Deconstructing Job Descriptions

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Ideas / Life Experiences
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I am looking for a job. Recently I applied for 44 jobs in a single day. Adverts for jobs are quite a curious source of buzzwords and jargon phrases that undergo shifts in language and tone as new hot topics enter the market. Viz the recent adoption of “Big Data” as a thing and analytics etc.

This sequence of posts – deconstructing job descriptions – examines some of these adverts: stripping them back to the skills, ideas, and personality traits I believe the employer is after. Sometimes I’ll do this as a way of showing the world1 that I have the skill or ability in question, sometimes to show how it’s just some previous skill or ability repackaged, and sometimes just to ruthlessly satirise recruiters because I think that often that’s all they are good for. I might get things horribly wrong but at least it will be a learning experience.

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My Amazing Subversive Revolutionary Adolescence

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Ideas / Life Experiences / Music / Politics & Beliefs
Cover of Live 93 by The Orb rendered in a subversive fashion

Or at least its subversive soundtrack…

I listened to The Orb’s amazing live album “Live ’93” the other day (after discovering the insipid “History Of The Future” collection on Spotify1) and I was amazed at how countercultural and subversive it was. I was listening to this stuff at the age of 14 and now that I’m old enough to be a parent, that makes me a bit uncomfortable. Actually it does nothing of the sort, because it is frigging awesome.

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Prinsted, July 2014

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England / Random Photos
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At the weekend my parents and I went for a short walk around Prinsted. Prinsted is between Southbourne and Nutbourne on the Sussex coast. It is a popular place for spotting wildlife and for sailing. It is good for morale to get out in to nature. The area stretching out toward the sea is flat and this gives the landscape an austere look.

Our loop from the parked car took in farmland, an orchard, and a short walk around the harbour. It’s a very photogenic walk – there are lots of beautiful insects and plants, together with some run-down agricultural buildings, so I took a lot of photos.

Because there were quite a few walkers already out enjoying Prinsted in the sunshine, we had to park the car on the main road and walk down to our usual route via a farm track (a sign promised homemade cider but I did not manage to find any!) where I was able to find meadow-like fields, a broken-down greenhouse, and the broken-down lamp-post.

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Understated Classics #26: Come On Die Young by Mogwai

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Understated Classics
Come On Die Young by Mogwai

“I’ll tell you about punk rock: punk rock is a word used by dilettantes and ah… and ah… heartless manipulators about music that takes up the energies and the bodies and the hearts and the souls and the time and the minds of young men who give what they have to it and give everything they have to it and it’s a… it’s a term that’s based on contempt, it’s a term that’s based on fashion, style, elitism, satanism and everything that’s rotten about rock ‘n’ roll. I don’t know Johnny Rotten but I’m sure… I’m sure he puts as much blood and sweat into what he does as Sigmund Freud did. You see, what sounds to you like a big load of trashy old noise is in fact the brilliant music of a genius, myself . And that music is so powerful that it’s quite beyond my control and ah… when I’m in the grips of it I don’t feel pleasure and I don’t feel pain, either physically or emotionally. Do you understand what I’m talking about? Have you ever felt like that? When you just couldn’t feel anything and you didn’t want to either. You know? Like that? Do you understand what I’m saying sir?”Iggy Pop, Canadian TV, March 11th 1977.

And so it begins – this sample of Iggy Pop begins “Come On Die Young”, the second album by Mogwai. It received a lukewarm reception on its release 15 years ago but to me, it’s a classic. The sentiment of its title, the mellowness, and the stacks of noise that punctuate throughout all combine to make a record that I am fiercely loyal to. It is beautiful and dark and has got better and better with age.

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Disconnect

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Life Experiences / Quotes
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Do the work first. Create the following and the audience first. Prove your value first. Demonstrate your understanding of an industry first. Do all that then, and only then, maybe a company will have the confidence in you to provide the freedom and creative latitude for you to do what you want that will ultimately benefit them and their bottom line. It took me 14 years to understand this.

Casey Neistat, film maker.

I applied for 44 jobs yesterday and today. There’s a disconnect here between all that advice about doing work and the rewards that it eventually brings to you. Particularly when you constantly feel the pressure of not having the resources to keep plugging away. I suppose it will always be this way, you can’t necessarily expect to ever reach a point where you have stopped, when there isn’t work that needs doing which may nevertheless go unrewarded. It’s just that I could really do with a wage again. I believe there is a way to write an extended post about these sentiments in a way that isn’t self-pitying, so I may do that at a later date.

Hero image is “Unplugged” by Iacapo S. I found the original on Flickr. I cropped it and applied a filter with Analog (mainly to mask the effects of increasing the pixel count). Both the original and its derivative works are subject to the following creative commons license (cc-by-nc-sa).

Panorama of Iguacu Falls

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Argentina / Random Photos / South America / Trips
Panorama of Iguacu Falls

A panorama of Iguacu falls shot from the top of the falls from the Argentinian side. I can remember vividly the crushing rushing sound of that torrent of water, the spray springing up in to my face and over my hands as I tried to swing the camera around steadily to take the picture. I didn’t even look at the result once I was done, I just concentrated on enjoying the spectacle after that.

I saw so many falls that day, each one a new source of wonder and delight. What is it about cascading water that is so entrancing? While none of the other falls quite matched the very top for sheer drama, each of the smaller ones had something unique about it to enjoy and so the whole day was really one of appreciating each for its merits.

When I get stressed now I cast my mind back to standing there getting splashed by the torrent. The sound of it never leaves you, so I pick it out and hear that instead of whatever’s going on. Then I just imagine my worries in that water rushing away from me forever. Doesn’t always work, but it helps.

Published via Pressgram.

Album Digest, June 2014

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Album Digest
ADJune14

Four great albums this month – two are instrumental and two are song-based, which makes for a nice mix.

  1. Watter “This World”
  2. Hundred Waters “The Moon Rang Like A Bell”
  3. Parquet Courts “Sunbathing Animal”
  4. Max Richter “The Four Seasons Recomposed”

Watter are a “supergroup” composed from various members of Grails, Slint, and other bands. I did not know anything about Hundred Waters before this month: “The Moon Rang Like A Bell” is their second album. In fact second albums by bands I know nothing about are a something of theme because “Sunbathing Animal” is Parquet Courts’ sophomore effort and I don’t know anything about them either. Meanwhile, I’ve had a copy of “The Four Seasons Recomposed” for a little while: it was the missing the tenth album from the April album digest.

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