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The Bipolar Lisp Programmer (
5 points by nickpsecurity to interesting psychology lisp programming education 1029 days ago | 9 comments

3 points by davidk01 1027 days ago

Brilliance without discipline is a dead end. I don't think this is specific to lisp or any other language. The BBM is fundamentally a selfish being and so that is why it fails and not because it can think more steps ahead than non-BBMs.


3 points by Doreen 1025 days ago

Brilliance without discipline is a dead end.

Brilliance without discipline is a common problem for Twice Exceptional kids who weren't raised well. Probably most of them weren't raised well. The term only dates to the 90s and most schools, experts, etc only know how to cope with either giftedness or a handicap, but not both together.

A BBM would be Twice Exceptional. Most of them will be saddled with terrible baggage from poor practices of the adults that surrounded them that makes it nigh impossible to find some effective means to "be disciplined" and accomplish stuff in the eyes of the world.

I'm Twice Exceptional. Most of my accomplishments don't fit on a resume and go largely unrecognized.

That doesn't mean I haven't actually accomplished anything. It means I have trouble getting credit for my accomplishments.

I also have some challenges turning my work into an adequate income stream. I see that as partly due to the lack of recognition.

The world has trouble measuring out-of-the-box accomplishments. They tend to require metrics that don't exist or are out of fashion, basically.

It's a little like saying "We only count work experience from corporate America." That only captures a tiny minority of workers. Most people would look unaccomplished by that metric.


2 points by davidk01 1025 days ago

But it sounds like you are self aware enough to see where you stand. I think that's more than can be said for most.


2 points by Doreen 1025 days ago

I'm 53. Age and experience have some value. Meanwhile, most of the world seems to think I'm a total fucking loser due to my "lack of accomplishments."

I'm trying to figure out how to write about 2xE issues so that other people with such issues have a better shot at making life work for them before they are, say, sixty.

Blaming individuals for society's shortcomings is not a great way to help people. In a developed world, we should have better answers for 2xE people than accusing them of being lazy, difficult and not trying hard enough for not readily fitting the standard mold.

We are all products of our environment. Kids who are different often grow up to be broken people because the system set out to break them. Then they spend the rest of their lives being blamed for that.


True on the first part. Two issues with this...

"The BBM is fundamentally a selfish being and so that is why it fails"

The people that succeed most are often, such as business executives and politicians, are among the most selfish. Some use just enough interaction with people to accomplish their selfish goals. Others use more if they like it. Many just use people. I think the failure with this group has less to do with selfishness than ability to work well with or use others toward a goal. Also, a perspective failure where they're myopic about the things they've studied without understanding the bigger picture of what's outside their expertise. Especially social and economic factors that lead to success of ideas.

The other issue is saying people Tarver describes are always selfish. That misses people like me that fit into the model a bit who are passionate about what happens to others, the world around us, and so on. We feel others' pain like our own. We see problems mount knowing the suffering they'll lead to. We feel compelled to do what we can to fight those problems. Although this is in most people (see parents and kids), it rarely extends past someone's closest, social group. I've turned down six digit opportunities to essentially help piles of strangers for free since markets, governments, and helpful humans weren't doing enough. There's certainly some feel good, ego, or other selfish value in it. The anxiety and sacrifice to reward ratio make me think it's altruism more than selfishness, though. Then, Tarver's model kicks in showing how specific weaknesses held back my ability to deliver on the goals that primarily benefited others.

What of long term. He and I both observe people in more selfish or ego camps of this model have bad long-term diagnosis. For myself, I've been learning. I've learned the hard way the impact of everything from politics to economic incentives to psychology/sociology. Part of my constant reading is learning it from others quickly and painlessly before I learn it myself slowly after a failure. Plenty more to learn in weak areas. Then, there's doing which will be a whole, new level of learning (knowledge vs wisdom they say down here).

If you watched closely, you'll actually see my posts on these sites shift more to business models, law, attaching to ecosystems (social momentum), etc vs just technical design or what I think is right. That shift came from re-prioritizing based on learning how wrong and foolish I was. :) Those posts are me trying to pass along and get others' assessment on those lessons.


3 points by davidk01 1026 days ago

It's a tricky balance. I didn't say being selfish or not was good or bad but that most technologists (like other people) tend to emphasize what they know as something that is fundamentally good. That's the selfish part and what leads to the inevitable failure.


That's interesting. I can see that. It affected me heavily in the past. Actually, one of the things I occasionally think about is how to speed the process up of realizing that. It might inherently take lots of experience and time. Alternatively, there could be ways of teaching it quickly. The faster people learn it, the better.


3 points by emily 1028 days ago

I find it really, deeply interesting how much importance is often placed on someone's brilliance, however it's measured. Too frequently, it almost seems in direct opposition with an ability to execute.

(Edit: To be clear, this is why I enjoyed this post.)


It was pretty captivating for me since it painted an accurate picture. Mostly accurate. In fact, I originally watched Donnie Darko after a friend said I kept reminding him of that movie. Wouldn't be specific... Seeing that comparison again is mind-blowing. Lot to think about in here.

What you said is true, too. I think it's because we like the ideas, mental exploration, and doing enough of something to get the high of understanding. There could even be a power thing, common in young hackers, where we're satisfied with knowing we're at the point we can do something great. Then, we merely choose to move onto something new to further develop our knowledge and skills. It's elitism. One hacker said it might also be an aim to get power or control over others due to a lack of control in our own lives in the real world with its different skills and rules. I'll add it's possible that getting mastery over various topics and showing out might similarly be us compensating the same way.

The less, arrogant variant is that execution is mostly just work to us. For some things, it also takes a different set of skills that might be our weak areas. Following human nature, the combination leads us to do the fun or at least comfortable things we are strong in. In any case, I do plan to try to do more focused activities this year with some limits on my explorations and social media. Maybe also present refined versions of my ideas in appropriate venues with professionals and R&D folks.

Alternatively, I'll keep doing what I've been doing with different circumstances. We shall see.


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