Funny things I’ve seen in resumes

I’ve probably blogged about this somewhere before, a LONG LONG time ago.  I had a sheet of paper on my desk with some of the funny things I’ve seen people write in resumes, and as I’m cleaning out my desk, I thought this would be a good time to just write some of them out so that I don’t lose them.  Every time I see these, they crack me up. This is also a good list of things you shouldn’t put into your resume.  Some of them were brilliant, others were devastating.

1.  Aiming high.

We were looking to hire a co-op student, junior programmer, and he had this to say in his cover letter:

“I have ideas about how to organize staff, optimize hardware, improve software & eliminate any inefficiency you might have.  All my new ideas bring profit.”

Alas, we already had an executive team – and the company was only a year old so our inefficiencies were pretty limited at the time.  However, we were never convinced that he would be a great programmer that could focus on the task at hand – and not be side tracked into trying to find news ways to bring us profit.

2. A little too short

Another applicant for a similar position took a completely different approach.  Instead of writing a cover letter, the applicant simply wrote out a couple of points on his resume, with the whole thing taking up less than half a page – and with pretty much no formatting. My favorite part of the resume was the final two lines:

“After work
Skydiving, rock climing, bungee jumping, animation, RC airplanes”

Aside from the complete lack of punctuation (there was not a single period in the entire resume), all I really got out of this was that the applicant liked putting his life in jeopardy and couldn’t write full sentences.  He didn’t merit an interview either.

3. Who wrote the resume?

How you present yourself is pretty important, and worth thinking about as well.  One of my all time favorites was from an applicant that referred to him/herself in the third person periodically – in bold typeface – throughout the resume.  Every section would look something like this:

“FIT: Jane Doe Likes People, and People Seem to Like Her”

It was creative, but just a little creepy. I have to give them credit for trying, and even more so for the footnote at the bottom of the resume:

“Don’t worry, Jane Doe doesn’t speak in the third person in interviews.”

I really hope not – but I don’t seem to recall having put that to the test.  In hindsight, I wish I had.

4. Mission accomplished.

Cover letter writing can be a hard job.  Not everyone really gets how to do it well – after all, it really has two parts to it: selling yourself and responding to the job post.  Getting that done well is a true skill – and an under appreciated one at that.

However, sometimes people aim a little low and make the mistake of writing things like:

“My objective is to apply for a job at your company.”

Needless to say, by the time someone at the company has received your resume, you deserve a pat on the back for having accomplished exactly what you set out to do.  I hope that the applicant aimed higher the next time and had the objective of getting the interview at least.

5. Hobbies

The hobbies section can back fire on a resume.  When it works, you can create an instant connection or provide interesting bits and pieces to discuss during an interview.  For instance, I found myself discussing music once with someone who had made a point of mentioning their interest in classical music.  An instant bond can sometimes be as simple as that.

However, beware the person who puts down obscure, or somewhat embarrassing hobbies. My all time favorite was the person who emphasized:

“Making Kung-Fu Movies”

I always wonder what adventures we might have had, if we’d have hired that applicant.

6. Linguistic/Cultural issues

It’s difficult enough to apply for jobs when you speak the same language as the employer, but it must be something even more difficult when it’s in a language you don’t speak fluently.  However, sometimes the barriers are beyond a simple language barrier – which can themselves be hard enough to overcome.

One in particular stands out with a bold header that started off with something like:

“I am the author of a discovery.”

It was a strange enough way to start, but the rest of the resume was a mashup of emails the applicant had exchanged from renowned people in his field, as well as a narrative story of the trials he/she had faced in their career.  The whole thing was entirely unprofessional and I have always wondered if it was a cultural thing, a linguistic thing, or just simply someone who just really marched to the beat of their own drum.

I do suspect that the applicant could have benefited from an hour or two with an English speaker, and maybe someone who had written or edited resumes for applicants who had achieved some success in their job hunt.

7. Follow up

My last note note to end this post is an email I received after we’d been accepting resumes for a couple of weeks.  I’ve kept this email because it’s a stark reminder to me that you don’t always know what’s going on at the other end – and you can seriously shoot yourself in the foot if you’re not paying attention to details.

“Dear Sir/Madam,

I have called [your company] a couple of times and also i had send my CV and covering letter for the position [title].  As i didn’t hear from you for a long time should i consider as not eligible for this position.

Thank you very much for not showing any interest inspite of my telephone calls.

[signed]”

I do remember the phone calls – which were mercifully not sent to me, but to another colleague.  I don’t think the applicant actually made any friends by repeatedly calling and harassing people at the company about when his interview would be scheduled – and I actually don’t remember the guy’s resume at all.  However, the email he sent put the nail in the coffin in any hopes he had of being hired.

And, naturally, he sent the email about a week before the cut off date that was clearly displayed in the job posting to which he’d applied.  His resume was undoubtedly in the stack that we were going to look through, but It most certainly didn’t make it into the short listed set.

Summary

There are a million ways to make yourself look good – and likely a few million more to make yourself look bad.  Take the time to get outside opinions on what you’re putting into your resume, and make sure it showcases your skills and talents, rather than highlighting what could be considered flaws.

While I’m no longer going to carry my little paper around with these jewels on it, I will always remember the fantastic people I got to meet during the interview process.  Being part of a growing company can be a wonderful experience, and the credit always belongs with the applicants – and, of course, the successful new employees.

TIL: Danish taxes are higher than Canadian taxes.

As a completely useless piece of advice for most people, I learned today that Canadians working in Denmark are advised not to give up their Canadian resident status – advice that is the complete opposite for Canadians working abroad in other countries.

As I understand, it comes from two different sides: one is that house appreciation for Canadians (non-resident) abroad is subject to Capital gains tax for the period while you’re away.  If you expect to be away while real estate prices are rising, you can be slapped with a hefty tax bill when you later sell your house.  (Apparently, you need to have your house appraised before and after your time abroad in order to minimize that problem.)

The second is that Canadian taxes are lower than Danish taxes, so you won’t be forced to top up your tax payments to the Canadian government after paying Danish tax.  As I understand it, there is an agreement between the two countries (as there is between many western countries) that income won’t be taxed twice – so which ever country you pay taxes to first gets the first cut, and then the second country will treat the taxes you’ve already paid as a credit.

For Canadians living in the USA, the same agreement is in place, but the taxes are much higher in Canada than the US, so it’s usually suggested that you give up your resident status in Canada while living abroad – and I’d just assumed that the same would be the case in Denmark. However, clearly that’s not the case.  By the time you’ve paid Denmark’s income tax, you’ve paid more  (if not MUCH more) tax so that Canada’s Revenue Agency  just leaves you alone, regardless of your income you make or your residency status in Canada.

Thus, for my time abroad, I’ll still officially be residing in Canada.  Yay for the Canadian tax system working in my favour!

Moving pets to Denmark.

Apparently, just when you think everything is done, it isn’t.  Moving a pet (cat/dog/ferret) to Denmark is a complicated process and there are hidden gems that no one will warn you about.

Fortunately, our contact in Denmark had the genius idea of sending our “completed” pet forms to the Danish vets that control immigration of animals at the airport we’ll be flying to in order to ensure that everything was filled out correctly:  It wasn’t.

The vet missed one field on one form – which will require another trip back to the vets to have it filled out, and then we discovered that gettting a vet to fill in the form is in itself insufficient!  The form says that you need an official endorsement only if your vet isn’t certified, but doesn’t specify how or by what they should have a certification.  Odds are, your vet isn’t sufficient.

Anyhow, If you’re leaving Canada with a pet, you need to find this page (Canadian Food Inspection Agency – Export Pet Dogs Cats and Ferrets to the European Union – Non-Commercial Movements to Member States (other than Finland, Republic of Ireland, Malta, Sweden and the United Kingdom)).  Once you find it, you’ll probably miss the tiny little link at the bottom that says:

Once all the above steps have been successfully completed, contact your local CFIA Office to obtain an official endorsement by an official veterinarian (competent authority – CFIA veterinarian).

The fee for endorsement is $20.”

Obtaining the endorsement doesn’t seem too hard – but I had to call up the office and make an appointment.  Fortunately, they can squeeze me in next week, so all will be good.

The office, by the way, appears to be at the Vancouver Airport, just steps away from a sky train station.

Now, I just have to hope we don’t find any more bumps like this!

Danish residence… pay up.

I just received the strangest email ever.  I’m not sure if the Danish government is trying to scam me, or if this is a weird joke, or if they really think I should pay up….

Dear Mr. Fejes,

We have recently received the decision on your residence permit appliaction. Since you did not originally apply trough [sic] us, we are required to charge a fee of $33cdn to deliver this decision to you.

Please let us know if you wish us to deliver this decision in this case. If so, you can pay the fee via a certified cheque or a money order made out to the Royal Danish Embassy. As soon as we receive the payment, we will contact you again with the results.

Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Best regards,

XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX

CONSULAR OFFICER
PHONE: +1 ### ### #### EXT. ###

ROYAL DANISH EMBASSY

I am so confused – and really, I wonder why the heck they think this is a good idea.

Denmark, you’re not exactly making this process look good.  I thought you were going to be so much better than Nigeria.

Edit:  Solved this one pretty quickly.  The application was submitted in Denmark, so the Danish Embassy in Canada wants me to pay them to find out the result. Or I can just talk to people in Denmark and skip paying the Embassy in Canada.(See How do you Receive the Ruling.) Of all the ridiculous money grubbing schemes, this one is pretty petty.

Womanspace – last lap.

I wrote a comment on Ed Rybicki’s blog, which is still awaiting moderation.  I’m not going to repeat what I said there, but I realized I had more to say than what I’d already written.  Specifically, I have much more to say about a comment he wrote on this article:

PS: “why publish something that you don’t believe in is another story” – no, it’s just that science fiction allows one to explore EVERYTHING, including what you don’t believe in.”

Ed makes a great point – Science fiction is exactly the right vehicle for exploring things that you don’t believe in.  Indeed, it’s been used exactly that way since the genre was invented.  You could say that Guliver’s Travels was a fantastic use of early science fiction, exploring a universe that mocked all sorts of contemporary idiocy that the author (Swift) disagreed with.

So, yes, I see Ed’s point – and he has a good one.  However, I’m going to have to disagree with Ed on the broader picture.  Science Fiction is perfect for exploring issues that you don’t believe in precisely because you can apply them to similar or parallel situations where they demonstrate their flaws.

For instance, if you want to write about how terrible apartheid is, you don’t set a science fiction novel in South Africa in the 1990’s, you set it up in on another planet where two civilizations clash – and you can explore the themes away from the flashpoint issues that are rife in the real world conflict. (Orson Scott Card explores a lot of issues of this type in his novels.)

The issue with Ed’s article – and there are plenty of them to chose from – is that he chose to engage with the lowest form of science fiction: Inclusion of some “vaguely science-like device” that casts no great insight into anything.  Science fiction, as a vehicle, is all about where you take it.

The premise would be equally offensive if he had picked: a race (“Filipino’s only get by because they have access to another dimension to compensate for their height”), a religion (“Christians use another dimension to hide from criticism leveled at their holy book”), or an age (“Anyone who can hold a job after the age of 65 is clearly doing so because they’re able to access another dimension”).

Ed could have made much better use of the vehicle he chose to drive.  He could have invented an alien species in which only one gender has access to a dimension, he could have used the alternate dimension to enable women to do things men can’t (and no, I don’t buy that men can’t shop efficiently) or he could have used his device to pick apart injustices that women face in competing with men.

Instead of using his idea to explore the societal consequences of the pllot device, he uses it to reinforce a stereotype.

That, to me, is not a good use of science fiction.  And the blame doesn’t just go to the author – it goes to the editors.  As a long time reader of science fiction, I can tell when a story doesn’t work and when it fails to achieve it’s desired effect.  This story neither worked, nor causes anyone to question their own values.  (It does, however make me wonder about the editor’s judgment in choosing to print it, as well as the author’s judgment in allowing it to be printed in a high profile forum.)

So, let me be clear – I despise the use of the sterotypes about women that Ed chose to explore. That he believes exploring gender issues this way is any less sensitive than race, religion or age would be is ridiculous – and shows a measure of bad judgement.

Having come up with a great tool (alternate dimensions) for making a comment on society (women and men aren’t treated equally), he completely missed the opportunity to use the venue (science fiction) to set the story in a world where he could have explored the issue and shown us something new.  In essence, he threw away a golden opportunity to cause his audience to ask deep questions and take another look at the issue from a fresh perspective – exactly what science fiction is all about.

Ed’s not a villian – but he’s not a great science fiction writer either.

Back on track, and off track…

Things are now back on track – or completely off track, depending on which part of my life you’re asking about.  On the good side, the move is now all set, and I can stop freaking out about it.

Moving to a new country is kind of like driving full speed towards a ridge.  You have no idea what’s on the other side, and blindly have to hope that it’s just a smooth curve over the top – and not an enormous cliff.   Now that I have a moving company arranged, at least I doesn’t look like a clif – maybe just a hell of a ramp.  CLC has been tremendously supportive – and I owe a big thanks to a few people (who I will not name, as I haven’t asked their permission to single them out) for being incredibly supportive. And thanks to all those CLCers who have left comments on my blog!  They have definitely helped remind me that there are great people waiting on the other side of the hump.

In contrast, my thesis moves by fits and starts.  It’s been distributed to all of my committee members, but one of them may not be able to even glance at it till sometime in the new year.  That’s a terribly discouraging sign as it will likely just push the defense date off even further – I’m starting to understand why some people just never finish their PhD.  [Insert scream of utter frustration here.]

Anyhow, with all that in place (or not in place, as the case may be), I’m spending a lot of time wrapping up simple chores and errands and trying to pack up the house.  No promises about getting any serious blogging done in the next two weeks – particularly not science blog posts.  On the other hand, I may have some pictures, once we head off on this adventure.  My good camera will be shipped out, but the trusty P&S will probably accompany us on the way.

The countdown begins!

Blogging about your own work.

Ok, so my titles aren’t nearly as inspired as Cath’s are.  This week hasn’t exactly been encouraging for puns, unless you consider massacring Danish pronunciation as a very complex linguistic joke.

Actually, I only have a glimmer of an idea tonight – but I’m writing because I need something to do to keep me up for an hour or so.  Sorry for the bad pun, but the clock *is* ticking and it’s only three weeks till I’m supposed to be in Denmark – and I still don’t have movers.  It’s driving me completely around the bend.  So, as a therapeutic device, I’m going to write my glimmer of an idea.  Please don’t be too harsh on it.

The idea for the post came from reading Jacquelyn Gill’s blog post, “Why did I start blogging?”  (By the way, please go vote for her to win CollegeScholarships.org Blogging Scholarship. She clearly deserves it!) Her post isn’t quite related, but at the same time, it is – you can go read it to see why, if you’re interested.

One of the things I struggled with for the past two years has been blogging about my own work. Of course, I interpret this as blogging about what you’re currently working on, not the stuff you finished months ago, which is always fair game.  (Blogging your own publications always struck me as blatantly endorsing yourself – something only politicians should need to do.)

Anyhow, blogging your own current work, showing the bumps and warts of science is something I love to do, and as a scientist, something I want to do as often as I can.  However, there are several problems with it.  It tends to tip your hand to the whole world about what you’re working on and that can have some disastrous consequences.

First, if you’re in a medical field, it can be difficult to talk about cases you’re working on, if there’s any form of patient confidentiality.  Many of the projects I’ve been involved in have required me to maintain complete silence about the nature of the project.  Blog + confidentiality = Instant ethics issues, methinks.

Second, if you’re working on a manuscript, presumably you’re going to have to keep everything you do quiet.  Heck, I’ve got a paper in the works for which the journal sent instructions that require absolute silence on whether it’s even been accepted or not, let alone contemplate communicating anything about the topic.  If I say any more about this, I’ll either jeopardize the publication or wind up in jail.  (Have I already said too much?)

Third, if you aren’t working on a manuscript, you’re either not an academic, or you’re working on an open science project.  I was fortunate enough that I my own project was open, allowing me to talk about my Chip-Seq work for the first three years of my PhD – but alas, that work never cumulated into a second paper.   That’s another rant for another day.

That leaves scientists in the awkward position that they either:

  1. blog about someone else’s work – as if they were journalists, describing their own fields,
  2. blog about their own work in vague terms so that their competition doesn’t scoop them,
  3. blog about work they’ve already published.
  4. blog about the unimportant stuff – or the stuff that they don’t plan to publish.

I can think of one exception: Rosie Redfield, who does a good job of writing about what she’s working on, although her recent work has all been about rehashing and verifying (or more accurately not being able to verify) someone else’s results.  (Yes, I’m referring to the arsenic bacteria fiasco.) I have to admit, I don’t follow any other bloggers who discuss their own data in public, but I’m sure there must be some out there…

Still, if this is a problem for academic bloggers, industrial bloggers face an even harder battle to discuss their own data.  I can think of Derek Lowe over at In The Pipeline as a great example of a blogger from industry.  I used to read his blog daily, and back when I was an avid reader, I seem to recall my favorite posts of his were from the lab – but were all about the strange mishaps and challenges faced by chemists, drawn mostly from the past.  Absolutely none of his current work was discussed, unless it ended in spectacular failure. (Those were good stories too…)

So, I often find myself wondering, when I hear people say that scientists should blog more about their own work, who exactly do they expect to follow that advice? (Btw, It’s something that pops up in conversation frequently, although I couldn’t think of a blog entry that makes that case specifically, off hand. If you need a citation, you’ll just have to settle for “personal correspondence.” Sorry.)

Are there a group of scientists who are willing to blog their own work at the expense of getting publications or being fired from their jobs?  Somehow, I have yet to meet this clique – although if I did, I’d have a lot of questions.  And I can’t imagine they’d be in a position to do this for very long.  You don’t get grants renewed without publications – and you wouldn’t have a workplace for very long either, if you kept blogging the secret sauce recipe.

Maybe, however, this is why some scientists chose to leave the lab bench to pick up the mantle of journalism.  Cue Ed Yong, for instance.  So, the solution isn’t that we need more scientists blogging about their own work, but that we need more scientists to leave science to blog about other people’s work…. or perhaps we should just ask them to stay in science and blog about other people’s work already.

Ahem.  Status quo wins again!

Preparing for “the After”

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about “the after”. That is, the post-PhD period. Personally, I’ve got a job lined up and the details are generally falling into place. While I’ll save the talk about moving for later, I thought it would still be a good opportunity for reflection, as things could have turned out quite differently.  I searched for other posts on the topic, but mostly found advice on how to become an academic, or how to find industry jobs – not quite the same thing as how to gracefully exit a PhD.  (Of course, it could be argued that I’m not exactly exiting gracefully and shouldn’t be giving advice, but that’s a matter of opinion.)

Several things stood out for me in the process. Right from the start, I probably shouldn’t have started thinking about “the after” until closer to my defense. This was a major mistake on my part.  Without a defense date in hand, I was simply operating on someone else’s assurances that I’d be done at a given time. Regardless of who it was that said it was possible, dates WILL slip until a defense date has been filed with the university.  As a grad student, you are dependent on other people setting aside time to edit, comment and process your thesis.  Your tuition does not pay their salaries.  Well, actually, it does, but they’re still not a service industry.  (ie, if your university gives someone 6 weeks to respond to your thesis, they’ll take 5.999999 weeks, if not 7 weeks.)

Anyhow, given that I messed that part up, there were other valuable lessons that I learned.

First, take the time to work out what you want to be doing “after”.  There’s no point in hunting for your dream job, if you don’t know what that dream job is.  Easier said than done, but an important first step – and gets my longest rant.  (feel free to skip down, if you want the tl;dr version)

Personally, I had spent a lot of time on this one issue, but even so, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted. One of my committee members took the time to promote the academic career to me about a year ago, and it left an impression on me.  I had to re-evaluate if that was something that would fit – and for nearly a year I seriously contemplated an academic track. A more ruthless consideration of whether I was happy with the actual job would probably have helped.  (Readers of my blog might remember a few posts when I was seriously debating the two possible courses.  In the end, I came to the conclusion that i just can’t see myself pursuing grants… but I would be happy to talk with investors again.)

In fact, I even went so far as to visit a highly respected academic institution who’s researchers work in the field in which I was most interested only to discover that I just didn’t fit there.  It wasn’t something I knew before going, but it became incredibly apparent after visiting.  While there, I gathered a lot of information that I needed in order to do some serious soul searching to figure it out. To have saved everyone the time and effort, I should have spoken to more people before – and filtered some of that advice much more rigorously.

I also had an opportunity to do something that would have given me a lot of responsibility, to work with a great team (ok, it was really an exceptional team) and to stay in Vancouver – and in the end, I had to turn it down for the simple reason that I really wanted to stay “hands on” in bioinformatics a little longer.  Once I figured out what it was I wanted to be doing, the choice became clear – even though the decision was still hard to make.  (I might kick myself for it later, but that remains to be seen.)

Second, while I don’t think you should be working on your “after” plans from the start of your graduate degree, remember that networking starts long before you’re ready to graduate.  As it turns out, I met the contact that led to my position several years ago, well before I was even close to finishing.

Actually, that itself is probably worthy of it’s own post.  However, the short version of how I found my “after” plan involves meeting and talking with someone over several years at AGBT, where I would spend 12 hours a day taking notes, 6 hours trying to network at parties, and maybe 5 hours sleeping, all while jetlagged.  The last time I met him in person I was working through a 9 hour jetlag.  The fact that I was able to hold coherent conversations at all, and that the people I met didn’t write me off because of it should be considered a miracle! You never know who will lead to a great position – or who might point you in the right direction – and there’s no reason to think that only contacts you meet at the end will be the ones that can help you find your dream job.

There are two minor points that should be apparent from my example: 1. even when you’re not at your best, try to be at your best!  You never know who will lead you to a job, a contact or a collaboration.  Networking is important, and I can’t stress that enough – even for a nerd like myself – even when you don’t think you’re networking.  2) Keep an open mind – but don’t waste other people’s time. I’ve interviewed people for positions before who had no real interest in taking it, once it was offered.  It doesn’t help anyone out, and doesn’t reflect well on you either.

Third, set a time line.  This may be the one thing I did right – Once I had an offer, I set a time limit on when I wanted to make a final decision. This had several effects:  It made me invest the time that went into the search up front, it also forced me to stop looking at some point and, of course, it leveled the playing field, so to speak – everyone I spoke to knew when I expected to have a decision so that the process wouldn’t be dragged out.  Admittedly, it felt dragged out, but that’s probably the time dilation that comes from working on a thesis.

A few things could have gone more smoothly, however: I should have had a time line that matched up with my defense date, rather than with my anticipated time of completion.  However badly off the time line was, it forced the process to be relatively transparent both for my self and for the people I spoke with.  I certainly didn’t want to leave anyone waiting for an answer.

The time line also had the effect of clearing off my desk.  Once the process was done, at least I could focus back on the task at hand: finishing my thesis.

Fourth, use your time wisely.  That might sound like a silly warning, but I could have done better.  There will come a time during your thesis writing when you realize you have nothing to do. You’ll be waiting on people to get back to you, or waiting on revisions, or something of the sort.  It is a great time to start your job search.

Having jumped the gun on this one, I’m instead using the time to plan an inter-continental move, so I guess I’m not doing too badly.  Yet, it did make the writing period a bit more stressful as I was setting aside time to meet/phone people while trying to hash out the drafts and chapters.  Deciding your career path does have a strange tendency to distract you from writing about your work.

Also, and as a complete aside, airplanes and laptops are a great combination.  You can write an awful lot without any distractions when you have a total of ~1.5 cubic meters of space – and no where to go.

Finally, talk to everyone you can.  If you’re not dead set on one specific job, it can really help to have sounding boards with whom you can discuss your options.  The more you know about things, the better.  Of course, that’s not to say that you should let people convince you not to do something you’d like to – but the more you know, the better prepared you will be for deciding where you want your life to do.

And, the corollary is, naturally, to listen to what they have to say.

So – recap time:

  • Work out your schedule so you know when you’ll be available to start the “after” part of your life.
  • Try to figure out what it is you want to be doing and get a clear picture of what you want and need.
  • Talk to people about what’s available that matches your dream job – or find out if your mental picture is real.
  • Build a realistic time line that includes deadlines for when you’ll have decisions.
  • Manage your time wisely
  • Talk with your friends to find out what they know – and to work through the tough choices.

If you manage to do all of that, you should be in good shape.

The next question, however, is: did I miss anything? What other advice should you give for planning your exit from your grad school degree?

Where does money come from?

In one of those rare moments of clarity, I realized that there exists a giant hole in my knowledge about the world.  I’m sure anyone with a reasonable economics degree can answer this for me… but this question completely flummoxes me. (I’ve always wanted to find a use for the word flummox, btw. Sorry about that.)

Where does new money come from?

I mean, I see economies expanding and all, but as I look through the whole cycle, I just don’t see where new money comes from – and I don’t mean new bills.

I can look at the water cycle, and see that new water is not created or lost, it just changes forms… and, as far as I can tell, money is the same way.

When you mine something from the ground, you sell it, but the money people pay you to buy it already exists in their account – it just transfers money from one owner to the next. When the banks charge you interest, they just expect you to get it from your account, which came from selling a product or a service…  it just goes on and on…

If a government prints more money, the general theory is that it just devalues the rest of the money through inflation.

Even money that is lost in the stock market isn’t really lost – you’ve just given it to someone else for a share of a company or commodity, which may have more or less value when someone else tries to buy it from you.   Again, no money is created or destroyed – although it tends to accumulate into the hands of those who know how to exploit the system, but that’s a different story.

So, where in the money cycle does money come from?

I apparently have some reading to do.

Edit: thanks to Ryan’s comment, the solution is below in the comments.

Civilization V on Kubuntu 11.10

Just in case I forget, I managed to get Civilization V to run in Kubuntu 11.10 this evening.  It required the following:

sudo apt-get install wine
winetricks d3dx9 vcrun6 vcrun6sp6 vcrun2003 vcrun2005 vcrun2008 vcrun2010
winetricks corefonts flash
winetricks vcrun2008

Setting wine to work as Windows 2008, and then selecting direct x 9 (not direct x 11) did the trick.

I have some odd audio problem with it conking out after a few minutes, but otherwise, it ran reasonably well. Time to test it out for a few more minutes, while I get the puppy acclimatized to her kennel. (-: