Here’s what I want to say every time I tell a person about my problems and what I’m going through, hoping to get some empathy and a shoulder to lean on, and they instead give me advice and explain what I should do.
I’ve been thinking lately about feeling smart. I’ve got a few things to say about that.
Sometimes I feel smart. Sometimes I’m explaining some thing or the other to someone, be it a topic in programming or product development or math or science or anything, and as I’m pointing out the various intricacies and conflicting considerations, I start having this fuzzy feeling. I start enjoying the sound of my voice as I’m talking about that complex topic, a minefield for laypeople that could be navigated only by the gentle and precise touch of an expert such as myself. I feel like those celebrity chefs on reality cooking shows explaining why such and such a dish is wonderful or horrible in cryptically emotional ways that us mortals, who do not have their level of sophistication, just can’t grasp.
I’d like to talk about a feeling that I’ve felt over and over again in my life. A feeling that is a basis for a lot of my work and my personal thoughts.
I call it, the wall.
We’ve all heard the phrase “hitting the wall”. It’s used by long-distance runners when they feel they can’t run anymore. It’s a general idiom used when someone or something is trying to make progress, but they’ve reached the phase where they just can’t, and they’re stuck.
The wall I’m talking about is similar, but different.
I’m a bit disappointed that no one managed to solve my homebrew encryption challenge.
I’m now offering a modest prize of $50 to the first person to solve it, and deliver the plaintext. Contest rules are in the original post.
I’m also hoping that the winner will produce a write-up of how he figured it out, but that’s not mandatory in order to win the prize money.
Fine print: I maintain sole discretion to decide who is the legitimate winner, if any, and how to transfer the money. (Probably PayPal.)
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