Personal and Professional Blog of Rich Hauck

Book Signing at the Strand

by: Rich Hauck

I was at the Strand Bookstore the other day to see Malcolm Gladwell and Steven Johnson hold a discussion. Based on recommendations, I spent a part of my summer reading both of their books. I must say that each piece is an interesting investigation into the thinking process.

I found that Johnson’s book, Everything Bad Is Good For You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter could have been a little more quantitatively supported, but I agree that video games do have positive effects on today’s youth, and that these qualities have been, for the most part, neglected by mainstream media.

Gladwell’s book Blink made quite an impact on me with the concept that knowing everything may may not be as good as just knowing the essentials. In Blink, Gladwell writes about Paul Van Riper’s victory over the U.S. Military during a trained simulation known as the Millenium Challenge. According to the book, Van Riper defeated his overwhelming opponent by not focusing on the details, not analyzing every piece of data, but rather acting only on the information at hand. I feel that this concept could easily carry over into my realm, as Web designers are continually trying to know it all when it comes to the technology. The question is, does that really make the design better?


3 thoughts on “Book Signing at the Strand

  1. Bex says:

    I am glad you like Blink. I have been very interested in reading it myself. I read another book of his Tipping Point. Also, excellent. I think you read it? I am gonna hopefully read it on my trip to AZ next week. I’ll let you know what I think.

    I highly reccomend reading Next, the future just happened by Michael Lewis. It talks about the effects on business by the internet. Where teenagers can be stock brokers and the expertise in a field doesn’t mean age or credentials.

  2. Bex says:

    Oh, what you said about whether knowing technology makes design better? Communications Arts just printed their Interactive Annual. I flipped through it and some pieces I was thought, “okay why are you in here?” Such as, the Borders Gift Mixer 3000, aesthetically there is nothing cutting edge or high design about it. Reading about it the functionality and the concept of it is what made it award winning. You give present reccomendations for people by “mixing their personality”. A little funny, a little talkative and voila! I think the design world is moving towards it not has to look good, but functionality is being prized as well.

  3. Coincidentally, I spent this past summer at firstborn, the authors of the Borders Gift Mixer.

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About Rich Hauck

Rich Hauck

I'm a creative technologist at Hauck Interactive, Inc. and an adjunct instructor at HACC. I live in Harrisburg, Pa. with my wife and three boys. I enjoy good coffee, Trappist beers, Orioles baseball, and good design.