- Data is Eating Clocks, by Venkatesh Rao, author of “Tempo: timing, tactics and strategy in narrative-driven decision-making“. A book that’s been sitting on my reading list for too long.
- Small Wars Journal is always interesting. The Military deal with complex and messy situations and can provide many insights that are often lost to civilians. Tip: search past articles for discussions of “Design” theory.
- Wolfram Alpha powered up its “facebook report“. It provides lots of interesting analysis about your social network.
- John D. Cook highlights how programming is like “Teaching an imbecile to play bridge“, as William Kent wrote in “Data & Reality“.
You may have notice that this blog lately is much less about its title, “Lupi on Software…“, and much more about its subtitle, “…and everything else“. The fact is, I am struggling with my new status as an employee of a big corporation that excels at my art.
When you grow up professionally as a lone player, blogging becomes less of a mean of self-expression and more of an exercise of personal branding.
Some highlights from what I have been reading this weekend:
- The Deification of Hugo Chávez, by Xavier Marquez (Abandoned Footnotes), a Venezuelan who teaches political theory and political science at Victoria University of Wellington.
- A long essay on interaction rituals, by Randall Collins, professor of sociology at University of Pennsylvania:
IR theory is an explanation of what people will think, as well as what they will do. At any particular moment, people are speaking certain words or thinking certain thoughts; the thoughts that go through one’s head are internalized from previous talk with other people; more innovative thoughts are assembled out of the ingredients of verbal ideas already internalized. The world is a network of conversations, and what people think at any point in it is a product of what has circulated in previous conversations.
It has interesting applications for entrepreneurs, companies and startups. In my personal experience, the most successful companies I worked for where the ones who had the best organizations and cultures. They also were the most innovative and the less competition-shy ones, but that was as much an effect as it was a cause of their success.
- My friend Ilaria Mauric reports her experience attending a UX course at Cooper U (in Italian): intro, day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4.
One of the best thing of working at Google is all the TechTalks that you can attend or watch. Just a little bit trickles outside.
A lecture by Alexander Gallaway on Deleuze’s Postscript on Societies of Control. Recommended if you’re interested in philosophy and critical theory.
Deleuze poses the basis of a critique of contemporary societies, the kind of stuff that Jaron Lanier loves to talk about.
I think hearing critics is the only way for a discipline to progress in a sane way and prosper. IT has way too few intelligent critics, and a plethora of stupids both among its cheerleaders and luddites.
- Online comments hurt science understanding, study finds. A meta-proof that science articles are the perfect troll bait.
- Slavoj Zizek: I am not the world’s hippest philosopher! To me, Zizek —as a public figure, not for the content of his work— feels a bit like Houellebecq:
“My big fear is that if I act the way I am, people will notice that there is nothing to see. So I have to be active all the time, covering up.”
A orderly-crafted public image of disorderly behavior.
- The Post-Productive Economy. On Industrial Revolution vs. today’s Information Revolution.
- Five Jobs in Reading. Interesting tale from America poorest town.
- Of Malevolent Democracies and Benevolent Autocracies: A Very Short Quantitative History of Political Regimes. Data science applied to regime analysis.
- Ford equips Engineers with MakerBots, cheap desktop 3D printers.
- Causal Universes, or why Harry Potter’s Time-Turners violate the quantum hamiltonian operator. In short, it’s geek porn.