All of Amir Bolous's Comments + Replies

Why is teaching hard?

The other day in an interview, when I was trying to explain Poseidon (a web framework that I wrote from scratch,, I found it difficult at exactly "what level of detail" I should communicate.

The challenge is that, the student has a different map of the territory than the teacher. And as we know reality is incredible detailed. Frames are made out of the details you know.

So when you explain something, the challenge becomes,

  1. How best do I determine what level of detail to communicate at?
  2. How do I p
... (read more)

Interesting perspective, I can definitely see the value in that, I actually came across a "midwit" meme with that similar theme. What's the tool you've built that you're most proud of? What's the tool you're built that you use the most often to this day?

I've observed in myself and others that the tools we build for personal usage are often of poor quality in the sense of maintainability or craftsmanship or reproducibility. They're often built in a ramshackle way. So in one sense, these tools don't deserve any pride cast their way. However, some of the things that I've built and used the longest fall into this category. These tools are very needs-fitting. This engenders some sort of pride. There's a tool I use probably a dozen times a day and has been evolving for 20 years. It's unrecognizable from it's original state. It's nothing groundbreaking and is simple compared to many of the things I do. It's a tool for building tools. Not long after Windows XP came out 20 years ago I really got into automating my OS. Everything from "this window should always go here" to "when I press this hotkey give me the results of pinging this server". I wanted it to be simple enough that I could whip up something to do one-off automation of little problems that I might only need to automate for a short time. The code and practices went from C (eww) to AutoIT (ick) to AHK (double ick) back to AutoIT (still icky) and nowadays to Python, but the same principles and purposes have carried through to this day. To make it "production-ready" by addressing the "maintainability or craftsmanship or reproducibility" mentioned above, I've recently been putting a spit shine on it all, rewriting it, and making it less tailored to me and more general purpose. It's called systa and you can see it here []. I'm too involved in it to objectively say if it's a tool that I should have thrown away or not. Other automation tools exist. But I think it's (or is going to be...maybe) better for some use cases than other things that are available out there.

Whoops, thanks for the shout, updated!

Talking in this context = saying they are doing/working on things as opposed to everything you just said

This is a great point. I think my takeaway isn't to seek out rejection, especially if that's at an expensive cost of your mental health. It's to not let your fear of rejection stop you in cases where there is an asymmetric upside.

I agree with your definition that it's the result of a random event outside your control (up to an extent) but why are you thinking about this in terms of the negation? Why does doing X or Y reduce the likelihood of being unlucky as opposed to increase the likelihood of being lucky? And if so, why and how are these mutually exclusive?

That's a good point but it's hard to think about in practice. How do we define the opposite of luck? Is it being unlucky - as in bad things happen more regularly to you than others? That's probably not a definition we would care about too much. Is the opposite of luck the absence of luck? What does that mean?

The problem with all of this is that in hindsight, no one can say why things turned out the way they did. Sometimes luck and optionality are on your side (your interview was in a good mood when they were interviewing you, or the traffic light malfuncti... (read more)

Yep I definitely see that, thanks for sharing!

I think the reason situations of problem 2 arise is because of misaligned incentives. When you care more about pleasing some other party, the best action is not necessarily the one that does the most good, but the one that best pleases the other person.

The cost incurred from doing so is then payed by either you (i.e. I pay the price in choosing a restaurant I hate) or society (in the factory example, the water is poisoned because of your choice)

Super awesome that your parenting style actually gives your children agency! Not that I'm a parent, but not belittling or not respecting that children can make informed, rational decisions is something we as a society do all the time and we need to strive to do better:)

Thanks! More in this direction: Growing Independence []

Hey Tristan, thanks for the feedback! What you're saying is right of course, to clarify, I meant minimize the time spent on chores constrained by each person's time being equally valuable. I'll clarify this in the post but I'm not trying to present comparative advantage from an optimization standpoint as far as trying to draw an allegory between the [comparative vs. absolute] dichotomy and the [learned skill vs. innate advantage]. Hope that makes sense!