About David Bridgeland

Author, consultant, etc.

Public Notes


Recent Activity

  • David shared from Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of How the Wildest Man in Congress and a Rogue CIA Agent Changed the History by George Crile
    It showed that the mujahideen were hurting the Russians and that they were unwilling to quit. Gust knew that if he gave these reports a high enough classification, they’d be sure to leak—which was his intention.
    Note: security as publicity
  • David shared from Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of How the Wildest Man in Congress and a Rogue CIA Agent Changed the History by George Crile
    Technically, Avrakotos was in London to consult with a coequal intelligence service, but during this visit he realized he had something that these able and ambitious British spies desperately needed. With his American money he could put them back in the game. They had something equally valuable to offer Avrakotos in return—no lawyers to contend with and, as Gust enviously put it, “a prime minister to the right of Attila the Hun.”
    Note: US money, British freedom
  • David shared from The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves by W. Brian Arthur
    Modularity, we can say, is to a technological economy what the division of labor is to a manufacturing one; it increases as given technologies are used more, and therefore as the economy expands. Or, to express the same thing in good Smithian language, the partition of technologies increases with the extent of the market.
    Note: tech modularity as smithian division of labor
  • David shared from The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves by W. Brian Arthur
    I will call this mechanism evolution by combination, or more succinctly, combinatorial evolution.
    Note: combinatorial evolution
  • David shared from The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves by W. Brian Arthur
    Our deepest hope as humans lies in technology; but our deepest trust lies in nature. These forces are like tectonic plates grinding inexorably into each other in one long, slow collision.
    Note: hope versus trust
  • David shared from The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves by W. Brian Arthur
    I puzzled why historians of all people had the most to say about the ways and essence of technology and its innovation. Later it came to me that a great deal more of the world emerges from its technologies than from its wars and treaties, and historians are naturally interested in how the world has formed itself.
    Note: historians know the most about technology ?
  • David shared from The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson
    Von Neumann loved telling jokes and reciting risqué limericks in various languages at his parties, and he ate so heartily that his wife once said he could count anything except calories. He drove cars with an abandon that was reckless but not always wreckless, and he was fond of flashy new Cadillacs. “He bought a new one at least once a year, whether he had wrecked the previous one or not,” wrote the science historian George Dyson.46
    Note: Von Neumann bought a new Cadillac every year, whether hehad wrecked the old one or not
  • David shared from The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson
    “We had to learn their vocabularies in order to be able to run their problems. I could switch my vocabulary and speak highly technical for the programmers, and then tell the same things to the managers a few hours later but with a totally different vocabulary.” Innovation requires articulation.
    Note: innovation requires articulation
  • David shared from Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original by Robin Kelley
    Monk had no playlist, and Rouse never knew what his new boss was going to play until he started playing it: “The first chorus might sound like spaghetti until I got it. He didn’t stop though, he just kept going.”94
    Note: figuring it out on-the-fly
  • David shared from The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace by H.W. Brands
    He added, sagely but counterintuitively: “I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.”
    Note: president-elect grant
(Sterling, VA USA)
David Bridgeland