Notes: May 27, 2022

3 min read

I would love if you added comments! I absolutely loved the discussion on my last set of notes. You can add comments using the Curius (opens in a new tab) chrome extension.1

1. Internships are overrated IMO. You learn much more working on personal projects than during most internships. Internships are about prestige, not learning.

2. Lack of empathy is the root of most problems in the world. If we loved strangers as much as we love our family and friends, the world would be a much better place.

3. Many software engineers at big companies work no more than 3 hours a day! Large companies are these huge factories that... do nothing (at least relative to their number of employees).

4. One of the best and worst parts about the Bay Area is that your friends and professional network are the same. Sometimes the goals of both are at odds. Do you be vulnerable with them and tell them how awful things are in your company, or do you put on a smile and fake how great things are?

5. The best places are the ones where you feel stupid. It doesn't feel good in the moment, but it's the best.

6. Most of the ideas I generate aren't good — and I know this when I generate them. But they're often very useful for provoking discussion, so I say them anyway.

7. It's hard to know what typical conversations are like. I can tell what conversations I'm part of are like, but I'd love to know what most people talk about and how they talk about it. Eavesdropping is the best way to do this.

8. How does play compare with conversations as a way of getting to know someone? Playing shows your true self: it's much harder to fake a persona in play than it is in conversations. There's also this idea that play is a "shared experience" and that shared experiences bring people closer (more on that below). Conversations though seem to be higher bandwidth for getting to know someone.

9. What's the deal with "shared experiences" bringing people together? I've heard this phrase from many people. I'd love to hear what you think!

10. How do fundamental research groups at companies make business sense? Like FAIR at Meta, or Deepmind at Google, etc. Especially since their work is open source. Do the research groups spend time time building applications of their work for the company? Do they act as advisors for the people who use their work at the company? Do they work on problems that would benefit their company more than its competitors?


  1. A hack to see everyone's comments: you can search for "10 More Notes" on Curius and click on that link.