Here's the obscure Chilean biology textbook that Apple recommends to its new designers

Tim cook appleAPApple CEO Tim Cook

A designer who interviewed for a job at Apple has posted about his experience, and it reveals some interesting things about the way Apple hires people.

Luis Abreu is a UX designer (someone who designs software, paying attention to things like buttons and menus) who wrote extensively about the way Apple’s software looks. Apple got in touch with him with a view to offering him a job.

After doing some remote interviews, Abreu flew to Apple’s head office in Cupertino, where he met with members of the design team. That’s where things get interesting.

Abreu says that he was interviewed by an editor who was “dressed as Steve Jobs.” The man claimed to have left Apple when Steve Jobs was ousted in 1985, then rejoined when Jobs was hired again in 1996.

The editor talked with Abreu about Cognitive Science, which is the study of the mind, and how people think. For any UX designer, understanding how people use computers is an important part of their job. Abreu says that the editor recommended a book to him: The Tree of Knowledge.

That’s an interesting recommendation to make. The Tree of Knowledge is an obscure 1987 book created from the lectures of a pair of Chilean biologists.

The book details the “biological roots of human understanding,” and the “social and ethical” implications of cognition.

The contents of the book should give you an idea of what it touches on:

There’s one other interesting thing that Abreu noticed in his job interview. During one conversation, an Apple employee told him “we don’t waste time with the dumb,” referring to the company’s hiring strategy in plain terms.

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