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Thoughts on the “Fourth Stage of Humanity”

I recently received the following article request:

Aaron, I’d like to request an article (please take your time). Would you be willing to talk about your thoughts on the so called ‘Fourth Stage of Humanity’ as I’ve heard it put. Essentially, mankind has gone from hunter/gatherer, agricultural, industrialization to the point to where humanity is now transitioning into a new phase. The idea behind this new movement is that human beings will collectivize under a massive surveillance state with virtually no privacy, moving in unison to tune of the State with complete censorship allowing any dissent to be near impossible. All sorts of tech would be introduced at this stage and though we could become a spacefaring species at this point, most people will live as mindless subhumans constantly consuming various forms of entertainment and never questioning their existence. Without a massive setback and with our current elite, I like to dub this period of history the ‘Thousand Years of Darkness’. I personally would prefer living a more simple existence in small tight knit community, but those would eventually be phased out and banned. This phase is in parallel with the ‘Great Reset’, of course. I have to imagine that this type of society would eventually become a reality anyway, though with our current leadership it will be much less empathetic than it would have otherwise been and might resemble more of high tech yet dumbed down and suppressed ant colony than an interconnected society of freethinking and well-informed individuals.

While I have not come across the term, “Fourth Stage of Humanity”, I am familiar with the Great Reset and other globalist schemes. First, the previous stages seem to have been organic. You needed labor division between hunting (men) and gathering (women) to effectively run a tribe. Yet, just living off the land in this rather haphazard way had its limitations. In contrast, the development of agriculture and animal husbandry made it possible to produce a lot more food, which, in turn, allowed us to sustain much larger populations. There were no global elites pushing for this. On the other hand, industrialization required capital, and it was clearly financed by the men behind the curtain. There was also massive pushback from society as people were forced to leave their farms and work in factories under inhumane conditions. A very good book on this issue is Friedrich Engels’ “The Condition of the Working Class”. (Engels was the guy the Giga-Jew Karl Marx mooched off, by the way.) The face of capitalism has changed over time, presumably because the powers that be figured out that they benefit more from a well-fed and rested labor force. This led to an explosion in economic growth and also to the creation of the middle class, so by and large this was probably a positive development for society.

There are many issues with the “fourth stage” in human development. One is that it is based on top-down decision-making by a largely clueless elite. In contrast, industrialist of yore had a good understanding of what was going on in their factories. There is also no clear benefit for the unwashed masses unlike when capitalism still worked reasonably well. On that note, if you work for a living, you get a salary so that you can buy what you need to get by and, hopefully, save some money for a rainy day as well. It may be a distant memory for today’s doomers, but as recently as twenty years ago, people were able to afford a house if they wanted to, even on relatively average incomes. This is now out of reach for a large part of society. Thus, the original contract of exchanging your labor for money has been modified, with a large chunk of people living paycheck to paycheck.

Now, back to the fourth stage: there is no incentive for you to play along, similar to if the capitalist system had always been antagonistic. The surveillance system that is currently being rolled out is based on nothing but force. Some may be relatively subtle, like bot armies on Twitter telling you that it’s great that everybody is getting vaxxed. Yet, you also have mobile vaxx teams going from door to door in some US states who are accompanied by soldiers. Then you have states that are setting up an apartheid system that aims at “othering” the unvaxxed, with the goal of shutting them out of society. NYC, for example, is going to block the unvaxxed from events, restaurants, and gyms. Meanwhile, you have the CDC admitting that the vaxx does not work, yet if you are unvaxxed, you are pure evil for spreading the virus, regardless of the fact that the vaxxed do the same. We are now stuck in an ever-tightening oppressive spiral. (Article continues below.)

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No system is able to sustain itself without popular support, however. Sure, the elites can round up all the unvaxxed and put them in gulags, but don’t you think this will affect the morale of the vaxxed? It’s not as if coercive socialist countries are a figment of our imagination. They exist, and all of them have failed or are on the brink of failing. In the end, reality will prevail, and the delusions of the elites will collapse. A key belief of them is that they can easily replace their host nation by a horde of blacks and browns and everything will just keep working the same. I think I mentioned that Swedish politicians, at the height of the self-made refugee crisis in 2016, were talking about all the “workers” they are now getting, and how great this would be for the economy. A few years later, nary a goat herder has made it into a non-subsidized non-b.s. job, which means that there are now probably more than two million immigrants in Sweden who are bleeding the country dry, economically speaking.

IT infrastructure is another point. Sure, the elites can import another million H1-Bs from India, but the average qualification of those people is subpar. The software systems that run the world are already incredibly fragile, and this is hardly ever acknowledged. Only when people die, without being able to cover it up, is a spotlight shone on this issue. The recent crashes of the latest Boeing airplane, the software of which was written by a bunch of Pajeets, are an excellent case in point. Well, it’s quite tough to cover up when planes are falling from the sky. The hope of the elites may indeed be to have a fully automated control grid. Yet, who is going to maintain it?

Probably everybody who had worked at a larger tech company and spent some time doing real engineering work, instead of some bullshit job, knows what a steaming pile of shit most software is. Granted, there are exceptions, but the rule is apparently that you have software that is effectively unmaintainable. It happens very frequently that existing systems are rebuilt from scratch because this is seen as faster and cheaper than trying to understand the existing system, and improving it. Also, productivity in tech is dropping like a rock due to increased “diversity”. I am appalled when I look at the output of a typical team. Quite often, it seems that entire teams are carried by some old white dude in his 50s and if he left, people would sweat bullets. This is not an exaggeration.

I think what we will see is not a thousand years of darkness. Instead, the elites will try rolling out their globo-homo surveillance grid and vaxx you every few months. Due to lack of popular support, it is quite possible that the economy will collapse. Even if it does not, it will likely shrink because nobody will go the extra mile if he feels he’s imprisoned. The most successful communist country the world has ever seen, former communist East Germany, is probably a very good example. The country was decaying for a few decades because nobody gave a damn anymore. In today’s world, due to the over-reliance on technology, collapse will probably come a lot sooner. If the elites are able to set up a global surveillance system, I’ll give it maybe ten to fifteen years, which is a long enough time. If you don’t live in a big city, you’ll probably be fine because it is not economical to police people that do not live in densely populated areas.

I’d say, prepare for the worst. Obviously, the current system is not sustainable, and the cracks are getting bigger by the day, and the bigger the cracks, the bigger the cudgel the elites swing. I would not be surprised if we are mere months away from a breaking point. We may see fireworks, with guillotines getting set up in Paris, London, Berlin, and Washington. If it comes to this, we will have widespread civil unrest if not a drawn-out civil war until a new power structure is established. Thus, a better outcome would be a slow implosion of the system. I would not underestimate the probability of mass unrests, imagine BLM riots, but with armed whites, rooftop Koreans, and militant beaners on the other side. Tyrants live dangerous lives. Because they lack popular support, everyone could be an enemy. I think all it takes to set off the collapse would be a live-streamed attack on a police unit, with a bunch of pissed off dudes popping off one cop after another, and getting away with it. Imagine a guy like Brenton Tarrant or Anders Breivik shooting up a bunch of fat cops who don’t manage to pull their gun because they have a donut in one hand, and a cup of coffee in the other. Yet, instead of the system hunting him down, he’s an instant celebrity, and others follow in their foot steps. You see, the police can only be effective if most people abide by the laws. They are heavily understaffed, and that is ignoring the problems of diversity quotas. Yet, once there is an image that the government is unable to remain in control, all hell will break lose.

Of course the government has the military as well. There are even Democrat senators who have threatened the public with deploying nukes against them. I would be very surprised if the tweets Eric Swalwell (D-CA) made to that effect have disappeared (spoiler alert: they are still online). This may sound like an utterly bizarre, yet entirely possible scenario. Again, the solution is to leave the city as it would not be economical to nuke every square inch of every state. I think at that point, we’d have external actors chiming in, with the goal of securing a piece of the United States for themselves.

I think that the next few decades are going to suck pretty hard. For many of us, this probably means that the rest of our lives will suck pretty hard. It is what it is, so look out for yourself. Hopefully, knowing that a repressive technological system is not maintainable will give you some comfort. Once the current elites have been replaced, we will hopefully be able to build back better, but then for real.

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70 thoughts on “Thoughts on the “Fourth Stage of Humanity”

    1. WordPress automatically disabled comments for this post, which may be due to certain keywords. I had to manually dig around the configuration and edit settings that are not exposed via the editor. This is most certainly due to covert mass censoring. Welcome to the current year!

    2. On that subject I’m learning php next as I need it for practical things such as tweqking some WordPress things h re and there.

      Is it true you don’t need to know that much? I mean for situations like these where you has to figure out what was happening with the comments on the backend

    3. To resolve this problem, I only had to change the setting of one flag as WordPress had set the flag for allowing comments to “false”. Assuming the code you are working with is reasonably well-written, which is not often the case, such simple fixes can be done more or less immediately. In your case, I’d recommend that you simply browse the source code of your sites to familiarize yourself with its structure. Tweaking existing parameters is straightforward.

  1. I think the next decades will be freakin’ awesome. Watch how this whole thing disintegrates, but at the same time a new super-fragemented “order” emerges.
    3D printing is about 12-24 months away from solid enough metal printing to print all gun parts. Bitcoin user adoption is growing at 80-110% per year (depending on which metrics you look at) and is expected to hit 3 billion users in 5 years. So, if guns and money are getting distributed, current political power collapses.

    I have two “literature” recommendations, one podcast and one book.

    Podcast: Podcast number #265 “Monetary reset, Malthusian wizardy, and Bitcoin as way out with LaserHodl”

    “The Sovereign Individual” by James Dale Davidson & William Rees-Mogg

    1. Thanks for the recommendations!
      One of the books I’m currently reading is “Falsche Pandemien” by Wolfgang Wodarg. I think it’s currently only available in German but if a translation comes out, I’d warmly recommend it as it gives a very good overview of the scamdemic, and how it was all set up. He goes back several decades in the first chapters, and details how Big Pharma systematically undermined the WHO, and how the bird and swine flus can be viewed as test beds for the Covid hoax.

    2. Looking forward to checking these out Neut. I’ve been a fan of Cody Wilson for awhile, but was skeptical that ALL parts of a gun could be printed. I nonetheless admired his work from a symbolic point of view. Thrilled to be wrong about that!!! Guns for all. May a thousand nations bloom.

    3. That book sounds very interesting. I really like German but it would be after some long years that I could read anything academic writing in that language.

    4. I would classify that book as popular science. Still, it’s probably not a good pick if you are still learning the language.

    5. @Herk

      Let me know what you think about the podcast.

      There’s metal laser printing vids where people print a 1911. Such printers cost 500k almost a decade ago. So… price will fall.
      Firing pins will be replaced by electrical impulses. I mean.. forget gun laws in like 2-5 years.

    6. Printing guns? May God have mercy on us, the first country that will explode is mine.

    7. “the first country that will explode ”

      Quite the contrary. There’s a reason why they say that armed societies are polite societies.

      Reversing the logic of violence and significantly raising the cost of an attacker while reducing the cost of defense is what matters.
      Distributed AK47s and improvised exploding devices for $5 a piece, is how Afghanistan fucked with both the Soviets and the US.

    8. @Neutral

      That is interesting. I find that counterintuitive.

      “armed societies are polite societies.”

      Does this mean if everybody has guns, they will be more cautious in their dealing with others?

    9. You recently told us that you used to “joke around with policemen”, so your perception of reality is probably a bit different from most people on here. Normally, you don’t mess with somebody who is armed. You also don’t try to provoke someone who looks dangerous. There is probably a reason why short and skinny boys get bullied, but not tall jocks. The underlying issue is the threat of retaliation.

    10. Yeah, I see.

      Though the joking part must be put in proper context. I used to work on Dunkin Donuts, so policemen always came in. We greeted them and chit-chatted them. Joking is not a problem. That being said, I would not instantly go around and joke with a random policemen on the street.

      You probably know the donuts and police stereotype.

    11. I think this context was missing. My interpretation was that you walked up to policemen and joked around with them. I know about the donuts stereotype. In fact, I referenced it in my latest post.

    12. “Does this mean if everybody has guns, they will be more cautious in their dealing with others?”

      Nuclear weapons have significant contributed to a more peaceful world.

      You really think Breivik would’ve even thought of doing what he did if he knew that statistically one in five of the people on the island was carrying a gun?
      I’m really tired of this whole “more guns more crime” discussion. It’s intellectually insulting to listen to this shit, when all one needs to do is apply a modicum of game theory and we could move on. Like, why the fuck are we even discussing this?

    13. Great podcast Neut. I love the “Bitcoin will do the heavy lifting” line. I got a little freaked out with some of the ESG stuff. It’s gonna get hairy. But this episode was very uplifting at an existential level.

      I’m a little bummed that everyone is freaking out about China because it won’t be China that provides us with the social credit system. We’re already seeing that it’s (((a small group of people who have been kicked out over 110 countries))) that’s doing it.

      Couple the thinking in this podcast with race realism and anti-semitism, and I’d be a very happy camper.

      I also like the focus on how the incentives work and eschewing conspiratorial explanations.

    14. Nuclear weapons have significant contributed to a more peaceful world.

      I’m inclined to agree, NTR. Reminds me of a part of the Dawn of Correction by the Spokesmen:

      “There are buttons to push in two mighty nations
      But who’s crazy enough to risk annihilation?
      The buttons are there to ensure negotiation
      So don’t be afraid, boy, it’s our only salvation”

      (Of course, if it had been suicide bombing-prone Muslims who are more likely to be “crazy enough to risk annihilation” who had had the bomb instead of the Soviets, the world might have turned out quite differently.)

      The story behind that song is pretty interesting. It was released in 1965 as a positive right-wing response song to Barry McGuire’s negative left-wing Eve of Destruction. Both songs are worth listening to, to see the difference in views and outlook on the world. 🙂

      Eve of Destruction:

      Dawn of Correction:

  2. One concern I have over the whole incompetency and maintenance of infrastructure point is, can’t the elites just harness the greatest minds available and massively incentivize them to continue to create and train reasonable intelligent people to maintain systems? I’ve heard the argument that free enterprise was allowed to flourish as long as it did because it benefitted the ruling class up to a point, and now they have no further use for it by and large.

    1. I just had a thought about incompetency in leadershit, for example, in regards to the current issue with crypto that will hopefully be resolved today. Either the lawmakers in this case don’t understand the industry enough to be passing legislation in the form of tax regulations, or they know exactly what they’re doing and feigning incompetence. If I have this right, open source devs would become responsible for surveilling and reporting on the the users of their software effectively requiring them to become licensed brokers. I can’t imagine what a fucking nightmare something that like would be. You’d have to pack up and move your operation out of the country, I’d imagine.

    2. I don’t think this would work in the long term, for at least three reasons:
      1) Due to the end of meritocracy, you will get less and less competent people in key positions. In Africa, this led to blacks taking over the farms of whites and not being able to operate them, for instance.
      2) Assuming the smartest goyim get to maintain infrastructure. They would still be affected by their life being pretty shitty because they most likely would not live in a gated community. Where would those people go? They would also see that their increased effort, compared to slackers living off UBI, does not lead to significantly increased material comforts, so they may simply decide to drop out of the rat race. This drives productivity down in every socialist country. It is arguably also a reason for many men dropping out of the workforce.
      3) Such a society is impossible to perpetuate. After at most two generations, everything will have gone to shit. There won’t be any innovation, and the best you could hope for is maintaining the status quo from 50 years ago. This is probably the best argument against this system and it may also explain why so many of the elites are buying property in New Zealand. They would not do this if they believed they could maintain their standard of living in the Diverse/Divided States of America.

  3. Aaron, have you considered having your blog go private/require password and account? I know some other people who have managed to stay out of the eye of Sauron by taking their forums private.

    1. I think you should. I have, many times, pondering about your safety. There is one incidence that makes me worried about the tyrannical US government.

      I remembered that I was searching on my phone via Google to get to Dailystormer, couldn’t find it. Then I used Yandex. It took an unusually long time to finally enter that site. After reading some articles, I logged in into my bank account just to check the balance, then I exited. Then I vivaciously remembered that appearing on my screen was a warning that my money would not be protected by FDIC, bearing the logo of my bank. This sent shiver down my spine. I don’t know if this is an automatic algorithm that caused this, or it is a phishing, but clearly I didn’t use my email during the whole time.

    2. Have you thought of self-hosting it, too?
      It’s not a huge blog anyway, so it should fit on a raspberry and go through Tor.
      I’m sure nobody of us regulars gives a shit if the layout is crappy. We come for the content, not the visuals.

    3. I’ve been thinking about self-hosting as well. A Raspberry Pi may be a bit too slow, but one solution would be to get a Mac mini, or some other small form-factor PC. I don’t like clutter, so a big PC case is out of the question.

  4. China has forced tutoring companies to turn into non-profit organizations.

    This causes crashes in stocks of these private institutions.

    I am not familiar with tutoring industry in China. Tutoring classes that occur after school dominated my childhood. It is grueling and I have no time to play around like American children.

    1. China’s heading down the toilet. What was once a country run by technocrats is turning into a country run by Xi Jinping-yes men. 🙁

    2. Xi was also a student of chemical engineering.

      I don’t like China either, but this ban seems to be well-intentioned.

      That being said, there is a world too different between enacting a law and implementing it. We will have to see how did this all turn out.

    3. @Sleazy

      I agree, it is a well-intentioned move.

      Look at the US education system, it is like a for-profit brothel.

      The same is true with textbook industry in the US.

    4. “A ban on for-profit education, not just on for-profit tuition centers, would also be very helpful”

      I think this is a short-sighted argument. Also, “well intentioned ban” is an oxymoron.
      And then this ridiculous US education system comparison…

      I think both of you need to zoom out.
      The perversion of the for-profit education systems wouldn’t be possible, if people couldn’t borrow the crap out of their lives, all facilitated by both the regular banking and the shadow banking system. It’s hardly a free market, when a central authority can define the most important price of everything, namely the price of capital.
      A free market, fueled by hard money, however, would provide the most efficient education possible with prices for it trending to zero in the medium to long term, simply because quality content will have to compete for a fixed amount of money.

      You can’t be advocating bans and justifying it with good intentions. The US alcohol prohibition back in the days was certainly well intended, too. And it’s just a load of horseshit to even halfway seriously think about implementing this.
      Good education is already free on youtube, by the way and it’s practically free.

      This whole discussion is like the old fish that meets the two young fish and asks them how the water is. And both fish don’t know what water is. I’m saying this to make you aware that this “ban for profit education yes/no” is a fiat-world discussion. Stop living in the matrix, guys.

    5. “Good education is already free on youtube, by the way and it’s practically free.”

      I think you are overestimating youtube education.

      I hope you don’t seriously think that some youtube videos can compete with a rigorous course in Math in Yale?

      There is a reason why higher level courses cannot be found on youtube, or other popular platforms.

      “The US alcohol prohibition back in the days was certainly well intended, too. And it’s just a load of horseshit to even halfway seriously think about implementing this.”

      There are bans that are highly effective. Vietnam has banned fireworks and firearms for years, and this works.

    6. ” Vietnam has banned fireworks and firearms for years, and this works.”

      Yeah right, so there are no illegal firearms in Vietnam, huh?

      Dude, just cut it… People will always want stuff to shoot each other with and they’ll get it.
      Prison inmates get shitfaced with self made booze – same thing.

      Why am I even talking to you… You’re the same stubborn loser I’ve decided not responding to a year ago. Nothing has changed.

    7. @Neutral

      “Why am I even talking to you… You’re the same stubborn loser I’ve decided not responding to a year ago. Nothing has changed.”

      Why don’t you learn to respect other commenters before posting? It seems that you have that habit of shooting down others before letting others speak. You are quite arrogant, to be honest.

      Can you find mass shooting events compared to Vietnam?

      All you have done is finding some snappy info on a website. There is a huge differences between self-made guns and automatic rifles, or even pistols. Why don’t you compare Afghanistan with Vietnam, where Ak and American rifles are all available to insurgents?

      If you can read Vietnamese news like me, you will see most firearms carried by criminals belonged to older models, like Tokarev, Colt 1901, etc. I have never seen even semi automatic like Ak or M4 like in the US.

      Now, as for shotguns, find for me guns which belongs to Benelli family.

      That’s right, self-made guns and improvised weapons are better than professionally produced ones.

    8. @Neutral

      Here are two websites that enumerate bloodiest murders in both the US and Vietnam:


      The number in Vietnam is “chém chết hai người lớn, hai em bé” (put to the sword 2 adults and 2 babies ). “Tử hình hung thủ thảm sát 4 người trong gia đình ở Lào Cai” (Executing a murder who massacred 4 people in a family in Lao Cai). “, “Thời điểm nghi phạm ra tay sát hại dã man 3 người thân trong gia đình” (At the moment when the murderer savagely murdered 3 family members in a family).

      Here is an article related to murder by shooting in Vietnam, published by State-sponsored Newspaper:

      “Vụ nổ súng bắn chết 2 người: Nghi phạm từng bị Bộ Công an truy nã” (A shootout that kills 2 people: suspect has been wanted by “ministry of public security” (or simply police department).


      The number in the US is between 10-20 people. There are extremes like “Las Vegas, October 1, 2017 — 59 dead, more than 850 wounded”, “Virginia Tech University, April 16, 2007 — 32 dead, 17 wounded”

      Another article published by Vietnamese state-sponsored newspaper, it states that:

      “7 khẩu súng tự chế, 37 viên đạn, 2 viên đạn hơi cay, 1 còng số 8, 1 quả lựu đạn, 5 vỏ đạn, 4 dao tự chế, 1 gậy 3 khúc, 2 bình xịt hơi cay”

      Khanh, the murder, had these weapons in his collection: 7 improvised weapons, 37 rounds, 2 tear-shells, 1 handcuff (that has the shape similar to number 8), 1 grenade, 5 round shells, 1 stick (I suspect is is the Nunchaku, 2), 2 sprayers,…

      This guy is described as being a guy who comes from a rich family, who collect all sort of expensive phone models and cars (Gia đình Khanh khá giả, có nhiều nhà. Khanh được người dân gọi là “thiếu gia”, sở hữu hàng loạt cơ sở kinh doanh giải trí, cho thuê ôtô. Y có sở thích sưu tầm các loại điện thoại và xe với biển số “độc, lạ”.)

      The total number of deaths are 2.

      This guy is not a psycho who commits mass murder. He focuses on killing 2 people only.

      You will find in that website pictures of his guns.

      The public perception in Vietnam is that most murders happen with knives, arme blanche, and smuggled weapons of low quality.

      The possible objection that you can raise is that I may cherry-pick these evidences. In that case, you would have to find more articles that show Vietnamese murders are committed in the same fashion as those happened in the US.

      And to be more honest, you can post articles up here, I will help you translate them, though I think google translate will come in handy in assisting you to collect information.

    9. CQV, look at the Vietnam War. Deadliest American massacre: My Lai, 504 dead, until it was stopped by an American.

      Deadliest Vietnamese massacre: Huế, 3-6 THOUSAND dead.

      As for the high amount of gun crime in the U.S.A., it’s generally confined to very specific areas and people.

      Black Americans commit eight (!) times more murders per capita than white Americans. Victims of non-fatal assaults involving no firearms are usually white, victims of non-fatal assaults involving firearms are usually black of latino. Whites who get mad punch, or pick up a pool cue. Blacks and latinos who get mad pick up a gun (yes these are stereotypes, no not everyone, we know…). Whites getting robbed by blacks are twelve (!) times as common as blacks getting robbed by whites. And so on.

      America’s violence problems are not caused by an abundance of firearms, they’re caused by an abundance of… bad behavior. Yeah, that’s it. Bad behavior. 🙂


      I actually quite like CQV’s contributions here. He’s generally polite and respectful, and while he can be stubborn (let’s be honest, this is true of everyone here, including me 😀 ) he seems pretty open to being persuaded and shown new things.

      The fact that he’s here and respectfully questions the prevailing “orthodoxy” on the blog is useful for all of us, as it helps us sharpen our minds and strengthen our arguments to the extent that those arguments are correct. Plus, it’s kinda interesting to encounter people of opposing opinions who argue reasonably and calmly. Most of the people I see like that are rabid leftists who cannot have a civilized discussion, but CQV is not a rabid leftist, and he can have a civilized discussion.

      Overall I’m happy he’s here. 🙂

  5. @CQV Coursera is a platform developed by Yale, which has a bunch of university-level courses. Even if I couldn’t find the courses (I’m confident I can), I can of course, find the textbooks and go to the internet for when I get stuck. I learn better that way anyway. I agree that it’s good to have an in=person component to things, and to be around fellow students, but that can also be arranged (which I have done many times for a variety of subjects I’m interested/projects I’m working on) via the internet through meetups, networking and whatnot.

    The gun debate is over. The files are downloadable. 3d printers will become more ubiquitous as time goes on. I’d encourage you to update your politics accordingly. There’s a reason people still make fun of Metallica regarding their role in the Napster debate …

    1. On the topic of education, it is also important to distinguish between knowledge and credentials. Self-study via books, YouTube videos, and private projects can very well turn out to be superior to in-person education. It is vastly cheaper as well. The only problem is that in some careers, credentials (and connections) are much more important than actual skills. In others, formal education is oftentimes seen as optional. This is particularly true for high-paying STEM jobs in software engineering. If you want to skip college, your main issue is getting the experience but this can be overcome. I have met a small handful of people who are having great careers in tech even though they skipped university or, more often, dropped out because they thought it’s a waste of time. There are even a few very prominent examples like Jon Blow, the creator of Braid and The Witness, who dropped out of Berkeley and worked as a conractor for several years before funding his own game company.

    2. Well, for example, I want to become a speech pathologist. This field seems to require lots of credentials and is obviously expensive.

      I don’t know how to reduce the cost.

      I guess most of you guys are working in IT fields, so there is indeed a lot of opportunities for you guys without much credentials.

      For my field, Linguistics, I can name one great linguists André-Georges Haudricourt. He taught himself most stuffs. He found the field “phonologie panchronique”.

      Obviously, some fields like nurses and medical would require you to attend classes.

    3. The overall point is that it’s important to have reality-based reasons for attending university. IF you want to be a doctor, then you gotta go.

      I’m reminded of how people often put their kids in public school because they need to “learn how to socialize”. I don’t think that’s a good reason. Home-schooled kids socialize just fine. I went to a large public school for the record.

    4. “The overall point is that it’s important to have reality-based reasons for attending university. IF you want to be a doctor, then you gotta go.”

      Yeah, you are right. Sleazy has written at least 3 articles on choosing a major and attending colleges.

      The final dictum is: Obtaining most with the lowest cost.

      This can obviously be done in Germany or France due to high taxes and free education (almost free).

      Learning a subject like Anthropology, Philosophy, or even Theoretical Math without the ability to move further into Phd programs, would prove fatal to your life in North America and Britain.

    5. Even if you get into a PhD program in those subjects, you’re far from guaranteed a job. There are countless graduates in pure mathematics of top universities who end up in jobs they could have gotten with just a bachelor’s degree, or no degree at all. There is probably a proper study on this issue. Yet, the anecdotal evidence I collected over the years is staggering. I used to have the habit to look up authors of papers I found interesting. A fairly high number of those did not manage to make it in academia. Perhaps even more damning is that in fields like computer science even tenured professors at good universities sometimes leave their job to work in tech. In short, if you dream of entering academia, you should probably do a bit more research on this issue, and this is without discussing the problem of the current political climate that is extremely hostile towards men.

    6. @Sleazy

      According to you, is there advantage of learning Computer Science or Software Engineering in colleges over self-teaching?

      I have heard of many geniuses in this field who have been coding since 10. This ought not to be an exaggeration at all, for I have seen this mentioned so many times.

      Obviously, you need to be highly intelligent to learn programming and other aspects of computers yourself. An average learners perhaps have to attend coding bootcamps and colleges.

    7. If you can do a degree cheaply, I’d get one just for the piece of paper. If you want to be good at it, you’ll have to study on your own anyway. It’ll probably take you about two years to gain the skills necessary for an entry-level job, so why not add a third year to get a B.Sc.?

      You can forget about your talk about “geniuses”. By and large, it’s total bullshit. Some of the smartest people in this industry I met did physics or mathematics and picked up coding on the side. Everybody who told me they’ve been programming since they were kids was a blowhards. I once met a far-below average programmer who boasted about having been coding since the age of 4. Also, I notice that you have a tendency to look up to the greats in various fields. In computing, many simply picked up low-hanging fruit, and many of today’s supposed greats are clowns, in my opinion. In fact, the field has been regressing for about two decades, which becomes quite obvious if you ever study type theory and then have to use a garbage language like Java, Python, PHP, or Scala in your job.

      You don’t need to be highly intelligent to do a decent-enough job. The cut-off is probably at around 110, and I’d be surprised if the average in the field is even 105 as there is a genuine glut of incompetent developers out there.

    8. if you ever study type theory and then have to use a garbage language like Java, Python, PHP, or Scala in your job.

      Can you expand on this some more? Sounds interesting.

    9. Java code is horribly bloated, Python and PHP are both untyped (Python aficionados now hyperventilate and stammer something about “duck typing”), and Scala is purely thought-out, with its “object-functional” approach. Real-world Scala code tends to look horrible. A big downside of Java and Scala is that they run on a virtual machine (JVM), which leads to a performance hit.

    10. Well, as you may know, I haven’t had much experience with computer science and coding since grade 10. So I don’t the inner world of your field.

      “Some of the smartest people in this industry I met did physics or mathematics and picked up coding on the side.”

      From my experience, this is true. Both Vu Ha Van, Nguyen Tien Zung and Ngo Bao Chau, all top mathematicians of Vietnam are all well beyond coders or programmers. Nguyen Tien Zung now has a private company called Torus Action. I noticed that most greatest computer scientists tend to have a very formidable background in Mathematics. But again, you may correct me if I am wrong.

      “Also, I notice that you have a tendency to look up to the greats in various fields.”

      Is this a bad thing though? Can’t you not help to admire giants like Euler in Math, Shakespeare or Ben Jonson in English Literature? etc? It is a natural reaction, no?

      “In computing, many simply picked up low-hanging fruit, and many of today’s supposed greats are clowns, in my opinion. In fact, the field has been regressing for about two decades, which becomes quite obvious if you ever study type theory and then have to use a garbage language like Java, Python, PHP, or Scala in your job.”

      This is interesting. Perhaps only Field medalists have gone through the test of fire, I guess.

    11. Oh ok, I’m familiar with that discussion. Just watched a lecture the other day where a guy was like… there is a reason why all the strong languages that won out are typed languages. He almost gave it an evolutionary angle. Kind of like why there’s a reason certain traits win out with evolution. In the case of programming language the evolutionary winners being typed languages.

      With that said, it’s interesting that untyped languages do seem to be winners in the “beginner” space though. They get more people to start programming and lower the barrier to entry.

    12. Untyped languages only seemingly lower the barrier of entry. The effect is that people think they are learning how to program when in reality, they write code that is full of mistakes they don’t realize they are making because there is no compiler checking it.

    13. According to you, is there advantage of learning Computer Science or Software Engineering in colleges over self-teaching?

      One key advantage of CS or SWE degree is that they help you go through the HR firewall. Companies usually receive large number of job applications and it is role of HR department to filter them before they get sent to tech department. Degree is usually the first criterium in the filtering process. If you apply to a job without it then your application will be among the first ones thrown in the thrash bin.

    14. For a few years, the labor market has been quite difficult for employers, and it is getting worse. If you can demonstrate coding ability, for instance via non-trivial open-source contributions, you’ll stand a good chance of making it past the initial filter, regardless of whether you have a degree or not. HR may be a problem, though. In some companies, hiring managers skim through incoming CVs themselves because HR is too unreliable. For instance, they may reject everyone who isn’t a diversity candidate, which does not help if you want to fill a role with a competent candidate.

    15. No wonder more and more people are becoming freelancers.

      In fact I don’t see why anyone would want to get into a company. I don’t see any added benefits, just disadvantages.

    16. @AlekNovy
      Do you have a link to that lecture you watched, or who performed the talk?

      Duck typing is very confusing when learning code with Ruby. As soon as you have types (interfaces) the idea of polymorphism makes sense.

      I think the only good thing dynamic languages are used for are small scripts to automate common tasks not for business use.

      You mention several languages you are unimpressed with. What language would you use? Apart from Haskell which I have heard you mentioned before, I have only used Haskell at uni, and my first language I learned (was at uni) was SML (ocaml is same family).

      I do a lot hiring for my department. We just check experience, and send them a test to do at home. The test is the real checker, and for a competent dev should take less than 2 hours. But approximately 80% of people fail it. There are a lot of rubbish developers out there, or people that know how to bullshit, especially from looking at their CVs.

      — Self study vs Uni

      I think getting a good degree (which has a direct lead on to a job) will always give you a leg up on the competition. Getting it from a top tier university, even better leg up. But most uni grads, are like babies are daycare, they need a lot of help (and they need to put a lot of time) to be productive

      But for developer jobs, you can easily learn the stuff on your own. The problem is most people dont know what to learn (depth/breadth of different areas), what order, what projects, how to pass interviews etc. It helps if you have some sort of professional who is a mentor to guide you. And some one who can critique your code


    17. Haskell is an excellent programming language. If it was in mainstream use, we’d need 1/10 or less of programmers, basically throwing out all the dummies, and would produce higher-quality code as well. It’s also quite fast. Depending on the domain, I’d use either Haskell or Erlang (great for concurrency; untyped, but has good workarounds as well as a killer feature, i.e. swapping code of a running system), and C for the rare case where you really need top performance. Jon Blow is working on Jai, a replacement for C++, with a focus on game development. Here is a collection of resources:

    18. “It helps if you have some sort of professional who is a mentor to guide you. And some one who can critique your code.”

      This is crucial. I used to enjoy Visual Basic a lot. I was taught how to program in 10th grade. I had always been interested in how to write a search algorithm. This was not taught in my class. I bought many books on Visual Basic and couldn’t find anything relevant.

      My mom hired a programmer who had been working for years for a private company. Within just half an hour, he taught me a few valuable things, not just about search algorithm, but also other not so minor stuffs that my school did not each.

    19. Do you have a link to that lecture you watched, or who performed the talk?

      Nope, I just have YouTube running things on autoplay in the background as I do other work. That way I get hours and hours of varied informative content every day without much effort.

      *Obviously if the autochosen video is crap I skip it, and if the person is impressive I might subscribe… But for the most part I don’t bother what video is playing or who the person is.

    20. OCaml is quite nice, but the biggest issue is that hardly any company uses it. In contrast, Haskell has established itself in some niches. It’s quite popular among finance/crypto/blockchain companies.

    21. “Why didn’t you just get an introductory textbook on Computer Science?”

      Because they were not imported or were forbiddenly expensive in my country at that time.

      Also, I also doubt that I could implement the lessons drawn from those books at that age.

    22. If you picked up basic coding, I don’t see why you couldn’t have understood standard algorithms.

    23. “If you picked up basic coding, I don’t see why you couldn’t have understood standard algorithms.”

      Today, looking back, my impression is that I was just learning the syntax of the language, and basic structures like loop (quite hard to get for a child, but I got used to it), then “if…”, or “for…”. I could clumsily use them.

      I still think a teacher or a mentor would help you tremendously. You could turn to them if you are stuck somewhere. We could touch on more enormous topics like self-study vs learning from a teacher, but that would derail our current discussion, I guess.

      I notice that you are an autodidact in some fields or activities, like meditation, so perhaps your experience is singular in that aspect.

    24. What do you guys think of C, C++ and C#?

      I guess this is just a redundant question, given how important that language is.

    25. @CQV

      Of the three languages you mention only C is worth learning. It’s main use is to develop operating systems, for example Linux kernel was written in this language. It can also make you more conscious about how memory works in computers and teach you procedural paradigm.

      C# and C++ are definitely not worth learning. Although there is a lot of well-paid jobs in those languages, writing code in them make you suffer. And as far as I know you don’t want to become programmer so I see 0 reasons to learn it. I would avoid object-oriented languages at all cost.

      “Erlang (great for concurrency…”

      I only can talk about web development(which is huge industry) as this is domain I only worked so far and the concurrency is very needed there. Multi-core processors have became standards in our times. This means Erlang/Elixir would be good choice in majority of software?

      Talking about strong/dynamic typing I recently ask my interviewer on the Haskell role(who was super intelligent guy, PHD in Cambridge, superstar coder, Haskell advocate) about dynamic languages making systems fragile and he denied it. He said that good software engineering practices make 95% of good system and typing is only 5%.

    26. Let’s hope this person was only political. Dynamic typing is a huge issue in large-scale software development. Your “good software engineering practices” are not going to counter your lack of a compiler. Also, the guy is using a false dichotomy as you can use “good SWE practices” in statically-typed languages as well. Yet, in dynamic languages people commit faulty code without noticing it.

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