The Book of the Week is “Leading With My Chin,” the autobiography of Jay Leno. This is an amusing book, although the part in which he explains the secret to his success, is rather simple. It was tenacity: “…we would start lining up outside the clubs at two in the afternoon with hopes of getting onstage sometime after eleven that night… I’ve never been better at anything than anybody else… I plowed forward, slow and steady. Even if it meant sitting on curbs all day or sleeping on the back steps of comedy clubs all night.”
The Book of the Week is “Silicon Snake Oil” by Clifford Stoll. This prescient book (published in 1996) presents evidence that the use of technology in certain areas of our lives, such as in education, is not necessarily a cure-all.
Here is an excerpt describing what happened when the author’s machine was malfunctioning: “…so I grovel before a technician or pay a long-distance fee to get lost in a thicket of automated help messages…”
Just a few problems in American schools include overcrowding, poor teaching, poor security and budget shortfalls. “Computers address none of these problems.” Just because technology might “make learning fun” does not mean students learn any better. It just makes curriculum suppliers richer.
This is a thought-provoking book.
The Book of the Week is “Bad Attitude; The Processed World Anthology.” Edited by Chris Carlsson with Mark Leger, 1990. This is a compilation of the late 1970’s magazine, “Processed World,” about early office computers. It has many funny anecdotes, illustrations, comic strips and photos. The caption of one photo (which really doesn’t require a photo) reads, “Sabotage… It’s as simple as pulling a plug…”