Posted by Sreedhar | Posted in Books, Design | Posted on 22-06-2012
What is the Nuremberg Funnel?
Imagine this. You own a device through which you can easily and effortlessly pour into your mind all the wisdom and knowledge you require regarding any subject. That is the Nuremberg Funnel. It is put across with poignant satire in these illustrations.
Apparently, wherever the good people of Nuremberg go, they are asked if they have brought the Nuremberg funnel with them! This joke is based on the fairytale where a young boy learns from one of the blacksmith masters about the existence of a mythical Funnel of Knowledge and sets out on a quest to acquire it. He finds out that the Funnel of Wisdom is in the possession of the King of Utopia. He undergoes a series of adventures, but is unable to acquire it. The fable ends on a wise note. The boy’s adventures make him so wise that he no longer needs the Funnel!
This fable of the Nuremberg Funnel reminded me of this scene in the Matrix movie.
I was pleasantly surprised by the term appearing in the title of this book on Designing Minimalist Instruction for Practical Computer Skill.
Posted by Sreedhar | Posted in Books | Posted on 01-09-2009
Animal Farm - George Orwell
George Orwell’s Animal Farm is a very short book. Its story, insights, concepts and message will ring true as long as humans come together to work. The fact that Animal Farm is entirely about humans is a sweet irony. That is also its main appeal to me. It provides a glimpse into how good intentions, ideas, ideals and lofty thinking fall apart gradually. I see it as a satirical fable that helps explain the ups and downs of history. Simple in its telling, complex in its content, meaning and relevance.
Posted by Sreedhar | Posted in Books, Work | Posted on 31-08-2009
Today people urge you to be enthusiastic about everything. It is fascinating for me to find out that such a common word as enthusiasm has a topsy-turvy history behind it.
The word enthusiasm comes from Greek and has a religious angle to its meaning which is very nicely hidden under the surface. For a certain time, enthusiasm was used in a negative and derogatory sense. This is certainly one of the words that has now undergone a complete transformation.
Posted by Sreedhar | Posted in Books, Work | Posted on 27-08-2009
Every time I pick up this book for a read, I end up going through it with the same enthusiasm I felt when I read it for the first time. Despite being a recurring book in my bookshelf for more than a dozen years, this book retains a freshness. The kind of freshness one feels when plunging into reading a new, interesting book. I am not a big fan of philosophical books. Dreary arguments are not the reason I pick it up to read.
Posted by Sreedhar | Posted in Books | Posted on 26-08-2009
These days, I am recovering from a long drought of reading. I seem to walk into bookshops and spend a lot of time leafing through the ones that catch my fancy, the ones recommended by friends, critics and of course, web reviews.
After spending 20 to 30 minutes, I seem to be drawn towards the stationery section. There, I usually pick up a beautiful, luxuriously built blank notebook. The kind that would have lavish binding, gilded pages and superb paper quality.