What I’ve Read – HNY

by Matthew on December 31, 2011

The Dude & I

The Dude & I at the Botanical Gardens

Happy 2012 folks!  The photo this week is of “The Dude” & I at the Botanical Gardens here in Atlanta.  Fantastic exhibit they have up for the holidays that makes me proud of my hometown.  As for this week’s WIR, I have a nice blend of some of my favorite things – technology, human behavior and sport.

The New, New Thing for 2012 – I grew up as a technophile admiring Marc Andreessen since his web browser was my browser of choice.  That was back when you actually had to pay for a browser in the early days of the Internet.  I was on dial-up and AOL, even using Telnet to chat with my college roomie when he lived in Japan for a semester.  When I lived in Silicon Valley my condo was a mile away from Netscape HQ.   But I digress.  In this interview, Andreesson talks about his predictions for 2012 in technology.  Obviously his opinions are influenced (and meant to influence) towards the companies and verticals in which he has financial interests at stake, but there are still opinions of a gentleman who’s more right than wrong.

The Thinker – I got this one from a regular contributor to this column – The Prof – who knows my soft spot for Michael Lewis.  In this one, Lewis dives deeper into a unconscious, tangential influence in his bestseller, MoneyBall, discovering that the analytical methods of DePodesta can be traced to a couple of cognitive behaviorialists, one of which has been crowned by the King of Sweden with some Nobel thingy.  In this short Lewis excerpt, the author delves deeper into the author of Thinking – Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman and the colleague who influenced Kahneman most, Amos Tversky. As usual Lewis paints a lucid and human portrait of the Kahneman, doing his best to honor Kahneman’s complex ideas without making them trite.  After reading the article, I think I know what my next read will be on the old Kindle.

Surprise, Surprise – One of the blogs I follow regularly is The Science of Sport.  These blokes from South Africa do a great job in their coverage of endurance sports and they have a soft spot for rugby (not that I’m a rugby fan but I like how they like ‘ball’ sports).  In this post they go through several suprise performances of 2011.  What I found most compelling in this post wasn’t even a performance from 2011.  It was the Sammy Wanjiru clip from the 2010 Chicago Marathon.  If you’ve never seen this before, spend the time to watch it.  If you can’t be inspired by it, then we need to check your adrenal reserves because this is compelling sport – beautiful in it’s tactical brilliance and determination.  The world lost this great talent in 2011 in a sad domestic violence case.  His memory lives on in his performances.  Most importantly, those performances inspired a transcendent year in marathoning globally.  And that is a positive legacy from which we can bid adieu to 2011 and welcome in 2012.

See you next year!

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