15 books in 15 minutes

There’s a meme going around: in 15 minutes, come up with a list of 15 books that “will always stick with you”. Since lists on their own aren’t all that interesting, I’ve added some notes about why I’ve chosen these books. “The Man Who Folded Himself”, David Gerrold. One of the great SF time travel novels. Take one ordinary guy, a time machine, and the many-worlds hypothesis, and watch everything go completely nuts.

How to stop procrastinating

I’ve been reading Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind by Gary Marcus. One of the things the book discusses is that the parts of the brain responsible for abstract goals and evaluating long term priorities are relatively recent additions to our ape brains. It was a big deal when scientists discovered that crows could make tools, because it demonstrated that they too could engage in a complex form of reasoning, continuing to work at something in spite of lack of positive outcome, in order to bring about a longer term goal.

IBM and GTD

Today is my 5th anniversary at IBM. I don’t get anything exciting like more vacation, but I got congratulations from my manager. Work had been starting to get out of control, and home wasn’t much better. I’m moderately well organized, but I decided I needed to do better. So, I’m trying to implement the suggestions David Allen writes about in Getting Things Done. There are, of course, thousands of self-help personal organization gurus in the US.