October 23, 2008

Books I'd like to read

It's been another little while since I've done one of these lists, so here goes, a two part massive list for your reading and collection development pleasure. Part One today with Part Two I hope next week.

Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World by Don Tapscott

The Net Generation Has Arrived.
Are you ready for it?

Chances are you know a person between the ages of 11 and 30. You've seen them doing five things at once: texting friends, downloading music, uploading videos, watching a movie on a two-inch screen, and doing who-knows-what on Facebook or MySpace. They're the first generation to have literally grown up digital--and they're part of a global cultural phenomenon that's here to stay.

The bottom line is this: If you understand the Net Generation, you will understand the future.

If you're a Baby Boomer or Gen-Xer: This is your field guide.

Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns by Clayton M. Christensen, Curtis W. Johnson, Michael B. Horn
According to recent studies in neuroscience, the way we learn doesn't always match up with the way we are taught. If we hope to stay competitive-academically, economically, and technologically-we need to rethink our understanding of intelligence, reevaluate our educational system, and reinvigorate our commitment to learning. In other words, we need “disruptive innovation.”

Now, in his long-awaited new book, Clayton M. Christensen and coauthors Michael B. Horn and Curtis W. Johnson take one of the most important issues of our time-education-and apply Christensen's now-famous theories of “disruptive” change using a wide range of real-life examples. Whether you're a school administrator, government official, business leader, parent, teacher, or entrepreneur, you'll discover surprising new ideas, outside-the-box strategies, and straight-A success stories.

Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy by Lawrence Lessig
Criminalizing our children and others is exactly what our society should not do, and Lessig shows how we can and must end this conflict—a war as ill conceived and unwinnable as the war on drugs. By embracing “read-write culture,” which allows its users to create art as readily as they consume it, we can ensure that creators get the support—artistic, commercial, and ethical—that they deserve and need. Indeed, we can already see glimmers of a new hybrid economy that combines the profit motives of traditional business with the “sharing economy” evident in such Web sites as Wikipedia and YouTube. The hybrid economy will become ever more prominent in every creative realm—from news to music—and Lessig shows how we can and should use it to benefit those who make and consume culture.

Remix is an urgent, eloquent plea to end a war that harms our children and other intrepid creative users of new technologies. It also offers an inspiring vision of the post-war world where enormous opportunities await those who view art as a resource to be shared openly rather than a commodity to be hoarded.

Planet Google: One Company's Audacious Plan To Organize Everything We Know by Randall Stross
Based on unprecedented access he received to the highly secretive "Googleplex," acclaimed New York Times columnist Randall Stross takes readers deep inside Google, the most important, most innovative, and most ambitious company of the Internet Age. His revelations demystify the strategy behind the company's recent flurry of bold moves, all driven by the pursuit of a business plan unlike any other: to become the indispensable gatekeeper of all the world's information, the one-stop destination for all our information needs. Will Google succeed? And what are the implications of a single company commanding so much information and knowing so much about us?

Experimental Heart: A Novel
by Jennifer L. Rohn
During his many long nights in the lab, scientist Andy O'Hara has plenty of time to wonder about the mysterious and beautiful Gina, first glimpsed in a lit window across the courtyard. He doesn't realize she is consumed by her vaccine research, concerned about her biotech company's financial problems, and about to become the prime target of animal rights activists. She is also distracted by a charming pharmaceutical mogul who offers funding for her work and a glamorous escape from her past mistakes.

When Andy finally meets Gina, his monotonous life starts to unravel. Soon he becomes embroiled in an increasingly complex web of deception as he scrambles to discover his rival's true intentions. When Gina abruptly disappears, Andy sets off to find her. But is it too late? Is there a more sinister reason behind Gina's involvement with the company? Is Gina's vaccine all it appears to be? And is Andy ready to acknowledge that there is more to life than work?

A few of these are fairly typical business-oriented hype-fests so it should be interesting to see how they stack up to a reality-based approach. I can't wait to read them. I also look forward to the lablit novel Experimental Heart by LabLit-site pioneer Jennifer Rohn. Published by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, no less.

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