Police Surveillance, Pattern on the Stone, You are not a Gadget

I’ve just finished reading “Undercover” by Paul Lewis and Rob Evans. It’s terrifying. The lengths that that Special Branch and the British Police went to in order to infiltrate elements of UK society – including allowing undercover officers to form long term relationships with the people they were spying on – all to improve their cover. I can’t recommend the book enough.

Another book I would recommend, for completely different reasons, is “The Pattern on the Stone” by Danny Hillis. It describes the inner workings of computers, from top to bottom. One particular part that stood out for me was thinking about what it means when you send a message to someone physically – you are transporting it in space and time – in four dimensions. Saving also moves a message in four dimensions – three physical dimensions are fixed (discounting the movement of the Earth through the Universe) but time varies.

Danny has set up some very interesting companies – from Thinking Machines, to Applied Proteomics to Applied Minds. The Applied Minds offices sound wonderful – as does their interview technique.

The final of my recent reading Triumvate was “You Are Not A Gadget” by Jaron Lanier. Another firm recommendation – Jaron has some very interesting insights into the reality of all the hype surrounding the ability of artists to make a living online – and the stupidity of crowds (or mobs).

Finally, the Inca didn’t have any money at all. Could we do the same post scarcity?