Thursday, April 15, 2010

How fake references affects the market

So I came across a site that sells people fake references for the purpose of a job or an apartment.  This got me to thinking about the implications on hiring and screening practices.  It also led me to wonder about the usefulness of a reference in judging a person.

The result of this might be people become more vigorous in checking reference sources, or relying on references less, and maybe shifting more to training periods.  Since more work always lose out to less work, I suspect the latter will be the case.

On to the merits of references.  How does one know a person's former boss likes him because he is a good worker rather than a good drinking buddy?  Or he might just be a mediocre worker who happens to share the same bias as the reference.  One boss' hard worker can be another boss' shit disturber.  How does a subjective review tell you anything if you don't know anything about the reference, given the fallibility of the human bias.  Also you are guaranteed that the references are going to be good, so how do you find reliable analysis from these?

Note that I think there is a large market in academic reference forgeries.  I wonder if somebody will try it, and how it can be done.  Schools are institutions that are hard to fake, and a community of professors is close-knit enough to make it easy to spot fakes.  Schools also have the power to retroactively void a student's credentials making it too risky for students to attempt.

Gems from the web

First off, Master Sarge is from India:

Also, A special message brought to you by our favorite Arnie

This is Arnold in Action:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Inequality across success of good-looking/successful mating schemes

I'm going to have to find and read this book.

The author seems to think that successful and good looking people close themselves off to less successful/good looking people. Those who are slightly less successful/good looking in turn close themselves off to those who are even less successful/good looking as a rational response. This is not so much a response but rather as instinct as people tend to look for mates who are as successful/good looking possible. This in turn ensures that people look for others who are similarly successful/good looking as they are, leading to a stratifying social order.

Unlike Emmanuel, however, I do not believe an emergence of a global multi-cultural elite because, let's face it, social order is to a large degree, racial in nature. People will trade success/good looks for other things simply because the color of their skin. This is especially true for women. The implication of this is probably a great deal of resentment.

Depression Redux

Once upon a time, I knew a person who had been chronically depressed displaying all the symptoms. From what I know about depression, having a traumatic experience where something bad happens and you feel depressed for an extended period of time, ie, unemployment, significantly increases the chances of relapsing later on in life. It is also, unfortunately, contagious. While I believe whether the knowledge i have about depression will be beneficial is moot since it's already there, I do feel that I have a better idea now about what contributes to my well being. Every once in awhile I have the urge to blame my psycho-motor retardation on her, but I think that's just me making excuses. From the video, I believe it is pretty clear that I do not possess the symptoms of depression. This lecture though, is infinitely interesting.