Daily Thoughts 1/21/2010
I am rather partial to this site because it includes a number of sites which I like including The View From Here. http://www.publishersweekly.com/microsite/48891/Booklife.html It has aggregated a number of interesting resources.
I read Post Secret Confessions of Life, Death and God. This book is a collection of postcards sent in to Rick Warren anonymously with short confessions on them. He has collected millions of these confessions.
This particular book focuses on anonymous thoughts about god, life, atheism, death, and similar topics. The thoughts can be quite poignant, disturbing, or interesting. It is an entertaining thing to look at some of them. They can be on fairly mature content.
Rick Warren runs a website http://postsecret.blogspot.com/ . Some of the proceeds go to suicide prevention.
On a more practical level, I have a copy of Microsoft Office Word 2007 Quicksteps which I plan on reading. We have 2003 at work, but I think I might need to update my skills with Word 2007 because we may be getting updated eventually. The Quicksteps series is heavily illustrated. It uses lots of screen captures so the instructions match closely to what happens in the actual program. Another series of computer books that I like is Teach Yourself Visually which also uses lots of visuals to teach basic computer skills.
I also had a chance to read some more of The Medieval Art of Memory. The main focus I am interested in is the ideas. I especially like the descriptions of how Hugh St. Victor used complex imagery to create a complete model of Noah's Ark in his mind so he could remember every aspect of the Catholic church. He describes how in order to remember things better, it is important to use strong emotions and images with a memory. For example, if you were to remember a death, you might try to add a bitter taste and sadness as part of the memory. There is also an admonition to repeat what you are supposed to remember. Part of this focus on memory is that in the medieval church, it was a sin to forget.
I got an invite to FASTforward Enterprise Search Strategy Summit: Reflecting User Thinking - Controlling Business Outcomes in Manhattan on March 9. I hope it is interesting. As long as the coffee is warm and the people are interesting, why not.