The Brief No. 55: What's your sign?

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October 09, 2019

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Personality Tests as Astrology for Hiring? A recent New York Times article focused on “Pop Science” personality tests like Meyers-Briggs and DISC to declare them “astrology for hiring”. We agree, to an extent, but the article lumps together pop-science tests with validated researched methods on predicting workplace performance. Since traditional hiring methods are unvalidated and shown to be ineffective... like pop-science personality tests, we lay out what to look for in personality tests and how to properly and effectively use them within your hiring process on the Hire an Esquire blog.

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The Last Unicorns? Is WeWork’s "journey" from potentially hot IPO to the brink of bankruptcy ending a collective venture investor trip? Public investors are also finding their visions of unicorns dissolving into donkeys as Peloton, Slack, Spotify, and Dropbox share prices drop; Uber continues to sustain staggering losses and plans for the previously aspirational black car service to stay afloat now include pushing shift work in partnership with brick and mortar staffing agencies. Or is this just the sequel to the first tech bubble bursting in the late 90s before an economic downturn? We’ll have to wait another  10+ years to see if early-stage venture investors will again pour large sums of money into “dreamy” male founders selling magical clothes. Can they once again convince later-stage and public investors to buy their shares at exponential multiples just in time to condemn the emperor’s naked jaunt down the street?

Doubling Down: The impeachment saga continues involving Trump’s making aid to Ukraine contingent upon investigating the son of his potential 2020 political rival, Joe Biden. POTUS doubled down on normalizing his use of the Presidential Pulpit to request foreign government investigations of political rivals by publicly calling for China to investigate Biden. The majority of Trump’s party lined up behind him to say his actions were permissible or at least not impeachable as other whistleblowers emerged. Party dissidents and anonymous whistleblowers promptly attacked by POTUS may have felt some kinship with California. The administration recently began another battle in the ongoing war with the state as the EPA sued California alleging clean water violations from the state’s homeless issue; if not corrected, under extraordinary circumstances the federal government could take over California’s environmental protection regulations. Meanwhile, the administration faced more friction in federal court rulings that blocked their policies of allowing migrant children to be detained with parents indefinitely, the sole use of flawed databases to target migrants, and the expansion of “fast track” deportations without immigration courts.  

(Im)Peachy Keen? Polls show the majority of Americans favor impeachment. This is sending law geeks can go down a rabbit hole (where did our weekend go?) over how impeachment could play out since there are less than defined standards and little precedent. The defense denying bribery because there was no “quid pro quo” (which is not the legal standard for bribery) has broken down with the release of text messages showing just that.  Still, a focus on discreet crimes may be irrelevant.  The impeachment process like the definition of “bribery, treason, high crimes, and misdemeanor” is not defined and as of now the Senate makes up the rules for an impeachment trial as they go. With only 2 presidents impeached, there is little precedent—and even if there was the current Republican-controlled Senate has not followed precedent. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could refuse to convene for a trial as he did for the confirmation hearing of President Obama’s Supreme Court justice nominee Merrick Garland. 

Between Us: In this edition of “what’s happening to our data” the Justice Department is weighing collecting DNA from migrants in custody. And Attorney General William Barr is saying that Facebook shouldn’t be the only one who has access to the public’s data; he is calling for backdoor access to encrypted messages on the Facebook-owned WhatsApp. Meanwhile, Facebook is in a rush to integrate encrypted messaging across its namesake site, Instagram, and WhatsApp. The integration would make it harder for presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren to make good on her promise to break up the tech behemoth if elected. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has stated that Warren being elected “would really suck” for Facebook. If you’re nostalgic for a time when personal correspondence had lower-tech tracking and wasn’t monetized check out some of the notes Supreme Court Justices used to pass to each other during oral arguments.

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The issues of mindfulness and understanding the mind have been top of mind in the mainstream and legal industry as of late. That’s why we’ve been watching the Netflix series “The Mind, Explained”. The series breaks down what is currently known about how the mind works from anxiety disorders to dreaming.

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