Darkstorm wrote:...but I honestly don't care about the money, as long as I have enough to live on and to buy a semi-steady stream of bricks with...
You know, I used to be almost exactly the same way. Many of the smartest people I know, the ones that I really acknowledged, were like that too. So many of them, myself included, wanted to be doctors or researchers or scientists or some other respectable occupations. And now I check where they are on LinkedIn and they're at Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley or Blackrock or some VC firm or the White House or something like that. Or maybe they stuck to their original aspirations but now they're working for Exxon Mobil or Big Pharma (I know someone who literally worked directly under Martin Shkreli).
Over the years I've grown increasingly pissed off, more desperate, and less inclined to help the world or make it a better place. You probably have a mental picture of me from all the bragging I tend to be fond of, but aside from occasional venting about workloads and my parents on the chat I've never really talked about the bad shit that happens or I see happen. And I know I have it a lot better than 95% of people, which doesn't make it any better, it just means the rest of the world is that much shittier. The elite, the tops of their classes, people like me and my friends, at least have a chance to compete and rise above the squalor. It's too hard to save the whole world - just saving yourself is hard enough, and you get bitter enough and realize the world isn't worth saving. I don't know how ordinary people get through it - they must have resigned themselves to their mediocrity and circumstances.
I can't speak to the rest of the world, but American society is a rigged game where the losers are pissed off and the extremely few winners are also pissed off. The only people who are happy are the cheaters and the gamemasters. And when the winners come up to them, they're so burned out from the struggle and privation of the game that they join them in their unsympathetic apathy and nothing changes. Can mere ants stop an oncoming boot? Society has been rigged since its conception, for thousands of years, the only credit is that as corrupt as still is there's been a slow improvement over millennia. Why bother trying to change an implacable, faceless, monolithic system?
On the original question re: Darkstorm, I would not recommend UCB. I got accepted to better places, but I only went there because they offered me a full scholarship and my parents were going through and still are in difficult times. Go to the best place you can or you will regret it.
This is the part where stubby comes up with a clever retort for everything and tries to convince you the world is a better place than that. Fuck that shit. No amount of clever forum posts will change what I have seen with my own eyes in my short life so far. It's true that I probably view the world inaccurately - it's probably worse than I give it credit for, I'm probably still in disbelief and clinging to some shreds of childish naïvete.
Thaaaat being said - I did only say "many", not "all" my friends were like that. A rare few actually did persist and seem to be truly motivated by making the world a better place or the joy of discovery - the world would have keeled over a long time ago if it was 100% pure evil. If that's you, then good for you. I didn't mean to disparage your goals or dreams initially, it's just I'm a jaded person.