Good Advice Only Works for the Free

Sean McClure
1 min readMar 20, 2024

The problem with giving advice to younger people is that good advice appears useless while actionable advice is too dumb to stand behind.

The stuff that will “work” for a young person’s foreseeable future is the stuff that pleases the system.

The stuff that pleases the system is based on contrived, unrealistic game-like tests that don’t map to reality.

Good advice for math would look nothing like how to solve unrealistic word problems or mindlessly shuffle symbols around, yet that’s where their grades will come from.

Good advice for language or writing would not speak of phonetics, morphology, syntax or grammar, yet that’s where their perceived “merit” will be derived.

What matters cannot be tested for, thus any good advice will be behavioural and value based, not shallow techniques for pleasing the system.

For most, good advice only works once people achieve the freedom to execute it.



Sean McClure

Founder Kedion, Ph.D. Computational Chem, builds AI software, studies complexity, host of NonTrivial podcast.