Sync

April 17, 2006

Strogratz's book Sync on Emergence Theory, simply rocks. I'm not a scientist by trade and finding a way to really feel for the subject of emergence is hard when you're faced with either the massively complicated Mathematica or giddy Malcolm Gladwell.

He illustrates examples better than Pixar and weaves in interviews from the peer network of academic characters as if it was the missing episode of Twin Peaks. Simple and wonderful, not just simply wonderful.

Steve Johnson

April 17, 2006

One of the biggest 'job' challenges I face daily is explaining benefits of 'sharing' to colleagues. Reading the works of Johnson helps me find analogies that my peers may find useful in understanding that media has never been about sending information one way. It's a dialogue (people spend money on your products, dude.) Moving that towards a relationship of co-authorship still scares the vowels and invoices out of commercial folk. Johnson works the concepts of natural systems and turns them into coffee-point narratives – saves me a least a dozen emails of explanation to colleagues.

Emergence (very good) and Mind Wide Open (hmm, not as good) are top reads for applying the lab coat science to proactive practitioning creatives.

Best Selling

April 17, 2006

Scorn if you must but the list of books here seem to follow the trail of popular science writing. They're easy to digest and knowledge is best served by an honest chef not a Michelin Star fanatic when you really need regular feeding. I've never been a big fiction fan, but open to suggestions.

Allen has the right approach me thinks..

"I took a speed reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia."

The Language Instinct

April 17, 2006

Steven Pinker cuts in well with this book, covering the life of language from the Biological to the Cultural. Written back in 1995, it's amazing that his accounts havn't filtered into the architecture of User Generated projects such as Flickr. Listen up, language and media need to mutate freely if it's to survive, else we'll end up with pools of dumb ass imbred creations that are the only things worth of a zoo.

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