Sunday, July 12, 2009

Catching up on the habit

Why is it so easy to avoid what could be good habit?

I ask this based on the fact it has been almost too simple to avoid making inputs to this blog.

What was the impetus to get back on the horse, so to speak? Of all things reading more: Go Figure?

What have I been reading that has made this change in my habits? Lots!

I have been actively working on learning C (this is a skill set that I feel I should have already acquired, but life got in the way) and how it may be used to assist me to communicate, not so much as an improvement (which we all need to work on improving our communication skills), but to expand the mediums that I use to make what I want to communicate more widely dispersed. I digress.

The current reading list has included the following:

Next - Michael Crichton: Interesting look at monetizing the chemistry of life, and posing the question "at what point are the components that comprise a being, not to be considered their own personal property?"
Reality Check - Guy Kawasaki: This is one of my new desk references. Amazing that in a world of digital everything, books are still the reference of choice. (This could be just telling my age, but until a Kindle is highly functional, quasi-indestructible, and around $200 I prefer to hold on to books.)
Possessing Genius - Carolyn Abraham: An account of what has happened to Einstein's brain. Once again asking questions about what rights do you have to your own body?
Pattern Recognition - William Gibson: Amazing techno novel, especially for the marketing minded; however, it is not a casual read. Read it all in one setting because Gibson will own your mind for the time you spend with his spin.
Plato and a Platypus walk into a bar ... Understanding Philosophy through jokes - Thomas Cathcart & Daniel Klien: Fabulous! I sat through the de rigueur, the verbose arguments, and the hand cramping compositions required to glean the concepts that these guys make light of and provide a wonderfully quick understanding through joking analogy. You'll laugh; you'll cry; you'll get it! I am also partaking of their second book, treated in a similar fashion titled "Aristotle and an Aardvark Go to Washington". This one is also a keeper, in that the joke could be on all of us if we fail to take note of the way our elected officials are giving us the business by playing on the misunderstandings each of us may have of the English language. This is a book that will make you go and do more research on just how spot on the satire of Will Rogers really was (you may want to through a look at the works of the dearly departed George Carlin while you are at it).
The Google Way - Bernard Girard: WOW! This is not a simple fan boy fantasy of being taken in by the altruistic company mission statement of "Do no Evil!" But, an analysis of what it is like to create something that has actually changed the world, has an effect on how information affects the world, and the potential to do great good or terrible harm (my take on the Google mission statement may be tongue in cheek restated as Do Know Evil). Google was truly founded on a philosophy of not being like anything previous, in that they did not conform to the "old guard" ways of business, but created their business on a model to democratize commerce leveling profit by understanding the area under the long tail. This is a new twist on business in the US as opposed to the current rape and pillage until a particular market can no longer afford to pay.

I am also currently enjoying the really geeky "Joel on Software". The book is a concatenation of many web posts (I am not anti-technology. I just like books!) that Joel has made over the years, but his perspective and technical acumen, down to the electron level, just jive with my way of thinking. I like his philosophy of teaching the basics and for ensuring that the right concept is learned, so that these basic tomes may be used to synthesize new understanding of the complex as merely simple linked pieces.

That covers the reading list, and what has this got to do with getting back on the horse to post to this blog. I got a whack on the side of the head from Joel, in that he credited his fiend in getting him to post his verbal rants into a blog, and I had a similar push into this medium by my friend Don Clark. I will be forever grateful to Don for the push. The remainder is up to me to keep the flow and to flex the writing muscle, and to keep that muscle tone!

More to come...


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