< /BookReview 1 > *bug* You can’t make up fake tags in WP

You can probably tell from the picture that my wife and I have done a lot of traveling. I actually finished Superclass a few weeks ago. Yet, I’m embarrassed to admit it’s been over a month since I proclaimed my intent to review the books I’ve been reading.

However, I’m determined not to interleave reviews so let me comment on this one so I can get on with the others! In fact, I’m quite certain I can review this in far less time then it took me to complete.

I really respect the tone with which David Rothkopf approached his topic. Writing rationally about a global elite which could move mountains, especially in this day and age, is a tough line to walk.

I also think David gives well weighted credibility to debunking the “conspiracy theories” as well as highlighting the dangers that such a connected class brings whether intentionally or accidentally.

Despite his even handed approach I wish I could have found the technique as enjoyable. I’m not someone who enjoys “the name game” or following cliques and lists of “who’s who” and perhaps that made this book extra tough for me.

The first and last few chapters are pretty enjoyable but the meat of the book is was very difficult for me to make it through. I’d recommend the book to anyone who’s interested in this topic but it’s a perfect example of the benefits of your local library!

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Apple’s lone Genius

Cool visualizations aside, the most interesting announcement of iTunes 8 (and the quick subsequent bugfix) was the new “Genius” feature.

Steve Jobs has been criticized for being out of touch before, when the iPhone came out with out any sort of social networking. I vouch that the much vaunted Apple “experience” breaks down at the usage fringes, i.e. if you’re not using it to listen to your extensive music collection it’s pretty rough around the edges.

What Genius does is mix and match music based on beats and other metrics and builds playlists. I listen to podcasts and audiobooks so I can’t speak from real experience but word is that it’s neat and amazingly successful.

However, even after all the successes of “social networking”, Genius really seems to highlight Apple’s interesting lack of desire to build collaboration in their products.

I find it shocking that there’s absolutely no “social networking” features like Last.fm. It seems Apple thinks math can be a better friend to you then your own friends (like that time when they rickrolled you).

As often as I send links to friends with delicious, or videos on YouTube, you’d think a day had come with you could nudge your friends to try out this song… well of course Zune tried that but failed.

However, one believes Apple could “do it right” and the fact that they haven’t even tried seems suspicious. It seems that until they do, whether it’s from “Top 40” count downs or inhuman algorithms, we’ll forever be forced to take “the man’s” word for what’s cool.

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What do I win… ?

I have a confession to make which probably won’t surprise many of you, least of all my wife. I hope it’s a minor flaw that doesn’t make me too intolerable but the fact is: I like to be right.

I don’t believe I’m the “In your face – *boo yah* Where’s my $20?” kinda right. I prefer to consider it as a paternal smugness, quiet calmness with a wry, knowing “Well, I’m sure you had to figure that out on your own but I just wish I could have made things easier for you” kind of smile.

So I don’t normally go out of my way to toot my own horn but I wanted to take exception because I think it will illustrate a lot about me… and trust me I’m wrong a fair amount of the time too.

There are great debates about “Generalists vs. Specialists” and “Consumers vs. Producers” and I’m sure a ton of other “Mavens, Connectors, etc…” generalizations from Freakenomics.

Honestly, I’m not sure which of any of those labels I truly am. On a Meyers Briggs test I’m a bit of everything and I sort of think of myself as a guy who could step into many situations and make do, which probably means a “Consuming Generalist Connector” if one had to pick.

To me it’s reminiscent of that TV show “The Pretender”, minus the genious IQ. I make no illusions that I’d be an adequate Dr. or working at the LHC, but I’ve done marketing, management, business, technology and lots of variations in between.

Most of my friends know that I parse a lot of data, it “feeds my need” and making the connections and tracking the patterns is something I find fulfilling. Recently, someone told me I have a great mind for strategy and I glossed over the compliment but in this most recent context it was interesting to reevaluate that statement.

So what was it? What did I do? Simply put, I did what I enjoy doing; I read and observed and let intuition guide.

I won’t bore you with a soliloquy about the merits of on demand fabrication and the future, but if you’ve followed any of it you’ve heard about Ponoko, BigBlueSaw and Shapeways.

Recently Ponoko announced an upcoming feature release, something to make digital design and fabrication easier and more approachable then invited people to guess. So I guessed, not having “the answer” in mind till I started writing my comment but when I wrote I had that sense of knowing I was right.

It wasn’t like competing for a Nobel Prize, there were probably only about 75 other posters but the only other person who mentioned something similar was the one immediately following mine. And now it’s real and people are excited about it.

Me, I think it’s a great concept and I’m excited too, but I must admit; I’m also excited about being right.

So Ponoko, where’s my prize?

Posted in career, inspiration, technology | Comments Off on What do I win… ?

Quick couchdb reminders

Using your browser to access the admin interface;

Looking at a view for a specific database with your browser. In this case the database is “stock_values” and the view is “all_stocks” (yes you need the “_view” and the “all” part of it);

I was really getting tripped up by figuring out the corresponding python version which would be;

for ro in db.view(‘all_stocks/all’): print ro.id

Posted in code, couchdb, python | 1 Comment

Not to be inflamatory…

I don’t want to join in with another one of those “me too” complaints…

However, it seems to me like we might have money money for Social Security if the Government wasn’t spending what they had bailing out all these banks.

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