“The ‘Book’ is Dead”

Excellent article on the idea that many technical books are now made redundant by information available readily on the internet.

The “book” is dead. Long live “content.” And God help us all if world-class writers like David can’t make a living from it.

Worth reading the whole piece.

Link via Daring Fireball

‘To Kill A Mockingbird’

I just finished reading this wonderful novel by Lee Harper. What a wonderful tale!! Every character is different, and strong in their own right. The best among them is of course Atticus Finch – the upright, conscientious, logical, calm father who knows exactly how best to deal with any and every situation. Lessons in life there, lessons in how to live your own life and on how to treat others, and your children.

Even while being amazed at Atticus Finch, though, I realized I’d already seen these very characteristics, these very high ideals: and even before I read this book, these were already the ideals I’d want to be able to live by.

I’ve been witness to just someone as Mr Finch, very close at hand. If I were Jeremy Finch, the son, I have had my very own Atticus: my dad.

Vengefulness

Adam Gilchrist has written an autobiography after having retired from International Cricket. (That makes sense. With all the curbs on freedom of speech that International Cricketers have to endure during their playing careers, no wonder they are almost bursting with stories that they need to talk about by the time they finish.) Anyway, like all good autobiographies, there are many spicy little tidbits of information and opinion.

Sample this, for instance (link via cricinfo):

… there was speculation that Ganguly skipped the match [Nagpur test, 2004] because of the grassy pitch.

“There was speculation that Sourav Ganguly was quarrelling with the head of cricket in Nagpur and a rumour that a spicy pitch might be prepared out of spite or revenge against the captain. … I perceived that Sourav might have pulled out from fear of losing a home series.”

I do not, of course, know the truth about why Sourav opted out. If, instead of the apparent groin injury, the pitch was the reason, it was a stupid thing to do on Sourav’s part. But the groundsmen preparing a ‘spicy’ track to seek revenge against their own Captain? Does this happen anywhere else other than in India? Wow.

Meanwhile, I can’t wait for Sourav to finish and then write a book. Just think of all the scandalous things that he can potentially write about!! Yumm…

"The Innocent Man"

Well, that’s the title of the latest John Grisham novel… only, this is his first work of non-fiction. And guess what, he turns out to be as good with reality as with fiction!

It’s an amazing read, and made even more so by the fact that it’s all true… It sometimes makes you shiver at what all can go wrong, sometimes makes you distraught at the inefficiency of the “system”, and always keeps you glued to the book.

This is one book that we should all read, if only to get ourselves out of the comfort zone of the idea that the legal system and police work is always, or at least mostly, right. Perhaps it is mostly right… but maybe not as mostly as we would like.

Perhaps we should also consider if every undergraduate course should include a basic course on Law, and legal procedures. Just as we are given courses on Sociology, Economics, and Accountancy as part of our Engineering coursework (albeit, just the basics), maybe there should also be something on Law.

After all, we are all required to stay within the law at all times, and being unaware of our legal rights and privileges can sometimes put an innocent man to great danger…

As this novel proves chillingly.