Random thought on 'SF for bio'

Try hard to avoid stuff like this: https://twitter.com/patrickc/status/1052379958587224064 Encouragement weakens people, people actually get good/confident by winning, and discovering how to stop other people from destroying them-- they forget this after they have been winning for a bit.

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To actually do this properly it’d be worth figuring out why nobody comes out of a coding bootcamp as an actually excellent coder (they are only ever disciplined upper-tier average). True even for the ones widely regarded as brutal e.g. 42 piscine. Still produces mediocre people.

You get a lot of people saying ‘well, Paul Graham helped all these people a decade ago, he encouraged them when nobody else would, and that’s why they succeeded’.

This is BS – Paul Graham actually did three things (0) took people seriously (1) gave them really brutal truths about the world while staying likable/eccentric/ethical/caring enough to not scare kind people away or get personality-assassinated (2) left power on the table for them to take, giving them some momentum. If he publicly encouraged them too that was probably for the benefit of their public image, or just irrelevant and maybe counterproductive.

Everyone is much weaker/softer now than they were a decade ago so it’s easy to not realize this.

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Taking someone seriously, being honest with them about the situation they’re in in a manner they would take well, and—not sure how else to phrase the last part—giving them a head start with resources(?), all seem closely related to if not outright forms of encouragement.