Blog author's reply:
"Aha! At long last, after nearly four years, I believe Jennifer may have finally cracked the mystery. This seems pretty plausible. I only wish her link carried me somewhere that I could thank her. Here's hoping you come back and take a bow, Jennifer. Thank you all for taking part in this bit of distributed intelligence exercise. I loved watching it all unfold. And of course, I'm not discounting the distinct possibility that it will continue to unfold in ways I couldn't have guessed."
-The second part of the blog post ('Coming Across This Line [...] no better than its woods." Indeed... ') appears to have nothing to do with the first part (the quoted classified ad) and can be ignored.
-The blog post's comments section chronicles various sightings of this ad over the years. Unfortunately, the site only shows the time the comment was posted, not the date. The first comment is from around 10 years ago.
I guess that's the end of the mystery? Or am I missing something?
Off topic, but is there a linking service where the reader can be directed to an arbitrary location within the page? In this case we could just click on the link and it'll directly take us to that particular comment?
I'm just surprised that there's still no way for me to link someone to a particular paragraph within a Wikipedia article in the year 2014.
Wikipedia articles have the same functionality: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML_element#Anchor
I used to use a service called "yellow hilighter", but it died and all my links broke, so fair warning :)
Here is the wiki
If you click this one below, you will be brought straight to the 'Timeline' section
Just append your URL with the selector for a DOM Element with a unique ID. In this case, the 'Timeline' div has a unique ID of 'Timeline', so I've simply appended that to the URL.
Welcome to 2014 :)
I did that for some reason I don't remember many years ago, but it's quite fragile.
OTOH if you do it based on text content it somewhat resists better to htm changes but not to content changes.
These assholes churn through assistants like you wouldn't believe. Most quit, in spite of the high pay, out of basic self-respect. The others are fired during a tantrum.
Most of these jagoffs have a few pending wrongful termination lawsuits at any given time. Just ask them, they'll probably brag about it.
Like the don't hire an asshole rule would be hire only assholes, and once in a while they'd hire someone who wasn't.
That said if you don't mind working with douches at least you'll be working with douches who aren't trying to pretend their running a 'family' as a company, which is refreshing when you're used to hearing about how the founders aren't really in it for the money but really want to 'change the world'. Financiers want to change the world too, namely, turn it into change and put that change in their pockets.
I worked on the outskirts of the finance industry, it was still pretty insane, but nothing like the guys actually in it.
> First example: David hires a Ph.D. in English literature (he has a thing for “geniuses”, even in the mail room) to test mattresses for him. So that person’s job is to sleep on 15 different mattresses, for 8 nights each, and draw up a report to tell him the pros and cons of each mattress. This is to avoid him having an uncomfy night’s sleep. That’s what the risk was that we were avoiding with that.
> Second example: David wants to be sure his trip to California goes smoothly, so he hires a Ph.D. in Something to take the exact same trip – same car service to the NY airport, same flight (same seat on plane!), same car service upon arrival, same hotel, exactly a week before his trip (due to understood seasonality issues of air travel) – to make sure there are no snags, and to draw up the report that presumable explains how much leg room there was in his plane.
As an aside, their research group encouraged me to apply for a position shortly before I graduated college. The application asked for things like SAT/ACT scores and (number of) lines of code written in various languages. I thought my application looked pretty good, but I guess my ACT score was too low for them to consider me (even potentially!) brilliant. I still feel kind of bitter about that.
They also know first hand how litigious and vindictive these guys get. My friend nearly killed himself as a result of being repeatedly dragged through the courts. He was forced to burn his life savings on lawyers, after his two asshole employers predictably turned on each other. And he was just a witness in the cases, a pawn, subject to torture by two of Wall Street's most successful entrepreneurs. They blew millions on lawyers and ruined lives, just to fuck with each other.
For me, the experience was just as weird and intriguing as the ad itself. First off was the reception area. The cathedral ceilings throw scale completely off, dwarfing the visitor... http://tiny.cc/ne5pew It does convey a sense of power and high-tech savvy, but it also seemed dated. A young, very polished woman took my jacket. I looked her up later and she'd been a child actress in at least one film that I'd seen. Everyone was very nice in kind of a cult-y way. I was led to an office in the middle of a floor full of empty workspaces. The guy who interviewed me was a lawyer and said he still worked part-time on the side, and that that was an accepted part of the culture. Mr. Shaw had basically unlimited money thanks to the success of his hedge fund, but he did not have unlimited time. To create more time, they were staffing up for personal assistants who could handle everything from getting Knicks tickets to making dental appointments. We both figured out it wasn't a match early on, so we had a nice conversation instead. And somewhere in that building I guess my resume still sits...
edit: The thread started by yesprocrast2 covers the topic further. I guess working among geniuses for one of Wall Street's winners isn't all it's cracked up to be.
EDIT: Well, I guess not. Looks like the resolution was far more anticlimactic.