Notice to Job Candidate Screeners

This is for all of those who are reading this as prospective employers, considering me as an employee. I don't hide this journal, so I know you can easily find me with even the simplest internet search of my name.

I just wanted to save you the time and trouble of searching this journal, trying to see if I would post anything that you may think makes me a poor employee. There are two types of posts that employers would typically search for to weed out candidates. At least from my perspective.

First, you will be looking for anything I may have written that denigrates the company I was working for. That makes total sense. You don't want to hire someone who doesn't take their complaints to you but rather tries to hash them out with public assaults. I understand that, and you won't find anything like that here.

Second, you will be looking for things that make me look like someone who doesn't make good choices in life. These are the "questionable" posts, the posts that may contain drinking or drug use or nudity or just simple stupid behavior. It's the search for these posts that make me question your ability to be an effective employer, and if you are looking for these kinds of posts, you may as well eliminate me from your search. I don't want to work for you.


It's simple.

I'm a human. And you are looking for people who never make mistakes. You are looking for a person who always has 100% perfect judgment with respect to their future selves. You are looking for someone who can look back on their past and say "I never did anything wrong, ever!" In fact, I'd say you are looking for someone who isn't you.

If you can honestly say you have done nothing wrong - if you can tell me that you never dinged a car in a parking lot and drove off without leaving a note, if you can tell me that you put your shopping cart back correctly every time, if you can tell me that you never mutter under your breath at the person in front of you in the checkout line, if you can tell me that you have never taken the change when the cashier gave you too much, if you can tell me you never avoided anyone's phone calls - then you are a much better person than I am, obviously working at a much better company with values too saintly for me to live up to.

But if you are honest about who you are, and about who all people are, then there's no point in looking any further in my journal. Just call me, and see if I am a good fit as an employee based on my skills as a writer.


I've gotten back into a couple of odd habits. Habits is something of a loaded term, because it implies requires conscious control to monitor, but still.

1) watching Lovejoy in random order
2) fixating on the level of the boat, which is tied to a more academic fixation of
3) worrying about how river levels affect the flow rate and drag.

#3 is just something weird I notice regularly, that higher river levels give the water a weird appearance that it flows the wrong way in the marina. This probably isn't true, that it's mainly the wind on the surface. But I also don't put anything in the water to check and I don't take notes.

However, the water level today was higher than I had ever seen it, and that includes the flooding of late 2015. We're somewhere around a full meter higher than normal. Which is still well below any water lever we need to worry about (the water level is around 8', and we don't even get stage warnings until 17', plus we were at high tide).

Fixating on the level of the boat is part of a larger worrying about everything possibly falling apart around me. I think this stems from living in the RV, and that literally fell apart around me, but repercussions feel more amplified now.

The Lovejoy episodes are just things I watch. Somehow I am missing an episode (Sugar and Spice), but I make do with everything else. I have the two oddball Christmas episodes as well, though I do not have the sixth season which was the completely different anyway.

Updated Nobel Prize winners list

I finishes A Simple Story by S.Y. Agnon (co-winner, 1966) today.

A quality book. Both deserving of the name of the title, a Simple Story, and also a display how such a simple story can have such intricate complexities hung from it. Every interaction in a social setting the basis for life-altering events. Some play out like you hope, some others take your life to a place you never knew.

The young man in the story falls in love, and ends up married to someone else. That's as simple as it gets, and from that the complexities of living in a small community evolve.

I'm not sure what I'll read next. I'm surprisingly close to the end of this adventure. Seven authors remain, and I still can't find a translation of one (Karlfeldt) that isn't ridiculously expensive from a European bookseller.

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Updated Nobel Prize winners list

I finished Selected Poems of Gabriela Mistral (translated by Langston Hughes) today. It's the pseudonym (and the name she won under) of Lucila Godoy y Alcayaga, winning the Nobel in 1945.

These poems are quite lovely, gripping, tender, heartbreaking.

I don't know how else to describe them. I mean, some were amazing, some were alright. You should find some.

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I took the intro to letterpress class at IPRC. Letterpress is some of the most time-consuming fiddly shit. Sorting the letters out trying to place them putting them in a frame, locking it in place, making sure everything is lined up took 3 hours of work to get one square piece lined up.

It's hard to imagine wanting to use a press over a computer given some of this but there is the tactile joy that comes with it. Touching it, placing it, doing actual physical work (even if the physical work is tiny) as opposed to looking at a screen has its own merits. Much like the joy of looking at the jigsaw puzzle you've completed rather than the photo it would be otherwise.

I might give it a shot if I think of something to press, but I also want to take a screenprinting class. We'll see.

pull it

I signed up for a letterpress class today. It's six hours and I'll be certified to use the letterpress(es) at the publishing center. I hope it's fun.

artificially intelligence

Artificial intelligence is artificial because it’s a representation of
how humans think
      humans think.

It’s a mimicry of how we perceive our thought process. Attempts to create models from the top down in this way will be nothing but worthless. In Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach the authors point out that no other technology is designed as biomorphic imitation. Airplanes are not designed to fly in a way that fools birds into thinking the plane is a bird. We don’t test to see if the birds can’t tell if planes are birds to see if they are “really” flying. Yet this is how people perceive AI should follow when designing an AI. The conceptual importance of the Turing Test is as absurd as thinking that the talking cartoon animals in a Disney movie are also teenagers themselves.

Intelligence is not about reflecting human-ness, but about forcing us to reckon with what intelligence might mean.