Sunday, November 30, 2008

What I'm Reading & Watching - November 2008

It's the last day of the month so I thought I should quickly note down some of my reading & video interests for November, to keep up the tradition as it were. Well, it's a rather short list this time, since it has been a rather busy month with much travelling, projects and customer engagements. So just three new books, and three videos. I had also been continuing with some of the books I started last month but hadn't yet completed.
One book I'm reading is "Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives" by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser (Basic Books, 2008). Digital natives, referring to those children who were born into and raised in the digital world, are coming of age and soon our world will be reshaped in their image. Our economy, politics, culture and even societal structures will be forever transformed. The authors examine this phenomena throught a series of themes - identities, dossiers, privacy, safety, creators, pirates, quality, overload, aggressors, innovators, learners, activists and synthesis - which together provide well researched and insightful perspectives.

Another book I'm going through is titled "Click: What Millions of People are Doing Online and Why It Matters" by Bill Tancer (Hyperion Books, 2008). This one is more about understanding people better through an analysis of their collective Internet behaviour. This includes what people search for online and when, obsession with celebrities, what we fear, and how all this can be used for more effective predictive analyses. Fascinating stuff. As author Tancer aptly says: we are what we click.

The third book I'm reading is "Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing your World" by Don Tapscott (McGraw-Hill, 2008). It's somewhat of a continuation of his earlier study and book "Growing Up Digital". The focus is similar to the "Born Digital"book but there are many new perspectives here as well. I particularly like the chapter dealing with how the Net Generation is changing politics and government, using Obama's campaign as example.

All three books are related in the sense that they are about the Internet and digital technology, but they are also very much about people and our behaviours.

On the video side, a couple of memorable DVDs I watched were "Rendition" with Reese Witherspoon and Omar Metwally, and "Lost in Translation" starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. But my favourite was still a not-so-new swordfighting film with dazzling action scenes, called "House of Flying Daggers" starring Zhang Ziyi, Takeshi Kaneshiro & Andy Lau.

Well, that's it for the month of November. How time flies ....

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