Almost nothing new

The most valuable insights are both general and surprising. F = ma for example. But general and surprising is a hard combination to achieve. That territory tends to be picked clean, precisely because those insights are so valuable.

Because these start out so general, you only need a small delta of novelty to produce a useful insight.

A small delta of novelty is all you’ll be able to get most of the time. Which means if you take this route your ideas will seem a lot like ones that already exist. Sometimes you’ll find you’ve merely rediscovered an idea that did already exist. But don’t be discouraged. Remember the huge multiplier that kicks in when you do manage to think of something even a little new.

It’s not true that there’s nothing new under the sun. There are some domains where there’s almost nothing new. But there’s a big difference between nothing and almost nothing, when it’s multiplied by the area under the sun.

— General and Surprising

— Paul Graham



2018.04.22 Sunday ACHK

The favorite place to find work

fecak 4 months ago

The problem with job boards is that unless they are rather unknown, everyone is using them. Applying through boards is essentially like getting into the back of a line and hoping you get noticed.

When I coach job seekers on finding new work, I typically encourage them to be careful not to spend too much time on the boards, and instead rely on their networks/meetups or personal research.

Using LinkedIn to search for open jobs is similar to using any other site, but it’s greatest value is as a research tool.

Say you’re a Python programmer in a suburb somewhere and you’re looking for a new gig. If you use LinkedIn to search “Python” and set a geographic preference, your results will likely be other Python programmers in the area. Where do they work? Where did they used to work? Sometimes LinkedIn will offer other profiles in the sidebar (“people also viewed”) – click those and see where they worked. Now you’ve got a list of companies that have employed Python devs, so you can do a bit more research to see if they are the type of place you might want to work – and pay no attention to whether or not they have any jobs listed on their site.

Once you found some companies that interest you, use LinkedIn to figure out the best person to reach out to. Might be their CTO if it’s a small shop, could be an internal recruiter or hiring manager for a larger firm. Make the approach, tell them why you’re interested in the company, and make a soft close to try and get them to agree to a conversation.


iridium 4 months ago

Something I read a while ago that stuck with me – ‘When you are looking for a new opportunity, you are really just looking for a person.

This reframing totally changed how I look for new jobs, and what suprised me more was how willing people were to refer me, even if they had never met me.


fecak 4 months ago

That is great advice, and to take it a step further I’d say not to focus on getting an interview but rather a conversation.

If people you haven’t met are referring you, you are already doing something right.

— Ask HN: What is your favorite place to find work? | Hacker News



2018.03.21 Wednesday ACHK


keenerd 9 hours ago

> Three practices set romance writers up for success: they welcome newcomers, they share competitive information and they ask advice from newbies.

That last one is interesting. People entering a field do so for a reason. It might just be to do a job and get paid, but it could also be because no one is making what they want. Newbies unconsciously represent gaps in the market where someone with better execution could make a killing.

Brb, got to dive beginner programming forums and look at the types of projects that are so pressing that someone is willing to learn how to program.

— What gig workers can learn from romance writers

— Hacker News



2018.03.08 Thursday by ACHK

Physical information

Information itself may be loosely defined as “that which can distinguish one thing from another”. The information embodied by a thing can thus be said to be the identity of the particular thing itself, that is, all of its properties, all that makes it distinct from other (real or potential) things. It is a complete description of the thing, but in a sense that is divorced from any particular language.

— Wikipedia on Physical information

2014.09.12 Friday ACHK

反白論起點 2.2

這段改編自 2010 年 4 月 10 日的對話。







— Me@2014.08.03

2014.08.03 Sunday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

反白論起點 2.1

這段改編自 2010 年 4 月 10 日的對話。

Chapter 17 (第十七章)


Great rulers are hardly known by their subjects,
    Then come those the people draw near and praise,
    Then those the people hold in fear,
    Then those the people revile.
    When one lacks trust, one finds no trust.

Reluctantly, without boasting;
Perform actions, accomplish deeds;
The people will say it happened naturally.

— Tao Te Ching (Wikisource translation)



我上司的管理方法,就是 Joel Spolsky 所講的「hit and run micromanagement」。「Hit and run」的原本意思是,駕車撞到人後,不顧而去;學名叫做「肇事逃逸」。




從任何一個下屬的角度看,我上司就是「肇事逃逸」—— 他一時衝動,下了一些不經大腦的指令後,立刻不顧而去,導致引發一片混亂,傷亡慘重。)


— Me@2014.07.28

2014.07.30 Wednesday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Feynman’s Blackboard, 5

Teaching is not filling a vase, but lighting a fire.

— Michel de Montaigne

From constructivist theories of psychology[,] we take a view of learning as a reconstruction rather than as a transmission of knowledge.

— Seymour Papert

— Wikipedia on Constructionism (learning theory)

What I cannot create, I do not understand.

— On his blackboard at time of death in 1988

— Richard Feynman

2014.03.20 Thursday ACHK

Try something impossible, 2


— 孔子

2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

— Clarke’s Three Laws

— Arthur C. Clarke

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. 

— T. S. Eliot

We need to believe in the impossible in order to remove the improbable.

— based on Oscar Wilde

— based on Satya Nadella

— Me@2014.02.07

2014.02.15 Saturday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

量子力學 1.17

因果律 1.22 | 語意互相推卸責任論 1.22 | Verification principle, 5.22 | 西瓜 9.22 | Make a difference, 3.3

這段改編自 2010 年 4 月 3 日的對話。


如果,就連在原則上,你都講不出,如何分辨它們誰是誰非 —— 所有可能的實驗結果,「量子自由版本」和「量子決定版本」,都必定一模一樣的話,「量子自由論」和「量子決定論」就根本是「同義句」。







— Me@2013.10.14

2013.10.14 Monday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

量子力學 1.16

因果律 1.21 | 語意互相推卸責任論 1.21 | Verification principle, 5.21 | 西瓜 9.21 | Make a difference, 3.2

這段改編自 2010 年 4 月 3 日的對話。

根據「印證原則」(confirmation principle/weak verification principle)的延伸,或者根據萊布尼茲的「同一律」(identity of indiscernibles),無論句子甲乙的字眼有多大的不同,如果,即使只在原則上而言,你都講不出句子甲和句子乙的意思,在什麼情況之下,有怎麼樣的分別,句子甲乙就根本地,有著同一個意思。兩句只不過是,同一個意思的兩個表達方式而已。












一因只會有一果 —— 在同一個處境之下,人只會有一個可能的未來。一切事件皆是必然的,包括每一個人的每一個決定。




The difference that makes no difference makes no difference.


如果,就連在原則上,你都講不出,如何分辨它們誰是誰非 —— 所有可能的實驗結果,「量子自由版本」和「量子決定版本」,都必定一模一樣的話,「量子自由論」和「量子決定論」就根本是「同義句」。

— Me@2013.10.09

2013.10.09 Wednesday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

量子力學 1.15

因果律 1.20 | 語意互相推卸責任論 1.20 | Verification principle, 5.20 | 西瓜 9.20 | Make a difference, 3

這段改編自 2010 年 4 月 3 日的對話。













因為兩個都正確,所以客觀上,並沒有所謂,哪一個會比較好一點。主觀上,你可以用經濟原則 —— 哪一句精簡一點,你就用哪一句。但是,在這個例子中,兩句的字數差不多。所以,基本上,你喜歡用哪一句,就用哪一句。

根據「印證原則」(confirmation principle/weak verification principle)的延伸,或者根據萊布尼茲的「同一律」(identity of indiscernibles),



— Me@2013.10.03

2013.10.04 Friday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Try something impossible


— 孔子

Sometimes you have to try something “impossible”, because you are looking for exceptions.

Even if you cannot find any existing exceptions, you may still be able to create some new ones, in case the opportunity cost is still acceptable.

— Me@2013-08-19 12:37:42 AM

2013.09.05 Thursday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

平行宇宙 3.3

西瓜 8.3 | Copy Me, 6.3 | Verification principle, 4.3

這段改編自 2010 年 4 月 3 日的對話。

The difference that makes no difference makes no difference.


你這個問題,其實是哲學裡的 problem of identity,即是「同一問題」,或者「身份問題」。「身份問題」追究的是,何謂「同一個人」?


一個比較恰當的定義是,根據洛克(John Locke)的標準 —— 有同一個記憶,就為之「同一個自我」。

— Me@2013.01.28

2013.01.28 Monday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

平行宇宙 3.2

西瓜 8.2 | Copy Me, 6.2 | Verification principle, 4.2

這段改編自 2010 年 4 月 3 日的對話。








換句話說,你應該由自己回答,你原本的問題 —— 怎樣分辨「兩個平行宇宙」和「同一個宇宙的兩個不同區域」?


如果你講得出有什麼分別 —— 例如「在同一個宇宙,我的薪金不會變;但是在另一個宇宙,我的薪金會加倍」—— 你就毋須問我如何分辨,因為,你只要看看自己的薪金有沒有變,就可以知道,究竟自己是「去了另一個平行宇宙」,還是「去了同一個宇宙的另一個區域」。如果你講不出有什麼分別,你問我如何分辨也沒有意思,因為那代表了,根據你的用法,「兩個平行宇宙」和「同一個宇宙的兩個不同區域」,根本是同義詞。

The difference that makes no difference makes no difference.


— Me@2013.01.26

2013.01.26 Saturday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

The slogan is: “Think about the ideal way to write a web app. Write the code to make it happen.”

This is literally how I developed I wrote a web application in Python just imagining how I wanted the API to be.

— The Philosophy

— Aaron Swartz

2013.01.25 Friday ACHK