Notable Media

What I am Reading:

I read a lot – every room in the house has a bookshelf or a pile of books – Amazon.com does very well by me…

Metropolis Magazine, Wired Magazine, Futurism Magazine.  Of all the magazines we receive at the house, I read these three every month from cover to cover…

After-Shock by Robert B. Reich, 2010. I just started this book. I hold Mr. Reich in high regard, and I believe he served President Clinton pretty darned well. He mentioned on a recent podcast that shortly after assuming an esteemed position as a professor at UC Berkeley, the recession hit him personally and directly with an 8% mandatory pay cut, and that this set him think in new ways about the economy… I can imagine… This is a very readable book, and Mr. Reich is insightful.

Dynamics of Growth in a Finite World by Dennis Meadows, et. al, 1974. A report on the World3 model by the System Dynamics Group at MIT sponsored by the Volkswagon Foundation and the Club of Rome. This report is encyclopedic, and it examines each sector of the global model in great detail including population, capital, agriculture and nonrenewable resources. Now, I know just exactly how the world really works…

A New Kind of Science by Stephen Wolfram. I have had this book for awhile – never did more than skim the book.  An exhaustive study of cellular automata with a serious attempt to relate to the real world and a substantial endnote section. Almost 25% of the book is devoted to notes for each chapter and bibliographical references. This book is written for the “smart layperson”.

The Internet as a Large-Scale Complex System, ed. by Kihong Park and Walter Willinger (a volume in the Santa Fe Institute studies in the sciences of complexity). I have 54 volumes published by the Santa Fe Institute (I’m missing a few recent books).  I have read each one that I have purchased. I think that many people who study complexity and chaos are wandering a bit and are looking for a focus in this emerging field of science that they can get funding for…

Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan, both by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. I am constantly reminded that while the world is not as random as it seems, it is still largely unpredictable, and also that the obscure event can have dramatic impact. These thoughts are the very focus of Mr. Taleb’s two fascinating books.

What I am Writing:

A System Dynamics Calculator – A New Visual Approach to Computing for Ordinary People.  ISBN 978-1452826288 This book describes a System Dynamics Calculator – an entirely new approach to complex problem solving.  A visual approach to modeling and calculation makes solutions tangible and understandable.  The System Dynamics Calculator makes hypothetical “what-ifs” simple to consider.  The calculator connectts the past to the present and casts the future with techniques and methods that the ordinary person has never applied.  The System Dynamics Calculator is a paradigm shift in power and results.

See this link at Amazon.com: A System Dynamics Calculator

Contextual Computing – A Workstyle Revolution

  • Part 1: Communications Management
  • Part 2: Activity Management
  • Part 3: Collaboration Management

More on these later…

What I am Watching:

I have a sizable number of DVDs – Amazon.com does very well by me…

“The X-Files” – I have seasons 1-7 and a movie, too. I must be an X-Files groupie…

“From the Earth to the Moon”, 1998 – a terrific HBO series that I just enjoy watching.  Tom Hanks insures that the personality of each character spotlighted in this series just shines through casually and genuinely.

“Moon Machines” on the Science Channel – I wish I had seen all six shows in this series. I can’t imagine how only 76KB of executable software got the astronauts to and from the moon…  That’s the size of a typical jpeg on a web page…  An astounding accomplishment by a number of brilliant and innovative scientists and engineers – and a team of MIT grad students.  See this link for more information: Behind the Scenes of the Moon Machines

“The Invaders” (1967-1968; season 1 and season 2 are now both on DVD). This is still great entertainment that kept me riveted to my chair when I was 10 years old.

“Planet Earth” BBC Video – just a terrific series.

“Reds”, a Warren Beaty film – the unfolding of the Bolshevik revolution, the US entry into WWI.  Sweeping cinematography.

“The Dreamers” (uncut) – an erotic Bernardo Bertolucci film.

“The Adventures of Tintin” – a terrifically crafted n animation – a Steven Spielberg film.

“Hugo” – just a charming film rooted in an historical glimpse into the pioneering work of Georges Méliès in French cinematography at the turn of the 20th century.

I would like to see “Blue Planet” BBC Video, too (on my birthday wish list).

I would like to see the new Star Trek movie…

I would like an HD TV, Blue-Ray disc player and U-verse HDTV service.  Alas, I am stuck in the medium-def world for now…

What I am Listening to:

I have oodles of CDs, too – as I said previously, Amazon.com does very well by me…

“Real Ibiza VI” – try to find this in stores (I bet you won’t). Well, try to find anything interesting on CD in stores…  The music industry is deep in the doldrums. I love music. I still get my trumpet out and buzz the mouthpiece now and then. I have a massive investment in music media, and iTunes tells me I am a statistical outlier with more than 17,141 songs in my library – and about 1500 CDs still not in my iTunes library…

“Talkie Walkie” by Air – a techno-euro group with easy melodies.

“Revolver” by the Beatles – a classic!

“Intensify” by Way Out West – another techno album by skillful composer and mixer Nick Warren.

“Animals” by Pink Floyd. Another classic…

“Imaginary Day” by Pat Metheny. A solid and very pleasant jazz disc. I met Pat once over coffee by chance while on vacation in California many years ago.

More later…

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