I have discovered that LinkedIn is an amazing new absurdist medium for creative expression.
I started to realize the potential of LinkedIn as Artist’s Medium in February, 2014, when I retired from Wall Street. After updating my end-date for my old job, on a whim I added a new position:
MY NEW LINKEDIN POSITION ENTERED FEBRUARY, 2014:
Company: Rat Race
Dates: July, 1968 – February, 2014.
I was just having fun. I didn’t expect anything to happen. Who looks at anything anyone writes on their LinkedIn profile anyway? The modal message is, “See how great I am.” That is only slightly less annoying than Facebook, where everyone is screaming “Look at me (and what I ate for lunch).” Yuck.
But after I officially retired as Rat from The Rat Race I immediately began receiving the most charming notes from people. I reconnected with some people I hadn’t talked to in a long time and made some new friends.
It was wonderful for a while, But, then it died down.
Then I added a new entry called Human at Human Race, that runs from October, 1952, to present.
I got a new flurry of new messages, and it was all good again.
Peter Pichler of Stockholm is one of the wisest, most productive, rational, scientifically trained, and humane people I know. He is also one of the best computer programmers around. When I’m in Sweden I seek him out the way a novice seeks a sensei. Continue reading “Time is Infinite”
by Brooke Allen
In February of 2014 I retired after 30 years of navigating the moral minefield that we call Wall Street.
I was looking forward to a stress-free retirement.
My problems began when I spent the month of August, 2014 in Edinburgh for the largest arts festival in the world, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The summer I was there 23,762 performers from 51 countries put on 49,497 performances of 3,193 shows in 299 venues.
Should “caveat emptor” be the operative philosophy when colleges market to students, or should they hold themselves to a higher standard than, say, a drug dealer?
Emory University confessed that for 11 years it has been fudging data it sent in for U. S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings. The publisher said that, “Our preliminary calculations show that the misreported data would not have changed the school’s ranking in the past two years (No. 20) and would likely have had a small to negligible effect in the several years prior.” (Read the article here.)
This second confession by U. S. News only serves to prove that their ranking methodology is deeply flawed. Since integrity is such a major part of character, confessed cheating should drop you to Dead Last in the rankings, and a cover-up should get you barred altogether pending review by the accrediting authorities.
Of course, despicable behavior by colleges may be just another clever marketing ploy intended to send a message to the vast pool of students who embrace cheating: “Come here; you are our kind of people.”
For 2 decades, I have made a living deploying mathematical models to find hidden value in the securities markets. This is a difficult problem because these markets are very efficient, meaning that it’s very hard to do better than just showing up and stating your needs. Consider the stock market: If you want to buy a share of Microsoft stock, you can have your order filled within seconds, knowing that you are within a penny or two of the best price on the planet and that every share is identical to every other one.
On the other hand, you can spend months looking for the best house, because the real-estate market is inefficient. Each house is different, and you won’t fully understand your needs until you begin looking. Your reward for investing time in the search is the pleasure of living in a much better house than one you could find in an afternoon.
As employers, we are also in the market for human capital, which is even less efficient than the real-estate market. Many of the best people are almost impossible to find.