The Pebble and the Avalanche

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Current Revolutions in Business and Technology

by Dr. Moshe Yudkowsky,

author of The Pebble and The Avalanche: How Taking Things Apart Creates Revolutions


Tue, 2009-Apr-21, 09:58

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Not Even at 100 Percent: The New Dan Brown Novel

I don't read poorly-written books; I've just return a half-dozen to my local library that I started but couldn't finish.

Dan Brown's dreadful novel, The Da Vinci Code, is one example. The writing was so poor and the plot so ridiculous that I couldn't finish the book. Now I read that he's about to publish another novel, The Lost Symbol, and that many retailers won't be able to sell the book for much profit and in fact the popularity will work strongly against small, independent book stores.

Sight unseen, however, I'd avoid this book at even 100% discount until you hear from someone you trust that the book is worth reading.

Mon, 2009-Apr-13, 10:38

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An Enjoyable Paragraph

I've just read an very enjoyable sentence, written in 1941 by the Wall Street Journal. The Journal's editor, after due consideration, had realized that the role of the newspaper in the age of radio was not to repeat yesterday's news but to discuss tomorrow's news:

On the morning after Pearl Harbor, other newspapers recounted the facts already known to all the day before through radio. The Journal's page-one story instead began, "War with Japan means industrial revolution in the United States." It outlined the implications for the economy, industry and commodity and financial markets.
Newspapers today face a similar challenge: in a world of infinite and instant information about what is happening now, how can newspapers compete for readers? The answer isn't entirely obvious, but what is obvious is that information is no longer a scarce good, nor is speculation about the future.