From: Ethan Poe


I'm messaging you in regards to your website I find your posts quite intriguing, and it seems like we're very much on a similar path in our attempts to gain knowledge in the world. I'm 20 years old, and have a website of my own where I post content similar to yours. I love what you've done with your website. I realize that the layout is more than likely fairly old at this point. My question to you is what is some advice you'd give to a younger version of yourself? I find my interests in philosophy and computer science as well.

I hope you're having a good one man! Peace.

- Ethan


It's good to hear from you Ethan!

Yes, my website is older than you are!  The internet was pretty new when I did most of this stuff.

Your request for advice gave me a lot to think about.  In a philosophical sense I guess I just like to encourage doing whatever you can to dig into the deepest questions and use the best possible methods for seeing the world as it really is.

In a practical sense, since as a comp sci guy you probably have a good math background, avoid zero sum games and maximize expected gain.  Money problems can lead to a stressful life so it's good to avoid them.  Avoid spending money on status symbols - social status is a zero sum game.

Avoid paying interest when you can.  I was shocked when a woman I worked with who seemed very intelligent complained that all her credit cards were maxed out.  Now all her cash was going to pay interest and she was getting nothing in return.  Also don't sit with money in the bank if you can use it to pay down your mortgage (when you have one).

Another coworker (with a Ph.D.) mentioned that his tires were insured.  Didn't he know that if the insurance company had a positive expected gain that meant he had a negative one?  Avoid insuring things you could easily afford.

If you invest in stocks, buy and hold and they'll typically go up.  Short term trading is a zero sum game where your opponents typically know far more than you do.

I'd like to see your website - could you send me a link?  



I like that advice a lot! I'm glad you got back to me, I didn't know this email account was still active so it's good to see that it is! I love it. By the way do you have any book recommendations relating to philosophy or computer science at all? I'd love to put them on my reading list.

My website is would love to know what you think about it