Frequently Asked Questions, Part II

Work-related questions

Q: What do you do for a living?

I am currently semi-retired as a result of the mandarory retirement age limits imposed by my former employer. I am currently open to offers of employment given the right situation (see below).

I used to think of myself as a “cranial prostitute” – that is, I think for money. For most of my career I have been a software application developer. For the last 36 years of my working life I have been involved in the EDA (Electronic Design Automation) industry. In order to spend some time living in Japan, I took on the role of Corporate Applications Engineer where I worked directly with customers to solve problems and improve their experience with our software products. From around 2006 I was able to get back into full-time development while working remotely from Tokyo (I was a remote working pioneer long before SARS-COV2 made is all experts in remote working).

In the EDA world, my specialty has always been digital logic simulation and, more recently, verification management. If you don’t know what that means, essentially anyone who decides to design a new computer chip would use EDA software to implement and verify his design before committing millions of dollars to producing real silicon IC chips. Verification management is mostly concerned with managing large suites of tests and determining whether those tests completely cover the design functionlity. It’s a fairly specialized field with only a handful of large players.

I have assembled reunion pages for several of the companies I have worked for in the past. Given how frequently people move around, I suspect that these lists are, for the most part, obsolete. However, if anyone who has worked for any of these companies in the past would like to be added to the list, please use the “Contact” link at the top (or bottom) of the page to send me your current contact information (email, web, and/or social media are all OK).

Q: Why do you keep your resume online?

Because I can. And because it annoys those who choose to ignore the fact that everyone, ultimately, is available if the situation is right. This is especially true in any sort of high-tech field. Also, it saves me the time and trouble of printing and mailing my resume to headhunters or perspective employers. In fact, the last two times I changed jobs, I didn’t need to do anything but e-mail the URL where my resume could be found. It serves as a screening device, too. If a personnel weenie tells me they need a hard-copy resume because their company doen’t have internet access, I know that’s not any place I would enjoy working. ;-)

Note that the above answer was written while I was still employed. I thought about rewriting the paragraph but I liked the cheeky answer so much that I decided to leave it along and simply write this side-note.

Q. Are you available for work?

Having had my resume online for over two decades now, I get a lot of e-mail asking if I am available for an interview or if I could send a copy of my updated resume. About 80% of all the employment-related messages I receive are for jobs that don’t match my experience in the least. More often than not, these read like they were generated by some kind of keyword-matching software program.

For the record, let me state the following:

  • I am currently semi-retired and not in desperate need of income at the moment. That said, I would be open to working on an interesting project in my area of expertise, either on a full-time or part-time/temporary basis.

  • I summarily delete job descriptions and requests for information that either:
    • don’t match my skills at all,
    • look machine-generated, or
    • don’t include any information that would allow me to decide whether I’m interested in the position.
  • I don’t update my resume very often but, when I do, the latest version can always be found online. I reserve the right to delete messages which only ask for an updated resume since my experience indicates that such messages are usually bulk emails sent out by an automated resume-scraping system.

I know that all sounds kinda cold but I still get somewhere around 100 messages a day and I don’t have time to answer machine-generated job trolls. For what it’s worth, I do answer thoughfully prepared letters from prospective employers and headhunters which are addressed to me personally. And I archive the names and contact information of those who offer jobs in my field, on the off chance that I or one of my colleagues suddenly ends up on the job market.

Latest Posts

Effortless Magick

It’s funny how, every once in a while, if you listen to the subtle messages unfolding around you on a constant basis, you pick up on a pattern of small bits of information that seem to build into something substantial. That happened to me recently on the general topic of effortlessness. Like many would-be adepts, I have a number of daily practices that I fit into various parts of the day. Sometimes they pay off with feelings of increased awareness or energy but, if I were being totally honest, most of the time they feel like drudge-work… a part of the day that occurs more out of habit than anything else… with the basic idea being one of consistency rather than joy.

Out with the Old...

I was listening to the latest Sam Harris podcast today and ran across an interesting take on something that should be familiar to most Western Ceremonial Magicians. Eric Weinstein was talking about finding meaning in license plate numbers as he drives around (don’t we all do that when we first start on the Path?) and the way he explained it was:

"'s important to notice what it feels like to discern meaning where there is no meaning... it's important to get in touch with the "as if madness" experience in order to guard against madness; so I'm hoping to suspend my insistence on Truth for periods of time..."

I’m not sure about the connection with madness, per-se… and I’m wondering if that wasn’t just a ploy designed to wrap up the thought before getting interrupted. I realized when he said that that another good reason for discerning meaning where there is none is to prevent intellectual ossification (my term… it didn’t appear in the podcast, as far as I know). The belief that one particular way of looking at things must serve as the filter through which we see everything else from that point forward seems to be common in most philosophies and pretty much all religions. Adherence to a strict theology makes us less able to evaluate contrary ideas on their own merit. On the other hand, by constantly playing fast and loose with one’s synaptic network, so to speak, one might stand a chance of maintaining enough mental flexibility to recognize a true Epiphany when it finally does come.

It’s ironic that avoiding intellectual ossification was one of the main points that Sam was trying to convey just moments earlier… that there’s no logical reason to use one or more points-of-view which happen to have been elaborated thousands of years ago over new points-of-view developed by one’s own reason in the present time. Of course, that’s easier said than done and when most people start on any sort of Philosophical or Spiritual Path, they’re usually not capable of the kind of deep reasoning that would discern the “true meaning” of the Universe at first glance… so we may need to use ancient philosophy and religion as a crutch for a while… in order to bootstrap our thinking to the point where we can reason with some depth on the Universe and our purpose within it. But I expect that we all have to eventually drop the rhetoric and design our own systems based on First Principles.

Misunderstanding Multitasking

I was listening to an interview with the authors of the new book The Distracted Mind on NPR this morning and they touched on a favorite pet peeve of mine that centers on a basic misunderstanding of the term multitasking. According to Wikipedia, the first published use of the term “multitask” appeared in an IBM paper describing the capabilities of the IBM System/360 in 1965. Is is only recently that the term has been used in the common vernacular to refer to the apparent ability of humans to “concentrate” on more than one task at a time.