Monday, November 30, 2009

Chase bank is ripping off unemployed people in Texas

Brenda Bell of the Austin American Statesman wrote a nice article entitled "Texas slow to offer unemployment recipients a free alternative to debit cards"

One of the things that Brenda noted in her article is that there is no transparency where Chase discloses how much money they are making from fees on these accounts.  She clearly worries that Chase is nickel-and-diming benefits recipients.  She rakes the State people over the coals for not getting that transparency written into the contract.

I'm receiving unemployment benefits through one of these Chase debit cards.  Chase is making up fees and nickel-and-diming me, and making exceptional effort to not give me my money.

Christy does all of the shopping, and my name is on the benefits debit card.  And I didn't want to have to take out hundreds of dollars in twenties at the ATM, only to immediately deposit them back into the same ATM in our normal checking account.  There were no fees listed for the on-line bill-pay.  So I set Christy up as a vendor and set up an on-line bill pay to pay her.  I gave Chase enough information to figure out that Christy's account is at Chase, so they could just transfer the funds into her account.  That is what they do with on-line bill pay through our normal Chase checking account.

The bill-pay transaction I set up was for the entire amount in my benefits account.  When the day came they denied the transaction for insufficient funds, even though the amounts were exactly the same.  Then on the next day they billed me a $1 fee.

I contacted them through their on-line support system--the only way to talk to them without paying $5.  I asked why the transaction was denied and why I was charged $1.  They replied that the "merchant who processes transactions often holds more than the exact value of the transaction in case there is a tip or similar increase in the final amount of the transaction", and it was that additional hold that exceeded my balance and triggered the denial.  And then the $1 was the standard denied transaction fee.

I replied and reminded them that they are the merchant in this place and that there was no reason why they should hold more than the value of the transaction, except to give them an excuse to deny my transaction and charge me a dollar.  And I still didn't have my money.

They replied and completely changed their story.  This time they said that there is a $0.50 transaction fee for using a non-Chase bank to complete a transaction, and it was this $0.50 fee that caused my transaction to exceed my available funds.

I replied and reminded them the transaction was entered in their website.  I asked them if they really wanted to go on record claiming that they did not own and operate their website.  I reminded them that there are no transaction fees listed in their contract or on the site.  I also pointed out that there are no $0.50 transaction fees accompanying the transaction.  The denied transaction still just shows the exact amount I had entered, which was the exact amount in my account.

I'm waiting to hear back from them now.  This is what I told them I wanted:
  • I want my dollar back.
  • I want you to fix your system to not charge $0.50 for on-line bill pay through YOUR WEBSITE.
  • I want you to refund everyone you have charged this bogus $0.50 fee.
  • I want my check for the whole amount.
In the meantime I have started making frequent trips to the ATM to take out as much cash as they will let me. I am very frustrated with Chase, and will be moving my account when I get some steady income again.

I wrote Brenda today and told her my story.  Hopefully she will dig into this further and get this fixed.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Bad things happen to good people.  Good things happen to bad people.

There are actually several reasons why this is true.  But I don't think it is as true as it seems.  In order to examine this we have to start with defining a few terms.

  • Good people - A good person cares for others.  
  • Bad people - A bad person cares for themselves.
  • Good things - Anything that a person enjoys. 
  • Bad things - Anything that a person doesn't enjoy.

No person is perfectly good or bad.  All of us are capable of creating both beauty and terror.  Most of us seem to slide along in the lukewarm middle--doing little noteworthy on either extreme for much of our lives.  Some people do more than others.  Some people do more good than bad, or more bad than good.  The human race is made up of few Hitlers and few Mother Teresas.  But most of us live on the continuium in between.

Different people find joy in different activities.  Many activities would be enjoyable to a large majority of us--beautiful vacations and beautiful homes.  But even beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  And there are a number of activities that would not be enjoyable to many people--sacrificing yourself for the sake of others, gaining power over a large number of others.  But I suggest that the selfish joys are quite universal, while the other-focused joys have much more limited appeal.  If that is true then the people who enjoy serving others have a broader range of enjoyments than the more selfish folks.

Think for a second about what a good person will enjoy.  They enjoy bringing joy to others.  They comfort the sick, help the needy, care for those who cannot care for themselves.  These are things that bad people will not enjoy as much.  And these are things that are not highly visible.

Think about what a bad person will enjoy.  They enjoy bringing joy to themselves.  They buy big houses and fancy cars.  They throw large parties.  These are generally quite visible things.  These are often things that even good people can see the pleasure in.

This distinction explains a large amount of the actual discrepancy of outcomes between good and bad people.  From the outside we see a person who has lavished good gifts upon themselves and we are jealous of those good gifts.  A good person with the same resources will give much away and appear to have fewer good gifts for themselves.  So a good person may have experienced a wider range of joys (and I might suggest a deeper and more fulfilling set of joys) but those joys are hidden in a way that others can rarely become jealous of.  While the spoils that a bad person lavishes on himself are easy to see and envy.

Consequences follow actions.  Sometimes the consequences are immediate, and other times they are delayed.  Sometimes the action that caused a consequence is apparent, and sometimes it is hidden.  These simple truths enable logic, science, and all of human society.

If a man hits his thumb with a hammer it will hurt.  The hammer doesn't know or care that the man is volunteering his time to help someone else.  The hammer only hits what it is aimed at.

Imagine a world where the hammers magically know what the carpenters are up to.  A carpenter who is volunteering his time to help others will be magically protected from hitting his thumb.  And a carpenter who is selfishly overcharging for inferior materials and workmanship will be magically caused to his his thumb quite often.  What kind of world would that be?

Science would cease to exist.  It would be impossible to conduct an experiment because the intentions and feelings of the scientist would always distort the outcome of the experiment.

Society would fail.  All a person would need to do is act vaguely with good intent in his heart, and success would magically find him.  There could be no competition.  There could be no games.  There could be no achievement.  There could be no learning.

This magical interruption is only possible with some intelligent all-powerful being (or beings) constantly measuring the intentions of every person.  That would not qualify as life.  The people would merely be Pavlovian puppets acting out the desires of the being(s) in control.

Instead of a magical-intent-based system, we live under a simple action-consequence system.

When I work hard and earn a paycheck it is simply the outcome that I expect.  I can learn to work harder or smarter to receive a bigger paycheck.  There is no crisis or self-evaluation in earning a paycheck.  But when I get paid a bonus, especially an unexpected bonus, I am forced to re-evaluate my place in the world.  And similarly, when I get laid off I am forced to examine myself and the criteria that I use to judge the world around me.  Unexpected outcomes cause us to search for the actions that we took to bring about these consequences.  That search often entails introspection.

Take a good man and a bad man, and sit them next to each other on an airplane.  Will they even speak to each other?  If they do, what basis do they have for a relationship?  They might find some common bond and have a significant conversation, but the odds are quite poor.  They have to have something else in common, and discover that commonality, or they will not connect in any meaningful way.

Take the same two men and sit them next to each other in a hospital waiting room.  Now they have a common bond that just might be interesting to both of them.  They will both be vulnerable and searching for answers.

If the waiting room is in the severe burn unit or pediatric oncology then they are that much more bonded to one another by their circumstances.  If they are in a holding cell together, or receiving dialysis together, that bond gets closer and closer.

Similarly, if the same two men are seated next to each other at a football game then they have something obvious and enjoyable in common to discuss.  Ski lifts, sail boats, and car shows all provide venues for good and bad people to meet, interact, and possibly form relationships around their common interests.

In this way, both good and bad events cause good and bad people to mingle in a way that is highly conducive to relationships, deep introspection, and change.

In my mind, that is the real reason why bad things happen to good people.  When a good man experiences bad things, that good man is called by his circumstances to minister to others who experience the same thing.  When a bad person experiences good things, that good many should come into contact with good people who will challenge him to re-evaluate his motive and actions.

I've started writing a fiction novel about this.  Hopefully this article won't steal my thunder on that....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Hiring Survey .com

The temporary site is up. It's just a placeholder that will get replaced once the surveys are ready to go. That should be next week or the following.

Just in case you were thinking about it, don't order anything from Cafepress yet.  I've ordered a shirt so I can make sure that the images work ok.  If it comes out ugly I'll figure it out and fix it....

Friday, November 20, 2009

Global warming scandal

If the emails are not faked then this might be the end of the whole global warming industry.  Short version:

Some hackers broke in to the email servers of one of the most respected global warming research centers (University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit.)  The hackers published tons of emails between the scientists there.  The emails are still alleged, not confirmed.  It could be that the hackers wrote the emails.

The emails contain clear admissions of guilt on a number of topics:
* Being utterly unable to prove global warming.
* Fabricating and altering data to pretend to prove global warming.
* Using a number of unethical tactics to keep global warming skeptics from being published.

Wow.  Just wow.

The hackers deserve every bit of punishment that they get.  But, if true, the scientists deserve to be banished to Antarctica for the rest of their lives.

Depression, day 3

Got to bed later than I planned.  Didn't sleep well.  I woke up around 4am with a splitting headache.  I took some medicine and managed to get back to sleep around 5.

I slept in until almost 9.  I woke up expecting to hear the dogs and wind howling outside, especially when I realized that I had slept in like that.  They weren't exactly gone, but I was able to focus and get through my day.

I can remember the feelings.  It was something like having a thick blanket draped over me while I tried to function.  Hard to breath.  Hard to see.  Hard to get up the energy to do anything.

I can remember the thoughts.  In Chris Thurman's terms, every 10 cent issue seemed like a 10 dollar issue.  Every 5 dollar issue seemed like a 500 dollar issue.  I knew they were 10 cent and 5 dollar issues, but they felt big and daunting--way out of proportion.

But I'm mostly feeling like myself again now.  Tomorrow could easily relapse, but I doubt it will.  That has to go down as the lightest depressive episode I can remember, praise God.

By the way, Chris's books are fantastic.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Depression, day 2 update

I've gotten quite a bit done.  I can still feel the wind blowing and the dogs howling, but they are outside and I am safe inside.

I'm about to give up for the night, do some exercises, and crawl in bed.  This probably stands as my best day 2 of a depression slump ever.  I'm going to try to get up early and focus on working again tomorrow.

Sixth Sense, the updated demo

This guy is truly a genius.  I have lots of great ideas, but lack the skills to make them real.  I am amazed at what he is making happen in the real world.

Whether or not you have seen the Sixth Sense interactions, watch this new video.  You will get a nice peak at the future.

Depression, day 2

I've been doing this 3-4 times a year for the last 25 years or so.  I know the feelings.  I know the thoughts.  I know the patterns.

Normally on the first day of a depression I stay up late watching a movie or something--trying to avoid thinking about myself.  Going to bed early, or even at my normal time, leads to lying there and thinking about myself and feeling more depressed.  Then I sleep in and do as little as possible on day two.  My eating and sleeping cycle gets out of sync with the rest of the world, and I spend more than the normal amount of time alone.

When the depression ebbs, usually after 3-6 days, I will go to bed early and then get up and shave and go back to normal life.

I stayed up a little late last night, but decided not to start a movie at bedtime.  Thankfully I was able to go to sleep relatively quickly.  I set my alarm and got up before seven.  I shaved.  I ate breakfast at the normal time.  I'm trying to break the normal patterns to see if I can get through this episode more quickly.  We'll see.

At the moment the dogs are howling, but they are still outside.  The rain has started, but there is still light outside and inside.  I'm a little optimistic that this will pass more smoothly and more quickly than most of my blue moods.

Now I'm going to try to get some work done.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The end is near (for Islamic extremism)

Johann Hari does some good for the name of journalism in this piece in the Independent. Brave and deep.

On September 18, 2001, I wrote that if I were president I would pursue the international criminals who had perpetrated the attacks in international criminal courts.  I said that I would use the extensive resources of our wonderful land to attempt to restore peace through humble negotiations.  I said then that this would snuff out the flame of extremism that was threatening to rise up and engulf our world in killing and destruction.

I was right.

It will get darker before the dawn, but the first rays of light are breaking.

And contrary to the sensational headline, Islamic extremism won't end completely.  The movement will lose its status as an acceptable form of Islam and fall out of the mainstream.  But dumb backwards hicks will continue to believe in it for many generations.  We can only hope that this generation will see the last public figures and major movements.


No one outside my friends and family reads this blog, so this is probably not news to you--my reader.  I struggle with depression.  Struggle is not really the right word.  Endure is more accurate.

Today I'm functional, but out of step with the rest of the world.  I can feel the pull of the dark clouds coming.  Tomorrow I will probably be useless.  Knowing that has never helped before.

This is my first depressed period since I started this blog.  Maybe blogging my thoughts during the depression will help.  Maybe I can write while depressed.  I've always been able to function, at least minimally, at work through them.  I'm going to try to write it because I'm supposed to be writing right now and I don't think I will be able to write anything else.

The depression is still just creeping in, sneaking in, winding up its destructive force to pounce.  I can feel it in my muscles.  I can reason out it's dark influence on my thoughts and self-talk.  The approach of this storm is familiar.  The smells and sights are well known.

I don't know is where it came from or why it came.  Normally there are emotional triggers.  This time the emotional triggers are quite impotent.  I can hear the depression start to pump up my worries, fears, and frustrations.  But I remember that just yesterday I was quite positive in outlook and feeling good about my chances to overcome the obstacles right in front of me.  So unlike many past depressions, I can calmly say that I don't believe in an emotional trigger this time.

That's not to say that I don't feel like I'm drowning--I certainly do feel that way.  I just know without a shadow of a doubt that I am sitting safely on the beach.  I don't know how long or how well I will be able to hold on to that confidence.

I've done this many times before.  I'm well experienced at feeling like I am drowning while I know that I'm not.  That's the depression.  I've been doing this since the beginnings of puberty.  Dark periods.  Angry phases.  It's a dance that I know well.

I wonder about chemicals or allergies or some neurochemical cycle of ebbs and flows.  My studies were in psychology, not psychiatry.  I don't know or understand the chemistry.  I don't doubt it.  I just don't know.

What I do know is that I cannot risk taking any anti-depressants.  Hereditary CorpoPorphyria doesn't like anti-depressants--really does not like them.  I don't think I got the HCP gene, because it also doesn't like fasting.  But fasting is only a known problem once a patient is symptomatic.  The warnings about fasting are just safety precautions in the name of being cautious, as best as I can tell.  So I don't dare to medicate myself. I'll take the devil I know over the devil I don't.  Thank you very much.

I don't want to be treated differently because I'm having an emotionally dark period right now.  But I will probably be hard to reach for the next few days.  I'm sorry that this will affect you.  Know that I'm doing my best to not let it affect you.

My jaw hit the desk

Click the link and be amazed.  Sound is not necessary.  The visuals are stunning.  I can't wait to see some of this in person.

Welcome to the wild-wild west

Techcrunch has an important article explaining an upcoming Senate hearing.  If you claim to understand or appreciate the internet then you have to read this article and understand the nature of the problem.  The internet is fundamentally unlike traditional brick-and-mortar businesses.  You need to understand what is broken before you buy anything else on-line.

A personal milestone

I just received a pair of hand-me-down shoes from my son.

Now I feel old.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Causes of the crisis

I ran across two good articles this morning explaining the recent financial crises and giving some limited prescriptions on what to do about it.

James Surowiecki has a good article in the New Yorker covering the debt bias in our tax system, and the problems that make it very difficult for a political system to fix that problem.

Roger Lowenstein has a good opinion piece on Bloomberg in which he identifies six big systemic risks that the financial crisis uncovered.  These are all secondary problems--absent regulations that should have limited the extent of the damage--as opposed to the primary causes of the financial crisis.

Hat tip: Barry Ritholtz at the Big Picture, as usual.  Good stuff Barry!  Thanks.

The hiring study

I'm looking for a job.  At least theoretically, I'm looking.  I have actually found one company that I'm interested in, in part because I think they would actively support me doing projects like the research and book(s) that I'm working on right now.  I will probably approach that company soon, but I want to get more work done on my research project so that I'm approaching them from a position of increased strength.

I've been telling some friends and family members about the research project.  I think I have my story straight now, and I'm ready to write it up for everyone.  :-)

At both Journyx and CompUSA I conducted interviews and hired people.  And, like every task that I take to I did some research on how to find good candidates, how to interview them, and how to make the best possible hiring decision.  I'm not a PhD in hiring, but I've advised lots of other hiring managers, and they have all reacted like I had genuinely helped them get their hands around this activity.

Now I'm a job seeker.  I'm going to the classes and reading the books.  And I see a genuine disconnect between what people are telling job seekers to do and what I think hiring managers are looking for.  I believe that the people who are giving this advice are well meaning and working with the best information that they have.  But on a couple of critical points I think that they are completely wrong.

There have been very few scientific studies of the hiring process, and none that I can find that cover both sides of the process--hiring managers are looking for candidates at the same time that job seekers are looking for work.  I don't have enough personal experience to just call everyone out and design a whole new process.  I would probably be significantly wrong on many details, and no one would pay attention to what I said.

So I'm about to launch a scientific study of both sides of the hiring process.  I'll do this through a set of surveys that I run on the internet.  I'm going to use a major web survey company--mostly because they have built-in reports and analytics that I can leverage.  I will have surveys for hiring managers, surveys for job seekers, and surveys for people who have recently been hired.

I have a marketing plan to use viral and traditional web techniques to (hopefully) get hundreds of thousands of people to take these surveys.  If I can pull that off then I will have a scientific data set that will either prove or disprove my theories.  And then the study itself will provide the credibility I need to speak on these subjects and sell some books.

I am not posting my theories on the internet yet because I don't want to pollute the surveys.  And I don't want anyone stealing the theories before I can get to press.

I'm a practical guy.  I believe in myself, but I also know that not all of my theories will hold up to the data.  I'm ok with that.  I'm going to publish whatever the data says.  But I know that one specific theory will definitely hold up, and that one theory alone will justify the books.  I've already started interviewing people who have recently gotten hired, and what I am hearing from them is both confirming my theories and providing a bounding-box for the surveys.

So there are risks, but complete failure isn't really one of the risks.  The biggest risk is that I don't get enough surveys filled out to credibly demonstrate anything.  However, I have great confidence in the internet and in most peoples' desire to help others.  So I judge that risk as very small.

I think that the second biggest risk is that I get so many survey results that I have a hard time analyzing the data.  I believe I could get 5 million survey responses, or more.  If that happens then I will probably need to enlist some academics to help me analyze the data (cough) {Jeremy} (cough.)  That will force me to adjust my publishing plans some, but if that happens then the changes will be worth it.

The third biggest risk is that the whole thing will take too long.  But the vast majority of my work is done once the surveys are up and running.  So after that point I could work on other projects or get a regular job, if it comes to that.  This whole project will be going onto my resume, and so I think it will be easier to land the type of job that I would like.  And I'm building up quite a bit of expertise on the whole job search process, which will certainly aid me if I have to get a regular job.

Part of my marketing plan is to sell t-shirts, buttons, mugs, and mouse pads with the survey URL and a plea to help the project by taking the survey.  I don't expect to make a full income from that, but I think that I could earn enough from that to extend my budget deadline for getting the books published.

Right now I am actively working on the surveys, web pages, and cafepress store (where the shirts and mugs will be sold.)  I don't know how long this will take to get done, but I'm organizing the work in intelligent order so that I have first things done first.  I think I will have the surveys available for my friends and family to preview in the next week or two.  Getting the surveys configured on the web survey software will take a many hours--tons of tedious technical work that I have to triple-check before I launch.  But I think I could be ready to launch the surveys in the second week of December.

Part of my marketing plan is that there will be several rounds of survey marketing--each round bigger than the previous ones.  The first round is fairly small, and so I don't think it will be a problem to launch it right before the Christmas holiday.  The first big, public, marketing won't happen until after the first of the year.

I will be peaking at the survey results and working on writing the text of the books while the surveys are ongoing.  I don't really know how long it will take for my marketing campaigns to play out, but I'm guessing March.  By then it should be just a matter of doing the final compilation of the data and slapping it into the manuscripts.  So I'm looking at having books out in April.

So stay tuned.  The next few weeks and months could be very exciting.  Thank you for your prayers and support.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Watch this great speech

Watch the video. It's in High Quality mode, so it can be slow-loading. Hit Play and then Pause. Don't leave the page. Open a new browser window, or whatever. Come back to the video in half an hour and give it a watch.  You can fast-forward to the 5-minute mark when the main speaker starts.

One person cannot possibly make a difference. That is why I must do it.

Brilliant and true.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The best news I have seen today

CNN is reporting that some serious Muslim scholars have crafted a new set of guidelines for jihad that expressly outlaw terrorism.  These people have the credentials within conservative Muslim circles to genuinely debate al Queda on strictly religious grounds.

I've read enough of the Quran and modern interpretative literature on the Quran to predict that this would happen.  Yes, I own an English translation of the Quran and a number of books on Islamic interpretation methods and theories of justice.  I even know enough to keep my Quran on the top shelf.  It really is a beautiful and interesting book, quite full of compelling wisdom and keen insights into human nature.  And it does not support the terrorist activities of al Queda without a tremendous amount of twisting.

I'm sure that I predicted this new interpretation of jihad some time ago, but I can't find it right now.  Probably it was a Journyx email.  Oh well.

I do not believe that al Queda is primarily a religious organization.  I believe that the central leadership is pursuing their own goals for their own reasons, and merely using Islam as a pretext.  They are quite dependent on that pretext for their funding and recruiting.  This new interpretation of jihad could seriously threaten their ability to recruit and raise money.

If it plays out that way then expect al Queda to take desperate action to re-frame this conflict as racial or cultural as opposed to religious.  If al Queda has any WMD squirreled away, expect them to get used soon.  They will throw every weapon they have before they die.

I also would not be surprised to see al Queda take a page from Russia's play book and do a self-attack and blame us (Israel and America.)  This is what Russia did to precipitate the recent invasion of Georgia, for instance.  Russian troops blew up something in Russia, near the Georgia border (I think it was a radio broadcast station, if I remember correctly.)  They blamed the Georgian army (that was too close to the border at the time.)  They invaded and destroyed that army before anyone could actually investigate whether or not the Georgian's had done the deed.  And, of course, the Georgian's did try to defend themselves when the Russian's crossed the border--and at that point the shooting was was on and it was too late for cooler heads to prevail.

I would watch for al Queda to use whatever WMD they can find against the Palestinians, and blame Israel.  Or against the Iranians and blame Israel or the US.  Or against the Pakistanis and blame the US.  Gas attack, viruses, dirty bombs, etc.  Nothing will restrain them any more.

Unfortunately, it is likely to get darker before the dawn.  But this development is definitely the first lights of the coming dawn.

Things that government should not have the power to do, #2

Imminent Domain. 

The use of imminent domain for private developers is a lunatic abuse of power that the members of the Supreme Court should be ashamed of.  At the time I suggested that we use imminent domain to seize all of their houses for use as homeless shelters.  Someone did attempt to seize Souter's house, but failed.

The fact that the private developer has abandoned the cornerstone Supreme Court case is mad irony.  Everyone involved in seizing Ms Kelo and her neighbors' homes should be thrown out of their homes and run out of the country.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fun at Amazon

You've probably seen several humorous Amazon product reviews.  The Harry Potter vibrating broomstick toy comes to mind.

This is a dumb product and the reviewers just savaged it.  But it's the user-submitted photos that made water come out my nose.  A picture is worth a thousand words.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The value of diversity

I found an interesting article on  I commented on the article there, and liked what I wrote, so I'm cross-posting it here.

Click the link above and read the short article, and look at the very intriguing chart.  The article is about how the votes for and against a dumb amendment fell into both parties in a very curious fashion.  The chart itself is more interesting than the article, but you want to read the explanation in the article.  My comments on the article are after the 'Read more' link.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Things that government should not have the power to do

1. Execute citizens.

That is all for now.  This list will grow, but I'm too disgusted with the implications of that article to write anything else right now.

Monday, November 2, 2009

More Meyers-Briggs thoughts

Austin Job Seeker's Network had the second Design & Focus class this morning.  We talked about personality types and temperament for the whole class.  A few things really jumped out at me.

There were about 12 of us.  3 INTJs.  That is exceptional.  I don't know if I have ever been in a room with two other INTJs.  It's the rarest type.  And as I talked with them I could see some common attributes in each of them, but no common attributes in all three of us.  One guy was sort of prototypical INTJ in one direction and the other guy was prototypical INTJ in an entirely different direction.  It was strange to watch, and I'm looking forward to getting to know them more in the next two classes.

All but one of the people there were J's.  J's and P's are supposed to be split about 50/50 in the general population.  Durng one of the exercises we got into groups, and one person was left alone in the P group.  Everyone commented, almost at once, "gosh, what's wrong with J's that we can't find jobs?"  Then we all laughed.  I spoke to the coordinator on the way out the door and he said, "wow, that's strange, the same thing happened last time we held that class."  I'm not sure that it is that simple, but it certainly deserves more research--especially if I am writing a book on job seeking.
* J's are pessimistic, glass-half-empty, sorts of people.  Maybe they are laid off more often.
* Maybe something else in the J personality makes them want to 'Design & Focus' (or makes P's avoid Design & Focus.)
* Maybe something in the way that the class is presented just resonates with J's and repels P's.

I was reviewing the INTJ information on-line last night.  Christy joined me and reviewed the data with me.  We laughed our heads off at this site.  If you know me you might think that I wrote it about myself, but I didn't.  This item from the FAQ brought tears to my eyes (think 'Democracy 2.0').
Q: My INTJ is trying to take over the world. Should I be concerned?
A: Remember, he’s trying to take over the world for the betterment of everyone and everything. Just go ahead and let him. He’ll be happy and the world will be a more organized and efficient place.