Comment On Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

You Wore a T-Shirt?! (from John) [expand full text]
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Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 12:28 • by Brogrammer (unregistered)
397100 in reply to 397092
Ozz:
Brogrammer:

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'Atlas Shrugged.' One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."
The sad thing is, some people actually believe this.
So tell me, where does Ayn Rand have it wrong?
Pretty much everything, truth be told. There are plenty of resources out there on that fertile topic.

Another great quote, this one from the late Christopher Hitchens: "As a fiction writer, she's absurd. But if you're young and not particularly wanted and not particularly brilliant, reading Atlas Shrugged provides all the feelings of compensation one might need for any period of terrifying inadequacy."

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 12:40 • by Timothy Baldridge (unregistered)
397101 in reply to 397052
milliams:
Mr. Manager
We just say 'manager'.


"So 3 pirates want to split the money in the Banana Stand..."

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 12:45 • by A Fantastic Opportunity (unregistered)
Job Recruiters == Used Car Salesmen

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 13:00 • by synp (unregistered)
397103 in reply to 397061
Wildcatmike:
So, the WTF is that as a college student this got a great job offer, presumably starting after graduation, and it obviously comes with the option to decline at any point down the road (at will employment and whatnot), and the idiot declined the offer just because a manager got mixed up and accidentally gave him the answers ahead of time? Did I get that right, because, yeah, WTF?


There's no "accidentally" about this. The manager decided to hire him during the phone interview. Everything else is just gaming the office bureaucracy to get what he wants.

thedailywtf.com readers are not the only ones with disdain for "the process"

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 13:14 • by Svensson (unregistered)
397104 in reply to 397061
Wildcatmike:
So, the WTF is that as a college student this got a great job offer, presumably starting after graduation, and it obviously comes with the option to decline at any point down the road (at will employment and whatnot), and the idiot declined the offer just because a manager got mixed up and accidentally gave him the answers ahead of time? Did I get that right, because, yeah, WTF?


If he accepts it and then quits after 6 months, he will spend the next 10 years explaining to HR people why he left his first job so quickly -- that is, those HR people who will ask instead of just shoving his resume to the bottom of the pile.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 13:29 • by jay (unregistered)
397105 in reply to 397071
Paul:
Parker:
There are five pirates splitting 100 gold coins...
Just burn copies of the coins for everyone!
Apparently you've confused "pirates" and "politicians".

Here's how it works:

1. The five inhabitants of island A use the gold coins to keep track of trades they make among themselves. When one gathers coconuts and brings them back for all to enjoy, the others each give him a gold coin (they're small coins...) as recognition of his efforts on their behalf. Later, when he wants to expand his hut, he gives a coin each to the two who help him, but not to the two who don't.

By this process, over time, it becomes apparent who is the most valuable member of their small community, and who is basically napping most every day. (Let's call him Larry.) Larry finds increasing difficulty getting the others to do things he needs, since he is running out of gold coins. This provides an incentive for him to get off his ass and either fend for himself or start doing something useful to others.

2. One of the inhabitants (let's call him Karl) persuades the others that it is a pain lugging heavy coins around all day, and they could accomplish the same record-keeping function by scratching numbers on banana leaves. Two of the others, being basically idiots, don't realize that banana leaves are much easier to obtain than additional gold coins, so they vote for the plan and Karl has a majority.

3. After some time passes, Karl moves to the next phase of his diabolical master plan. He points out, tears flowing, that Larry is practically starving and has a leaky hut that is about to fall down. The solution, obviously, is to mark up some new banana leaves and give them to Larry. Then he can be as comfortable as everyone else.

4. After some more time passes, the islanders notice that Karl's scheme has not actually increased the total amount of work being done. Four people are still working and Larry is still napping. Actually things have got slightly worse because Larry now naps all day every day, having no incentive to perform even the minimal self-care he did before.

What has happened is that Karl's scheme has gradually reduced the value of the islanders' gold coins, because when one of them wants to buy a pile of coconuts for one gold coin, Larry can outbid him with a banana leaf that says "two" on it. Whenever Larry runs out of banana leaves, Karl just gives him some more. But the gold coins are still in limited supply.

5. The other islanders observe that weakness is rewarded and strength is penalized, so they all stop working. Everyone starves to death.

* * *

Do you ever wonder why the do-gooder politicians don't just take their "solutions" seriously and have the government write a ten million dollar check to everybody? What could possibly be more fair? Then we'd all be wealthy. Wouldn't we?


Technical correction on point 4: There is less total useful work being done, because Karl is now no longer able to fish or maintain huts because he is too busy making marks on banana leaves, deciding who should get which bananas leaves, and monitoring the conversations of the other islanders to be sure that no one is engaged in hate crimes against Larry, like complaining that he doesn't work.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 13:51 • by jay (unregistered)
397106 in reply to 397100
Brogrammer:
Ozz:
Brogrammer:

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'Atlas Shrugged.' One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."
The sad thing is, some people actually believe this.
So tell me, where does Ayn Rand have it wrong?
Pretty much everything, truth be told. There are plenty of resources out there on that fertile topic.

Another great quote, this one from the late Christopher Hitchens: "As a fiction writer, she's absurd. But if you're young and not particularly wanted and not particularly brilliant, reading Atlas Shrugged provides all the feelings of compensation one might need for any period of terrifying inadequacy."


Yes, because idealistic young people leap on capitalism because they're naive and simplistic. But it's impossible to imagine idealistic young people leaping on socialism because they're naive and simplistic: obviously they only turn to socialism because they have carefully studied the issues involved and concluded that this is the moral and pragmatic way to go. Socialism is SO grounded in hard facts, rational evaluation of human behavior, and empirical analysis.

In general, people who disagree with you must think that way because they are blindly following some demagogic leader, or their professed ideas are all a cover for selfishness and bigotry, or some such. But people who agree with you obviously think that way because they have carefully analyzed the facts and thought things through to their logical conclusion.

Seriously now. Even if you are absolutely convinced that someone is wrong, can't you at least consider the possibility that he arrived at his conclusions by honest evaluation and reasonable thought?

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 14:02 • by jay (unregistered)
RE the second interview: Ok, I wasn't there, so maybe the story doesn't give the full sense of how the interview went. But a manager makes a mistake in an interview, you try to correct him and he brushes you off. So what?

Suppose the situation was reversed. You talked to a manager over the phone. In the course of the interview you asked him a couple of questions about the company. Then you are called in for a second interview. You ask one of the same questions, forgetting that you already asked it. Perhaps you are getting this interview confused with an interview with another company. He points out that you already asked this question. Sure you had not, you brush him off.

The company decides not to make you an offer because they conclude you are an idiot who cannot remember what he's already asked. You could submit this as a "Tales from the Interview": "They wouldn't hire me just because I forgot and asked the same question twice!"

Every job interview I've ever gone on where there was more than one interviewer, I've been asked the same questions over and over. Why couldn't they just talk to each other and share the answers? If you meet the same person twice, it's not startling to suppose he might be confused about which questions he already asked. I just don't see how it's that big a deal.

I could see this being a minus. If there were twenty things wrong with the company, yeah, this might tip the score. But if otherwise it looked like a good job, I wouldn't see this as a deal-breaker.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 14:25 • by CFO Idiot (unregistered)
5 pirates can split 100 coins down the middle with their swashbucklin' swords and each pirate gets whatever the hell they want.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 14:28 • by A developer (unregistered)
I would have taken the second job because it would be easy to fool the damn ass manager any time you wanted.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 14:30 • by PedanticCurmudgeon
397111 in reply to 397100
Brogrammer:
Pretty much everything, truth be told. There are plenty of resources out there on that fertile topic.
Interesting. The first link doesn't at all support your claim that Ayn Rand had pretty much everything wrong; the second is from GQ. Not that there's anything wrong with GQ, but expecting philosophical rigor from them is like going to an auto parts store for groceries.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 14:33 • by Jack 27 (unregistered)
397112 in reply to 397096
emurphy:
@Deprecated:
daef:
the games more complicated (the rules include rules about the oldest being allowed to decide who gets what and pirates being greedy and it happening them to be not only pirates but also perfect mathematicians and logicians...)

long story short: 98-0-1-0-1... google for more ;-)

</spoiler>


If I were the last pirate, I would vote 'no' to getting one gold coin, so that head pirate gets what's coming to him for being a greedy bastard!

Totally worth 1 gold coin.


The way the rules are set up, the next alternative after 98-0-1-0-1 is dead-99-dead-1-dead. If you hate the head pirate that badly, then take the 1 gold coin anyway and then poison his fish heads. :)


No, the next alternative is dead-99-0-1-0.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 14:34 • by John Hensley (unregistered)
397113 in reply to 397045
Recursive Reclusive:
So the WTF is that two qualified candidates were offered jobs?

Seems the companies weren't qualified.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 14:40 • by Jazz (unregistered)
397114 in reply to 397111
PedanticCurmudgeon:
Brogrammer:
Pretty much everything, truth be told. There are plenty of resources out there on that fertile topic.
Interesting. The first link doesn't at all support your claim that Ayn Rand had pretty much everything wrong; the second is from GQ. Not that there's anything wrong with GQ, but expecting philosophical rigor from them is like going to an auto parts store for groceries.


To be fair, if you're wondering why [some work of fiction] by [author who writes only fiction] is wrong, it's entirely reasonable to expect that the articles would look more like literary criticisms than philosophical treatises.

TRWTF is that this article didn't include any amusing HTML comments or links to cornify.js.

(Captcha: opto -- I'd like to opto out of Randian politics.)

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 14:40 • by Jack 27 (unregistered)
397115 in reply to 397092
Here's where she has it wrong. Her philosophy requires everyone to act first in his/her own self interest. But, in the real world, a lot of people are idiots.

She assumes there will be consequences for those that act against their self interest, which will persuade them to act differently. But those consequences cannot always come fast enough to prevent the collapse of the entire system.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 14:41 • by Aargle Zymurgy (unregistered)
I think what a lot of people are missing is that in an employment situation it's a business situation where both sides are accepting a relationship. For those of you asking why the potential employees are rejecting the jobs clearly are assuming this is strictly one sided (or perhaps you think it should be).

I did the same thing once. When I was once looking for some work, I was directed to a web page with a quiz on C programming. It was fraught with errors. Multiple choice questions with no correct answer, mis-leading questions, questions that revealed that the writer knew C, but only very badly. From the phone interview, I knew the test was created by their top guy; someone I'd have to answer to. I did not need that kind of agony.

I already went through the above with one job. My manager was a BASIC programmer. He didn't understand the ternary operator, so he banned its use. The upper management insisted the work be done in C, but that didn't sit well with him. He created a collection of macros named PRINT, BEGIN, and END as replacments for printf and { and }. (As you can guess, there were dozens of other replacements.) The company was growing, so the influx of experienced C programmers grew and he never could get control of them to force his "standards." Heck, citing employees for insubordination on the issue would have been liking giving speeding tickets at the Indy 500. (That company and my observations during my brief tenure there should be good for at least 2-3 DWTFs.... time to fire up e-mail.)

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 14:44 • by John Hensley (unregistered)
Btw, Ayn Rand fans, do please hijack this section to tell us all about your lives as captains of industry carried aloft by her moral syllogisms, lest anyone think that you're just the usual insignificanrt antisocial nerds trying to compensate for your lack of recognition from the plebeian masses.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 14:58 • by Ozz (unregistered)
397118 in reply to 397117
John Hensley:
Btw, Ayn Rand fans, do please hijack this section to tell us all about your lives as captains of industry carried aloft by her moral syllogisms, lest anyone think that you're just the usual insignificanrt antisocial nerds trying to compensate for your lack of recognition from the plebeian masses.
Resort is had to ridicule only when reason is against us. --Thomas Jefferson.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 15:00 • by darkmatter
397119 in reply to 397052
milliams:
Mr. Manager
We just say 'manager'.


You are my hero.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 15:01 • by John Hensley (unregistered)
They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown -- Carl Sagan

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 15:24 • by PedanticCurmudgeon
397121 in reply to 397114
Jazz:

To be fair, if you're wondering why [some work of fiction] by [author who writes only fiction] is wrong
Not sure if trolling or woefully ignorant... Most of Rand's writing is non-fiction and can be found in the philosophy section of your local bookstore.

Disclaimer: I don't agree with Randian philosophy either.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 15:28 • by bgodot
I had an interview at a Microsoft-wannabe place once.

They asked the cliche riddle of "Where is the one place you can walk south one mile, west one mile, and north one mile, and end up exactly where you started?"

The traditional answer is the North Pole.

However, given a little thought, there is also an infinite series of concentric rings (> 1 mile, and <= (1+(1/2pi)) miles I think) around the south pole, where you can walk towards the pole, do a whole number of laps, then walk one mile north to your starting point.

They refused to understand that possibility, and I don't think they were just seeing how well I would stick to my position (because I didn't budge from it)

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 15:31 • by Joe (unregistered)
397123 in reply to 397079
aaa:
Paul:
Apparently you've confused "pirates" and "politicians".

Apparently you've confused "how the world works" with "Ayn Rand fanfic".

Wait, where was the fanfic? There wasn't any sex in that post!

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 15:56 • by Befuddled (unregistered)
397124 in reply to 397061
I second that. I'm way into my career and if an offer like came up and I turned it down, it would certainly not be because a busy manager mixed up some names.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 16:36 • by An innocent abroad (unregistered)
397125 in reply to 397121
PedanticCurmudgeon:
Not sure if trolling or woefully ignorant... Most of Rand's writing is non-fiction and can be found in the philosophy section of your local bookstore.

Yes, but that's mostly because my local bookstore is shit. It has all kinds of popular science books mixed up with spiritualist crap on a single 'science' shelf.

The only reason I can see for Rand stuff not being in the fiction/literature part of a normal bookstore, is that it is so incredibly badly written. For a philosophical tome you kind of forgive/expect it to be hard going, so it's a natural home. It's turgid, incoherent, switches from narrative to dry lecturing and back haphazardly, there's no overarching structure / narrative arc, etc etc.

Admittedly, I've only read Fountainhead (didn't see the movie, natch) and Atlas. Which make up the vast bulk of her sales, and are definitely in the Fiction, not the Philosophy shelf of a decent bookshop.

Even the 'pirate' puzzle already shows Rand is wrong on her fundamental assumptions: the absurd outcome is only due to the assumption that humans/pirates are coldly logical. The rise of cooperation/altruism in everything from bacterial colonies, human and animal societies, and game theoretic models is another good indication. She doesn't even have a grasp nor explanation for occasional 'you scratch my back & I'll scratch yours' opportunistic cooperation.

Also:
jay:

Yes, because idealistic young people leap on capitalism because they're naive and simplistic. But it's impossible to imagine idealistic young people leaping on socialism because they're naive and simplistic:

Where did socialism suddenly come from?! Or is this your entry in the "Weakest Strawman of the Year" competition? It has the same logic as "You're against Stalinism? Then you support Nazism!". I know it's the endorsed American view that you're either with or against 'Us', but do grow up, the world is not Boolean. (Not even extended-Boolean with an 'unsure', 'file-not-found', 'etc' category.)

jay:

(...) Seriously now.
No, that train has left the station. A long time ago.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 17:42 • by some guy (unregistered)
397127 in reply to 397071
Paul:
Parker:
There are five pirates splitting 100 gold coins...
Just burn copies of the coins for everyone!
Apparently you've confused "pirates" and "politicians".

Here's how it works:

One of the inhabitants (let's call him Karl) persuades the others that it is a pain lugging heavy coins around all day, and they could accomplish the same record-keeping function by scratching numbers on banana leaves.


The only reason this failed is because all 4 of them were stupid enough to not realise that banana leaves are huge and much heavier than gold coins

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 17:58 • by some guy (unregistered)
397129 in reply to 397122
bgodot:
I had an interview at a Microsoft-wannabe place once.

They asked the cliche riddle of "Where is the one place you can walk south one mile, west one mile, and north one mile, and end up exactly where you started?"

The traditional answer is the North Pole.

However, given a little thought, there is also an infinite series of concentric rings (> 1 mile, and <= (1+(1/2pi)) miles I think) around the south pole, where you can walk towards the pole, do a whole number of laps, then walk one mile north to your starting point.

They refused to understand that possibility, and I don't think they were just seeing how well I would stick to my position (because I didn't budge from it)


This is probably because you were wrong about. The final step is to walk north one mile. There is no place from which you can move north, and reach the south pole when you're any distance away from the south pole.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 18:24 • by Dave-Sir (unregistered)
397130 in reply to 397129
some guy:
bgodot:
I had an interview at a Microsoft-wannabe place once.

They asked the cliche riddle of "Where is the one place you can walk south one mile, west one mile, and north one mile, and end up exactly where you started?"

The traditional answer is the North Pole.

However, given a little thought, there is also an infinite series of concentric rings (> 1 mile, and <= (1+(1/2pi)) miles I think) around the south pole, where you can walk towards the pole, do a whole number of laps, then walk one mile north to your starting point.

They refused to understand that possibility, and I don't think they were just seeing how well I would stick to my position (because I didn't budge from it)


This is probably because you were wrong about. The final step is to walk north one mile. There is no place from which you can move north, and reach the south pole when you're any distance away from the south pole.

The goal is not to reach the south pole. The goal is to reach your starting point. Which, as the OP stated, is > 1 mile north of the south pole.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 18:27 • by Matt Westwood
397131 in reply to 397084
Brogrammer:
aaa:
Paul:
Apparently you've confused "pirates" and "politicians".

Apparently you've confused "how the world works" with "Ayn Rand fanfic".

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'Atlas Shrugged.' One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."


Bah. At 14, I was reading Dune and Zelazny. LotR was kids stuff.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 18:48 • by Chris (unregistered)
397132 in reply to 397121
PedanticCurmudgeon:
Jazz:

To be fair, if you're wondering why [some work of fiction] by [author who writes only fiction] is wrong
Not sure if trolling or woefully ignorant... Most of Rand's writing is non-fiction and can be found in the philosophy section of your local bookstore.

Disclaimer: I don't agree with Randian philosophy either.


Much of Philosophy is just fiction that people take a bit to seriously.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 18:51 • by moz (unregistered)
397133 in reply to 397077
erat:
Somalian pirates, or Caribbean pirates?

Good question. In the former case, the first pirate just gets back onto the insurance company and explains that you need 500 gold pieces. Then everyone's happy. Except maybe the ship's crew.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 19:04 • by Anon (unregistered)
397134 in reply to 397071
Clearly. I mean, not once in the entire history of man has someone who worked their ass off ever starved to death or died penniless.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 19:12 • by Anon (unregistered)
397135 in reply to 397132
Chris:
PedanticCurmudgeon:
Jazz:

To be fair, if you're wondering why [some work of fiction] by [author who writes only fiction] is wrong
Not sure if trolling or woefully ignorant... Most of Rand's writing is non-fiction and can be found in the philosophy section of your local bookstore.

Disclaimer: I don't agree with Randian philosophy either.


Much of Philosophy is just fiction that people take a bit to seriously.


The holy books of many religions are also frequently located in the non-fiction section. That does not make them so.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 20:56 • by Bern (unregistered)
397137 in reply to 397071
Well, you know that's only a hypothetical example.

In the *real* world, one of the five (let's call him Bill) has, through fair means & foul, managed to amass 90% of all the gold coins.

Three of the remaining four, needing gold coins to trade, want to do work for Bill to earn them. Bill says, "Sure, but I'll only give work to the lowest bidder."

The others are so desperate to get coins, that Bill not only gets his own needs fulfilled, but hires others at a discount to do the work that he gets paid gold coins for in the first place, taking 50-90% of all the income generated.

The end result is that Bill lives a life of luxury, ends up with an even higher proportion of the coins, the 'middle class' get barely enough to scrape by on, and Larry spends his days poring through the trash heap, eating scraps and hoping like hell someone will throw out a blanket before winter arrives...

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 21:28 • by Ned (unregistered)
397138 in reply to 397137
Bern:
In the *real* world, one of the five (let's call him Bill) has, through fair means & foul, managed to amass 90% of all the gold coins.
I'd be interested in more details about your backstory. Should the "fair means" have been rewarded? Should the "foul" have been punished? If so, why weren't they?

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 22:19 • by Norman Diamond (unregistered)
397139 in reply to 397082
Mark Bowytz:
I flipped the category bit on the article hoping that it would calm them, but it only made the situation worse.
Well sure, because you didn't say what value you flipped it to. Think a bit. FileNotFound or (BOOL)-1?

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 22:25 • by foo (unregistered)
397140 in reply to 397127
some guy:
Paul:
Here's how it works:

One of the inhabitants (let's call him Karl) persuades the others that it is a pain lugging heavy coins around all day, and they could accomplish the same record-keeping function by scratching numbers on banana leaves.


The only reason this failed is because all 4 of them were stupid enough to not realise that banana leaves are huge and much heavier than gold coins
Come on now! This is a serious discussion of capitalism. Facts have no place here.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 22:30 • by foo (unregistered)
397141 in reply to 397122
bgodot:
I had an interview at a Microsoft-wannabe place once.

They asked the cliche riddle of "Where is the one place you can walk south one mile, west one mile, and north one mile, and end up exactly where you started?"

The traditional answer is the North Pole.

However, given a little thought, there is also an infinite series of concentric rings (> 1 mile, and <= (1+(1/2pi)) miles I think) around the south pole, where you can walk towards the pole, do a whole number of laps, then walk one mile north to your starting point.

They refused to understand that possibility, and I don't think they were just seeing how well I would stick to my position (because I didn't budge from it)
Funny. I was asked this puzzle with the additional stipulation "it's not the North pole", so they were looking for the ring -- though it seemed they were unaware there are (infinitely) many rings, they only thought of the first one. BTW, this was around 1990, so it's actually sad that some people apparently still don't know (or even refuse to learn) about the alternative solutions.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 22:33 • by flabdablet (unregistered)
397142 in reply to 397071
Paul:
Do you ever wonder why the do-gooder politicians don't just take their "solutions" seriously and have the government write a ten million dollar check to everybody? What could possibly be more fair? Then we'd all be wealthy. Wouldn't we?


My God, you're right. Why have I not seen it before? Your explanation has made things so obvious! We just leave Larry and Karl in charge of all the banana leaves and their enormous and growing wealth will naturally trickle down on all of us, yes?

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 22:40 • by TK (unregistered)
397143 in reply to 397134
Anon:
Clearly. I mean, not once in the entire history of man has someone who worked their ass off ever starved to death or died penniless.
Of course capitalists never made such a claim.

To those who pointed out that capitalism is flawed because people don't always act in their own best interests: you're absolutely right! In fact, you are so correct that you've also found the reason why socialism and communism don't work either!

Capitalism isn't perfect. It just sucks less that the alternatives. But by itself, it is not enough.

And that is where Ayn Rand fails. She does a great job of explaining how Big Government is always doomed to failure, but her answer is overly simplistic.

A successful society needs to respect private property and the right to keep the fruits of your own labors, but it also must encourage voluntary charity to the poor. Once "charity" becomes an "entitlement," (something you are "entitled to") then everything goes to hell like Ayn says. If it's a voluntary gift from those who are successful to those down on their luck, that entitlement mentality (envy, really) is less likely to trap the poor. It's a self-correcting system: if they stop being grateful for the charity of others, that charity is likely to dry up.

However, if the "charity" comes from the government, then it's your right, dammit! I don't need to work, just gimme my moneys!

This attitude is not sustainable, and it's bankrupt nations around the world.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 22:58 • by hgrieo (unregistered)
397144 in reply to 397049
Smug Unix User:
1 pirate gets 100 coins and kills the others. They are pirates they don't share.
Oh, this is an ITIL thing....

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 23:00 • by jim (unregistered)
397145 in reply to 397056
emaNrouY-Here:
I suppose I'm naive to have taken the offer from the second story. Well, unless there were other offers available.

One thing that job candidates may forget (but is repeated oft on this forum) the interview process is a two-way road. You are interviewing the company, so come prepared. And the company is interviewing you, they will (hopefully) be prepared.
Agrrrrreed. Though bemused, I would have taken the second job (and probably still considered the first....)

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-13 23:27 • by Prof Foop (unregistered)
Five pirates download 100 tunes. How many tunes did each get.? How many years did each get.?

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-14 00:07 • by Bill C. (unregistered)
If she wore a T-shirt when interviewing me, it would be dirty by the time she went home. But she'd still get the job!

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-14 00:19 • by JustSomeGuy (unregistered)
397148 in reply to 397106
Socialism was never going to work because of its underlying essence: "from everyone according to their ability, to everyone according to their need".

The reason it would never work is because, while resources are limited, desires are not.

Even if it had lasted a thousand years (and it didn't get antwhere near that), that would still be a piss in the ocean compared to civilisation itself.

jay:
Brogrammer:
Ozz:
Brogrammer:

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'Atlas Shrugged.' One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."
The sad thing is, some people actually believe this.
So tell me, where does Ayn Rand have it wrong?
Pretty much everything, truth be told. There are plenty of resources out there on that fertile topic.

Another great quote, this one from the late Christopher Hitchens: "As a fiction writer, she's absurd. But if you're young and not particularly wanted and not particularly brilliant, reading Atlas Shrugged provides all the feelings of compensation one might need for any period of terrifying inadequacy."


Yes, because idealistic young people leap on capitalism because they're naive and simplistic. But it's impossible to imagine idealistic young people leaping on socialism because they're naive and simplistic: obviously they only turn to socialism because they have carefully studied the issues involved and concluded that this is the moral and pragmatic way to go. Socialism is SO grounded in hard facts, rational evaluation of human behavior, and empirical analysis.

In general, people who disagree with you must think that way because they are blindly following some demagogic leader, or their professed ideas are all a cover for selfishness and bigotry, or some such. But people who agree with you obviously think that way because they have carefully analyzed the facts and thought things through to their logical conclusion.

Seriously now. Even if you are absolutely convinced that someone is wrong, can't you at least consider the possibility that he arrived at his conclusions by honest evaluation and reasonable thought?

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-14 00:30 • by Someone (unregistered)
397149 in reply to 397060
GNU Pepper:

...will feel free to treat you like crap and attempt to bully you if you're the only thing left standing between them and their commission.

I once called an end to the interview process after a first interview. My long-term plans changed slightly and I didn't want to live in that particular part of the country any more. When I informed the recruiter that I would not be attending my second interview, I don't think I've ever experienced such a quick, polar shift in somebody's demeanour towards me. From one moment to the next this person went from friendly and encouraging to angry and rude. He seemed genuinely disgusted that I wouldn't reconsider my plans for my entire life for the sake of his chance at a couple of thousand pounds of commission.


Same thing happened to me a few months ago. Polite, flirting, happy to help, up till I stalled on making a decision (I was waiting on another offer), and downright hostile when I said that I wasn't interested.

Even went so far as to call the company and get them to call me directly. I had no issues with them, but the recruiters hostility has turned me off recruiters ever since.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-14 01:12 • by foo (unregistered)
397150 in reply to 397148
JustSomeGuy:
Socialism was never going to work because of its underlying essence: "from everyone according to their ability, to everyone according to their need".

The reason it would never work is because, while resources are limited, desires are not.
Need != desire.
Even if it had lasted a thousand years (and it didn't get antwhere near that), that would still be a piss in the ocean compared to civilisation itself.
So which system did last a thousand years anyway? The Pharaos' rule, or perhaps medieval monarchies.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-14 01:21 • by Norman Diamond (unregistered)
397151 in reply to 397150
foo:
So which system did last a thousand years anyway? The Pharaos' rule, or perhaps medieval monarchies.
Here's one:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_House_of_Japan:
The imperial house recognizes 125 monarchs beginning with the legendary Emperor Jimmu (traditionally dated to February 11, 660 BC) and continuing up to the current emperor, Akihito; see its family tree. However, there is no historical evidence for the genealogical relationships, and in most cases even the existence, of the first 25 emperors.
Fallout from Tepco will last longer.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-14 01:24 • by Dave (unregistered)
397152 in reply to 397048
Black Bart:
I'd have guessed that each pirate should get 20 gold coins.


No, they were all caught up in a dawn raid by the RIAA, and even their 20 Linden Dollars didn't help them get out of it.

Re: Tales from the Interview - You Wore a T-Shirt?!

2012-12-14 01:54 • by Rand Fan (unregistered)
397153 in reply to 397150
foo:
JustSomeGuy:
Socialism was never going to work because of its underlying essence: "from everyone according to their ability, to everyone according to their need".

The reason it would never work is because, while resources are limited, desires are not.
Need != desire.


No, but desire does not magically disappear when socialism is instituted. Pretending otherwise is just as simplistic as pretending that everyone is purely greedy or complete knowledge of the entire market is possible.

As a Rand fan (really an Adam Smith fan, which I find simplified as well, but Rand provides a simplified version of Smith...), I put forth the following claim: Both her perspective of capitalism as well as the ideas of socialism are simplistic. I further put forth, having read Marx' Communist Manifesto, that communism was a grab for power and an attempt to make the workers revolt against the investors.

If you've never read them, I strongly recommend reading all sources mentioned. It's illuminating.
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