Reading Update

Speaking of my Reading List, as I was a little earlier.
Message to self – Also must restart the Nietzsche thread. Struggled with the biblical style of Zarathustra, but was taken with the contemporary notes by Ludovici, and need to follow-up via earlier Nietzsche works.
And speaking of literary style – I’m struggling with Melville again – the chapter (54) of “The Town-Ho’s Story” written as the narrative given verbally to “a lounging circle of Spanish friends” including Pedro and Sebastian – complete with asides, incidentals and interruptions in what is itself an aside from the main story – tough going to maintain the plot here. A 20 page chapter too, unlike the other 135 which are mostly between 3 or 6 pages each – roll on chapter 55.

Kartoo – Visual Network Search Engine

A search engine that presents results as a network of interlinked graphic objects. Jorn considered it “mildly interesting”, but was clearly not impressed by the Flash content. (He picked up from the AI Forum). I reckon the idea is magic – in fact it exactly mirrors the Mind Map (or the Fuzzy Cognitive Map version of it) that I had in mind for organising research thoughts and references. Currently limited compared to (say) Google due to incomplete indexing of content out there, but very promising.

[I like the way that the links as well as the nodes are characterised – powerful concept – I wonder if they’re using RDF ? I wonder if the software is available as a tool to index and link any collection of information ?]

“Deliberate” Failure To See Facts

Deliberate failure to see the facts
(Another link brought to us by Robot Wisdom.) Those of you following the threads winding through this Blog, can’t fail to have noticed my “Emperors Suit of Clothes” thread. The in-built cultural tendencies to not see the obvious, even to justify not seeing it. This is part of, or at least closely related to my “Western Arrogance” thread, in terms of east vs west streams of philosophy and also parallels cock-up vs conspiracy theories. Formal management doctrines also recognise institutionalised “skilled incompetence” (ref Argyris et al.) in business decision making. These are facts that cannot be denied, but that’s the point, they are, always – Catch 22 again, again and again.

The linked article from Peggy Noonan is about the FBI failure over avoiding September 11th (surprise, surprise). It includes the line “FBI officials didn’t fail to connect the dots; they refused to see a pattern.” The refusal is not a malicious conspiracy, but a western conspiratorially-institutionalised cock-up. It gets better (worse if you like); it also contains the line “in an effort to avoid or minimize personal and/or institutional embarrassment” – the motivation straight out of Argyris, or my quoting of him in the earlier dissertation.

Wake up and smell the burning kerosene. Committees of moral men have been making immoral decisions since long before Ralph Nader pointed it out, and John Z Delorean heard him. Let’s not look for people to blame, let’s look at the information communication and decision making models with which we are comfortable in the west, and then move out of our comfort zone. Look east, or at least outside the rational positivist box.

Another (Cynical) Day At The Office

Yet another day at the office ? Letter of Resignation, Poem by Matthew Rohrer
Quote [extract] This office was designed to be pleasant, not the charnel house of lies and insinuations you have made it ….. I’m telling you this because you obviously have no marketable skills. Unquote. There’s a lot of it about apparently – see earlier post on terrorist mob training simulation.

Diskless In Detroit – Cars as Comms Trojan Horse

Diskless in Detroit – Why Your New Car Doesn’t Have a Built-in PC
Cringely says not just UI and apps problem, but disk drives just not rugged enough, and car / disk business development cycles will always be out of sync, however ..
Quote : Cars are the perfect Trojan horse for distributed communications, for example.
Cars are everywhere people are, they are generally outside, they have their own power source, and they have extra places to stash black boxes. An enlightened car company — or better still EVERY car company — should put a [Telecomms] node in every car they make whether the owner wants it or not. Unquote.