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A round-up of some of the intriguing, insightful, and/or thought-provoking things I read this week.


The Cheats Movement Podcast, One-On-One With Tom Perriello (Candidate for Governor of Virginia) (March 16, 2017)

Refreshing to hear a white US politician who can speak with ease and facility about race, opportunity, and privilege.


Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2017 (March 22, 2017)

Not only an interesting survey and response set, but also a very well-done set of visualizaitons unpacking the various questions and responses. As I’ve noted other times I’ve read analyses by the Github data science team, they’re very careful with the explanatory scope of their findings.


Gina Trapani, Modern JavaScript for Ancient Web Developers (March 22, 2017)

There’s a certain kind of old-school, backend web developer who, a long time ago, mastered things like Perl or Python or PHP or Java Server Pages, maybe even Rails or Django. This person worked with giant relational databases and built APIs that serve up JSON and even (gasp!) XML.

And then there’s people like me, for whom the advice by Addy Osmani quoted elsewhere in the article is even better:

“First do it, then do it right, then do it better.”


Robert Coombs, I Built A Bot To Apply To Thousands Of Jobs At Once–Here’s What I Learned (March 23, 2017)

But before you remind me that I did exactly what every career coach and recruiter tells jobseekers not to do, hear me out: I wasn’t just blasting the same content to every imaginable job listing–far from it. I tested different email subject lines, versions of my resume, and cover letters. I built my robot in order to adjust and optimize as many variables as possible when applying to each new job, just like an individual might, one application at a time.

Friends were quick to point out the obvious reason that this approach wasn’t working. Most told me I had to know someone who would pass my resume along to a hiring manager. By trying to game that system, I inadvertently learned how powerful it really is.

It’s important that everyone learn at somee point that the job-seeker-facing parts of the HR universe are like this. But I don’t think of this as an attempt at problem-solving. It’s an attempt at getting over. Even if it worked, the existing structure would remain in place.


Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick, What do slaveholders think? (March 23, 2017)

A study of “the delicate work of stitching debts together into a seamless, infinite coercive system that leaves labourers feeling trapped” in modern-day South Asia.


 Dave Infante, There Are Almost No Black People Brewing Craft Beer. Here’s Why. (December 3, 2015)

Informative, although those with a certain understanding of the United States of America would not find anything surprising here.

One moment that stood out, for quite a different set of reasons, was when Infante make an early step in his research part of the story: reaching out to Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery:

It was at this point that I realized Garrett Oliver probably gets asked about being a black guy in craft beer more than he does about craft beer itself. Being the de facto spokesman of minority brewing would get a bit tiresome after two decades. So I stopped pestering him, and started making calls.

For another type of response to such an inquiry, see this pinned tweet on the timeline of somebody I follow but do not bother:

I’m not Google. I’m not a teacher. I’m noting going to help you “get to the bottom of this” or sort out what you believe is a logical fallacy.


Julia Reinstein, Here’s What’s Actually Going On With The Missing Black Girls In DC (March 24, 2017)

More like a review of some of what’s going on, rather than the final word. But would you click that headline?


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David D. LaCroix


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