Readings: Knowledge and Predictability, AOL-Time Warner, Soyabeans

I’ve decided that in addition to posting about the books I read, I’ll also provide links to interesting articles I find across the web. I don’t see myself posting links daily, but perhaps three to five links once a week. If you think this is a worthy venture, please let me know in the comments!

Here are the articles I’ve read recently which are worth checking out:

(1) “The Degradation of Predictability and Knowledge” [Edge.org] – interesting, but perhaps overly pessimistic take on the internet, by Nassim Taleb, author of Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan (both of which I read and highly recommend).

(2) “In Retrospect: How the AOL-Time Warner Merger Went So Wrong” [New York Times] – an excellent interview with Stephen Case (co-founder of AOL), Gerald Levin (CEO of Time Warner), and Ted Turner on what went wrong with that fateful merger ten years ago.

(3) “Worth a Hill of Soyabeans” [The Economist] – how the gradual introduction of internet kiosks providing price information affected the market for soyabeans in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Interesting to discover that not only farmers’ profits increased but that the cultivation of soyabeans increased as well.

On another note, today is a palindrome day (01/11/10).

Hello!

Hello there!

My name is Eugene, and I’m starting this blog to document what I read.

In 2009, I read around thirty books. This year, I’m on a quest to read at least 52 books (in other words, I’ll try to read at least one book per week).

In the past, I’ve done well in how much I read, but I didn’t really have an outlet where I could write what I read. I hope this blog is the change I’ve been looking for in the last few years.

So, in 2010, I’m going to try to read 52 books. Why 52? Julien Smith provides an excellent answer on his blog:

I’d argue that setting a massive goal, something crazy like one a week, actually helps. To make a comparison, the body reacts strongly to large wounds, expending significant energy to heal them. Small wounds, it doesn’t think much of, which means they can take sometimes longer to heal. So setting a massive goal will make you take it seriously.

I couldn’t agree more. Julien gives more advice on how to accomplish the goal of reading 52 books in a year in his post. I highly recommend you check it out. Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to undertake this personal challenge as well?

Onward!