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Printed Books Not Dying

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Printed Books Not DyingLast week I read an interesting post by Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten – although I am not able to find it back on The Next Web – who’s basic gist was: dead trees are dead, read electrons.After reading the statistics below, I’m not so sure…

Will Gutenberg laugh last?

It has been taken on faith by many, including your benighted scribe, that the future of book publishing is digital, that the e-book will displace the printed codex as the dominant form of the domin….

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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

January 6, 2013 at 9:28 am

Posted in books, business

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Just Finished Reading: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother #books

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I started begging my mother for piano lessons from a very young age, had my mother been a Tiger Mother I would have been a child prodigy. I’d seen Amy Chua in an interview program and had wanted to read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother as an instruction manual to raise my child as a music virtuoso. And although the book is not a step-by-step guide to becoming a Tiger Mother I am glad I read it.

The book is an autobiographical view of the way Amy Chua raised her daughters Sophia and Louisa (Lulu) to become straight A students, and focusses mainly on her teaching her children to play the musical instruments of her choice. In the end it devolves into a war of attrition between Amy and Lulu, resulting in a revelation for the Tiger Mother.

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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

April 27, 2012 at 8:37 am

Posted in algorithm, books, risk

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Just Finished Reading: The House of Silk #sherlock #holmes #books

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Like Anthony Horowitz I’ve always liked Sherlock Holmes, perhaps it is because my mother joked that I was related to the sleuth. Or because I visited 221B Baker Street as a child. In any case I am much enamored with the genius of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and as have been disappointed with many other tributes to the creator. And I was shocked whet James Randi revealed in his book that Doyle was a firm believer in the fairies of Cottingley Glen.

The House of Silk is an enthralling book, filled with the subterfuge which can be expected from a Holmes tale. It combines two overlapping stories and can be placed in the middle of the canonical Holmes series. It touches on subjects which, although they would not be out of place in Victorian Britain, might not be expected in a Holmes story. Standing on its own the novel is good, and seems well researched. As an amateur nitpicker I would have loved to find a inconsistency or glaring error, and didn’t. 🙂

It certainly can be called a good Holmes novel.

Image source: Amazon

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

April 20, 2012 at 11:07 am

Posted in books

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Just Finished Reading: Empire – What Ruling the World Did to the British #book

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Empire: What Ruling the World Did to the British was the first ebook that I read in its entirety using Cool Reader. I really liked the reader, some of the default tap zone actions were less intuitive than I liked they were very simple to configure.

Cool Reader screenshot

I found Jeremy Paxman an entertaining author, who had apparently researched the book very well. Getting a relatively unbiased view of the impact that the establishment of a British Empire had on the world, which at its hight consisted of 25% of the world’s – I assume – land mass, was extremely informative. Naturally there seems to be some cultural bias, and whether this can be attributed to the author or the lack of source material for the subjugated. After all history is written by the victors. As a nitpicker I could easily criticize certain semantic errors, such as referring to the Union Flag as the Union Jack – the former being the national flag and the later being a naval ensign.

An interesting read.

Image source: Amazon

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

March 26, 2012 at 10:30 am

Just Finished Reading: How Doctors Think #books

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My daughter’s Godmother is studying to be an MD, and has started her internship. Starting her internship coincided with her birthday, which meant that many of the presents she received were related to medicine. One of the gifts, which she gracefully allowed me to borrow before she read it was How Doctors Think, by Jerome Groopman, MD.

Groopman’s book covers one subject which I love: heuristics and bias. Heuristics are the stuff the practice of medicine is made of, which makes it a little strange that this isn’t always taught. The influence of the intuitive, fast, effortless System 1 thinking versus the slower, conscious, System 2 thinking is reasonably well known. System 1 allows us to unconsciously come to conclusions based on the information at hand, as Groopman says: “When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.” The practice of medicine is such that most of the diseases encountered fit into a nice pattern, however it is also a burden which make cognitive bias possible. When a doctor sees nine patients who are suffering from flue symptoms, System 1 will quickly come to the conclusion that the diagnoses of the tenth patient with these symptoms is also flue, and will even ignore facts to the contrary. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

February 19, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Posted in algorithm, books, health, medical

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Just Finished Reading: Start With Why #startwithwhy #book

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I was advised to read Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why by a social media guru who practically abandoned his – albeit limited to the Netherlands – stardom to pursue a position in a turning round a company who’s why was determined by governmental decree, and as such was fuzzy for customers and company. And I came to it with many preconceptions of cones and funnels, expecting it to be a Gladwellian book with limited practical application beyond creating awareness – which in some circles is already a Herculean task.

Sinek started by blowing my Anglo-American expectations out of the water by posing a question on the first page of the book. It acts as the first warning in the book to not take things at face value – the What and How – and go straight for the jugular: Inspiring with Why you are doing what you are doing. The nature of the thought is that our experience of the world is created “from the inside-out”[1], understanding that the Golden Circle has Why at the centre and the How and What are just the physical manifestations of Why we do things.

As examples he uses Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King, the Wright brothers and a host of others for whom we already know What they did and shows us How they did it by being inspired with a reason – their Why. The stories he tells and the way he tells them influenced me and my story, and my answer to Why.

What’s you Why?

  1. Effortless Evolution – Jamie Smart

Image source: Amazon

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

January 2, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Posted in books, lifehacks

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Just Finished Reading: Bloody River Blues #books

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Bloody River Blues

Bloody River Blues is a book by Jeffery Deaver which came from a second hand book store with another stack of Deaver books, when I arrived home I realized that I shouldn’t’ve bothered buying it – I already had a copy. When the mood strikes me I will often walk into a second hand book store and buy a stack of books by one known author or a stack of books from many different unknown authors.

John Pellam is an independent location scout who continually finds himself in trouble of some sorts, which is often connected to a woman. This time Pellam is not scouting for locations for an unmade movie, he is wrapping up the scouting for a movie which is being made. After witnessing a shooting he becomes the victim of over zealous police, and FBI. In the Lincoln Rhyme series you read an idealized view of the police, in the location scout series the police are often an incompetent mess or worse.

A good way to pass the time.

Image source: Amazon

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

July 15, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Posted in books

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