Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Lawyer Bubble: A Profession in Crisis

A straight talk, well written book about a profession most people admire, a profession in crisis.

From analytics/measurement perspective, if one's weighting is not data-based, not 'objective', one really rather should not be doing weighting, scoring, or ranking. US News & World Report, as the book presents, publishes law school ranking that appears to be using arbitrary weighting that has contributed to law schools' crazy and creative behavior towards  boosting their scores. The stories on law school student transfer, deans' book cooking details are saddening for a profession that ought to be doing something of much 'higher' standard and taste.

The entry level associate salary is shocking. I initially thought after so many years of hard studies and exams, they should get more than $160K. But I guess I watched too much Boston Legal where the life style there really reflects the top of the crop, not the norm.

Employment statistics is hard to believe. One case that when a law school graduate gets a full time gig  as food server and the dean counts it as 'employed'? is really.... :how good it is to turn law school into a revenue center for short turn profit really requires some soul searching.

Luckily my son has told me he is not going to law school.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius

Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius

Most of the coverage on his core work escapes me. The book was written in 1990, 23 years ago, but does not give any sense of being outdated. A very well written book.

LW's relations with Keynes is intriguing. Why at his very young age he was already so sensitive about his Jewishness is puzzling. It would be very interesting to see some coverage of his experience with Virginia Wolf, if in fact they met.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

1. The discussion of the imposter syndrome (~P29) is per se a bit arrogant, although quietly so. It is not problematic since the person seems to have the height and the foundation. 
2. The 'flat A' (p33): it is not that men don't regret that they forgot something in their exam answers. Men probably don't openly talk about that as often; doing so may appear weak. The trait that you get an A and still regret about is what makes you more successful in your next job. I admire that in SS. I am a bit turned off by people who drink a lot right after exams. I live in Chestnut Hill, MA, the middle of arguably the country's best college town. I see many student swamp bars and restaurants upon the completion of a quarter. I wonder how much regret is behind the drinks and parties
3. Connecting with Larry Summers: many say SS got lucky and was on fast track once getting into LS's wing and network. The thing is: as it turns out now, Larry's 'pick' of SS apparently is a great one. Obviously Larry cannot possibly pick everybody that passes into his radar. The deciding factor I suppose has lot of to do with SS 
4. This book is rumble-in-writing. It may not score very high as a sociological thesis. In citing findings and publications to get points moving, the skill is not there at advanced levels. The kill, the intellectual bent and edge, however, is felt throughout. If you read this book to get to know her better, this style serves better. I am glad she is not co-writing the book with a 'biographer'
I am not sure how and what to use the 34 pages of Notes (Page 183 to Page 217): why this book needs to put Notes at the end?
5. The 'sit-at-table' story (p27): Perhaps in the conference room in DC, the ladies were used to not come straight to the tables where seating means ranking, seniority, factions, power, authorities,... structured, while a conference room in the West Coast naturally is more unstructured. So attributing
the ladies slow to the table side to gender roles may be a bit too fast 'out of confounding' 
6. The book uses quite many experiment findings, many of which are self-reporting and are good for news reporting, but not analytically rigorous. A lot of generalizations are hasty. In the field of analytics, at least as far as I know, we don't comment on female colleagues’ style, success, personality, or likability. Your success is in your work. There could also be geo-difference: a DC suburban area may have very different gender culture from Brookline, MA
7. The whole page 42 deservers reading multiple times. Every graduate school dean who intends to improve his or her performance rating system must read this page 
8. How not to create environment where speaking up about one's own success is weighted too much towards self-promotion is interesting managerial subject. In the world today where emails prevail over speaker phone, girls are not necessarily lacking channel of speaking out
9. I don't agree that women go out to negotiate their salary and they have to justify it. Among other things, the one sitting across the table negotiating on behalf of the company is a woman 
The book, after page 90, starts to hurry up. 'Reading value' goes down precipitously. I don't have many bright spots to comment on.