To whom it may concern:

Upon speaking with my girlfriend this afternoon, it has been brought to my attention that in tenth grade she had taken a PLAN test. Apparently your scoring-robot told her that she ranked 98th nationally, was in the tenth region and that her lucky numbers were 62, 34, 58, 12, 23 and 38. With this data we could then evaluate her future potential on the "World-of-Work Map" and resolve that she should do something involving people, ideas and things. Albeit, more so with people and ideas than with things. The only arena she should stay away from, as a matter of course, is the realm of "data." Yes, according to the evaluation of your predictive robots, she would be ill suited at creating, organizing and handling data. Clearly the field of standardized testing is not for her. Now, here is what I don't get. How come "standardized testing agent" is not a valid career path on the tilt-o-whirl of work map? Is no one suited to pursue a career in the field of predictive data collection? I mean, I always figured your tests were graded by ten foot tall, fire-breathing robots, but I never expected your entire organization to be run by automatons. Then again, maybe I'm reading into this wrong. Maybe there is just a mistake in your logic somewhere. After all, working with data is a long way off from working with ideas. This is clearly problematic because data in and of itself is useless. The mere collection and organization of data is a pointless endeavor. The only time data comes to life or in other words, is of any use to anyone other than people who get paid to collect it, is when it is processed intelligently. In other words, to drive the point home like a stake to the head, data is only of any use when it is analyzed critically by someone with an idea of what to do with it. Obviously, according to the tilt-o-whirl of the working world, data collectors are one-hundred and eighty degrees from thinking. They do not work with ideas at all. Clearly, they are stupid people. If one were to read the map, they would find that the only ideas they actually ever get are filtered through people or things. People or things such as, say, books or religious leaders. So, if your organization's agenda for processing the data you collect is always somehow received third hand, it is not surprising that in order to process all of your innate data, you should employ scoring robots. Not being strong in the idea department, you obviously do not know better, and the robots, well, they don't know better either. Robots do not know better because robots, contrary to popular belief, cannot think. I think Roger Penrose made a pretty cogent__ argument for this in the emperor's new mind. Anyway, this leaves us with the problem that there is a group of people working one-hundred and eighty degrees away from cognizant reasoning and they're collecting data which they then feed to robots who can only truly perform the task that they have been set to accomplish. This wouldn't be all that bad if not for the fact that these mindless robots, being employed by you mindless buffoons, are telling a good swath of America what to do with the rest of their life based on a seemingly arbitrary number in a mysterious ranking system. To make matters worse, your mental deficiency must result in a sub-par imagination. This creative handicap then limits your conception of the possible career choices of a test-taker to little better than the wish list of a stodgy grandmother; doctor, lawyer or corporate accountant. Your inflexibility in allowing for one to blaze their own path or choose multi-discplinary paths is clearly poorly thought through and troubling. What is even more troubling is that fact that my girlfriend was mandated to take this exam. This examination clearly, by its inherent nature, right away limits her potential for engagement in the world by assuming that she wants a career as opposed to merely holding a job. Choosing to delve into a career path is a life choice, not a mandate from the Board of Education, Mom, God or a ten foot tall fire-breathing robot. It should not be assumed that selecting a career is mandatory or at the very least, itinerant traveling should be a career choice available to high school students. Then again, maybe I'm just bitter that I personally have never had taken a PLAN test. Maybe in the back of my mind I'm wondering if my Bachelor in Fine Arts was the right choice for me. Maybe rather than being a New Media Artist I should have been a Soil Scientist. I suppose I will be forever haunted by all that may have been if I were given different numbers at an earlier age. Once again numerology forsakes me. Oh cruel fate!

Randy Sarafan