Thursday, October 19, 2006

Still don't know


Despite my best efforts to hate the career fair, it was fun.

Some fun people and companies, like a Nevada technology company that makes slot machines, or this "normal" technology company - with people I like, actually like - that analyses/tests Internet Protocol performance.

I sort of liked - had never heard of them.

I lost some of my apprehension about DE Shaw, so I'll look into that further.

I saw new "trading" companies besides the ones I'd already decided against. One of them is based in LA and hiring right now. Like "can you start next week?" They like my math, seem like cool people, but are not sure if I really want to be a trader - very perceptive. Another one is doing their first interviews / math tests tomorrow morning, so I'll go and try to see if I remember any math. By the way, traders buy and sell stocks or derivatives or financial products people make up. So far that's beautiful. It's said that they work long hours. Pause.

I cornered a recruiter who was not so busy to learn about how she figured out what to do in life. Answer: elimination. I love old people. And all other people who are not too harried to answer my questions.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

In A New York State of Mind?


Spent the past few days in bed nursing a cold and reading the Wall Street Journal. Would like to do the same today, but I have to take a few hours out to meet the people at the career fair. Used to be good at career fairs; now I'm old and cranky. There's a lot of stupid work out there, y'all. Don't live in this country: it's full of people working very hard at stupid things. Not you of course!

Thought New York / Wall Street work might be fun, until I went to visit my sisters in DC two weeks ago and remembered how intolerable cold weather is to me. Now, I'll only go to work in New York if it's something I really really want, if it pays an evil amount of money, or if it doesn't include October - March.

Would work in DC year-round, on the contrary, since seeing my sisters daily would make up for the cold weather.

Moving to Berkeley, 400 miles NW of Pasadena, in ten days. A guy named Raj.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Beyond Borders


I saw Anousheh Ansari on The Oprah Winfrey Show today. She spent days in orbit around the earth as a space tourist. She loved the lovely view outside her capsule: it was of the earth, and there were no borders, she said. NO BORDERS. Really. Did you know that?

Yet there is such suffering in the name of borders: a Jewish state called Israel, the often deadly northward passage through the Southern half of North America, Bakassi, and hundreds more large-scale conflicts between the in-group and the out.

Are you in the EU, or not in?
In North Korea or South Korea?
Israeli Arab, or born right outside the borders in Palestine/Lebanon?
Northern Moroccan or Southern Spanish?
Who cares - it shouldn't matter. Sadly, it matters too much.

There are people who see that it doesn't have to be this way. I met N. at the film festival. She and I talked about how far we are from where we need to be in designing a peaceful the framework itself, one that divides with borders, is flawed.

There are no borders.

Yes, we have inherited a recent tradition of knowledge that partitions as much as possible, puts things in mutually exclusive classes: this country is in Africa, this in Asia...this is a mammal, but that is a bird. All this grouping is sometimes useful for representing data simply but incompletely. That is, it's not the whole story...not the whole truth...Is this land Camerounian or Nigerian? Maybe the answer is both. Or neither.

Perhaps you dare to dream of a new world order that doesn't have division built into it, but increases freedom. Maybe you dream of something crazier. Hold fast your dreams, anyway.