Monday, April 19, 2010

Weird Story About Jim Manzi And Job Hunting

I was reading this post by Ross Douthat today, and came across this section:
I’m not going to argue that this is a golden age of conservative domestic policy, exactly, but I do think that the end of the Bush administration has opened up space for a lot of interesting conversations, and allowed some impressive younger thinkers come to fore. Jim Manzi, Yuval Levin, James Capretta, Nicole Gelinas, Brad Wilcox, Luigi Zingales, Ramesh Ponnuru, my former co-author … maybe it isn’t the lost early-1970s world of Commentary and The Public Interest, but it certainly isn’t an intellectual wasteland.

Yuval Levin came to speak at the graduate seminar I was taking with Prof. Deneen, so I knew some of his background. I've read Luigi Zingales' book, Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists, so I knew a bit about him. I've also come across writing by many of the other people in my blogging. But Jim Manzi stuck out.

I'd obviously read his posts over at The American Scene, responded to them here in this space, and he was even nice enough to respond to some of my questions here at FLG in the comments. I like his method of argument. He always states his assumptions clearly, and he proceeds logically. There are a lot of things I like about Manzi, but foremost is that I've always been impressed with his statistical and quantitative fluency.

Anyway, upon reading Douthat's post, FLG wondered what Manzi's background was. Thanks to Wikipedia, FLG found his answer. BS in math from MIT. Phd from Wharton. Head honcho for Applied Predictive Technologies.

Then FLG had the following conversation in his head:
Makes sense why he so good with numbers, now doesn't it?

Applied Predictive Technologies? Isn't that over in Rosslyn? Or is it Ballston?

Yes, I believe it is Ballston.

Wait. Didn't you apply there when you graduated from Georgetown a couple of years ago?

Yes, I believe I did. I don't think those bastards ever got back to me.

Let me go to their Careers page and see what's what. What's this here?

"APT's commitment to excellence is second to none. That is why more than three-fourths of our consulting and development staff have degrees from one or more of the following institutions: MIT, Stanford, Harvard, UVA, Penn, Princeton, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Dartmouth, Yale, Duke, and Columbia."

Oh, fuck me. That's why they didn't respond. A 3.48 from Georgetown in International Economics just ain't gonna cut it.

Wait, I hate this type of self-congratulatory shit. Look at us, we're from elite schools nonsense. So pretentious. Bunch of insufferable twits. Gives me a viscerally icky feeling.

That's not right. Jim doesn't ever seem pretentious and all that in his blog posts or his comments. And you are awful sensitive to those things and pick up on it quickly.

Yes, but you know you don't fully trust people who can solve differential equations in their sleep or write down the cumulative distribution function of a Chi-square distribution from memory.

Good point. T'was probably best for all involved that they never got back to me.

Yeah, they probably analyzed the text of your submission for the tell-tale signs of insanity.

Hey, I'm not nuts.

You're having a conversation with yourself right now.

uhh...uhhh...Shut up!


Withywindle said...

Steve Sailer would probably say that the Ivy-League screen is a proxy for an IQ test, which they aren't allowed to give and/or fear giving for risk of being sued. Take with the usual grain of salt.

The Ancient said...

I agree.

Withywindle said...

With Sailer or the grain of salt?

Jim said...

I read your blog, and came across this. This is a weird confluence of "writing life" and "real life" for me as well.

I'm very embarrassed that we apparently failed to responded to your inquiry. That should never have happened, and I apologize.

With apologies,

FLG said...

"I'm very embarrassed that we apparently failed to responded to your inquiry. That should never have happened, and I apologize."

No worries. I may have simply misplaced the email.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Manzi was not happy with that 3.48 judging by his NR op-ed about recruiting in consulting.

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