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".

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Drop down menus and radio buttons, two new linguistic constructs for the English language

For those of our readers who survived the End of the World : a big Welcome Back to you.

So I was on email with David Peterson, the President of ConLang, an organization that I came to know about just a few days ago, and had invited him here to the Bay Area. I was emailing him after I read about John Quijada in the New Yorker. Here is my email reply to him.

Hi David,

Thanks so much for letting us know.

I was just checking with you to see if you wanted to give a talk. Please feel free to refer others such John Quijada via email ids if you think they might {[find our location more convenient|be equally suitable choices|have interested in giving a talk]}.

Best wishes,


I have a typo there ('interested' should be 'interest) but you can something different in my email reply to him. I have used the "{[ ... ]}" construct. This is a new construct for natural languages such as English. Think of it as a radio button choice menu for the English language.

The problem for me was that I was emailing a person I had come to know about only recently. I wanted to tell him to refer other people if they would find the Bay Area more convenient to drive to and/or if other people would be equally suitable choices and/or have interest in giving a talk, but these three choices are a sort of a radio button menu where you can pick one or more of the given choices. Using and/or is unwieldy but more importantly, in mathematical terms, is not isomorphous to the choice set with the radio button menu option. Addressing someone an email like this is totally okay because people receive emails all the time with HTML having embedded links and other GUI artifacts. This sort of a construct is, in my opinion, more elegant.

Another thing I would like to introduce is the drop down menu construct for English. The idea here is to offer greater ability to specify choices. Of course, you can always say - please pick one of the above. But there are advantages to having a drop-down menu such as construct reuse. You could say something along the lines of 'Are you coming for the party?  I just want to know whether it is a{{[ Yes | No | Maybe | Will Decide later ]}}"'.

You could have predefined constructs such as #RE_YNMW which stands for the construct given above. So that email would be abbreviated to:

'Are you coming for the party? I just want to know whether it is a #RE_YNMW'

These two options together form a conlang, a constructed language "built" on English. It would be perfectly understandable to speakers of English, of course, when you use them. That is all for today.

And so finally, before I sign off, people, give yourselves a pat on the back. You guys just survived the Apocalypse.

Update: Fixed some typos. Added penultimate paragraph.