Six Personal Favorites for 2008

Yesterday I got this gentle complaint from a friend and reader, “It’s great that your cloudworker stuff is getting picked up. I’m afraid it may tear you away from your non-business interests though, and we won’t get to hear any more parrot stories out of you.”

This seems to be a recurrent theme in the feedback and criticism I get about my writing. People who like my more introspective pieces seem dismayed that I also write more sociable pieces that belong in broader business/technology/culture conversations. There have even been suggestions that my more sociable pieces are corrupting my otherwise pure and childlike soul. At any rate, I guess it is no accident that my own personal favorites from 2008 lean towards the introspective side, so if this stuff is my soul, I think it will endure at least for another year. Check out the full roundup for 2008, if you don’t like my own picks.

  1. The Blue Tunnel: the second Ribbonfarm experiment in the graphic novel form, this time more like a picture-book story in the Dr. Seuss “Oh the places you will go” vein.
  2. The Bloody-Minded Pleasures of Engineering: A tip-of-the-hat to Samuel Florman’s The Existential Pleasures of Engineering, comprising my own meandering thoughts on what it means to be an engineer.
  3. Bargaining with your Right Brain: an attempt at an unorthodox look at bargaining as collaborative-adversarial storytelling.
  4. Creative Destruction: Portrait of an Idea: we take a look at the concepts and history of the notion of creative destruction, from ancient times to Schumpeter.
  5. Towards a Philosophy of Destruction: Following up on my creative destruction post, this took a discursive look at destruction, all by itself.
  6. A look at Amy Lin’s wonderful dot art, and the trains of thought it sparked for me.

I promise I won’t sell my soul in 2009; at least not for under $10 million.

Happy New Year!


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About Venkatesh Rao

Venkat is the founder and editor-in-chief of ribbonfarm. Follow him on Twitter