For American pundits, China isn’t a country. It’s a fantasyland. - The Washington Post

For American pundits, China isn’t a country. It’s a fantasyland. - The Washington Post: And because China is so vast, its successes can be attributed to whatever your pet cause is. Do you oppose free markets and privatization, like John Ross, former economic policy adviser for the city of London? Then China’s success is because of the role of the state. Do you favor free markets, like the libertarian Cato Institute? Then China’s success is because of its opening up. Are you an environmentalist? China is working on huge green-energy projects. Are you an energy lobbyist? China’s building gigantic pipeline projects. Are you an enthusiast for the Protestant work ethic, like historian Niall Ferguson, who describes it as one of his “killer apps” for civilizations? Then credit China’s manufacturing boom to its 40 million Protestants — even though they’re less than 5 percent of its 1.3 billion people.

Commute Metrics

Previous Commute:
  • 2 minute walk to bus
  • 22 min bus ride
  • 14 minute walk to office
New Commute Day 1 (saving 4:30):
  • 4:30 walk to bus (iterating to best path)
  • 25 min bus ride
  • 1 minute walk to office
  • 2 minutes walking inside GSA
New Commute Day 2:
  • 2 min walk to bus (iterating to best path)
  • 18 min bus ride
  • 7 minute walk to office
  • 2 walk inside GSA
More importantly, my new commute will involve less exposure on really hot days. :)

Tips for an Epic Interview

A friend of a friend is calling me today for advice about an interview he has with Epic. I've done a few general calls about Epic since departing my job for civil service, but since this one is specifically about tips and advice, I wanted to make my thoughts available publicly. Connections like these are great, but many people who might want a job at Epic don't have them.

So here's my advice, which applies to all phone screens. I am being deliberately vague about the questions because I think that would be against the spirit of Epic and the trust given to employees - something I greatly admire. I am also omitting the suggestion to do research on Epic, since you've found this post (and are therefore doing research!)
  1. Take care of the basics. Your phone should have sufficient charge and you should be in a place with signal. (I wouldn't be saying this if I hadn't noticed an issue here)
  2. Remember that your screener has an agenda of things to get through. Long-winded answers will rush things for both of you
  3. You should have an elevator story about yourself, covering pieces like - who are you? What do you know about? Why do you know about it? What are you looking for in your career, both presently and in the future? This is your arsenal for the questions you will be asked - as long as you've thought through these sorts of questions, biographical questions shouldn't surprise you.
  4. You should bear this quote (slightly dated) in mind: "The firm makes about 1,500 hires annually and goes through about 150,000 resumes."
  5. If you have weak points on your resume, this is the time to make additional mitigating statements about them.