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Resilient Constructs

Interviewing for Success

When it comes to job interviews, I have spent a lot of time on both sides of the table (though there’s not always a table). There is advice all over the Internet about how to interview successfully. You probably already know the common themes: dress well, bring a good resume, don’t be late, smile, etc. I’m not going to cover those here, but rather dig into some of the less common advice and offer more detail than is usually provided by advice sites.

Human Societies as Feedback Systems

One of the most important insights I’ve picked up over the years is the concept of constructivism–the idea that all human knowledge is generated from the interactions between our experiences and ideas which we’ve previously absorbed. Our current understanding is that all knowledge is built in this way, by taking basic concepts learned during early development and gradually building upon them into more complex thoughts and ideas. This also has the (sometimes uncomfortable) implication that all human knowledge is subjective: everything we know is derived from experience, therefore everything we know is also subjective.

How the GOP Created Donald Trump

Donald Trump has, off and on, considered running for President since 1987. The last time he ran for real, in 2000, he ran as a Reform Party candidate and got 15,000 votes in the California primary. Back then, it would have been hard to imagine him being the Republican frontrunner, but the GOP of 2015 is nothing like the GOP of 2000–the same GOP that gave us George W. Bush.

Formats and Things

It seems the question “How long can I keep this up?” has an answer: not for much longer! That doesn’t mean I am going away, though. We’re entering that time of year when people go on vacations, spend time with friends and family, and celebrate various holidays. As I am not a complete shut-in, I will also be pretty busy. I expect that from November 21st until around January 9th, updates to this site won’t be quite what they used to be.

Link Roundup: Paris Edition

It doesn’t seem right to go through with my usual batch of random links. Perhaps I will save them for next Saturday. Instead, I will share links about last night’s attacks in Paris and the aftermath thereof. * [More than 120 dead as Paris hit by series of terror attacks](http://www.france24.com/en/20151114-live-blog-string-deadly-shootings-rock-paris) -- A good summary to start with. This is France's first state of emergency declaration since 1945. * [Statement by the President on the situation in Paris](https://www.

The Necessity of Work

Why do I have a job? Why do you? Why does anyone? If you’re lucky, what you do for a living is something you enjoy, or at least don’t have any strong negative feelings about. Otherwise, you might feel indifferent about your source of income, or even hate it but feel stuck with it because it’s the only way you can survive. Maybe you need multiple jobs to make ends meet.

Sex Work: Decriminalize It!

Back in August, Amnesty International threw down a gauntlet. After significant pressure from different sides along with a lengthy (and sometimes heated) public debate, the global human rights organization adopted a policy and series of positions regarding the treatment of sex workers. If you’ve never heard the term “sex worker” before, you probably aren’t alone. The profession is more commonly called “prostitution,” but due to that word’s negative connotations, sex workers prefer not to be described thusly.

Mizzou and the Making of Heroes

Over the past few days, the University of Missouri (nicknamed “Mizzou”) made national headlines, first as its football team threatened not to play unless the university President stepped down, and then as, on Monday, both the President and Chancellor resigned. The seeming climax of the story is what made it national news. But how did all this happen? A thorough timeline and description of events can be found here, though it’s easy enough to find numerous other sources.

Overpopulation Panic

As of this writing, there are about 7.38 billion people in the world. Accounting for births and deaths, global population goes up by about 200,000 people each day. The number of humans on Earth is expected to peak around 10 billion near the end of this century, though predictions certainly vary. What does all this mean? In 1968, Paul Ehrlich published _The Population Bomb. _He predicted mass starvation and global chaos–breakdowns in order, in society.

Technology is not Building Utopia

Digital technology has revolutionized our world. Before the invention of electronic computers, complex calculations could only be performed by humans, at best with mechanical aids that moderately sped up the process. Now, computers are powerful enough to solve problems in a fraction of a second that would take even a mathematically gifted human minutes if not much, much longer. The Internet enables near-instantaneous communication to almost anywhere on Earth. Information technologies are shaking up and radically changing different industries all the time.