The trajectory of books about new technologies follows a similar pattern: first, hype; then, backlash; then, finally, a more considered view of what it might actually be good for.
Yup. Checks out.
Original source: The new tech effecting culture outline
It’d be useful at some point to compare the “how to be a startup” advice to “how to modernize and suite of enterprise applications.” For example, an enterprise often knows its product/market fit (e.g., selling kidnapping insurance to executives). However, it may not know the best product/technology approach (it needs a mobile app that tracks when the executive leaves the country), or product/design fit (the executive’s assistant does most of the interaction with the software, so you need to add a secondary user).
For enterprises, there’s much to be learned from startup think, but there’s also much that’s different.
Original source: Lessons from Elad Gil and High Growth Handbook
Books as information tool and lifestyle are complex.
“Displayed books gesture forward and backward to acts of reading and rereading; of purchasing, posing, moving, and unpacking; of passing time and dropping into its folds.”
Original source: The Book Is a Time Machine
“Bazaarvoice’s board agreed in November to be acquired by Marlin Equity Partners in a deal valued at more than $500 million. Under the agreement, Marlin Equity Partners acquired all outstanding common stock of Bazaarvoice for $5.50 in cash for a total of $521 million.”
Original source: Bazaarvoice acquisition gets shareholder approval
The writing in this book is good, and I’m always a sucker for noir.
But it gets tiresome after awhile, all the balls-out crazy stuff and topics.
There’s a lot to study about fiction dynamics here though fueled by the picador plotting: lots of interesting characters, lots of mini-plots; paring characters; the weak male/strong female trope; unlimited budget; snarky, but weary direct address tone to the reader; maybe world building, but just as the back-story for the various characters you meet (the serial killer on the airplane, the Roanokes, but the Bob character is ignored/anemic in this respect); social commentary as asides (from Trix, often); sex for titilation.
Obviously I liked it enough to quickly read it.
The mathematical modeling of society is made possible, according to Pentland, by the innate tractability of human beings. We may think of ourselves as rational actors, in conscious control of our choices, but in reality most of what we do is reflexive. Our behavior is determined by our subliminal reactions to the influence of other people, particularly those in the various peer groups we belong to. “The power of social physics,” he writes, “comes from the fact that almost all of our day-to-day actions are habitual, based mostly on what we have learned from observing the behavior of others.” Once you map and measure all of a person’s social influences, you can develop a statistical model that predicts that person’s behavior, just as you can model the path a billiard ball will take after it strikes other balls.
Source: Big data and the limits of social engineering
It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I gave up reading this one because it never seemed to get to a plot. And, you know, it was like a “bad things can happen” book that got a bit repetitive and (given how cynical we all are now-a-days, without even thinking about it) unoriginal. I feel like a schmuck for not reading a book written by a Nobel Prize winner, but those episodes of Mad Men aren’t going to watch themselves.