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".

Thursday, January 30, 2014

MISCELLANEOUS: Eleven languages

The BBC is running a story on an Oxford undergraduate who knows 11 languages.
Twenty-year-old Alex Rawlings has won a national competition to find the UK's most multi-lingual student. 
The Oxford University undergraduate can currently speak 11 languages - English, Greek, German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Afrikaans, French, Hebrew, Catalan and Italian. 
Very impressive.

One comment (based on a discussion on Arun Viswanath's Facebook page)- it seems that certain aspects of languages create the most 'grunt work'.

I am thinking, in particular, of gendered nouns here. Every time you have to add a language like French and Hindi to your repertoire, it becomes a time consuming task to learn and keep track of all the new nouns and their associated genders. (And this is one of those things that is important to know well; otherwise, people will be tipped off as you use more and more nouns with incorrect gender). The term 'combinatorial explosion' came to mind, but it is actually not that. The extra data is only O(n) where n is the number of languages. At any rate, the volume of the data that needs to be learned as you add each additional language becomes so large that, at some point, it just becomes progressively more time consuming and ultimately impractical to remember and refresh one's knowledge of it all.