Juan David's Newsletter - September 19, 2021
Eat the World, Venezuela Diaspora Project, Identify your Needs
Want to read a funny story?
On Friday, I went to meet with this professor who teaches the most boring class ever. Ok, maybe not that boring but it’s tedious and for some reason, I’m super uninterested.
So I went to talk to him to figure out a way to get more engaged and get his perspective on how to find it more “interesting.” And well, the conversation didn’t start out super great.
I go into his office and I tell him that I’m struggling to find his class interesting. share with him, “I want to get your perspective and how to make it more interesting.” He looked back at me as if I was speaking in Martian and almost as he had never heard something like that.
The first thing he says, “Hmmm. Maybe you should reconsider your major.” Then, he goes to ask me about my background and why I chose engineering, and on and on. It was the most awkward conversation I’ve had in weeks with long silences and nervous noddings.
Professors have no incentives to improve nor feedback loops. One reason why educational YouTube videos are so good is that you have to make good videos. Otherwise, you don’t get views. In school, it’s the student’s problem if they don’t understand. NEVER, ever the teacher’s problem.
Overall, not a very helpful conversation but I’ll keep trying to learn this class and do well. While trying really hard to find it interesting, I’ll work on some projects related to this class to keep myself entertained.
Did you laugh yet? I should work on my standup comedy skills.
👇Onto this week’s Curiosities
We have dreams and aspirations when we’re kids. We want to be great, we want to eat the world.
Then, we grew up, and we seem to forget, give up, or stop caring, and the world eats us.
Why is this?
In this essay, I explore this question as a kid who still has lots of ambitious dreams and wants to eat the world.
Many people don’t just lose their ambition (some get even more ambitious as they get older) but most people don’t ask themselves these questions and life happens to them.
Read the essay here.
I found a new podcast I’ve been listening to nonstop. A podcast about Venezuelan-Americans entrepreneurs called Venezuela Diaspora Project.
In the next twenty years, Venezuela may have the most billionaires per capita, which might be just a crazy prediction but if you have lived in Venezuela, you’re more than prepared to be an entrepreneur because you experience the world at an earlier age by making errands for your parents at the local store, negotiating with sellers because you didn’t have money due to inflation, and learning how to avoid dangerous situations.
This is an excellent podcast that highlights my culture and how our unique way to go about the world has created entrepreneurs, Silicon Valley investors, and Venezuelans (that’s the best word I can use).
I’d recommend you start with the episode with my friend, Victor. He’s an extremely talented guy, and who even helped with college essays and studying for the SAT a few years ago.
3. The Hardest Thing About Programming
The hardest part about programming....isn't even programming.
It's setting up the IDEs.
If you're getting started and want to go straight to learning, use Repl.it.
Ok, why is Ava such a good writer? Every essay explains exactly how one is feeling at the exact moment. Her slogan should be “personalized essays for exactly how you’re feeling.” Later, I’ll write an essay about why she’s so good.
She wrote Needs, which is an essay that talks about how understanding our needs can help us figure out what we want to do with our lives. Many of us have an idea, or even think that if we get to do X, we’ll be happy.
Ava explains that’s not true because you may like the idea of being, for instance, a painter but you soon realized it’s really hard to make money and you have to promote yourself all the time, which you absolutely despise. Or you realized you didn’t like a painting that much.
She says, the problem isn’t that being a painter is bad or difficult. The problem is a lack of understanding of your needs.
Read the essay to learn how to identify your needs, and understand:
the difference between feeling empty despite having “everything” and feeling full despite having very little.
Along with Ava’s essay, I’ve been thinking about The Inner Ring, a CS Lewis essay
In every human circle, there are rings. It’s the difference between we vs. they.
He says humans try so hard to be part of these rings to the point where they lose their humanity. For instance, you try to be part of this prestigious club or work for this astonishing company. You lose your humanity when you join not because you want but because you’re doing it to be part of the we, or to make others jealous.
You know you’re in an inner ring when the members say it’s something we always do.
It will be the hint of something which the public, the ignorant, romantic public, would never understand:
something which even the outsiders in your own profession are apt to make a fuss about: but something, says your new friend, which “we”—and at the word “we” you try not to blush for mere pleasure—something “we always do.”
I was at the engineering library studying and when I look up, I see the one and only Marc Andreesen. He developed the first web browser and has become a prominent investor in companies like Instagram, Airbnb, GitHub, Skype, and many others.
Inspired by this poster, I created my own. Now, I’ll wait until UIUC calls me to put it up.
Juan David Campolargo