Just in Case it Matters to You
Weekly Report 20-94
- COMPANIES INCREASINGLY RELY MORE ON ‘PSYCHOMETRIC TESTS’ IN HIRING – test which grade applicants’ responses ranking their attitude and “character trait profile” as better or worse suitable for a job position. Judging is generally based on levels of “openness, conscientiousness, extroversion/introversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, psychopathy & narcissism… For example, candidates good with detail may be obsessive micromanagers; people who flourish in sales may have excessive need to be the center of attention, yet assertiveness is better for handling more customer calls… For highly-skilled jobs, these tests are generally useful. However, using to recruit low-skilled jobs is risky since people who pass sophisticated cognitive tests will learn the job quickly but then get bored and leave.” Looking for a diligent, collaborative worker who remains motivated and effective is more complicated than their ranking number 1 to 5 for a statement like ‘I really care about my work.’ [ECONOMIST – 11/7/20]
- DON’T EXPECT MUCH DIFFERENCE NOW FROM EITHER POLITICAL PARTY: “The U.S. is a democratic republic whose Constitution dictates a ‘first-past-the-post’ election scheme based on single-member districts where political candidates run for a specific seat representing a specific constituency; to win, a candidate does NOT need majority of the votes, only one more than whoever comes in second. So, any Party that throws a narrow net concentrated on local or ideological rather than national issues can never gain traction without getting swallowed up by larger, more national groups, Democrat or Republican at the top. This makes Political Parties both stable and weak, since (a) Once a coalition of factions is formed under their Umbrella, that Party sticks around for decades; but (b) Each faction has its own ideas about what the Party should be ‘about’ …The 2020 election threw both major Parties into a state of flux, as previously disguised tendencies of the electorate emerged into the daylight and others fell into shadow. Now comes the renegotiation, scrambling to build as many factions’ characteristics as possible while also building a large enough base to ‘win’ …Anticipate chaos, and a feeling that we’ve been cursed to live in interesting times.” [DISUNITED NATIONS – Peter Zeihan]
- STUDENTS MAY SOON HAVE ZERO CONFIDENTIALITY ONLINE. The Minneapolis School District has now contracted for A.I. software called GAGGLE – an “intricate digital surveillance tool which keeps tabs on students’ activities like Google services including email Docs, a video platform, Hangouts & Classroom. Artificial intelligence scans for ‘trigger’ words or phrases (like drink or gun) while moderators flag content containing references to self-harm, depression, drug use, or violent threats.” And surveillance extends to use outside of school hours. [THE WEEK – 11/13/20]
- “TOILET BOWL WATER IS CONTAMINATED WITH POTENTIALLY HARMFUL BACTERIA & PATHOGENS even after several flushes and, when flushed without closing the lid, spreads aerosols/droplets/germs which fly out to nearby surfaces and even into faces of people using a public restroom… A 2000-adult survey in U.K. found 55% don’t bother closing the lid – one in four saying they fear touching it, and the rest saying they were unaware of health risks or just forget to do it.” [LBN EXAMINER – 11/8/20]
- COVID INFECTION RISK UPDATE: “A MINORITY OF PEOPLE ACCOUNT FOR THE BULK OF TRANSMISSION.” Researchers test-traced data from 85,000 infected persons through 575,000 known contacts to determine: “(1) 5% of contacts tested positive (and assumed caused by that exposure); (2) Fully 71% of the 85K did NOT transmit the virus; (3) Most of the newly transmitted cases were from just a few ‘super-spreaders,’ with 60% of new infections coming from one-in-ten carriers who gave Covid to three others on average; (4) Risk of infection was greatest in private homes and among ‘’similarly aged’ people, with only three documented events taking place outdoors.” [SCIENCE MAGAZINE – 11/6/20]
- THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:
Some $14 billion was spent on the 2020 election. 2016, adjusted for inflation, was half that amount.
U.S. unemployment rate before Covid-19 was at 3.5%, a 50-year low. Then ten million jobs were lost and the rate nearly doubled. Goldman Sachs economists now project that once Covid vaccines are distributed, workers who dropped out of the labor force altogether (now neither employed or seeking a job) will “slowly filter back’ but it will take at least four years, through 2024, for the rate to drop below 4%.