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Profile for Mark Szpakowski > Reviews


Mark Szpakowski's Profile

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Vienna Nocturne: A Novel
Vienna Nocturne: A Novel
by Vivien Shotwell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $26.00
84 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars An arrow straight to the Mozartian human heart, December 26, 2015
I'm the wrong person to write a review of Vienna Nocturne. I grew up listening deeply to classical music, and then especially to Mozart, and especially to his opera The Marriage of Figaro, and especially to the Deh Vieni non Tardar aria (, which is the fulcrum point of this book. I think that aria is as close as the human race has come to expressing the essence of what human beings are about, and not just human beings, but all sentient beings. This should go out on deep space probes to be discovered by aliens curious about Earth and its beings. Vivien Shotwell's novel builds up in dynamics and rhythms of beauty and sadness intrinsically entwined in that heart, an arrow straight through the storyline of soprano and composer, to what music itself discloses. Loved it :-)

Digital Habitats: Stewarding Technology for Communities
Digital Habitats: Stewarding Technology for Communities
by Etienne Wenger
Edition: Paperback
Price: $26.46
55 used & new from $2.38

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Job Description for the emerging meta-societies, December 20, 2009
Wanted: Technology Stewards for the emerging hybrid online/real-life communities and societies. This book is a job description for that role, which stays in touch with the character and intentions of a community of practice, as those get reflected in and transformed through social software tools. This book is about how to cook with those tools, adapting the current year's available techy ingredients to best allow the community to find itself both in the online world, and through that, more effectively in the "real" world.

The target reader, the technology steward, the practitioner of community husbandry in the technology garden, can listen to the story of the community, and can also attend to the details of software tools, technologies, and devices (wikis, blogs, IM, smart phones, OpenSocial, Google Wave, ...). The trick is that social software technology is in an unusual phase of rapid evolutionary development, where great opportunities arise, but not everything succeeds, and no one tool does it all. This book is not about the specifics of such tools - there are many books and resources for that. Instead, it is about the patterns and best practices for how to bring community and online forms together in appropriate mosaics, how to look at a community's orientations and intentions, and be able to speak to and for that community in a tech-savvy way. This job did not exist a decade ago. Every community is realizing it needs someone(s) to fill that job. This book hits that sweet spot.

BBC Shakespeare Comedies DVD Giftbox
BBC Shakespeare Comedies DVD Giftbox
DVD ~ Michael Hordern
Price: $99.99
2 used & new from $50.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An As You Like It that's just Mozartean, May 8, 2008
The actors really bring the language to life, and you can actually hear it. Helen Mirren as Rosalind in As You Like just reduced me to a puddle. She can, in just a few words, bring you to that Shakespearean/Mozartean heart that is so intense, so transparent, so tender. A transcendent performance.

Tie Died [VHS]
Tie Died [VHS]
5 used & new from $2.65

2.0 out of 5 stars Terrible movie, but the Kesey interview at the end is a jewel, January 20, 2006
This review is from: Tie Died [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This movie was a big disappointment. In some sense it shows the worst of the scene that followed the Dead in their latter days. It's noteworthy that there's _no_ music by The Grateful Dead in it - I understand they refused to allow any. However, the short extra at the end, " A Conversation with Ken Kesey" is one of the clearest and most concise expressions of what the Acid Trips, and the Grateful Dead/Jerry Garcia at their best, were about.

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