[books]Ralph's Reading Room

Welcome to a collection of writings that inform, or resonate with, my opinions. Some people make daily blogs, but I'd rather organize concepts so you can peruse them based on topic. The set of things I think are relevant will eventually grow to become a partial reflection of my psyche. In a sense these ideas, or memes, are little shiny nuggets I'm collecting because they appeal to my intellectual sensibility. Is this better than a long blog of my daily thoughts wrapped in attractively formatted web pages? You must be the judge; read on or navigate away. In deference to the time oriented nature of life, I'll place small date stamps at the end of entries marking their origination temporal coordinate.

I've also written up my web implementation details.


As We May Think - An essay by Dr. Vannevar Bush calls for a new relationship between thinking man and the sum of our knowledge. [2006-09-27]

Art of Technology

Big Ball of Mud- A paper on software anti-patterns. Why do large software systems end up with bizarre or muddled architectures? [2005-03-09]

Digital Expression - an article by Nicholas Negroponte [2005-03-09]

The Curse of Xanadu - an account of a software vision and the trouble with its implementation. [2005-03-09]

Ted Nelson's Xanadu Rebuttal [2005-03-09]

UseIt - A site by Jakob Nielsen (SunSoft Distinguished Engineer) with many interesting pages. Checkout the Alertbox. [2005-03-09]

Technology Design

Design Principles - a checklist of crucial steps in creating a quality interface design, from the IBM web site. [2008-09-17]


EyesOfNye - A new discussion oriented site related to Bill Nye the Science Guy's new show. [2006-09-27]

Health and Nutrition

Appetite and Attitude - Carbohydrates may cure a bad mood, says Judith Wurtman


Sites that offer repositories of great works of literature:
ManyBooks.net - lots of classics, in formats to use on the personal digital assistants (Palms, PocketPCs, ...)
Project Gutenberg - a great site with the right goals
Project Gutenberg #2 - another version of the same site?
Poets Corner


Our Kids Are in Big Trouble - an article by Lawrence Lessig [2004-10-30]


I've recently been reading about using Gross National Happiness (GNH) instead of Gross National Product (GNP) in the evaluation of countries. The country of Bhutan is pioneering this idea, and their Centre for Bhutan Studies has numerous publications. My original contact with the concept was from an article in American Scientist v92n6p513 but this content is not publically available.

Excerpt from a Scott McNealy speech on the future of intellectual property, its representation and transport. [2005-03-09]

New vs. old economic models [2005-03-09]

Affordable Computing - an article by Nicholas Negroponte [2005-03-09]

The 15% Solution - an article describing corporate support for creative minds, as demonstrated at 3M. [2005-03-09]


So long, and thanks for the Ph.D.! [2005-03-09]

Religion and Spirituality

Apocalypse Now - How a hologram, a blimp, and a massively multiplayer game could bring peace to the Holy Land. [2005-03-09]


Quotes - my collection of quotable quotes. Can you tell something about a person by the quotes they like? [2005-03-09]

From Scatology to Social History: Captain Billy's Whiz Bang, by William Coyle [2005-03-09]

Generalist Sites and Gateways

Wikipedia - a surprisingly successful public access, public created encyclopedia. It may be only 85% correct (my guess) but it is useful! Watch the references and note the history of pages you read. 2006-09-27

Wikia.org - a whole cluster of Wiki-wiki webs using the same software as wikipedia (MediaWiki). 2006-09-27

WikiWikiWeb - a fascinating use of a simple database to create a collaborative web site. I say that the implementation is as interesting as the content. 2005-03-09


Death and the Harddrive - don't erase your departed relative's bits, ever! [2005-03-09]

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