from the world's big
Facebook Profiles are the new Resume
Today, I would like to share some thoughts on social media, particularly about Facebook with you.
I started using Facebook in late 2007 but did not get much out of it until earlier this year when I started using it as part of the social media strategy for my Deutsch Happen project. The reason why I joined Facebook was purely business driven. I did neither connect with my family nor did I look for old school friends, and I think that is the main reason why I use it differently compared to its core users. But looking at the growing importance of the network, I believe that more and more people will start using it the way I do. Targeted and very controlled.
It is an open secret that colleges, universities and employers love to scan the Facebook profiles of applicants. A recent article on Mashable gives seven reasons why recruiters prefer to connect via Facebook and not LinkedIn. Not surprisingly, from the applicant’s perspective it’s exactly the opposite as they prefer to connect via LinkedIn and thus the dedicated network for business as they want to keep their private life private which is understandable in my opinion.
BranchOut, an application for Facebook that adds a professional network structure similar to LinkedIn to the platform just launched RecruiterConnect, a tool to source job candidates on Facebook and build private talent networks.
The reason for this new move is to be found in the overall strategy of Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg which essentially centers around the aim how to get people into sharing everything on the network. And as the privacy settings are still kind of confusing to many, recruiters have access to a goldmine of information. It turns them basically into a profiler.
Everybody knows that cover letters have always been polished and focused on the advantageous aspects of the applicant, and I guess the same is true for LinkedIn profiles. As this network is focused on professional connections you won’t find all the “interesting” stuff you can see on a Facebook profile. I won’t go into the old debate of sins of one’s youth but in times where companies and institutions get used to the concept of cultural fit even relatively harmless status updates might have a certain influence on decisions being made.
Two weeks ago, Leo Laporte and Tom Merritt interviewed Guy Kawasaki, former Apple evangelist, author and Venture Capitalist, for their show Triangulation on the TWiT network. The focus was on Guy’s new book “Enchantment” and during the interview they also talked about Facebook profiles and their importance for college applications. Guy’s advice was pretty straight forward: If you know that they look at it, use it as a marketing tool. Instead of posting party pictures, post pictures where you did voluntary work or from your various activities. Post status updates about what awesome stuff you are doing and so on.
Getting back to my personal use of Facebook and other networks like Twitter etc I completely agree. My credo has always been “The Internet only knows what I want it to know.”. That does not mean that what you read or see of me is another person or played. But when you decide to “live in public” you need to take care of your private life even more. With the growing importance of online reputation and influence in the digital age, I believe this behavior will become a standard in our society. Even today there are the first startups working on repairing and maintaining your good reputation online, and I think this is going to be a huge market in a couple of years when people will want to cover up sins from back in college in order to get a promotion or better job.
Now, there are of course a couple of consequences tied to this. First of all, this kind of behavior is not in the interest of Facebook as a big part of its business relies on its users that these share everything with everyone in an ideal scenario. If people decide to use the network strategical and as a resume builder, a revenue model based on social games, advertising and shopping won’t work anymore. Instead of Farmville or other games people might choose applications like Acceptly, Inigral or Hoot.Me to show their seriousness.
Secondly, there is a need to be yourself on the Internet. People want to share things with like-minded people, especially when they cannot do it in a work environment where they need to think about what is appropriate and what not. Hence the need for closed, save and anonymous places on the Internet is only going to get bigger. Examples are networks like Path or Anybeat and there is of course Second Life which already seems to experience a second spring.
Lastly, there is also the possibility for a social network that targets students who want to build their resume online, so basically a Facebook that goes all the way back to its roots on the Harvard Campus.
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From "if-by-whiskey" to the McNamara fallacy, being able to spot logical missteps is an invaluable skill.
- A fallacy is the use of invalid or faulty reasoning in an argument.
- There are two broad types of logical fallacies: formal and informal.
- A formal fallacy describes a flaw in the construction of a deductive argument, while an informal fallacy describes an error in reasoning.
Appeal to privacy<p>When someone behaves in a way that negatively affects (or could affect) others, but then gets upset when others criticize their behavior, they're likely engaging in the appeal to privacy — or "mind your own business" — fallacy. Examples:<br></p><ul><li>Someone who speeds excessively on the highway, considering his driving to be his own business.</li><li>Someone who doesn't see a reason to bathe or wear deodorant, but then boards a packed 10-hour flight.</li></ul><p>Language to watch out for: "You're not the boss of me." "Worry about yourself."</p>
Sunk cost fallacy<p>When someone argues for continuing a course of action despite evidence showing it's a mistake, it's often a sunk cost fallacy. The flawed logic here is something like: "We've already invested so much in this plan, we can't give up now." Examples:<br></p><ul><li>Someone who intentionally overeats at an all-you-can-eat buffet just to get their "money's worth"</li><li>A scientist who won't admit his theory is incorrect because it would be too painful or costly</li></ul><p>Language to watch out for: "We must stay the course." "I've already invested so much...." "We've always done it this way, so we'll keep doing it this way."</p>
If-by-whiskey<p>This fallacy is named after a speech given in 1952 by <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah_S._Sweat" target="_blank">Noah S. "Soggy" Sweat, Jr.</a>, a state representative for <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississippi" target="_blank">Mississippi</a>, on the subject of whether the state should legalize alcohol. Sweat's argument on prohibition was (to paraphrase):<br></p><p><em>If, by whiskey, you mean the devil's brew that causes so many problems in society, then I'm against it. But if whiskey means the oil of conversation, the philosopher's wine, "</em><em>the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman's step on a frosty, crispy morning;" then I am certainly for it.</em></p>
Slippery slope<p>This fallacy involves arguing against a position because you think choosing it would start a chain reaction of bad things, even though there's little evidence to support your claim. Example:<br></p><ul><li>"We can't allow abortion because then society will lose its general respect for life, and it'll become harder to punish people for committing violent acts like murder."</li><li>"We can't legalize gay marriage. If we do, what's next? Allowing people to marry cats and dogs?" (Some people actually made this <a href="https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/national/cats-marrying-dogs-and-five-other-things-same-sex-marriage-won-mean/dLV9jKqkJOWUFZrSBETWkK/" target="_blank">argument</a> before same-sex marriage was legalized in the U.S.)</li></ul><p>Of course, sometimes decisions <em>do </em>start a chain reaction, which could be bad. The slippery slope device only becomes a fallacy when there's no evidence to suggest that chain reaction would actually occur.</p><p>Language to watch out for: "If we do that, then what's next?"</p>
"There is no alternative"<p><span style="background-color: initial;">A modification of the </span><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma" target="_blank" style="background-color: initial;">false dilemma</a><span style="background-color: initial;">, this fallacy (often abbreviated to TINA) argues for a specific position because there are no realistic alternatives. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher used this exact line as a slogan to defend capitalism, and it's still used today to that same end: Sure, capitalism has its problems, but we've seen the horrors that occur when we try anything else, so there is no alternative.</span><br></p><p>Language to watch out for: "If I had a magic wand…" "What <em>else</em> are we going to do?!"</p>
Ad hoc arguments<p>An ad hoc argument isn't really a logical fallacy, but it is a fallacious rhetorical strategy that's common and often hard to spot. It occurs when someone's claim is threatened with counterevidence, so they come up with a rationale to dismiss the counterevidence, hoping to protect their original claim. Ad hoc claims aren't designed to be generalizable. Instead, they're typically invented in the moment. <a href="https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Ad_hoc" target="_blank">RationalWiki</a> provides an example:<br></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">Alice: "It is clearly said in the Bible that the Ark was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">Bob: "A purely wooden vessel of that size could not be constructed; the largest real wooden vessels were Chinese treasure ships which required iron hoops to build their keels. Even the <em>Wyoming</em> which was built in 1909 and had iron braces had problems with her hull flexing and opening up and needed constant mechanical pumping to stop her hold flooding."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">Alice: "It's possible that God intervened and allowed the Ark to float, and since we don't know what gopher wood is, it is possible that it is a much stronger form of wood than any that comes from a modern tree."</p>
Snow job<p><span style="background-color: initial;">This fallacy occurs when someone doesn't really have a strong argument, so they just throw a bunch of irrelevant facts, numbers, anecdotes and other information at the audience to confuse the issue, making it harder to refute the original claim. Example:</span><br></p><ul><li>A tobacco company spokesperson who is confronted about the health risks of smoking, but then proceeds to show graph after graph depicting many of the other ways people develop cancer, and how cancer metastasizes in the body, etc.</li></ul><p>Watch out for long-winded, data-heavy arguments that seem confusing by design.</p>
McNamara fallacy<p>Named after <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_McNamara" target="_blank">Robert McNamara</a>, the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Secretary_of_Defense" target="_blank">U.S. secretary of defense</a> from 1961 to 1968, this fallacy occurs when decisions are made based solely on <em>quantitative metrics or observations,</em> ignoring other factors. It stems from the Vietnam War, in which McNamara sought to develop a formula to measure progress in the war. He decided on bodycount. But this "objective" formula didn't account for other important factors, such as the possibility that the Vietnamese people would never surrender.<br></p><p>You could also imagine this fallacy playing out in a medical situation. Imagine a terminal cancer patient has a tumor, and a certain procedure helps to reduce the size of the tumor, but also causes a lot of pain. Ignoring quality of life would be an example of the McNamara fallacy.</p><p>Language to watch out for: "You can't measure that, so it's not important."</p>
A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.
- A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
- Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
- This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".
Generation Ships<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a1e6445c7168d293a6da3f9600f534a2"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/H2f0Wd3zNj0?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Many of the most popular apps are about self-improvement.
Emotions are the newest hot commodity, and we can't get enough.