writings on math, logic, philosophy and art


On going back to the office

Some CEO’s demand that workers go back to the office because they are more productive there. A couple of points from me.

  1. You can measure productivity in a precise way only in some mindless repetitive jobs e.g. are Twitter employees more productive now that they are in the office. How do you measure that (if you measure it in profits, app quality etc. I’d say that they are much less productive)

  2. Each person is different. I may be 10% more productive at home than in the office, and my coworker may be 20% less productive. Why do I have to be in the office because of some stupid statistic?

  3. Fine, let’s say people who work at home have lower productivity. But working from home enables you to hire people from all over the world as well as people who cannot go to the office for various other reasons. I’m not a big tech CEO, but somehow it seems to me that the best candidate in the world, working at 90% of their capacity will still perform better than the best candidate who happens to live in your city and is willing to travel.

  4. Working from home is also linked to a better well-being, which means less turnover, better working environment etc.

  5. Most importantly: the fucking planet is dying, because of carbon emissions and you want to just dismiss the obvious and already implemented solution for reducing those by letting people not travel to work, just because of some 10% profit increase.

Protip for dealing with sociopaths at the workplace

Protip for dealing with sociopaths at the workplace - make yourself useful for them — if you do them any kind of favors, however small, they will always be super kind to you. Just be careful to avoid committing to doing something more substantial to them, as they will exploit you.

Sociopathy is just a stronger form of materialism, when you think about it.

Jencel’s rule of thumb for stupid people and nazis

“Every stupid person sooner or later becomes a nazi and every nazi becomes stupid (if they aren’t already stupid).”

Not giving a fuck

Protip: people who don’t give a fuck would rarely go through the trouble of writing a whole book explaining how not to give a fuck.

Writer’s block

Anxiety and writer’s block come when you attach so much significance to your work that you start to feel that you just wouldn’t do it justice if you work on it while not in your prime. This is a stupid idea - nobody will do your work, but you. Just do your best, you will delete it if it isn’t good.

If you do something and delete it, that is not the same as not doing anything (even if you don’t ever rewrite or publish it).

Time and money

Time is not money - you can convert time to money, but not the other way around.

How artists settle

When an artist stops experimenting and settles for a specific type of content and aesthetics, critics say that it is because they “matured” and “found their voice”, “developed a unique style” etc.

AFAIK, in most cases it’s because they lost their inspiration, became lazy, and decided to only do low effort remixes if the project that sells best.

And the reason why critics (both professional and self-proclaimed) and regular consumers like settled artists so much is because it make THEIR job easier - why get into a new thing every time and wonder how to react, when you could be just reading variations of the same old thing over and over again.

Normal and non-normal people

Viewing people as merely normal and non-normal is like viewing drinks as alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

The point of life

  • I am so confused! If only I knew what is the point of my life!
  • Well it’s relative, but it probably has to do with being good, making a positive impact for the people around us, doing meaningful work having meaningful relationships etc.
  • Nah, I am pretty sure that’s not it.


The fact that someone does not feel the same emotions as you, that does not make them less emotional.

Doing things poorly

One of the best pieces of advice that I got:

“Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly”

And conversely, everything that is not worth doing poorly is not worth doing at all.

Mathematics in daily life

We don’t use maths in our daily life because other people have solved all hard problems for us and the solutions are encoded on the tools that we use, however not knowing math means that you will be forever a consumer, bound to use those existing tools and solutions.

Disclaimer: my definition of mathematics is much broader than the usual ones

The meaning of life

Who came up with the idea of “the meaning of life”.

Why does it have to be one meaning? Even a book has multiple meanings.

This desire to simplify things is what gets us in trouble.

The best

Everyone wants to be the best, noone wats to question the criteria that determine what the best is.

Jencel’s principle

People often claim to come up with a new idea, instead of recognizing prior art and using a name that is already there, because they are eager to attach their names to something, out of sheer vanity.

I call this “Jencel’s principle”


The only type of humor that doesn’t offend anyone is the one that makes fun of itself (meta humour). Incidentally this is the only type of humor I find truly funny it’s like the opposite of “cheap laughs”.

On being self-critical

My focus for the next year or so is to stop being so self-critical. No reason whatsoever to beat yourself for stupid shit, and it destroys your self-esteem, allowing you to be exploited by egomaniacs who don’t even know what self-criticism means.

My fear has always been that not being critical of myself will make me into one of those assholes, but actually there is no way for this to happen, as long as your intentions are good.


Doing math leaves me feeling like a genius 10% of the time and like a complete idiot for the other 90%.

Bezos in space

I don’t have any problem with Jeff Bezos going in space, the only thing I dislike is that he came back.

Learning programming

When learning programming it’s important to write a lot of code and also to read a lot of code. Writing is to understand you are retarded and reading is to understand everyone else is retarded as well.

Code comments

Types of code comments by how useful they are:

3 Comments that literary describe what the code does: // Check if the user has 18 years

2 Comments that summarize the way a given function is intended to be used // Checks if the user is eligible for an account and throws an error if they aren't

1 Comments that make fun of colleagues and their mess ups: // Bill is a complete idiot that indexes in his objects start with 0 other than one, so we have to check for this here every time


It’s amazing how oblivious people are to how dangerous and harmful cars are to people - any life-threatening thing in the city, such as an hanging cable, open vent etc is big news. Cars - people get murdered every day and they don’t even report it.

Banality of evil

I think that the principle of the banality of evil is also valid in the other way around: not only that evil is banal, but all banal things are evil (i.e. banal <=> evil)


The only legit way to combat the writer’s block and lack of inspiration that I have discovered: take a hour off, leave your work in front of you and start start reading some random book, or doing something else entirely, untill something in what you are reading/doing reminds you of your work.


I consider Hokusai the greatest artist of all time, because he contributed to the two most prominent genres in visual art - landscapes and porn.


Keeping notes is a good idea if you want a very large quantity of mediocre ideas.

Writing Tutorials

Unpopular opinion: Art and writing tutorials that teach you how to find your audience, and say that commitment is the most important thing about art and that if you write/draw every day you would create great stuff etc. are fake, stupid and self-serving and they are part of the reason why 99% of all art is boring, mediocre and useless.

I think I will write a writing tutorial about how you should not listen to writing tutorials. Oh, wait…


I am getting weary people’s almost religious devotion to simplicity and briefness. “Use simpler language” “Can’t you say the same thing in fewer words?” Well, if I say it with fewer and simpler words, it won’t be the same thing, would it? What if I am crazy and I believe that all that matters? If the practice of summing human knowledge into short and accessible sentences worked, then everyone today would be brainiacs. And you are free to decide on your own to what extend that is true

Advice to my 20-year-old-self

You deserve respect not because you are smart/good at stuff etc., you deserve respect because you are a human being and you are doing your best to be a good person.

Impressing others

Don’t try to impress others - they don’t care.

The people

Nobody cares about the average person’s opinion, but everyone is deeply concerned what “the people” think.


If someone does not feel the same emotions as you, that does not make him less emotional.

More stuff

Buying more stuff will not bring you closer to happiness, just like living longer years will not bring you closer to immortality.

The army

Indeed, men who haven’t served in the army are not real men.

Because is there anything more masculine than being proud of something that ABSOLUTELY ANYONE in your age and gender also accomplished, which was also not your decision at all?


People don’t hate work, they hate executing the commands of some idiot and being harassed.

Jeff Bezos

I don’t have any problem with Jeff Bezos going in space, the only thing I dislike is that he came back.

Lazy Marx

I assume that people who say that Karl Marx didn’t have a job are all writing monumental 1000-page studies as a hobby.


Seems that all this obsession with productivity that we have is due to the fact that we don’t believe in the things we do and so we want to at least do more of them.

Questions I ask myself before buying something

What’s the purpose of this item?

Do I really need for an item which serves that purpose? How would it benefit me?

Do I already own something that can be repurposed/fixed/made to serve the same purpose?

Can I borrow such thing from a friend who does not need it?

Who is selling this item and do I want to endorse them by buying it from them?

In what ways does the item make me dependent in therms of fixes, supplies, energy consumed etc. On whom?

Do I really need that item right now, or can I can buy it later so I have more time to consider the above?

More stuff

Buying more stuff will not bring you closer to happiness, just like living longer years will not bring you closer to immortality.