The Worst Book I Will Ever Write

The Worst Book I Will Ever Write

Something I have been struggling with during the work on my (current) first novel is this: I am very likely producing the worst book I will ever write. Assuming I finish it — which given past history is not a foregone conclusion — suppose I find the whole thing too exhausting to do again? Having written only one, it would, by default, be the worst one (and the best I suppose). If I go on to write the second, I…

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A New Mission for Media

A New Mission for Media

Facilitate the flow of information to the point of its highest value. The media industry at large has lost its path. Most media companies are heavily tilted toward media as entertainment, rather than media as information. As a result, they are engaged in a digital race to the bottom, where falling ad CPM drives them to seek higher page view numbers on thinner margins, focusing on quantity rather than quality, on usage rather than utility. This has left a huge,…

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

As I write this, I sit in an apartment in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward, just a few blocks from where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached to his congregation. I cannot express in words the gratitude I feel toward Dr. King and all the thousands of people who marched with him to demand equal rights for all Americans. Since its birth, America has been a nation that aspired to high ideals of equality, and since its birth, America…

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Component Contracts in Service Oriented Systems

Component Contracts in Service Oriented Systems

PRINCIPLE: Relationships must be governed by contracts that are monitored for performance. In order to build a reliable system that is composed of many services, we need to have some guidelines for making the services reliable, both in the technical sense, and in the more psychological sense of people having confidence that things will work. In a system of services, just like in a society, business relationships should be governed by contracts that are monitored for performance. Wherever a dependency…

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Toward a Reusable Content Repository

Toward a Reusable Content Repository

There are a plethora of web-based content management systems and website publishing systems in the world. Almost all of them are what you might call “full stack solutions,” meaning that they try to cover everything you need to cook up a full publishing system, from content editing to theming. WordPress is the most obvious example, but there are hundreds of such systems varying in complexity, cost, and implementation platform. So many of the available products are full stack solutions that…

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CASTED: Cooperative Agents, Single Threaded, Event Driven

CASTED: Cooperative Agents, Single Threaded, Event Driven

The past looked like this: A User logs into a Computer, launches a Program, and interacts with it. The future looks like this: The Computer on your desk runs a Program (in the background) that collaborates with a Program running on the Computer in your pocket and another Program running on a Computer in the Cloud, operating on your behalf without the need to interact. In the past, a Program and an Application were the same thing. More and more,…

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Evolving Systems vs Design Consultants – A Recurring Pattern

Evolving Systems vs Design Consultants – A Recurring Pattern

I often think of systems architecture as analogous to this word game I played as a child. I don’t know if the game has a name, but it is begun by selecting two words, say “cat” and “dog”. The goal is to begin with one word, and end with the other. The rules are, you can change only one letter each turn, and at the end of every turn, you must be left with a true word. Hence, one way…

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