Is there room for me in the Gulch?

Posted by  $  servo75 3 weeks, 5 days ago to The Gulch: General
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Is there room for me in the gulch? I'm currently unemployed in the "real world." I possess a wide variety of skills (mostly related to computers, technology, mathematics, statistics, programming), but I'm not an entrepreneur like Rearden, or a brilliant engineer like Galt, or super wealthy like Midas Mulligan. Though I may have a touch of Howard Rourke's stubborn individualism (wrong book, I know). I'm more of an Eddie Willers type. Multi-talented polymath, and a hard worker who's willing and able to learn everything, but not really an expert in much. In the outside world I find that I know a lot of things, but not expert enough in any one of them to get that high paying job I know that my talents could match. Like Dagny when she first landed in the Gulch, I want to, of course, pay my way in the valley, and eventually earn a lot doing it, but even though I know where my talents are I'm not sure exactly where or if they'd be of use. Is there room for someone like me who could be a lot of help in many different areas?

Parantheticly, I wonder how the Gulch can be so completely self-sustaining, not requiring any transaction with the outside, with such a limited population. Do they already have a diverse enough pool of talent and resources that they can tell the outside world to pound sand?

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  • Posted by  $  Suzanne43 3 weeks, 4 days ago
    As long as you are willing to work, don't expect a hand out, and are a capitalist you would be welcome in The Gulch. Remember when Dagny landed in The Gulch, she worked as a house keeper for John Galt to pay her way.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
      Joing the Valley was by invitation, based on understanding and acceptance of Galt's "oath", not anyone "willing to work". It was a private association, not a society. But an invitation to join the Valley did not depend on being "an entrepreneur like Rearden, or a brilliant engineer like Galt, or super wealthy like Midas Mulligan". It was philosophical, not economics.

      It was incorporated in the novel as a fictional device to illustrate how the morally best people interact with each other, not as a proposal for a practical possibility in reality, which it is not for many reasons.
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  • Posted by  $  CaptainKirk 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    You and I have a lot in common. Except that I parlayed away from working for others and run a TINY business doing what I love, putting the same skills you have to use for others.

    Here are some tidbits that helped me.
    The ONLY thing I do that generates income: Invoicing!
    The programming itself does not generate income if I fail to invoice it, or can't for some reason.

    My best friend is a lot like you describe yourself. He will ARGUE in front of the client, sometimes with the client. He prefers to be right over wealthy!
    (He prefers to be right over helpful! As it does NOBODY any good to make the client feel stupid). I am a lot more outgoing, and because I grew up the
    youngest of 4 boys, I know how stupid ignorance feels! And I avoid making clients feel that way. I could explain anything to anyone, and once I know
    their value systems, I know what level of detail, and what angle to take.

    I say this because you are lacking 3 important skills, that YOU ADMIT should be easy to acquire:
    1) The ability to sell yourself (not short, not oversell, but put yourself out there and let your usefulness take over)
    2) The ability to put humble yourself (if you re-read your post, you went out of your way to show you know the characters, stories, and to point out your IQ. Without re-reading your post, I counted 5 times that you referenced this. I am being blundt, because I am assuming you know you can put people off. And, I believe, you blame the people for not seeing your value... As my friend does!) Real humility. You posed your question in a way designed to imply humility, though. hmm. unconscious or conscious?
    3) The ability to see the world the way it is... Not the way it is to you! Not with cognitive bias, like most of us have. To truly see BOTH Movies as Scott Adams says.

    I believe with those 3 skills, you could be anywhere you want to be. You are the only one holding you back. Let go of your excuses. Join the local meet up type groups.
    Meet people and get to know them. Go do some volunteer work for free if you have to. Get your name out there as someone who is Awesome to work with, and do things,
    and is willing to donate one day a week of his time helping small companies go places. Do that, and keep your eyes open, you will see more opportunities than you can take.

    You are welcome here. I think you could add a lot, and PLEASE don't take my DIRECTNESS wrong. I could be completely wrong about you. Take what works for you and helps you and run with it. You have a great skillset and should easily be able to find a position or offer some services...
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    • Posted by  $  2 weeks, 5 days ago
      I will send you my information by email soon. Every time I watch/read Part III and I see the party at Midas's place and all these successful people, I confess I do get envious. I want to be at that party. I know I can be part of that club and tell myself I'd do anything I need to do to live in that valley and be amongst those fine people.
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      • Posted by ewv 2 weeks, 4 days ago
        Reading Atlas Shrugged ought to make anyone see how much humanity is missing. But you can't be at the Valley because as a fictional device is it is unrealistic. What you can do is understand the principles for your own life and act accordingly, and understand what principles are necessary for a society based on Ayn Rand's morality and sense of life, the widely accepted principles that today make it impossible and why, and what it would take to change that.
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    • Posted by  $  3 weeks ago
      Captain Kirk, I appreciate your response and honesty. I will take what you said very seriously and you bring up good points but I'm going to have to push back slightly on the humility issue because I'm honestly not sure where you got lack of humility from my post. Now, it was intended as half theoretical, not as a biography. But I also stated that I am NOT an expert in x,y,z. I actually pointed out my WEAKNESSES compared to the strikers I mentioned, compared myself to Willers of all people, and admitted that my job hunt troubles are due to lack of expertise in the right places. I am very confident in what talents I do have, but I never said anything about IQ or intelligence (maybe I used the word "polymath" incorrectly), just that I have a lot of skills that don't seem to fit in well together and the crux of the question was is there room in the gulch for a "jack of all trades master of none?" That's really all there was to it. Respectfully, I think the very fact that I made that post and put myself out there, by asking the question "DO I fit in?," posing it as a question I think that shows plenty of humility right there. There's a broad line between "I know I can do this, but will people want it?" vs. "Why doesn't everyone else just recognize my brilliance already?" I really don't see how I stated the latter - I am very confident in my skills and work ethic, I make no apologies for that. And I because I've seen people be successful with those same skills I'm reasonably certain that there is a demand SOMEWHERE out there, just wondering how to make that match and get others to notice. Sounds like rational self-interest to me, I don't see how that's "making excuses."
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      • Posted by  $  CaptainKirk 3 weeks ago
        Servo, I admitted up front I could be wrong. But I am hoping by letting you know that was my initial take, it would give you something to think about.

        There is "what you are saying" and "what you are communicating". When Obama Said "You didn't build that", he was communicating "You don't deserve what you have.. You OWE Others for what you have". He may NOT have used those words.

        So, I was taking a bit of freedom with you, because I felt I saw my best friend in you. You are similar in many ways, already.

        Take what you can from it that helps you to be a better you.

        Also, you really need to see yourself in a better light. Read some of Scott Adams (Dilbert Creator)... He talks about how a Talent Stack of unique talents is incredibly valuable. How technology that blows the doors off the world is similar, because it almost ALWAYS combines 3 or more disparate technologies. (iPhone: Phone, Music, Camera, Smart Device, Internet).

        You are probably ahead of your time in seeing these things, but too far ahead to have your footing right. Maybe?

        Regardless, I have to ask, what type of career are you looking for. Feel free to message me directly. Also, I help people cleanup their resumes (having read thousands of them to hire people, and I used to work in Career Development and Placement Services at Michigan State as an undergrad. I literally gave presentations on how to build your resume). I tend to find the things other people miss (what they re saying, vs communicating).

        One gal got ZERO responses. She sent me her resume. I saw the problem immediately. This was 2003... Her last job, her first bullet "Built the Business Plan for the company" (it was a failed Dot Com business). While it was a true statement, it was NOT putting her best foot forward. Also, it was not worded to imply impact. She fixed her resume and within weeks had 2 offers. (She had went months with ZERO bites)... Willing to look. This is how I tithe... Helping those who are willing to help themselves...
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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 weeks, 5 days ago
    Yes, there is room for you in the Gulch. I have a nanotechnology minor program at Florida Tech and am developing a maker minor and a new double major in (biomedical or chemical) engineering along with a new degree called "maker engineering".

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    • Posted by  $  exceller 3 weeks, 5 days ago
      What is "maker engineering"?

      Greetings! My degree (PhD) is also in Biological Sciences. Worked with chemical engineers most of my career.
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      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 weeks, 5 days ago
        I will put out a new thread next week on "maker engineering". Making involves everything from ideation to CAD drawing to fabrication with machine shop tools or makerspace tools (including 3D printers, laser cutters, and water jets). Prototyping is central to making.

        This is the program that John Galt would have enrolled in at The Patrick Henry University if it existed back then.
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        • Posted by upston 3 weeks, 1 day ago
          Make America MAKE again
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          • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 3 weeks, 1 day ago
            We can't be a country of financial analysts and pizza delivery people. We have to make things.

            Starting in the 70's there was much talk of after having moved from a agricultural economy to a manufacturing one we were moving to a service and intellectual property one. And, to a degree, that makes sense.

            What the argument did not take into consideration was that we didn't abandon agriculture, we got so good at it that we could make all we needed and plenty of exports with a relatively small number of people. We should have made our plants more efficient, not sent them overseas.
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  • Posted by  $  2 weeks, 3 days ago
    I also realize that early on, many newcomers to the Gulch had to take jobs that weren't in their chosen field because there wasn't yet a full-scale economy there, strikers weren't able to pursue their chosen fields in the Gulch. So in a way, it's a REQUIREMENT that you have to be multifaceted in your talents. I would change my thesis to say that being an expert in one field might be a disadvantage in some cases, unless you were one of the residents who joined through retirement, like Midas Mulligan who was independently wealthy and could sustain yourself without needing to seek employment.
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    • Posted by ewv 2 weeks, 3 days ago
      Everyone is capable of more than one job in more than one field at varying degrees of expertise. Being an expert in a field does not change that and is not a disadvantage.

      Someone who has learned to use his mind in one field can easily learn simpler tasks. It is harder to be a true expert in more than one area, but still possible. Hugh Akston found it easy to cook excellent hamburgers in a simpler realm than his expertise; a lot of philosophers with the wrong philosophy can only stumble through ordinary physical reality and are incapable of even simple actions.

      Midas Mulligan no longer had to be an investment banker but owned the Valley and charged rent even though he did not financially need to; he wasn't fully retired.
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 3 weeks ago
    Just from the pool of talent here on this online Gulch, a real-world Gulch could be created. The major problem is location and a Midas Mulligan to initially to fund it then people like yourself would be welcomed. I don't think it could be created in the USA as in Atlas Shrugged. So, a purchased island, or not on this planet.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 weeks ago
      No, a real-world Gulch could not be created, and not just because the "pool of talent" on this forum is overestimated. Atlas Shrugged is romantic fiction, written to portray what Ayn Rand called her "ideal man" in essentialized, fictional form. She was not proposing her own version of the hopeless 19th century utopian communities.

      She wrote that Atlas is "completely my kind of universe" in sense of life as a fiction writer because it has a "very strong plot gimmick", it is "built on an unusual plot device which is not naturalistic in any sense; it's not even realistic", and it is "completely detached from any journalist reality" -- quoted in Essays on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, edited by Robert Mayhew.

      What is realistic is her "philosophy for living on earth" when understood and implemented in living one's own life, and if spread sufficiently, a morally-based potential society. That is why so much of Atlas stands out as so familiar as sense of life and behaviors (of all kinds), though in abstract, essentialized form. But the fiction of the plot is not a strategy to try implement with a "strike" or copied in a utopian Valley even for those with an interest in and understanding of her philosophy (which few on this forum have).
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      • Posted by  $  2 weeks ago
        Though Galt himself encouraged listeners to form their own "mini-gulches" on the outskirts of society. My thinking is that if the left gets power, forbid, and we do find ourselves under socialistic government policy, the only remedy will be for groups of strikers to resist and form their own mini-societies (too small to be on the radar), or possibly right-leaning states to secede if it comes to that.

        Again, we're talking about a last-resort attempt to avoid dystopia. I don't predict it would happen under ordinary circumstances, I'm talking about somehow Democrat President and super-majorities putting the Green New Deal into law, or a runaway convention leading to the events that put Mr. Thompson in power. There'll be no choice, and even ordinary folks if pushed far enough into the corner can and would resort to that.
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        • Posted by ewv 2 weeks ago
          What Galt encouraged in the novel for strikers was fiction and irrelevant. Socialist dictatorship would not permit states to secede and would be at war with neighboring countries by the nature of statism, and under dictatorship there is no such thing as a "mini-society" too small to be noticed. Nor would that "avoid dystopia". That is why Ayn Rand left Russia, where rational life was impossible.

          One either learns and understands the proper principles of human life and spreads the right ideas, living the best one can in a mixed society, or failure is guaranteed. The constant revisiting of wistful speculation about utopian escapes or a hopeless dropping out to crash the country to save it is pointless.
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      • Posted by Owlsrayne 2 weeks, 1 day ago
        Here is what I can do to facilitate a Pacific island Gulch: Jbrenner assigns Homework-Planning Atlantis aka The Gulch

        This was an exercise in creating an Pacific Island Gulch aka Atlantis. This is all based on purching a Pacific island by someone with deep pockets like Midas Mulligan. Here is what I can do; that is to purchase the following from the internet and by phone with the funds all done through shell companies.
        1. A medium size seagoing RO/RO w/cranes for under a mil.
        2. Ship reconditioned at a Portuguese shipyard.
        3. Rework hull for speed for in excess of 30 knots
        4. Upgrade propulsion plant with water cooled exhaust stacks to reduce heat signature.
        5. Coat superstructure in radar absorbing paint.
        6. Shipyard fabricated drop decks for hidden armaments.
        7. A Port Engineer to inspect the vessel, register it in Panama.
        8. Hire a retired/semiretired Captain, First mate, and Chief Engineer.
        9. Ablebody Seaman from one of the merchant marine halls.
        10. 2-20mm Oekilon Cannons (WWll reconditioned vintage) w/ammo for fore & aft install.
        11. 3-50 cal. Browning Machine guns.
        12. Ship supplies through a Ship Chandler(NY, Texas, Louisiana, or California)
        13. Foodstuff’s from Commodity Broker-Chandlers.
        14. Temporary housing assemblies: prefab containers.
        15. Portable desalination modules.
        16. Diesel Generator Set and Fuel.
        17. Reconditioned mine boring machines to build underground facilities.
        18. Satellite tracking equipment for tracking spy satellites.
        19. Obtain camouflage netting since there isn't any John Galt electronic shield.
        20. Purchase AK47's & ammo through the shipyard with incentive money.
        21. Any additional materials brought the RO/RO where ever they could be bought.
        This list has been modified from the original.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    In the book? Apparently so. As to me, I send e-mails, and I am unemployed. I do not profess to be a genius; I am trying to get a job as a laborer (I'd like to be a singer in Gilbert&Sullivan, but I suppose I can't expect to start out that way). I have had many jobs in my life; between 13 Sept 1970 and 30 Oct 2014, I was never out of work more than a few days at a time (the longest being about a week and a half, and that only once), but I think it is age discrimination. But I still read the Gulch, and send e-mails.
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    • Posted by  $  25n56il4 3 weeks, 1 day ago
      Check out nonprofits in your area. They always need volunteers and often hire paid employees. Usually looking for people and the pay is good. The work is very rewarding. Federally Qualified Health Centers pay very good!
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  • Posted by term2 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    I would have to say that AS is inideed a fictional story, not a documentary. There are a LOT of details that are not specified in the story.
    To start up a Gulch today in fact would have to be done a lot differently.
    1) First of all, the government and the leftists would be dead set against it in principle and would fight it any way they could. Look at what they are doing to Trump. It would have to be VERY secret, lest the NSA and other governmental agencies find it and investigate.

    2) Secondly, with aerial recon advanced as it is with satellites and all, it would be very hard to hide almost anything that was of any real size or value.

    3) IMHO, the statist society in which it was physically located would need to be substantially defunct already in order not to be a huge threat.

    4) A lot of supplies would need to be transported and stored at the gulch in order to give time for an economy to be started up there. Modern living depends on things like refrigeration, protection from the cold and heat, many items currently made from aluminum and steel, cars, trucks, wagons, etc.

    5) Most structures would need to be underground in order not to be detected, and covered over to escape satellite detection.

    6) Energy was not a problem in the AS gulch. Limited amount of hydroelectric energy or possibly nuclear could be available in a real gulch, but solar would be out of the question due to easy discovery by governmental powers.

    I would say in general, the major issues would be defense and secrecy- maybe starting it up in a very remote unpopulated and backward location where there is no NSA and such. Finding the inhabitants would only be worthwhile after these intitial issues were settled.
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    • Posted by  $  3 weeks ago
      Those same leftists don't believe in guns. I'd like to see them go head to head with the likes of Ragnar Danneksjold. The government has better arms, but attacking a colony like that wouldn't look very good, and these are the same people unwilling to stop illegals from entering our country.
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      • Posted by ewv 3 weeks ago
        Ragnar illustrated a superior morality and intelligence beating the statists at their "own game", but in fictional, essentialized form. What he did in the plot could not happen in reality. Going "head to head" with a Federal agency would likely get you killed after the first skirmish.
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      • Posted by term2 3 weeks ago
        The govt attacked Ruby Ridge and Waco relentlessly and completely. Nothing stopped them. They would go after a gulch to the end. There was also a cult in I think oregon (the Bagwan sp). Destroyed it.
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  • Posted by Rex_Little 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    Well. . . keep in mind that Eddie Willers himself wasn't invited.

    Also keep in mind that the Gulch is fictional. Whether or not something like it could be created in real life, or would be sustainable, is not something Rand spent a lot of time working out.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
      She said it was fiction and not practical.
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      • Posted by  $  3 weeks ago
        I agree, but in theory with a large enough population, diverse enough in talents and abundant enough in resources to be self-sustaining, in theory it could work but you'd have to operate in complete secrecy because if the Feds know you're there you can still be placed under their thumb. If there was really an en masse movement (we'd have to be talking hundreds of thousands of strikers buying up a vast unpopulated area not already government-owned, enough to build a small city), enough to tell the state and federal governments to pound sand and mean it, I could theoretically see it happening but in all practical terms probably not.
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        • Posted by ewv 3 weeks ago
          Implementation of her philosophy is practical in one's own life, and if the ideas are sufficiently spread and understood, for a morality-based society, and she did spend a lot of time on explaining that. But that should not be confused with the fiction of the plot in Atlas Shrugged, which is not realistic and could not happen -- and not just because the statists with power wouldn't allow it.

          On a cultural scale it requires widespread understanding of the philosophic principles and how to apply them, which is what Ayn Rand advocated as a prerequisite for national reform. If that happens on a wide enough scale nationally then the statist-collectivists in power now could not stop it, though if they tried to crack down while politically entrenched in some kind of dictatorship they could cause a civil war. But the reform would come through the spread of ideas, not by trying organize a "strike" to collapse the country, assuming that what rises out of it could be successful without widespread understanding of a philosophy of reason and individualism.
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  • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
    Servo75: " I wonder how the Gulch can be so completely self-sustaining, not requiring any transaction with the outside, with such a limited population."

    The Valley in Atlas Shrugged was a fictional device invoked to illustrate the essence of how the morally best people interact with each other. It was not intended to represent a possible organized society or economy. Ayn Rand explained her purpose in fiction in her The Romantic Manifesto.
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    • Posted by  $  3 weeks ago
      Well, I did mean in the context of the book :) Reading and watching, I'm thinking, "No way can they have the physical resources and diversity of talent for a completely self-contained, self-sustaining society with no trade with the outside world."
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  • Posted by  $  25n56il4 3 weeks, 4 days ago
    Interesting careers people. My BFF is an engineer (worked at Lockheed). His talent however, is making money and he is very successful at that. He is also very involved in the Charter School idea. He prefers the classic education to today's crap!
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 weeks, 4 days ago
    It seemed like the world was moving toward valuing specialization in the 80s, and now I sense it's moving back toward people who can use computers, technology, and math creatively to pull the right tools together to create value. So I suspect if you work hard with the abilities you have, you'll get a high-paying job if that's what you want. If you want to become an entrepreneur and you surround yourself with good entrepreneurs, you may become one.

    I think our culture puts too much emphasis on innate aptitudes. When we look for team members, we say we look for "talent". Natural talent matters, but effort spent building up skill and effort spent using them are way more important. The book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success got me thinking about this.

    When I read AS, I imagined that although the story focuses on business and engineering leaders, the world in that story had people all over wanting to live their dreams, mostly dreams unrelated to being a business leader. When they were diverting those rations of foods and taking away freedoms, I imagined there were millions of untold stories of people struggling to live their own dreams while under the boot of an increasingly oppressive government.
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    • Posted by  $  3 weeks, 4 days ago
      Well, this is a very good point. I think in the Gulch, with a limited population, they need people who can do a lot of different things. Thus, the most important aspects are not only hard work (I could spend all day digging holes, it's work but not worth anything to anyone) but utility, reliability, honesty, willingness to learn, the soft skills. Whereas I find in the outside world @CircuitGuy's observation is true, that surely even a non-Randian boss will value all of that too, but will put out a job description wanting the "perfect" candidate, a superman who no way will possess all of those skills. They value hard work, but they value credentials even more (and then they wonder why they can't get and keep good workers). With my own experience, I find that three different jobs might want, respectively, experts in A, B, and C. Someone like me who instead of one of those has about 80% of each will not do, and they key is How do you convince a non-Randian boss that you ARE willing to work hard and learn that last 20%? while for someone in the gulch that same person would be a perfect candidate because they're always willing to learn. The problem with hiring managers in the outside world is that they have a cookie-cutter idea of what they're looking for and value pieces of paper over soft skills and work ethic. In other words, they value the "now" over potential. Of course you have to be able to hit the ground running in any job, but the way I see it I could already do about 80% of it, and no matter what, at some point, in a changing world I'm going to have to learn SOMETHING on the job anyway, I would think that should be a valued skill. I gather that in the Gulch, it would be.
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 weeks, 3 days ago
        "job description wanting the "perfect" candidate, a superman who no way will possess all of those skills"
        It's hard to write those descriptions. Often they're hiring someone because they're busy and don't have time to write a good description. Sometimes they're writing it with a mind for avoiding the last person in the position who didn't work out rather than thinking of a great new person.

        "they value credentials even more"
        It may be closer to laziness than strategy. Laziness may be the wrong word. Running a business is hard. It's easy to be overwhelmed and just go with credentials. They may not have a good system to select candidates for an interview, but they know "you don't just roll out of bed and graduate from MIT."

        "How do you convince a non-Randian boss that you ARE willing to work hard and learn that last 20%? "
        Interviewing is weird. You never know what's going through the hiring manager's mind. The candidate may remind the manager of someone else in the past. The manager may be concerned that the candidate would clash with some other personality there for some reason. Giving the manager some credit, she may be thinking, "I just want to get someone predictable for this role. I don't want someone willing to learn and think outside the box. I need him showing up on time and being OCD about details." In this case the manager did the right thing by not hiring you, if this is not the type of person you are. Ideally eventually you come across someone looking for someone willing to learn but without the perceived attitude of an elite school.

        "they're looking for and value pieces of paper over soft skills and work ethic"
        I have seen many counter examples, with managers saying they want a technical person but who is also easy to talk to and who can work with difficult personalities.

        "I gather that in the Gulch, [ability to learn on the job] would be [a valued skill]."
        In my idealized image of a free society, some people would value that and others would value other things, e.g. fast recall, fastidiousness, Rolodex of past contacts, vast knowledge. In a large economy, that's actually a good thing. There's a pot for every kettle. You don't have to deal with the inefficiencies of struggling in a job that requires previous knowledge and someone else doesn't have to struggle to figure out how to learn information he was never taught.
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        • Posted by  $  gharkness 3 weeks, 1 day ago
          It also doesn't hurt to know someone. I don't mean a crony. I mean someone who is similarly talented and has become established, and recognizes that you also have similar, if unrealized, capabilities. They will notice this not because you told them, but because they saw you demonstrate this fact. They can help you get moving, where at that point then you either sink or swim. Finding that person may be difficult, but lots of things are difficult and we do them anyway. Especially Gulchers.

          Someone I know (I hate being so vague but have promised confidentiality) never made it past high school - heck he almost didn't make it OUT of high school, but through a combination of grit, talent, and determination, has become extremely successful. People who report to him are in most cases far more credentialed than he is, but they certainly aren't more competent (In addition, he does his own hiring; none of that 'hiring manager' crap - and this is with a global enterprise company. )

          In his first real job out of school, in a fairly low-level job, he attracted the attention of someone who was a bit more established than he was, and that person recognized what he had there, and has been an enormous help. It's been more than 20 years since that first job, and while the path has sometimes been rocky, and sometimes goes up AND down, it has ended up in a very good place. And he and that person whose attention he attracted are still very good friends.

          "How do you convince a non-Randian boss that you ARE willing to work hard and learn that last 20%? " That's a pretty good question, but know that "working hard," while necessary, isn't sufficient. There has to be something "in there" that transcends hard work, even if you "only" want to be an Eddie Willers....if you wish to take a non-traditional approach.

          As I hear often: if it were that easy, anybody could do it! :-) Don't let that discourage you, though. Just know that your path might be a bit rockier and steeper, but you can still climb it.
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      • Posted by Kittyhawk 3 weeks, 1 day ago
        You might also consider whether you need a "boss" and a traditional job, or whether you could use your skills as a freelancer and be your own boss. Websites like Upwork list lots of jobs for people with various talents. If you perform well on some initial jobs for lower pay and build a good reputation, you can gradually start charging more and handling more demanding jobs. The rating/feedback system on these freelance job sites is an alternative way to demonstrate your credentials and ability to potential customers and employers, rather than having a degree or a resume showing years of work experience.
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