How to get a job at Google
0. coding ability (for tech positions)
1. general cognitive ability, and it’s not I.Q. It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly.
2. leadership ability
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — LAST June, in an interview with Adam Bryant of The Times, Laszlo Bock, the senior vice president of people operations for Google — i.e., the guy in charge of hiring for one of the world’s most successful companies — noted that Google had determined that “G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless. … We found that they don’t predict anything.” He also noted that the “proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time” — now as high as 14 percent on some teams. At a time when many people are asking, “How’s my kid gonna get a job?” I thought it would be useful to visit Google and hear how Bock would answer.
“What if surgeons never got to work on humans, they were instead just endlessly in training, cutting up cadavers? What if the same went for all adults — we only got to practice at simulated versions of our jobs? Lawyers only got to argue mock cases, for years and years. Plumbers only got to fix fake leaks in classrooms. Teachers only got to teach to videocameras, endlessly rehearsing for some far off future. Book writers like me never saw our work put out to the public — our novels sat in drawers. Scientists never got to do original experiments; they only got to recreate scientific experiments of yesteryear. And so on. Rather quickly, all meaning would vanish from our work. Even if we enjoyed the activity of our job, intrinsically, it would rapidly lose depth and relevance. It’d lose purpose. We’d become bored, lethargic, and disengaged. In other words, we’d turn into teenagers.”
— NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children – See more at: http://project-based-homeschooling.com/camp-creek-blog#sthash.ptYWEwqb.dpuf
“Critics who treat adult as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”
— C.S. Lewis
We built an “almost passive house” a few years back, lived in it for 3 years, but then decided to move. Here are some observations after living in our current “normal 1958 house” for a year.
our almost passive house
+ even temps. all year round. in every room.
+ cheap to run — pretty much zero maintenance, utility bills after solar panel offset were $400 and more like $-1100 after Solar SRECs (versus if you add up our January bills… gas+electric+water+sewer+ice dams it is well over $400 for ONE MONTH!)
+ not even close to an ice-dam (steep roof, smallish overhangs, and very insulated and tight)
+ large dedicated kids room (but since in the attic, our young kids didn’t want to be up there on their own much yet)
+ no need for humidifier in winter or dehumidifier in summer. Always pretty much perfect
+ 105 gallon hot water tank meant less likely to run out of hot water with baths and dishwashing and laundry
our normal 1958 house
+ insanely close to the boys school and friends (so huge savings in time and money/CO2 in driving)
+ closer to grocery shopping
+ closer to Boston
+ just generally closer to lots of things
+ the town we are in has much less sandy soil so easier for gardening
+ if one does feel cold (or hot), the traditional gas-fired furnace is obviously much faster to respond and increase the house temp by a degree or two than the mini-splits in the passive-house. But this only probably happened like once.
+ since we are in a more densely populated place, the house has town water, nat. gas, and sewer. Meaning we could probably actually cook, use water, and have hot water in a power outage.
It I were to do it all again?
Not sure. Maybe by a really inexpensive fixer-upper split level ranch really close to the kid’s school and do a deep-energy retrofit? The problem is: it’s impossible to find such a thing normally. So I dunno. No regrets!
The Problem With Little White Girls (and Boys)
(On voluntourism. From a founder of a summer camp in Dominican Republicfor HIV+ children.)
ME: I am similarly useless. Not to mention the expensive airline tickets (and associated CO2) and (for employed people) the opportunity cost of not doing the work one normally does — the income one could instead donate.
“I learned that early — just to let them play. And if I see some things I will say ‘Listen… this is important, this is what you gotta pay attention to.’ ”
— Bobby Carpenter, Former Boston Bruin
Interviewed on “Olympic Zone” 2/19/2014 on TV discussing his hockey playing kids — including his daughter — now Olympian Alex Carpenter
So perfect! This also works great with downhill skiing with kids. No need for structured, formal lessons per se — they sometimes kill the fun. Instead, try lots of actual skiing with some select comments here or there — mostly learning by doing and watching good skiers.
I’m not saying lessons or advice isn’t useful… they certainly are. But in limited doses and most importantly never at the expense of FUN. I’m also not against organized sports where one is following rules carefully … it’s often been my personal experience that playing team sports properly and by the rules is much more fun than just horsing around. But there is also plenty of time for that. So let them play / skate / ski!
A few data points from recent years:
1) A family practice we used to use in Western MA had 2 doctors but 9(?!) office staff, primarily for handling billing. They offered a 40% discount to “self-pay” patients if you paid on the spot instead of having their team deal with payments.
2) While self-pay, we had one bigish event in recent years: There were 10 separate bills from 2 different hospitals, 4 different doctors (ER docs, radiologists, anesthesiologists, orthopedic surgeons), etc. Discounts range from 0% to 60%.
3) While insured recently, we had one bigish event: There were 7 different bills. Same sort of story. It’s no less confusing when on a high-deductible plan than being un-insured because you still get a million bills. The only difference is you don’t need to ask the doctors/facilities to give you a break on the fees because the insurance company does that for you. Similar discounts. Roughly 0-60%.
4) It was cheaper to pay out of pocket while uninsured BUT it’s not exactly that simple because:
4.1) There are now state (and federal) fines for not being insured
4.2) Self-employeed people cannot deduct health care costs unless above 7.5% of income. But they can deduct premiums.
4.3) You can’t have a pre-tax HSA medical-bill savings account unless you have an insurance account.
4.4) Discounts are guaranteed and it’s a pain to deal with this.
5) Back in the olden days when on an HMO with no deductibles, this was alot simpler. Now of course, those plans cost a fortune. Equal to paying the premiums plus the full OOP (Out of pocket max) on most plans with deductibles. So it doesn’t make sense. Less paperwork though.
This is a mess.
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