are 22 and overall healthy but you don't think that in this moment.
I laugh at it now but I was probably most scared than ever in my life back then. It seems funny from the outside and when I had subsequent ones in the coming months, my best friends joked that I was dying. Which was actually cool because it helped me diminish the effect of how "serious" the situation was. Best friends always know best.
So my first physical tactic is to slow down my breathing as unnatural as it feels in the moment. Count to 5 while breathing, hold breath for 5 and exhale for 5. Repeat 5 times. Reevaluate.
It looks stupid, mumbo-jumbo woodoo stuff, but physical stuff help the mind. It usually calms me down a bit so that I can see there is nothing too serious to worry about. But in a case of a panic attack it doesn't always work too well. However, at least I know what it is and given time (about half an hour) I can just let it pass without calling an ambulance :)
So now that I've been writing in the past half an hour and evaluating what is happening in my life, it makes it easier to call my rational part.
The part time job at the University is a job that I wish I didn't have but have to have since I'm working on a start-up which doesn't generate revenue so far. I've been working in a start up world for about a year now, pivoting, exploring and there are whole lot of reasons of why it hadn't worked so far. From the "stack trace" I can see that stress has been accumulating without being released properly in the past few weeks (releasing for me usually means exercising). However, I've had other periods with no proper exercises and similar state. The low appetite is very unnatural for me but I guess I can also attribute it to stress. The curious part is probably the break up.
The last time I had severe panic attacks is when I broke up with my previous girlfriend. The break up then was of a 2.5 year relationship and it was a bit longer than an abrupt "we're done" kind of way but I don't want to go into details.
The thing with break ups is that you usually feel they are coming at least for me. Could that be the thing? And if yes, why does it cause panic attacks for me?
I said right after the break up to a friend of mine that I usually expect to feel much worse after a break up but I'm usually quite okay compared to my expectations. Well, maybe I feel that way, but I'm not.
I don't fall into too deep depressions - usually a good night sleep heals everything in me. I see myself as a rather optimistic person and take stuff lightly. However it could be the case that my way of handling exceptions is not through depression but through anxiety. It's not news for me - I usually fight this with tons of exercising, good diet and friends. So I'm going to force myself for the next two weeks to put this as a higher priority in my list and exercise every day. I've done this multiple times before, it works for me.
This blog post is rather more personal than usual. I felt like talking about it here because I feel quite comfortable about the problem that I have and could help other people in a situation similar to mine. Also, I like writing. I bet there are a lot of wanna-be-preneurs who have a lot of stress in their lives and can relate to the debugger metaphor.
By the way, here's a free idea for anyone who complains there are not enough ideas to work on, with time and desire to implement. CC0 from this line below:
We need debuggers for humans. But not like this above pseudo-psychological analysis that works for me but might not work for anybody else. A real, metric based debugger that can take a stack trace of the current mind with as many variables as it can, dump it somewhere and then a rational person can explore and analyse. I guess you also need to track yourself in "normal state". I'm becoming a fan of tracking stuff with that sleep tracking thing and I haven't explored the market too much but I feel it's pretty new market and hasn't been explored too much yet. The trackers and the "quantify yourself" movement that we are experiencing with smart watches and the like is just the beginning. People will always want to know more about themselves in as many possible ways - physically and mentally. Nowadays the "obvious" pulse, location, movement, sleep tracking are becoming a standard. They might not even be exploited completely. How about more subtle or harder to measure variables like cortisol levels, brain activity and others? Technologies like portable blood laboratories are in the exploratory stage for medical professionals. How about for the public?
Anyone up for a start up?