I believe myself to be generally immune from Technoworship. I love gadgets, as long as they stay in the background and wait to be called on to use their digital brains to serve me. A recent item in Make Mag Online introduced a gadget that really got my imagination going.
In a recent posting, Stephanie Miller, VP of Strategic Services tells the following anecdote: “It’s a fascinating phenomenon here in New York City. As soon as it starts raining, there magically appears on nearly every street corner a gentleman selling umbrellas. When the sun is out, these men are no where to be seen. They… Continue reading Time, Umbrella sellers, Danaus Plexippus, life-guards & a Prince
You know the cliché about free lunches… right? There aren’t any. In the classic musical Guys and Dolls, based on the wonderful short stories by Damon Runyon, arch-gambler Sky Masterson tells the following story – “When I was a young man about to go out into the world, my father says to me a very… Continue reading Free lunches, sucker’s bets and Ponzi schemes
Together with Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, who passed away yesterday (18 March), is considered one of the fabled triumvirate of Science Fiction writers who changed the way we view their genre, and modern science. Strangely, I feel, Clarke will forever be known mostly for the 1968 movie adaptation of “The Sentinel“,… Continue reading 50 years after everybody quits laughing
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man who invented the World Wide Web, and Time Magazine’s ‘One of the 100 greatest minds of the [last] century‘, is a man with a mission. British born Berners-Lee has been living in Boston and applying his considerable knowledge and visionary zest at MIT, focusing on The Web Science Research Initiative… Continue reading Hands off my cookie jar!
If, like me, you are an avid reader of urban legends, you would have heard the story about the cocky guy at an upmarket restaurant who blabbers-on, talking endlessly on his mobile phone and showing off when, suddenly, the phone rings! Fact is, a mobile phone is very much like an addition limb, an integral… Continue reading The global village implodes into locality
An extended post scriptum to the previous piece, on “misery memoirs”: I found an amusing reference to “oh so poor I was” books in William Sutcliffe’s review of “Foreskin’s Lament: A memoir”, By Shalom Auslander. Here is a short extract:
I have been introduced to Berrett-Koehler Publishers (BKP) five-odd years ago, through one of their books. Recently, I mentioned another book of theirs, a new addition, dedicated to the art and skill of networking, called “The Connect Effect“. Some time ago, I wrote BKP’s Senior Managing Editor, Jeevan Sivasubramaniam (email@example.com) for their e-newsletter, and have… Continue reading On literary truth and other pointless notions
In the latest edition of TL Infobits, Carolyn Kotlas mentions a Special Report on MIT’s Technology Review, listing 10 Emerging Technologies for 2016. Unlike similar year-start hacking pieces one sees around, the MTR drives a message filled with chutzpah and visionary élan — “Technology Review presents our list of the 10 technologies that we think are… Continue reading A cigar for monsieur Jules Verne
I read about the so-called “Blissful Ignorance Effect.” Dhananjay Nayakankuppam, marketing professor at the University of Iowa heads a group of researchers who found that people who have only a little information about a product are happier with that product than people who have more information, the less they know, the happy they are (hence… Continue reading olé! Blissful Ignorance and lots of other bull