My Reading List

This blog has been inspired by books more often than not. When I crafted my first personal website many years ago, a database of my favorite books was one of the first things I added and changed frequently.

For better or for worse – I organize my thoughts and my websites in relation to books I have read or pick books in order to find new ways to articulate what is on my subconscious mind.

Based on the feedback on my recent post about favorite books 2013 I am now keeping …

… a chronological list of what I am reading.

It is experimental, and I might make changes to layout and the organization of items often.

I can’t deny that I have been inspired by The Great Curators, Farnam Street and Brain Pickings. I will never reach their professional level of productivity in digesting and reviewing books – but I can relate a lot to the idea of starting your intellectual adventures from well-articulated accounts given by others!

As a so-called knowledge worker I feel that there is already so much ‘out there’ that the task of the day is not to try to be that original, but to consolidate, re-arrange, or – as they say today – curate existing knowledge. In passing, this might solve my issues with finding my ideas and life too cliché.

It might also give proof to my theory of using social media in bursts. In 2012 and in 2013 I have written some opinionated posts – based on thoughts that were given several years to ripen. I was reliving several career transitions in time lapse.

But I cannot add anything really new or urgent for the moment. I had experienced the same when I setup my personal websites. Hence I also believe the usability or interactivity of the web platform does not matter. I ‘blog’ in pure text and without the technical option to get likes and comments if I feel the need to write.

I did not think a second when I invented my blog’s title. It is of course much too long but I consider it remarkably apt. I try to make weird connections between different things, many of them sciencey.

I felt the urgent need to setup that page as I indulge in keeping blogging and related ‘research’ activities an experiment. I don’t try to put forward a theory here – this is simply how my mind works.

So 2014 might become the year I turn even more to book-inspired essays – but I don’t at all turn this into a managed project with deadlines and to-do lists.

And now I will commit a mortal sin in blogging and not adding an image here. You might see an inappropriate ad – as I pay only for tweaking my style sheets but I don’t pay for the no-ads upgrade.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. bert0001 says:

    The most qualified skill is in obtaining the data (tycho brahe), the genius lies in rearanging it into its most elegant form (johann kepler).

    1. elkement says:

      Great example – thanks, Bert! I will refer to it if some somebody ever calls my approach not original enough :-)

  2. danielmullin81 says:

    Thanks for steering me to Farnam Street. It’s now at the top of my list of daily bookmarks!

    1. elkement says:

      I knew you would like it!! Shane Parrish is amazing – I don’t how he does this on top of a day job as a consultant.

  3. LOL–it doesn’t matter what you write; I’ll read it. The not-so-obvious connections you make are, for me, pure pleasure to discover. Laughing now, because I just looked up, read Dave’s comment and realize he feels much the same way :-)
    I’ve been quiet on the blogging lately (the posts I am putting up have been in the works since last month when I drafted them all) because I am rather annoyed in my home province Our electrical grid has been misbehaving lately and I can see it’s because those who should be caring for it have been skimping on the maintenance. It mystifies me why they do not put engineers closer to the CEO position so that these things do not happen! Whoops–there I go, ranting again :-)

    1. elkement says:

      Thanks & please post this rant about your electric grid! I am really interested if our (European) views about North American infrastructure are true. Here it is said often that the American grid is less reliable, and hence every home owner owns a backup diesel generator and is accustomed to several lengthy outages per year.
      Ironically, it is also said (I just parrot what “the experts” say) that the extremely high reliability of our grid makes us vulnerable along the lines of the so-called vulnerability paradox. Since we have on average only a few minutes of outage per year we are not prepared at all for outages.

  4. I like the fact that you have recognized that coming up with new data isn’t necessarily for everyone … however, managing and rethinking data already complied by others is equally important and significant. I like to take data, perhaps gathered by others, and let my own brain process, filter, and distill. D

    1. elkement says:

      Thanks, Dave! I believe that most of us are primarily occupied with re-arranging and using knowledge. In a desperate attempt to compensate for that tags like ‘innovative’, ‘new’, ‘modern’, ‘paradigm-shifting’, etc. are used in an inflationary way… and any down-to-earth tinkering and hands-on development is called ‘research’.

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