You Should Know These Industry Secrets

Coder Myk Bilokonsky asked Twitter for things “that everyone in your field knows and nobody in your industry talks about because it would lead to general chaos.” The answers came from all over, and they range from life-altering to useless. Some are cold hard facts, some expert analyses, some are unfounded opinions. Here are the most interesting, shocking, and informative.

Myk’s own answer is in line with a lot of cybersecurity advice: your data is always less secure than you think.

Coder Maciej Cegłowski chimes in:

Recycling programs are not going to solve our problems:

Libraries throw out books all the time, and it’s fine:

Petitions are just mailing-list builders, says Matt Fitzgerald:

The 401(k), popularized in the early 80s to replace pensions, is still basically in beta testing:

On top of the explicit difficulty settings, video games can have secret difficulty adjustments to keep you feeling accomplished, says game developer Eric Holmes:

“Off the record” isn’t a legally defined term, says journalist (and former Gizmodo editor) Maddie Stone:

Opera casting is a racket, says stage director Amber Treadway:

The stand-up comedy industry is propped up by corporate gigs, says comedian Kath Barbadoro:

The illustration industry is propped up by custom furry porn, says illustrator slimm:

A few of these “secrets” might make you go “Oh come on, everyone knows that!” But think about how much the world behaves as if no one knew that. For example:

While plenty of believers treat the Bible as poetry and metaphor, it might surprise them to know that this was the original intention, says seminarian Alex M. Griffin:

In other obvious yet infuriating news, your professors were probably never taught how to teach:

You really don’t have to “rate and review” your favorite podcast:

It’s pretty obvious that speeches are ghostwritten, but less obvious that all other important policy documents are too:

Lawsuits and top-down pressure have successfully had a chilling effect on journalism, says Guardian columnist Moira Donegan:

It’s nice to know that the one famous mitochondria fact, used as a meme to illustrate how little people remember from school, is not precisely correct:

This fucked me up when I first learned it years ago. Like so many concepts I learned in school, the concept of a “species” is actually a construct built by scientists, not a physical absolute:

You can’t really know anything about a planet until you shoot a spacecraft at it, says planetary scientist Emily Lakdawalla:

Hank Green, author and popular YouTube personality, says that platforms like YouTube only work because they inflate the expectations of the people making the actual content:

While Facebook knowingly lied about its audience size, digital media everywhere is running on shaky metrics, says podcaster and video maker Mike Rugnetta:

Some sizes of clothing are subsidized by others, says lingerie writer Cora Harrington:

If you’re swimming in or near the ocean, there are sharks all around you:

Researchers and scientists will happily send you their work for free:

Most essential oils you can buy aren’t even real, says scent consultant Nick Gilbert:

Alcoholics Anonymous is running on reputation, not on results, says Marie Davis:

As are rehab clinics, says Tracey Helton Mitchell:

A few of the joke answers were actually funny:

For more industry secrets, read all the quote-tweets of Myk’s question here. Don’t make life decisions based on any of these statements without fact-checking.

Oh, but remember, professional fact-checking is actually a house built on sand:

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