Note to recruiters

Note to recruiters: We are quite aware that recruiters, interviewers, VCs and other professionals generally perform a Google Search before they interview someone, take a pitch from someone, et cetera. Please keep in mind that not everything put on the Internet must align directly to one's future career and/or one's future product portfolio. Sometimes, people do put things on the Internet just because. Just because. It may be out of their personal interests, which may have nothing to do with their professional interests. Or it may be for some other reason. Recruiters seem to have this wrong-headed notion that if somebody is not signalling their interests in a certain area online, then that means that they are not interested in that area at all. It is worth pointing out that economics pretty much underlies the areas of marketing, strategy, operations and finance. And this blog is about economics. With metta, let us. by all means, be reflective about this whole business of business. Also, see our post on "The Multi-faceted Identity Problem".

Friday, September 14, 2012

Elijah the Prophet : a fantasy with riddle

For no particular reason other than the fact that the story has a riddle in the end, here is an extract from a story by Sholem Aleichem.

 An old man with a great gray beard down to his knees. An old face, yellow, wrinkled endlessly, fine and good. And eyes-such eyes. Good tender friendly loving and faithful eyes. Stooped over a great, great cane with a sack on his shoulders-and sha shtill, he comes wordlessly straight to me.

“Nu, yingeleh get into the sack,” says the old man to me so softly and sweetly.

I ask him: “To where?” He replies: “You’ll see afterwards.” I don’t want to go.” He tells me again. I ask him: “How can I go with you? I’m a rich man’s son.” Says he: “So you’re a rich man’s son, what yichus [family connection] is that? By me, you’re not an only son.” Say I: “Fussed over, from seven the sole survivor. They’ll find out that I’m gone and they’ll not be able to bear it. They’ll die, especially Mama.” He looks at me, the old man, softly and sweetly like earlier: “If you don’t come with me, sleep well, but sleep forever.” I begin to cry: “Does that mean that I will die? They’ll not be able to endure it, especially Mama.” “You don’t want to die? Then come with me. Separate from your parents and come.” “What do you mean? How can I go? I’m an only son, from seven the sole survivor.” He speaks up more strongly to me: “For the last time, yingel, choose one of the two: either separate forever from your parents and come with me or remain here and sleep forever. Forever.”

When he finished these words he took a step away from me and turned to the door. What should I do? Go with the old man God knows where, to oblivion–and my parents would die? An only son, from seven the sole survivor? Or remain here and sleep forever? That means that I myself would die. I hold out to him both my hands with tears in my eyes: “Elyohu HaNovi, good, loving Elyohu, give me a moment to think.” He turns to me his fine old yellow wrinkled face with the great gray beard down to his knees. He looks at me with his fine good loving faithful eyes and gives me a smile: “One minute I give you to think, my child, but no more.”

The old man leans on his great, great cane and waits.

The question is: what could I devise in that minute so that I needn’t have to go with the old man or sleep forever. Ah, nu, who can guess?

Update (September 10): A correction : it isn't quite true that this story was posted for no particular reason. I sent the piece below "Now, I don't want to sound like a politician ..." to a professor and he said that this piece reminded him of Sholem Aleichem. It is the sort of stuff I was aiming for. It is not that I had Sholem Aleichem specifically in mind, but it is done in the same folksy sort of a way and it is, like, you know, kind of intended to talk about everyday people and their concerns, but it is also designed to satirize larger things. So, color me pleased.