Monday, July 03, 2006

Two Good Books

The good part about travel, at least for me, is that I get time to read. And if I am lucky enough, I get to finish the book that I am reading before going back home. This time, I got to finish two books, Excavation and Blink.

Excavation is a fast paced novel authored by James Rollins. The novel deals with a hidden treasure that can lead to immortality. There is tons of stuff going on from booby traps to betrayal to nano technology to a lost Incan village to people coming back from death. And unlike two of Rollins' other books, the end was good and convincing. It did not leave me thinking:" Shit what happened, where is the end?" So I give this book a good 9/10.

As for Blink, this a book where one can learn tons and tons of stuff. I am widely read and this book had tons of new and fresh and ideas, even for me.

Basically, the book deals with starting social epidemics. It proposes three rules to help with this. The rule of the few, which means that few people start any sort of epidemic. The Stickiness factor which means stuff has to stick to succeed and finally it has to have the right context.

The author can do a lot of tipping point analysis in his future work, for example he can analyze how to stop terrorism using a tipping point approach. This would be somewhat similar to his analysis of why crime dipped in NYC.

Even better, someone else might use the same approach to sway US public opinion in favor of "A"rabs.

Needless to say, the possibilities are limitless.



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