Searching for a job

I approach the job search as a lengthy process of apply, reflect, refine, repeat.

I won’t get into the resume writing aspect, since there are countless resources out there, so I’ll just say this: identify jobs you’d like to have, aggregate the required skills and qualifications, then write your resume that highlights and frames everything that fits those requirements.

I usually apply to hundreds of jobs. Some I may want. Some I may not want. When I get an interview, I try to learn everything I can about the position and the company, and I sell myself to the best of my ability. I always ask a lot of questions: what are the challenges of the job? What is the ideal candidate? What do you like about my skills and experiences? What don’t you like? Etc. I then fill in the gaps in my resume and cover letter.

In the beginning of a new job search, i usually don’t get many interview requests. My resume may need work, and I’m usually not great at selling myself.

But due to the sheer volume of applications, I do get interviews which in turn allow me to collect data on companies and positions so I can refine my resume and my approach to the interview process,and become acquainted with the questions and how to pitch myself, etc.

I always try to get a final interview, even if I’m not sold on the job. Recruiters and hiring managers probably dislike people like me who go the distance only to decline the offer. But it’s invaluable experience, and you’re interviewing companies as much as they are interviewing you. Remember that.

After a few weeks of getting warmed up, I apply to my choice companies/ positions.

By this time I am polished, confident, and know the interview process inside and out, and am familiar with the positions and responsibilities that I’m aiming for.

This method is highly effective, but lengthy, and time consuming.

The exposure to all the recruiters, going through the interview process, asking tons of questions and collecting information about how the business works, how the departments work, the responsibilities of the role, the processes, the culture, advancement, etc is invaluable experience that you can leverage when interviewing for the companies/ positions you’d really like.

As an example, I applied to about 10 companies a day for about 8 weeks before I landed my ideal job. Starting out I received maybe 1-3 interview requests the first week or two, and rarely getting past the first and second interview.

After refining the resume and polishing my interview skills, I was receiving 5-6 interviews a week, had to turn down many offers and final interviews requiring travel that I knew I wouldn’t take.

This really gave me confidence. It allowed me to negotiate salary. And I knew if I walked away there were other offers waiting.

Starting out, the job search can be daunting. But just dive in. Apply, reflect, refine, repeat. You’ll know your worth, and learn to sell yourself.

Best of luck!

Social media and the erosion of social capital

I’ve been thinking a lot recently on the success of social media.

In large part, it’s due to the inherent social capital compromising American society.

Social capital is the glue that makes capitalism possible. Trust. Good will. The assumption that we all possess the same values, that we all will behave in predictable ways.

This trust is essential for capitalism and consumerism. Erosion of this trust prevents partnerships, prevents accumulating brand capital, prevents consumers from believing in a company or product.

Essentially, social capital is necessary for consumerism— be it product or service or media consumption.

Social media arose because this trust was so endemic to American society. People trust these institutions. People trust each other.

These social media platforms could not arise without a level of social capital amongst its users. It’s essential.

Now that we have an entire economy built on social media platforms, it’s becoming obvious that this trust can be manipulated in grave ways.

Companies or people engineer advertisements, content, news, all media, to appeal to a consumer, to reaffirm their bias or beliefs. There is a science to manipulation. This has been happening for a long while in commercial advertising. It’s par for the course, and it hasn’t been too obvious or lethal to make a big deal of it. We chalk it up to capitalism. Big Tobacco. The milk industry. The sugar industry. NRA. Etc.

But now we’re seeing the darker side as companies are leveraging private data to manipulate belief systems.

Social media platforms can be leveraged to manipulate political outcomes. To create divisions. Spread misinformation.

People are now becoming aware that they cannot trust content, cannot trust companies.

I see this fundamental erosion of social capital as the single biggest threat to progress.

Without trust, without goodwill amongst citizens and companies, where does that leave us?

Can we simply detach from Facebook? From YouTube? From Twitter? From LinkedIn? From reddit? From amazon?

Everything can manipulated.

Likes. Product Reviews. News. Followers.

How can we verify the truth of claims?

How can information avoid manipulation? How can we verify truth? Reality? Accuracy?

I think this is a major problem…

You think the web is this bastion of free information, but social media had allowed companies to create behavior profiles that they can target for “propaganda campaigns”. That’s a dark way to put it, but I don’t think framing it any other way exposes the manipulation.

If companies can leverage a demographics or person’s behavior profile to target to sell ideas, media, products, and services, which all seems kinda “legit”, then imagine the power it has to create false narratives that serve political agendas.

How can you trust what you read?

Today I Rose

Today I rose at 8am, though my alarm sounded at 730am. G made herself breakfast and coffee, and sat on the faux leather footstool while eating her breakfast, looking out the kitchen window with longing introspection.

The night prior, after I had made dinner, made love, and made the dishes, I had commented that she was the first girlfriend who was not naturally a nurturer. At first she was taken back, but then confirmed that this had occurred to her, explaining that unlike other girls who grew up with their mothers cooking, modeling their behaviors, she had arrived in the states, and was catered to by her hosts, and then roommates and boyfriends who would wait on her hand and foot, and that this is the source of her ineptitude, her lack of domestic development.

I responded that while that sounded like a reasonable explanation, a justifiable cause, that it was nonetheless strange that the maternal instinct to nurture was not inherent to her being.

She said she would still be a good mother, for how could she not care for her child? I said, I’m sure you’ll do your best. Everyone tries to do their best, despite their natural inclinations.

Slowly she became upset, and the remaining of the evening she was lost in thought, speechless, until, as we lay in bed, she explained that she felt rejected by this idea, that she was upset that her did not live up to the ideal in my mind. She began thinking of her niece, who was sick, and began to weep silently to herself, but I took notice, and rolled over and held her face and explained that I loved her, and that she was full of love, and I apologized for my insensitivity.

But I could not rid myself of the fact: she was not a nurturer. Perhaps selfish, perhaps spoiled, but the natural urge to take care, to nurture, to clean up after herself or others, to cook, to ensure the living beings in her vicinity were taken care of, is not some innate capacity that she possesses. It’s often contrived, and feels so on the receiving end.

I felt horrible for bringing this fact to her attention, especially after such a warm reception after six days of not seeing each other, and passionate embraces and lovemaking that commsummated our reunion.

I felt like I had made a pathological attack, for no reason other than my own chronic disappointment that she did not take care of me, but that I solely took care of her.

She is full of loving affection, no doubt. Rapturous feeling greets me with arms and eyes whenever we converge on moments of intimacy. But aside from her dictates and orders, she is anything but motherly, often neglecting her own dog, failing to walk her, failing to bath her, though she reeks of urine and other miasma.

So after a long morning of silently readying for the day, after I had walked her dog, Kity, I sounded off that I needed to retrieve my car, lest I earn another parking ticket, and head to the cafe to apply to jobs. She opened the door a crack, and peeked her beautiful face through, wished me a good day, we kissed.


I read fifty pages of A Philosophy of Walking this morning before beginning this entry.

It wasn’t the entry I had hoped to write as I began my day (it’s 11am, far too late for a beginning, but my beginning nonetheless).

I will expound on more entreating imaginings in another entry. But now, I will check my inbox and see what interest I’ve generated in the job search.

Before I continue

Before I continue my day, I’m going to talk about some things.

Yesterday, I outlined a schedule for myself which had me waking at 7:30am. Needless to say I woke at 8am, hit the snooze for an hour, rose, made two rice cakes smeared with nutty peanut butter and strawberry chia spread, opened the window of my girlfriends apartment, and smoked a cigarette. I read book III of Cicero’s Rhetorica ad Herennium, specifically the part on memory, and proceeded with my daily routine. Mostly showering. I didn’t make the bed today. I feel ill inside. Unsettled.

I received word that two of the most promising companies I’ve been interviewing with have moved on with other applicants. This is to be expected. Rejection happens. I’ve applied to over 150 positions the past month. Perhaps more.

I’m sitting in Cafe International with a knot in my chest. I have a book I’d like to continue writing, but a paralysis keeps me from doing anything more than day dreaming about the remaining chapters. It’s just an outline.

I avoid responsibility for some reason. Deep down I am lazy. Without discipline, that is. Nothing is difficult when you commit and stop thinking.

But I think, and think, and think some more, and eventually these thoughts turn into actions, and I find myself on a bunny trail down some intellectual hole to no where. There is nothing being mastered in my pursuit. It’s just sampling fascinating ideas. And for what reason? To what end? Knowledge? This is what I tell myself, and what I sell others.

But deep down, I think it’s a form of procrastination that I can pass as healthy, though its anything but. Reading? Reading biology? Sociobiology? Evolution? Linguistics? Sociology? Psychology? I have books by Jung, Piaget, Panksepp, Walter Scheidel, Frans de Waal, Laplace, Bowlby, Konrad Lorenz, Lucretius, Gunter Stent, Carl Degler, Max Tegmark, Pliny the Elder, Terrance Deacon, Plekhanov, Ezra Pound, Durant, and countless others accumulating at the perimeter of my small room in Palo Alto. I purchased The World of Mathematics four volume set by James R. Newman, which provides thousands of pages of historical information on the development of mathematics. What on earth am I doing? I have thousands of books, in my home and Nashville, and hundreds more accumulating all around me. And for what end?

I meditate here and there, and tell others of its profound transformation on my inner life. What a load of shit. What a temporary relief. I plunged into the world of memory and mnemonics, and extol the virtues to all who will listen, even memorizing Shakespeare’s Hamlet Act III Scene I, or at least half of it. Another sad attempt to latch onto a temporary, fleeting excuse of engagement.

I am a peripatetic, a self proclaimed intellectual, full of shit, steeped in debt. Jobless. While not homeless, I feel very much displaced. If it were not for my girlfriend, I would be on the road, somewhere far away, exploring, escaping. I would be applying to jobs all over the country. But I love her, or at least I feel like she provides the sole comfort and stability that life has to offer at the moment, and in this temporary tempest, it feels like what I need most.

I’m not sure I like the person I’ve become. Or maybe I never have. I don’t know how I have any friends. I’m not sure I’d be friends with me. I’m full of shit. I’m domineering. Selfish. Self centered. Its not even something that I try to be. It’s only retrospectively that I see my insane need for attention and validation, and I grow sick with disgust. Utter disgust.


So here I sit, in San Francisco. My family remains together in South Florida. Since my niece was born I haven’t heard much. They don’t know how I’m doing, and that I haven’t a job, that I haven’t a clue what the future holds.

Of course I meditate on the proper course of action. I pour over journal entries from years past, hoping to glean some insight that propelled me forward.

I find that attitude, goals, focus, and consistent right action are the key.

But I discovered something else.

I discovered that I have not changed.

Yes, I’ve accumulated experience. I’ve gained knowledge. Maybe even some genuine skill and wisdom. But beneath it all, a constant has remained, which scares me as much as it relieves me. This constant is a consistent undulation, vacillation, oscillation of emotion, that swings much like a predictable pendulum, from highs and lows. It’s an inescapable process that I’ve been dying to flee from. Of course life has gotten better or worse despite these moods, despite these tones coloring my life. But life seems to be a distant backdrop in which my conscious experience is arbitrarily painted. The relationships, the gain, the loss, all seemingly irrelevant when the subject at hand, my sense of self, is swinging from ecstasy to torment.


And so, this constant remains. And I tell myself that the only way to the other side of these storms, these catastrophic strikes that drill into the essence of my stable self, is through, and not around, and that no amount of distracting preoccupation will make them go away, no drug, no sex, no curiosity, no temporary experimental salve. I must march through, and learn to weather the onslaught of emotion, despite the fear, despite the exhaustion, despite the procrastination.

There is no way around these episodes. I’ve definitely tried that. I try it to this day. I succumb to the feeling of dread, begin smoking a dozen cigarettes a day, drowning myself in libations, in the haze of self medicated smoke. And I wake to find the storm raging. And the only thing that’s changed is the elapse of time, and an increased sense of unpreparedness, which only compounds the dread. This is the downward spiral that leads to rock bottom, as they say, when you slowly become sick and tired of being sick and tired. You cannot fake it, and the atrophied will becomes weaker.

Arriving at this realization sooner than later would alleviate much pain and heartache, but upon deeper inspection, it appears that there is a spiritual battle at hand, between the ego and the spirit. The ego is that veil of defenses that keep the self in a state of self deception. The spirit is the conscience that embodies a will to live, a will to fight, a will to power, a will to good. A will to survive.

And so these two opposing forces at at odds, and the paralysis is symptom of a defiant ego resisting what the spirit knows is best.

And so we have my predicament time and time again. That stubborn ego.

And I feel I had no part in constructing this debilitating force. I want to absolve responsibility, and blame childhood, years of mediation, of moving and instability. But that does little  to liberate the spirit trapped inside the walled defenses that malignantly formed to protect, and simultaneously stagnate.


Where do I go from here? I ask myself. What will wake me? When will the ego relent? Must I file bankruptcy? Must I find myself destitute, in a crack house, in a heroin gang, lost and helpless before I begin the reconstruction of a healthy self? I hope not. I hope the bottom was found long ago in my reckless, damaging youth. I hope never again to find myself in that petty state.

But yet, I find myself unafraid of those consequences. What was once such a cold reality, a reality that would cause my conscience to seize with pain at the thought of it, is now a vague distant drama. The natural shocks of those painful decisions have lost their point, have become dull.


So I need to apply to more jobs today. What jobs? I don’t know. Sales.

I also want to write this damn book. Finish it once and for all.

My girlfriend returns home today from Mexico. She flew back this weekend to visit her family. Her brothers two month old daughter contracted a life threatening bacterial infection, and it doesn’t look good. The first round of antibiotics proved ineffective, but the second round seems to be working.

I will begin my day now.

What am I avoiding

Writing. That’s what. I just poured over journal entries from years passed, and a large part of me was envious at the prose I could produce with such consistency. Nothing has changed, however. The fumbling boy I was is now the man I am. Inescapable traits will haunt me forever, masked by the temporary hallucinations that pleasurable distractions provide

I was a poet. Words flowed. Now, I avoid writing. I avoid it, because I avoid myself. What’s so hard about being honest with myself? With the ideas embedded within me, aching to be realized, dying to be mined from my core, so I can loosen up a bit. That’s why I write. That’s why I always wrote. Not for anyone else. Just the therapy of easing the ache.

But now? Now I think I’ve degenerated. Some combination of age, doubt, and steroid abuse, coupled with sheer neglect of the intellect for five years, has convinced me that I’m a lesser version of myself. Or, there’s a conscience that whispers deviant suggestions about my character, about my ability, about my lack of originality. There’s nothing worth saying anymore. But that overlooks why I write. I write to breath. Spiritually speaking.

There is no effort when it flows. I need it to come out of it. So many days I spend contemplating writing. This is what I’ll write about, I say to myself, and my mind constructs or convolutes these majestic or delicate or concise extensions of my soul, and I’m proud of these minor revelations, and think they may even be worth noting, worth penning to paper. But, procrastination and paralyzation squeezes my insides and I choke, figuratively speaking, and the lofty imaginings expire and evaporate like they were never there.

Or I drag this tightness around with me, and begin to berate myself for the lack of resolution to write.

Either way. I need to write.

What am I up to these days?

I’m unemployed.

I’m a mess.

My best friend fired me. That’s the most direct way to put it. Why did he do it? He couldn’t elaborate. But it was for personal reasons.

I’m living with my Mexican ballerina girlfriend, in her 400 sq ft apartment on Van Ness a few blocks from the capitol building. Sure, I have a room in Palo Alto, at my buddy’s parents co-op, but I loath being there. Not because of the company as much as the culture, the hippy culture.

I was wearing black boxer underwear and a green woot long sleeve shirt atop a cotton T shirt. I got up, got changed into more appropriate loungewear, treated myself to a very large pour of box wine, proceeded to cook ramen noodles, and while I was waiting for the water to boil I handedly downed a bottle of Pacifica beer. I’m back at the computer, waiting for the ramen to cool.

I’ve determined that the best writing is the most honest writing. And its no wonder I haven’t produced anything of merit as of late. Not to say I’ve produced anything of merit in years passed, but at least it was authentic, or half authentic. These days I just cloud my head with facts and figures and methods and theories. What is authentic living?? I cram my head full of youtube videos and podcasts, listening to Joran Peterson, Sam Harris, Joe Rogan, and the multitude of other voices that make their way into my daily desire for knowledge consumption. But it all feels rather vapid. While that’s not entirely true, a part of me feels that these quests for knowledge and understanding do edify, to a degree. But to another degree, they move me away from myself. Sometimes they move me closer to myself. But by and large, they’re a symptom of this rather schizophrenic compulsion to KNOW.

As if anything I’m learning is getting me closer to… knowing. Ironically, it’s getting me father away. I like to think that this great big tree of knowledge has but one root, and they my investigations and explorations into the branches and canopies of these subjects will yield some pattern that I may learn to live a more gratifying life by. But by and large this pursuit has been a rather fruitless one.

On the contrary. I’m broke. I’m unhappy. I’m flagellating myself daily with blatant disregard to my health. For years I feined the illusion of health as a fitness model, a bodybuilder. I was regimented and disciplined, and consuming thousands of dollars of hormones every couple months. Tens of thousands a year. I wish I could say I was lying. And so, what is healthy when you’re injecting steroids every other day? When you’re force feeding yourself food every two to three hours? I looked phenomenal. I still do, after a month of not lifting and eating terribly.

During those years, this facade of health was masking unhappiness, a need for control. I also filled it with carnal activities, such as orgies, swinging, and participating as an escort. Of course this was punctuated with relationships, which I would deam unhealthy, and usually resulted because of my extreme exhaustion for sexually deviant past times.

The relationships were thus doomed to fail.

And I spend irresponsibly. I spent woefully irresponsibly. I was a master salesman, a borderline con artist. I was making more money than I was worth, and I had everyone fooled, even myself, even though, deep down, all was not well.

Moving out to California to join my trust fund college roommate in his hobby he calls a business was reckless. I have an apartment with all the expensive furniture and art I collected while I raked in a $175,000 salary as a 28-30 year old. I didn’t pay taxes in 2016. That’s about $35,000 that I’ve been mentally avoiding for the past year and a half. I have $17,500 cash. I lost $45,000 in crypto. I owe roughly $50,000 in student loans, and about $40,000 in credit cards.

I’m a mess. A complete mess.

What am I suppose to do?

I’m living with my Mexican ballerina girlfriend, that sweet angel, that testy tempest, that tantalizing temptress. She’s a combination of my best and worst, and I love her, though I’m still not sure where things will go.

What am I doing?


Meat and the Evolution of Mind and Stature

Reading this book On Human Nature by EO Wilson

There’s a fascinating chapter titled emergence, and in it he talks about the role of meat, and how it was central to humans diet until populations concentrated and required more agriculture, and even then it was relegated to the most important individuals and classes of the tribe/ chiefdom/ state.

Meat is and always has been a necessity, providing the pinnacle of nutrition, and a delicacy, and only the most important members of a given society were prioritized in meats consumption, especially when scarce. Grains were for the masses, the common and the slaves.

I wonder if we can examine height and health of a given population, and trace their historical diet, and observe how the prevalent consumption of meat impacted their evolution in terms of height and weight etc.

He talks of India’s development, and how meat was relatively abundant in the large mammals, contrary to the habitats of central and South American civilizations. Over time, with population increases, its consumption was exclusively reserved for the upper castes. Various religions like Buddhism and Jainism responded in part to this inequality by abolishing the consumption of meat and animals altogether, which the masses quickly endorsed and adopted by making animals, such as the cow, sacred figures.

The central and South American civilizations had very little meat, and the upper class ate what dogs and birds and small game was available in the region, but they coped with this issue through human sacrifice and cannibalism… feeding the sacrificed humans to the people, starting with the most select pieces of meat for the priests and soldiers and Nobles, then feeding the common folk the lesser desirable cuts…. tens of thousands of people were sacrificed and consumed by the Aztecs every year.

Meat is crucial for health.

The necessity for meat has been obscured, but the biological roots for the importance of its consumption are evident throughout history as man evolved from primate tree dweller to a hunter gatherer on the plains, eating a large portion of his calories in meat. During that period, man’s cranium suddenly began to increase exponentially, in terms of evolutionary time lines. But suddenly (and I forget the exact date) the cranium size plateaued. The growth is due, they believe, to the strategy of hunting in social groups, and I also think the consumption of meat.

Protein is needed for cell division and dna replication, and growth. Every athlete and body builder knows this. I can’t help but wonder if all this meat consumption accelerated the evolution of man and contributed to the growth in brain size… until population increases and the necessary reliance on agriculture, and then the cranium size/ evolution slowed/ suddenly stopped.

Interesting to ponder.

There are other things, like the opposable thumb that allowed man to fashion tools that aided in hunting and crafting sophisticated tools, of course.

Only select species of felines, notably lions, canines, wolves and dogs etc., and select Primates such as chimps and humans hunt and consume prey larger than itself, and they do so through social hunting and strategy.