Category: book reviews (Page 1 of 2)

Are there good and bad metaphors?

George Lakoff is famous (according to Wikipedia) for the “conceptual metaphor theory”, which is that people are influenced by the metaphors they use.

Intrigued by this claim, I read the short book Metaphors We Live By (1980), by Lakoff and co-author Mark Johnson.  Sure enough, …

Crossing the Chasm: a classic business title

It’s so sweet to see names such as “Word Perfect”or “VisiCalc” Such names have the magical aura of products remembered from long ago, like “Bovril” or Cod Liver Oil.  Crossing the Chasm is full of such names, even though the author Geoffrey Moore candidly admits …

How algorithms have already changed your life

Tutorials about machine learning are, it seems two a penny. However, guides to machine learning by machine learning experts, however solid they may be as textbooks, frequently seem to lack ways in which the tools can be applied to a particular domain – in my …

Review of Tom Reamy, Deep Text

Deep Text cover

I don’t think the title  “Deep Text” does this book any favours – a more accurate description might be “Text Analytics within the Enterprise” – less catchy, but certainly more intelligible, and more indicative of what this book covers. From the title, you might think …

What makes a great infographic?

What makes a great infographic? Edward Tufte, in his book Beautiful Evidence (2006), proposes the six basic principles of “analytical design” (he means infographics). Are these the principles that everyone should follow when designing information graphics?

 

Well, Tufte’s own principles do not always seem to …

Sparklines: Beautiful Evidence or Muddled Graphics?

Do you understand this graphic? It is an example of a sparkline, by Edward Tufte. Tufte was, if not the originator of sparklines, one of its earliest advocates. He wrote about them in his book Beautiful Evidence (2006); he defines sparklines as “small, intense, wordlike graphics, …

The seven classic books about computing

Library Image by Dmitrij Paskevic (CC0)

The books I’m thinking about might not be quite as old as the ones in the photo, but at least some of them will have I hope the patina of age. One of the slightly poignant aspects of working in computing is that the skills …

The Lean Startup, or how the best entrepreneurs don’t listen to customers

 

“We really did have customers in those early days— true visionary early adopters— and we often talked to them and asked for their feedback. But we emphatically did not do what they said.” This startling admission appears in the first page of The Lean

Classic computing titles: The Inmates are running the Asylum

Whatever they teach you on a computing degree, it doesn’t seem to be sufficient to create an effective web site. One of the paradoxes of the modern world is that we are surrounded by IT, and yet those who have studied IT formally seem often …

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