Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Extra 2% by Jonah Keri: a review

But the book’s mainly about the team’s management philosophy, which amounts to “do everything better,” with a large dollop of buy low/sell high. The management group is portrayed as both detail-oriented and willing to delegate, which is unusual but hardly unheard of. Basically, these guys set goals, execute them, then review and revise. Over and over again. Despite the book’s subtitle (How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Team from Worst to First), there’s nothing particularly Wall Street about what they do. The important point is knowing what you want to do and making those things happen. Many baseball teams–and many corporations–have difficulty doing that.

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The Baseball Analyst Issue 2: a review

Once again, these offerings demonstrate an enormous amount of data collection and number crunching, long before Retrosheet and Baseball Reference. (Bill James comments on that in the introduction.) All in all, a useful outing, but flawed.

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Baseball Research Journal 1976: a review

The best piece is Eugene Murdock’s profile/interview of 96-year-old Paddy Livingston, at that time the oldest living major leaguer. What makes the piece more than a reminiscence is Paddy’s attitude about the game; all things considered, he preferred to be home in Philadelphia. Not many journeyman players sit out entire seasons because they didn’t like the contract.

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Stop SOPA and PIPA

I’m talking to you, Carl Levin. And you, Debbie Stabenow. Tim Walberg, too.

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Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson: a review

This is not exactly a beginner’s book. The expected reader has some familiarity with photography and wants to better understand and master their camera. Advanced users may find the book useful as a review, and may find a tip or two they’d not previously seen, but may find some of the explanations annoying. That’s OK, as they’re not the intended audience.

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Computing in the Middle Ages by Severo Ornstein: a review

The author was involved in computing from the mid-fifties to the early eighties, and played fairly important roles in the SAGE, TX-2, and Linc projects, all of which are key to understanding how computing developed. He also was heavily involved in BBN’s pioneering Arpanet efforts, and moved on to Xerox PARC in its prime, where he helped design the first laser printer. So he had a first-hand view of the development of electronic computing in the period between the pioneering efforts and the beginnings of microcomputing. This is a different, quite personal, account of what his computing projects were like, and his assessment of the issues as they looked to the participants during the period.

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