January 08, 2005

Books to clear-up the echo chamber fog

K7386 Title of this book caught my attention - The Devil In Silicon Valley. Its a refreshingly new take on the Silicon Valley's social undercurrent. Haven't read the whole book, but glanced through few sections. Author Stephen Pitti makes a case that ethnic Mexicans and not the computer programmers take center stage in any contemporary discussion of the "new West".

This quote from the book:

Father Narciso was accused of baptizing Indians by force. When punished they protested, "Father, it hurts!"

"Of course," agreed the missionary, "but the pains of hell hurt worse."

--Mrs. Fremont Older, California Missions and Their Romances

We all live in this same place and still I know so little about this place and it's socio-political history. In a queer way this book reminded me of another book which I bought from India but haven't started reading it. It's called India's Silent Revolution written by Christophe Jaffrelot.  Book's short description from Amazon:


Since the 1960s a new assertiveness has characterized India´s formerly silent majority, the lower castes that comprise more than two-thirds of the population. Today India´s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, is controlled by lower-caste politicians, as is Bihar, and lower-caste representation in national politics is growing inexorably. Jaffrelot argues that this trend constitutes a genuine "democratization" of India and that the social and economic effects of this "silent revolution" are bound to multiply in the years to come

It's not surprising at all that the mainstream media hasn't given as much coverage of these two books as they do to the other topics.

More so in these times when the talk is cheap, its what is not getting discussed is more important sometimes.

January 8, 2005 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 24, 2004

Thats it

I am heading off to Barnes & Noble to get a copy of this.  Heard enough about it and cant wait 2 days of Amazon delivery.

December 24, 2004 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 14, 2004

Info Mesa

Just started reading Info Mesa, a fascinating story of famous Santa Fe Institue by Ed Regis. Partly driven by my desire to understand all institutionalized models which came up to tackle the problem (and also opportunity) related to information complexity.

From the book : -

"It was precisely the ability to reduce empirical reality to data, to manipulate that data by machines, and then to extract from the output an important new empirical result, that years later underlay the birth of the Info Mesa"

Will post more from this book. I wish I can first finish this book and then do anything else.

February 14, 2004 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 01, 2004


There are lot of commonalities in the software design methodology and the one used by building architects. Emphasis on aesthetics, coherency, and evolutionary approach are just few of them.

Newyork based architecture design firm SHoP/Sharples Holden has come out with
a new model for architecture practice. Its called Versionining -

"Intent on exploring the computer’s capabilities for changing design processes in the act of making, SHoP uses versioning to describe the significant shift in the way technology is being applied to expand, in time as well as in territory, the potential effects of design. This requires rethinking the design process in terms of procedure and outcome in ways that are totally unprecedented in both the construction industry and conventional design methodologies. It also has far-reaching implications on the entire design process and existing design/production partnerships"

Added this book to my list for 2004

February 1, 2004 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 02, 2003

Coetzee Wins 2003 Nobel Literature Award

Coetzee Wins 2003 Nobel Literature Award

The son of a sheep farmer, Coetzee was born in Cape Town in 1940, but left South Africa for a decade after the Sharpeville shootings of 1960, when police fired on demonstrators and 70 people were killed. He worked briefly in England as a programmer for IBM and in 1969 he received a Ph.D from the University of Texas for computer-generated language.

October 2, 2003 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 30, 2003


Once in a while you bump into some quote which tried to stay in the mind -

Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity.

- Christopher Morley (1890-1957)
American Novelist, Journalist, Poet

September 30, 2003 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Recommended management books

Melissa Shaw, from Network Fusion writes about her favorite management books -

* "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey.
Any of Covey's books are excellent, and if you haven't read any
of them, this is a good place to start. What I like most about
"7 Habits" is the fact that they can improve all aspects of
your life, not just your time spent in the office. To whatever
degree you implement his theories, they will yield fruit.

* "To Do, Doing, Done" by G. Lynne Snead and Joyce Wycoff. This
is a great title on project management and organization. This
book actually got me excited about organizing my files. If you
can't remember the color of the top of your desk, consider this

* "Love 'Em or Lose 'Em" by Beverly Kaye and Sharon
Jordan-Evans. Worried your employees will bolt when the job
market picks up? Check out this book, a very engaging, fun
read on how to keep your superstars from leaving your orbit.

* "Turn it Off" by Gil Gordon. If you have issues with work
creeping into your personal life, this would be a good read for
you. Gordon offers you many suggestions on how to "unplug" from
work without hamstringing your career. He also includes an
excellent chapter on how managers can encourage workaholic
employees to "turn it off."

* Any of Bob Nelson's other books, "1001 Ways to Energize
Employees" -"1001 Ways to Reward Employees" - etc. I like
Nelson's work because they're nearly all real-life examples of
programs or ways managers, well, manage. You can get some great
ideas that could be implemented in your department from his

September 30, 2003 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 24, 2003

Christensen's new book

Need to buy this one. Sustainable growth and growing importance of innovating in commodity environments.

The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth by Clayton M. Christensen and Michael E. Raynor (Harvard Business School Press, 2003)

Big Idea: Christensen's The Innovator's Dilemma became the bible of the digital revolution after its 1997 publication. The idea was simple, elegant, and terrifying: the very attributes that give big, established companies their advantage contain the seeds of their destruction. Success blinds incumbents to disruptive technologies and innovative upstarts that come from nowhere.

Today, the fear and paranoia that drove company leaders to cannibalization, creative destruction, and radical reinvention have unwound into a less-sexy, but no less-urgent, agenda: sustainable growth. Christensen and Raynor not only appreciate how hard it is to create new sources of explosive growth -- they understand and unpack why it's so hard. They zero in on the critical hinges of growth: what products you should develop, which customers you should focus on, and what kind of organization and processes you need to shape average business ideas into disruptive strategies that create new markets.

Data Point: If entropy is the ruling dynamic of the natural world, commoditization is the unyielding force that animates the marketplace. In 1992, the first one-gigabyte 3.5-inch disk drives were introduced at prices that offered 60% gross margins. Today, disk-drive companies barely manage 15% margins on products that are 60 times better.

The Last Word: Every dilemma demands a solution. And this book lives up to its promise: More than an engrossing read shot through with Christensen's rigorous thinking and trademark clarity, it's a valuable tool for every aspiring upstart -- whether you're inside a billion-dollar company or have a billion-dollar glimmer in your eye.

September 24, 2003 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack