Twitter Revolutions

Good articles on the social media and their effect on political revolution:

Small Change – http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/10/04/101004fa_fact_gladwell

Author : Malcolm Gladwell, Author of books like The Outliers (I read half of it. Very good but could not continue. 🙁 ), The Tipping Point and Blink.

How dictators watch us on the web – http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/2009/11/how-dictators-watch-us-on-the-web/

Author : Evgeny Morozov, Contributing editor to Foreign Policy magazine.

Malcolm Gladwell writes in a very lucid, thought out way. His arguments are properly constructed and well researched. The way he meshes historical anecdotes with his own views with other relevant views makes the article interesting to read, an exception on the internet. I wish I could write like that.

The “Weak Tie Network” that Malcolm talks about in the article, despite being relatively useless for carrying out a revolution, is very useful in a marketing campaign. Successfully marketing a product and creating a “buzz” for it requires the kind of network that social media provides. “All of my friends have an iPod, so it must be good.” thinking does not require the kind of sacrifice and investment that participating in a revolution requires. Harvard business Review Article “Six ways to find value in Twitter’s noise” (June 2010) talks about how to identify trends in the SM world about your product and how you can react to it and make use of it. The day is not far when companies would be paying Third Party Social Media “management” company to create positive buzz about their products.

Must Read Books

On popular (!) demand, here is a list of books that I have read that I feel are must reads. Books are not in any particular order and I have kept a good mix of different genres. Will keep updating the post as and when I read any new good ones/remember the names of goods ones.

1. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie – Novel incorporating contemporary post independence Indian history with elements of fantasy. Man! I must have read the scene of the three friends after the 1971 war at least 10 times.
2. Foundation Series (Especially the original three) – Isaac Asimov
3. Batman: The Killing Joke – Graphic Novel by Alan Moore
4. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy – Andrei Bolkonsky is one of my favorite fictional character. The changes in his attitude and thoughts reminds me of my own nature. The great Russian General Kutuzov is also very well portrayed.
5. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy – Anna is a character to be pitied. Anna’s last scene in the book is perhaps the most haunting scene that I have read. I wonder why Kareena Kapoor is named after Anna. :s
6. Robot Series – Isaac Asimov, need I say more?
7. Moon is a harsh mistress – Robert Heinlein – Details how to carry out a revolution.
8. Man who sold the moon – Robert Heinlein (Short Story) – Delos D Harriman, awesome character.
9. Rama Series – Arthur C Clarke – Voyage across the vast expanse of space and its socio-cultural impact.
10. Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson – World War 2 – Check, Technology – Check, Cryptography – Check, Humor – Check, Great Writing – Check. Compared to Cryptonomicon, Anathem was boring.
11. Murder of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie – I had realized who the killer is in the beginning parts of the book. 🙂 But that does not diminish its awesomeness.
12. Then there were none – Agatha Christie
13. Curtains – Agatha Christie – Poirot’s darkest novel.
14. I, Asimov – Isaac Asimov’s memoir.
15. Meditations – Marcus Aurelius – The most underlined book that I have read.
16. Chandrakanta Santati – Devaki Nandan Khatri – Hindi fantasy novel. Perhaps the best magico-fantasy novel. Beats Lord of the Rings. Must have read it 4-5 times.
17. The rise and fall of the Third Reich – William Shirer – The most authoritative book on World War 2.
18. To kill a mocking bird – Harper Lee – I am still not sure whether the book is better or the movie.
19. Catcher in the Rye – J D Salinger – The part in the novel where you understand what the title of the book means was, for a lack of any other word, awesome.
20. Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card – Whenever I have to give a gift to someone who is fond of reading, this book is what I give. 😀
21. Wheel of Time series – Robert Jordan – Very very good compared to the Potter series or the Ring series. I read the twelve books of the series in a month or so. Rand is epitome of stoic fortitude.
22. Apology – Plato – Socrates is awesome.
23. Adrushya Manus – H G Well’s Invisible Man in Marathi – One of the first books that I read.
24. Starship Trooper – Robert Heinlein – Don’t watch the movie.
25. Surely You’re joking, Mr Feynman! – Mr Feynman! – Nice! Great Man!
26. Lord of Light – Roger Zelazny – A difficult book to understand, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Calculus

Calculus has always fascinated me. And I suck at it. So I have decided to learn it. I want this to be one of my major takeaway after two years doing “MBA”. I have started reading the book “Calculus and Analytic Geometry” by George B Thomas (MIT) and Ross L Finney, popularly known as Calculus book by Thomas Finney. I will try to put some interesting stuff that I learn from it on the blog. Hope you will like it and I hope that it will make me stick to the book and learn calculus properly.
To properly read the book, I will be using the concept of reading the book thrice (Overview, Detail, Note taking) and customized PQ4R: Overview (Preview, Question), Detail (Read, Reflect), Note Taking (Recite, Review).