Thursday, December 01, 2005

What I Plan to Read

One of the toughest things about the DM program is that you are so busy doing homework and reading for homework that you really cannot read the things you like. I have collected a number of books through the semester that I plan to read over the 6 week break. I have more than I can get through – but that is part of the pleasure of it. Here are the books I am looking forward to right now:

1. Halo: The Fall of Reach. This is an SF novel that uses the Halo computer game as its theme. I started this because I am creating a seminar to teach to High School students and thought Halo would be a good theme for the presentation. Turns out the book is not too bad. There are 2 others in the series, but I am not sure I want more of the same armored heroes fighting evil alien hordes. Have you every wondered why an alien race who is much more powerful than us would be evil? Why not nice and helpful the way Earth people are represented in the movies? “They want our water!” is the common reply. Well, I am sure they could not have become advanced enough to travel through space without a plentiful supply of the raw materials to sustain life.

2. First In. This is the story of the CIA’s first moves into Afghanistan. It was recommended by an old government guy that I know. He said it is fascinating.

3. Seeing What’s Next. This is Clayton Christensen’s 3rd book on innovation. I read his material and turn that into conference presentations. In January I am speaking about the “Disruptive Influence of Game Technology” at the GAMES Synergy Summit. This will be the 4th conference presentation on disruptive technology. I have been able to place Christensen’s and other authors ideas into the context of the military simulation and computer gaming industry and everyone wants to hear those ideas at their conferences.

4. HBR on Innovation. This is a collection of old HBR articles on innovation. Many of these are “classics”. Also directed at my conference presentations.

5. The Harvey Girls. When we were visiting the Grand Canyon we learned the story of Fred Harvey establishing “Harvey Houses” across the west. This is the story of the girls who were hotel and kitchen staff in those hotels and how they tamed the west by marrying the wide cowboys and turning them into farmers and ranchers who would support a wife and children. There was also an old movie of the same name starring Judy Garland. We got that from NetFlix and watched it. It was good, fun, corny.

6. Harry Potter. I read an occasional Harry Potter book. The newest movie was so good, that I might want to read the book version of it.

That is all I have and certainly more than I can get through.


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