This morning I woke up and read a few articles about artificial intelligence before my thoughts wandered back to sports trading cards. A lot of my article reading is happening on my Pixel 3 XL phone and it is a scrolling type of consuming content. On this computer here that runs Windows 10 I had thought about getting back into using EndNote to capture all of my citations. That is always a challenging thing to deal with when it comes keeping track of two different types of content. Online media and academic journals are always two different types of content that have to be tracked in different ways.
One of the things that I need to get back into the habit of doing is generally tracking content, but really digging into specific topics for literature reviews. Over the last couple of weeks I started planning out an article. It all started by drawing things out on a page from a Moleskine A3 size sketchbook. Yeah — that is a 11.75″ x 16.5″ giant drawing pad. Sometimes that is easier to work with than my whiteboard. All of that drawing and thinking set the stage for an area of inquiry that will be the seed for an interesting literature review.
Over the last three days, I have been reading a paperback copy of The Dark Fields (Limitless) by Alan Glynn (2001). It was something that I picked up on eBay. It appears that somebody sold me a book they got from the clearance bin at Half Priced Books. Overall the book was in fantastic condition. Only one dogged eared page separated it from basically being brand new. For some oddly peculiar reason, I had wanted to read the book in paperback version. That had been important to me at the time of the purchase. Alan Glynn had a great story idea. It translated to a pretty entertaining movie (Limitless) featuring Bradley Cooper (2011). The book did not really hold my attention very well, but some parts of it were engaging enough to keep me going.
During the course of reading the book I was listening a recently released Dream Theater album called New Millennium (Live) which was released in 2017. It may very well be my favorite Dream Theater recording. I’m not sure why exactly, but over the last month or so I have been listening to a lot of Dream Theater. Listening to albums and reading books is pretty much the way things are going these days. It has been awhile since writing with a single minded purpose drove me forward. Maybe something will spark that single minded purpose and help me drive into the deep end of writing. My writing habits tend to be highly extreme. I either produce a ton of prose or no prose at all.
My nightstand holds a stack of books that will be read at some point before coming to rest on a shelf in my office. We have a library in our house. It resides in my office. Some of the classic are collecting dust and other books that I have come across are simply resting on a shelf. Having a home library of books is probably an inherently good thing. Reading, learning, exploring, and enhancing understanding help you to strive forward.
This post has not yet reached the minimum cutoff of 500 words. That should be easy to fix assuming the right amount of effort and time get mixed together.
Spending time engaging in the act of writing generally begets more writing. Rain is rarely if ever described or categorized as a single drop that fell and was gone. Writers tend to write like rain. It would be strange to read prose like the following…
Clouds pulled across the sky throughout the afternoon. A certain amount of darkness had come before nightfall. Gloomy and frightful weather influenced everything anyway had planned. Overcast and threatening the clouds reminded everyone of what was coming. A small amount of thunder even rolled along to ensure anyone who had not looked up was aware of the impending storm. All of the wind and lack of sun and forced a dramatic drop in the temperature. It was a lot of backdrop for the one drop of rain that fell harmlessly in a open field. Nobody was around to even take note that it had happened. That was the only precipitation that occurred.
These are the moments that happen right when the quiet time starts. That little bit of time before bed where things slow down and quiet happens. It really is just a little burst of time that happens. Things like this happen without any explanation. Separate from that inexplicable moment is my interest in writing some fiction novels. It has been some time since that type of mood has stricken my thoughts. Do consider the word stricken in this case to describe a type of infection. My writing typically ends up being either a functional journaling of thoughts, essays, or nonfiction efforts. Very little of my day in and day out writing ends up being fiction based.
Maybe I missed my calling. The last nonfiction book series I truly enjoyed reading was by David Baldacci. The Camel Club was a series that kept my attention and sparked my imagination. I could truly picture the characters and imagine how the book played out. Sometimes it seems like a good idea to just writing short stories within the spy thriller genre. That type of writing provides a grand adventure into distracting myself within my imagination. Knowing that it does not drive my inquiry into the greater understanding of the intersection of technology and modernity is really the only thing that keeps me from engaging in that type of prose.
Each weblog post helps to define the nature of my inquiry. It helps define the nature of the search and the footsteps that were taken down the path of understanding the intersection of technology and modernity. Maybe it is more or less about understanding how our grand social fabric came together and what it would take to drive things forward. That search for improvement is the keystone that brings our grand history into context. We strive to move forward in ways that could erase division and spark stronger community. Accepting and being present in the moment is not about abandoning the quest to strive forward. Being away of the moment and accepting the moment are important parts of taking active steps to improve things along the way. They are an important part of deciding to make each step toward improvement count.
The Statistics Package for the Social Scientist (SPSS) has always made sense to me. For years workplace tools were less complex than SPSS. The new generation of data science focused applications are highly complex. Those applications facilitate slicing and dicing data into epic infographics. That class of applications does allow end users to use highly complex models. Some of those models are not well understood. Access to highly advanced statistical modeling tools does not guarantee understanding. Data science and dating modeling fell flat during this last election.
Executive level reporting has always involved both art and science. Modeling the latest presidential election involved did not go very well for pollsters and pundits. I have done a ton of data modeling over the years. Anybody can pick up a copy of Armstrong’s Principles of Forecasting (2001). Diving in is really the best way to get started. Data science has turned into a first in the pool type of profession. People strive toward predicting the future. Most models that are aimed at predicting the future are not tested against the past. Modeling public sentiment is a challenge. Sometimes it is fleeting. Sometimes permanence exists.
You cannot stop the stream of information. As the knowledge base of the academy grows one publication at a time you can only hope to tunnel into the shared knowledge within an academic space. It is no longer possible to keep up with the speed of publications. Reading and learning are inherently a reward for the pursuit of knowledge. The pace of publication creates a situation where the pursuit of knowledge has to be accepted as the goal. Any goal centered on learning everything would be aspirational at best.
Google Scholar has been sending over occasional “Scholar Alert” emails for my search, “Managing At the Speed of Change”. The latest electronic missive from Sholar Alerts only included one book. I was able to read part of the Google Books preview from Chris Cosby’s “Strategic Organizational Alignment: Authority, Power, Results” (2016). Inside the book it clearly shows a publication date of 2017. Given that it is only 2016 and the publication is available for purchase on my Amazon Kindle the 2017 date seems interesting. I would have guessed the publication year was 2016 not 2017.
My goal for 2017 is to write 5 academic articles and send 3 of them off for publication. I am hopeful that next year will be a key year for my contributions to the academy. A ton of my focus recently has been dedicated to knocking out a few lines of code each day. That pursuit will be deprioritized in favor of writing academic articles.