index card

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pages: 222 words: 74,587

Paper Machines: About Cards & Catalogs, 1548-1929 by Markus Krajewski, Peter Krapp

business process, continuation of politics by other means, double entry bookkeeping, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, index card, Index librorum prohibitorum, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, Jacques de Vaucanson, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge worker, means of production, new economy, paper trading, Turing machine

Nor is this study able to remedy a lack that Foucault proclaimed in a footnote: “Appearance of the index card and development of the human sciences: another invention little celebrated by historians.”10 Although one development, the “make-up of the human sciences,” serves as a methodological example for this book, a direct connection to the appearance of the index card could not be made unambiguously. The plan had been to fulfill the promise of that footnote and develop the transfer between librarians and businesspeople around 1890 in an appendix to the evolution of the index card. Yet this plan fell victim to lack of space. In such a chapter one would have found not only the development of the materiality of the index card from paper scrap to cardboard. (This episode now runs implicitly through the description of progressive standardization.)

“Money does not pulsate in the financial veins with the same regularity as in humans, but shares with the latter that a momentary blockage can cause danger or death.”56 A disturbance in the materiality of the flow of thought, one might add, is the threat of outdated, missing, or faulty index cards. It is the insufficient quantity of index cards that leads to effacement or malnourishment. “I feed the computers with my data.” Only in their sheer abundance can citations create something new. The database emits, donates blood, gives life, on a massive scale. The circulation of index cards thrives on abundance as well—the more the better. “I am the database. Bleeding in the crowd.” 57 Balance Sheet In their time, men like Moser could proudly refer to their index cards as a text-generating technology, contributing to the Enlightenment with an almost uncanny production rate. Yet around 1800, with the blossoming of the European idea of genius, this light dims, and production aesthetics undergo a fundamental change.

In this book, I seek to write this history from the material, thus allowing many voices to be heard, naturally at the risk of discordant polyphony. However, as the task consists of tying together episodes involving an arrangement of paper slips and their respective links, I will allow index cards to lead the way.7 This very box of index cards may leave some issues aside owing to the limited scope of the study—and sometimes simply owing to lack of information. Its first deficiency is thus an inability to write a universal story of index cards. Therefore, the trajectory does not begin at the dawn of history, and does not describe Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Greek, or Roman methods of cataloging stored texts. Also excluded is the famous library of Alexandria with its equally famous librarian Callimachus, who affixed inventories of texts on clay pinakes on the shelves, as well as the Roman laterculi or administrative registers.8 For neither are paper machines—both use different materialities, the by far more valuable and costly papyrus on the one hand and clay on the other.9 Instead, we begin card index history in the sixteenth century, with an alleged origin that, all misgivings about choosing one such entry notwithstanding, can serve as a provisional starting point for paper catalogs, even though one could have started earlier.


pages: 187 words: 66,656

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

index card, Mason jar, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex

So whenever I am leaving the house without my purse—in which there are actual notepads, let alone index cards—I fold an index card lengthwise in half, stick it in my back pocket along with a pen, and head out, knowing that if I have an idea, or see something lovely or strange or for any reason worth remembering, I will be able to jot down a couple of words to remind me of it. Sometimes, if I overhear or think of an exact line of dialogue or a transition, I write it down verbatim. I stick the card back in my pocket. I might be walking along the salt marsh, or out at Phoenix Lake, or in the express line at Safeway, and suddenly I hear something wonderful that makes me want to smile or snap my fingers—as if it has just come back to me—and I take out my index card and scribble it down. I have an index card beside me right now on which I scribbled, "Pammy, Demi Moore."

When I get stuck or lost or the jungle drums start beating in my head, proclaiming that the jig is about to be up and I don’t know what I’m doing and the well has run dry, I’ll look through my index cards. I try to see if there’s a short assignment on any of them that will get me writing again, give me a small sense of confidence, help me put down one damn word after another, which is, let’s face it, what writing finally boils down to. There are index cards on my desk that record things I thought of or saw or remembered or overheard in the last week or so. There are index cards from a couple of years ago. There is even one index card from six or seven years ago, when I was walking along the salt marsh between Sausalito and Mill Valley. Bicyclists were passing me on both sides, and I wasn’t paying much attention until suddenly a woman rode past wearing some sort of lemon perfume.

And finally I felt that my jealousy and I were strangely beautiful, like the men in the AIDS movie, doing the dance of the transformed self, dancing like an old long-legged bird. Part Three Help Along the Way Index Cards I like to think that Henry James said his classic line, "A writer is someone on whom nothing is lost," while looking for his glasses, and that they were on top of his head. We have so much to remember these days. So we make all these lists, filled with hope that they will remind us of all the important things to do and buy and mail, all the important calls we need to make, all the ideas we have for short stories or articles. And yet by the time you get around to everything on any one list, you’re already behind on another. Still, I believe in lists and I believe in taking notes, and I believe in index cards for doing both. I have index cards and pens all over the house—by the bed, in the bathroom, in the kitchen, by the phones, and I have them in the glove compartment of my car.


Cataloging the World: Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age by Alex Wright

1960s counterculture, Ada Lovelace, barriers to entry, British Empire, business climate, business intelligence, Cape to Cairo, card file, centralized clearinghouse, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, European colonialism, Frederick Winslow Taylor, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Law of Accelerating Returns, linked data, Livingstone, I presume, lone genius, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norman Mailer, out of africa, packet switching, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, semantic web, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

However, Otlet’s aspirations far outstripped the technological reality of his time. There was as yet no reliable mechanism for copying such large numbers of index cards 77 C ATA L O G I N G T H E WO R L D other than typing them out by hand (Otlet and La Fontaine offered a cash prize of 500 francs to anyone who could design a machine ­capable of reproducing index cards in large numbers). Eventually they invested the considerable sum of 22,000 francs in a costly printing scheme that never bore fruit. Instead, the IIB ended up distributing copies of the bibliography in book form, with a set of instructions directing subscribers to take out their scissors, cut up entries by hand, and paste them one-by-one onto index cards. Even four centuries later, Gessner’s indexing technique was proving remarkably durable. As the size of the collection increased, the conceptual problems of building a global classification scheme proved increasingly thorny.

While Otlet did not by any stretch of the imagination “invent” the Internet—working as he did in an age before digital computers, magnetic storage, or packet-switching networks—nonetheless his vision looks nothing short of prophetic. In Otlet’s day, microfilm may have qualified as the most advanced information storage technology, and the closest thing anyone had ever seen to a database was a drawer full of index cards. Yet despite these analog limitations, he 14 I ntrod u ction envisioned a global network of interconnected institutions that would alter the flow of information around the world, and in the process lead to profound social, cultural, and political transformations. By today’s standards, Otlet’s proto-Web was a clumsy affair, relying on a patchwork system of index cards, file cabinets, telegraph machines, and a small army of clerical workers. But in his writing he looked far ahead to a future in which networks circled the globe and data could travel freely. Moreover, he imagined a wide range of ­expression taking shape across the network: distributed encyclopedias, virtual classrooms, three-dimensional information spaces, social networks, and other forms of knowledge that anticipated the hyperlinked structure of today’s Web.

In 1876, Dewey established a company called the Library Bureau, whose mission was to sell to libraries and other organizations supplies such as catalog cards, drawers, “bureau boxes,” and other material to help companies implement his scheme. The company also encouraged businesses to adopt its index-card systems for their internal record keeping, claiming that they would realize efficiency gains of up to 50 percent. By 1893, the firm had opened a new office in Chicago and had plans to expand to London and Philadelphia. In 1895, the Library Bureau invested in its own factory, expanding from the production of index cards into a wider range of business equipment designed to help organizations of all stripes manage their collective intellectual capital: cabinets, trays, embossing equipment, and a range of other office supplies. As government bureaus and corporate offices found themselves increasingly awash in paper— spurred by the adoption of new technologies like stenography, 41 C ATA L O G I N G T H E WO R L D carbon paper, and typewriters—the Library Bureau saw the opportunity to insinuate itself into the organizational mainstream, recognizing that the innovations it had brought to the library world could have application across a broad swath of business and governmental enterprises.


pages: 572 words: 94,002

Reset: How to Restart Your Life and Get F.U. Money: The Unconventional Early Retirement Plan for Midlife Careerists Who Want to Be Happy by David Sawyer

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, beat the dealer, bitcoin, Cal Newport, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Attenborough, David Heinemeier Hansson, Desert Island Discs, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Thorp, Elon Musk, financial independence, follow your passion, gig economy, hiring and firing, index card, index fund, invention of the wheel, knowledge worker, loadsamoney, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage debt, passive income, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart meter, Snapchat, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, Vanguard fund, Y Combinator

I transcribe the main insights on to index cards (more on that below). Then I explain them to others before I forget: the Feynman Technique[114]. #4 Index cards Talking of index cards. I’ve trialled all sorts of digital and analogue methods of plucking thoughts out of my head and into order. Evernote, swipe files, Word docs for this, Google Docs for that. Along the way, thousands of insights, and an untold amount of calmness, have been lost through complicated systems that, although started with best intentions, have fallen by the wayside after a few weeks. This all changed when I discovered the bulldog-clip-and-ruled-index-cards approach. I have plastic (and shoe) boxes[115] full of index cards for: life in general; RESET; and getting with the digital programme, complete with index-card-size subdividers.

Now, whenever I have a thought worth capturing, I write it on an index card in either marker pen or biro (depending on the length of the thought), and place in the relevant box. I use index cards for books, blogs, conversations I overhear at the club, memories, etc. They’re in my coat pocket when I fetch the kids from school. I leave them handy in the locker at the swimming pool (where I do much of my best thinking). And I run with them. Sound weird? Well, I’m in good company. Ryan Holiday[116], Anne Lamott[117], Robert Greene[118], Oliver Burkeman[119], Ronald Reagan, Vladimir Nabokov[120] and Ludwig Wittgenstein[121] all use (d) the humble index card to catalogue and organise their thoughts. If you’re serious about embarking on this digital journey, buy a hundred-pack of 127 x 76mm ruled index cards for less than a pound, rescue a shoebox from the attic and stick a few marker-penned notecards on their end to act as dividers.

At these times, take heart and remember: you are the master of your fate; you are the captain of your soul. CONTENTS Foreword, Introduction, Status Quo Part I: What Matters to You? 1. Happiness 2. Fears 3. Life’s a Struggle 4. Finding Meaning 5. On Purpose 6. Values and Your Worldview 7. Plan and Goals 8. Part I Index Card Part II: Going Digital – How to Future-Proof Your Career 9. Trapped in “Digital or Die” Land 10. PR: a Case Study 11. How to Master Your Digital Fear: a 25-Point Plan 12. Part II Index Card Part III: Declutter Your Life 13. Digital Declutter 14. Mental Declutter 15. Physical Declutter 16. Part III Index Card 17. Halftime Downer Interval Part IV: Getting F.U. Money – a Plan 18. Structure 19. You’re Not alone – Money is the Commonest Problem 20. What Do Rich People Look Like? 21. Financial Independence and F.U. Money 22. Four FI Fundamentals 23. #1: Stash Maths 24. #2: Net Worth 25. #3: One Pot 26. #4: 2015 UK Pension Reforms 27.


The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures by Library Of Congress, Carla Hayden

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, information retrieval, Johannes Kepler, late fees

But the Internet also owes its existence, in part, to those who came even earlier and envisioned and implemented standardized index card catalogs. Paul Otlet was one of those visionaries. Born in Belgium in 1868, Otlet, a lawyer, was fascinated by bibliographic techniques and the potential for organizing information using standard index cards. Although he operated on the periphery of the library community and was drawn to various classification schemes, he developed an idea of bringing together the entire world’s knowledge into a searchable system. Around the turn of the twentieth century, Otlet, along with international lawyer and future Nobel Peace Prize–winner Henri La Fontaine, began to build an archive of facts on millions of 3-by-5-in (7.5-by-12-cm) index cards. They called this collection the Mundaneum—a virtual analog Internet that users could search.

It has now fallen to the exigencies of modern life, replaced by the flickering screens of the online computer catalog. One would need to venture farther into the stacks to find the Main Card Catalog. Opening a drawer and flipping through the well-worn cards, many handwritten and filled with marginalia containing valuable information not to be found in an Internet search, leaves one with a sense of awe at how catalogers distilled so much information onto simple 3-by-5-inch index cards—cards that still sit neatly filed, waiting to reveal the treasures hidden in the hundreds of miles of Library stacks on Capitol Hill. —PETER DEVEREAUX Writer-Editor, The Library of Congress Die Bibliothek der Universität Leyden La bibliothèque de l’université de Leyde. Jan Cornelis Woudanus, circa 1570-1615. Chapter 1 Origins of the Card Catalog Cuneiforms to Playing Cards Bill of sale, Sumerian cuneiform tablet, 2200-1900 B.C.

Excavations beginning in the late nineteenth century uncovered thousands of these tablets—filled with epic poems, hymns, fables, and myths. One tablet, found near the Sumerian city of Nippur and dated around 2000 B.C., was clearly identified as a library catalog by renowned Sumerian history and language expert S. N. Kramer. At just 2 1/2 by 1 1/2 in (6.5 by 4 cm), the tablet foreshadowed the use of small index cards in cataloging, and it was divided into two columns listing the titles of sixty-two literary works. Among these titles was the oldest surviving piece of Western literature, The Epic of Gilgamesh, which predates Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey by more than fifteen hundred years. The epic poem follows the adventures of the legendary king of Uruk through fierce battles and tender moments of friendship and grief as he attempts to make sense of his life.


pages: 384 words: 112,971

What’s Your Type? by Merve Emre

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, card file, correlation does not imply causation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, God and Mammon, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, index card, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, late capitalism, means of production, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, p-value, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Socratic dialogue, Stanford prison experiment, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce

To meet oneself, she explained, was to embark on an epic journey of self-discovery whose end was not some abstract notion of truth or freedom but one of Jung’s sixteen personality types—“sixteen ways of growing from infancy to maturity,” she wrote. Each type was represented by a different shade in the “personality paint box” of life. To discover the shade that best suited you, Katharine urged her reader to write down each type and its traits on a 3˝ × 5˝ index card, spread the cards across a flat surface, and arrange them vertically from most descriptive to least descriptive. Later, Isabel would further standardize the work of self-discovery with a questionnaire, but for now, Katharine believed that her readers possessed enough self-awareness to navigate her descriptions of Jung’s types on their own, sliding index cards up and down their dining room tables. The extraverted (E) sensing (S) type was an “extreme realist,” she summarized, “valuing above all material possession and concrete enjoyment.” The extraverted (E) intuitive (N) was an impatient and fickle-hearted “explorer, inventor, organizer, or promoter” who sought opportunity and adventure.

Introverted (I) intuitives (N) could be found among the world’s “philosophers, religious leaders and prophets, artists, queer geniuses and cranks.” Their impulsive attitudes were counterbalanced by the practicality of the extraverted (E) thinkers (T), the “reformers, executives, systematists, and men of applied science.” If her reader recognized himself in one of these descriptions, he was to move the index card to the very top of the table, where it would stay until it was displaced by another, more appropriate type description. In its insistence on self-discovery as a civilizing form of self-mastery, “Meet Yourself” modeled a new genre of writing known as popular psychology: self-help in an era when the public demand for psychological counsel far outstripped the number of psychologists available to provide it.

She believed she had made peace with her specialty in life, and, for the next several years, she would remain unencumbered by the kinds of psychological burdens that descended upon her mother and her amateur practice. CHAPTER FIVE Desperate Amateurs Like many analytic psychologists in the 1920s and 1930s, Katharine Briggs was fond of analyzing people’s dreams—indeed, she had developed a thoroughly scientific method of doing so. Every morning, she would remove a 3˝ × 5˝ index card from a stack she kept by the bed and turn expectantly to Lyman, who would then relay everything he remembered of the people, places, and events that had impressed themselves upon his sleeping mind. Katharine would then list the “dramatis personae”—the characters—in Lyman’s dreams before ascribing to each of them a deeper, more incisive meaning. If one of Lyman’s dreams struck her as especially revealing, she would type up her notes in the morning and spend the rest of the day clipping images from Depression-era newspapers, magazines, postcards, and recipe books to illustrate his visions.


pages: 685 words: 203,949

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin

airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anton Chekhov, Bayesian statistics, big-box store, business process, call centre, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Eratosthenes, Exxon Valdez, framing effect, friendly fire, fundamental attribution error, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, impulse control, index card, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, invention of writing, iterative process, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, life extension, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, phenotype, placebo effect, pre–internet, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Rubik’s Cube, shared worldview, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Turing test, ultimatum game, zero-sum game

In a somewhat less well-known later book (nominated for a Pulitzer Prize), Lila: An Inquiry into Morals, he endeavors to establish a way of thinking about metaphysics. Phaedrus, the author’s alter ego and the story’s protagonist, uses the index card system for organizing his philosophical notions. The size of the index cards, he says, makes them preferable to full-size sheets of paper because they provide greater random access. They fit into a shirt pocket or purse. Because they’re all the same size, they’re easy to carry and organize. (Leibniz complained about all the slips of paper that he had ideas on getting lost because they were all different sizes and shapes.) And importantly, “when information is organized in small chunks that can be accessed and sequenced at random it becomes much more valuable than when you have to take it in serial form. . . . They [the index cards] ensured that by keeping his head empty and keeping sequential formatting to a minimum, no fresh new unexplored ideas would be forgotten or shut out.”

If more information will remove that uncertainty, then figure out what that information is and how to obtain it, then—to keep the system working for you—put it on an index card. Maybe it’s talking to a few more homes, maybe it’s talking to other family members. Or maybe you just need time to let the information set in. In that case, you put a deadline on the decision card, say four days from now, and try to make the decision then. The essential point here is that during your daily sweep through the cards, you have to do something with that index card—you do something about it now, you put it in your abeyance pile, or you generate a new task that will help to move this project forward. The index card system is merely one of what must be an infinite number of brain extension devices, and it isn’t for everyone. Paul Simon carries a notebook with him everywhere to jot down lines or phrases that he might use later in a song, and John R.

One of the biggest surprises I came upon while working on this book was the number of such people who carry around a pen and notepads or index cards for taking physical notes, and their insistence that it is both more efficient and more satisfying than the electronic alternatives now on offer. In her autobiography, Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg reluctantly admits to carrying a notebook and pen around to keep track of her To Do list, and confesses that at Facebook, where she is the COO, this is “like carrying around a stone tablet and chisel.” Yet she and many others like her persist in this ancient technology. There must be something to it. Imagine carrying a stack of 3 x 5 index cards with you wherever you go. When you get an idea for something you’re working on, you put it on one card. If you remember something you need to do later, you put that on a card.


pages: 404 words: 110,942

A Place for Everything: The Curious History of Alphabetical Order by Judith Flanders

computer age, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, index card, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of movable type, invention of the wheel, invention of writing, trade route, Y2K

This analphabetical reordering, however, also required an alphabetical index that was two volumes long. 9. I is for Index Cards: From Copy Clerks to Office Supplies in the Nineteenth Century * The sailors were prompted to name the site of their Australian anchorage Botany Bay, in honour of ‘the great quantity of New Plants &c’ that Banks and Solander recorded seeing there.5 * Solander made another significant contribution to archiving, although not to classification and ordering, with what became known as the ‘solander box’, which is today a staple of libraries and archives across the world: a cardboard, book-shaped case with a three-sided lip to protect rare manuscripts, maps, archival material or botanical specimens (illustrated above).5 * Today in Italian a scheda is a record card or form, and a schedario is a file, or register, or index card. A modern schedario is both a file index and a filing-cabinet, although in the eighteenth century such furniture was unknown, except to specialists like Harrison and Leibniz.

E is for Expansion: The Reference Work in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries 6. F is for Firsts: From the Birth of Printing to Library Catalogues in the Fifteenth to Sixteenth Centuries 7. G is for Government: Bureaucracy and the Office, from the Sixteenth Century to the French Revolution 8. H is for History: Libraries, Research and Extracting in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 9. I is for Index Cards: From Copy Clerks to Office Supplies in the Nineteenth Century 10. Y is for Y2K: From the Phone Book to Hypertext in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries Timeline Bibliography Footnotes Notes Index List of Illustrations IN THE TEXT 1. A round robin letter of 1621, petitioning for the right of Huguenots to settle in the New World. 2. The first page of a letter in rebus form from Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865). 3.

And, as is the way of revolutions, those in charge did something that was at one and the same time both backward and innovative: they centralized. They put the state, the ruler, at the centre of everything (an old idea), and then bureaucratized all of it (a new one). To do so, they broke with thousands of years of custom, moving from the bound manuscript and the printed ledger to the most basic unit, the precursor to so much of alphabetization in the future: the index card. 8 H is for History Libraries, Research and Extracting in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries In the mid-twentieth century, the medievalist C.S. Lewis summed up his view of the period he had studied for so long: ‘[M]ediaeval man,’ he wrote, ‘was not a dreamer . . . He was an organizer, a codifier, a builder of systems. He wanted a “place for everything and everything in its place”.


pages: 236 words: 79,827

Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

index card

JAMES BOSWELL, the Life of Samuel Johnson Contents Cover Other Books by This Author Title Page Copyright Dedication Foreword Pale Fire A POEM IN FOUR CANTOS Canto One Canto Two Canto Three Canto Four Commentary About the Author Books by Vladimir Nabokov Foreword Pale Fire, a poem in heroic couplets, of nine hundred ninety-nine lines, divided into four cantos, was composed by John Francis Shade (born July 5, 1898, died July 21, 1959) during the last twenty days of his life, at his residence in New Wye, Appalachia, U.S.A. The manuscript, mostly a Fair Copy, from which the present text has been faithfully printed, consists of eighty medium-sized index cards, on each of which Shade reserved the pink upper line for headings (canto number, date) and used the fourteen light-blue lines for writing out with a fine nib in a minute, tidy, remarkably clear hand, the text of his poem, skipping a line to indicate double space, and always using a fresh card to begin a new canto. The short (166 lines) Canto One, with all those amusing birds and parhelia, occupies thirteen cards.

I stared at his powdered cheeks, at the magical flower in his buttonhole where it had passed through a succession of different colors and had now become fixed as a white carnation, and especially at his marvelous fluid-looking fingers which could if he chose make his spoon dissolve into a sunbeam by twiddling it, or turn his plate into a dove by tossing it up in the air. Shade’s poem is, indeed, that sudden flourish of magic: my gray-haired friend, my beloved old conjurer, put a pack of index cards into his hat—and shook out a poem. To this poem we now must turn. My Foreword has been, I trust, not too skimpy. Other notes, arranged in a running commentary, will certainly satisfy the most voracious reader. Although those notes, in conformity with custom, come after the poem, the reader is advised to consult them first and then study the poem with their help, rereading them of course as he goes through its text, and perhaps, after having done with the poem, consulting them a third time so as to complete the picture.

I’m ready to become a floweret Or a fat fly, but never, to forget. And I’ll turn down eternity unless The melancholy and the tenderness Of mortal life; the passion and the pain; The claret taillight of that dwindling plane Off Hesperus; your gesture of dismay 530 On running out of cigarettes; the way You smile at dogs; the trail of silver slime Snails leave or flagstones; this good ink, this rhyme, This index card, this slender rubber band Which always forms, when dropped, an ampersand, Are found in Heaven by the newlydead Stored in its strongholds through the years. Instead The Institute assumed it might be wise Not to expect too much of paradise: What if there’s nobody to say hullo To the newcomer, no reception, no 540 Indoctrination? What if you are tossed Into a boundless void, your bearings lost, Your spirit stripped and utterly alone, Your task unfinished, your despair unknown, Your body just beginning to putresce, A non-undressable in morning dress, Your widow lying prone on a dim bed, Herself a blur in your dissolving head!


pages: 333 words: 64,581

Clean Agile: Back to Basics by Robert C. Martin

Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, c2.com, continuous integration, DevOps, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Frederick Winslow Taylor, index card, iterative process, Kubernetes, loose coupling, microservices, remote working, revision control, Turing machine

So we leave the story in abbreviated form as a promise for a future conversation.2 2. This is one of Ron Jeffries’ definitions of a story. Typically, we write the story on an index card. I know, I know. Why in the world would we use such ancient and primitive tools when we have computers and iPads and…? It turns out that being able to hold those cards in your hands, pass them across a table to each other, scribble on them, and otherwise handle them is immensely valuable. Automated tools do sometimes have their place, and I’ll talk about them in another chapter. For the moment, however, think of the stories as index cards. Please remember: World War II was managed3 on index cards, so I think the technique scales. 3. Well, to some extent anyway. ATM Stories Imagine that it is Iteration Zero, and we are on a team writing the stories for an automated teller machine (ATM).

Great tools do the following: Help people accomplish their objectives Can be learned “well enough” quickly Become transparent to users Allow adaptation and exaptation Are affordable We hold up Git here as an example of a great tool…as of 2019. You may be reading this in some future year, so remember that the landscape changes. Physical Agile Tools Agilists are known for using whiteboards, tape, index cards, markers, and various sizes of sticky notes (small and flip-chart-size) for visual management of their work. These simple “hand implements” have all the qualities of a great tool: They help make work in progress visible and manageable. They’re intuitive—no training required! They require negligible cognitive overhead. You can use them easily while concentrating on other tasks. They’re easily exapted.

You can use a plotter to create professional, multicolor graphs on oversized paper that can be posted as information radiators in a team space. Yet, despite being feature rich and commercially successful, ALM tools utterly fail at being great. This failure provides a good cautionary tale. Great tools can be learned “well enough” quickly: ALMs tend to be complicated, usually demanding up-front training. (Hmm. We’re trying to remember the last index card training we attended.) Even with training, team members must often resort to searching the internet to figure out how to accomplish tasks that ought to be simple. Many acquiesce to the tool’s complexity, punt on digging any deeper to figure things out, and end up tolerating slow, clunky ways of working. Great tools become transparent to users. We constantly see team members watching the designated driver trying to figure out the tool.


pages: 401 words: 119,488

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Air France Flight 447, Asperger Syndrome, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, digital map, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, framing effect, hiring and firing, index card, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, statistical model, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, Toyota Production System, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War

Each school, under orders from the central office, had established a “data room”—in some cases, an empty conference room, in others, a large closet that had previously contained cleaning supplies—where teachers had to transcribe test scores onto index cards. They were told to draw graphs on butcher paper that was taped to walls. They ran impromptu experiments—Do test scores improve if kids are placed in smaller reading groups? What happens when teachers trade off classes?—and then scribbled the results onto whiteboards. Rather than simply receiving information, teachers were forced to engage with it. The EI had worked because instead of passively absorbing data, teachers made it “disfluent”—harder to process at first, but stickier once it was really understood. By scribbling out statistics and testing preconceptions, teachers had figured out how to use all the information they were receiving. The Elementary Initiative, paradoxically, had made data more cumbersome to absorb—but more useful. And from those index cards and hand-drawn graphs, better classrooms emerged.

Once, when the writer Michael O’Donoghue was inordinately proud of an obscene commercial parody, Michaels ordered it read at eighteen different rehearsals—even though everyone knew the network’s censors would never let it on the air. “I remember walking up to Lorne once and saying, ‘Okay, here’s my idea, it’s a bunch of girls at their first slumber party and they are telling each other how sex works.’ And Lorne said, ‘Write it up,’ just like that, no questions asked. Then he took an index card and put it on the board for the next show.” That sketch—which appeared on Saturday Night Live on May 8, 1976—became one of the show’s most famous pieces. “I was on top of the world,” said Miller. “He’s got this social ESP. Sometimes he knows exactly what will make you feel like the most important person on earth.” Many of the original actors and writers on Saturday Night Live weren’t particularly easy to get along with.

One notable effort was abandoned in 2005 after $170 million was spent creating a search engine that crashed constantly. Another attempt was suspended in 2010 after auditors concluded it would cost millions more simply to figure out why the system wasn’t working. A few years before Janssen was kidnapped, the agency’s databases were still so outdated that most agents didn’t even bother inputting the bulk of the information they collected during investigations. Instead, they used paper files and index cards, like their predecessors decades before. Then, in 2012, the bureau had rolled out Sentinel. Simply put, it was a system for sorting and managing evidence, clues, witness testimony, and the tens of thousands of other little pieces of information agents collected every day. Sentinel was tied into analytical engines and databases that the bureau and other law-enforcement agencies had developed to look for patterns.


Comedy Writing Secrets by Mel Helitzer, Mark Shatz

Albert Einstein, Donald Trump, elephant in my pajamas, fear of failure, index card, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, the scientific method, Yogi Berra

When things are going well, it's much harder to make jokes. —Alan Coren To keep track of ideas and potential material, the humorist's toolbox typi¬ cally includes the following items: a note pad, index cards, a tape recorder, and a computer with Internet access. If you hope to sell your writing, you'll need a copy of Writer's Market, the bible of the publishing industry. Regardless of the tools you use, you'll need to devise a system for organizing your writing. The traditional method is to organize jokes by topics using some type of filing system. Milton Berle and Bob Hope each had a vault containing more than six million jokes on index cards sorted by topic. The digital alternatives to index cards are database or spreadsheet programs. 16 Comedy Writing Secrets If you plan to write more elaborate humor (such as columns, arti¬ cles, or scripts), there are a variety of software programs that can aid your writing.

SHOWTIME The following activities will help you develop your comedy-writing foun¬ dation through listening, observing, reading, and exploring. It's critical that you complete these exercises now, because they will be used throughout the next few chapters. •List your ten favorite comedians and humorists, and use the Internet to search for jokes or quotes by each of these individuals. • After you amass twenty jokes, write each joke on an index card. On the back of each card, identify the subject or target of the joke, and explain why you think the joke is funny. This exercise will help you become aware of the format of successful jokes and provide you with insight into your own comedic preferences. • Collect ten to fifteen cartoons or comic strips and tape each one on a separate piece of paper. As you did with the jokes, identify the target of the humor and describe why the cartoon is funny to you.

. • found missing • living dead • good grief • working vacation • larger half • soft rock • extinct life • Microsoft Works • plastic glasses • alone together • exact estimate • taped live • small crowd • even odds SHOWTIME Words are the instruments or humorists, and mastering the subtleties of language is a necessary step to becoming a successful humor writer. Use the following exercises to practice your POWs. • Search a dictionary for ten words that you do not know the definitions for. Don't look at the definitions! Write each word on an index card, and on the back of the card, create a logical but whimsical definition. • Search the Internet for clichés, proverbs, or common phrases that relate to the potential humor targets you identified in the last chapter. Compile a list of ten items. Using the techniques described in this POW: Play on Words 73 chapter, reform the clichés into jokes by changing the original ending or adding on to the phrase.


pages: 250 words: 75,586

When the Air Hits Your Brain: Tales From Neurosurgery by Frank Vertosick

butterfly effect, double helix, index card, medical residency, random walk, zero-sum game

Carl motioned to the other resident seated beside him, a balding, portly fellow who waved at me and smiled as he continued to chew a large mouthful of food. Gary and I took a seat and began to eat. Several minutes later, a frenetic figure darted to the table, his tray rattling in front of him, the coffee flying out of his cup. He had a boyish face and blond hair. This was clearly Eric, the intern, late for morning card rounds. Carl cast a perturbed look at the intern, pulled his own stack of index cards from his lab coat pocket, and began the daily litany. “Beckinger, room nine.” Eric flipped through his cards, locating Beckinger. I surmised that Beckinger was someone on the floor—Eric’s responsibility. “She’s fine, afebrile, no headache, no face pain, wound is dry. She’s now four days out from surgery.” “Has she pooped, yet?” Carl asked dryly, without looking away from his cards. “Uh, I don’t know.”

Maggie awaited me, anxious to sign out B.G. before leaving. The service was quiet…except for B.G. As I expected, the problem for the night. Surgical soap stained her scrawny little body orange from her neck to feet. Heating lamps dangled above the bed, to restore warmth to her frigid body. She looked like a little cornish hen roasting under the heat lamps of a delicatessen. Maggie handed me an index card. “Here, I’ve calculated the doses of the resuscitation drugs for her weight. I think everything is there—epi, bicarb, bretylium…The nurses know the defib settings, they’ll help you with that. You’ve taken infant CPR? Good. You’ll need it. She’s going to have a rough night, but if she makes it twelve or twenty-four hours, she has a shot. The parents have just left…We’re all counting on you. I want her alive tomorrow morning.

On Thursday morning I met Gary at the door to the neurosurgical intensive-care unit for our usual 5:30 A.M. rounds. I escorted him down the hall to Andy’s room. “I’ve got something to show you.” We went into the room, where Andy lay motionless, his belly bulging and his eyes closed. He still had a tracheal breathing tube and had not stirred a muscle since his Monday surgery. “So?” Gary was impassive as he flipped through his index cards of patient data. I vigorously rubbed Andy’s chest with my knuckles, which prompted Andy to open his eyes and grab at my arm. The chief resident was startled. “Jesus Christ, the poor bastard’s awake.” “That’s right,” I said, flashing a grin. I pulled a large wad of toilet paper from my white lab jacket and handed it to Gary. “Center Avenue’s ten floors down, but you have to wait an hour or two, since it isn’t broad daylight yet.”


pages: 341 words: 95,752

Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, index card, natural language processing, obamacare, Ronald Reagan, Steven Pinker, why are manhole covers round?

The baby points; an obliging adult responds with the word that represents that object. And so we begin to define. As we grow, we grind words into finer grist. We learn to pair the word “cat” with “meow”; we learn that lions and leopards are also called “cats,” though they have as much in common with your long-haired Persian house cat as a teddy bear has with a grizzly bear. We set up a little mental index card that lists all the things that come to mind when someone says the word “cat,” and then when we learn that in parts of Ireland bad weather is called “cat,” our eyes widen and we start stapling little slips of addenda to that card. At heart, we are always looking for that one statement that captures the ineffable, universal catness represented by the word “cat,” the thing that encompasses the lion “cat” and the domestic-lazybones “cat” and the bad weather in Ireland, too.

At Merriam-Webster, every editor has the same set of tools at their desk: a personalized date stamp, with your last name and the date, which is how you sign and date any physical thing that crosses your desk; a fistful of pens and pencils (including a few stubby old Stabilo pencils, formerly used to mark insertions and deletions on shiny-papered galleys and now hoarded against the coming Pencil Apocalypse); and a box of three-by-five index cards in pink, yellow, white, and blue. The colors are not to make your tan-gray cubicle festive; they have a purpose. White cards are for citations, any little slip of English usage that you want to make note of. Blue cards are for production reference. Yellow cards, or buffs, as we call them, are for drafted definitions only. Pink cards, or pinks, are for any miscellaneous notes for the file: typo reports, questions about how to handle an entry, comments on existing definitions.*6 Pinks also ended up being used for personal communications.

These are the things lexicographers evaluate in order to define a word; every entry in a dictionary is justified with fistfuls of citations. At Merriam-Webster, the citation files are both paper and electronic; the paper citation files take up a solid third of the floor and date back to the mid-nineteenth century. I dragged my finger over the drawer labels until I found the one that housed all the paper citations for “irregardless,” then slid it open. It’s pretty unlikely, I thought, plucking a stack of index cards from the file, that “irregardless” was an intensive form of “regardless,” but I should do my due diligence. Almost immediately, I ran across this snippet of use: I remembered the magnitude of his problems—problems I was just beginning to truly understand—as a black man and as an artist, growing up poor, forced to endure the racist terrorism of the American South. He was unlucky in love, and no prince of a parent.


pages: 366 words: 87,916

Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It by Gabriel Wyner

card file, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, index card, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, pattern recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Skype, spaced repetition, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Yogi Berra

Because you’ll be using a physical box instead of a computer program, the intervals won’t be the same for every card. Some cards’ final intervals will wobble between two and four months. This doesn’t turn out to be a big deal; if you have a problem remembering a card, it will return often enough to work its way into your long-term memory, and if not, then huzzah, you remembered it. Here’s what you’ll need: • A whole bunch of index cards (at least a couple thousand) • A large index card box or file • Eight index card dividers, labeled “New,” “Level 1,” “Level 2,” and so on, up to “Level 7” • A calendar • A trusty set of pens and/or pencils (colors can help you make more memorable pictures) Your index file will look like this: The Rules of the Game Your Leitner box is a flash card game. You win the game when you get all of your new cards past level 7. To accomplish this, you’ll need to successfully recall each of your cards seven times in a row, with increasing delays between each recall.

They’ve taught you how to make a basic flash card, how to insert audio files and images into your cards, and how to review those cards once you’re ready to learn. You’ve also downloaded and installed my demo deck, so your main job involves finding information and recordings, putting them in the right boxes, and clicking the Add Flash Cards button. If you’ve chosen a Leitner box, you’ve read Appendix 3, gone out to your local office supply store, and purchased your materials. You have an index card file-box full of dividers, a stack of blank index cards, some pencils, and a calendar in front of you (today is day 1!). You also remember my earlier caveat: Since paper flash cards can’t talk, you’re going to take extra care to learn a phonetic alphabet and to listen to recordings of example words when you write your flash cards. THE FIRST GALLERY: DO-IT-YOURSELF PRONUNCIATION TRAINERS Cards for Chapter 3 In this section, I’m going to show you how to build a pronunciation trainer for your new language.

If you wanted to become a dodo expert, you could make a giant stack of flash cards, covering every aspect of the dodo in as many directions as possible. Where did the dodo live? (The Island of Mauritius.) How big was the dodo? (Three feet tall, between twenty-two and forty pounds.) Could the dodo fly? (Nope.) And so on. The more ways you study the same information, the better you know your material. I want you to become an expert in your language, but you should have some fun in the process. So I’m going to make some changes to this tired, index-card-shaped theme. First and foremost, we’re sticking all of your flash cards into an SRS, which will tell you when to study each and every card. As we discussed in Chapter 2, this makes them a lot more effective and a lot more fun. You’re playing a constant game with yourself, trying to see how long you can go before you forget one of your cards. Because of this game, your flash cards stay challenging, and you get a constant sense of accomplishment when you review them.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

There’s nothing high-tech about either the office’s dingy, cramped rooms or the electric typewriters, rotary telephones, and primitive switchboards on all of its desks. In spite of Mielke’s order to network its information, much of Stasi’s data in 1989 was still confined to handwritten or typed index cards. The museum even has an index card on display written by Mielke’s secretary explaining what the Stasi chief liked to eat for breakfast. But for all its millions of meticulously transcribed index cards, East Germany’s former ministry of surveillance is as much an introduction to the digital future as it is a look back at the analog past. As a museum displaying how technology was used to acquire other people’s data, the Stasi museum—in our age of data-hungry multinationals like Google and Facebook and big data agencies like NSA and GCHQ—has contemporary relevance.

Erich Honecker, the head of the East German Communist Party, who liked to think of his country as more technically advanced than the capitalist West, even though its main business model and source of foreign currency was selling its citizens to West Germany, wanted to “start collating computerized files and reports” on all sixteen and a half million people in East Germany.2 The historian Victor Sebestyen describes this as a “computerized snooping system.” Its intention was to digitize the 39 million index cards and 125 miles of documents containing more than 2 billion sheets of paper.3 The goal was a computer system that knew everything about everyone in the country. By the mideighties, Mielke’s Stasi had become the largest company in East Germany, employing around 100,000 full-time snoops and at least another half a million active informers. According to Stasiland author Anna Funder, Mielke’s organization might have turned as many as 15% of all East Germans into one kind of data thief or another.4 Known as “the Firm” to East Germans, Stasi was attempting to transform the whole of East Germany into a real-time set of Rear Window.

It never occurred to him that billions of people globally might freely give up their most personal data. And he didn’t understand that there were much more scalable strategies for aggregating people’s photos than by disguising cameras inside watering cans. No, to create a truly global crystal man, it wasn’t enough to put a hundred thousand spies on your payroll and have 39 million handwritten index cards. On the Internet, an electronic world of increasingly intelligent connected machines that Nicholas Carr calls a “Glass Cage,” there are billions of “gläserne Menschen.” And, it seems, they are all willing to work for free. The Eyes of the Venetian In Las Vegas, there isn’t a casino built around the theme of either East Germany or the Berlin Wall, surprisingly enough. But Las Vegas does possess one entertainment complex that pays homage to another of history’s great spying machines—the Venetian Republic, which, in its fifteenth- and sixteenth-century heyday, was notorious for its dense network of spies working for the State Inquisitors, a panel of judges that was a late medieval version of the Stasi.


pages: 371 words: 93,570

Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet by Claire L. Evans

"side hustle", 4chan, Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, British Empire, colonial rule, computer age, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Doomsday Book, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, East Village, Edward Charles Pickering, game design, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Haight Ashbury, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge worker, Leonard Kleinrock, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Network effects, old-boy network, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pets.com, rent control, RFC: Request For Comment, rolodex, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, subscription business, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, telepresence, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Y2K

The Berkeley Barb ran back-page ads for resistance organizations, and a group called the Haight-Ashbury Switchboard had even built a sophisticated phone tree in the late 1960s, linking human “switchboards” to one another to help distraught families track down their wandering hippie kids. This grew into an informal network of interest-specific Switchboards in the Bay Area, one of which, the San Francisco Switchboard, had offices at Project One. With a couple of phones and boxes of index cards, it coordinated extensive group action for quick-response incidents like the 1971 San Francisco Bay oil spill—an early version of the kind of organizing that happens so easily today on social media. Resource One took up where these efforts left off, even inheriting the San Francisco Switchboard’s corporate shell. When Pam and the Chrises moved into the warehouse, their plan was to design a common information retrieval system for all the existing Switchboards in the city, interlinking their various resources into a database running on borrowed computer time.

She found her way to Stanford through a circuitous path: after studying chemistry, she’d taken a job as an information chemist at an abstracts service in Columbus, collating scientific papers and patents into a massive repository of chemical information, one of the largest data collections in the world. She was intrigued by the sheer volume of information, and the seemingly Sisyphean task of organizing it into a useful database. Realizing she was more interested in information itself than in chemistry, she took a job at Stanford helping scholars with technical research—gathering reprints and running around to different libraries before summarizing her findings on index cards, much as a search engine works today. At Stanford, Jake worked in a basement lab. It wasn’t long before an upstairs neighbor, Douglas Engelbart, began popping down to her office for organizational advice. Engelbart had invented a computer system called NLS (oNLine System) in the late 1960s, a predecessor to the modern personal computer in both form and philosophy, and the first system to incorporate a mouse and a keyboard into its design.

Jake remembers. “And I’d say, ‘What are all those people doing upstairs, staring at television sets?’” Whatever it was, it made technical research look boring. One day, when Engelbart came down to visit her office, Jake asked him for a job. He told her he didn’t have one, but he kept her in mind and, six months later, he came back. “I have a job now,” he announced. It had nothing to do with index cards; instead, Douglas Engelbart introduced Jake Feinler to the wild new world of networked computing. Her life would never be the same. In the fall of 1969, one of Engelbart’s machines had been on the receiving end of the first transmission between two host computers on the ARPANET. The connection crashed halfway through, truncating that very first Internet message from LOGIN to the somewhat more prophetic LO.


pages: 647 words: 201,252

The Mad Man: Or, the Mysteries of Manhattan by Samuel R. Delany

affirmative action, Berlin Wall, East Village, index card, Pepto Bismol, place-making, publish or perish, sexual politics

And in the letters I wrote back, I pretended—to him, to myself—I, too, was galvanized: Dear Irving, Maybe what would pull my thesis together is a chapter on the relation between cantos seven through nine of Adler’s long poem “Meridian” and Hasler’s two “predicate negation” papers. After all, the poem and the papers were all written in the summer of ‘71—when Hasler and Adler were together at Breakers’ Point. The fact is, I’ve already got more than forty pages of notes and a box of index cards on the topic. To sit down, to put it into readable shape—possibly to show it to the Old Poet herself for comment (you say she’s suddenly become amenable to us—well, to you—after all this time) might get my part of the project on track! And it wouldn’t impinge on your work .... It also galvanized Almira Adler. After more than a year of being barely civil to Mossman and letting him know in no uncertain terms that she would offer only minimal help, and none that put her out, suddenly Adler wrote him, wrote him again, invited him to lunch, then to dinner—this last to tell him she’d suddenly “remembered” some of Hasler’s notebooks he’d left with her that last summer before he’d quit Breakers’ Point for New York.

The paradox was—to me—that I’d have trusted the scholar who’d first inquired of her far more than I would have the scholar of today—and, though I could not have said so to him, I suspected Mossman felt the same. That scholar had had a purpose, a passion, a sense of enterprise. The scholar of today had a jumble of notes, a welter of contradictory information: in my case that was five plastic boxes full of index cards labeled “problems” and not a jot of drive to solve them—in short, what / had, at any rate, was the imponderable wreckage of a project, over which your current scholar sat and gazed, like a sphinx whose ineffable secret was that the years’”work” making me, in the eyes of friends and colleagues, if not of people like the Old Poet and Mossman, a “serious Hasler scholar,” had also made me—in my own eyes—a gibbering, jerking, half-blind creature, buried under the contradictions, stalled in the gaps, paralyzed by the sheer unknowability of the fast-fading shadows that were the dense, lingering texts of Timothy Hasler.

More coffee for me; then, on to work on the new article ... ... Here in Ann Arbor the good weather and the snow pulse, one after the other—a day of one, a day of the other, now filling the streets with students, now all but emptying them of everything but wind ... Really, I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to what I was reading. It was more like taking in a sentence here, another there. ... The daunting stack of index cards in their red rubber band that so far make up “The Mad Man” have sat by my bed, accusing me of their incompletion, now in Chicago, now at Breakers’ Point, now in New York. 256 have so far been completed—though I haven’t really worked on it in a couple of months ... ... In four thousand years, writing has made of us a social animal to dwarf the bee and the ant ... ... I’m beginning (not true; really, I’ve had inklings about the conclusion for six months now.


pages: 249 words: 45,639

Learn Python the Hard Way by Zed Shaw

complexity theory, finite state, index card, web application

. $ Right away you can see how a function works. Notice that you used your functions the way you use things like exists, open, and other "commands". In fact, I've been tricking you because in Python those "commands" are just functions. This means you can make your own commands and use them in your scripts too. Extra Credit Write out a function checklist for later exercises. Write these on an index card and keep it by you while you complete the rest of these exercises or until you feel you do not need it: Did you start your function definition with def? Does your function name have only characters and _ (underscore) characters? Did you put an open parenthesis ( right after the function name? Did you put your arguments after the parenthesis ( separated by commas? Did you make each argument unique (meaning no duplicated names).

All that work memorizing the basics pays off big later. Here's a tip on how to memorize something without going insane: Do a tiny bit at a time throughout the day and mark down what you need to work on most. Do not try to sit down for two hours straight and memorize these tables. This won't work. Your brain will really only retain whatever you studied in the first 15 or 30 minutes anyway. Instead, what you should do is create a bunch of index cards with each column on the left on one side (True or False) and the column on the right on the back. You should then pull them out, see the "True or False" and be able to immediately say "True!" Keep practicing until you can do this. Once you can do that, start writing out your own truth tables each night into a notebook. Do not just copy them. Try to do them from memory, and when you get stuck glance quickly at the ones I have here to refresh your memory.

Exercise 37: Symbol Review It's time to review the symbols and Python words you know, and to try to pick up a few more for the next few lessons. What I've done here is written out all the Python symbols and keywords that are important to know. In this lesson take each keyword, and first try to write out what it does from memory. Next, search online for it and see what it really does. It may be hard because some of these are going to be impossible to search for, but keep trying. If you get one of these wrong from memory, write up an index card with the correct definition and try to "correct" your memory. If you just didn't know about it, write it down, and save it for later. Finally, use each of these in a small Python program, or as many as you can get done. The key here is to find out what the symbol does, make sure you got it right, correct it if you do not, then use it to lock it in. Keywords and del from not while as elif global or with assert else if pass yield break except import print class exec in raise continue finally is return def for lambda try Data Types For data types, write out what makes up each one.


pages: 267 words: 78,857

Discardia: More Life, Less Stuff by Dinah Sanders

A. Roger Ekirch, Atul Gawande, big-box store, Boris Johnson, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwatching, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, credit crunch, endowment effect, Firefox, game design, Inbox Zero, income per capita, index card, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Kevin Kelly, late fees, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Merlin Mann, post-work, side project, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand

Keep that fare amount and $20—enough for an emergency taxi ride—separate from the rest of your cash in your wallet. Set yourself up for smooth sailing even when the seas get rough. Don’t give yourself a hard time for not keeping things in your head. Make a list. Your brain isn’t meant to carry all that stuff around; it’s meant for thinking and working on the stuff on your list. Keep some index cards or other small note-taking supplies with you and put them next to the phone and the computer. Write yourself notes. Leave yourself voicemails. Send yourself emails. It’s fine. No one remembers everything. Really. Symptom #6: Procrastination Solution #6: Bottom Line: Deeds are Better Joining a Facebook group about creative productivity is like buying a chair about jogging. —Merlin Mann, productivity guru and humorist You have a choice Ah, procrastination: the villain in so many stories of the great adventures we might have had—if only.

It's also see-through, so I know what I have with me and keep everything in it relatively neat.” Keep the core items at the ready If you have different kits for different purposes—for example, a purse, a laptop bag, and an errand satchel—set each up with the things you always need so you only have to transfer your unique items when you head out. I move my wallet, phone, and key ring to the appropriate bag knowing that it already has a pen, handkerchief, index cards for notes, business cards, and a comb. This is one place a little redundancy makes a lot of sense. Optimize for what you really do need often and what would be a serious hassle if you needed it and didn’t have it. Then keep fine-tuning to keep up with changes. It’s amazing how fast you can collect random stuff and carry it around constantly. Get in the habit of quickly returning your daily kit to its base condition.

To my great relief, when I at last took a couple moments to search online for “changing iTunes shortcut keys,” I found that the shortcut key choices for many programs—not just iTunes—are completely configurable from the System Preferences “Keyboard” pane. Astonishing! Now my instinctive action corresponds to my desired result. Once again, grease the slope toward where you want to be so that your easiest, most automatic behavior takes you there instead of hitting a wall. Got an annoying commute? Upgrade it by carrying music, earphones, reading material, and the means to jot down notes about ideas. (A smartphone, index cards, and a pen will give you all this functionality.) Peppermints or other flavorful scented candy can also reduce the impact of an unpleasant situation. Maybe that sweaty guy fresh from his gym has nowhere else to sit on the train than beside you, but at least you don’t have to spend the whole ride smelling him. Your journey will be happier if you don’t have any reason to get worked up about something that’s less than optimal.


pages: 278 words: 70,416

Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, attribution theory, augmented reality, barriers to entry, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filter Bubble, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, index card, index fund, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, popular electronics, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, superconnector

While his brothers experimented with cigarettes and alcohol, young Edwards began fixating on something a little lower to the ground: sneakers. By sixth grade, he was drawing shoes every day. He drew them on three-by-five index cards. “It was the perfect size to draw a shoe on,” he said. He would sit a shoe down in front of him and try to copy it perfectly. He’d study the footwear of his sports heroes, like Pittsburgh Steelers running back Franco Harris, who wore PONY shoes. All through middle school, Edwards kept sketching. His math teacher, Mrs. Weathers, often busted him drawing sneakers during class. She would take the index cards away. When he got to high school—countless sketches later—he was nudged out of art class because he was better than the teacher. The school felt it was a waste of time for him to take art and put him in drafting class instead, where he could learn some discipline.

So he ended up working temp jobs while studying at night at a community college. To his delight, the temp agency placed him as a file clerk at LA Gear, a shoe brand founded in 1983 by a man named Robert Greenberg. Day in and out, Edwards filed paperwork. But one day, the company installed suggestion boxes around the office to solicit employee feedback. One of the boxes was right by his desk. Edwards began putting his index cards into it. Every day, he dropped a new shoe sketch through the slit of that wooden box, asking for feedback on each design. Nobody responded. But Edwards persisted. After six months, Greenberg called Edwards into his office. On his desk was a stack of Edwards’s sketches. What school did you learn to do this at? Greenberg asked. “I said I had no formal training,” Edwards says. “I was actually just a temp.”

And this is what makes PENSOLE special. D’WAYNE EDWARDS USED ALL the principles of Smartcuts to change his and others’ lives, sometimes intentionally, often not. He made his own path, found leverage to do more in less time, and swung for the fences. And now his students are paying it forward. What we put on our feet matters. But what Edwards has done transcends footwear. More than 20 years after he started putting those index cards in the LA Gear suggestion box, he’s sold all the shoes he could dream of. What matters most at the end of the day is not how many sneakers he’s shipped, but how many people he’s helped become a little bigger or better. I hope we, too, can use the principles in this book to improve our lives and careers. I hope businesses use them to build great companies and create terrific products. But I hope we can do something 10x bigger than that.


pages: 442 words: 110,704

The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars by Dava Sobel

Albert Einstein, card file, Cepheid variable, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, Edmond Halley, Edward Charles Pickering, Ernest Rutherford, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, index card, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, luminiferous ether, Magellanic Cloud, pattern recognition, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Solar eclipse in 1919

She imagined they would soon exceed all available space in the observatory building. In the interim she filed them by telescope and by type—the chart plates that mapped each section of the sky, the group spectra, the individual bright spectra, the star trails, and so on—each one in a brown paper envelope, each envelope labeled by number, date, and other identifying details, all of which were repeated on index cards in a card catalogue. Rather than pile the plates in columns, she stood them on edge for easy access. Reason to revisit one or another stored plate arose daily as the assistants examined, measured, discussed, and performed computations upon each new batch of photographs. When, for example, Mrs. Fleming spotted a spectrum that struck her as characteristic of a variable star, she did not need to wait for future observations to confirm her hypothesis.

Miss Cannon collected all the magnitude determinations made by coworkers and correspondents, and merged them with those of enthusiasts at overseas observatories, from Potsdam to Cape Town, who published their results in professional journals such as the Astronomische Nachrichten and the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Since 1900, when she took charge of Harvard’s variable star card catalogue, she had added twenty thousand new index cards. In 1903 she turned the whole unwieldy database into a series of tables that could be read by any interested party. Miss Cannon’s opus, “A Provisional Catalogue of Variable Stars,” appeared in the Annals and enjoyed immediate wide distribution. Numerous other variable star catalogues, including three by Seth Carlo Chandler, had preceded Miss Cannon’s, and yet she called hers “provisional.”

They spent almost every free evening and Sunday together, attending concerts and lectures, shopping, dining with friends, “pouring” at ladies’ teas. Miss Cannon’s Acousticon carbon hearing aid enabled her to enjoy all these things. Sometimes she brought Miss Leland or another coworker home from the observatory to lunch with “Sissie.” As Miss Cannon searched the deep space of the map plates for new variables, she continued her telescope observations and augmented her index card collection. Having twice updated her “Provisional Catalogue of Variable Stars” to append the new crops of 1903 and 1904, she hardly expected her “Second Catalogue of Variable Stars,” published in 1907, to be her final word on the subject. Miss Cannon was a census taker in the midst of a population explosion. The Second Catalogue, though comprehensive, concentrated on the variable stars of long period.


pages: 151 words: 54,074

Dirty Work by Gabriel Weston

battle of ideas, index card, Rubik’s Cube

When she goes around the bank of chairs to take up the middle one, there mixes up in me, with her pearls, a prayer for my patient. Please live. Surely, my judges wouldn’t look this equable if she were dead? All the room settles for a moment around my fear, and my fear changes too. Oh, please don’t let me be undoctored. Do not strike me off, erase me, make me nothing. I was good at all those exams. I kept boxes of index cards, packed full of medical facts, all colour-coded. And now I will prepare the ghosts of index cards in my mind. A pink for my patient. A blue for me. I will record only crucial facts since I know I cannot expect to catch every detail. With this wandering, this unravelling, there is only so much I can achieve. The middle-aged woman, who reminds me of Boadicea, is a surgeon called Miss Mansfield. She is to chair the four sessions which will define at least the next month, if not the rest, of my life.

I studied their manners too, their gentle authority with the nurses, their new familiarity with registrars from other specialties, their ever so slightly attenuated deference to the consultants. I looked at what they wore. When others went to the canteen for lunch, I headed for the library and surreptitiously ate my sandwiches while reading a big book with a jazzy font called Gems of Clinical Governance from cover to cover. When I needed the loo, I took an extra minute there to study one of the index cards I carried in my pocket at all times, which outlined key steps for handling every emergency of my specialty. On my way home in the evening, I stopped at the municipal pool and mouthed my responses to classic interview questions, my lips billowing oddly against the chlorine, staring goggle-eyed at the steep slant of the pool’s base as if I were facing my interviewers, undeterred by the plasters and occasional panty-liner I saw dotted there.


pages: 448 words: 84,462

Testing Extreme Programming by Lisa Crispin, Tip House

c2.com, continuous integration, data acquisition, database schema, Donner party, Drosophila, hypertext link, index card, job automation, web application

Exercise 2 (Chapter 8) Q1: Given the above XTrack story, use the process we describe in this chapter to find hidden assumptions. A1: Step 1: Customer view I'm the customer. How does this relate to my project? I can keep track of a story on an index card, but what if my management is in a different location and wants to see this information? What if I'm doing a project for an external customer, and stakeholders at that organization want to see the stories? This tool would allow them to do that. What business problem is it solving? How does it solve it? Index cards work great for small, self-contained projects, where everyone who needs to know the status of a story can simply walk in and look at the index cards and talk to the team. If my team is split across two or more locations, I need some way for everyone to see the stories. If my management or my clients' management wants to track the progress of stories, they could use this system.

This application serves several objectives: The project's tracker has a simple way to maintain information about a project, such as estimated and actual time to complete stories, who owns which tasks, and which stories are assigned to each iteration. These data and metrics are available to all interested stakeholders online. For example, if an upper-level manager of the business wants to know how the current iteration is progressing, he can log into XTrack and see. Teams split across various locations can track tasks, stories, and iterations for a project. Using index cards or some other offline means of documenting these artifacts won't work if team members aren't all located in the same place. It maintains historical information about each project. For example, the team can look back during a retrospective and see whether they're getting better at accurately estimating stories. Figure 8.1 is a screen shot from the XTrack system, showing some early versions of the stories written when the system was being developed.


pages: 500 words: 146,240

Gamers at Work: Stories Behind the Games People Play by Morgan Ramsay, Peter Molyneux

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, Bob Noyce, collective bargaining, game design, index card, Mark Zuckerberg, oil shock, pirate software, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Von Neumann architecture

Earl got a series of index cards. He had a college kid help him do it. He had index cards on how each pitcher did against each hitter. Earl had more detailed statistical knowledge than other managers did, and he used that to influence his decisions. That’s thinking mathematically. There was one time sitting in his office, which was one of the great experiences in my life. Imagine you’re sitting with one of the most famous thinkers in the world on a topic that you’re interested in, and he reaches into his desk and pulls out a stack of index cards. If it were economics, that stack of index cards might be what won him the Nobel Prize. Earl Weaver is in the Hall of Fame. One of the reasons he’s in the Hall of Fame is because of his stacks of index cards. He reached into his desk, pulled out his index cards, and showed them to me, which he normally wouldn’t do.


Small Space Organizing: A Room by Room Guide to Maximizing Your Space by Kathryn Bechen

estate planning, index card, McMansion, new economy, Pepto Bismol

When I redecorated my bathroom in all-white this past year, I bought several small white vases and pitchers. I stood my hair gel and hand lotion in the vases and put my reading glasses in a pitcher. Another pitcher holds my cell phone while it’s recharging. I bought a white china serving tray to use on my hubby’s bathroom vanity to hold his keys, eyeglasses, and the love notes I write him on index cards. Pump soap dispensers are always neater and more sanitary than soap dishes. Clear glass containers with lids attractively hold cotton balls and prevent them from getting dusty. I use a clear antique spoon holder to store Q-tips. I have also put them in an antique floral creamer that was just the right size. Look around your kitchen for containers that would look attractive on your bathroom vanity and double as storage.

Again, choose office supplies that will enhance your productivity and make you want to do your work. If you love color, why not buy purple file folders and colored paperclips? (Although be aware that colored file folders often go out of vogue and then go out of stock.) My own home office supplies, for example, include green polka-dotted binder clips, a beautiful peach floral clipboard, brightly colored index cards for notes, floral notepads, hot-pink mailing envelopes, and of course, my favorite hot-pink roller ball pens! The point is, whatever your taste, you can find it these days in office supplies—so why not integrate them into your home office to make it more fun? Office Equipment and Supply List To make it easy for you to shop, I’ve included a list of office equipment and supplies on pages 227–29.

Home Office Equipment and Supplies List Desk Area Comfortable desk with drawers Comfortable desk chair Office armoire Attractive slipcover for desk chair All-in-one machine (or separate machines) Computer and printer Fax machine Phone Cell phone Drawer trays to divide and hold supplies in desk (silverware trays work great) Paper clips Binder clips Highlighters (yellow are best as they do not show through on photocopies) Post-it flags to mark pages in books or on photocopies Scotch tape Carton cutter Post-it notes in several sizes and colors Pencil sharpener Rubber bands Letter divider to hold envelopes, Post-it notes, etc. Mugs to hold pens, letter opener, etc. Wall calendar Task lighting Stapler Staples Pens (Uni-ball brand roller ball pens are great and come in several colors) Scissors Paintbrush to dust desk and computer keys Index cards for capturing ideas and taking notes Pencils Phone message pad Business card holder Business cards Notecards with your logo to write thank-you notes Legal size mailing envelopes Letterhead or stationery Small spiral notebooks for notes Notepads Glue stick Liquid Paper correction fluid Postage stamps and holder Paperweight Calculator Bold permanent marker pen Planner calendar with address book (either paper or electronic—whatever works for you) Caddy to hold hanging file folders Manila file folders Manila file pockets Green hanging files Green hanging files—box bottom Clear label holders for green hanging files Bookcases Three-ring binders with clear pocket on front (1", 2", 3" sizes in white) Handheld label maker for binder labels Three-hole punch Bookends Photo boxes (hold a lot of miscellaneous supplies and can be labeled by topic) Wicker baskets (hold supplies nicely) Magazine holders Files Two-drawer cabinets are low and can be put side-by-side like a credenza and the top used to sort papers etc.


pages: 287 words: 92,118

The Blue Cascade: A Memoir of Life After War by Mike Scotti

call centre, collateralized debt obligation, Donald Trump, fixed income, friendly fire, index card, London Interbank Offered Rate, rent control

But I had used the momentum of the exercise and all of its bathing and cleansing properties, and the compassion of people who were now my friends, to reboot it. I had pressed a button and sent a shockwave of good chemicals through my system—just as an infantry battalion, when it’s fighting the way it should be, sends a shockwave through its enemy. After the run, I climbed the stairs to my apartment and grabbed an index card and a marker. I wrote the word on the index card and taped it to my mirror underneath the other pieces of paper. And when I read it, my heart skipped a beat. Reset. * * * My mom called me one day and said she wanted to tell me a story about my dad. “Your father had an idea the other night of writing a story about what it’s like for parents when their child goes to war. I think they gave him caffeinated coffee instead of decaf at dinner, because he sat down and wrote the whole thing as soon as we got home.”

O’Brien Chief Credit Officer Global Head of Credit Risk Management Member—Chairman’s Board and Management Council He was just a few rungs from the very top of the entire 63,000-​employee, $60-billion-per-year multinational investment bank. He was like a general. A guy like that could snap his fingers and change your whole life, I thought. After asking the HR folks if they needed any help, I headed inside to review the list of MDs that I had scribbled using a small golfer’s pencil on the single 3 × 5 index card that I carried in my pocket. The index card was less bulky than a notebook and didn’t ruin the lines of my suit. It was also easy to quickly and discreetly check between ass-kissing circles because it didn’t need to be unfolded. One of my buddies showed up a few minutes later. Our conversation easily accompanied the stress and mild form of insanity that was the fall MBA recruiting season. “Did you hear that Hunter blew himself up at Deutsche?”


pages: 297 words: 90,806

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made by Jason Schreier

cloud computing, crowdsourcing, game design, Google Hangouts, gravity well, index card, inventory management, iterative process, Kickstarter, pirate software, side project, spice trade, trade route

Over the next few weeks, Straley and Druckmann sat in a conference room and stared at index cards, trying to craft a new version of Uncharted 4’s story. They’d decided to keep Nathan Drake’s brother, Sam, but they wanted to make him less of a villain. Instead, he’d serve as a temptation, as the catalyst that got Nathan Drake out of domesticity and back to his treasure-hunting ways. They kept the antagonist Rafe, too, writing him as a rich, spoiled brat who was fueled by jealousy for Drake’s success. During this process, Straley and Druckmann brought in a rotation of designers and cowriters, both to help plot the story and so they’d get a feel for who could replace them as directors when they eventually left the project. For weeks, they’d meet in the same room, assembling index cards on a big board that became their Uncharted 4 bible. Each index card contained a story beat or scene idea—one midgame sequence, for example, was just called “epic chase”—and taken together, they told the game’s entire narrative.

“We’ll take it as far as we possibly can,” said Phil Kovats, the audio lead. “We all wanted to make sure that, because this was the last Nathan Drake game we were making, it was going to go out with as much stuff as we possibly could.” Nowhere was this more evident than their E3 demo, which became the Uncharted 4 team’s biggest milestone as they entered 2015, following a successful showcase at PSX. This would be the “epic chase” from their index cards—a wild ride through the streets of a fictional city in Madagascar, showcasing the game’s complicated new vehicles and explosions. In the weeks leading up to E3, Uncharted 4’s artists and designers worked nonstop hours trying to make everything click. Once a week (and sometimes once a day) the whole E3 team would meet up in the theater to go over their progress. They’d review which mechanics weren’t working, which effects required more polish, and which nonplayer character needed to be moved slightly to the left.


pages: 327 words: 102,361

Among Schoolchildren by Tracy Kidder

always be closing, desegregation, index card, pattern recognition, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, white picket fence

At long last, Felipe seemed to be getting the beginnings of long division. "Felipe, you did all these problems by yourself! A light went on up there in the old attic, huh? You should be proud of yourself. Are you proud of yourself?" Felipe shrugged coyly. He did look proud, but Chris was prouder than he, faintly smiling from her desk at the volatile, black-haired, gleaming child. She printed out on index cards the steps to long division, and taped the one that read COMPARE to Manny's handsome forehead. That made Manny grin and, for the time being anyway, remember. Her introduction to astronomy was, she felt, far and away the best of her science lessons so far: a tour of the solar system with charts and glossy photographs, the children arguing loudly with each other when Arabella, playing Galileo before the Inquisition, suggested that the sun might be larger than the earth, and Chris chuckling to herself and lifting her eyebrows and saying, "We'll find out."

Once again, Chris thought, "Thank you, Lord, for sending me Judith." Chris herself sometimes felt a great desire to glue Claude's glasses to his nose, shake him by the shoulders, and say, "Forget the illnesses, forget the fishing, forget the excuses. Concentrate on what you're doing right now!" She had to keep on him. But she had to do it gently. The boy was enough of an outcast as it was. Chris taped an index card to the top of Claude's desk: DON'T FORGET TO COPY YOUR ASSIGNMENT! Claude was very happy with the card and kept fingering it, but he didn't usually follow its command, at least not yet. Chris kept lecturing him, but she did it quietly and in private. First thing in the morning, she would call Claude to her desk, ask him for the work he owed, and then tell him she was disappointed. He was a smart boy.

I don't care if I get answers wrong." Kimberly now seemed willing to try. One day Chris heard her say to Ashley that if Ashley's spelling partner was out, Ashley should work with another group—she could work with Kimberly's. Chris thought, "I'm seeing little sparks out of Kimberly. Now if I could just grab them..." And was something like a change coming over Claude? He had lovingly fingered the index card Chris had taped to his desk top, the one with the message DON'T FORGET TO COPY THE ASSIGNMENT! The card had peeled up. Now it had vanished—to where, Claude couldn't say. The red piece of construction paper on which Judith had recorded Claude's bet with Dick still lay on the counter under the window. The spring sunshine had drained the paper of most of its color. Claude had long since lost the bet—that he'd do all his homework from now on.


pages: 290 words: 98,699

Wealth Without a Job: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Freedom and Security Beyond the 9 to 5 Lifestyle by Phil Laut, Andy Fuehl

British Empire, business process, buy and hold, declining real wages, fear of failure, hiring and firing, index card, job satisfaction, Menlo Park, Silicon Valley, women in the workforce

Because feelings are genetically programmed responses to any challenges, we do not control them. Change your interpretation of fear to “GET READY.” Fear means you should get ready to meet the challenge at hand. NO MORE PROCRASTINATION METHOD Here is a method we learned from our friend, author and teacher Jeffery Combs. Do this right away. Gather together: • A supply of index cards or sticky notes • Paper clips • A supply of dollar bills Write down the tasks you are currently avoiding, one for each index card or sticky note. Then write down the date and time when you want to complete each one. An example might be: Graphics designed and organized for my new book. Noon Friday April 4, 2005 Make sure to state the goal, date, and time precisely, as in the example, so that your mind has no doubt about what you mean. Then use a paper clip to attach two single dollar bills to each of the cards or sticky notes on which you have written.

Thus our goal meets all the criteria of a SMART goal. EXERCISE: DEVELOP YOUR SMART GOALS Take a few minutes right now and write down your top five goals. Make sure they are SMART. Take action now to achieve what you desire and deserve. No more procrastinating! The way to achieve your goal is to take massive action now. Do you want to cheat yourself or treat yourself? Once you have your SMART goals written, copy them onto a 3-x-5 index card. Carry the index card with you. Any chance you get, take out your goals and read them. The more you do this, the more your unconscious mind will grasp on to them and make them a reality for you. Read your goals at least twice a day—once when you wake up and right before you go to sleep. Make sure you have a good mental image of what your goals are. The more clear, vivid, colorful, detailed, and rich the images are, the more sold on and committed to the goals your mind becomes.


pages: 212 words: 68,754

Thinking in Numbers by Daniel Tammet

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, computer age, dematerialisation, Edmond Halley, Georg Cantor, index card, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Paul Erdős, Searching for Interstellar Communications, Vilfredo Pareto

Chapter eight of a draft manuscript might appear long before chapter seven or chapter three. A new story he would frequently write backwards, starting out from its final lines. Lolita, Nabokov’s most famous (and infamous) novel, began life on a long series of three-by-five-inch index cards. He sketched out the story’s closing scenes first. On subsequent cards Nabokov jotted down not only paragraphs of text but also plot ideas and other bits of information; on one, a chart of statistics on the average height and weight of young girls; on another, a list of jukebox songs; on a third, an illustration of a revolver. Every so often Nabokov would rearrange his index cards, searching for the most promising combination of scenes. The number of possible permutations would have been immense. Three of Nabokov’s cards can be rearranged in a total of six different ways: (1, 2, 3), (1, 3, 2), (2, 1, 3), (2, 3, 1), (3, 1, 2), (3, 2, 1), while ten cards (equivalent to between two and three printed pages in a book) would be capable of permuting into more than three and a half million sequences.

Three of Nabokov’s cards can be rearranged in a total of six different ways: (1, 2, 3), (1, 3, 2), (2, 1, 3), (2, 3, 1), (3, 1, 2), (3, 2, 1), while ten cards (equivalent to between two and three printed pages in a book) would be capable of permuting into more than three and a half million sequences. To compose only four or five pages (equivalent to the contents of about fifteen index cards) would require a choice from among some 1.3 trillion variations. Lolita runs to sixty-nine chapters and over three hundred and fifty pages, which means that the number of its potential versions exceeds (by an almost unimaginable margin) the number of atoms that make up our universe. Of course, many of these potential Lolitas would simply not have been viable. And yet among the bewildering, nonsensical or ham-fisted editions, readable alternatives must exist. How many? A hundred? A thousand?


Polaroids From the Dead by Douglas Coupland

dematerialisation, edge city, index card, mandelbrot fractal, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Norman Mailer, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, upwardly mobile, urban planning

MESSAGE BOARD AT THE WESTWARD HO MARKET NEAR THE CORNER OF BARRINGTON AND SAN VICENTE Effective personal protection. Easy to use. Better than mace or pepper spray. Cannot be used against you. 310 207-XXXX Benedict Canyon house for rent. 4-bdrm, hdwd floors, quiet patio, 2-car garage. $1,800/month Westec patrol officer seeks guest house for rent. [Various index cards touting home computer training, home security systems and pizza ovens. A vogue for home pizza ovens seems to have apparently come to an end.] 1976 Porsche 911S Targa. $10,000 Ted Soqui/Sygma One has a hunch that in 1964 the same billboard harbored index cards offering dance lessons, free kittens and piano lessons. The local newspaper, the Brentwood News, a puree of local chitchat fueled by real-estate-driven editorial, follows Brentwood’s home sales minutiae with seemingly pornographic fidelity, chronicling monthly the ebb and flow of land capital followed by ads for local properties.


pages: 328 words: 93,937

Hot Lights, Cold Steel: Life, Death and Sleepless Nights in a Surgeon's First Years by Michael J. Collins

index card, Saturday Night Live

Gingerly, as if I were holding a vial of nitroglycerine, I clipped it to my belt. I was terrified that at any moment it might go off and a frantic nurse would scream, “Doctor, come quickly! Mr. Arnold’s TQF is trans-debilifying on his acute dorsi! His TKA is UTO’d! For God’s sake, hurry!” I spent the rest of the day reviewing charts, slowly gleaning bits of information, jotting down on my ever-present index cards things like “TKA="Total" Knee Arthroplasty,” “ORIF="Open" Reduction Internal Fixation,” “UTO="Upper" Tibial Osteotomy.” Some things, however, defied my best efforts to decipher them. “Patient is TTWB,” I read. Too tired with bending? Three times without bleeding? Terribly thirsty without beer? How in the hell did I know? Of course I could have asked the nurses, but they would have thrown me out the door for practicing medicine without a brain.

No one was going to hand me a scalpel on my first day. But someday my turn would come—and I’d better be ready. I studied harder than I had ever studied before—partly because I was ashamed of my ignorance, partly because I realized that patients’ health and lives would soon depend on me, and partly because I actually liked this stuff. I was falling in love with orthopedics. Every night I took out the index cards upon which I had jotted down questions and notes. I went over them one by one, often waking at 2:00 or 3:00 A.M., my head slumped forward on the desk, drool staining the page I had been reading. I would stagger to bed and curl up next to Patti for a few hours. The next morning I would start all over again. Art was always a bit impatient with my constant barrage of questions. He knew if he encouraged me I would pepper him with questions all day long.

He wore thick, dark-rimmed glasses that made his eyes look huge. “106.8 centimeters,” he was saying. The little boy’s body was lying naked on a metallic table in the center of the room. The man was obviously performing the postmortem. He held a Dictaphone in his left hand, a tape measure in his right. I introduced myself. We said a few words and then went about our business. I examined the boy and scribbled a few notes on the index card I carried in my shirt pocket. Lying pale and naked on that table, he didn’t look like a little boy anymore. He looked like a dead body. The pathologist adjusted his glasses and went on with his dictation. “Severe cranial contusion involving the right temporoparietal region…” This was too much for me. Yeah, life had to go on, and, yeah, autopsy reports had to be dictated—but right there? Right then?


pages: 277 words: 88,539

Singular Intimacies: Becoming a Doctor at Bellevue by Danielle Ofri

index card, medical residency, placebo effect, union organizing

The smudges and wrinkles and stains bespoke weighty duties that surmounted any possible fashion statement a crisp clean coat could offer. Li-Chan wore the sleeves crammed up past her elbows, ready for important intern work at a moment’s notice. The coat itself was a monument to economy and proficiency. The side pockets bulged with syringes, gauze pads, alcohol swabs, and IVs. The breast pocket was jammed with index cards, pens, EKG calipers, and the tiny blue Facts and Formulas book. The eighty-two pages of microscopic print in that three-by-five-inch book contained everything from disorders of phosphorous metabolism to the calculations for fractional excretion of sodium. Page 30 was folded over for rapid access to Renal Tubular Acidosis—every intern had to be able to distinguish Type IV RTA from Types I and II.

When I was an intern I’d had to do all the horrible scut work for my patients, but I always had the relief of my resident, who made all the important decisions. No matter how awful things became, there was always my resident to turn to who seemed to know all the answers. Once the clock had struck 12:01 A.M. on July 1st, I had to come up with those answers myself. I consulted my freshly printed index cards. Harold Goode—homeless, shooter with a fever, admitted last night, empiric antibiotics for possible endocarditis. I had picked up the 16-West service this morning and didn’t know the patients yet, but I had to learn them quickly. Now I was the resident. Sarita was biting her lip to keep from crying outright. Just last month she’d been a medical student and now she was an intern. This could be one of her very first IVs on her own.

Goode’s fierce stare. Later that afternoon when Sarita and I were rounding, I was both shamed and relieved to see that the IV team had managed to get a scrawny IV in his arm. “Look at this one, baby.” Mr. Goode flaunted it at us. “You doctors don’t know shit about IVs. I been around. I been to Beth Israel. I know what’s up and I’ll be stickin’ with the IV team.” Sarita looked away hurriedly, pulling her index cards from her pocket and shuffling them haphazardly. I think she was trying to spare me the embarrassment. How I wished I could have sunk a 14-gauge IV into his deep brachial vein just at that moment. A really big, painful IV the size of a ballpoint pen—one stick, ram it in, no blood spilled. One solid IV barreling through all those scars and skin ulcers down to the damn obstreperous veins that I knew were lurking underneath his opaque, dark skin.


pages: 372 words: 89,876

The Connected Company by Dave Gray, Thomas Vander Wal

A Pattern Language, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, business cycle, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, complexity theory, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, factory automation, Googley, index card, industrial cluster, interchangeable parts, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, loose coupling, low cost airline, market design, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, profit maximization, Richard Florida, Ruby on Rails, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, Vanguard fund, web application, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

A book like this one evolves slowly, through countless conversations that lead to countless suggestions of people who must be spoken to, companies that must be understood, books and articles that must be read. And though the task was impossible, I did try to speak to everyone, understand every company, and read every book and article that was suggested. My desk piled high with books, papers, and transcribed interviews, which were soon were marked, folded, plastered with sticky notes, and supplemented with boxes and boxes of cross-referenced index cards, diagrams, and sketches. So many people contributed to this effort that it would be impossible to recognize them all in such a small space. But I must single out a few people whose contributions loom large. The book would not have happened without a series of conversations with Thomas Vander Wal, which led to my initial blog post, “The Connected Company.” It also could not have happened without Tim O’Reilly, who read the blog post and saw that it could become a book.

Morning Star is a marketplace, where every worker is a business within the business. You can read more about Morning Star on their website, or in the excellent HBR article by Gary Hamel, “First, Let’s Fire All the Managers.” The Nordstrom Way Nordstrom is a publicly traded, high-end retailer known for excellent service, with revenues of about $9 billion a year. Nordstrom’s employee handbook is so short and simple that it can fit on an index card. It states: “Use your best judgment in all situations. There will be no other rules.” Nordstrom salespeople are free to make their own decisions, although Nordstrom’s strong culture of putting the customer first provides a guiding light for all to steer by. That customer service culture is at the core of Nordstrom’s success. The entire system is organized in order to support the salespeople on the Nordstrom floor to help them deliver the best possible customer service.

But the shared goal of a GE Work-Out is to give workers a voice, as well as a chance to propose improvements and eliminate the obstructions that keep them from being successful. When setting parameters, the simplicity or complexity of the rules can expand or reduce the latitude people feel that they have to do their jobs. Rules that people can keep in their heads are easier to follow and easier to share. Here is the Nordstrom employee handbook in its entirety, written on an index card: WELCOME TO NORDSTROM. We’re glad to have you with our Company. Our number one goal is to provide outstanding customer service. Set both your personal and professional goals high. We have the great confidence in your ability to achieve them. Nordstrom rules: Rule #1: Use your good judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules. Please feel free to ask your department manager, store manager, or division general manager any question at any time.


Beautiful Visualization by Julie Steele

barriers to entry, correlation does not imply causation, data acquisition, database schema, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, global pandemic, Hans Rosling, index card, information retrieval, iterative process, linked data, Mercator projection, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, performance metric, QR code, recommendation engine, semantic web, social graph, sorting algorithm, Steve Jobs, web application, wikimedia commons

Managing Data: Using Processing In the 1990s, American artist Mark Lombardi created a series of hugely complex drawings (which he called narrative structures) exposing connections between people and corporations involved in political and financial frauds. Lombardi would meticulously comb through newspaper articles and magazines, recording his findings by hand. He had neither an API to pose his questions to, nor any kind of database or software to store his answers in. Instead, Lombardi amassed a collection of more than 14,000 index cards, on which all of his questions and answers were written and from which he drew his historical diagrams (see Figure 10-1 in Chapter 10). Unless you happen to have a few thousand index cards and a few weeks of spare time handy, we’re going to need to think of a faster way to manage all of our questions and answers. There are a number of different ways we could approach this on a computer, and a variety of different software tools and programming languages that would be up to the task.

Databases As Networks Structured data in the fields of art history and archaeology, as in any other field, comes in a variety of formats, such as relational or object-oriented databases, spreadsheets, XML documents, and RDF graphs; semistructured data is found in wikis, PDFs, HTML pages, and (perhaps more than in other fields) on traditional paper. Disregarding the subtleties of all these representational forms, the underlying technical structure usually involves three areas: A data model convention, ranging from simple index card separators in a wooden box to complicated ontologies in your favorite representational language Data-formatting rules, including display templates such as lenses (Pietriga et al. 2006) or predefined query instructions Data-processing rules that act according to the data-formatting instructions Here, we are interested first and foremost in how the chosen data model convention interrelates with the available data.


Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

Berlin Wall, Burning Man, Donner party, East Village, illegal immigration, index card, medical residency, pre–internet, rent control, Saturday Night Live, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory

It took me a week to find my balance, because once I took both feet off the ground, I employed the ace move of closing my eyes out of fear. “What are you doing? Open your eyes!” my dad shouted. So, it turns out that keeping your eyes open is the key to learning to ride a bike. Once I mastered balance, my dad left me alone to do bike drills so I’d have it ingrained. “Doing drills until it’s ingrained” is actually a classic Indian technique of teaching children things that goes back to Sanskrit liturgical texts. Index cards and Sharpie pens are actually distinctly Indian cultural artifacts to me. I rode my bike, for hours, around the parking lot behind Beth Shalom. Let me remind you that this was before iPods. This was even before those bright yellow sports Walkmans. With no music to listen to, I just biked around in circles talking to myself like a kid on the cover of a Robert Cormier young adult novel, circling around puzzled Jewish families walking back to their cars.

When I watch roasts, I actually feel physically uncomfortable, like when I see a crow feast on a squirrel that has been hit by a car but has not stopped moving yet. The self-proclaimed no-holds-barred atmosphere reminds me of signs for strip clubs on Hollywood Boulevard: “We Have Crazy Girls. They Do Anything!” We don’t have to do anything. Let’s bar some holds. My Favorite Eleven Moments in Comedy WHEN I WAS a kid, I was obsessed with listing my favorite things. I kept an index card with all my favorite foods folded in my wallet, just in case anyone asked me what they were. Then when people walked away, I imagined they’d say: “Whoa, Mindy Kaling is so cool and self-actualized. McDonald’s pancakes are her favorite food, and she was able to tell me right away.” I was prepared for all kinds of potential fun situations when I was kid. I kept a bathing suit in my backpack in case I went anywhere where there was a swimming pool.


pages: 497 words: 146,551

Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals by Robert M. Pirsig

Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, feminist movement, index card, John von Neumann, luminiferous ether, Thorstein Veblen, trade route

Before long he noticed certain categories emerging. The earlier slips began to merge about a common topic and later slips about a different topic. When enough slips merged about a single topic so that he got a feeling it would be permanent he took an index card of the same size as the slips, attached a transparent plastic index tab to it, wrote the name of the topic on a little cardboard insert that came with the tab, put it in the tab, and put the index card together with its related topic slips. The trays on the pilot berth now had about four or five hundred of these tabbed index cards. At various times he’d tried all kinds of different things: colored plastic tabs to indicate subtopics and sub-subtopics; stars to indicate relative importance; slips split with a line to indicate both emotive and rational aspects of their subject; but all of these had increased rather than decreased confusion and he’d found it clearer to include their information elsewhere.

The Indians who use it as part of their ceremony might with equal accuracy call it a de-hallucinogen, since it’s their claim that it removes the hallucinations of contemporary life and reveals the reality buried beneath them. There is actually some scientific support for this Indian point of view. Experiments have shown that spiders fed LSD do not wander around doing purposeless things as one might expect a hallucination would cause them to do, but instead spin an abnormally perfect, symmetrical web. That would support the de-hallucinogen thesis. But politics seldom depends on facts for its decisions. Behind the index card for the PEYOTE slips was another card called RESERVATION. There were more than a hundred RESERVATION slips describing that ceremony Dusenberry and Phædrus attended — way too many. Most would have to be junked. He’d made them because at one time it looked as though the whole book would center around this long night’s meeting of the Native American Church. The ceremony would be a kind of spine to hold it all together.


pages: 592 words: 152,445

The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America's Enemies by Jason Fagone

Albert Einstein, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, cuban missile crisis, Drosophila, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Fellow of the Royal Society, index card, Internet Archive, pattern recognition, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, X Prize

America was growing more anti-Semitic in the 1920s, the successes of Jewish immigrants provoking ugly responses. The president of Harvard changed admissions rules to keep Jews out. Henry Ford launched an anti-Semitic weekly newspaper with a declaration that “the Jew is the world’s enigma.” Officers in the Military Intelligence Division of the War Department tracked intelligence reports about Jewish activities on index cards labeled “Jews: Race” and kept a central dossier on the “Jewish Question” that included documents like “The Power and Aims of International Jewry.” The MID men were William’s colleagues. So he treaded carefully in Washington, lest he provoke an anti-Semitic reaction that seemed to always be near. He tried to get along, said yes a lot, loaned out pieces of his brain. Inevitably there was only so much of him to go around, and requests for his time spilled over to Elizebeth.

She took on this burden at the expense of curating her own legacy, which her grief and her anger now made a secondary concern. Immediately after his funeral, in the now-empty house, she sat at William’s own desk, the one with the 1918 KNOWLEDGE IS POWER photo under the glass, and worked to complete the annotated bibliography of his papers. The task occupied her for eight to ten hours a day. She mourned her husband while writing crisp descriptions of his articles and books on index cards. She did it out of a sense of duty to William, who would have wanted the project completed, and she also hoped that the collection, once open to the public, would entice a first-rate historian to write a biography of William, a book to cement his reputation. The Marshall Library paid for a typist to help her one to two days a week and it still took months to finish the 3,002 cards for the 3,002 unique items in William’s collection.

The author James Bamford relied partly on William’s collection to piece together his 1981 book, The Puzzle Palace, the first popular history of the NSA, whose publication the agency tried and failed to stop. The NSA sent representatives to the library twice, in 1979 and 1983, each time removing an unknown number of William’s items, but the Friedmans had done such a careful job of indexing that a sharp-eyed professor at Virginia Military Institute, Rose Mary Sheldon, noticed that about 200 of the 3,002 index cards were missing. Sheldon submitted a series of Freedom of Information Act requests that eventually prodded the NSA to release 7,000 additional Friedman documents. In the last two decades the agency has gotten more comfortable telling its history—today it holds public cryptologic history conferences and operates a museum—but it took a while, and in the meantime, the Friedmans had created this alternate archive, beyond U.S. government control, where anyone could learn about U.S. codebreaking.


pages: 519 words: 104,396

Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (And How to Take Advantage of It) by William Poundstone

availability heuristic, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, equal pay for equal work, experimental economics, experimental subject, feminist movement, game design, German hyperinflation, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, index card, invisible hand, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, laissez-faire capitalism, Landlord’s Game, loss aversion, market bubble, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nash equilibrium, new economy, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Philip Mirowski, Potemkin village, price anchoring, price discrimination, psychological pricing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, RFID, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, social intelligence, starchitect, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, ultimatum game, working poor

In his 1892 dissertation, Fisher complained of Gustav Fechner’s baleful influence on the profession of economics. “The foisting of Psychology on Economics seems to me inappropriate and vicious,” he wrote. For several decades in the twentieth century, Fisher was probably America’s most famous economist. The public first knew him as the author of a bestselling self-help book with the earnest title How to Live. A successful inventor, Fisher devised an index card system, a precursor of the Rolodex, and came into a fortune when his index card company merged into Remington Rand (a typewriter company that eventually became the early computer company Sperry Rand). From his perch at Yale, Fisher pontificated on the issues of the day. He was for vegetarianism, prohibition, eugenics, and just about every nutty health regimen under the sun. His daughter Margaret died in 1919 after he allowed a quack to remove parts of her colon in a misguided attempt to cure schizophrenia.

Days before Black Monday, Fisher tried to calm the jangled nerves of investors. The market’s recent volatility, he said, was only a “shaking out of the lunatic fringe.” With the lunatics out of the market, prices were sure to rocket higher. “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” They hadn’t, and that statement trashed Fisher’s reputation just as the market decimated his index card fortune. Fisher believed it ought to be possible to predict prices with the rigor of a physicist. He must have been encouraged in this by his doctoral advisor, the reclusive physicist Josiah Willard Gibbs. Just as the volume of a gas can be computed from its pressure and temperature, Fisher aspired to predict prices from supply and demand. His thesis described how to do that, and Fisher went so far as to build a price-generating machine (see page 225).


pages: 735 words: 214,791

IBM and the Holocaust by Edwin Black

card file, computer age, family office, ghettoisation, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, profit motive, Transnistria

Newsreel cameras mounted on platforms filmed evocative scenes of anti-German placards in the air amid a backdrop of furling American flags and crowds loudly demanded that “in the name of humanity” all businesses stop doing business with Adolf Hitler.100 The question confronting all businessmen in 1933 was whether trading with Germany was worth either the economic risk or moral descent. This question faced Watson at IBM as well. But IBM was in a unique commercial position. While Watson and IBM were famous on the American business scene, the company’s overseas operations were fundamentally below the public radar screen. IBM did not import German merchandise, it merely exported American technology. The IBM name did not even appear on any of thousands of index cards in the address files of leading New York boycott organizations. Moreover, the power of punch cards as an automation tool had not yet been commonly identified. So the risk that highly visible trading might provoke economic retaliation seemed low, especially since Dehomag did not even possess a name suggestive of IBM or Watson.101 On the other hand, the anticipated reward in Germany was great.

Although a network of Jewish and non-sectarian anti-Nazi leagues and bodies struggled to organize comprehensive lists of companies doing business with Germany, from importers of German toys and shoes to sellers of German porcelain and pharmaceuticals, yet IBM and Watson were not identified. Neither the company nor its president even appeared in any of thousands of hectic phone book entries or handwritten index card files of the leading national and regional boycott bodies. Anti-Nazi agitators just didn’t understand the dynamics of corporate multinationalism.64 Moreover, IBM was not importing German merchandise, it was exporting machinery. In fact, even exports dwindled as soon as the new plant in Berlin was erected, leaving less of a paper trail. So a measure of invisibility was assured in 1933. But to a certain extent all the worries about granting Hitler the technologic tools he needed were all subordinated to one irrepressible, ideological imperative.

Personal data that could not be tabulated by an organization for lack of an on-site Hollerith system were assembled on simple handwritten cards, forms, or copied onto registries that were forwarded to race offices and security services for punching and sorting. Churches were among the leading sources of such information. Their antique, ornately bound church books were often bulky and difficult to work with so supply companies developed a variety of index cards in various sizes designed to facilitate the tracing of ancestry. Often the process was awkward and anything but fast.70 One small church office in Braunlage in the Harz Mountains was typical when it complained in a letter to the Reichssippenamt, the Reich’s leading raceology agency, that the cards were too small and the data too large. “We have received samples of cards for the carding of church books,” wrote Pastor Stich.


Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris

big-box store, call centre, desegregation, illegal immigration, index card, Maui Hawaii, remote working, stem cell

My rent was a hundred fifty a month, and in order to pay it, I had to take on other part-time jobs: painting an apartment if I was lucky, or helping out on construction sites—work I got, and very meagerly, through word of mouth. I should have quit the restaurant and found something more substantial, but I told myself I needed the free time, needed it for my real work, my sculpture. This wasn’t completely unfounded. I’d been in a couple of juried shows, one at the state art museum. For a few hours every day I applied myself. I bundled sticks, I arranged things in cardboard boxes. I typed cryptic notes onto index cards and suspended them from my ceiling. I could have easily held a full-time job, then come home at night and tied twigs together, but in a way I needed the poverty, needed it as proof that I was truly creative. It was a cliché, of course, but one that was reinforced every time you turned around. People didn’t say “artist,” they said “starving artist,” so even if you weren’t doing anything of consequence, as long as you were hungry you were on the right track, weren’t you?

I phoned the police and set about hiding my drugs. After that I called my parents, aware that I was stealing someone else’s news, and aware too of how dramatic I sounded. “Gretchen’s been attacked.” The officer who arrived began by saying that he’d been in my apartment once before. “It was a narcotics case, years ago,” he told me, looking from the kitchen to the living room, where dozens of index cards dangled from the ceiling. He took my sister’s statement, and as he drove off to canvass the area, our parents pulled up, my mother saying before she’d even set her purse down that this was all Gretchen’s fault. “Walking to the store at eleven o’clock at night, you were as good as asking for it!” Our father, who has always distorted time to suit his purposes, put the blame on me. “It was one o’clock in the morning, and you let your sister wander the streets by herself?”


pages: 347 words: 112,727

Rust: The Longest War by Jonathan Waldman

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Anton Chekhov, computer age, David Brooks, digital map, Exxon Valdez, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Golden Gate Park, index card, Isaac Newton, Mason jar, pez dispenser, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Works Progress Administration, Y2K

He enjoyed it so much that he said it made him feel drunk. So he drank: he spent the next six years reading everything he could about metallurgy, starting with periodicals and journals about chemistry, barely stopping for a lunch of bread and dates. Next he read about manganese, and every process by which it could be detected in steel. Then he read about every other steelmaking element; all the while he kept index cards detailing what he had learned from each book. He developed his knowledge carefully, procedurally, accumulating as much as he could. Lab protocol stipulated that anyone who figured out how to save time could enjoy his savings as he wanted. Brearley got his day’s work done in a couple of hours, and spent the rest of the day reading and experimenting. In his late twenties, Brearley started writing technical papers on the analytical chemistry of metals for publications such as Chemical News.

Then he engaged a second man, who knew all about hardening and tempering steel; then a third man who could neither make steel, nor analyse it, nor harden and temper it—but this last tested it, put his OK mark on it and passed it into service.” It was a disgrace. To Brearley, progress seemed like regress. Nobody cared about D.G.S. anymore. He felt like he was the only steelmaker left with his head screwed on right. His expertise was careful and deliberate, untainted. His index cards didn’t lie. In 1911 he wrote The Heat Treatment of Tool Steel, his third book—and dedicated it to his employer: “To Thos. Firth & Sons, Limited, in whose service labour and learning have been agreeably combined, from 1883 to the present time, these pages are respectfully dedicated by the author.” In later editions, this dedication was deleted—a sign of the acrimony that was to come. In May 1912 Brearley traveled 130 miles south, to the Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield to study the erosion of rifle barrels.

He read Whitman, Shaw, and finally Shakespeare. He listened to Handel. He wrote his autobiography, as well as an unpublished children’s book, called The Story of Ironie. Actually, there was one more symbolic action. Before going on his first vacation (beyond Riga, he’d been to New York to serve as a witness, and Berlin for a conference on applied chemistry), at age fifty-eight, he piled up all of his index cards and a few hundred books and burned them in a great bonfire. Perhaps it seemed a fitting ritual to honor his mentor James Taylor, who’d recently died. Perhaps, tired of all the litigation pertaining to stainless steel, he lashed out in that strange way. He’d never been much of a servant to pencil and paper. More likely, he felt that such knowledge, in the changed world of steelmaking, was no longer relevant.


Decoding Organization: Bletchley Park, Codebreaking and Organization Studies by Christopher Grey

call centre, computer age, glass ceiling, index card, iterative process, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, old-boy network

As the post-war review records, an ‘unusually high percentage of supporting staff were i) university trained ii) Higher School certificate standard. This in the services applied especially to the WRNS and ATS . . .’42. This generality is illustrated by the interviewee Vera, who, describing her recruitment interview, commented in passing on ‘the fact that I’d been to grammar school, that was of interest’, which seems, given the fact that the actual work she did was fairly routine filing of index cards, perhaps to suggest that it was social as much as educational standing which was being probed. In a not dissimilar way, Dora learned, after the war, that she had been identified for BP when the head of the secretarial college she had attended had been approached to identify ‘girls of integrity’ for confidential war work43. Integrity is not, of course, a specifically middle-class attribute, but there is a sense again here of a search for a certain ‘type’ of person both educationally and socially: ‘girls from good families and good schools’ (Hogarth, 2008: 26).

For this reason, where a station was transmitting a weather report in a breakable cipher BP sometimes sought to ensure that the RAF did not bomb it and thus deprive the cryptanalysts of a reliable crib. 18. CCAC RLEW 5. 19. One, literal, conduit for this during the early days of the war was a wooden tray, propelled by string and a broom handle which passed decrypts from Hut 6 to Hut 3 (Welchman, 1982: 129). As with index cards in shoeboxes, this rather quaint system should not lead to the view, sometimes heard, that this was an ‘amateurish’ operation. 20. All information in the paragraph to this point is based upon TNA HW 14/145: 11–13. 21. TNA HW 3/119: 44. See HW 43/70: 112 for the analogous development of formalized training in Hut 6. The timing of this move to formalized training can be read as an aspect of the more general move to formalization associated with the ‘making’ of BP’s organization, but it also coincided with similar developments within SIS (Jeffery, 2010: 479) and hence may have a wider explanation. 22.

Hut 3: Section translating, emending and analysing decrypted material from Hut 6 and distributing the resulting intelligence to military commands and government ministries via Special Liaison Units. Hut 4: Section responsible for non-Enigma naval cryptanalysis and translating and analysing the results of this plus decrypted Naval Enigma material from Hut 8 and distributing the resulting intelligence to the Admiralty. Hut 6: Section breaking Army (Heer), Air (Luftwaffe or GAF) and Railway (Reichsbahn) Enigma. Hut 8: Section breaking Naval (Kriegsmarine) Enigma. Index: Card-based systems to store, cross-reference and retrieve information, extensively used at BP to handle enormous quantities of material from, for example, decrypts. Indoctrinated: The US term for enrolment into a particular secret or level of classified information, which as the war progressed became increasingly used at BP and supplanted the term enwised. Intercept: As a verb, to engage in interception.


pages: 257 words: 68,143

Waiting for Superman: How We Can Save America's Failing Public Schools by Participant Media, Karl Weber

collective bargaining, feminist movement, hiring and firing, index card, knowledge economy, Menlo Park, Robert Gordon, school choice, Silicon Valley, Upton Sinclair

At the Zone’s Promise Academy II, 100 percent of the third graders scored at or above grade level in the statewide math exams, and 100 percent of the Promise Academy I third graders were at or above grade level in math. Hmm, let’s see . . . 100 percent proficiency. Two different sets of schools. It’s hard to argue with reform that boosts the learning of not some, not many, but all students. A New Kind of Lottery One Monday morning while we were deeply immersed in rearranging colored index cards containing various story ideas on the wall in our edit bay, Davis came into the production office with an amazing idea. He’d just read an op-ed piece by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman about a local SEED school and the lottery it used to select students for the coming year. The SEED schools are the only urban public boarding schools in the country, designed to provide underserved kids with a round-the-clock nurturing atmosphere.

Of course, we had absolutely no idea what was going to happen, and I struggled to listen to the names of “winning” students being called, watching our kids and their families as they grappled with this emotional and somewhat absurd event, and making sure all our cameras were in the right places, while at the same time feeling a knot in my stomach. Often the tension was almost too much to bear. At one lottery, I wanted to throw the bingo ball cage across the room—it didn’t look to me as if there were enough balls in the cage for each grade. There were simply not enough spaces. Another time, I watched a lottery official reach into a bin of folded index cards inscribed with individual names in Sharpie pen and accidentally grab two, only to shake one off and give a classroom seat to the student whose card was left in his hand. Whose card did he drop? Was it one of our kids? Did one of our kids just lose his or her chance at a good education? The lotteries with computer-generated numbers were no better. Maybe the numbers were larger and the process more technologically advanced than a hand reaching into a bin or basket, but the results were just as arbitrary.


pages: 217 words: 69,892

My Year of Rest and Relaxation: A Novel by Ottessa Moshfegh

East Village, illegal immigration, index card, out of africa, Pepto Bismol, rent control, white picket fence

He looked out at the crowd, shrugged, then seemed to get flummoxed, turned red, but instead of bursting into tears, he started coughing into the microphone. Reva covered her ears. Someone brought her father a glass of water and helped him back to his seat. Then it was Reva’s turn to speak. She checked her makeup in her compact mirror, powdered her nose, dabbed her eyes with more tissues, then went up and stood at the rostrum and read lines off index cards, shuffling them back and forth as she sniffled and cried. Everything she said sounded like she’d read it in a Hallmark card. Halfway through, she stopped and looked down at me as though for approval. I gave her a thumbs-up. “She was a woman of many talents,” Reva said, “and she inspired me to follow my own path.” She went on for a while, mentioned the watercolors, her mother’s faith in God. Then she seemed to space out.

I took a few Nembutal and shot back the dregs of a bottle of Dimetapp. I found a notice from the unemployment office: I’d forgotten to call them. The measly payments were running out anyway, so it wasn’t a huge loss. I threw the notice in the trash. There was a postcard from my dentist reminding me to come in for my yearly cleaning. Trash. There was the bill from Dr. Tuttle for my missed appointment—a handwritten postcard on the back of an index card. “November 12th no show fee: $300.” She’d probably forgotten all about it by now. I put it aside. I threw away a coupon to a new Middle Eastern restaurant on Second Avenue. I threw away spring catalogues from Victoria’s Secret, from J. Crew, from Barneys. An old water shut-off notice from the super. More junk. I opened up last month’s debit card statement and skimmed through all the charges. I found nothing out of the ordinary—mostly ATM withdrawals at the bodega.


pages: 221 words: 67,514

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Albert Einstein, complexity theory, East Village, index card, means of production, rent control

“Ashtray! Bottleneck!” Again I hid indoors, painting and scraping until my knuckles bled. I left promising to enroll in a French class and then forgot that promise as soon my plane landed back in New York. On the following trip I sanded the floors and began the practice of learning ten new words a day. exorcism facial swelling death penalty I found my words in the dictionary, typed them onto index cards, and committed them to memory while on my daily walks to the neighboring village. slaughterhouse sea monster witch doctor By the end of the month, I’d managed to retain three hundred nouns, none of which proved to be the least bit useful. The next summer we went to France for six weeks, and I added another 420 words, most of them found in the popular gossip magazine Voici. “Man-eater,” I’d say.

I kept my vocabulary in a wooden box built to house a Napoleonic hat, and worried that if the house caught fire, I’d be back to square one with bottleneck and ashtray and would lose the intense pleasure I felt whenever I heard somebody use a word I’d come to think of as my own. When the cranes arrived to build a twelve-story hotel right outside our bedroom window, Hugh and I decided to leave New York for a year or two, just until our resentment died down a little. I’m determined to learn as much French as possible, so we’ll take an apartment in Paris, where there are posters and headlines and any number of words waiting to be captured and transcribed onto index cards, where a person can comfortably smoke while making a spectacular ass of himself, and where, when frustrated, I can lie, saying I never wanted to come here in the first place. Me Talk Pretty One Day AT THE AGE OF FORTY-ONE, I am returning to school and have to think of myself as what my French textbook calls “a true debutant.” After paying my tuition, I was issued a student ID, which allows me a discounted entry fee at movie theaters, puppet shows, and Festyland, a far-flung amusement park that advertises with billboards picturing a cartoon stegosaurus sitting in a canoe and eating what appears to be a ham sandwich.


pages: 399 words: 122,688

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

banking crisis, corporate raider, fear of failure, fixed income, index card, intangible asset, Menlo Park, Silicon Valley

He was anal, he recognized that I was not, and though he enjoyed complaining (to me, to my sister, to mutual friends), he saw that my managerial style gave him freedom. Left to do as he pleased, he responded with boundless creativity and energy. He worked seven days a week, selling and promoting Blue Ribbon, and when he wasn’t selling, he was beaverishly building up his customer data files. Each new customer got his or her own index card, and each index card contained that customer’s personal information, shoe size, and shoe preferences. This database enabled Johnson to keep in touch with all his customers, at all times, and to keep them all feeling special. He sent them Christmas cards. He sent them birthday cards. He sent them notes of congratulation after they completed a big race or marathon. Whenever I got a letter from Johnson I knew it was one of dozens he’d carried down to the mailbox that day.

Woodell’s old antagonist, Johnson, lives slap in the middle of a Robert Frost poem, somewhere in the wilderness of New Hampshire. He’s converted an old barn into a five-story mansion, which he calls his Fortress of Solitude. Twice divorced, he’s filled the place to the rafters with dozens of reading chairs, and thousands and thousands of books, and he keeps track of them all with an extensive card catalog. Each book has its own number and its own index card, listing author, date of publication, plot summary—and its precise location in the fortress. Of course. Scampering and prancing around Johnson’s spread are countless wild turkeys and chipmunks, most of whom he’s named. He knows them all so well, so intimately, he can tell you when one is late in hibernating. Beyond, in the distance, nestled in a field of tall grass and swaying maples, Johnson has built a second barn, a sacred barn, which he’s painted and lacquered and furnished and filled with overflow from his personal library, plus pallets of used books he buys at library sales.


pages: 1,048 words: 187,324

Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, Ella Morton

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, colonial rule, Colonization of Mars, cosmic microwave background, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, double helix, East Village, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, germ theory of disease, Golden Gate Park, Google Earth, Haight Ashbury, horn antenna, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, index card, Jacques de Vaucanson, Kowloon Walled City, Louis Pasteur, low cost airline, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, mutually assured destruction, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, phenotype, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Tunguska event, urban sprawl, Vesna Vulović, white picket fence, wikimedia commons, working poor

The final blow came during the Nazi invasion of Belgium, when soldiers destroyed thousands of boxes filled with index cards and hung Third Reich artwork on the walls. Otlet died in 1944, his Mundaneum and World City mere memories. He is now regarded as one of the forefathers of information science—his vision of a globally searchable network of interlinked documents anticipated the World Wide Web. The remains of the Mundaneum—books, posters, planning documents, and drawers with original index cards—are now on display at the Musée Mundaneum in Mons. 76, rue de Nimy, Mons. The Mundaneum is a 15-minute walk from the Mons train station. 50.457674 3.955428 The Mundaneum, with its 12 million info-packed index cards, was the early-20th-century version of the internet. The Grottoes of Folx-les-Caves ORP-JAUCHE, WALLOON BRABANT Down a narrow staircase, 50 feet below the small town of Folx-les-Caves, are nearly 15 acres of human-made caves.

Starkenberger Beer Resort Starkenberg · Lager lovers can literally immerse themselves in one of seven 13-foot (4 m) pools of warm beer, each containing some 42,000 pints. Cold beer is provided for drinking. BELGIUM The Mundaneum MONS, HAINAUT The Mundaneum was, to put it mildly, an ambitious undertaking. Belgian lawyer Paul Otlet and Nobel Peace Prize winner Henri LaFontaine established the project in 1910 with the aim of compiling the entirety of human knowledge on 3 × 5-inch index cards. The collection was to be the centerpiece of a “world city,” designed by architect Le Corbusier, forming a nucleus of knowledge that would inspire the world with its libraries, museums, and universities. To address the daunting task of arranging bits of paper into a coherent compendium of world history, Otlet developed a system called Universal Decimal Classification. Over the next few decades, a growing staff created and catalogued over 12 million cards summarizing the contents of books and periodicals.


pages: 248 words: 72,174

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau

Airbnb, big-box store, clean water, fixed income, follow your passion, if you build it, they will come, index card, informal economy, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, late fees, Nelson Mandela, price anchoring, Ralph Waldo Emerson, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, web application

Sales conversion rate: What percentage of visitors or leads become customers? Net promoter score: What percentage of customers would refer your business to someone else? Some businesses choose more specific metrics. Brandy Agerbeck, the graphic facilitator we met in Chapter 7, earns her living through corporate and non-profit bookings. Every year she needs a certain amount of bookings, so she keeps a set of index cards to track this number. When the index cards fill up, she knows she’s good for a while and can focus on other things. Once or twice a month it’s good to take a deeper look at the business and record some metrics that should be improving over time. The kinds of things you’ll probably be interested in are more detailed sales figures, site traffic and social media, and the growth of the business. You can get a free spreadsheet to help with this process in the online resources for this book at 100startup.com.


pages: 385 words: 25,673

Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive ScrabblePlayers by Stefan Fatsis

deliberate practice, Donner party, East Village, forensic accounting, Golden Gate Park, Gödel, Escher, Bach, index card, Saturday Night Live, zero-sum game

The beginners, someone notes, gather at 5:30. 2 ❑❑❑❑❑❑❑ ❑ ❑ ❑❑❑❑❑❑ ❑ The Best att graham is popping pills. It’s unclear which ones he’s downing at precisely this moment, but the possibilities seem endless. Plastic containers are scattered on the end tables, on the desk, next to the television, inside drawers. Zinc. Caffeine. Glucose. Glycine. Lphenylalanine. Pyroglutanic acid. Taurine. Tyrosine. Next to the sink, atop the toilet tank, spread across the bed. On a five-by-seven index card, Graham has written in one column the names of twenty pills to be taken in the morning on an empty stomach; in another column, he has listed seventeen more to be downed with breakfast. NADH. Glutamine. Herb for Men. Mega Mind. Gotu kola. Potassium. Graham squeezes a few drops of DMAE-H3 into a glass of cranberry-orange-flavored Blast Off II, a powdered amino-acid concoction containing twenty-one vitamins and minerals — and, more to the point, eighty milligrams of caffeine — per serving.

There’s a fading photograph of Graham’s grandmother, a computer mouse pad in the shape of a Shar-Pei (“It’s a lucky charm,” he says), a red and white stocking cap, and pens with smiley faces on one end. More bottles: Ginseng. Lipoic acid. Ashwagandha. Healthy Greens. Coenzyme Q. Pygeum, a prostate drug promising “Natural Health Care for Men Over 50.” Suphedrine. Herbal Formula for Men. (“The reason I take this is it’s got ma huang, which is ephedrine, which is a stimulant,” Graham says, as if there were any doubt.) There are index cards plastered with obscure words. A Cookie Monster doll. A copy of the December 1993 issue of a Scrabble newsletter called Medleys which includes an article about that year’s world championships titled “On Crowns and Clowns.” The piece takes a potshot at Graham, who was then just emerging on the Scrabble scene but qualified for the event in New York nonetheless. “We sent a few of our best — and a few comedians,” the article notes.

Absorbing thousands of words seems like a fool’s errand. I have difficulty remembering names, images from my past, plots of novels, what I did last weekend. How can I, closing in on age thirty-five, start learning words? Where in my brain will I put them? I tote my new study aids to a weekend tournament in the resort town of Port Jefferson, on Long Island. I have my photocopied lists, my Franklin, and a stack of index cards on which I have written three-, four-, and five-letter words containing J, Q, X, and Z and some mnemonic aids. For JOTA, a Spanish dance, I write “JO ⫹ TA,” which are acceptable two-letter words. For JIMP, I write “JUMP IMP.” For ZARF, I underline ARF. Sitting on the john in the inn where the tournament is being staged, reading my cards, I say aloud, “JAPAN is good,” using proper Scrabble lingo.


pages: 453 words: 130,632

Nine Pints: A Journey Through the Money, Medicine, and Mysteries of Blood by Rose George

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, air freight, airport security, British Empire, call centre, corporate social responsibility, Edward Snowden, global pandemic, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, index card, Jeff Bezos, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, period drama, Peter Thiel, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell

“But it was not so simple to obtain in this way individuals whose Wassermann reaction was likely to remain permanently negative.” After Nurse Linstead gave her pint of blood to King’s College Hospital, the Olivers decided to do something radical. They would set up a register of reliable blood donors who would never ask for payment. Percy Oliver noted their names on a database, which in 1921 meant index cards, and each card would list contact details, plus the donor’s blood group and health history. Donors would be screened ahead of donating and their blood group noted. A telephone would be manned day and night. Hospitals would call for blood; the Olivers would have it brought to them, in the shape of a person. In return, doctors had to follow their rules. “The needle method of extraction alone is to be used.

Opening the vein, cutting down upon it, or levering it up, is forbidden.”69 It made more sense: a less invasive needle meant a donor could be reused, and a less painful procedure meant they would more readily volunteer in the first place. They began to set their scheme in motion, using their home as an office. (Percy Oliver continued to work for the council.) It was named the London Blood Transfusion Service, and “The Service” by its volunteers. It may have consisted of some index cards and a phone, but the Olivers’ operation was the world’s first voluntary blood panel and the beginning of a shift to a model of altruistic blood donation in Britain that has endured one hundred years. In the first year, only four donors were signed up and they were called upon only once.70 The next year, the donors numbered thirteen.71 In August 1922, a woman whose husband was dying at Guy’s Hospital was “reduced to stopping strangers in the street to ask them to give their blood.”

But possibly this last protest would not be supported by a majority of the association.”75 Even disgruntled donors rarely snitched on the hospitals, simply marking politely on their donor cards that they were unwilling to serve at the hospital again. Eventually, it was discovered that hospital staff assumed that donors were paid and so felt entitled to treat them carelessly. Logistics was another concern. Finding a donor on an index card was one thing; finding a donor who had a private telephone in 1920s London was much harder. (Even ten years into the service, when there were 2,050 registered donors, only 400 had a phone.76) The Olivers dealt with this with gusto. “When hospitals called,” wrote Kim Pelis, “they contacted donors by telegraph, constable, taxi-driver, and sometimes by bicycle.”77 Another option was the police force.


pages: 436 words: 131,430

House of God by Samuel Shem

affirmative action, index card, lateral thinking, medical residency, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Norman Mailer, placebo effect

"After Ina you'll get it. But listen—even though I said I don't see patients, when you need me, I'm here with you. If you're smart, you'll use me. Like those dolled-up jets that cargo the gomers to Miami: I'm Fats, fly me'. Now, let's get on to the cardflip." The efficiency of the Fat Man's world rested on the concept of the three-by-five index card. He loved three-by-five cards. Announcing that "there is no human being whose medical characteristics cannot be listed on a three-by-five index card," he laid out two thick decks on the table. The one on the right was his. The duplicate deck on the left he split in three, and handed a stack to each of the new terns. On each card was a patient, our patients, my patients. The Fat Man explained how on his work rounds he would flip a card, pause, and expect that tern to comment on the progress being made.

The treatment for depression was to order a barium enema, and the treatment for Potts's third admission, a man with pain in his abdomen but who "knew all of you doctors are Nazis but I'm not quite sure just yet which one of you is Himmler," was not a barium enema and bowel run, but what the Fat Man called a "TURF TO PSYCHIATRY." "What's a TURF?" asked Potts. "To TURF is to get rid of, to get off your service and onto another, or out of the House altogether. Key concept. It's the main form of treatment in medicine. Just call up psychiatry, tell them about the Nazi stuff, don't mention the gut pain, and presto—TURF TO PSYCHIATRY." Ripping up the index card containing the Nazi-seeker and throwing the bits over his shoulder, the Fat Man said, "The TURF, I love it Let's go. Next?" Potts presented his last admission, a man of our age who'd been playing baseball with his son, and who, while trying to beat out a hard screaming line drive, had dropped down in the base path unconscious. "What do you think it is?" asked Fats. "Intracranial bleed," said Potts.


pages: 393 words: 127,312

Gotta Get Theroux This: My Life and Strange Times in Television by Louis Theroux

Burning Man, Columbine, East Village, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, Potemkin village, Silicon Valley, the market place

During the recce the director and AP visited locations and met and interviewed a variety of potential contributors with a view to deciding who would be in the eventual film. Usually, they filmed a little taster tape of each contributor. This might take a week or ten days or sometimes longer. Back in the office, they’d show the highlights of their favourite candidates. Based on these conversations, we would plan the journey of the story on index cards blue-tacked to the wall. ‘LOUIS MEETS MASTER P. HE ENCOURAGES HIM TO RAP.’ ‘LOUIS AND RANDY ORGANIZE EVANGELICAL CAR RALLY.’ ‘LOUIS RETURNS TO MELLO T TO CONFRONT HIM ABOUT HIS CHOICES.’ These index cards were only ever a rough guide: they tended to feature more contributors than we would end up using and the shape would change as characters dropped out. Still, they were almost always helpful, allowing us to plan action and have a vague structure in mind. In general, when I arrived to meet someone on screen, we made sure it was my first meeting.

I’d once bought a copy of The Pursuit of the Millennium by Norman Cohn, a landmark overview of apocalyptic religious movements – one day I planned on reading it – and maybe that enthusiasm would carry the day . . . Or, you know, maybe it wouldn’t. The next afternoon, having given notice on my legal fact-checking job, I went into the TV Nation offices with my bags packed to pick up my tickets and have a quick briefing chat with Michael. We sat in a conference room with a couple of the writers. On the wall were segment ideas on index cards. ‘Pets on Prozac’. ‘Move the Show to New Jersey’. And also: ‘Apply as Hit Men to Whack Salman Rushdie’. That was mildly encouraging. Michael screened a rough cut of a segment he was working on in which he visited the Serbian Embassy and they explained the Balkan conflict using slices of pizza. An embassy aide, reaching over for some pepperoni, said, ‘I think I would like a slice of Montenegro because my mother is from there.’


Writing Effective Use Cases by Alistair Cockburn

business process, c2.com, create, read, update, delete, finite state, index card, information retrieval, iterative process, recommendation engine, Silicon Valley, web application

Each XP user story needs to be just detailed enough that both the business and technical people understand what it means and can estimate how long it will take. It must be a small enough piece of work that the developers can design, code, test and deploy it in three weeks or less. Once meeting those criteria, it can be as brief and casual as the team can get manage. It often gets written just on an index card. When the time comes to start working on a user story, the designer simply takes the card over to the business expert and asks for more explanation. Since the business expert is always available, the conversation continues, as needed, until the functionality is shipped. On rare occasion, a small, well-knit development team with full-time users on board will take usage narratives or the use case briefs as their requirements.

Some projects need next to no quality in the writing of the requirements document, because they have such good communications between users and developers: The Chrysler Comprehensive Compensation project team, building software to pay all of Chrysler's payroll using the "eXtreme Programming" methodology [Beck99], never went further than use case briefs. They wrote so little that they called them "stories" rather than use cases, and wrote each on an index card. Each was really a promise for a conversation between a requirements expert and a developer. Significantly, the team of 14 people sat in two (large) adjacent rooms, and had excellent in-team communications. The better the internal communications are between your usage experts and developers, the lower the cost of omitting parts of the use case template. People will simply talk to each other and straighten matters out.


To Pixar and Beyond by Lawrence Levy

computerized trading, index card, Loma Prieta earthquake, risk tolerance, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, spice trade, Steve Jobs, Wall-E

Some of the animators had full-length mirrors on the wall nearby. “Why the mirrors?” I asked Ed. “Animation is really all about acting,” Ed explained. “Before the animators animate a character on screen, they will often act out the part in front of a mirror so they fully understand the movements they need to create on screen.” Ed walked me to Pixar’s storyboard department where rows upon rows of large cork boards were filled with index cards on which appeared hand-drawn scenes from the movie. Each storyboard represented a sequence from the film, and there seemed to be an endless number of them stacked against every wall, and every spare scrap of space. The quality of each drawing was remarkable, and there were thousands of them, all drawn by hand, all telling a little piece of the film’s story. Then we visited the film lab, a darkroom almost filled from wall to wall by a mysterious machine that sat in the middle.

In negotiation, there is a constant tension between momentum and fear. It comes down to an exercise in risk management. One illustration of this idea came early in the draft agreement in a clause called “Treatments.” This provision said, simply, that for each picture under the new agreement Pixar would submit to Disney one or more film ideas in the form of a treatment. But what would constitute a treatment? Could it be one line on an index card: “A father goes on an adventure to find his son; oh, and they’re both fish”? That probably wouldn’t make the cut. So the agreement spells out the details: a written treatment less than three pages that can be the basis for a screenplay. But Pixar often presented its treatments orally, using sketches and short storyboards. What if that was the preferred method? The agreement needed to cover that possibility too.


pages: 304 words: 93,494

Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton

4chan, Airbus A320, Burning Man, friendly fire, index card, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, pets.com, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technology bubble, traveling salesman, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks

Attempts to quell the chaos often went nowhere. One of the more corporate employees, Dom Sagolla, had been hired in October 2005 to help test new podcasting products. He had previously worked at the software giant Adobe and often used corporate jargon at Odeo, trying his best to help institute some organization. In one effort he created a grid of index cards on the wall near his desk. The top row listed all the employees’ names, then, trickling down, more index cards listed each person’s designated tasks for the week. As soon as Dom stepped away from his desk, engineers would slyly walk by, kneel over pretending to tie a shoelace or pick something up, and switch the cards around, placing jobs they didn’t want to do under someone else’s name. A daily morning “stand-up” meeting was scheduled by Tim Roberts, a vice president at Odeo.


pages: 305 words: 73,935

The Cohousing Handbook: Building a Place for Community by Chris Scotthanson, Kelly Scotthanson

Buy land – they’re not making it any more, card file, index card, off grid, the built environment, urban planning, urban sprawl

The secretary shall see that all members receive notice by phone, by first-class mail or in person of the time and place of meetings at least five days before regularly scheduled meetings. 2. No meeting may be convened without two thirds of the member households represented in person but the meeting may continue despite the withdrawal of enough members to leave less than a quorum. At the start of the meeting, a dated 5” x 8” index card shall be signed by all the members present and used to divide the card file into a section for each meeting. APPENDIX: SAMPLE DOCUMENTS 3. All members may participate in decision-making and voting on proposals. 4. Only one person has the right to speak at any one time during a meeting. Anyone else wishing to speak shall so indicate nonverbally and the recorder shall list them in the order they will be called. 5.

The order of business at meetings shall be: a) Call to order by facilitator and quiet time; b) Brief report of the last meeting by reviewing the agenda cards, short committee reports, announcements/comments and report of actions taken by the Management Board since the last meeting; c) Agenda items with tabled decisions first, followed by ongoing business, and last, new business; d) Announcement of next meeting time and place; e) Closure. 8. Only business on the agenda shall be considered during a meeting. For an item to be placed on the agenda it must be written on one side of a 5” x 8” index card and given to the facilitator at least one week before the scheduled meeting. For good reason, the facilitator may fill out an agenda card and place an item on the agenda if requested by a member no later than 24 hours before the meeting. 265 266 THE COHOUSING HANDBOOK 9. After an item has been disposed of, the recorder shall note the disposition and date on the back of the agenda card. Agenda cards shall constitute the record of business and shall be kept by the secretary for reference by all members accompanied by the list of members present at the meeting. 10.


pages: 292 words: 94,324

How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman

affirmative action, Atul Gawande, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, fear of failure, framing effect, index card, iterative process, lateral thinking, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, pattern recognition, placebo effect, stem cell, theory of mind

Throughout those four years of medical school, I was an intense, driven student, gripped by the belief that I had to learn every fact and detail so that I might one day take responsibility for a patient's life. I sat in the front row in the lecture hall and hardly moved my head, nearly catatonic with concentration. During my clinical courses in internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, I assumed a similarly focused posture. Determined to retain everything, I scribbled copious notes during lectures and after bedside rounds. Each night, I copied those notes onto index cards that I arranged on my desk according to subject. On weekends, I would try to memorize them. My goal was to store an encyclopedia in my mind, so that when I met a patient, I could open the mental book and find the correct diagnosis and treatment. The new interns gathered in a conference room in the Bulfinch Building of the hospital. The Bulfinch is an elegant gray granite structure with eight Ionic columns and floor-to-ceiling windows, dating from 1823.

At seven the following morning, we would meet and review what had happened overnight. "Remember, be an ironman and hold the fort," the resident said to me, the clichés offered only half jokingly. Interns were to ask for backup only in the most dire circumstances. "You can page me if you really need me," the resident added, "but I'll be home sleeping, since I was on call last night." I touched my left jacket pocket and felt a pack of my index cards from medical school. The cards, I told myself, would provide the ballast to keep me afloat alone. I spent the better part of the day reading my patients' charts and then introducing myself to them. The knot in my stomach gradually loosened. But it tightened again when my fellow intern and supervising resident signed out their patients, alerting me to problems I might encounter on call. A crepuscular quiet settled over the Baker.


pages: 313 words: 93,214

Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Golden Gate Park, index card, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Snapchat, software studies

To avoid regret and practice that assertiveness is so important. And what’s cool is the more you practice the easier it gets.” They acted out a few more passive, aggressive, and assertive scenarios, with Denison urging volunteers to state firmly “How you feel right now, what you think, what you want to have happen.” In the few minutes of class time that remained, she fielded several anonymous questions that students had submitted on index cards, then gave out the number for a cell phone she keeps specifically for their calls and texts. Some of her colleagues over the years have questioned Denison’s willingness to let kids intrude on her life at any hour of the day or night. “They say it’s a boundary issue,” she told me later, “but I disagree. I come here and encourage students to question themselves, to name a situation when it’s not going well, to acknowledge that it’s not going well, and reflect on it.

At the end of each session, Denison pulled several handfuls of condoms from a silver tackle box she carried everywhere with her, sort of like Mary Poppins’s carpet bag: it also held the vulva puppet, a model of a penis (nicknamed Richard) for demonstrating proper condom use, individual capsules of personal lubricant, and other tools of her trade. “Keep talking, keep asking questions,” she would say. “Knowledge is power.” True, I saw a group of boys make a show of scooping up the condoms and tossing them in the air. “Children, be free!” one of them said, laughing. But more often students, both boys and girls, approached respectfully. Some took the condoms casually; others sidled up, pretended to pick up an errant index card or pen, and then subtly slipped one or two condoms into their pockets. A few kids always hung around as the room emptied, hoping for a private moment with Denison. One girl wanted clarification on the definition of statutory rape. Another wanted to know about Denison’s career path so she could emulate it. One afternoon, the last student to approach her was a boy with dark curly hair and wide brown eyes.


pages: 850 words: 224,533

The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World by Oona A. Hathaway, Scott J. Shapiro

9 dash line, Albert Einstein, anti-globalists, bank run, Bartolomé de las Casas, battle of ideas, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, continuation of politics by other means, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, facts on the ground, failed state, humanitarian revolution, index card, long peace, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, spice trade, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, uranium enrichment, zero-sum game

Kelsen voted in favor of an appointment for Schmitt, with whom he disagreed but whose brilliance he recognized. Schmitt repaid his generosity by engineering Kelsen’s dismissal a year later when the Nazis came to power. 3 A report compiled by the Allies after the war described Schmitt as Germany’s leading political scientist and one of the world’s greatest political writers, “a man of near-genius rating.” The report also called for his prosecution as a war criminal. 4 This index card shows the history of Schmitt’s internment by the United States Military Government at the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg (arrested March 20, 1947, released on May 6, 1947). 5 The dock at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg (center row, left to right: Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Wilhelm Keitel, Ernst Kaltenbrunner). Hermann Jahrreiss, who replaced Kelsen at the University of Cologne and presented the defense for the German prisoners, is in the lower right corner, wearing violet academic robes. 6 Robert Jackson, chief prosecutor at Nuremberg.

., Mark Mazower, Governing the World: The History of an Idea (New York: Penguin, 2012); Paul Kennedy, The Parliament of Man: The Past, Present, and Future of the United Nations (New York: Random House, 2006). 64. Grundgesetz der Bundesrepublik Deutschland [Constitution], Art. 26 (1949) (F.R.G.). 65. Nihonkōku Kenpō [Constitution], Art. 9 (1946) (Japan). 66. La Costituzione [Constitution], Art. 11 (1948) (Italy). TEN: FRIEND AND ENEMY 1. Index cards to the war crimes case files (”Cases Not Tried”), 1944–1948, and witnesses and defendants in war crimes cases, 1946–1948, Record Group 549, Records of United States Army, Europe 549.2, Records of U.S. Army, Europe (USAEUR) 1933–1964, Records of the War Crimes Branch of the Judge Advocate General Section, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (College Park, MD). 2. Karl Loewenstein, “Observations on Personality and Work of Professor Carl Schmitt,” November 14, 1945, box 46, p. 1, KLP ACL. 3.

He was cleared by a German court and American authorities certified that they had no grounds to hold him. Bendersky, “Carl Schmitt’s Path to Nuremberg,” 20. The discussion in this section is much indebted to Bendersky’s masterful discussion. 92. Duška Schmitt to Hermann Jahrreiss, April 1, 1947, cited in Reinhard Mehring, Carl Schmitt: A Biography, trans. Daniel Steuer (Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2014), 416. 93. Index cards to the war crimes case files (“Cases Not Tried”), 1944–1948 and witnesses and defendants in war crimes cases, 1946–1948, Record Group 549, Records of United States Army, Europe 549.2, Records of U.S. Army, Europe (USAEUR) 1933–1964, Records of the War Crimes Branch of the Judge Advocate General Section. 94. On the many inconsistent accounts Kempner offered about Schmitt’s rearrest, see Bendersky, “Carl Schmitt’s Path to Nuremberg,” 7–8, and Helmut Quaritsch, ed., Carl Schmitt: Antworten in Nürnberg (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 2000), 11–47. 95.


pages: 289 words: 99,936

Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age by Virginia Eubanks

affirmative action, Berlin Wall, call centre, cognitive dissonance, creative destruction, desegregation, Fall of the Berlin Wall, future of work, game design, global village, index card, informal economy, invisible hand, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, low-wage service sector, microcredit, new economy, post-industrial society, race to the bottom, rent control, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, telemarketer, Thomas L Friedman, trickle-down economics, union organizing, urban planning, web application, white flight, women in the workforce, working poor

Chapters 3 through 5 each deal specifically with an aspect of the relationship between technology and women’s poverty that was identified as central to social justice in an age of IT by the women in the YWCA community: policy and technology access; economic development and the high-tech, low-wage workplace; and welfare administration technologies. Though the data set was massive, most of my coding and analysis was done manually by writing in the margins of transcripts, using multicolored highlighters to group themes together, and creating conceptual index cards that I could move around to help identify and explore relationships within the data. Near the end of my writing process, I began using the qualitative data analysis software ATLAS.ti to make sure there weren’t relationships or insights in the data that I had missed. Appendix B: WYMSM Sample Agendas The following WYMSM meeting agendas and minutes are provided to give the reader a sense of the actual activities undertaken on a week-to-week basis by WYMSM.

Getting into groups Finding group navigators (2 minutes) First ask how many people want to do each exercise. Once we’ve established the number of groups to do each simulation, we want to ask for four to six volunteers who would be comfortable navigating through The Sims and reading/distributing the ROWEL activity. Barnyard Bingo (3 minutes) This may not be necessary once we’ve asked people what they want to do. Begin with four to six groups of index cards, each group with the name of an Appendix B 183 animal on it. First, we make sure that each of the navigators receives a different animal. Next, we ask residents if there is a specific simulation they want to do. (We keep them in mind when handing out the note cards so that they get one of the animals that the respective leader has.) Then we distribute the rest of the note cards so that everyone who is participating has one.


pages: 342 words: 104,315

The Icon Thief by Alec Nevala-Lee

index card, MITM: man-in-the-middle

Then he headed back to the Five Points. 36 When the gallerina unlocked the door of the Lermontov Gallery, Maddy brushed past her without a word, heading for the office at the rear. The gallerina followed close behind, heels clicking against the floor, protesting this invasion of her sacred space. Maddy tuned her out. She couldn’t remember if the gallery had a security guard, but supposed that it probably did. Lermontov was at his desk, going over a stack of index cards with a blue pencil. As she entered, he set the cards aside. “Yes, my dear?” Maddy shut the door, stranding the gallerina in the hallway. “I need to talk to you.” After what seemed like the briefest of internal debates, Lermontov rose from his desk, went to the door, and opened it. The gallerina was waiting outside, a look of indignation on her perfect face. “It’s all right,” Lermontov said.

But if you care about Maddy, you’ll listen to what I have to say.” Lermontov regarded him for a second, as if deciding whether to let him in. At last, he stood aside. “Come. We’ll talk in my office.” Ethan went into the gallery. Around them, the lights had been turned down, the gallerina’s counter deserted, as if awaiting the return of its resident goddess. In the rear office, Lermontov sat down at his desk, on which a number of index cards were arranged. “What can I do for you?” As Ethan took a seat, he noticed that a velvet curtain had been hung across one wall. The words began to come more easily. “It’s about Maddy. Has she tried to contact you since last night?” “No,” Lermontov said. “She came to see me on Wednesday afternoon, but I haven’t spoken to her since. What’s this all about?” “It’s something that she and I are working on together.


The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession by Susan Orlean

Donald Trump, financial independence, index card, Joan Didion, new economy, offshore financial centre, Richard Bolles, traveling salesman, tulip mania

One clump of roots did have a tiny raised pale-green bump that Savilla said would become a flower in a month or two. I ran my fingers up and down the smooth, rubbery orchid roots and up and down the nubbly mango bark, and then we went back in the house. Savilla opened a small file box and pulled out the index cards on which she records information about all the wild plants she’s collected. She handed me two cards. One said “Tiny Ghost Harrisella porrecta Collected 5/89 Big Cypress” and the other said “Polyrrhiza lindenii 5/89 Collected Big Cypress.” These were the plants that were on her mango tree. She put the index cards away and said there was one last chapter in the story of the seedpod. It takes about eight months for orchid seeds to germinate, and eight months after her seedpods were stolen Savilla received a letter from the curious man. “It was around Christmas time,” she said.


pages: 325 words: 97,162

The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life. by Robin Sharma

Albert Einstein, dematerialisation, epigenetics, Grace Hopper, hedonic treadmill, impulse control, index card, invisible hand, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, large denomination, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, Rosa Parks, telemarketer, white picket fence

“Where’d you learn that?” questioned the artist, as he scrawled the words into his notebook. “Can’t tell you. Yet,” the homeless man responded, heightening the mystery of where he’d discovered much of his insight. The entrepreneur turned away from the artist and jotted down some of her thoughts into her device. The homeless man then reached into a pocket of his hole-ridden plaid shirt and produced a heavily used index card. He held it up like a kindergarten student at show-and-tell. “A distinguished person gave this to me when I was a lot younger, as I was starting my first company. I was a lot like you cats: dripping with dreams and set to make my mark on the world. Hungry to prove myself. Amped to dominate the game. The first fifty years of our lives are a lot about seeking legitimacy, you know. We crave social approval.

He just couldn’t see any way out, I guess,” the entrepreneur revealed as her voice broke. “You can lean on me,” the artist said tenderly. He placed a hand with a hippie ring on a pinky finger onto his heart as he spoke these words, looking both chivalrous and bohemian. The homeless man interrupted the intimate moment the two were sharing. “Here, read this,” he instructed as he handed over his index card. “It’ll be useful as you both rise to your next performance levels and experience everything that comes with this adventure into human leadership, personal mastery and creating a career of uncommon productivity.” In red lettering over the paper that had yellowed by the advances of time, it read: “All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.” “That’s very good,” noted the entrepreneur.


The Last Best Cure: My Quest to Awaken the Healing Parts of My Brain and Get Back My Body, My Joy, a Nd My Life by Donna Jackson Nakazawa

back-to-the-land, epigenetics, index card, longitudinal study, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mouse model, place-making, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, stem cell

It might be that I took the time to ask Claire if she wanted to snuggle and watch a show together, or made the effort to meditate outside after walking the dogs so I could drink in the leaves shimmering and dancing on the trees, or that I tried that same yoga pose a hundred times without ever giving up, or that I picked up the phone and made the acupuncture appointment despite my crazy schedule, or that I worked long, hard days with my butt in the chair writing the project that garnered a small award. I take the exercise one step further. I put the large five-by-seven index card on which I’ve written my three blessings under my pillow. Sometimes I have trouble falling asleep, or wake up in the middle of the night, or too early. There are times when I have so much on my plate—more than can be done—that as I wake I feel my heart beating in my head as if the lining of my brain were the skin of a drum. My sympathetic nervous system is churning up the PIN response before I’m even fully conscious. I can’t get back to sleep. But if I run my fingers over the now crumpled index card beneath my pillow on which I’ve written my three blessings, the lovely moments of the previous day come flooding back. I savor them again. It changes my heart rate.


pages: 383 words: 105,021

Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War by Fred Kaplan

Cass Sunstein, computer age, data acquisition, drone strike, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, game design, hiring and firing, index card, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, John Markoff, John von Neumann, kremlinology, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, national security letter, packet switching, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, Y2K, zero day

The following Wednesday morning, back in the White House, Reagan met with the secretaries of state, defense, and treasury, his national security staff, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and sixteen prominent members of Congress, to discuss a new type of nuclear missile and the prospect of arms talks with the Russians. But he couldn’t get that movie out of his mind. At one point, he put down his index cards and asked if anyone else had seen it. Nobody had (it had just opened in theaters the previous Friday), so he launched into a detailed summary of its plot. Some of the legislators looked around the room with suppressed smiles or arched eyebrows. Not quite three months earlier, Reagan had delivered his “Star Wars” speech, calling on scientists to develop laser weapons that, in the event of war, could shoot down Soviet nuclear missiles as they darted toward America.

Maybe Alexander could help Abizaid put an operational slant on intelligence data. He’d come to the right man. Alexander was something of a technical wizard. Back at West Point, he worked on computers in the electrical engineering and physics departments. In the early 1980s, at the Naval Postgraduate School, in Monterey, California, he built his own computer and developed a program that taught Army personnel how to make the transition from handwritten index cards to automated databases. Soon after graduating, he was assigned to the Army Intelligence Center, at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, where he spent his first weekend memorizing the technical specifications for all the Army’s computers, then prepared a master plan for all intelligence and electronic-warfare data systems. In the run-up to Operation Desert Storm, the first Gulf War of 1991, Alexander led a team in the 1st Armored Division, at Fort Hood, Texas, wiring together a series of computers so that they could process data more efficiently.


pages: 518 words: 107,836

How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet (Information Policy) by Benjamin Peters

Albert Einstein, American ideology, Andrei Shleifer, Benoit Mandelbrot, bitcoin, Brownian motion, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, continuation of politics by other means, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Davies, double helix, Drosophila, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, hive mind, index card, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, linear programming, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, scientific mainstream, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technoutopianism, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, transaction costs, Turing machine

Critics have accused its founder, Frederic Friedel, of having “ruined chess” because few games now occur that include new combinations of moves that are not found in “the Book.”46 The result is a new cold war tension of human players against the book, in which top chess players and their opponents know that, given almost any chess board arrangement, the best game they can play is played out in “the Book.” Botvinnik’s secret library of index cards that recorded global grandmaster games, saved exclusively for study by students at his Soviet school, did not migrate online, but it modeled what has become the global networked norm. Top players worldwide now memorize tens of thousands of recorded games and positions. All chess competitors now play aware of the networked heir of Botvinnik’s book and the humbling fact that most chess sequences have already been played before.

National technical networks connecting factories were approved but never realized at the same time that local computer centers in those factories were built but never interconnected—all because of coordination problems (our coordination problems are as great today as their solutions are subtle). Sophisticated chess algorithms outmaneuvered long-term national planning methods and even the occasional chess master, but never to the same effect as a simple notational system kept on index cards (and now online databases). Ministerial ecosystems of paperwork collided and proliferated, and the committee meeting—that omnipresent black box of bureaucracies (even written minutes leave opaque the logics of small-group decisions)—remains among the most undertheorized and delicate techniques governing modern private power networks. Trains and telephone calls were taken and missed; doors opened and locked; hearts and minds pushed to their limits—and sometimes beyond.


pages: 123 words: 36,533

Keep It Real: Everything You Need to Know About Researching and Writing Creative Nonfiction by Lee Gutkind

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, Joan Didion, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Mahatma Gandhi, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, Ronald Reagan

Good, old-fashioned research and scholarship, either through immersion in a chosen subject à la John McPhee or through traditional print and electronic sources, are inescapable parts of a literary occupation. Yet creative nonfiction writers, especially beginners, often consider fact collecting and information gathering to be nothing more than the drudgery that must get done: the piles of handwritten index cards stacked on the card table; the color-coded file folders stuffed with assorted facts; the scraps of random details recorded on the pages of journals. All kept, but for what? Still, writers like John McPhee hang on to those “useless” factoids and half-forgotten notes culled from a variety of scholarly and personal sources, for they may come to life later in unexpected ways. Here, then, is a little discussed, mostly unacknowledged facet of facts: Facts hold creative power and possibility.


pages: 109 words: 39,462

Do You Mind if I Cancel?: (Things That Still Annoy Me) by Gary Janetti

hiring and firing, index card, rent control, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory

So, no, I don’t care if everyone is looking at their fucking phone now. They should be. It tells you everything. Does any of this matter when I’m twenty-four or twenty-five and going into Lend-A-Hand for an interview? It doesn’t. But it annoys me when I think of how much easier everything could’ve been. The Lend-A-Hand office is small and cluttered and there is one woman who works there. She sits behind a desk with a stack of index cards on them. Each card has an available job on it. They range from cleaning apartments to cater waiter for a private party—the most sought-after job she tells me, often involving large tips and the glamour that’s associated with serving cocktails to people who can afford to hire help. Getting into a wealthy person’s Upper East Side apartment is the perfect gateway to my career as a successful author I decide.


pages: 377 words: 115,122

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, call centre, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, game design, hive mind, index card, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, new economy, popular electronics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, traveling salesman, twin studies, Walter Mischel, web application, white flight

But I’ll host parties because it puts you at the center of things without actually being a social person.” When he does find himself at other people’s parties, Edgar goes to great lengths to play his role. “All through college, and recently even, before I ever went to a dinner or cocktail party, I would have an index card with three to five relevant, amusing anecdotes. I’d come up with them during the day—if something struck me I’d jot it down. Then, at dinner, I’d wait for the right opening and launch in. Sometimes I’d have to go to the bathroom and pull out my cards to remember what my little stories were.” Over time, though, Edgar stopped bringing index cards to dinner parties. He still considers himself an introvert, but he grew so deeply into his extroverted role that telling anecdotes started to come naturally to him. Indeed, the highest self-monitors not only tend to be good at producing the desired effect and emotion in a given social situation—they also experience less stress while doing so.


pages: 508 words: 120,339

Working Effectively With Legacy Code by Michael Feathers

c2.com, computer age, HyperCard, index card, Mars Rover, Silicon Valley, web application

Frankly, every day people new to the industry confront these issues when they encounter object-oriented code for the first time. In the 1980s, Ward Cunningham and Kent Beck were dealing with this issue. They were trying to help people start to think about design in terms of objects. At the time, Ward was using a tool named Hypercard, which allows you to create cards on a computer display and form links among them. Suddenly, the insight was there. Why not use real index cards to represent classes? It would make them tangible and easy to discuss. Should we talk about the Transaction class? Sure, here is its card—on it we have its responsibilities and collaborators. CRC stands for Class, Responsibility, and Collaborations. You mark up each card with a class name, its responsibilities, and a list of its collaborators (other classes that this class communicates with).

Unfortunately, it isn’t all that easy to describe in a book. Here’s my best attempt. Several years ago, I met Ron Jeffries at a conference. He’d promised me that he would show me how he could explain an architecture using cards in a way that made the interactions rather vivid and memorable. Sure enough, he did. This is the way that it works. The person describing the system uses a set of blank index cards and lays them down on a table one by one. He or she can move the cards, point at them, or do whatever else is needed to convey the typical objects in the system and how they interact. Here is an example, a description of an online voting system: “Here’s how the real-time voting system works. Here is a client session” (points at card). “Each session has two connections, an incoming connection and an outgoing connection” (lays down each card on the original one and points at each, in turn).


pages: 453 words: 117,893

What Would the Great Economists Do?: How Twelve Brilliant Minds Would Solve Today's Biggest Problems by Linda Yueh

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Asian financial crisis, augmented reality, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, currency peg, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, endogenous growth, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, fixed income, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Gunnar Myrdal, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information asymmetry, intangible asset, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, lateral thinking, life extension, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, market bubble, means of production, mittelstand, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, Nelson Mandela, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price mechanism, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, reshoring, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, universal basic income, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working-age population

But the fact that he lived in a large house with many servants, and that his children were privately educated, was more of a reflection of the wealth he married into. It would not have escaped his notice that his wife’s money was to a great extent maintaining his family’s standard of living. Fisher always thought that invention would be the key to making a personal fortune. He had tried many times, but his visible index card system was the breakthrough. It was a simple idea. He cut a notch at the bottom of an index card. These could be attached to a metal strip and mounted vertically, horizontally or even on a circular drum. It was a much more efficient way of finding records than flipping through boxes of cards. The concept had come to him in 1910, but he couldn’t find anybody to manufacture the device. Eventually, in 1915, he decided to manufacture it himself, although he had no interest in the day-to-day running of the company, a task he delegated to managers and staff.


pages: 374 words: 113,126

The Great Economists: How Their Ideas Can Help Us Today by Linda Yueh

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Asian financial crisis, augmented reality, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, currency peg, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, endogenous growth, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, fixed income, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Gunnar Myrdal, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information asymmetry, intangible asset, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, lateral thinking, life extension, manufacturing employment, market bubble, means of production, mittelstand, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, Nelson Mandela, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price mechanism, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, reshoring, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, universal basic income, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working-age population

But the fact that he lived in a large house with many servants, and that his children were privately educated, was more of a reflection of the wealth he married into. It would not have escaped his notice that his wife’s money was to a great extent maintaining his family’s standard of living. Fisher always thought that invention would be the key to making a personal fortune. He had tried many times, but his visible index card system was the breakthrough. It was a simple idea. He cut a notch at the bottom of an index card. These could be attached to a metal strip and mounted vertically, horizontally or even on a circular drum. It was a much more efficient way of finding records than flipping through boxes of cards. The concept had come to him in 1910, but he couldn’t find anybody to manufacture the device. Eventually, in 1915, he decided to manufacture it himself, although he had no interest in the day-to-day running of the company, a task he delegated to managers and staff.


pages: 455 words: 116,578

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Atul Gawande, Checklist Manifesto, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, delayed gratification, desegregation, game design, haute couture, impulse control, index card, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, patient HM, pattern recognition, randomized controlled trial, rolodex, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, telemarketer, Tenerife airport disaster, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, Walter Mischel

The therapist put her in some typical situations, such as watching television and doing homework, and she started nibbling. When she had worked through all of the nails, she felt a brief sense of completeness, she said. That was the habit’s reward: a physical stimulation she had come to crave. MANDY’S HABIT LOOP At the end of their first session, the therapist sent Mandy home with an assignment: Carry around an index card, and each time you feel the cue—a tension in your fingertips—make a check mark on the card. She came back a week later with twenty-eight checks. She was, by that point, acutely aware of the sensations that preceded her habit. She knew how many times it occurred during class or while watching television. Then the therapist taught Mandy what is known as a “competing response.” Whenever she felt that tension in her fingertips, he told her, she should immediately put her hands in her pockets or under her legs, or grip a pencil or something else that made it impossible to put her fingers in her mouth.

Then Mandy was to search for something that would provide a quick physical stimulation—such as rubbing her arm or rapping her knuckles on a desk—anything that would produce a physical response. The cues and rewards stayed the same. Only the routine changed. MANDY’S NEW HABIT LOOP They practiced in the therapist’s office for about thirty minutes and Mandy was sent home with a new assignment: Continue with the index card, but make a check when you feel the tension in your fingertips and a hash mark when you successfully override the habit. A week later, Mandy had bitten her nails only three times and had used the competing response seven times. She rewarded herself with a manicure, but kept using the note cards. After a month, the nail-biting habit was gone. The competing routines had become automatic. One habit had replaced another.


pages: 426 words: 115,150

Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship With Money and Achieving Financial Independence: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century by Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez, Monique Tilford

asset allocation, Buckminster Fuller, buy low sell high, credit crunch, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, fiat currency, financial independence, fixed income, fudge factor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, index card, index fund, job satisfaction, Menlo Park, money market fund, Parkinson's law, passive income, passive investing, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Bolles, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, software patent, strikebreaker, Thorstein Veblen, Vanguard fund, zero-coupon bond

A less obvious suggestion includes creating a “price book.” Kept by thrifty housewives for decades and made famous by Amy Dacyczyn, author of The Tightwad Gazette,10 a price book enables you to recognize quickly the cheapest prices of your most commonly purchased items. You can create your own system (some folks prefer a small loose-leaf binder, others like index cards) but the format is similar. Each item gets its own page (or index card) with the name of the item (e.g., “Peanut Butter”) at the top. Below that on one horizontal line, record the store name, product brand name, price, quantity and unit price. (The per-ounce unit price is often printed on the price tag on the shelf—or you can figure it out yourself). Each time you find a cheaper price, record that information on a new line. Put the cards in alphabetical order to make it easy to find them while you’re shopping.


pages: 405 words: 117,219

In Our Own Image: Savior or Destroyer? The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence by George Zarkadakis

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, animal electricity, anthropic principle, Asperger Syndrome, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, British Empire, business process, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, continuous integration, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Snowden, epigenetics, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kickstarter, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, millennium bug, Moravec's paradox, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, off grid, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, post-industrial society, prediction markets, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

This was exactly the vision of a Belgian librarian called Paul Otlet (1868–1944). In 1910, Otlet envisaged the ‘Mundaneum’, the Library of Alexandria of the twentieth century.13 It would include everything – newspapers, books, pamphlets, photographs, even audio recordings. Otlet devised an indexing system that could catalogue and aid search and retrieval of this information. The system would be realised in a Universal Bibliography made up of fifteen million index cards stored in filing cabinets. To reduce the enormous size of his Bibliography, Otlet advocated the miniaturisation of documents on microfilm, and designed automated search systems to locate information – a precursor of contemporary search engines.14 All this information would be broadcast to users by radio, and stored in la Mondothèque, a workstation equipped with microfilm reader, telephone, television and record player.

Initially they offered him the Palais Mondial, a building in central Brussels, then later confined him to a corner of the building, only to finally evict him in 1924. In a sad outcome for a great vision, Otlet’s collection was mostly destroyed by the Nazis in 1940. But Otlet never lost faith in his project. It is said that in his old age he could be seen piling up jellyfish on the beach, and then placing on top an index card bearing the number 59:33: the code for Coelenterata in his Universal Decimal Classification. Paul Otlet is considered one of the visionaries of the information age, and yet his grand idea suffered from an obvious problem: what would happen to the Mundaneum if a great big bomb exploded on it? Wouldn’t that spell the catastrophic end of all human knowledge? The destruction of Otlet’s collection by the Nazis amply demonstrated the weakness of storing information centrally – exactly the kind of problem that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the United States Department of Defense was trying to solve in the late 1950s.


pages: 323 words: 111,561

Digging Up Mother: A Love Story by Doug Stanhope

call centre, index card, pre–internet, rent control, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, telemarketer

The place was a gutted apartment on the second floor over the shops on La Cienega Blvd. across from a car wash. Everyone was bedraggled, sitting at highway salvage desks, yelling into phones. I noticed the manager had a water-bong on his desk. I guess I didn’t really need to wear the suit. In fact, I probably looked like a little tiny narc at first glance. The scam was selling toner. You had a lead on an index card for a small business along with the type of copying machine and the name of the person in charge of purchasing. The pitch went like this: “Yes, Barbara? Hi, this is Doug calling on the Xerox. How’s the copier working for you?” You don’t say you are calling from Xerox. You insinuate it. “The reason for the call is we just had a price increase for the toner and developer you use for the machine.

I soon found out that generally only for the first few of the checks would they actually have the money in the bank to cover. So when pay-day came, it was a gumball rally to be first to the nearest bank to cash it. If you were too late and there were insufficient funds, then you had to endure the process of finding a check-cashing place that didn’t have this company on file as deadbeats. Those pre-Internet days where everything was done on index cards in a Rolodex were golden when it came to scamming the system. I was there for less than a month before they shut down and fled but there were plenty more in town, and if one shut down, you’d have a job at another by the end of the day. Some were really shaky, some almost felt corporate. One had it down to such a science that you could only call people with certain first names—names that were generally of young people.


pages: 523 words: 112,185

Doing Data Science: Straight Talk From the Frontline by Cathy O'Neil, Rachel Schutt

Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, Augustin-Louis Cauchy, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, bioinformatics, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, distributed generation, Edward Snowden, Emanuel Derman, fault tolerance, Filter Bubble, finite state, Firefox, game design, Google Glasses, index card, information retrieval, iterative process, John Harrison: Longitude, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Mars Rover, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, p-value, pattern recognition, performance metric, personalized medicine, pull request, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, selection bias, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, stochastic process, text mining, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize

A Data Science Profile In the class, Rachel handed out index cards and asked everyone to profile themselves (on a relative rather than absolute scale) with respect to their skill levels in the following domains: Computer science Math Statistics Machine learning Domain expertise Communication and presentation skills Data visualization As an example, Figure 1-2 shows Rachel’s data science profile. Figure 1-2. Rachel’s data science profile, which she created to illustrate trying to visualize oneself as a data scientist; she wanted students and guest lecturers to “riff” on this—to add buckets or remove skills, use a different scale or visualization method, and think about the drawbacks of self-reporting We taped the index cards to the blackboard and got to see how everyone else thought of themselves.


pages: 755 words: 121,290

Statistics hacks by Bruce Frey

Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, correlation coefficient, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, feminist movement, G4S, game design, Hacker Ethic, index card, Milgram experiment, p-value, place-making, reshoring, RFID, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Thomas Bayes

Identifying Psychic Abilities Though there is a wide range of supposed psychic abilities, ranging from reading minds to moving objects with one's mind, the traditional way to study ESP has been to use a deck of cards called Zener cards. Zener decks have 25 cards with matching backs. The face of each card displays one of five symbols: a circle, cross, square, star, or wavy lines, as shown in Figure 6-7. Figure 6-7. Zener cards If you don't have a deck of these cards handy, you can make them pretty easily with a pack of blank index cards and a black magic marker. Just make sure that no one can see right through them (unless they are psychic, in which case they can see right through you, too). Make 5 cards of each symbol for a total of 25 cards. There are a few different ways you can use a shuffled deck of Zener cards to conduct an ESP test: One person tries to guess the order of the cards by announcing each one before it is turned over.

Also, your email requests might quickly be mistaken(?) for spam and ignored. By the way, because your research interest is legitimate, you shouldn't have to worry about violating any Internet protocols. Throw a party When hosting a large party (Milgram would have loved it if you used a cocktail party, the inspiration for his original study), hand out supplies to your guests. Give them each a large index card and a pen. At the bottom of each card, list the name of a guest at the party. If guests don't know the person listed below, they should sign their name at the top of the card and hand it to someone else who they think might know the person. The process should continue, just as in the Milgram study, until the cards reach the person who is named on the bottom. That person then turns the card in.


pages: 468 words: 123,823

A People's History of Poverty in America by Stephen Pimpare

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, British Empire, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dumpster diving, East Village, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Gilder, hedonic treadmill, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, index card, Jane Jacobs, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, payday loans, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, union organizing, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Michael Gold related his version of this experience:The neighbors tried to help us, but they themselves were poor. Some well-meaning neighbor secretly mailed a post card to the Charity society, telling of our plight. One day a stranger called. He was a slim fair-haired, young Christian with a brisk hurry-up manner and a stylish collar and necktie. He placed his umbrella against the wall, and shuffled through a bunch of index cards.... This was evidently one of the brusque young men who came from the Board of Health, or the Public School, or the Christian missions, or the settlement houses. They asked many questions, and one must answer them or go to jail.... “And so your husband is out of work? Is he kind to you? Does he drink? What salary does he receive while working? Does he smoke? Has he tried to find a job recently?

She cleared her throat, and was about to give him his answers, when my father stalked in. He had been resting in the bedroom, and was half-undressed. His face was pale, he trembled with rage. He glared at the young blond question-asker, and shouted: “‘Get out of this house, mister! You have no business here. It is true we are poor, but that does not give you the right to insult us.” “I am not insulting you,” said the young investigator, blowing his nose and shuffling his index cards nervously, “I ask these questions in about fifty homes a day. It is just the regular form.” My father drew himself up proudly. “I spit on your regular form,” he said. “We don’t want any charity; we can live without it, mister.” . . . What he reported on his cards we never knew, but we were spared the indignity of any further visits by Organized Charity. Every one on the East Side hated and feared that cruel machine that helped no one without first systematically degrading him and robbing him of all human status.


pages: 726 words: 210,048

Hard Landing by Thomas Petzinger, Thomas Petzinger Jr.

airline deregulation, buy and hold, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, collective bargaining, cross-subsidies, desegregation, Donald Trump, feminist movement, index card, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Ponzi scheme, postindustrial economy, price stability, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, the medium is the message, The Predators' Ball, Thomas L Friedman, union organizing, yield management, zero-sum game

Most important, Carlson was listening to employees. After boarding a United flight, he would change into a cardigan sweater and then work the cabin of an airplane, asking pilots and flight attendants whether they were happy and what the airline could be doing better. Hearing any criticism or suggestion, he reached into his pocket for an index card and passed a note to an aide traveling with him. The card was delivered to the desk of the appropriate department head, who was required to take action and report back to the chairman. Eddie Carlson’s index cards “Ready Eddies,” people called them—became a symbol of management’s willingness to listen. In 1971 alone Carlson logged 186,366 miles on United, half of them in coach. This was, after all, a service business, so Carlson considered the views and attitudes of stewardesses of particular importance.

From its first day of operation Sabre began accumulating reels of information, the most detailed information ever compiled on the travel patterns emanating from every major city—by destination, by month, by season, by day of the week, by hour of the day—information that in the right hands would become exceedingly valuable in the industry that American sought to dominate. Those airlines that ignored the computer revolution did so at tremendous peril. One was Trans World Airlines. In 1966, four years after American was on-line with Sabre, clerks at TWA were still taking reservations by hand, on index cards. It was in that year that TWA hired a 30-year-old Bob Crandall from Hallmark Cards as its manager of credit and collections, though he would not stay in that position for long. TWA had contracted with Burroughs Corporation to develop a massive airline reservations system called George, as in, “Let George do it.” Yet even after $75 million had been spent, a staggering sum in the late 1960s, George was way behind schedule, and TWA continued lagging badly in the race to fill empty airplane seats.


pages: 137 words: 44,363

Design Is a Job by Mike Monteiro

4chan, crowdsourcing, index card, iterative process, John Gruber, Kickstarter, late fees, Steve Jobs

This book will look at ways to communicate and apply these fundamentals to every aspect of your job. The goal is to expand your view of your job as a designer to include not just your talent, but the business and communication aspects as well. I made it a short book so you can get back to work. This book does not contain a “system.” At the end of this book you will not run out to buy forty-three index cards. You will not get real. You will not add five items to your bucket list. You will not have to adjust your social media strategy, nor will you unlock a secret. You will have more confidence in yourself and a deeper understanding of your craft. Why listen to me? I’ve been running Mule Design, along with my partner Erika Hall, for almost ten years. Before that I worked at startups, in-house marketing departments, and for other studios.


Bootstrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and the Origins of Personal Computing (Writing Science) by Thierry Bardini

Apple II, augmented reality, Bill Duvall, conceptual framework, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, Grace Hopper, hiring and firing, hypertext link, index card, information retrieval, invention of hypertext, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Leonard Kleinrock, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, packet switching, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, unbiased observer, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

Thus the problem of regression of the hand already exists today at the in- dividual if not the species level. (Leroi-Gourhan, 1993 [19 6 5], 255-56) Leroi-Gourhan parallels this evolution of the hand with the dynamic of the liberation of human memory via books, punched index cards, and other "memory-collecting machines." For him, the evolution started with the op- portunities provided by books, which he compares to "hand tools." Card in- dexes, on the other hand, are comparable to "hand-operated machines," while "punched index cards represent yet another stage, comparable to that of early automatic machines" (ibid., 264). About this later stage, he wrote: A punched card index is a memory-collecting machine. It works like a brain mem- ory of unlimited capacity that is endowed with the ability not present in the hu- man braIn of correlating every recollection with all others.


pages: 436 words: 141,321

Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness by Frederic Laloux, Ken Wilber

Albert Einstein, augmented reality, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, different worldview, failed state, future of work, hiring and firing, index card, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kenneth Rogoff, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, post-industrial society, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, the market place, the scientific method, Tony Hsieh, zero-sum game

A one-off training program is often insufficient, however, in helping someone unlearn previous habits and pick up new ones. These initial training modules are therefore expanded with follow-up training and workshops that are interwoven into daily life. At FAVI, Jean-François Zobrist used to chair a one-hour session every Friday morning, open to whoever wanted to join. The topic: An in-depth look at one of FAVI’s core organizational tools. (FAVI calls them fiches, or index cards, as they are literally available in the form of index cards to employees.) These include the purpose of the organization, its values, its decision-making mechanisms, and lean manufacturing techniques. Formats used by other organizations include team coaching (to work through some upset), company retreats, purpose circles, and values days. Employees become trainers When it comes to in-house training, most of the organizations in this research stopped using external trainers.


pages: 460 words: 130,053

Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice by Bill Browder

Berlin Wall, British Empire, corporate governance, El Camino Real, Gordon Gekko, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, index card, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, transfer pricing, union organizing

He hardly looked like the crime-fighting superhero I’d been imagining. Jonathan ushered me into his office. We sat and he politely asked me to go through the whole story. He listened intently, periodically scribbling notes on an index card, not saying a word. Only when I was done did he start talking, which was when I began to see how he’d earned his reputation. “Have you been to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on this yet?” he fired at me in a low, staccato voice. “No. Should I have?” “Yes. Add them to the list.” He put a check mark next to one of the notes on his index card. “What about the House Committee on Investigations?” “No. Who are they?” I was starting to feel inadequate. “It’s a House committee that has virtually unlimited subpoena powers. Add them to the list too. What about the US Helsinki Commission?”


pages: 496 words: 137,645

Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) by David Sedaris

clean water, East Village, index card, Joan Didion, place-making, Ronald Reagan

That was the day my typewriter broke. I couldn’t work so just sat in the rocking chair and listened to him. August 6, 1996 La Bagotière Things are moving along at the house. Not only do we have water, but now there’s even a washing machine. This saves us from doing laundry in the tub, which always took forever, especially the wringing-out part. I’m continuing to put new vocabulary words on index cards. “What does that mean?” I keep asking Hugh as he’s talking to people. “How do you spell it?” He lost his patience a few hours after we arrived. In the morning we went to the small city of Flers and ran into R. and her husband, P. They’re a fit and attractive couple fifteen years older than us who feel that their friends should be equally youthful and good-looking. After she’d kissed me, R. put her hand on my stomach and pinched my cheek, saying that I am fat and pale.

The least amount of effort makes me self-righteous and I decide that everyone else should suffer just as I do. I’d probably be a monster if I ever quit smoking. August 14, 2000 La Bagotière Hugh went to Ségrie-Fontaine to see Jocelyn, who heard a rumor that I am retarded. It’s being spread by a woman in the village of Taillebois who’s seen me “looking at pictures and talking to myself.” “Il n’est pas normal,” she says. What she thinks are pictures are actually my index cards, and I’m testing myself on French vocabulary words, not having arguments with the little demons perched on my shoulders. The woman said that I’m not dangerous, which I guess is good. Apparently I’m one of those retarded people who can wander off for a few hours but still manage to find their way back home. “He always says hello,” the woman reported. “But still, he isn’t normal.” I’ve been dieting for two weeks now, and while my stomach feels a bit smaller, I seem to have lost the most amount of weight in my forehead.


pages: 624 words: 127,987

The Personal MBA: A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume by Josh Kaufman

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, business cycle, business process, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Heinemeier Hansson, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, Donald Knuth, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Santayana, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, hindsight bias, index card, inventory management, iterative process, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, loose coupling, loss aversion, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, Network effects, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, place-making, premature optimization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, side project, statistical model, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, telemarketer, the scientific method, time value of money, Toyota Production System, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, Yogi Berra

Everything on your plate is not critically important, so don’t treat everything on your task list equally. By taking a few minutes to identify a few tasks as particularly important, you’ll make it easier to focus on achieving them first. At the beginning of every day, create a list of two or three MITs, then focus on getting them done as quickly as possible. Keep this list separate from your general to-do list or task tracking system. I typically use a 3 × 5 index card or David Seah’s “Emergent Task Planner,”7 a free downloadable PDF that makes it easy to plan your day. When creating your list of MITs, it’s useful to ask a Self-Elicitation question : “What are the two or three most important things that I need to do today? What are the things that—if I got them done today—would make a huge difference?” Write only those tasks on your MIT list, then try to get them done first thing in the morning.

There’s no way I could’ve finished the manuscript in one sitting, but it was possible to write a small section of the book in less than an hour. After breaking up the book into well-defined sections, it was much easier to make progress, since each individual task was less overwhelming. To keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed, track your projects and tasks separately. Here’s what I do: I always carry around a notebook that contains a 3 × 5 index card.9 The card contains a short list of my active projects. The notebook contains my to-do list: the next actions that will move my projects forward, which I process using a system called “Autofocus,” which was created by Mark Forster.10 The system helps me use my intuition to identify what I can do right now to make progress. As long as my projects are tied to my Goals and are aligned with my preferred States of Being, it’s only a matter of time before I complete them.


The Naked Presenter: Delivering Powerful Presentations With or Without Slides by Garr Reynolds

deliberate practice, fear of failure, Hans Rosling, index card, Mahatma Gandhi, Maui Hawaii, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs

Find some space and time to be alone without the possibility of interruption. You need both a place and a set amount of time to quiet your busy mind, see things clearly, and link associations that you may have missed before. 2. Remove the distractions. Turn off your computer and unplug yourself from the grid. You’ll be amazed at your creativity and insights when you remove the sources of interruptions. 3. Go analog. Grab a sketch book, sticky notes, or index cards. Alternatively, place yourself in front of a large whiteboard. You do not need a computer—that comes later (if ever). College students prepare their presentation together by turning off the computer and sketching their ideas. Chapter 2 First Things First: Preparation 49 Wow! eBook <WoweBook.Com> 4. Identify your core point. You know your topic well, have learned about the audience, and thought about what’s in it for them.


pages: 165 words: 50,798

Intertwingled: Information Changes Everything by Peter Morville

A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, augmented reality, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, business process, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, disruptive innovation, index card, information retrieval, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Lean Startup, Lyft, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, Nelson Mandela, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, RFID, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, source of truth, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, uber lyft, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, zero-sum game

We built digital libraries for philosophy, beer, nanotechnology, and social justice. We were exhilarated by co-learning and co-creation, and deeply inspired by the potential of this global network to lift us up and bring us together. Today, it’s easy to get lost in the streams of Facebook and Netflix, but back then it was all about the bridges. In 1934, Paul Otlet envisioned a scholar’s workstation that turned millions of 3 x 5 index cards into a web of knowledge by using a new kind of relationship known as the “Link.”lxiv In 1945, Vannevar Bush imagined the memex, a machine that enabled its users to share an associative “web of trails.”lxv In the early 60s, Ted Nelson coined “hypertext” and set out to build Xanadu, a non-sequential writing system with visible, clickable, unbreakable, bi-directional hyperlinks. lxvi Figure 3-1.


pages: 162 words: 51,978

Sleepwalk With Me: And Other Painfully True Stories by Mike Birbiglia

index card, Ralph Nader, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, telemarketer, traveling salesman

Am I supposed to hit people with the microphone if they try to punch me? I’ve discovered since then that making fun of audience members is an entire genre of comedy. Comedians have entire acts that consist of pointed nuggets like, “Nice shirt, faggot!” To which the people around that gay-shirted audience member reply, “It’s so true! His shirt does suck! This guy’s a genius!” I’m standing on the sidewalk, holding a 3x5 index card with five bullet points. I’m desperately trying to figure out how I’m going to stretch this into thirty minutes. It says: “Stick Insects. Cookie Monster. A-Team. Teletubbies. Millionaire. Slash.” This was the material: Stick insects I’d hate to be a stick insect because all the other insects are always bumping into you because they don’t know you’re there, and you have to be like, “Watch it.”


pages: 469 words: 145,094

Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall - From America's Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness by Frank Brady

anti-communist, Charles Lindbergh, El Camino Real, illegal immigration, index card, long peace, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, Socratic dialogue

Spurning Abramov’s offer of an introduction to the city, Bobby asked to be brought immediately to the Tsentralny Shakhmatny Klub, the Moscow Central Chess Club, said to be one of the finest in the world. Virtually all of the strongest players in Moscow belonged to the club, which had been opened in 1956 and boasted a library reported to consist of ten thousand chess books and over one hundred thousand index cards of opening variations. Bobby simply couldn’t wait until he saw it all. Upon arriving at the club’s headquarters on Gogolsky Boulevard, Bobby was first introduced to two young Soviet masters, both in their early twenties: Evgeni Vasukov and Alexander Nikitin. He began playing speed chess in rotation with both, in a hallway on the first floor of the club, and won every game. Lev Khariton, a Soviet master, then a teenager, remembered that a crowd gathered.

“I should have played here as my sealed move,” said Spassky, moving a little plastic piece and trying to demonstrate how he might have held on to the game. “It wouldn’t have made any difference,” Bobby responded. He then showed the Russian all of the variations he’d worked out during the adjournment. Soon, grandmasters Efim Geller and Robert Byrne jumped into the fray. There was a blur of hands as the four men made moves on a chess set hardly larger than an index card. At that moment Offenbach’s “Les oiseaux dans la charmille” filtered down from the stage. But the chess players seemed not to notice. Eventually, Fischer was given his two prize checks, one from the Icelandic Chess Federation and the other from James Slater, the millionaire whose eleventh-hour financial offer had saved the match. Bobby’s winnings came to $153,240. He was also given a collector’s item, a huge leather-bound, slipcased book on the history of Iceland.


pages: 182 words: 56,961

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

Airbus A320, Atul Gawande, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, index card, John Snow's cholera map, megacity, RAND corporation, Tenerife airport disaster, US Airways Flight 1549, William Langewiesche

In the early years of flight, getting an aircraft into the air might have been nerve-racking but it was hardly complex. Using a checklist for takeoff would no more have occurred to a pilot than to a driver backing a car out of the garage. But flying this new plane was too complicated to be left to the memory of any one person, however expert. The test pilots made their list simple, brief, and to the point—short enough to fit on an index card, with step-by-step checks for takeoff, flight, landing, and taxiing. It had the kind of stuff that all pilots know to do. They check that the brakes are released, that the instruments are set, that the door and windows are closed, that the elevator controls are unlocked—dumb stuff. You wouldn’t think it would make that much difference. But with the checklist in hand, the pilots went on to fly the Model 299 a total of 1.8 million miles without one accident.


pages: 203 words: 14,242

Ship It!: A Practical Guide to Successful Software Projects by Jared R. Richardson, William A. Gwaltney

continuous integration, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Knuth, index card, MVC pattern, place-making, Ruby on Rails, web application

followed by the customer’s issue. Once it fell behind the desk, the “out of sight, out of mind” rule kicked in, and they forgot the issue. When you use an issue tracking system, you provide yourself with a safety net that Harry and Lloyd never had. Your issue tracking system is a bookkeeping detail. You need it to track what you’ve worked on, what you have and haven’t fixed, and what you plan to fix. A white board, index cards, or a spiral-bound notebook might handle your needs for a few months but not for any length of time, and these certainly don’t scale to the enterprise. How Do I Get Started? If you don’t currently have an issue tracking system, don’t wait. Don’t delay your transition until you can transfer every issue ever encountered. That’s an admirable goal, but don’t wait until you have your manual system clean before using the automated system.


pages: 184 words: 58,557

The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee by Sarah Silverman

haute couture, index card, Nelson Mandela, Saturday Night Live, Skype

Example: My friend Mark Cohen--every comic's favorite comic and the quickest mind anyone knew--grabbed a nickel from our table at the Washington Square Diner, stuck it on his forehead, and yelped, "Jewish Ash Wednesday!" Everyone laughed but me. I was upset. Cohen (Coco) rolled his eyes at me for ruining his fun, but I couldn't help it. I was hurt that he would perpetuate a stereotype like that. I know. Index card for my first joke after Jimmy Kimmel introduced me at the Hugh Hefner roast. It was the first time I remember meeting Jimmy (though he says we met once before). The truth is, from that time up to now, inside, I haven't changed. My outer shell may mutate, I may come to embrace the things that scare and upset me, but it all comes from the same place. At some point, I figured that it would be more effective and far funnier to embrace the ugliest, most terrifying things in the world--the Holocaust, racism, rape, et cetera.


pages: 187 words: 55,801

The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market by Frank Levy, Richard J. Murnane

Atul Gawande, business cycle, call centre, computer age, Computer Numeric Control, correlation does not imply causation, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deskilling, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Gunnar Myrdal, hypertext link, index card, information asymmetry, job automation, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, pattern recognition, profit motive, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, speech recognition, talking drums, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, working poor

Where does it live? What are some of its enemies? Ms. Keefe asked one student to describe an alligator so that someone who had never seen one would know what it looked like. She asked other children to add to the description. She turned to a discussion of how the children could find information in books to answer their questions, and the importance of taking notes and organizing the information on index cards. In response to a question, one boy explained the importance of “not writing word for word from the books because that would be stealing another person’s writing.” The children then worked in pairs to collect and organize information on their animal. Ms. Keefe moved around the room, talking with pairs of students about the evidence they were finding, offering suggestions about organizing the information.


pages: 203 words: 58,817

The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms by Danielle Laporte

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, David Heinemeier Hansson, delayed gratification, Frank Gehry, index card, invisible hand, Lao Tzu, pattern recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak

And when you hear that tssssst sound, and see that not only do you have all ten toes remaining, but not even a blister, you feel pretty freaking…freaked out, but in a newbie X-Men mutant euphoric kind of way. I raced home from the fire-walking workshop at midnight, under a full moon, with a note card tucked into my Levis: “I, Danielle LaPorte, walked on fire. I can do anything.” (The instructor had us write these cards; I went with it.) The idea was that anytime we felt less than heroic, we could look at that three-by-five index card stuck on our bathroom mirror, and remember that we bent matter with our minds and therefore have access to special people powers. Handy. Would I do it again? I hesitate. The evening of that fire walk seminar I asked some of the repeat walkers how the night went for them. I was really surprised to hear that some people burned their feet on what was their second or third time walking. The prevailing response: “Yeah, but I got cocky this time around.


pages: 226 words: 52,069

Bacon: A Love Story: A Salty Survey of Everybody's Favorite Meat by Heather Lauer

British Empire, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, if you build it, they will come, index card, Ronald Reagan

“Bacon recipes are everywhere, and though many overlap in major or minor ways, there are still enough to satisfy an entire life, without repetition. The Internet is, obviously, a thrillingly comprehensive sea of 82 ~ BACON: A LOVE STORY information, and the community of food bloggers and critics is an incredibly active wave within that. I consult magazines, cookbooks, organic farming brochures and catalogs, the sides of food packaging, tattered and greasy index cards buried on the bottom shelves of pantries. If someone prepares a dish I have never encountered before, I have them write the recipe out.” Bacon recipes seem to come crawling out of the woodwork in droves for an appearance on The Bacon Show. It still is hard to believe that it is so easy to find a new bacon recipe every day. But TBS seems to have no problem finding daily bacon inspiration. “I am constantly surprised at how many recipes there actually are, and how if there were ever a print volume collection of these recipes, it would require its own zoning permits.


pages: 261 words: 10,785

The Lights in the Tunnel by Martin Ford

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, Bill Joy: nanobots, Black-Scholes formula, business cycle, call centre, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, creative destruction, credit crunch, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, factory automation, full employment, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, mass immigration, Mitch Kapor, moral hazard, pattern recognition, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, Ray Kurzweil, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, technological singularity, Thomas L Friedman, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, War on Poverty

The computer then in use was a state-of-the-art mainframe machine manufactured by the Amdahl Corporation. In my first computer programming course, we were assigned the task of writing and running a program using computer punch cards.7 To do this, you first went to the university bookstore and purchased a large box of blank punch cards. These were similar to, but a little longer than, standard index cards. You then wrote your program using pencil and paper, and took your blank cards to a card punch machine at the computing center. You inserted a blank card in the machine and entered, or “keyed in,” one line from your program. As you did this, the machine punched corresponding holes in the card. You repeated this for each line in your program. If you made a mistake, you had to throw the entire card away and start over.


pages: 292 words: 62,575

97 Things Every Programmer Should Know by Kevlin Henney

A Pattern Language, active measures, business intelligence, commoditize, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, database schema, deliberate practice, domain-specific language, don't repeat yourself, Donald Knuth, fixed income, general-purpose programming language, Grace Hopper, index card, inventory management, job satisfaction, loose coupling, Silicon Valley, sorting algorithm, The Wisdom of Crowds

Hard to use incorrectly Good interfaces anticipate mistakes people might make, and make them difficult—ideally, impossible—to commit. A GUI might disable or remove commands that make no sense in the current context, for example, or an API might eliminate argument-ordering problems by allowing parameters to be passed in any order. A good way to design interfaces that are easy to use correctly is to exercise them before they exist. Mock up a GUI—possibly on a whiteboard or using index cards on a table—and play with it before any underlying code has been created. Write calls to an API before the functions have been declared. Walk through common use cases and specify how you want the interface to behave. What do you want to be able to click on? What do you want to be able to pass? Easy-to-use interfaces seem natural, because they let you do what you want to do. You're more likely to come up with such interfaces if you develop them from a user's point of view.


pages: 218 words: 61,301

War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning by Chris Hedges

anti-communist, index card, Norman Mailer, Ronald Reagan

As wars wind to a close the killers make frantic and often futile efforts to hide their crimes. They bulldoze fields where bodies are buried, as they did in Srebrenica, dynamite mine shafts where bodies were dumped, or dissolve the corpses in acid. But the industrial-scale killing of the twentieth century makes such erasure difficult. And years later there often is a dogged and methodical effort, usually by lonely dissidents, to uncover the past. These statisticians wield with index cards the fate of despots, the return of historical memory and, finally, hope. I was taken to a school in northern Iraq days after Iraqi soldiers withdrew from the region following the Gulf War. Kurdish rebels there told me that under the concrete in the schoolyard were hundreds of bodies. They vowed to smash through the concrete and dig them up. When I moved across central Bosnia with advancing Muslim troops after the NATO bombing campaign of 1995, survivors would enter villages even while the fighting was still dying down and point out burial sites.


pages: 231 words: 61,172

Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany

centre right, East Village, index card

He fought to retain it, pattern of pressure and pressure, fading as the pressure itself faded. She was going away. She was laughing like, as though, as if. He stood, losing her laughter, replaced by whirled bewilderment in the tides of his consciousness fading— V When they returned, Brass called, “Good news. We got who we wanted." "Crew's coming along," commented Calli. Rydra handed him the three index cards. "They'll report to the ship discorporate two hours before— what's wrong?" DaniI D.Appleby reached to take the cards. "I. . . she . . ." and couldn't say anything else. "Who?" Rydra asked. The concern on her face was driving away even his remaining memories, and he resented it, memories of, of. Calli laughed. "A succubus! While we were gone, he got hustled by a succubus^" "Yeah!" from Brass.


pages: 836 words: 158,284

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy Ferriss

23andMe, airport security, Albert Einstein, Black Swan, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, correlation does not imply causation, Dean Kamen, game design, Gary Taubes, index card, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, microbiome, p-value, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, placebo effect, Productivity paradox, publish or perish, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, Thorstein Veblen, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, William of Occam

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. —Bene Gesserit “Litany Against Fear,” from Frank Herbert’s Dune For most of us, the how-to books on our shelves represent a growing to-do list, not advice we’ve followed. Several of the better-known tech CEOs in San Francisco have asked me at different times for an identical favor: an index card with bullet-point instructions for losing abdominal fat. Each of them made it clear: “Just tell me exactly what to do and I’ll do it.” I gave them all of the necessary tactical advice on one 3×5 card, knowing in advance what the outcome would be. The success rate was impressive … 0%. People suck at following advice. Even the most effective people in the world are terrible at it. There are two reasons: 1.

I believe adiponectin is largely to thank for Ray’s muscle gain.17 Speculation notwithstanding, the research is in its early stages, so I’ll reserve adiponectin as an intellectual dessert for the geeks. My forays into its potential can be found in the online resources. BAT and my related torture experiments, on the other hand, are worth taking a closer look at. If the science gets too dense and you want the index card version, skip to “Ice Age Revisited—Four Places to Start” on this page. I won’t be offended. Fat-Burning Fat Not all fat is equal. There are at least two distinct types: white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT). WAT is what we usually think of as fat, like the marbling on a steak. A WAT cell—an adipocyte—is composed of a single large fat droplet with a single nucleus. BAT, in contrast, is sometimes referred to as “fat-burning fat” and appears to be derived from the same stem cells as muscle tissue.


pages: 519 words: 169,973

My Own Country: A Doctor's Story of a Town and Its People in the Age of AIDS by Abraham Verghese

index card, Mason jar, medical residency

THOUGH I WAS PRIMARILY a Mountain Home VA employee, lived on the Mountain Home campus, did my research in the laboratories at the VA, my thoughts were very much on the HIV-infected persons I had seen at the Miracle Center and at the University Physicians Group office. For several weeks now—ever since Essie Vines had brought Gordon down to the emergency room—I had been going through the motions at the VA. Patients at the VA were interesting (though somewhat predictable), my research was going well, and I had my hands full with student and resident teaching. But I couldn’t stop fingering the index cards I now carried in my breast pocket: one each for Gordon, Ed and Bobby, Fred and Otis. One for Clyde McCray with Vickie’s name penciled in on the seventh card, awaiting the results of her test. I put a date on Fred and Otis’s cards and wrote their CD4 counts next to it. I spread the cards in my hand and wondered idly, How many cards I would be carrying next week? Next year? THAT EVENING, after Steven and Rajani had gone to sleep, I called Essie to ask how Gordon was doing.

You could shop in the mall, cut your hair in Parks & Belk, pick up milk in the Piggly Wiggly, bowl at Holiday Lanes, find bawdy entertainment at the Hourglass Lounge—and never know that one of my patients was seated right next to you, or serving you, or brushing past you in the parking lot, a deadly virus in his or her body that was no threat to you, but might nevertheless cause you to stand up and scream if you knew how close it was. My problem was the opposite: I saw AIDS everywhere in the fabric of the town; I wanted to pick up a megaphone as I stood in a checkout line and say, “ATTENTION K-MART SHOPPERS: JOHNSON CITY IS A PART OF AMERICA AND, YES, WE DO HAVE AIDS HERE.” My ubiquitous stack of index cards floated in front of my face at night. I could rattle off precisely where each person was in the downhill trajectory that was the natural history of HIV infection. The integers and the units of measurement—“liters,” “cells per cubic millimeter,” “grams per deciliter”—sometimes inhabited my dreams in a peculiar “dream-work” routine, as if I was on the eve of a math exam, a Cambridge tripos, truly a nightmare for one so disinclined toward mathematics as I.


pages: 223 words: 63,484

Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality by Scott Belsky

centralized clearinghouse, index card, lone genius, market bubble, Merlin Mann, New Journalism, Results Only Work Environment, rolodex, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, Tony Hsieh, young professional

Especially amidst heavy, burdensome projects with hundreds of Action Steps and milestones, it is emotionally invigorating to surround yourself with progress. Why throw away the evidence of your achievements when you can create an inspiring monument to getting stuff done? Some teams, including the Behance team, have created “Done Walls” covered with old Action Steps. We literally gather up the records of completed tasks from projects—often notebook pages of checked-off actions and index cards with descriptions of features we’ve added—and then we decorate certain walls with these artifacts. For us, the “Done Wall” is a piece of art that reminds us of the progress we have made thus far. When we feel mired in the thick of it all, we can look up and see the wake of progress that trails behind us. One of the past “Done Walls” in the Behance office, a motivational testament to progress We all need to see incremental progress in order to feel confident in our creative journeys.


pages: 189 words: 64,571

The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means by Jeff Yeager

asset allocation, carbon footprint, delayed gratification, dumpster diving, index card, job satisfaction, late fees, mortgage debt, new economy, payday loans, Skype, upwardly mobile, Zipcar

Shopping-cart cheat sheet: I mentioned earlier that the cheapskate next door has a sixth sense when it comes to knowing how much things should cost and what in fact constitutes a “good deal.” And, man, do cheapskates know their grocery prices, continually updating and expanding that databank stored in their frontal lobes. Fellow cheapskates might ask each other “What are you paying for peanut butter?” before they even say hello. If you don’t have that sixth sense naturally, make yourself a 3×5 index card listing recent “good prices” for items you buy regularly, and use it to evaluate prices when you go grocery shopping. Batch it and forget it: Whether a stockpiler or a spontaneous chef, when we cheapskates cook, we rarely make just a single serving. Batch-cooking is the name of the game. Double, triple, or even quadruple the recipe you’re making so you can freeze some for later. Cheapskate John “Doc” Dochnahl of Ennis, Montana, cooks up the makings for his family’s favorite burritos—one gallon of pinto beans and two or three elk roasts at a time, freezing pint-sized containers of each for ready access later.


I Am Not Myself These Days: A Memoir by Josh Kilmer-Purcell

East Village, index card, young professional

I consider the latter group lazy and sloppy. CoCo selects two guys from the front row and pulls them onstage. One is excited to get his time in the spotlight. The other looks like the kind of guy who never would normally do this sort of thing, but given the parade of empty glasses on his table, he’s probably amenable to most anything at this point. Just my type. “Aqua is so slutty . . .” CoCo says, reading off an index card. “. . . How slutty is she?!” the crowd roars back on cue. “Aqua is so slutty,” CoCo continues, “the federal government has declared her bedroom a ______.” The sound guy starts up the theme song while the contestants begin thinking up their answers. I scribble my answer on 98 I Am Not Myself These Days a card. The object is to see if either contestant matches my answer. If they do, they earn a point.


pages: 245 words: 12,162

In Pursuit of the Traveling Salesman: Mathematics at the Limits of Computation by William J. Cook

complexity theory, computer age, Computer Numeric Control, four colour theorem, index card, John von Neumann, linear programming, NP-complete, P = NP, p-value, RAND corporation, Richard Feynman, traveling salesman, Turing machine

The simplicity of the tour-finding method allowed the manager of the program to easily update the tour by hand as new clients joined the system and existing clients left the system. The process runs as follows. The position of a point in the tour depends only on its relative position h on the spacefilling curve. The Georgia Tech team precomputed the value of h for a fine grid of (x, y) locations from a standard map of Atlanta. The list of active clients was stored on two sets of index cards, one sorted alphabetically and the other stored in the tour order, that is, by increasing value of h. To delete a client, his two cards are simply removed. To insert Figure 3.2 Spacefilling curve for Atlanta region. Image courtesy of John Bartholdi. The Salesman in Action a new client, the map is used to determine the (x, y) coordinates of the client’s location, the table is used to look up the corresponding value of h, and h is used to insert the client’s card into the tour order.


PostgreSQL Cookbook by Chitij Chauhan

database schema, Debian, fault tolerance, GnuPG, Google Glasses, index card

So, instead of rebuilding the index, you have to perform the following three steps: First, create an index identical to the one you wish to rebuild using the CREATE INDEX CONCURRENTLY option. Next, drop the old index. The final step is to rename the new index to the same name as the one that the old index had. The following code demonstrates the preceding steps: CREATE INDEX CONCURRENTLY card_index ON creditcard (cardno); BEGIN; DROP INDEX credit_card_idx; ALTER INDEX card_index RENAME TO credit_card_idx; COMMIT; Maintaining log files The information stored in log files can prove invaluable when diagnosing or troubleshooting problems. With the help of the information stored in the log files, you can identify the sources of the problems in the underlying database. For this very reason, it is important to preserve log files rather than discarding them. However, the information in the log files tends to be voluminous, so it important that a rotation policy be implemented in order to preserve certain log files and to discard log files that are no longer required.


pages: 208 words: 64,113

Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell

California gold rush, index card, Maui Hawaii, polynesian navigation, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Steve Jobs, trade route

(Imagine all the entries on Wikipedia being written by Steve Jobs, Doris Lessing, Garry Wills, Jay-Z, and what’s-his-name, that string-theory guy.) The entire laborious enterprise of the Encyclopédie was illumined by curiosity. Thinking about it again was a sort of homecoming for me, a return to my freshman goose bumps over Candide. I tracked down Denis Diderot’s mission statement for the encyclopedia and wrote it on a purple index card I tacked up next to my desk as a talisman: “All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone’s feelings.” Hawaiians, I discovered, take a different approach to collecting, discussing, and presenting information. One afternoon I was sitting at my desk in New York, noodling around the Internet, trying to nail down the meaning of the Hawaiian word kupuna.


pages: 207 words: 64,598

To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction by Phillip Lopate

Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, desegregation, fear of failure, index card, Jane Jacobs, Joan Didion, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Nelson Mandela, Norman Mailer, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban planning, white flight

No one commented on these devices, or perhaps even noticed them, but they helped reassure me I had put a personal stamp on this technical matter. One of the best parts about researching is that it inspires in you an obligation to finish your writing project, if only to serve faithfully the scholarly materials to which you have become so attached. It is no longer all about you, but about them too, as though they had somehow become your offspring when you weren’t watching. “Print me, Papa,” beseech those index cards, those notepads, those Post-its. The Lyric Essay Ambivalence being the essayist’s nectar, I am happy to find some immediately in taking up the subject of the lyric essay. I mistrust the lyric essay; I welcome it; I don’t know what it is. First, mistrust. Since the nonlyric or shall we say the classical essay, against which the lyric essay is being posited by way of contrast, is an amazingly fluid, shape-shifting, language-engorging form, what is ostensibly so new about the lyric essay per se?


pages: 214 words: 71,585

Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids by Meghan Daum

delayed gratification, demographic transition, Donald Trump, financial independence, happiness index / gross national happiness, index card, Joan Didion, Mason jar, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, risk tolerance, Skype, women in the workforce

But when she committed me to the psych ward, I felt exiled. And when she warned me to keep the episode secret, I felt deeply ashamed. I’ve felt, ever since, like something is wrong with me. My view of myself as fucked up comes less from the actual hospitalization than from my mother’s reaction to it. * * * I had other depressive episodes. In tenth grade, I couldn’t write my English term paper. I had stacks of index cards filled with my notes and quotes from Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles, but I couldn’t focus enough to write the essay. It was my first long paper and I wanted it to be perfect. As the deadline approached, I panicked. I couldn’t sleep. I stayed up all night watching black-and-white reruns on Nick at Nite. I watched Leave It to Beaver and The Donna Reed Show and other innocent programs from my parents’ childhood.


pages: 237 words: 64,411

Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Jerry Kaplan

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, bank run, bitcoin, Bob Noyce, Brian Krebs, business cycle, buy low sell high, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, Flash crash, Gini coefficient, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, haute couture, hiring and firing, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, information asymmetry, invention of agriculture, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Loebner Prize, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage debt, natural language processing, Own Your Own Home, pattern recognition, Satoshi Nakamoto, school choice, Schrödinger's Cat, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Fanya Montalvo suggested the idea of “My Mart” offering discounts on stock purchases instead of the usual checkout coupons. I would also like to acknowledge that the title for this book is not original—it is borrowed from an outstanding short video of the same name by the famously reclusive C. G. P. Grey. I’m a big fan. Check out his work on YouTube. Last but not least, thanks to my amazing wife, Michelle Petti-grew-Kaplan, for permitting me to jot down ideas on index cards during what might otherwise be construed as romantic moments. Let’s hope she doesn’t read the personal portions of this manuscript until it’s too late to make changes. Oops, forgot to mention the kids—Chelsea, Jordan, Lily, and Cami—hi, guys, guess what? I finished the book! Notes INTRODUCTION 1. Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2013). 2. For instance, they may execute a “short squeeze” by bidding up a stock that investors have sold short, forcing them to close out their positions at ever-higher prices to contain their losses. 3.


pages: 232 words: 66,229

Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland

Berlin Wall, index card, Maui Hawaii, Silicon Valley, telemarketer

“So you guys could have been doing anything in there-not that you were-but imagine what it looked like.” Truth was, Jason and I were doing everything in there that weekend, but I have to admit that for a moment or two I enjoyed watching Lauren squirm at my nonresponse. In any event, I was far too preoccupied to have any sort of conversation. I told Lauren I had to go to my homeroom and sequence some index cards for an oral presentation later that afternoon on early Canadian fur trappers, and I left. In homeroom I sat at my desk and wrote over and over on my pale blue binder the words GOD IS NOWHERE/GOD IS NOW HERE/GOD IS NOWHERE/GOD IS NOW HERE. When this binder with these words was found, caked in my evaporating blood, people made a big fuss about it, and when my body is shortly lowered down into the planet, these same words will be felt-penned all over the surface of my white coffin.


pages: 508 words: 192,524

The autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X; Alex Haley

desegregation, index card, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, rent control, Rosa Parks, transatlantic slave trade

He would bristle when I tried to urge him that the proposed book was _his_ life. I was thinking that I might have to advise the publisher that I simply couldn't seem to get through to my subject when the first note of hope occurred. I had noticed that while Malcolm X was talking, heoften simultaneously scribbled with his red-ink ball-point pen on any handy paper. Sometimes it was the margin of a newspaper he brought in, sometimes it was on index cards that he carried in the back of a small, red-backed appointment book. I began leaving two white paper napkins by him every time I served him more coffee, and the ruse worked when he sometimes scribbled on the napkins, which I retrieved when he left. Some examples are these: “Here lies a YM, killed by a BM, fighting for the WM, who killed all the RM.” (Decoding that wasn't difficult, knowing Malcolm X.

They were mostly older people, and many of them couldn't even pronounce Mr. Muhammad's name, and he stayed mostly in the background.” Malcolm X worked hard not to show it, but he was upset. “There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action. Goethe,” he scribbled one day. He hinted about Cassius Clay a couple of times, and when I responded only with anecdotes about my interview with Clay, he finally asked what Clay had said of him. I dug out the index card on which the question was typed in advance and Clay's response was beneath in longhand. Malcolm X stared at the card, then out of the window, and he got up and walked around; one of the few times I ever heard his voice betray his hurt was when he said, “I felt like a blood big-brother to him.” He paused. “I'm not against him now. He's a fine young man. Smart. He's just let himself be used, led astray.”


pages: 614 words: 174,633

Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece by Michael Benson

Alistair Cooke, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, British Empire, en.wikipedia.org, haute couture, index card, Internet Archive, low earth orbit, Marshall McLuhan, mutually assured destruction, RAND corporation, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Kept waiting one afternoon due to an alleged problem with a piece of recording equipment, Kubrick took in the mumbo-jumbo technical explanation offered by Derek Cracknell, digested it, waited a few more minutes, and then said, “The next time the sound mixer’s late back from lunch, just tell me.” Regularly stopping assistants such as Ivor Powell in the hallway, the director would pull out a set of index cards and ask for status updates as he shuffled rapidly through them, plowing through innumerable bullet points covering various aspects of the production. Powell quickly learned that if he didn’t know something, he should say so rather than risk bluffing. When Kubrick asked for a technical explanation, he homed in mercilessly on fuzzy thinking or partial accounting by people who should know better.

Depending on the nature of the backing artwork, those changing patterns could manifest kinetic striations (for example, Scientific American diagrams that had been enlarged and colorized), or morphing, organic undulations (colorful reproductions of op art paintings), or spidery, strobing, jagged-edged abstractions (electron microscope images of plant stems or insect mandibles). Some image categories were chosen by Kubrick himself, as attested by a surviving set of index cards dating to April 1967 and filled with his scribbled notes (“Doug—also use op-art and electron art”). Trumbull’s core innovation was to introduce that hurtling y-axis camera motion—an idea that Whitney hadn’t explored. It gave his slit scan footage its visceral sense of transport; the viewer was seemingly vaulted down scintillating corridors of cosmic space and time. It’s what “elevated the effect from a two-dimensional novelty to a three-dimensional jaw-dropper,” as Shay and Duncan put it


pages: 265 words: 74,000

The Numerati by Stephen Baker

Berlin Wall, Black Swan, business process, call centre, correlation does not imply causation, Drosophila, full employment, illegal immigration, index card, Isaac Newton, job automation, job satisfaction, McMansion, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, PageRank, personalized medicine, recommendation engine, RFID, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

It's not easy, but they can find us there. The only folks who can make sense of the data we create are crack mathematicians, computer scientists, and engineers. They know how to turn the bits of our lives into symbols. Why is this necessary? Imagine that you wanted to keep track of everything you ate for a year. If you're like I was in the fourth grade, you go to the stationery store and buy a fat stack of index cards. Then, at every meal you write the different foods on fresh cards. Meat loaf. Spinach. Tapioca pudding. Cheerios. After a few days, you have a growing pile of cards. The problem is, there's no way to count or analyze them. They're just a bunch of words. These are symbols too, of course, each one representing a thing or a concept. But they are near impossible to add or subtract, or to drop into a graph illustrating a trend.


pages: 279 words: 75,527

Collider by Paul Halpern

Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, dark matter, Ernest Rutherford, Gary Taubes, gravity well, horn antenna, index card, Isaac Newton, Magellanic Cloud, pattern recognition, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Solar eclipse in 1919, statistical model, Stephen Hawking

At the end he remarks that although he finds such research hard to comprehend, he appreciates the spirit behind it, which “reminds [him] of what it must have been like to explore the West.”2 Apparently the SSC advocates’ arguments were persuasive, because Reagan was deeply impressed. Members of his cabinet, concerned about the fallout from the project’s asteroidlike impact on the budget, ardently tried to intercept it. With all of their strategic defenses, however, they could not shoot it down. At Reagan’s January 1987 announcement that he would support the SSC, he took out an index card and recited the credo of writer Jack London: I would rather be ashes than dust, I would rather my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze, Than it should be stifled in dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, With every atom of me in magnificent glow, Than a sleepy and permanent planet.3 After reading the credo, Reagan mentioned that football player Ken Stabler, known for coming from behind for victory, was once asked to explain what it meant.


pages: 265 words: 74,807

Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy by David A. Mindell

Air France Flight 447, autonomous vehicles, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, Chris Urmson, digital map, disruptive innovation, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fudge factor, index card, John Markoff, low earth orbit, Mars Rover, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, telepresence, telerobotics, trade route, US Airways Flight 1549, William Langewiesche, zero-sum game

Big Safari developed the prototype into a fieldable system quickly and relatively cheaply, but it took years for Predator to be properly integrated into the air force’s acquisitions and logistics systems. The clunky flight manual for Predator was more than 1,500 pages long, and still left out critical information. The standard checklist, designed to sit on a pilot’s knee, comprised 198 pages of index cards. To fly the Predator, the air force needed a source of pilots. In 1995 the service reactivated a dormant group, the 11th Reconnaissance Squadron (which had operated drones in Vietnam and into the 1970s), to fly the Predator. It was led by a rated pilot—“rated” being the air force lingo for qualified aircrew, whether pilots or other specialties like navigators. Ironically, the 11th was based at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, home of the air force’s equivalent of the navy’s famous “Top Gun” school.


Raw Data Is an Oxymoron by Lisa Gitelman

23andMe, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Filter Bubble, Firefox, fixed income, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, index card, informal economy, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, knowledge worker, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, longitudinal study, Louis Daguerre, Menlo Park, optical character recognition, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, peer-to-peer, RFID, Richard Thaler, Silicon Valley, social graph, software studies, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, text mining, time value of money, trade route, Turing machine, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

Arno Schmidt, “Der Platz, an dem ich schreibe,” in Essays und Aufsätze 2, vol. 3, 4 of Bargfelder Ausgabe (Zurich: Haffmans Verlag, 1995), 28–31, at 28. 17. See Victor Vogt, Die Kartei. Ihre Anlage und Führung, vol. 5 of Orga-Schriften, 2nd ed. (Berlin: Organisation Verlagsanstalt, 1922), 7f.: “A limp box is quickly worn out, it quickly becomes unsightly and then no longer allows the rapid and secure browsing which is the prime requirement for convenient card index management. . . . With index cards, which are often in daily use for years, the cheapest is always the best.” 18. See Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V. (DIN), Publikation und Dokumentation 2. Erschließung von Dokumenten, Informationsverarbeitung, Reprographie, Bibliotheksverwaltung, Normen, vol. 154 of DIN-Taschenbuch, 2nd ed. (Berlin, Köln: Beuth, 1984), 64f. 19. Wolfgang Hagen, Warum haben Sie keinen Fernseher, Herr Luhmann?


Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone by Mark Goulston M. D., Keith Ferrazzi

hiring and firing, index card, Jeff Bezos, Leonard Kleinrock, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, zero-sum game

If you don’t move quickly beyond these knee-jerk responses, you’ll set yourself up for future failure by convincing yourself either that (a) you’re an idiot who’ll keep screwing up or (b) the people around you are idiots who make you screw up and there’s nothing you can do about it. Instead of laying the groundwork for your next disaster, do something different the next time you make a mistake. Take out an index card, write down the following words, and fill in the blanks with your answers: This is a powerful approach because you’re not wallowing in self-blame or deflecting responsibility onto someone else—two traps that allow you to avoid looking honestly at what really happened and why. Instead, you’re reframing your experience in a way that leads to positive action. When you do this exercise, be sure to fill in that last blank by selecting a mentor who’ll keep you honest.


pages: 267 words: 71,941

How to Predict the Unpredictable by William Poundstone

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Bernie Madoff, Brownian motion, business cycle, butter production in bangladesh, buy and hold, buy low sell high, call centre, centre right, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Edward Thorp, Firefox, fixed income, forensic accounting, high net worth, index card, index fund, John von Neumann, market bubble, money market fund, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rubik’s Cube, statistical model, Steven Pinker, transaction costs

If you fear that, add a few more unpopular numbers to the mix. Ziemba’s group found that these numbers were also under-chosen: 1, 28, 34, 37, 45, 46, and 47. Here is a reasonable plan for achieving favorable bets in lotteries. You’ll be using up to eleven unpopular numbers, shown above. 1. First, select six numbers from this set at random. A low-tech way to do that is to write the numbers on index cards, shuffle them, and draw numbers. It should be clear by now that shuffling is preferred to a mental “random” pick. For Lotto, you’d use only the twelve numbers in the first two rows. Draw six numbers (without replacement) from the shuffled deck of twelve. For the main EuroMillions picks, you add fifty to the available numbers, drawing five. Pick 10 as one of the Lucky Star numbers and whatever you want for the second—as long as it’s not 7. 2.


pages: 238 words: 75,994

A Burglar's Guide to the City by Geoff Manaugh

A. Roger Ekirch, big-box store, card file, dark matter, game design, index card, megacity, megastructure, Minecraft, off grid, Rubik’s Cube, Skype, smart cities, statistical model, the built environment, urban planning

In a short essay called “Every Move Will Be Recorded,” historian Grégoire Chamayou recounts a hypothetical system of urban surveillance devised by an eighteenth-century police officer named Jacques François Guillauté. In a book about police reform written for King Louis XV of France, Guillauté proposed thoroughly and rigorously updating the Parisian address system. This would require a behemoth piece of machinery that operated a bit like an oversize index-card file—or what Chamayou describes as a “huge archiving machine linked to a map in a central room”—and some arithmetical cartography. “Paris was to be divided into distinct districts,” Chamayou writes, “each receiving a letter, and each being subdivided into smaller sub-districts. In each sub-district each street had accordingly to receive a specific name. On each street, each house had to receive a number, engraved on the front of the house—which was not the case at the time.


pages: 257 words: 80,100

Time Travel: A History by James Gleick

Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Arthur Eddington, augmented reality, butterfly effect, crowdsourcing, Doomsday Book, index card, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, luminiferous ether, Marshall McLuhan, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, wikimedia commons

Now, and for centuries to come, anarchy prevailed. This far-future cosmic archeological perspective frames the nearer-future narrative, which we are meant to understand was written in the last days of papyr. The narrator himself seems to be a bewildered civilian navigating a paranoid military bureaucracy. We readers, knowing what we know about the sad fate in store for the written word, may smile grimly as clerks stamp index cards “classified,” documents tumble from mail chutes, envelopes shoot through pneumatic tubes, dog-eared folders vanish into metal safes, and paper tape snakes from computers. Of course, we recognize our own world, too. Rambling deeper and deeper into the labyrinth, the narrator stumbles upon a room full of books: “gray, crumbling” books on dusty, sagging shelves. It is the Library. A balding, shuffling, bespectacled, cross-eyed old man seems to be in charge.


pages: 219 words: 73,623

You'll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein

Airbnb, index card, pre–internet, Saturday Night Live

It felt like the death of a friend whom you haven’t spoken with in a long time, but who always feels close. I never got to meet Joan Rivers, but I adored her. I adored her because she was such a badass, and because she was a woman in comedy before there were enough women in comedy for anyone to bother counting them. I adored her because once you see A Piece of Work, the documentary about her life, it’s pretty much impossible not to love her. You see her filing her jokes on index cards in an enormous metal cabinet that spans a hallway of her hard-earned Upper East Side Versailles-style mansion and you think, I need to work harder, because this seventy-something lady is lapping me by the minute. I saw her perform live once, about eight years ago, when I was living in Los Angeles. She was a force. Dressed in black pants and a black tunic and some blingy scarf/boa accessory, she was onstage at least ninety minutes, if not more.


pages: 260 words: 77,007

Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google?: Trick Questions, Zen-Like Riddles, Insanely Difficult Puzzles, and Other Devious Interviewing Techniques You ... Know to Get a Job Anywhere in the New Economy by William Poundstone

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, cloud computing, creative destruction, en.wikipedia.org, full text search, hiring and firing, index card, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, lateral thinking, loss aversion, mental accounting, new economy, Paul Erdős, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Feynman, rolodex, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, The Spirit Level, Tony Hsieh, why are manhole covers round?, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

The smart interviewee is led to wonder whether there’s any way to explain RSA to Bob, as part of a message that could fit on the back of a business card. This is something like telling your grandmother how to build an iPad so clearly that she could make one. It can be done! It’s possible to explain a bare-bones implementation of RSA to a naive Bob who doesn’t know how to code. (I give the whole explanation in the “Answers” section.) A lean version of the instructions will fit on a three-by-five-inch index card, even a business card if you’ve got microscopic handwriting. The candidate who succeeds in drafting his RSA message to Bob will feel he’s knocked the ball out of the park. Not so fast. He’s just given the “Microsoft answer.” Eve or no Eve, Bob is sure to balk at following complicated instructions just for the mundane task of confirming a phone number. Google interviewers expect engineers to know RSA, of course, but they’re especially impressed by those who come up with a simpler, more practical answer.


pages: 242 words: 73,137

Running the Dream: One Summer Living, Training, and Racing With a Team of World-Class Runners Half My Age by Matt Fitzgerald

fear of failure, index card, Tacoma Narrows Bridge

And I’ll bet that same amount that there are plenty of you who’ve done this only to become frustrated because you’re not hitting the times in practice that some chart says you should be hitting if you want to run that particular time. Am I right?” Suddenly my mind flew back to last year’s bonfire. On that occasion, Steph asked each camper to write down three goals—a modest “C” goal, a more ambitious “B” goal, and an audacious “A” goal—on an index card and share them with the group. Unable to run at the time, I told my fellow campers that my “C” goal was to find a way to still race the Chicago Marathon in seven weeks. My “B” goal was, as I put it, “to run my fastest marathon since my fastest marathon,” which meant beating the time of 2:49:14 I’d run in Eugene in May. And my “A” goal was “to achieve something on the streets of Chicago that makes everyone here believe they can achieve their ‘A’ goal.”


pages: 312 words: 78,053

Generation A by Douglas Coupland

Burning Man, call centre, Drosophila, hive mind, index card, Live Aid, Magellanic Cloud, McJob, new economy, post-work, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Stephen Hawking

Zack was a happy camper. Uncle Jay’s threat to cut off the money tap came to nothing. If you’re hot, people pay you shitloads to do TV and webcasts—he’d forgotten that. Also, one of my groupies, Rachel, had a capitalist edge and set up a killer commerce site selling Zack merchandise. Specifically, she would extract blood, mix it with vodka (a bit of alcohol helps, for some reason) and then quickly dip half an index card into the liquid. Once the cards dried, I autographed them. Two grand a pop; easiest money I ever made. Aside from my harem, another feature of those first golden weeks was visiting scientists who weren’t expecting to find a Playboy Mansion lifestyle deep within the armpit of Mahaska County. We’d be talking earnestly about my pre-sting diet, my pesticide usage or my ancestry, and a girl would come walking in wearing a thong and my old varsity jacket.


pages: 786 words: 195,810

NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman

Albert Einstein, animal electricity, Asperger Syndrome, assortative mating, crowdsourcing, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental subject, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mother of all demos, neurotypical, New Journalism, pattern recognition, placebo effect, scientific mainstream, side project, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, twin studies, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War

Meanwhile, the counterculture of the Bay Area was also evolving, though technologically it was still stuck in the precomputer era, depending on classified ads in underground newspapers, bulletin boards, telephone switchboards, and the post office for community organizing. It disturbed Felsenstein that valuable information was perpetually getting lost: if someone compiled a list of essential names or a box of helpful index cards and then went off to India to find a guru, the data he or she had accumulated tended to go astray. It occurred to him that computer networks could perform many of the functions of personal filing systems but much faster and better—and they didn’t forget anything. Felsenstein was also fascinated by social critic Ivan Illich’s notion of promoting the use of tools that would facilitate “conviviality”—one of many aspects of social interaction that Felsenstein had always found difficult and confusing.

Because it was widely believed that autistic children were incapable of learning—a misconception largely caused by their being warehoused in institutions for the “feebleminded,” where education was not on the agenda—Rimland assumed that his experimental treatment was responsible for Mark’s improvement: “We think it is mostly due to Deaner,” he informed Kanner. He even canceled plans to bring Mark to Minneapolis for an evaluation by Kanner, “since Mark’s taking of Deaner has resulted in such striking improvement that additional diagnosis of autism might be difficult.” — AFTER FIVE YEARS OF RESEARCH, Rimland had filled enough notebooks and index cards to open a medical library himself. He began compiling his observations into a monograph that he planned to call “Kanner’s Syndrome of Apparent Autism.” As the paper got longer and longer, he started mimeographing it and sending it out to experienced researchers in the field for comments and criticism. He was well aware that he was venturing beyond his realm of expertise. Rimland was beginning to find his day job with the Navy—supplemented by teaching courses on abnormal psychology at local colleges—a bit dull by comparison.


pages: 398 words: 86,023

The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia by Andrew Lih

Albert Einstein, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, c2.com, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, crowdsourcing, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, index card, Jane Jacobs, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, Marshall McLuhan, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, optical character recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Stallman, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, wikimedia commons, Y2K

Beck had left to work for Apple Computer and happened to be in Oregon on a visit, and gave his old friend Ward something to see. “Kent Beck showed me HyperCard, which he first got his hands on after joining Apple. It was called WildCard then. I was blown away.”14 In HyperCard, Cunningham saw a tool that could help him with his knowledge-sharing project. “I wanted something kind of irregular, something that 48_The_Wikipedia_Revolution didn’t fit in rows and columns.” HyperCard used the idea of a “stack” of virtual index cards, in which the user could easily create new cards, create links between them, and place content on them. Putting a picture, sound, or video onto a card was as easy as inserting it and dragging it around on the screen. You could also put virtual buttons on cards that could respond to clicks and other commands. The brainchild of Apple programmer Bill Atkinson, HyperCard was originally given away for free in 1987 and became incredibly popular with seasoned computer programmers, novice users, and educational institutions.


pages: 300 words: 79,315

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

Albert Einstein, asset allocation, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, Everything should be made as simple as possible, George Santayana, index card, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex

Or you’re watching the evening news when you suddenly remember another key person you might want to include in the advisory council you’re putting together. If these aren’t specifically next actions that can go directly on your action lists, you’ll still need to capture and organize them somewhere that makes sense. Of course the most critical tools for ensuring that nothing gets lost is your collection system—your in-basket, pad, and paper (or equivalents) at work and at home, and in a portable version (an index card) while you’re out and about. You need to hold all your ideas until you later decide what to do with them. Tools and Structures That Support Project Thinking No matter at what level project ideas show up, it’s great to have good tools always close at hand for capturing them as they occur. Once they’ve been captured, it’s useful to have access to them whenever you need to refer to them. Thinking Tools One of the great secrets to getting ideas and increasing your productivity is utilizing the function-follows-form phenomenon—great tools can trigger good thinking.


pages: 261 words: 86,261

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman by Richard P. Feynman, Jeffrey Robbins

Albert Einstein, Brownian motion, impulse control, index card, John von Neumann, Murray Gell-Mann, pattern recognition, Pepto Bismol, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, scientific worldview, the scientific method

In this particular case, we worked out all the numerical steps that we were supposed to, that the machines were supposed to do, multiply this, and then do this, and subtract that. And then we worked out the program, but we didn’t have any machine to test it on. So what we did, I arranged, was a room with girls in it, each one had a Marchant. But she was the multiplier and she was the adder, and this one cubed, and so we had cards, index cards, and all she did was cube this number and send it to the next one. She was imitating the multiplier, the next one was imitating the adder; we went through our cycle, we got all the bugs out. Well, we did it that way. And it turned out that the speed at which we were able to do it–we’d never done mass production calculating and everybody who’d ever calculated before, every single person, did all the steps.


pages: 264 words: 79,589

Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground by Kevin Poulsen

Apple II, Brian Krebs, Burning Man, corporate governance, dumpster diving, Exxon Valdez, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, index card, Kickstarter, McMansion, Mercator projection, offshore financial centre, packet switching, pirate software, Ponzi scheme, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, traffic fines, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day, Zipcar

In her purse, Watts found several utility bills for an address in Capistrano Beach, all in different names. Clara reluctantly admitted she lived there; her face fell when Watts told her it was his next stop. With Clara’s house keys and a new search warrant in hand, the detectives arrived at the Aragon home and began their search. In Chris’s home office, they found an unlocked safe in the closet. Inside were two plastic index-card cases crammed with counterfeit cards. There were more cards in the bedroom, bundled in rubber bands and stashed in the night table. An MSR206 rested on a shelf in the family room, and in the connecting garage, a box of purses sat on the floor next to the fitness machine. Aside from the dining room and bathrooms, the only space in the house clean of evidence was the boys’ comfortable bedroom.


The Ledge: An Adventure Story of Friendship and Survival on Mount Rainier by Jim Davidson, Kevin Vaughan

Columbine, index card

Though scores of big and beautiful peaks populate the Pacific Northwest, locals refer to Rainier simply as The Mountain. WE PULL INTO the White River Ranger Station, just about eight miles northeast of Rainier’s summit. It’s Wednesday afternoon, June 17. Seeing the rustic building among the giant conifers triggers my memories of having been here nine Junes before. Mike and I check with the rangers about the conditions on the mountain, the weather forecast, and recent climbs. We fill out little index cards, listing our names and addresses, the route we plan to take, and emergency contact information for our families. I jot down Gloria’s name and our home number. My unmarried wanderlust friend lists his parents in Oklahoma. An hour later, in the White River Campground, we dump out all our gear, talking about what to take and what to leave—a blending of risk assessment and climbing confidence and gut instinct.


pages: 266 words: 87,411

The Slow Fix: Solve Problems, Work Smarter, and Live Better in a World Addicted to Speed by Carl Honore

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Broken windows theory, call centre, Checklist Manifesto, clean water, clockwatching, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dava Sobel, delayed gratification, drone strike, Enrique Peñalosa, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Exxon Valdez, fundamental attribution error, game design, income inequality, index card, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, lateral thinking, lone genius, medical malpractice, microcredit, Netflix Prize, planetary scale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, ultimatum game, urban renewal, War on Poverty

Everyone uses first names, and the atmosphere is relaxed though expectant. The gymnasium is a reminder that this is an Assembly convened for the people by the people. Posters warn pupils not to smoke, litter or rollerblade. A disco ball hangs from the rafters above, ready for the next dance night. Through the wall you can hear squeaking trainers and the yelps of children playing basketball. Jugs of water and stacks of yellow index cards for taking notes sit on tables around the gymnasium. My place is on Table K along with a software engineer, an unemployed labourer, a chartered auditor, a trainee architect, a music student, a marketing manager, an interior designer and Katrin Jakobsdottir, the young minister for Education, Science and Culture. After introductions, Sigrun, our moderator, asks us to list Iceland’s unique selling points (USPs).


pages: 275 words: 84,980

Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin: From Money That We Understand to Money That Understands Us (Perspectives) by David Birch

agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, business cycle, capital controls, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, creative destruction, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double entry bookkeeping, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial exclusion, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, index card, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Irish bank strikes, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, large denomination, M-Pesa, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, Northern Rock, Pingit, prediction markets, price stability, QR code, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Real Time Gross Settlement, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, social graph, special drawing rights, technoutopianism, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, wage slave, Washington Consensus, wikimedia commons

Yes, social media includes a variety of incredible new technologies and yes we can use them for all sorts of exciting new purposes, but it is what they are doing to identity that will be disruptive in business, commerce and government. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr and the rest are already demonstrating just how our identity paradigm is changing. Identity is becoming a concept built on networks, rather than index cards in a filing cabinet. We already use these social networking identities, albeit in primitive ways, to log in and browse around on the web. We could find ourselves using them for ‘serious’ business soon. Why shouldn’t I be able to log in to the Benefits Agency using my Facebook identity? This might be very convenient for me and it might also be very convenient for the Benefits Agency, but right now the Benefits Agency couldn’t really be sure it was me because it has no way of identifying the ‘legal me’ online, and neither has Facebook.


pages: 412 words: 86,780

The Big Book of Backyard Cooking: 250 Favorite Recipes for Enjoying the Great Outdoors by Betty Rosbottom

index card

If you want the sauce to be more spicy, add ½ to 1 teaspoon additional drained horseradish sauce. Transfer mixture to a small serving bowl and cover and refrigerate for up to 3 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 10 minutes before serving and sprinkle with remaining chives. DEEP SOUTH BARBECUE SAUCE This barbecue sauce is an old family recipe that I discovered by accident when sorting through a stack of old folders in the back of a filing cabinet. There on a tattered and yellowed index card I found directions handwritten by my late father-in-law (who grew up in western Louisiana, near the Texas border) for the celebrated barbecue sauce he slathered on his ribs. This sauce, which is slightly tart and has no smokiness, is different from most commercial ones, which are sweet with smokey undertones. It’s delicious on ribs (page 110) or mixed with chopped beef for burgers (page 40). MAKES ABOUT 1½ CUPS 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter ¾ cup chopped yellow onion 5 medium cloves garlic, chopped 1 cup cider vinegar ½ cup chili sauce ½ cup ketchup 1 tablespoon light brown sugar 1 teaspoon dry mustard, preferably Coleman’s 1½ teaspoons salt ½ teaspoon black pepper ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder 1 lemon Melt butter in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat.


pages: 304 words: 82,395

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Kenneth Cukier

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Black Swan, book scanning, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, dark matter, double entry bookkeeping, Eratosthenes, Erik Brynjolfsson, game design, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, lifelogging, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, obamacare, optical character recognition, PageRank, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, post-materialism, random walk, recommendation engine, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

We explore the dark side of big data in the next chapter. 8 RISKS FOR ALMOST FORTY YEARS, until the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, the East German state security agency known as the Stasi spied on millions of people. Employing around a hundred thousand full-time staff, the Stasi watched from cars and streets. It opened letters and peeked into bank accounts, bugged apartments and wiretapped phone lines. And it induced lovers and couples, parents and children, to spy on each other, betraying the most basic trust humans have in each other. The resulting files—including at least 39 million index cards and 70 miles of documents—recorded and detailed the most intimate aspects of the lives of ordinary people. East Germany was one of the most comprehensive surveillance states ever seen. Twenty years after East Germany’s demise, more data is being collected and stored about each one of us than ever before. We’re under constant surveillance: when we use our credit cards to pay, our cellphones to communicate, or our Social Security numbers to identify ourselves.


pages: 227 words: 81,467

How to Be Champion: My Autobiography by Sarah Millican

Albert Einstein, call centre, Downton Abbey, index card, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Nelson Mandela, Nick Leeson

Kate had created a very safe space where no one would be anything other than supportive. Poets are, in my experience, a smashing bunch. Gentle, generous, interested. It was a great environment to be myself in. My new self. And we did a show that night – God knows how. To a lovely, receptive crowd, I read my monologue aloud. The paper I held shook with the aftershock of my crazy heartbeat. That’s why if you see me do new material now, I read it from a notebook or index cards. Books and cardboard do not shake like paper does. Luckily I stopped there and didn’t end up with a plank of wood or a brick with my notes scrawled on. I read the monologue and parts of it were brutal, and parts, it turns out, were hilarious. I went into the ladies’ loos after my set and jumped up and down in a cubicle. I’d done a thing I was terrified of and it felt amazing. What was so terrifying about standing in front of a roomful of people and telling them about your personal horror?


How to Write Like Tolstoy: A Journey Into the Minds of Our Greatest Writers by Richard Cohen

Anton Chekhov, Bonfire of the Vanities, colonial rule, Honoré de Balzac, index card, Joan Didion, non-fiction novel, Norman Mailer, Ronald Reagan, University of East Anglia

It was written as a rebuttal to “Fiction as One of the Fine Arts,” a lecture given by Sir Walter Besant, in which Besant argued that plot is more important than characterization. “the characters have been required”: E. M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel, pp. 126–27. How does one get the emotional and narrative arcs to mesh? Peter Dunne, in his book Emotional Structure: Creating the Story Beneath the Plot, recommends that you write the headline of a scene on an index card and jot a few notes about the action, being careful to hit only the high points. Turn the card over and write a headline for the emotional content of this scene and jot a few notes about how the emotions change. Turning the card over in this way forces you to consider what your character would really feel in this situation, and connects the inner and outer conflict in a simple yet powerful way.


pages: 372 words: 96,474

Dishwasher: One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States (P.S.) by Pete Jordan

big-box store, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, Haight Ashbury, index card, Kickstarter, Mason jar, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, wage slave

There I was, looking like a damn clown in my kelly-green outfit. Then some girl whined to me, “The nonfat milk is warm.” A Three-Day Soaker 41 This was no way to land a dish job—a job where I could wear my own grubby clothes and avoid the gabby customers. At 7:05 a.m., I grabbed my shirt and escaped with a vow to never again wear company garb. A couple days later, I studied dozens of three-by-five-inch index cards on the campus ride board. One read: “Two guys driving up to Alaska looking for a third person to help share the cost of gas.” I called them and was told they were heading up to find work in the oil spill cleanup. It was April 1989. A few weeks before, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez had struck a reef and dumped at least ten million gallons of crude oil into the Prince William Sound. It sounded intriguing, so I bought a fifteen-dollar tent and left with Jack and Ali a couple days later.


pages: 509 words: 92,141

The Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew Hunt, Dave Thomas

A Pattern Language, Broken windows theory, business process, buy low sell high, c2.com, combinatorial explosion, continuous integration, database schema, domain-specific language, don't repeat yourself, Donald Knuth, general-purpose programming language, George Santayana, Grace Hopper, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, index card, lateral thinking, loose coupling, Menlo Park, MVC pattern, premature optimization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, revision control, Schrödinger's Cat, slashdot, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, traveling salesman, urban decay, Y2K

Using this approach, you can rapidly assemble existing components into new configurations to see how things work. Prototyping Architecture Many prototypes are constructed to model the entire system under consideration. As opposed to tracer bullets, none of the individual modules in the prototype system need to be particularly functional. In fact, you may not even need to code in order to prototype architecture—you can prototype on a whiteboard, with Post-it notes or index cards. What you are looking for is how the system hangs together as a whole, again deferring details. Here are some specific areas you may want to look for in the architectural prototype: Are the responsibilities of the major components well defined and appropriate? Are the collaborations between major components well defined? Is coupling minimized? Can you identify potential sources of duplication?


pages: 263 words: 20,730

Exploring Python by Timothy Budd

c2.com, centre right, general-purpose programming language, Guido van Rossum, index card, random walk, sorting algorithm, web application

The nouns define (as a first approximation) the entities in the community that make up your application. Match each action (verb) with an agent (noun). That is, match each what with a who. A useful tool in this process is the CRC card. The letters in the name stand for Class, Responsibility, and Collaborators. We will explain only the first two of these. For each agent (noun) write the name of the agent on an index card. Below this write a short English language description of the responsibilities of this agent. A collection of scenarios and CRC cards is a good starting place for the process of designing a new application. Walk through the scenarios, and for each action (verb) make sure you have identified an agent (represented by a CRC card) responsible for performing the action. Exploring Python – Chapter 9: Object-Oriented Programming 8 Once you are satisfied that you have captured all the actions necessary to make your application work as you expect, the CRC cards can then be used as a basis for coding the classes in your application.


Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence by Paul Feig

index card, Saturday Night Live, upwardly mobile

My mother was my enabler and my father was my disapprover and, of course, I always chose my mother’s accepting ways over my father’s practicality. But now, sitting in his den with him, as he leafed through the pages and pages of nightclub jokes he had stored up over the past thirty years, I felt closer to him than I had ever felt in my life. Simply put, he and I were bonding over comedy. “Okay, here’s a good one to open with,” he said as he brought over a three-by-five index card out of the kitchen recipe box that made up his “joke file.” He told me the joke, an acceptably off-color anecdote about an elephant eating cabbages in a garden, and I listened, laughed, and then memorized every pause and inflection he put into his delivery. I knew I was learning from the master, or at least the only joke master I had access to, and I treated him with the proper amount of respect and deference.


pages: 326 words: 94,046

The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly: A Physician's First Year by Matt McCarthy

cognitive dissonance, index card, sensible shoes, upwardly mobile

I stared down at my shoes, trying to make sense of this conversation. I was deliriously sleep-deprived, but this had nothing to do with that. “I’m deeply sorry, but it has never been communicated to anyone that she’s suffering. And I can’t have a translator just following me around.” He clenched his teeth. “It was communicated to me. And there are phone translators in every room.” He scribbled down a phone number on an index card and handed it to me. “Use it.” I looked at the numbers and tried to wrap my head around what was happening. I took a deep breath. “Okay.” He closed his eyes and sighed. “That’s it. That’s all I have to say. I’ll give you one more chance to get this right.” Then what? I was too scared to ask. 28 Two days later I found myself sitting cross-legged in a group circle in Palisades, New York, at the intern retreat, where for twenty-four hours we were given a much-needed respite from hospital life.


pages: 353 words: 91,520

Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era by Tony Wagner, Ted Dintersmith

affirmative action, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bernie Sanders, Clayton Christensen, creative destruction, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, immigration reform, income inequality, index card, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, new economy, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, school choice, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Y Combinator

As they turn to SMART Boards, iPads, online courses, and flipped classrooms, it would appear our schools are on the cutting edge. These advances prompt some pundits to predict that it’s just a matter of time before teachers are obsolete. But these “innovations” are all variants of ineffective passive education. Sure, it’s easier to tee up cards on an iPad than have a teacher or tiger parent write them out on index cards. It’s easier to have kids do multiple-choice quizzes online with instant feedback than to grade quizzes by hand. It’s easier to plop students down in front of an online lecture where their brain waves go dead than to have them attend a live lecture . . . where their brain waves go dead. But passive is still passive. Our colleague Eric Mazur recounted to us a conversation he once had with a person sitting next to him on a long flight.


pages: 299 words: 88,375

Gray Day: My Undercover Mission to Expose America's First Cyber Spy by Eric O'Neill

active measures, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, computer age, cryptocurrency, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, full text search, index card, Internet of things, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, ransomware, rent control, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Skype, thinkpad, web application, white picket fence, WikiLeaks, young professional

I settled in as an economic consultant, organizing numbers in databases to tell litigators how much they could sue for. My life became a relentless series of Excel spreadsheets and long flights. Within a few months, I knew I’d fallen off my path. A year to the day after I’d started, I walked into my boss’s office and quit my consulting job. My Navy dreams had passed me by, but I could still serve my country. I filled out index cards and mailed them to every alphabet agency I could find in the phonebook. The FBI, NSA, Secret Service, and DEA all sent back thick applications that I fed into my old typewriter. (The CIA never responded. Their loss.) I decided to focus my efforts on the FBI and the DEA. In the early ’90s, you had to be at least twenty-five to become an FBI special agent, but my application had caught the attention of the SSG.


pages: 346 words: 89,180

Capitalism Without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy by Jonathan Haskel, Stian Westlake

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, business climate, business process, buy and hold, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, cognitive bias, computer age, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, dark matter, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, endogenous growth, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial innovation, full employment, fundamental attribution error, future of work, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, income inequality, index card, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, job automation, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mother of all demos, Network effects, new economy, open economy, patent troll, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, place-making, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, quantitative hedge fund, rent-seeking, revision control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, Vanguard fund, walkable city, X Prize, zero-sum game

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s breakout movie Pumping Iron had just been released, featuring scenes of him training in Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, which had been established in 1965 and was widely franchised across America. Other gyms contained machines like the Nautilus, the original fixed-weight machine, invented by Arthur Jones in the late 1960s. If you were to look around a gym of the time, you might be surprised to see many similarities to today’s gym. Granted, there might be fewer weight machines and they would be less advanced. Membership would be recorded on index cards rather than on a computer; perhaps the physical fittings would be more rough-and-ready, but otherwise many of the business’s visible assets would look the same: some workout rooms, some changing rooms, some equipment. But if we return to our 2017 gym and look more closely, we’ll notice a few differences. It turns out that the modern gym has invested in a range of things that its 1977 counterpart hasn’t.


pages: 332 words: 91,780

Starstruck: The Business of Celebrity by Currid

"Robert Solow", barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Donald Trump, income inequality, index card, industrial cluster, Mark Zuckerberg, Metcalfe’s law, natural language processing, place-making, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, prediction markets, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Florida, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, slashdot, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, urban decay, Vilfredo Pareto, winner-take-all economy

The staffers were still discussing access and how to get non–advance team fans back to meet the senator. Eric turned to a fellow staffer, a young, pretty blond girl, and asked, “Do you have any of those media passes left? We’ll use those for backup.” With barely a beat between request and delivery, she proudly reached into her enormous Prada handbag and produced a handful of hot pink passes the size of index cards with Senator Clinton’s name emblazoned across the top and MEDIA in boldface on the bottom. Thanks to Eric and his friendly fellow staffers, there I was with backups to backups of access to see one of the most important public figures in the world. Senator Clinton’s speech was impassioned and exhilarating in the way that television can never quite capture. The audience was transfixed while she spoke and erupted into thunderous applause as she finished.


Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and the Business of Life by David Allen

cognitive dissonance, index card, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, shareholder value, Skype, telemarketer

We keep a list of our company principles on our Web site, as well as in an executive-level database, framed as “We are at our best when . . .” A simple, numbered list of our twenty-plus standards of best behavior works fine. On the individual level, a list of personal affirmations or a written personal “credo” would be ideal. How you organize the list may depend on how you want to be reminded of the contents—for years I maintained a set of 3 × 5-inch index cards, each with its own affirmation, held together by a rubber band. I could carry the batch with me and reaffirm the statements whenever I wanted to be inspired or had a moment to work on my own self-programming. Now I simply keep a list on my computer, synchronized to my PDA. Vision Where and in what form would it be wise to keep track of long-term success images and goals? Again, a simple list is often all you will need, kept in a document or database.


pages: 336 words: 92,056

The Battery: How Portable Power Sparked a Technological Revolution by Henry Schlesinger

Albert Einstein, animal electricity, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, British Empire, Copley Medal, Fellow of the Royal Society, index card, invention of the telegraph, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Livingstone, I presume, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, popular electronics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, Stephen Hawking, Thales of Miletus, the scientific method, Thomas Davenport, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, Yogi Berra

The engineers and scientists who dream up all the fancy spy gear spend a lot of time worrying about batteries. While surprising, it also made perfect sense. James Bond was never seen popping into a drugstore for a couple of AAs to power up his gadgets, but something had to power them. The espionage book was a lengthy project, but during my downtime I began making notes about batteries on small index cards. One slim stack of cards very quickly turned into two, then grew into four, and soon expanded into eight. The answer to each question seemed to prompt four more questions. Clearly there was more to batteries than we generally realize. A little more research revealed that there was almost nothing written about batteries for the nontechnical reader. Of course, it’s possible to find individual books on the chemistry, physics, history, and electronics of batteries, but these are overwhelmingly intended for technical or scientific professionals and academics.


Ugly Americans: The True Story of the Ivy League Cowboys Who Raided the Asian Markets for Millions by Ben Mezrich

index arbitrage, index card, invisible hand, Nick Leeson, profit motive, short selling, white picket fence

A single fluorescent strip bulb that jutted from the center of the ceiling spawned the harsh light. It seemed more the setting for an interrogation than an interview. From recent experience, Malcolm knew that these things tended to be a little bit of both. In the past week, he’d been to fourteen interviews, most of them taking place within four blocks of where he was sitting. His pockets were full of index cards with addresses and contact information. Investment banks, consulting firms, start-ups, insurance companies: he’d sent his résumé out to almost every open finance position listed in the Princeton alumni office and had been making the forty-five-minute New Jersey Transit trip from Mercer County nearly every morning since. Obviously, his résumé was good enough—or different enough—to get him in the door at most of the Wall Street firms.


pages: 534 words: 92,957

Digital Photography Hacks by Derrick Story

Hacker Ethic, index card, Steve Jobs

Chances are, you're shooting in less light than your camera phone likes, so the shutter speed will be slow. Increase the ISO setting, if that's an option on your camera. ISO 400 requires much less light for a good picture than ISO 100 requires. Take more than one picture of each object. Then, after you upload the photos to your computer, pick the shot that has the largest file size [Hack #47] . The bigger the file size, the sharper the picture will be. Use pink 3" 5" index cards. Pink cards reflect less light than white ones do. This will make them easier to read, because they will require about the same exposure as the objects you're photographing. Finally, remember to update your home inventory at least once a year to keep it current. Hack 81 Rental-Car Tips and Other Auto Hacks A camera phone can help you prove that you didn't put those dents in a rental car.


Reaganland: America's Right Turn 1976-1980 by Rick Perlstein

"Robert Solow", 8-hour work day, affirmative action, airline deregulation, Alistair Cooke, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, business climate, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, COVID-19, Covid-19, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, death of newspapers, defense in depth, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Donald Trump, energy security, equal pay for equal work, facts on the ground, feminist movement, financial deregulation, full employment, global village, Golden Gate Park, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Julian Assange, Kitchen Debate, kremlinology, land reform, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, oil shock, open borders, Potemkin village, price stability, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, traveling salesman, unemployed young men, union organizing, unpaid internship, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, wages for housework, walking around money, War on Poverty, white flight, WikiLeaks, Winter of Discontent, yellow journalism, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Reagan snapped at him: “Mike, don’t ever let them turn down the house lights again. It causes me to lose my eye contact.” On important occasions, his wife Nancy accompanied him—and “as she watches her husband give the speech she has heard countless times before,” a reporter marveled, “her look of rapt, wide-eyed adoration never falters.” The same jokes, set down on the same stack of four-by-six index cards he’d been compiling since the 1960s, some of them yellowed with age. (A doctor had pronounced Reagan “sound as a dollar.” He fainted straightaway. The reason the Little Old Lady Lived in a Shoe was because property taxes were so high. “The dollar’s shrunk, the dime hasn’t changed. You can still use it for a screwdriver.” The government was like a baby, “an alimentary canal with an appetite on one end and no sense of responsibility on the other.”

Then, finally, the same, glorious soaring perorations about America’s ineluctable rendezvous with destiny as God’s shining city on a hill, as the last best hope of man on earth—and then the same ecstatic, electric ovation, as if their Rotary club, Republican organization, or trade group had been touched by the hand of God. There might be a question and answer period with the audience; attendees scribbled questions on index cards to be posed by the master of ceremony. (Once—again, only once—Deaver tried to show the boss the cards in advance. Reagan frowned and threw them in the garbage: “Mike, you can’t hit a home run on a softball.”) And, usually, beforehand or afterward, a fifteen-to-twenty minute “press availability”—for which the preparations were also rigorously prescribed: the room cooled to fifty-five degrees an hour prior to start time to counteract the TV lights’ heat; backdrop light blue or beige (“ideal for TV cameras”), free from “fancy decorations that distract from the speaker”; a “reliable volunteer” posted outside with orders to admit “bona fide press,” banning “well-wishers and friends” who might cause undue distraction.

And in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a young congressman pulled Reagan aside to beg him to pledge to serve only one term. Reportedly, Reagan’s handlers had considered the idea, which Sears rejected because it would only call attention to his age, though another advisor said it was “something we might consider at a later date.” One problem was that Reagan was delivering pretty much the same speech he had since the Kennedy administration. When he started in once more to shuffling those now famous yellowed index cards, the traveling press would groan, brace themselves for the same dubious statistics, corny one-liners, and bromides they had heard so many times before—and dismiss what one called the “docile Chautauqua circuit lecture campaign of tried-and-true one-liners” as sheer laziness. But this was a key component of John Sears’s strategy: doing the exact same thing he always did was supposed to insinuate the conclusion that Reagan’s victory was so predetermined, he needn’t even campaign.


pages: 328 words: 100,381

Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State by Dana Priest, William M. Arkin

airport security, business intelligence, dark matter, drone strike, friendly fire, Google Earth, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, index card, Julian Assange, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, WikiLeaks

The mission description seemed too intentionally bland, Arkin thought, and a logistics agency was an odd place for a new policy office to be. The paper trail indicated that the $15 million had initially been deleted because the DPAO’s duties were seen as redundant with the work of other agencies, but then had been mysteriously restored. Arkin wrote “Defense Policy Analysis Office” at the top of an index card and put it in his Secret Units box, where it remained for nearly a year, until one day a source sent him two CD-ROMs’ worth of unclassified and “For Official Use Only”1 documents for a different project he was working on. There, in the thousands of documents from the newly created Northern Command, was a single page mentioning a civilian liaison officer from DPAO who had been assigned to another bit of alphabet soup—“N/NC-J39.”


pages: 358 words: 95,115

NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman

affirmative action, Columbine, delayed gratification, desegregation, hedonic treadmill, impulse control, index card, job satisfaction, lake wobegon effect, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, randomized controlled trial, social intelligence, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, theory of mind

Every night, Heather and Morgan sit down to her homework, then watch Flip This House or another design show on TLC. Morgan has always appeared to be an enthusiastic, well-balanced child. But once Morgan spent a year in the classroom of a hypercritical teacher, she could no longer unwind at night. Despite a reasonable bedtime of 9:30 p.m., she would lay awake in frustration until 11:30, sometimes midnight, clutching her leopard-fur pillow. On her fairy-dust purple bedroom walls were taped index cards, each a vocabulary word Morgan had trouble with. Unable to sleep, she turned back to her studies, determined not to let her grades suffer. Instead, she saw herself fall apart emotionally. During the day, she was crabby and prone to crying easily. Occasionally Morgan fell asleep in class. Morgan moved on from that teacher’s classroom the next year, but the lack of sleep persisted. Heather began to worry why her daughter couldn’t sleep.


pages: 544 words: 96,029

Practical C Programming, 3rd Edition by Steve Oualline

Grace Hopper, index card, linear programming

One way around this problem is to declare an array of pointers, and then sort the pointers: /* Pointer to the data */ struct mailing *list_ptrs[MAX_ENTRIES]; int current; /* current mailing list entry */ for (current = 0; current = number_of_entries; ++current) list_ptrs[current] = &list[current]; /* Sort list_ptrs by zip code */ Now, instead of having to move a 226-byte structure around, we are moving 4-byte pointers. Our sorting is much faster. Imagine that you had a warehouse full of big heavy boxes and you needed to locate any box quickly. You could put them in alphabetical order, but that would require a lot of moving. Instead, you assign each location a number, write down the name and number on index cards, and sort the cards by name. Command-Line Arguments The procedure main actually takes two arguments. They are called argc and argv[16]: main(int argc, char *argv[]) { (If you realize that the arguments are in alphabetical order, you can easily remember which one comes first.) The parameter argc is the number of arguments on the command line (including the program name). The array argv contains the actual arguments.


pages: 303 words: 81,981

Busting Vegas: The MIT Whiz Kid Who Brought the Casinos to Their Knees by Ben Mezrich

airport security, Donald Trump, Firefox, index card, trickle-down economics

Twelve square inches of white paper marred by poorly stenciled black ink, daggered to aging cork by a half-dozen brightly colored pushpins. Crumpled at the edges, creased and yellowed by too many fingers, nearly lost and overwhelmed by a sea of other makeshift advertisements bleeding out across the pockmarked board: yellow construction-paper parchments offering cheap guitar lessons; pink and blue index cards heralding last-minute apartment rentals; still-warm photocopied flyers scalping concert tickets; dot-matrix cuneiform listings spiriting intramural sports teams that nobody wanted to join. And there, in the middle of it all: MAKE MONEY OVER THE SUMMER. PLAY WITH THE MIT BLACKJACK TEAM. SATURDAY MORNING, APRIL 12. ROOM 262. Epiphanies were supposed to happen in places of great drama: the peak of an ice-blasted mountain, the middle of a storm-tossed ocean, a desolate beach on some deserted, primitive island.


pages: 381 words: 102,966

Fatherland by Robert Harris

airport security, index card

She licked her pencil and entered the twelve digits of March's service number onto the requisition form. By this means a record was kept of which Kripo investigator had requested which file, and at what time. His interest would be there for the Gestapo to see, a full eight hours after he had been ordered off the Buhler case. Further evidence of his lack of National Socialist discipline. It could not be helped. The registrar had pulled out a long wooden drawer of index cards and was marching her square-tipped fingers along the tops of them. "Stroop," she murmured. "Strunck. Struss. Stülpnagel. . ." March said, "You've gone past it." She grunted and pulled out a slip of pink paper. " 'Stuckart, Wilhelm.' " She looked at him. "There is a file. It's out." "Who has it?" "See for yourself." March leaned forward. Stuckart's file was with Sturmbannführer Fiebes of Kripo Department VB3: the sexual crimes division.


pages: 326 words: 97,089

Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search for Life Among the Stars by Lee Billings

addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, California gold rush, Colonization of Mars, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, Dava Sobel, double helix, Edmond Halley, full employment, hydraulic fracturing, index card, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Kuiper Belt, low earth orbit, Magellanic Cloud, music of the spheres, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, planetary scale, profit motive, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Solar eclipse in 1919, technological singularity, the scientific method, transcontinental railway

In the evening, we took a train from Cambridge back to Seager’s Concord home. The house was a spacious three-story affair with a cozy screened-in porch and large backyard ringed with trees. Inside, Max and Alex greeted us from the living-room floor, sprawled on their bellies, brown-haired and barefoot, assembling Legos and scribbling in coloring books. Their babysitter packed her things and bid us goodnight. Seager pulled a sheet of poster board and some index cards from a nearby pile of papers. It was a game she had made with her children; “ALIENOPOLY” was handwritten in block letters across the poster board, above an image of a smiling, slug-like alien with eyes on stalks. Instead of buying Boardwalk and Park Place, players could individually purchase the planets of the Gliese 581 system, or the worlds of Alpha Centauri. Rolling the dice might place you on a wormhole, allowing you access to anywhere on the board, or could subject you to the indignity of an alien abduction and quarantine aboard a UFO.


pages: 367 words: 99,765

Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks by Ken Jennings

Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, clean water, David Brooks, digital map, don't be evil, dumpster diving, Eratosthenes, game design, Google Earth, helicopter parent, hive mind, index card, John Harrison: Longitude, John Snow's cholera map, Mercator projection, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Journalism, openstreetmap, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Stewart Brand, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, traveling salesman, urban planning

, the first site that came up was Teague’s “stash hunt” list. There was one just fifty miles from his home, he saw, and an hour later, he was bouncing along a boulder-strewn logging trail in his less-than-rugged Saturn SL2. At the end of the trail, he continued on foot through a sunbaked clear-cut, on the hottest day of the summer. “I had very limited water with me,” he says. “It was horrible. A horrible trip.” But the thrill of finding the stash—an index-card box hidden behind a stump—made the whole ordeal worth it. “Walking down the hill, I thought, well, the first thing I need to do is prepare people, so they’re not as inexperienced and unprepared as I was.” Ulmer and the other early GPS scavenger hunters had already decided that “geocache” was a better name for their treasures than “GPS stash”—drug mules and potheads have stashes, but old-timey explorers and French-Canadian trappers have caches!


pages: 348 words: 98,757

The Trade of Queens by Charles Stross

business intelligence, call centre, illegal immigration, index card, inflation targeting, land reform, profit motive, Project for a New American Century, seigniorage

Miriam, sick at heart, sat in one corner of the command post, listening—the fast, military hochsprache was hard to follow, and she was catching perhaps one word in three, but she could follow the general sense of the discussion—and watching as Riordan took reports and consulted with Olga and issued orders, as often as not by radio to outlying sites. The headquarters troops had set up a whole bunch of card indexes and a large corkboard, startlingly prosaic in a field headquarters in a fire-damaged farmhouse, and were keeping a written log of every decision Riordan handed down. A hanging list of index cards had gone up on one wall, each card bearing a name: Baron Henryk, Baron Oliver, Dowager Duchess Thorold-Hjorth. Miriam carefully avoided trying to read the handwritten annotations whenever a clerk updated one of them. Ringleaders they might be, and in some cases bitter enemies, but they were all people she knew, or had known, at court. A similar list hung on the opposite wall, and it was both longer and less frequently updated—known allies and their disposition.


Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code by Martin Fowler, Kent Beck, John Brant, William Opdyke, Don Roberts

conceptual framework, database schema, index card, MVC pattern, place-making, sorting algorithm

You'll get done faster, and you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that the next time you pass this way, the code will look better than it did this time. Never forget the two hats. When you refactor, you will inevitably discover cases in which the code doesn't work right. You'll be absolutely certain of it. Resist temptation. When you are refactoring, your goal is to leave the code computing exactly the same answers it was when you found it. Nothing more, nothing less. Keep a list (I always have an index card beside my computer) of things to change later—test cases to add or change, unrelated refactorings, documents to write, diagrams to draw. That way you won't lose those thoughts, but you won't let them mess up what you are doing now. 335 Bibliography References [Auer] Ken. Auer "Reusability through Self-Encapsulation." In Pattern Languages of Program Design 1, Coplien J.O. Schmidt.D.C. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1995.


pages: 351 words: 100,791

The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction by Matthew B. Crawford

airport security, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, David Brooks, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, digital Maoism, Google Glasses, hive mind, index card, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, large denomination, new economy, new new economy, Norman Mailer, online collectivism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Richard Thaler, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Stanford marshmallow experiment, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

We all know how easy it is for a life to go off track when we are left to our own devices, and that is why those of us with means do what we can to jig the way for our children. I worked for one of the test-prep companies for about six months, coaching students for the SAT and GRE tests. The intellectual content of what I was offering was pretty close to zero—a few tips that could be put on one side of an index card. But the classes and tutoring sessions provided an institutional setting that forced students to show up and do practice tests. The benefit was mostly one of providing a jig for hire that helped relieve students of the burden of self-regulation. It also helped to relieve parents of the burden of discipline. Parental authority was a central target of the sixties counterculture. Now we want to be our children’s best friends, and this is easier if you can outsource the discipline.


pages: 315 words: 99,065

The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership by Richard Branson

barriers to entry, call centre, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, clean water, collective bargaining, Costa Concordia, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, friendly fire, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, index card, inflight wifi, Lao Tzu, low cost airline, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Nelson Mandela, Northern Rock, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, trade route, zero-sum game

It’s almost as if, as is usually the case, they just can’t wait to be done with it and get off the platform. Addressing this very common affliction, Twain spoke about a rightly timed pause being every bit as critical and effective as choosing the right words. ‘The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.’ Before the teleprompter arrived on the scene, I always used to work from index cards. David Tait, who would usually write my speeches for Virgin Atlantic in the US, used to take delight in sticking in the odd strategically placed card that in big letters would just say ‘PAUSE’ to ensure I stopped long enough to let a point sink in with the audience – low-tech, for sure, but highly effective nevertheless. Twain’s other statement on the subject of speaking that made me feel a lot better about my qualms was, ‘There are only two types of speakers in the world: 1.


pages: 329 words: 97,834

No Regrets, Coyote: A Novel by John Dufresne

Albert Einstein, always be closing, fear of failure, illegal immigration, index card, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, young professional

Plus she was on many medications, including Zoloft, and everyone would just assume that she was demented. Plus the legal fees would drain their bank account. I said I’d have to be going. Had a rehearsal to get to. Plus she’d have to take time off from work. So long, I said. Plus it would expose her to shame in the community. After a quick rehearsal spent on blocking and ironing out a few rough spots, I drove home. I saw that Red had put his name on my mailbox. He had written P. Soileau on an index card and affixed it with clear shipping tape. I asked him what the P stood for, and he told me Pableaux, and he spelled it for me. He pointed at the gray and glowing briquettes in the hibachi and asked me to join him for supper. Hot dogs. Fabulous, I said. I’ll bring the beer. And bring some diced onions if you have any, he said. I told him to give me fifteen minutes. At some point during the day, poor little Django slipped into the bathtub and hadn’t been able to crawl his way out.


pages: 314 words: 101,034

Every Patient Tells a Story by Lisa Sanders

data acquisition, discovery of penicillin, high batting average, index card, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, pattern recognition, Pepto Bismol, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan

Lyme disease can also manifest this way, as can viruses like hepatitis and even HIV. But none of those seemed to fit. There were other, less likely possibilities. Rheumatoid arthritis can come on like this, as can lupus. Justin Thompson, the intern working with me that month, had admitted Freeman for her earlier hospitalization. When I asked him about her, he wearily flipped through a stack of index cards that he pulled from his pockets. “Right. We tapped her knee and cultured her up,” he said, meaning that they’d drawn fluid from her knee, which should offer some clues, and had sent off some of the fluid, as well as her blood and urine, to check for evidence of infection. “I thought it was gonorrhea,” the intern stated flatly. “It’s not the way you usually see it, but gonorrhea can definitely cause this.”


Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes

commoditize, Donald Trump, index card, Indoor air pollution, Maui Hawaii, telemarketer

I knew nothing about the entertainment field, the players, how everything worked, and so on. I bought the issue of Premiere magazine that lists "the 100 most powerful people in Hollywood." Gee, there it was, my Dream 100 list, and someone had already done the work for me. Then I subscribed to Hollywood Creative Directory, which gives you all the contact information for anyone of substance in Hollywood. Next I had one of my assistants make up index cards for me with all their contact data, and I began my process. I called the CEOs of all the major studios, including Paramount, Disney, Warner Bros., Universal, and Sony Pictures. Using the techniques we'll go over in Chapter Nine, I was able to get seven out of 11 of the biggest CEOs in Hollywood on the telephone. I then went after every major agency and, finally, after the agents who represented the artists that I thought would make great leads for my movie.


Stasiland: Stories From Behind the Berlin Wall by Anna Funder

Berlin Wall, centre right, Fall of the Berlin Wall, index card, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, telemarketer, the built environment

He is a quiet and unassuming man, who made his career in the West German archives at Koblenz, and he is now looking forward to retirement. ‘Yes,’ he says, ‘I’ll be sixty-three shortly,’ as if to say, ‘and I’m out of here.’ He tells me that this work started in 1995, after the sacks of material had sat around in Berlin for five years. Fifteen thousand sacks were found at Normannenstrasse in January 1990. They contained shredded and hand-ripped files, index cards, photos and unwound tapes and film. Herr Raillard has arranged for me to take coffee with some of the workers. I am keen to meet the puzzle people. I ask him how many there are, and whether they are all women, as I have heard. ‘Oh no,’ he says, ‘but there are probably more women than men.’ He is cautious and exact, and asks his secretary to check the numbers. She comes back with a note: eighteen women and thirteen men.


pages: 335 words: 98,847

A Bit of a Stretch: The Diaries of a Prisoner by Chris Atkins

Boris Johnson, butterfly effect, collapse of Lehman Brothers, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, forensic accounting, G4S, housing crisis, illegal immigration, index card, Mark Zuckerberg, Milgram experiment, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans

I interrogate him about how he’s escaped K Wing, and he reveals that room moves are organised in an office on the Twos landing. I sprint downstairs and burst through the door as politely as I can. One of the more affable screws is peering up at a huge wooden board on the wall that is straight out of a 1950s hotel. There are hundreds of little slots representing all the cells on Trinity, and index cards showing where each prisoner lives. ‘Afternoon, guv. My cellmate’s moving to H Wing, are there any more spaces?’ The screw looks at me quizzically, with one eyebrow raised. ‘Are you on full-time work?’ I brandish my slip. ‘I’m about to start dry lining.’ ‘What’s dry lining?’ I’m not ready for this curveball. ‘Well, it’s, er, quite commonplace these days … More and more prisons are starting to develop, er … It’s good for long-term …’ I peter out, while the officer peruses the board.


pages: 816 words: 242,405

A Man on the Moon by Andrew Chaikin

Charles Lindbergh, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, gravity well, index card, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Norman Mailer, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics

They wanted Scott and Irwin to carry a telephoto lens to take pictures of the mountains and the rille; Petrone and McDivitt fought it. Silver devised a rake to sift small rock samples from the soil; they fought that too. It was understandable; every pound in that lunar module was worth precious seconds of hover time; it was a matter of safety. But here again, Scott was the geologists’ best ally. He would reach into his shirt pocket and pull out an index card already brimming with “action items” and add one more, and he’d knit his brow with a kind of mock concern and say to Silver, “We’ll work it, Professor.” Most of all, Scott made time for the field trips. The training had intensified since the spring. By summer, the trips were no longer merely teaching exercises; in his drive to get ready, Scott pushed Silver to make them more like true simulations, and the men wore backpacks, cameras, and radios.

For one thing, he was almost too old to apply; for another, he knew that, ironically, the total commitment necessary to go to the moon would likely rob him of the opportunity to study the rocks he brought back. Nowr he and the other geologists were here, not as spectators to thrill vicariously to their students’ adventure, but to participate in the exploration itself. All morning, Gordon Swann and his Surface Geology Team had followed the unfolding moonwalk with the precision of battlefield commanders. One man, wearing headphones, took notes on index cards, jotting down every rock collected, ev en picture taken, every comment pertaining to geology. Another listened to the astronauts’ descriptions and made annotated sketches, which were then thrown onto the wall by an overhead projector. Another marked down the astronauts’ positions on a map that w as projected onto another wall. And along the walls were panoramic views of Hadley Base, captured in Polaroid pictures taken from the television monitors.


pages: 900 words: 241,741

Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Peter Petre

Berlin Wall, California gold rush, call centre, clean water, cleantech, Donald Trump, financial independence, Golden Gate Park, illegal immigration, index card, Maui Hawaii, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, oil shale / tar sands, pension reform, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Y2K

I always wrote down my goals, like I’d learned to do in the weight-lifting club back in Graz. It wasn’t sufficient just to tell myself something like “My New Year’s resolution is to lose twenty pounds and learn better English and read a little bit more.” No. That was only a start. Now I had to make it very specific so that all those fine intentions were not just floating around. I would take out index cards and write that I was going to: • get twelve more units in college; • earn enough money to save $5,000; • work out five hours a day; • gain seven pounds of solid muscle weight; and • find an apartment building to buy and move into. It might seem like I was handcuffing myself by setting such specific goals, but it was actually just the opposite: I found it liberating. Knowing exactly where I wanted to end up freed me totally to improvise how to get there.

I could share my ambition and my training and my ups and downs. She was much more of a girl-next-door type than a femme fatale: blonde, tan, and wholesome. She was studying to be an English teacher and obviously wasn’t just looking for a fun time. Her girlfriends who were dating guys in law school and med school thought I was strange, but Barbara didn’t care. She admired me for writing down goals on index cards. Barbara’s parents were wonderful to me. At Christmas, each family member had a gift for me—and later, when I brought Franco with me, gifts for him too. Barbara and I went to Hawaii, London, and New York together. When Barbara graduated in 1971 and came to LA to start work, Franco was getting ready to move out. He was settling down too; he was studying to be a chiropractor and he’d gotten engaged to a girl named Anita, who was a full-fledged chiropractor already.


pages: 390 words: 108,811

Geektastic: Stories From the Nerd Herd by Holly Black, Cecil Castellucci

citation needed, double helix, index card, Maui Hawaii, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup

Not even Julie-Ann. Passion. Passion deep down that is not just a passion for attention or a passion for being able to decide who gets to sit at the drama table in the cafeteria or a passion for cast parties. Do you know I’ve memorized every play we’ve done since I got to this school? I’m not talking about the parts I wanted. I mean the whole play. Every day I make Adam give me a cue from one of the index cards I’ve made. I don’t even know what play it’s from before he says it, but he gives me a cue and I know the next line. I just know it. You can test me, if you want, when we’re done here. Some might say I shirked my responsibilities by putting Scotty on the board at what you might call the last minute. But you’re so wrapped up with what’s going on onstage and you always talk about empowerment and ownership and I figured since you don’t remember my name you wouldn’t really care if it were me or Scotty or the Queen of Sheba actually running the board, while the other one of us stayed backstage on the headset.


pages: 289 words: 112,697

The new village green: living light, living local, living large by Stephen Morris

back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, cleantech, collective bargaining, Columbine, Community Supported Agriculture, computer age, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, discovery of penicillin, distributed generation, energy security, energy transition, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Firefox, index card, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Kevin Kelly, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, McMansion, Menlo Park, Negawatt, off grid, peak oil, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review

Not everyone is a numbers-cruncher, and this step is a stickler for many. It may take you several months to figure out a system that works for you and your family. I’ve been doing it for 13 years, and my system has evolved over time. It can be done, and it is the centerpiece of the program. STEP 3: WHERE IS IT ALL GOING?: In this step you take all those monthly figures that you’ve got written on scraps of paper, Post-it notes, or index cards, and tabulate them. Create your own monthly balance sheet with income and expenses in categories that work for your situation. You’ll want categories for housing, transportation, food, health care, other services, and material goods. You can make each category as general or as specific as you want. Once you know total expenses, you can then determine how many hours of life energy (via your “real hourly wage”) that it took for you to buy all that stuff.


pages: 379 words: 109,612

Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future by John Brockman

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asperger Syndrome, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, biofilm, Black Swan, British Empire, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Danny Hillis, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, social graph, social software, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

And there’s me, a forty-two-year-old architect on vacation, with an assignment due in two hours! I am the oldest here. I am also the only nonlocal. The computer helps me and corrects my spelling without being prompted. Example/Scene 2 Years ago, when I was an architecture student and wanted to know about, say, Guarino Guarini’s importance as an architect, I would go two flights down at Avery Library, get a few index cards, follow the numbered instructions on them, and find two or four or seven feet of books on a shelf dedicated to the subject. Then I would look at a few cross-referenced words on those cards, such as “Mannerist architecture,” go down another aisle in the same room, and identify another few feet of books. I would leaf through all the found books and get a vague yet physical sense of how much there was to know about the subject matter.


pages: 387 words: 111,096

Enigma by Robert Harris

Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, British Empire, Columbine, index card, invention of the printing press, sensible shoes, Turing machine

Jericho massaged his forehead. It was the oddest thing he'd ever heard. 'What happened after the Registry?' 'I went back to the hut and wrote my note to you. Delivering that took the rest of my meal break. Then it was a matter of getting back into the Index Room whenever I could. We deep a daily log of all intercepts, made up from the blists. One file for each day.' Once again she rummaged in her bag and withdrew a small index-card with a list of dates and numbers. 'I wasn't sure where to start so I simply went right back to the beginning of the year and worked my way through. Nothing recorded till February the 6th. Only eleven interceptions altogether, four of which came on the final day.' 'Which was what?' 'March the 4th. The same day the file was removed from the Registry. What do you make of that?' 'Nothing. Everything.


pages: 431 words: 107,868

The Great Race: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future by Levi Tillemann

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, car-free, carbon footprint, cleantech, creative destruction, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, demand response, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, factory automation, global value chain, hydrogen economy, index card, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, manufacturing employment, market design, megacity, Nixon shock, obamacare, oil shock, Ralph Nader, RFID, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, smart cities, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, too big to fail, Unsafe at Any Speed, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Someday in the not too distant future, Levandowski’s humble pizza delivery Prius may be seen as the Elijah to a new, better era of human mobility. Transformation We cannot yet predict but we can readily imagine some of the consequences of this transformation. The vehicle technologies developed and deployed over the coming two decades will fundamentally transform our lives. Not long ago, people kept large rolodexes of index cards alphabetically organized with the names and addresses of friends, family, and colleagues. People memorized phone numbers and communicated via pay phone. Today our smartphones can tap into troves of information that are, for practical purposes, limitless. This information is what lubricates the gears of the twenty-first-century economy. Just like rolodexes, driver’s licenses may soon be seen as an antiquated relic of the twentieth century.


pages: 385 words: 105,627

The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom by Simon Winchester

Berlin Wall, British Empire, David Attenborough, Deng Xiaoping, double helix, Etonian, Fellow of the Royal Society, index card, invention of gunpowder, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, New Urbanism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, stakhanovite, Stephen Hawking, Ted Kaczynski, trade route

Accordingly, he and Wang Ling spent the remaining months of 1946, and most of the next five years, searching for every invention and original idea that was mentioned in the ancient Chinese literature. Needham proceeded in a patient, methodical, ruthlessly efficient way. He was an extraordinarily well-organized man. He was, for a start, a copious and fanatically driven note taker and file maker. In the piles of boxes that remain today in his archives in Cambridge are dozens of green steel card indexes, most of them filled nearly to bursting, not with index cards bought by the quire from stationers, but with menu cards from teahouses that he was forever cutting up in a process he called “knitting”—snipping, slicing, and folding—which would drive mad those uninitiated few who might accompany him to the café for a cup of Typhoo and a toasted tea cake. He would sit there cutting, cutting, smoking, and cutting—and a day later the cards would all be stacked in their boxes, each one covered with details, in his almost perfect copperplate, about arcane creations from China’s distant past.


pages: 460 words: 108,654

Time Travelers Never Die by Jack McDevitt

Albert Einstein, index card, indoor plumbing, Johannes Kepler, life extension, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Rosa Parks, Thales of Miletus, walking around money, white picket fence, Winter of Discontent

Had he heard from his father? Had anything like this ever happened before? Could Shel provide a list of friends and associates? Did his father have any enemies that he knew of? Had anyone ever threatened him? Because the investigators could construct no easy explanation for the robes—there were six—they removed them. They also boxed everything that had been on top of the desk, including his index cards and the Rolodex. Even the pens went away. A day later, Thursday, the Inquirer got the story. EMINENT PHYSICIST MISSING, read the headline. There was no mention of the locked doors and windows. The FBI arrived Friday with a search warrant. “Strictly routine,” they told him. “But your father did some consultation work for the government, so naturally we’re interested.” Had Shel ever noticed any unusual strangers talking to his father?


pages: 477 words: 106,069

The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century by Steven Pinker

butterfly effect, carbon footprint, crowdsourcing, Douglas Hofstadter, feminist movement, functional fixedness, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, index card, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, McMansion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Nelson Mandela, profit maximization, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, short selling, Steven Pinker, the market place, theory of mind, Turing machine

Sometimes she may be lucky enough to begin with a firm grasp of the hierarchical organization of her material, but more often she will have an unruly swarm of ideas buzzing in her head and must get them to settle down into an orderly configuration. The time-honored solution is to create an outline, which is just a tree lying on its side, its branches marked by indentations, dashes, bullets, or Roman and Arabic numerals, rather than by forking line segments. One way to fashion an outline is to jot your ideas on a page or on index cards more or less at random and then look for ones that seem to belong together. If you reorder the items with the clusters of related ideas placed near one another, then arrange the clusters that seem to belong together in larger clusters, group those into still larger clusters, and so on, you’ll end up with a treelike outline. But now you face a major difference between the syntactic tree of a sentence and the outline tree of a text.


pages: 406 words: 105,602

The Startup Way: Making Entrepreneurship a Fundamental Discipline of Every Enterprise by Eric Ries

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Ben Horowitz, Black-Scholes formula, call centre, centralized clearinghouse, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, connected car, corporate governance, DevOps, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, index card, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, loss aversion, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, minimum viable product, moral hazard, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, obamacare, peer-to-peer, place-making, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, time value of money, Toyota Production System, Uber for X, universal basic income, web of trust, Y Combinator

They were already convinced that they’d sell a lot of units at the trade show, so I couldn’t get them to start with an MVP. I also couldn’t get them to set up an innovation accounting dashboard (see Chapter 9). I couldn’t even convince them to agree on their leap-of-faith assumptions. I said: “Let’s find a way to prove that you’re right. You’re planning on getting a lot of sales at the trade show. Let’s have everyone write down on a three-by-five index card how many sales they think the company will get.” I then asked the team to put their predictions into a sealed envelope, which we would revisit the week after the show. The only aspect of Lean Startup theory I could get them to buy into was to treat their upcoming launch as an experiment, with at least one hypothesis attached. As a coach, I felt that was a start. The day of the trade show came, and—wait for it—the team didn’t make any sales.


pages: 345 words: 105,722

The Hacker Crackdown by Bruce Sterling

Apple II, back-to-the-land, game design, ghettoisation, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, index card, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Mitch Kapor, pirate software, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Silicon Valley, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Hackers Conference, the scientific method, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review

"I went to the cops and now he's got an APB out on his ass," he says with satisfaction. "You run into him, you let me know." "Okay," I say. "What is your name, sir?" "Stanley...." "And how can I reach you?" "Oh," Stanley says, in the same rapid voice, "you don't have to reach, uh, me. You can just call the cops. Go straight to the cops." He reaches into a pocket and pulls out a greasy piece of pasteboard. "See, here's my report on him." I look. The "report," the size of an index card, is labelled PRO-ACT: Phoenix Residents Opposing Active Crime Threat.... or is it Organized Against Crime Threat? In the darkening street it's hard to read. Some kind of vigilante group? Neighborhood watch? I feel very puzzled. "Are you a police officer, sir?" He smiles, seems very pleased by the question. "No," he says. "But you are a 'Phoenix Resident?'" "Would you believe a homeless person," Stanley says.


pages: 377 words: 110,427

The Boy Who Could Change the World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz by Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig

affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, American Legislative Exchange Council, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, deliberate practice, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, failed state, fear of failure, Firefox, full employment, Howard Zinn, index card, invisible hand, Joan Didion, John Gruber, Lean Startup, More Guns, Less Crime, peer-to-peer, post scarcity, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, semantic web, single-payer health, SpamAssassin, SPARQL, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, unbiased observer, wage slave, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor, zero-sum game

Heritage, for example, publishes an annual telephone directory featuring thousands of conservative experts and associated policy organizations (The Right Nation, 161). And if looking up somebody is too much work, Heritage maintains a 24-hour hotline for the media, providing quotes promoting conservative ideology on any subject. Heritage’s “information marketing” department makes packages of colored index cards with preprinted talking points for any conservative who plans to do an interview (The Right Nation, 167). And Heritage computers are stocked with the names of over 3,500 journalists, organized by specialty, who Heritage staffers personally call to make sure they have all the latest conservative misinformation. Every Heritage study is turned into a two-page summary which is then turned into an op-ed piece which is then distributed to newspapers through the Heritage Features Syndicate (What Liberal Media?


pages: 397 words: 102,910

The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet by Justin Peters

4chan, activist lawyer, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Bayesian statistics, Brewster Kahle, buy low sell high, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, don't be evil, global village, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Lean Startup, moral panic, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, profit motive, RAND corporation, Republic of Letters, Richard Stallman, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

“Even the friends that helped me thot [sic] I was nuts, and that it would never work.”34 But even Hart’s enemies acknowledged his sincerity and dedication. Hart spent much of his adult life surviving on income he received from renting out rooms in his cluttered house to college students and forgoing traditional employment to spend his days and nights apostolizing e-books from his basement office. His walls were adorned with index cards onto which he had inked various aphorisms in block lettering with a thick black marker. Marcus Aurelius: A PERSON CAN NOT LEARN WHAT S/HE ALREADY KNOWS OR THINKS S/HE KNOWS. H. G. Wells: ULTIMATE COURAGE IS BRAVERY OF THE MIND. William Blake: I MUST INVENT MY OWN SYSTEM OR BE ENSLAVED BY OTHER MEN’S.35 For Michael Hart, the digitization of public-domain literature was a vocation in its original sense: a spiritual calling to a movement.


pages: 540 words: 103,101

Building Microservices by Sam Newman

airport security, Amazon Web Services, anti-pattern, business process, call centre, continuous integration, create, read, update, delete, defense in depth, don't repeat yourself, Edward Snowden, fault tolerance, index card, information retrieval, Infrastructure as a Service, inventory management, job automation, Kubernetes, load shedding, loose coupling, microservices, MITM: man-in-the-middle, platform as a service, premature optimization, pull request, recommendation engine, social graph, software as a service, source of truth, the built environment, web application, WebSocket

For our music shop, for example, imagine what happens when a customer searches for a record, registers with the website, or purchases an album. What calls get made? Do you start seeing odd circular references? Do you see two services that are overly chatty, which might indicate they should be one thing? A great technique here is to adapt an approach more typically taught for the design of object-oriented systems: class-responsibility-collaboration (CRC) cards. With CRC cards, you write on one index card the name of the class, what its responsibilities are, and who it collaborates with. When working through a proposed design, for each service I list its responsibilities in terms of the capabilities it provides, with the collaborators specified in the diagram. As you work through more use cases, you start to get a sense as to whether all of this hangs together properly. Understanding Root Causes We have discussed how to split apart larger services into smaller ones, but why did these services grow so large in the first place?


pages: 446 words: 102,421

Network Security Through Data Analysis: Building Situational Awareness by Michael S Collins

business process, cloud computing, create, read, update, delete, Firefox, general-purpose programming language, index card, Internet Archive, inventory management, iterative process, p-value, Parkinson's law, peer-to-peer, slashdot, statistical model, zero day

A whois query for oreilly.com $whois oreilly.com <boilerplate> Domain Name: OREILLY.COM Registrar: GODADDY.COM, LLC Whois Server: whois.godaddy.com Referral URL: http://registrar.godaddy.com Name Server: NSAUTHA.OREILLY.COM Name Server: NSAUTHB.OREILLY.COM Status: clientDeleteProhibited Status: clientRenewProhibited Status: clientTransferProhibited Status: clientUpdateProhibited Updated Date: 26-may-2012 Creation Date: 27-may-1997 Expiration Date: 26-may-2013 <more boilerplate> Registered through: GoDaddy.com, LLC (http://www.godaddy.com) Domain Name: OREILLY.COM Created on: 26-May-97 Expires on: 25-May-13 Last Updated on: 26-May-12 Registrant: O'Reilly Media, Inc. 1005 Gravenstein Highway North Sebastopol, California 95472 United States Administrative Contact: Contact, Admin nic-ac@oreilly.com O'Reilly Media, Inc. 1005 Gravenstein Highway North Sebastopol, California 95472 United States +1.7078277000 Fax -- +1.7078290104 Technical Contact: Contact, Tech nic-tc@oreilly.com O'Reilly Media, Inc. 1005 Gravenstein Highway North Sebastopol, California 95472 United States +1.7078277000 Fax -- +1.7078290104 Domain servers in listed order: NSAUTHA.OREILLY.COM NSAUTHB.OREILLY.COM You’ll note that a whois entry for a domain returns an enormous amount of boilerplate information. You will also find that the information returned has no particular fixed format—whois information is the electronic equivalent of 3×5 index cards. Depending on who owns the card and how they decide to administer it, you may get phone numbers and biographies, or nothing at all. A good way to get a feel for the differences in registration is to take a look at the registration files for different countries. There is no central whois database—instead, depending on the top-level domain, whois information may be maintained by any of a number of whois servers.


pages: 371 words: 108,317

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, bank run, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, connected car, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, game design, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, placebo effect, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review, zero-sum game

Salvation lay in cutting up three-by-five cards, of which he had plenty. Although Nelson was polite, charming, and smooth, I was too slow for his fast talk. But I got an aha! from his marvelous notion of hypertext. He was certain that every document in the world should be a footnote to some other document, and computers could make the links between them visible and permanent. This was a new idea at the time. But that was just the beginning. Scribbling on index cards, he sketched out complicated notions of transferring authorship back to creators and tracking payments as readers hopped along networks of documents, in what he called the “docuverse.” He spoke of “transclusion” and “intertwingularity” as he described the grand utopian benefits of his embedded structure. It was going to save the world from stupidity! I believed him. Despite his quirks, it was clear to me that a hyperlinked world was inevitable—someday.


pages: 370 words: 105,085

Joel on Software by Joel Spolsky

AltaVista, barriers to entry, c2.com, commoditize, George Gilder, index card, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, Metcalfe's law, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, PageRank, Paul Graham, profit motive, Robert X Cringely, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, slashdot, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, thinkpad, VA Linux, web application

Paper prototypes are dramatically cheaper than anything you can do with software tools, and you can even do real usability tests; you just stand behind the sheet of paper with a good eraser, a pencil, and scissors. As your usability subject tells you what they do ("click there!") you can swap things around on the fly. Need to test a wizard? All you have to do is make a sheet of paper for each page of the wizard and prepare some index cards with possible error messages. For more about paper prototyping, read Carolyn Snyder's book4 on the subject. It is an essential reference for anyone designing user interfaces, and it's well written to boot. __________ 4. Carolyn Snyder, Paper Prototyping: The Fast and Easy Way to Design and Refine User Interfaces (Morgan Kaufmann, 2003). fourteen DON'T LET ARCHITECTURE ASTRONAUTS SCARE YOU SATURDAY, APRIL 21, 2001 When great thinkers think about problems, they start to see patterns.


pages: 353 words: 106,704

Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution by Beth Gardiner

barriers to entry, Boris Johnson, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, connected car, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Hyperloop, index card, Indoor air pollution, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, Steve Jobs, white picket fence

Lyndon Johnson was the brass-knuckled majority leader then, though, and Muskie had crossed him, so he found himself assigned to the backwater of Public Works instead.5 He’d seen Maine’s rivers poisoned by paper mills, so he asked to set up an Air and Water Pollution subcommittee, and he became its chairman, staking out jurisdiction no one else had claimed. His panel convened hearings on the awful air, taking testimony in cities all over America. In those days, Tom Jorling tells me, pulling a stack of index cards from his shirt pocket to demonstrate, the main way to gauge pollution levels was to hold up a color-coded card and eyeball it to judge which panel best matched the sky. Muskie’s hearings set out to determine why previous attempts to address the problem, a series of clean air laws in the 1950s and ’60s, had failed. Many of the subcommittee’s members would go on to etch their own names in Washington’s history.


pages: 407 words: 104,622

The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution by Gregory Zuckerman

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, automated trading system, backtesting, Bayesian statistics, beat the dealer, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, blockchain, Brownian motion, butter production in bangladesh, buy and hold, buy low sell high, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, computerized trading, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Edward Thorp, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, endowment effect, Flash crash, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, illegal immigration, index card, index fund, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Loma Prieta earthquake, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, More Guns, Less Crime, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, natural language processing, obamacare, p-value, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Thaler, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Sharpe ratio, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, the scientific method, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, Turing machine

Word had spread that Medallion had a knack for profitable bets, and shady traders were taking advantage. On a visit to Chicago, a staffer caught someone standing above the Eurodollar-futures pits watching Medallion’s trades. The spy would send hand signals whenever Medallion bought or sold, enabling a confederate to get in just before Simons’s fund took any actions, reducing Medallion’s profits. Others seemed to have index cards listing the times of day Medallion usually transacted. Some on the floor had even coined a nickname for Simons’s team: “the Sheiks,” a reflection of their prominence in some commodity markets. Renaissance adjusted its activity to make it more secretive and unpredictable, but it was one more indication the firm was outgrowing various financial markets. Simons worried his signals were getting weaker as rivals adopted similar strategies.


pages: 398 words: 111,333

The Einstein of Money: The Life and Timeless Financial Wisdom of Benjamin Graham by Joe Carlen

Albert Einstein, asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, business cycle, business intelligence, discounted cash flows, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, full employment, index card, index fund, intangible asset, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, laissez-faire capitalism, margin call, means of production, Norman Mailer, oil shock, post-industrial society, price anchoring, price stability, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, the scientific method, Vanguard fund, young professional

Revealingly, this state of affairs was a great annoyance to Graham: “I was very impatient to start, my brothers having taken insufferable airs because they were in school and I was still a baby.”2 It seems that his drive and competitive spirit had already found expression at a fairly young age. In September 1900, Graham entered the first grade at New York City's Public School 157 on the corner of St. Nicholas Avenue and 123rd Street. Even though the subject matter consisted of learning letters and small words from index cards, Graham stood out immediately from his classmates. With respect to both aptitude and attitude, his teachers recognized that Graham was a student of uncommon caliber. At that time, elementary school classes were divided into two half-year sections, which commenced in September and January respectively. So, in fairly short order, Graham was advanced a semester ahead from Grade 1A to Grade 1B. This pattern was repeated in September 1902 when Benjamin Grossbaum was enrolled at the “primary department” of P.S. 10 on St.


Bit Rot by Douglas Coupland

3D printing, Airbnb, airport security, bitcoin, Burning Man, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, index card, jimmy wales, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, Maui Hawaii, McJob, Menlo Park, nuclear paranoia, Pepto Bismol, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Skype, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Ted Kaczynski, The Future of Employment, uber lyft, young professional

The human soul is sneaky. Sneaky human soul. Clueless Doug. I mentioned that in 1967 we kindergartners had been asked to colour in the new Canadian flag. It’s not an easy flag to draw; the maple leaf in the middle is more of a corporate clip-art logo than it is, say, a US star or a Japanese rising sun. Three decades later, when I was on a book tour in the United States and Canada, I handed out index cards and red pens to people attending the event and asked them to draw the Canadian flag. I was thinking a lot about Canadian identity then and wanted to see how people in both Canada and the United States saw it in their minds. And…basically, everyone drew a pot leaf because nobody really knew how to draw a maple leaf. The one truly good flag I got was from a guy in Chicago. I was actually kind of touched by the level of his maple leaf’s draftsmanship.


pages: 423 words: 115,336

This Is Only a Test: How Washington D.C. Prepared for Nuclear War by David F. Krugler

Berlin Wall, City Beautiful movement, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Frank Gehry, full employment, glass ceiling, index card, nuclear winter, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, urban planning, Victor Gruen, white flight, Works Progress Administration

For example, the Coast and Geodetic Survey (within the Department of Commerce) was essential because it provided charts used by the Navy and the Air Force. Likewise, during wartime the military expected to use the mapping capability of the Geological Survey (within the Department of the Interior). The Civil Service Commission’s investigative unit, which had compiled a file of 5.5 million security index cards and 2.5 million “subversive activity information cards” by 1955, was also considered wartime essential. Even the Housing and Home Finance Agency was essential because of its $2.5 billion mortgage portfolio (circa 1955). Rather than list all known wartime essential executive agencies, I refer to them individually as needed. Sources: NSC, “Plan for Continuity of Essential Wartime Functions of the Executive Branch,” January 25, 1954, box 6, folder “NSC 159/4 . . . (1),” NSC Policy Paper Subseries, Annexes I and II; H.F.


pages: 338 words: 112,127

Leaving Orbit: Notes From the Last Days of American Spaceflight by Margaret Lazarus Dean

affirmative action, Elon Musk, helicopter parent, index card, Joan Didion, low earth orbit, Mars Rover, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, operation paperclip, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, sensible shoes

I lose Atlantis for a second in the dark, and when I find it again, it’s by the screeching of rubber hitting concrete. It touches down, its tile-covered flank flashing by me like a shark flashing by the window of an aquarium. Atlantis has released its drogue chute and is slowing—still moving fast, but slowing, slowing. Slowing, slowing. Stops. “Mission complete, Houston.” This is the voice of the commander, Chris Ferguson. He speaks carefully, a little self-consciously, like he’s reading off index cards prepared in advance. His language is slightly off here; usually the commander says “Wheel stop,” not “Mission complete.” “After serving the world for over thirty years, the space shuttle has earned its place in history. It’s come to a final stop.” “We copy your wheels stopped, and we’ll take this opportunity to congratulate you, Atlantis, as well as the thousands of passionate individuals across this great, space-faring nation who truly empower this incredible spacecraft, which for three decades has inspired millions around the globe,” replies another voice (capcom Butch Wilmore).


pages: 419 words: 118,414

Countdown to Pearl Harbor: The Twelve Days to the Attack by Steve Twomey

British Empire, index card, Internet Archive, Maui Hawaii, South China Sea

Admiral Wilkinson of Naval Intelligence said later, “The Japanese for many years had the reputation—and the facts bore out that reputation—of being meticulous seekers for every scrap of information, whether by photography or by written reports or otherwise.” They were especially eager to know the travels of American warships, just as American intelligence labored to know theirs. On a wall at Main Navy, a large map of the Pacific had been divided into sectors, each named, and stickpins tracked the locations of the Imperial Fleet as best they could be discerned through radio analysis. Index cards recorded the history of each ship’s movements. Well before being told to use the grid, for example, the Honolulu consulate had reported to Tokyo on February 21 that “the capital ships and others departed from Pearl Harbor on the 13th and returned on the 19th.” In June, the consulate noted, “two English converted cruisers entered Pearl Harbor.” In August, the consulate in Panama detected “two United States freighters and 1 British freighter” passing through the Canal Zone.


pages: 401 words: 119,043

Checkpoint Charlie by Iain MacGregor

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, British Empire, index card, Kickstarter, Live Aid, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, open borders, Ronald Reagan

I was quite a long way from Kennedy… but there, in the distance, was this slim young man on whose shoulders the future of the Western world rested—the future of the world rested.” Kennedy had been practicing a specific line he hoped to use depending on how his words were received, enlisting the help of RIAS head Robert Lochner, who himself had witnessed the Wall being erected in August 1961. Now, swept along by the crowd before him and glancing at his index card where he had scribbled the correct phonetic pronunciation he desired, the president uttered his famous words: All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words, “Ich bin ein Berliner.” The explosion of noise was deafening as sections of the crowd rushed toward the stage. Kennedy was on a roll and carried on in the same vein, decrying the wall and Communism, and going so far as to imagine what a reunified Germany within a peaceful European continent could look like.


pages: 405 words: 112,470

Together by Vivek H. Murthy, M.D.

Airbnb, call centre, cognitive bias, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, crowdsourcing, gig economy, income inequality, index card, longitudinal study, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, stem cell, twin studies, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft

I smiled at the security guards and passing staff. For them, this was just another day at a busy urban hospital, but for me, it was a day I’d remember for the rest of my life. My head was stuffed full of medical facts and trivia that I’d gathered from medical school. My pockets were overflowing with tools, including a stethoscope, ophthalmoscope, tuning fork, reflex hammer, Pocket Medicine handbook, three black ballpoint pens, blank index cards for recording patient details, a list of phone numbers for key hospital services, and laminated cards filled with algorithms for everything from cardiac resuscitation to the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis. Yet none of those cards and manuals mentioned the most common ailment I was about to encounter among my patients. In the days ahead, as I went on bedside rounds with my team of medical residents and senior physicians, I focused my attention on getting the right diagnosis and prescribing the right medications, treatments, and tests.


The Next Great Migration by Sonia Shah

Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, failed state, Fellow of the Royal Society, hive mind, illegal immigration, immigration reform, index card, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, open borders, out of africa, Scientific racism, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, trade route, urban sprawl

He’d taken hair samples. He shot photographs of his research subjects, clothed, and then when Osborn demanded that he needed them to be posed naked for his exhibit, unclothed. Race mixing “from the standpoint of the Whites or Chinese,” he wrote confidently in private correspondence, “is a failure of course.” But to figure it out for sure, he’d need more time to sift through the mountains of data, scribbled on index cards, overwhelming in volume, and yet stubbornly cryptic. While Sullivan couldn’t attend the conference, he’d sent photographs, face casts, and charts, which curators assembled into a display on the “race problem in Hawaii,” along with statistics and photographs contrasting “pure” Hawaiians, Chinese, Japanese, and Portuguese people with the “mixtures” they’d sired. A colleague appeared at the conference42 to present some preliminary evidence from Hawaii, reassuring the audience that Sullivan’s “authoritative account” was forthcoming.


pages: 519 words: 118,095

Your Money: The Missing Manual by J.D. Roth

Airbnb, asset allocation, bank run, buy and hold, buy low sell high, car-free, Community Supported Agriculture, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, estate planning, Firefox, fixed income, full employment, hedonic treadmill, Home mortgage interest deduction, index card, index fund, late fees, mortgage tax deduction, Own Your Own Home, passive investing, Paul Graham, random walk, Richard Bolles, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, speech recognition, stocks for the long run, traveling salesman, Vanguard fund, web application, Zipcar

In this way, the stuff I haven't finished floats to the top of the list and I add new goals at the bottom. You can use this same technique to track goals in your favorite text editor or spreadsheet program (including Google Docs; see the previous section). Other people like visual reminders of their progress. You can draw a debt thermometer and stick it to the fridge, or write your annual savings goal on an index card and tape it to the bathroom mirror. Or create a chart with 360 checkboxes—one for every mortgage payment—and check off the boxes one by one as you make payments. There are many ways to track the progress toward your financial goals, and no one method is right for everyone. Go with whatever works for you. Your Money And Your Life: Advertising to Yourself There's no shortage of TV and magazine ads telling you how and why to spend your money.


pages: 394 words: 118,929

Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software by Scott Rosenberg

A Pattern Language, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, c2.com, call centre, collaborative editing, conceptual framework, continuous integration, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, index card, Internet Archive, inventory management, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Larry Wall, life extension, Loma Prieta earthquake, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, Mitch Kapor, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Potemkin village, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, semantic web, side project, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, slashdot, software studies, source of truth, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Therac-25, thinkpad, Turing test, VA Linux, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

The patterns movement approached software development as a craft; it held, as veteran computing columnist Brian Hayes wrote, that “programmers are like carpenters or stonemasons—stewards of a body of knowledge gained by experience and passed along by tradition and apprenticeship.” Patterns advocates like Cunningham and Beck brought hands-on practicality to a field that desperately needed it. For instance, to tame the complexity of object-oriented coding, Cunningham and Beck proposed that programmers design a new program by laying out index cards—one per software object—on a table. “These have the advantages that they are cheap, portable, readily available, and familiar,” they wrote. “We were surprised at the value of physically moving the cards around. When learners pick up an object, they seem to more readily identify with it and are prepared to deal with the remainder of the design from its perspective. It is the value of this physical interaction that has led us to resist a computerization of the cards.”


pages: 419 words: 125,977

Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China by Leslie T. Chang

anti-communist, Deng Xiaoping, estate planning, financial independence, index card, invention of writing, job-hopping, land reform, Mason jar, mass immigration, new economy, Pearl River Delta, risk tolerance, special economic zone

Men didn’t care about height or real estate but they preferred a woman with a gentle temperament. Some women favored men from Guangdong Province, who would bring the benefits of local residency, while others felt a local man would have too much leverage over them. Men didn’t care about residential status. Women had many more demands than men. The members of the Making Friends Club filled out index cards with their personal information and what they wanted in a mate. The card listed a member’s occupation and marital status and personal details like height, weight, and health. It also included characteristics that could appear only on a Chinese matchmaking application, such as political identity, apartment ownership, and the health and financial standing of one’s family members. Political identity denoted whether a person belonged to the Communist Party; few club members were so exalted and most simply wrote “masses.”


Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress

Cepheid variable, Charles Lindbergh, double helix, gravity well, index card, indoor plumbing, job automation, phenotype, union organizing

No, not that, she told herself severely. Not that. The blood didn’t listen. “You sure smile a lot,” said the man next to her in first class, a business traveler who had not recognized Leisha. “You coming from a big party in Chicago?” “No. From a funeral.” The man looked shocked, then disgusted. Leisha looked out the window at the ground far below. Rivers like micro-circuits, fields like neat index cards. And on the horizon, fluffy white clouds like masses of exotic flowers, blooms in a conservatory filled with light. The letter was no thicker than any hard-copy mail, but hard-copy mail addressed by hand to either of them was so rare that Richard was nervous. “It might be explosive.” Leisha looked at the letter on their hall credenza. MS. LIESHA CAMDEN. Block letters, misspelled. “It looks like a child’s writing,” she said.


pages: 459 words: 123,220

Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert D. Putnam

assortative mating, business cycle, correlation does not imply causation, deindustrialization, demographic transition, desegregation, ending welfare as we know it, epigenetics, full employment, George Akerlof, helicopter parent, impulse control, income inequality, index card, jobless men, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Occupy movement, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, school choice, selection bias, Socratic dialogue, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the built environment, upwardly mobile, Walter Mischel, white flight, working poor

When Desmond was undecided about a medical career, rather than tell him what do to, Carl arranged for him to speak to some medical professionals and attend a six-week seminar. Simone is warm, but she can also be tough and interventionist. An episode from Desmond’s high school years in Georgia illustrates this facet of her parenting, as well as her ability to navigate tricky issues of race. While taking an economics exam, Desmond glanced at some index cards he had put on the floor. They were notes for his next class, but his teacher accused him of cheating. Desmond called his mom on his cell phone from school, and she immediately came to the classroom to ask what had happened. After discussing the situation with Desmond and Simone, the teacher agreed that he had misread it. “I can understand why you would think [that he was cheating],” Simone told him.


pages: 347 words: 123,884

The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships: Decoding Social Mysteries Through the Unique Perspectives of Autism by Temple Grandin, Sean Barron

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, fundamental attribution error, index card, Mars Rover, neurotypical, theory of mind

What is interesting to note is that for children, adolescents and adults with ASD who have a stronger degree of emotional-relating ability, their intellectual abilities can be so clouded by the emotional chaos that even some of the simpler social interactions—like asking for help—need to be formally taught, and constantly reinforced. Sean continues on: I got my first paying job when, at age nineteen, I walked into the Los Angeles Valley College placement office and scanned the three-inch-by-five-inch index cards listing various job openings available in the San Fernando Valley. On a whim, I took the first one I saw, which described an opening for a teacher’s assistant at a private preschool in nearby Northridge. I talked to Frank, the director, a young, soft-spoken man. “Are you currently taking any child development courses?” he asked. “No, but I plan to take basic child development next semester,” I responded.


pages: 351 words: 123,876

Beautiful Testing: Leading Professionals Reveal How They Improve Software (Theory in Practice) by Adam Goucher, Tim Riley

Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Black Swan, call centre, continuous integration, Debian, Donald Knuth, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Grace Hopper, index card, Isaac Newton, natural language processing, p-value, performance metric, revision control, six sigma, software as a service, software patent, the scientific method, Therac-25, Valgrind, web application

This box must be repeated on the second page. </div> <div style="height: 100%; border-left: 2em blue solid;"> The left border of this box must span the entire page content area. This box must be repeated on the second page. </div> </html> The reftest-print class works like a typical class definition. It defines a specific page layout, forcing the page to render as though it were printed on a set of 3 × 5-inch index cards. Since the purpose of the reftest-print class is to change the canvas size, it must be included in both the test and the reference markup. Unlike the asynchronous test in Table 19-3, there is no need to remove the reftest-print value. The test in Table 19-4 ensures that the total page height for the root element is calculated properly. By using the height setting of 100%, the total height becomes a function of the root element’s height.


pages: 476 words: 129,209

The Great Halifax Explosion: A World War I Story of Treachery, Tragedy, and Extraordinary Heroism by John U. Bacon

British Empire, California gold rush, clean water, discovery of penicillin, housing crisis, index card, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, transcontinental railway, yellow journalism

., Simmonds had equipped a hundred men with shovels, axes, saws, and ladders from his store, and sent them by boat with orders to clear a passage through the rubble on Barrington Street, a major artery. Supervising this work, Colonel Simmonds recognized another need that wouldn’t have occurred to him if he hadn’t been on the scene. He sent a messenger back to his company to get all the three-by-five index cards they had to record where each article or corpse had been found and tie the label to the object or the body itself. They tagged the corpses and piled them on the side of the road three high until they could figure out where to move them. But due to Halifax’s lack of preparation, civic institutions were immediately overwhelmed by the tasks in front of them. In 1917, the Halifax Police Department consisted of a chief, a detective, eight sergeants, and twenty-nine officers, plus eight temporary men who had been hired to help with the wartime surge in population, soldiers, and criminal activity.


pages: 523 words: 129,580

Eternity by Greg Bear

index card, life extension, white flight, white picket fence

Rhita drew the gap i.n the curtains tighter, old nut-shell curtain rings rattling against the cane rod, and returned to her bed, feeling without reason a little more secure. Switching the screen back on, she surveyed the list. She had read or’looked through virtually all of the two hundred and seven books listed. This time, however, her eyes alighted on a title she had not read. She could have sworn it was newly added. It said simply, “READ ME NOW.” She called it up on the screen. The index card preceding the display of the first page told her the volume was three hundred pages in lengthmabout a hundred thousand 85 GREG BEAR words—and it was in Hellenic, not English, as all the other books in the cubes were. She halted the display of the index as she saw a flashing cursor next to a description she had not seen before. “Contents and catalog display suppressed until 4/25/49.” That had been two days before.


pages: 349 words: 134,041

Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives by Satyajit Das

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, beat the dealer, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, BRICs, Brownian motion, business process, buy and hold, buy low sell high, call centre, capital asset pricing model, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Thorp, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Everything should be made as simple as possible, financial innovation, fixed income, Haight Ashbury, high net worth, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index card, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, John Meriwether, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, mass affluent, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, new economy, New Journalism, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Parkinson's law, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, Right to Buy, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Satyajit Das, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, technology bubble, the medium is the message, the new new thing, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, Vanguard fund, volatility smile, yield curve, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond

In July 1993, Citron confidently predicted that interest rates would not rise and gave his reasons: ‘I am one of the largest investors in America. I know these things.’ 2 The truth was even more bizarre than normal. Citron was a drop-out from the University of Southern California, with limited knowledge or dealings with high finance. He maintained investment records on elaborate systems such as index cards and a calendar, and the most sophisticated analytical tool he used was a wristwatch calculator. (Ironically, the revered Fischer Black was also partial to wristwatch calculators.) At a personal level, Citron behaved oddly. He loved the colour turquoise: he dressed in turquoise, favouring paisley ties in the same colour. He had turquoise jewellery and a turquoise convertible Chrysler. The behaviour was perhaps not remarkable in California, at least from any survivor of the Haight-Ashbury period of the 1960s.


pages: 752 words: 131,533

Python for Data Analysis by Wes McKinney

backtesting, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Debian, Firefox, Google Chrome, Guido van Rossum, index card, random walk, recommendation engine, revision control, sentiment analysis, Sharpe ratio, side project, sorting algorithm, statistical model, type inference

One way is to select the first K elements of np.random.permutation(N), where N is the size of your complete dataset and K the desired sample size. As a more fun example, here’s a way to construct a deck of English-style playing cards: # Hearts, Spades, Clubs, Diamonds suits = ['H', 'S', 'C', 'D'] card_val = (range(1, 11) + [10] * 3) * 4 base_names = ['A'] + range(2, 11) + ['J', 'K', 'Q'] cards = [] for suit in ['H', 'S', 'C', 'D']: cards.extend(str(num) + suit for num in base_names) deck = Series(card_val, index=cards) So now we have a Series of length 52 whose index contains card names and values are the ones used in blackjack and other games (to keep things simple, I just let the ace be 1): In [121]: deck[:13] Out[121]: AH 1 2H 2 3H 3 4H 4 5H 5 6H 6 7H 7 8H 8 9H 9 10H 10 JH 10 KH 10 QH 10 Now, based on what I said above, drawing a hand of 5 cards from the desk could be written as: In [122]: def draw(deck, n=5): .....: return deck.take(np.random.permutation(len(deck))[:n]) In [123]: draw(deck) Out[123]: AD 1 8C 8 5H 5 KC 10 2C 2 Suppose you wanted two random cards from each suit.


pages: 458 words: 134,028

Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes by Mark Penn, E. Kinney Zalesne

addicted to oil, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, big-box store, call centre, corporate governance, David Brooks, Donald Trump, extreme commuting, Exxon Valdez, feminist movement, glass ceiling, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, haute couture, hygiene hypothesis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, index card, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, late fees, life extension, low cost airline, low skilled workers, mobile money, new economy, RAND corporation, Renaissance Technologies, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Rubik’s Cube, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, the payments system, Thomas L Friedman, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white picket fence, women in the workforce, Y2K

They’re tired of having friends interrupt personal conversations to respond to incoming e-mails from other people. They’re tired of having their kids come home from school and go, glazed-eyed, into their computer screens. They’re tired of BlackBerrys at the dinner table, drivers on cell phones, and iPods that prevent people from even noticing that other people are trying to talk to them. They are striking back, with their pens, legal pads, index cards, and scraps of paper in pockets containing all their to-do lists. They may be less outgoing than the Social Geeks, but they are standing firm for the old-fashioned obligation to look people in the eye and say hello—not just IM them, “how r u?” And they may be gaining ground. As of early 2007, the much touted plan to allow passengers to use cell phones on airplanes seems doomed. Apart from lingering concerns that the phones would interfere with plane navigation equipment and on-the-ground calls, it turns out that people didn’t want to hear other people yakking in their cell phones in midair.


pages: 431 words: 132,416

No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller by Harry Markopolos

backtesting, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, buy and hold, call centre, centralized clearinghouse, correlation coefficient, diversified portfolio, Edward Thorp, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, family office, financial thriller, fixed income, forensic accounting, high net worth, index card, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, regulatory arbitrage, Renaissance Technologies, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, rolodex, Sharpe ratio, statistical arbitrage, too big to fail, transaction costs, your tax dollars at work

The SEC’s actions and inactions during the Madoff investigation were a comedy of horrors.” But in my oral testimony I was a little more succinct, telling Senator Schumer, “In a nutshell, the SEC staff was not capable of finding ice cream in a Dairy Queen.” I was surprised that I was asked so few questions in this hearing. Senator Schumer seemed to focus on the other members of the panel. In fact, throughout the panel questioning Gaytri was handing me index cards with suggestions, but I really got very little opportunity to speak. Finally she started handing me cards urging me, “Jump in whenever you can.” The whole situation was unusual. The other senators had left after the first session and Schumer carefully controlled this panel. I’m sure he had his reasons. One question Senator Schumer did ask me was what my two strongest recommendations would be for the improvement of the SEC.


pages: 566 words: 153,259

The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy by Seth Mnookin

Albert Einstein, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, en.wikipedia.org, illegal immigration, index card, Isaac Newton, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mouse model, neurotypical, pattern recognition, placebo effect, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, selection bias, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

Which is that we vaccinated our baby and something happened. . . . Right before his MMR shot, I said to the doctor, I have a very bad feeling about this shot. This is the autism shot, isn’t it? And he said, “No, that is ridiculous. It is a mother’s desperate attempt to blame something on autism.” And he swore at me. . . . And not soon thereafter, I noticed that change in the pictures: Boom! Soul, gone from his eyes. At that point, Winfrey picked up an index card. “Of course,” she said, “we talked to the Centers for Disease Control and asked them whether or not there is a link between autism and childhood vaccinations. And here’s what they said.” As she started to read, the screen filled with text. We simply don’t know what causes most cases of autism, but we’re doing everything we can to find out. The vast majority of science to date does not support an association between thimerosal in vaccines and autism. . . .


pages: 539 words: 139,378

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

affirmative action, Black Swan, cognitive bias, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, index card, invisible hand, lateral thinking, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Necker cube, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, social intelligence, social web, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Spirit Level, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, ultimatum game

People are quite good at challenging statements made by other people, but if it’s your belief, then it’s your possession—your child, almost—and you want to protect it, not challenge it and risk losing it.19 Deanna Kuhn, a leading researcher of everyday reasoning, found evidence of the confirmation bias even when people solve a problem that is important for survival: knowing what foods make us sick. To bring this question into the lab she created sets of eight index cards, each of which showed a cartoon image of a child eating something—chocolate cake versus carrot cake, for example—and then showed what happened to the child afterward: the child is smiling, or else is frowning and looking sick. She showed the cards one at a time, to children and to adults, and asked them to say whether the “evidence” (the 8 cards) suggested that either kind of food makes kids sick.


pages: 457 words: 143,967

The Bank That Lived a Little: Barclays in the Age of the Very Free Market by Philip Augar

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, break the buck, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, family office, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, high net worth, hiring and firing, index card, index fund, interest rate derivative, light touch regulation, loadsamoney, Long Term Capital Management, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, out of africa, prediction markets, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Sloane Ranger, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, sovereign wealth fund, too big to fail, wikimedia commons, yield curve

His paper concluded with a request and an appeal: ‘Formally I am coming to the Board to ask for permission to explore the possibility of demerger and advice as to how to go about it. I am also hoping for the broadest possible response – emotional and rational – to the issues set out in this paper.’6 It was a dispassionate analysis deserving of full discussion, but he had not pre-sold it to the board. The atmosphere was uncomfortable as he outlined his thoughts, occasionally glancing at some notes on an index card. Middleton glanced across the table and saw Mobbs looking glum with his head in his hands. Lendrum had only recently joined the board and was shaking his head in disbelief. Were all board meetings going to be like this? Arculus, sitting next to Taylor, was heard to mutter: ‘Three hundred years of history’ and was seen wringing his hands. No one looked Taylor straight in the eye. Buxton said that before taking the non-executives’ views, he wanted to hear what the executive directors thought.


pages: 444 words: 130,646

Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest by Zeynep Tufekci

4chan, active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AltaVista, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, citizen journalism, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, index card, interchangeable parts, invention of movable type, invention of writing, loose coupling, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, pre–internet, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Thorstein Veblen, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks

It was not possible for that number of people to stay in the city overnight, not only because of logistical difficulties but also because of political infeasibility given the hostility toward black people and the lack of accommodations in the largely segregated city before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The details of transportation were many. Everything had to be done without modern computers; most of the clerical tasks were performed with paper forms and 3" × 5" index cards. The building in Harlem, New York, that served as the organizational headquarters of the march was filled with desks, telephones, mimeograph machines, and assistants borrowed from participating organizations. The young organizer charged with overseeing transportation worked so hard during the eight weeks before the event that she fell asleep from utter exhaustion on the day of the march. She missed the whole march, even King’s speech, but the transportation worked perfectly.


pages: 1,829 words: 135,521

Python for Data Analysis: Data Wrangling with Pandas, NumPy, and IPython by Wes McKinney

business process, Debian, Firefox, general-purpose programming language, Google Chrome, Guido van Rossum, index card, p-value, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, recommendation engine, sentiment analysis, side project, sorting algorithm, statistical model, type inference

There are a number of ways to perform the “draws”; here we use the sample method for Series. To demonstrate, here’s a way to construct a deck of English-style playing cards: # Hearts, Spades, Clubs, Diamonds suits = ['H', 'S', 'C', 'D'] card_val = (list(range(1, 11)) + [10] * 3) * 4 base_names = ['A'] + list(range(2, 11)) + ['J', 'K', 'Q'] cards = [] for suit in ['H', 'S', 'C', 'D']: cards.extend(str(num) + suit for num in base_names) deck = pd.Series(card_val, index=cards) So now we have a Series of length 52 whose index contains card names and values are the ones used in Blackjack and other games (to keep things simple, I just let the ace 'A' be 1): In [108]: deck[:13] Out[108]: AH 1 2H 2 3H 3 4H 4 5H 5 6H 6 7H 7 8H 8 9H 9 10H 10 JH 10 KH 10 QH 10 dtype: int64 Now, based on what I said before, drawing a hand of five cards from the deck could be written as: In [109]: def draw(deck, n=5): .....: return deck.sample(n) In [110]: draw(deck) Out[110]: AD 1 8C 8 5H 5 KC 10 2C 2 dtype: int64 Suppose you wanted two random cards from each suit.


pages: 461 words: 128,421

The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street by Justin Fox

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, beat the dealer, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, business cycle, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, card file, Cass Sunstein, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discovery of the americas, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, Edward Thorp, endowment effect, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, fixed income, floating exchange rates, George Akerlof, Henri Poincaré, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, impulse control, index arbitrage, index card, index fund, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, libertarian paternalism, linear programming, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, market design, Myron Scholes, New Journalism, Nikolai Kondratiev, Paul Lévy, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pushing on a string, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, stocks for the long run, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, transaction costs, tulip mania, value at risk, Vanguard fund, Vilfredo Pareto, volatility smile, Yogi Berra

In the United States the most prominent member of the former school was Roger Babson, an 1898 graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and, like Irving Fisher, a veteran of the tuberculosis sanatorium of Colorado Springs. Babson had been an unsuccessful bond salesman in Boston before his battle with TB. Afterward he decided he might have better luck selling information about bonds rather than the bonds themselves. He started by digging up facts about obscure bond offerings and offering them to brokers. He then printed news about companies onto index cards that subscribers could file for easy access. This service evolved, after Babson sold it in 1906, into Standard Statistics (which after a later merger became Standard & Poor’s). Another of Babson’s businesses later became the National Quotation Bureau, a listing service for over-the-counter stocks that was the forerunner of the Nasdaq stock exchange. That’s how Babson got rich. But it was only after he sold off his various data services and set up shop as an investment guru that he became famous.


Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert

index card, Nelson Mandela, nuclear winter, Socratic dialogue, telemarketer

The place was crowded that Sunday night. But it always is crowded after the games. The Lazio fans always stop here on their way home from the stadium to stand in the street for hours, leaning up against their motorcycles, talking about the game, looking macho as anything, and eating cream puffs. I love Italy. 24 I am learning about twenty new Italian words a day. I’m always studying, flipping through my index cards while I walk around the city, dodging local pedestrians. Where am I getting the brain space to store these words? I’m hoping that maybe my mind has decided to clear out some old negative thoughts and sad memories and replace them with these shiny new words. I work hard at Italian, but I keep hoping it will one day just be revealed to me, whole, perfect. One day I will open my mouth and be magically fluent.


Scala in Action by Nilanjan Raychaudhuri

continuous integration, create, read, update, delete, database schema, domain-specific language, don't repeat yourself, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, fault tolerance, general-purpose programming language, index card, MVC pattern, type inference, web application

This mechanism is also known as a pull system because new work is pulled in only when there’s available capacity to handle the work. 1 “Kanban,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanban. The essential idea behind the Kanban system is limiting the work in progress.[2] Stop starting and start finishing is an important mantra aimed at reducing the amount of work in progress and, ultimately, waste. Thanks to Agile software development methodology, the card wall (or notice board or whiteboard with index cards) has become popular, and you’ll use it to visualize the work in progress for user stories and backlog, and to determine who is working on what. But card walls aren’t necessarily a Kanban system unless there’s an explicit limit on work in progress and a signaling system to pull new work. 2 David J. Anderson, Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business, Blue Hole Press, April 7, 2010.


pages: 474 words: 130,575

Surveillance Valley: The Rise of the Military-Digital Complex by Yasha Levine

23andMe, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, anti-communist, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bitcoin, borderless world, British Empire, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, collaborative editing, colonial rule, computer age, computerized markets, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, digital map, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global village, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Hangouts, Howard Zinn, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, private military company, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, Snapchat, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Hackers Conference, uber lyft, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks

ARPA didn’t just bug the battlefield; it tried to bug entire societies. Interviews, polls, population counts, detailed anthropological studies of various tribes, maps, available weapons, migration studies, social networks, agricultural practices, dossiers—all this information poured out of ARPA’s centers in Vietnam and Thailand. But there was a problem. The agency was drowning in data: typewritten paper reports, punch cards, giant tape reels, index cards, and tons of crude computer printouts. There was so much information coming in that it was effectively useless. What good was all this intel if no one could find what they needed? Something had to be done. Chapter 2 Command, Control, and Counterinsurgency What separates military intelligence in the United States from its counter-parts in totalitarian states is not its capabilities, but its intentions.


The Unicorn's Secret by Steven Levy

Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, card file, East Village, financial independence, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, index card, John Markoff, Marshall McLuhan, Ralph Nader, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog

It’s very full of good little girls—who worked very hard and did all their homework.” Since the 1890s, Bryn Mawr had supposedly allowed the students to regulate their own conduct. But the reality in 1965 was that, like most colleges then, parietals restricted an underclasswoman’s activities, especially first-year students. Jane Friedman, a classmate of Holly’s, recalls, with only slight hyperbole, that “when you went out at night, you had to sign out on an index card, giving something like ten pieces of information—everything from the hubcap size on the car of the person, to where you were going and when you were coming back. And if you weren’t back by a certain time, the so-called ‘Lantern Man’ would call the number you left to find out where you were.” But the period in which Holly Maddux attended Bryn Mawr saw more change in regulations than in the school’s previous eighty years.


Norco '80: The True Story of the Most Spectacular Bank Robbery in American History by Peter Houlahan

blue-collar work, cognitive dissonance, cuban missile crisis, friendly fire, index card, reserve currency

With everything going down so fast, did Bolasky understand he was on scene of a confirmed 211 in progress, rather than a 211 silent, most of which turned out to be false alarms? Bolasky ought to be holding off for backup, but so far he had not reported his exact position to Keeter. Was Bolasky headed straight into a 211 in progress all alone? Still on the phone with the Redlands Federal Bank teller who had reported the robbery, Gladys Wiza was furiously writing information on an index card. She slid the card in front of Keeter. Keeter looked down. Shit, he thought, now we got a real problem. CHRIS EVANS AND HER FRIEND JENNIE LEWIS WERE ON FOURTH STREET IN Evans’s black 1979 Chevy Camaro waiting for the light while checking out the cute deputy about to make a left turn in front of them. Is that “Sexually Frustrated”? Evans asked, laughing. Lewis worked at Winchell’s Donut House, where the girls had nicknames for all the cops who frequently stopped in to chat them up.


pages: 1,758 words: 342,766

Code Complete (Developer Best Practices) by Steve McConnell

Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, continuous integration, data acquisition, database schema, don't repeat yourself, Donald Knuth, fault tolerance, Grace Hopper, haute cuisine, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, index card, inventory management, iterative process, Larry Wall, loose coupling, Menlo Park, Perl 6, place-making, premature optimization, revision control, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, slashdot, sorting algorithm, statistical model, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Turing machine, web application

If you make your design drawings on large flip chart paper, you can simply archive the flip charts in a convenient location—or, better yet, post them on the walls around the project area so that people can easily refer to them and update them when needed. cc2e.com/0513 Use CRC (Class, Responsibility, Collaborator) cards. Another low-tech alternative for documenting designs is to use index cards. On each card, designers write a class name, responsibilities of the class, and collaborators (other classes that cooperate with the class). A design group then works with the cards until they're satisfied that they've created a good design. At that point, you can simply save the cards for future reference. Index cards are cheap, unintimidating, and portable, and they encourage group interaction (Beck 1991). Create UML diagrams at appropriate levels of detail. One popular technique for diagramming designs is called Unified Modeling Language (UML), which is defined by the Object Management Group (Fowler 2004).


The Sum of All Fears by Tom Clancy

accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Benoit Mandelbrot, British Empire, colonial exploitation, complexity theory, cuban missile crisis, demand response, financial independence, index card, mandelbrot fractal, trade route, uranium enrichment

She rose and walked over to her husband. Cathy bent down to kiss him on the cheek. "See me upstairs." Ryan sat still for a minute or two, gunning down the rest of his drink, switching off the TV, and smiling to himself. He checked to make sure the house was locked and the security system armed. He stopped off in the bathroom to brush his teeth. A surreptitious check on her vanity drawer revealed a thermometer and a little index card with dates and temperatures on it. So. She wasn't kidding. She'd been thinking about this and, typically, keeping it to herself. Well, that was okay, wasn't it? Yeah. Jack entered the bedroom and paused to hang up his clothes, donning a bathrobe before joining his wife at the bedside. She rose to wrap her arms around his neck, and he kissed her. "You sure about this, babe?" "Does it bother you?"

I suppose they could prosecute me - technically, I have just committed a federal felony - but I doubt it would go that far. Ding would lose his job, too, because he hasn't had the sense to keep his mouth shut like I told him to." "Shit," Ding commented, then looked embarrassed. "Excuse me, ma'am. John, this is a matter of honor. 'Cept for the Doc, I'd be fertilizer on some Colombian hilltop. I owe him my life. That counts more than a job, 'mano." Clark handed over an index card. "These are the dates of the operation. You may remember that when Admiral Greer died, Jack didn't make the funeral." "Yes! Bob Ritter called me, and-" "That's when it was. You can verify all of this with Mr Murray." "God!" It all hit her at once. "Yes, ma'am. All the garbage in these articles. It's all a lie." "Who's doing it?" "I don't know, but I am going to find out. Doctor, I've been watching your guy come apart for the past six months.


pages: 485 words: 148,662

Farewell by Sergei Kostin, Eric Raynaud

active measures, car-free, cuban missile crisis, index card, invisible hand, kremlinology, Lao Tzu, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier

It would have been enough to approach systematically any identified intelligence officer. If he turned down the offer, he had to leave; if he went along, he had to collaborate or operate as a double agent. This would have been a win-win situation for the DST. After the failed approach, Raymond Nart simply updated Vetrov’s file in the central database of the service. This was in fact a simple index card (we were still years away from computers and digital files) summarizing the history and basic information regarding the target. Before filing the dossier, Nart wrote an additional note in red: “If target reappears or asks for a visa, inform immediately R23,” the internal name code of Nart himself.10 In fairness to Prévost, it must be said that if Vetrov could have good memories of his relations with the French, it is also thanks to Prévost’s skillfulness, which does not preclude the possibility of friendly feelings toward his Soviet partner.


Multitool Linux: Practical Uses for Open Source Software by Michael Schwarz, Jeremy Anderson, Peter Curtis

business process, Debian, defense in depth, GnuPG, index card, indoor plumbing, Larry Wall, MITM: man-in-the-middle, optical character recognition, publish or perish, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, slashdot, web application

It will help you focus on camera angles and avoid plot deviations and will serve as a guide as you shoot video footage and prepare graphic images or animations. There is really nothing Linux specific about this concept—it's just a good idea to do. As you become familiar with more Linux tools, you might try using them to create the storyboard images. I find it easier to simply scratch out my ideas onto 3 x 5 index cards. I'm no artist, but I get my point across. Lights, Camcorder, Action! Once you have an idea of what video you will need, it's time to head to the set and start shooting. For me, the set was the local R/C track. Luckily, the guys at the track were very nice and allowed me to walk all over the track to position my camera in various places for the best shots. Keep track of what video you will need to shoot.


pages: 744 words: 142,748

Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws Who Hacked Ma Bell by Phil Lapsley

air freight, Apple II, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Bob Noyce, card file, cuban missile crisis, dumpster diving, Hush-A-Phone, index card, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, John Markoff, Menlo Park, popular electronics, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, the new new thing, the scientific method, undersea cable, urban renewal, wikimedia commons

The government had been tangling with Beckley since the late 1950s and wanted to take him down. Badly. “Beckley lived in a plush Miami Beach apartment house, five or six stories up, well insulated. There was no way to get in and do anything,” Sharp says. “We were pretty well restricted to phone record checks.” But the phone records were a treasure trove. Over a period of months Sharp amassed a 3x5 index card file—some twenty thousand cards’ worth—of every long-distance number Beckley called. “We didn’t know the term then,” Sharp says, “but what we really needed was a computer database.” Painstakingly, Sharp and his colleagues built a detailed map of Beckley and his associates. By combining this with other intelligence they formed a solid picture of his bookmaking operation. The threat posed by telephone toll records wasn’t news to the bookies, and they had developed several techniques to combat it.


pages: 613 words: 151,140

No Such Thing as Society by Andy McSmith

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Brixton riot, call centre, cuban missile crisis, Etonian, F. W. de Klerk, Farzad Bazoft, feminist movement, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, full employment, glass ceiling, God and Mammon, greed is good, illegal immigration, index card, John Bercow, Kickstarter, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Live Aid, loadsamoney, long peace, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, old-boy network, popular capitalism, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Sloane Ranger, South Sea Bubble, spread of share-ownership, strikebreaker, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban decay, Winter of Discontent, young professional

The head of Leeds Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Chief Superintendent Dennis Hoban, knew at once that he was pursuing a very dangerous man; when he died in 1978, aged fifty-two, friends and colleagues suspected that the stress of the Ripper hunt had hastened his death.7 He deployed 137 officers, and within a year of the second murder the police had invested 64,000 hours, filled 6,400 index cards, made 3,700 house-to-house inquiries, checked up on 3,500 vehicles and taken 830 statements.8 By the end of 1980, there were 289 police officers working full time on the case, 188 in West Yorkshire alone. The problem was not lack of effort, but disorganization. Computers existed, but the police would not use them. The government offered the West Yorkshire police access to the computer at the Atomic Research Establishment, in Harwell, for a fee of £25,000, plus an annual rent of £156,000, but the police decided that it would not be worth the money,9 so every report of every investigation or interrogation was recorded on paper.


pages: 629 words: 142,393

The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, c2.com, call centre, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, commoditize, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, illegal immigration, index card, informal economy, Internet Archive, jimmy wales, John Markoff, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, old-boy network, packet switching, peer-to-peer, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Robert X Cringely, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

An IT ecosystem comprising fixed hardware and flexible software soon proved its worth: PC word processing software could be upgraded or replaced with better, competing software without having to junk the PC itself. Word processing itself represented a significant advance over typing, dynamically updated spreadsheets were immensely more powerful than static tables of numbers generated through the use of calculators, and relational databases put index cards and more sophisticated paper-based filing systems to shame.15 Entirely new applications like video games, beginning with text-based adventures,16 pioneered additional uses of leisure time, and existing games—such as chess and checkers—soon featured the computer itself as a worthy opponent.17 PCs may not have been ideal for a corporate environment—documents and other important information were scattered on different PCs depending on who authored what, and enterprise-wide backup was often a real headache.


pages: 559 words: 157,112

Dealers of Lightning by Michael A. Hiltzik

Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, beat the dealer, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, business cycle, computer age, creative destruction, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, index card, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, oil shock, popular electronics, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the medium is the message, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, zero-sum game

The first prototype of Superpaint went operational in Building 34 on April 10, 1973, just a few days after the Alto, which was being built in a basement room directly under his ground-floor video lab. While Cookie Monster was marching across the Alto screen to the delighted gasps of the PARC faithful and their visitors, Dick Shoup was seated alone before a black-and-white video camera, holding up an index card on which he had scrawled, “It works, sort of.” The system recorded the image of his face and the card in buffer memory in accurate detail—save for the bright red-orange of his droopy mustache and collar-length hair—and stored it on a conventional computer disk as a pattern of bits. (“It survives to this day,” he said in 1998.) Within a few months he had added a kaleidoscopic variety of video inputs, including live television, videotape, and videodisc, as well as hardware and software to allow him to alter the images he grabbed from the screen.


pages: 482 words: 147,281

A Crack in the Edge of the World by Simon Winchester

Albert Einstein, Asilomar, butterfly effect, California gold rush, Golden Gate Park, index card, indoor plumbing, lateral thinking, Loma Prieta earthquake, Menlo Park, place-making, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, supervolcano, The Chicago School, transcontinental railway, wage slave, Works Progress Administration

Over the next two decades a number of amendments were added to the legislation – the most important, so far as it affected matters in 1906, was a liberalizing clause that allowed relatives of Chinese people who were already legally settled in America to go there to settle too. Until the spring of 1906 all would-be Chinese immigrants had been processed and interviewed in a small two-storey shed that belonged to the Pacific Mail Steamship Company on the San Francisco waterfront. It was there that immigration officials, armed with index cards giving the details of every Chinese-born American citizen already legally in the country, conducted Exclusion Act interviews with the arrivals, and did so with clinical efficiency: if the arrival turned out to have a father or brother already rightfully in America, then the official stamped them in; if not, they were first put in the lock-up, then marched down the docks and put back in the hold of a China-bound ship without further ado.


pages: 530 words: 151,616

12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton

back-to-the-land, index card, Iridium satellite, New Journalism

Atta was stroking his beard, looking overjoyed to see his new American friends. Dean immediately wanted a Pakol hat. He shook the warlord’s hand, which was strong and papery, darkened by years of sun and war. For a thirty-eight-year-old, he looked like an older man. Dean thought he had warm eyes. “I’ve heard a lot about you,” Dean said, lying through his teeth. What he knew about the man would’ve fit on an index card. But he wanted Atta to know that he had the United States’ entire attention. Atta smiled and, through an interpreter, welcomed him and explained that he had been up all night planning his army’s movements. He surprised Dean by announcing that he was going to take a nap. Dean felt the air go out of the moment. A nap? He wanted to sit down and talk about the war. The warlord bowed slightly and retreated inside his house.


pages: 504 words: 144,415

Chickenhawk by Robert Mason

index card, life extension, North Sea oil

I nodded and said, “Can I put my gear over here?” I pointed to the back of the tent. “Sure,” said Stoddard. I threw my bag against the cloth wall and sat on it. Monk resumed filing his clippings. Ragged copies of Stars and Stripes, Newsweek, Time, and other magazines lay strewn in the dirt around his bedroll. He carefully cut each item with a Swiss army scissors, then flipped through alphabetized index cards to find its proper place. “Are you a writer?” I asked. “Monk, a writer?” Stoopy giggled. His belly and fat cheeks shook. I noticed chocolate stains on his lips and then saw the chocolate bar grasped in a grubby hand. “He thinks you’re a writer, Monk.” He laughed brightly. Monk shot him a glance that killed the laughter immediately. Stoopy blinked hard and sat quietly and respectfully. “No, not yet,” said Monk.


Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations With Today's Top Comedy Writers by Mike Sacks

Bernie Madoff, Columbine, hive mind, index card, iterative process, Norman Mailer, period drama, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Saturday Night Live, Upton Sinclair

The average workday at a late-night show is fast-paced and stressful. You are, after all, turning around material for a program that airs that night. Days at a sitcom can sometimes be just as demanding. But other days—often the ones spent breaking stories—can feel downright leisurely. To an outside observer they look a bit like closing time at an opium den. Writers lounge on couches, staring at a bulletin board with index cards tacked to it and tossing out half-baked ideas. One or two people fall asleep. Snacks are available. But appearances in this case are deceiving. When I made the jump from late-night to scripted I was what you’d call inexperienced at writing sitcoms—or, if you were being less charitable, awful at it. I was cocky because I had assumed that years of watching half-hour comedies would make writing for one an intuitive exercise.


pages: 513 words: 154,427

Chief Engineer by Erica Wagner

Charles Lindbergh, Edmond Halley, index card, oil shale / tar sands, railway mania, Silicon Valley

(201 x 134.9 cm., 75.3 kg.). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Paul Roebling, 1994.69.2 Acknowledgments Like a bridge, a book is not in fact built by one person alone; there have been many along the way who have helped shepherd Chief Engineer to publication. I have been working on this project—or a version of this project—for longer than I sometimes care to remember: I still have a black box of index cards covered with notes taken in the New York Public Library when I was still at university and supposedly doing an English degree. There are quite a few people to thank. Of course I am indebted to the work of scholars who have gone before me. The work of David McCullough, Clifford Zink, and Henry Petroski has been especially valuable. Of incalculable value has been the work—and friendship—of Donald Sayenga, who first brought Washington Roebling’s memoir to light.


pages: 484 words: 155,401

Solitary by Albert Woodfox

airport security, Donald Trump, full employment, income inequality, index card, mandatory minimum, mass immigration, means of production, Nelson Mandela, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, side project

Hips, knees, back—all that would be hurting at one time or another. The dungeon could destroy every fragment of a man’s dignity and self-respect. The harsh conditions were so hurtful that strong men would cry. They broke. The only way anyone got out of the dungeon was if the colonel, who was head of security at Angola, let you out when he was making his rounds. He’d come every day, carrying a stack of index cards that had the names of prisoners on them and what each one had done to be put in the dungeon. He walked down the tier slowly. It played to the colonel’s ego to have that much control over our lives. Some prisoners stood in there for 30, 45, or 60 days, “under investigation.” Some men would beg for release in a childlike voice when they saw him, crying, “I’ll be good. Please let me out.” I was hurting too, but I was too proud to show it.


pages: 467 words: 149,632

If Then: How Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future by Jill Lepore

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, anti-communist, Buckminster Fuller, computer age, coronavirus, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, game design, George Gilder, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, Howard Zinn, index card, information retrieval, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeffrey Epstein, job automation, land reform, linear programming, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, packet switching, Peter Thiel, profit motive, RAND corporation, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog

Schlesinger had found, having taken a leave from his faculty position at Harvard, that he didn’t have all that much to do. His office was in the East Wing, not the West Wing, and although the president occasionally consulted him, he was mostly there to bear witness, a court historian. “We’d better make sure we have a record over here,” Kennedy would say during meetings, and Schlesinger would dutifully take out the stack of eight-by-four-inch index cards he carried around in his pocket and begin taking notes. “He didn’t do a helluva lot,” Bobby Kennedy would say, “but he was good to have around.”41 Greenfield had already reached out to Newton Minow, the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Two weeks after the election, Greenfield had sent Minow a list of “Possible Government Uses of Simulation”—tasks the Kennedy administration might hire Simulmatics to take on with departments of the federal government, from the Post Office Department (“model of mail flows”) and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (“model of epidemiology of addiction and delinquency”) to the Department of Labor (“model of future wage rate changes for different jobs”) and the Department of State (“model of voting in the United Nations to project likely blocs under different conditions”).


Bleeding Edge by Pynchon, Thomas

addicted to oil, AltaVista, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Burning Man, carried interest, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, East Village, Hacker Ethic, index card, invisible hand, jitney, late capitalism, margin call, Network effects, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, telemarketer, Y2K

At the moment nothing much is happening, though happy hour looms, and with it the onset of another impromptu pink-slip party, for which the Bucket has begun to get a reputation. Driscoll Padgett is a freelance Web-page designer, “making it up as I go along, just like everybody else,” also temping as a code writer, for $30 an hour—she’s fast and conscientious, and the word has got around, so she’s more or less steadily in demand, though now and then there’s a gap in the rent cycle where she’s had to resort to the Winnie list, or index cards stuck up next to dumpsters, and so forth. Loft parties sometimes, though that’s usually for the cheap drinks. Driscoll was over at hwgaahwgh.com today looking for Photoshop filter plug-ins, having like many of her generation acquired a Jones which has led them off on scavenger hunts after ever-more-exotic varieties. “Should be custom-designin plug-ins of my own, been tryin to teach myself Filter Factory language, not that hard, almost like C, but looting’s easier, today I actually downloaded something off of the people who Photoshopped Dr.


pages: 467 words: 503

The omnivore's dilemma: a natural history of four meals by Michael Pollan

additive manufacturing, back-to-the-land, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Community Supported Agriculture, double entry bookkeeping, Gary Taubes, Haber-Bosch Process, index card, informal economy, invention of agriculture, means of production, new economy, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, Whole Earth Catalog

For some reason the very real potential for disaster hadn't dawned on me earlier, or the fact that I was cooking for a particularly discriminating group of eaters, several of them actual chefs. Now, dawn on me it did, and it left me feeling more than a little intimidated. To give you a more comprehensive idea of exactly what I'd gotten myself into, here's the schedule I wrote out Friday evening on an index card: 8:00 brine the loin; shell and blanche and skin the fava beans. [Favas are one of nature's more labor-intensive legumes, requiring two separate peelings, with a blanching in between.] 9:00 make the bread dough. First rise. 10:00 brown the leg; prepare liquid for braise. 10:30 pit the cherries. Make pastry crust; refrigerate. Preheat oven for pig, 250°. 11:00 Pig in oven. Skin fava beans. Roast garlic, puree favas. 12:00 knead bread dough; second rise. 12:30 clean morels; harvest and chop herbs, sauté morels. 1:00 harvest and wash lettuce.


pages: 855 words: 178,507

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick

Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, bank run, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, butterfly effect, citation needed, Claude Shannon: information theory, clockwork universe, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, lifelogging, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microbiome, Milgram experiment, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, Simon Singh, Socratic dialogue, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, talking drums, the High Line, The Wisdom of Crowds, transcontinental railway, Turing machine, Turing test, women in the workforce

Simpson was the sixth in a distinguished line, the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary, whose names rolled fluently off his tongue—“Murray, Bradley, Craigie, Onions, Burchfield, so however many fingers that is”—and saw himself as a steward of their traditions, as well as traditions of English lexicography extending back to Cawdrey by way of Samuel Johnson. James Murray in the nineteenth century established a working method based on index cards, slips of paper 6 inches by 4 inches. At any given moment a thousand such slips sat on Simpson’s desk, and within a stone’s throw were millions more, filling metal files and wooden boxes with the ink of two centuries. But the word-slips had gone obsolete. They had become treeware. Treeware had just entered the OED as “computing slang, freq. humorous”; blog was recognized in 2003, dot-commer in 2004, cyberpet in 2005, and the verb to Google in 2006.


pages: 625 words: 167,097

Kiln People by David Brin

Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, index card, jitney, life extension, pattern recognition, phenotype, price anchoring, prisoner's dilemma, Schrödinger's Cat, telepresence, Vernor Vinge, your tax dollars at work

Who is in the best position to exploit this magnificent glazier, when it finally attains full power? Its inventor? The one who understands the theory? Or the one who dwells within the ever-growing Standing Wave? The one who makes it possible by virtue of raw duplicating talent? The one who, you might say, was born for it? Hey, theoretical understanding is overrated. Anyway, as we/I amplify, grow, and spread, I can start to feel Maharal's knowledge, like a riffling breeze of index cards, all aflurry nearby, close enough to reach out and access -- Who says he should be the rider and I the steed? Why not the other way around? 51 Ceiling Fate ... as Greenie falls in ... It's kind of hard to move about when half of you has fallen off or broken down. Crushed and burned, shrunken and diminished, I had only partial function in one leg to help me haul myself upward along the fuselage of the skycycle, perching next to its cockpit, leaning in to fumble at whatever buttons I could reach.


pages: 649 words: 172,080

Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of Al Qa'ida Since 9/11: The Pursuit of Al Qa'ida Since 9/11 by Seth G. Jones

airport security, battle of ideas, defense in depth, drone strike, Google Earth, index card, Khyber Pass, medical residency, Murray Gell-Mann, RAND corporation, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, trade route, WikiLeaks

It illustrated why he was so treasured by al Qa’ida: he had a knack for chemistry, computers, and technology, which made him useful for everything from bomb making to propaganda. And he was eminently likable, even funny. “My name is Adnan,” he said, with a discernible Saudi accent, standing in front of a blackboard smeared with white eraser marks. He wore a striped, button-down shirt that hung loosely over his pants and sported a thin beard. He occasionally consulted index cards cradled in his hands. “First thing, I’m going to show, when we are jumpstarting a car we have two things. We have the good battery in your car, which is smiling here; and the dead battery in the dead car, which is angry here.” He pointed to the blackboard, where he had sketched two three-dimensional boxes that represented the batteries. “Then we have two cables, which is like this,” he said, holding up a pair of gangly jumper cables resting on a chair at the front of the room.


pages: 552 words: 163,292

Boom: Mad Money, Mega Dealers, and the Rise of Contemporary Art by Michael Shnayerson

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, banking crisis, Bonfire of the Vanities, corporate raider, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, East Village, estate planning, Etonian, high net worth, index card, Jane Jacobs, mass immigration, NetJets, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, rent control, rolodex, Silicon Valley, tulip mania, unbiased observer, upwardly mobile, Works Progress Administration

That was likely what the artist would have wanted: “I believe in temporary art wholeheartedly,” he said at one point.23 The estate did have the legal right to make more works if it chose, however, and in a sense the late artist had pointed the way. Typically, Flavin created editions of three or five identical pieces. But numerous editions, it turned out, lacked one or more of their pieces. All this was easy to determine, since Flavin had kept records, on three-by-five index cards, of each edition and how many units had been fabricated. When a work was sold, Flavin issued along with it a certificate showing a diagram of the work, its title and number in the edition, and the artist’s signature and stamp. The certificate was the work’s proof of authenticity. At some point after his father’s death, Stephen Flavin began working with Zwirner. New works began to be fabricated under the estate’s auspices, completing editions unfinished by the artist and being quietly sold.


pages: 520 words: 164,834

Bill Marriott: Success Is Never Final--His Life and the Decisions That Built a Hotel Empire by Dale van Atta

Berlin Wall, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate raider, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, financial innovation, hiring and firing, index card, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, Maui Hawaii, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, profit motive, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, urban renewal

During this eighth-grade year for Billy, he went with Gibby Grosvenor to a testing center to determine his strengths for future career choices. As he recalled years later, “My friend was good with his hands and was told he’d make a great surgeon. They studied my test scores for a long time and said I could name most of the animals in the zoo. Maybe I should go into business, since I had no specific talents that they could find.” At the same time, a Church Apostle and family friend in Salt Lake City proudly typed up an index card recording: “Billy Marriott [is the] only boy or girl in his class who doesn’t or hasn’t smoked. He has the best marks of any student in the class.”8 At this point, J.W. began considering switching Billy to an even harder private school, the Episcopalian-run St. Albans School for boys. “My parents decided to turn me over to the Episcopalians after the Quakers had done their best,” he later joked.9 For a brief time, J.W. threw himself into being a more present father with his son.


pages: 667 words: 186,968