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Jonathan Goldstein "jonny goldstein" RSS Feed (Washington, DC)
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The Sketchnote Handbook: the illustrated guide to visual note taking
The Sketchnote Handbook: the illustrated guide to visual note taking
by Mike Rohde
Edition: Paperback
Price: $25.36
38 used & new from $19.24

74 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The medium is the message---and it's a powerful medium, December 14, 2012
Length:: 2:54 Mins

The Sketchnote handbook is a lovely and useful book. Buy it if you want to take poweful notes and have fun doing so. Rohde shows us how to create powerful, personal notes, infused with feeling, and exploding with ideas visualized. I am a professional visual notetaker and design educator, and I am always looking for fresh approaches to this powerful medium. Mike delivers a fun and useful book in that both professionals and novices will appreciate. Mike shows why Sketchnotes work and he shows a variety of approaches to creating them, showcasing sketchnoters from from around the world to underline his points. The book is an easy read, designed to skim or dive deep. Rohde emphasizes that sketchnoting is about capturing ideas, not about showing off virtuoso art chops, and gives useful tips on structure, quick and easy drawing, and penmanship and lettering. Rohde's tone is encouraging as he urges you to start slowly and build on success. Even adding one little drawing to your notes will help you connect to the ideas in a presentation long after its over. If I were to make one suggestion for a modification in a future edition, I'd like Mike to find some clearer examples of one of the structures he describes, the radial structure. The examples he shows, which are nice works in and of themselves, do not show that radial structure it as clearly as I would like (check out Brandy Agerbeck's "Graphic Facilitator's Guide" for some nice examples of radial structure). This in no way takes away from the overall awesomeness of the Sketchnote handbook. A stellar resource worthy of 5 big, glistening stars! Go add it to your library and change the way you take notes.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 28, 2014 10:34 AM PST


The Graphic Facilitator's Guide: How to use your listening, thinking and drawing skills to make meaning
The Graphic Facilitator's Guide: How to use your listening, thinking and drawing skills to make meaning
by Brandy Agerbeck
Edition: Paperback
Price: $26.99
31 used & new from $19.22

5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff for beginners and experienced alike, October 17, 2012
I'm a working visual practitioner who has been in the trenches for several years. I got tons out of Brandy's book. What I like is she has a particular approach, and she gives you that approach in great detail, not pretending it's the only approach, but laying it down as what works for her. It is a coherent and powerful approach, which you will benefit from, whether you are a veteran visualizer or just getting started. Brandy's experience, integrity, and personality infuses the Graphic Facilitator's guide. If you are serious about using visuals to help groups think, get this book.


Strange Flesh: A Novel
Strange Flesh: A Novel
by Michael Olson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.17
141 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A noire tapestry of technology, S&M, and messed up families. Good twisted fun., May 2, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Strange Flesh: A Novel (Hardcover)
Genre-wise, it's firmly in the Noire camp. Into that genre frame we get a tapestry of S&M, physical computing, NYC locations,computer security, virtual worlds, gaming, and messed up families. I learned more about the Marquis De Sade then I ever thought I would. Newsflash: that guy was sick! OK, that should havebeen obvious, but I didn't know the details of his derangementuntil reading Strange Flesh. The ending was satisfyingly twisted.

If you have a sensitive stomach, find images of extreme violence abhorrent, or need a uniformly heroic protagonist, find something else.

If you like a story that moves along at a good clip and feel like a futuristic, suspenseful, immersion into some freaky waters, give it a look.

---Jonny


Personality Not Included: Why Companies Lose Their Authenticity And How Great Brands Get it Back, Foreword by Guy Kawasaki
Personality Not Included: Why Companies Lose Their Authenticity And How Great Brands Get it Back, Foreword by Guy Kawasaki
by Rohit Bhargava
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $24.80
109 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does your business have a backstory?, June 1, 2008
(Disclaimer, I know the author Rohit and think he's a great guy)

I just read Rohit's book, Personality Not Included, and, boy, am I glad I did. He goes way past the basics as he sets up his argument that there is something missing in the traditional focus on the "4 Ps" of marketing (product, price, placement, and promotion). That missing"5th P" Rohit argues, is personality.

For me the book really came alive when I got to the chapter on using screenwriting techniques to figure out the backstory for your business. Stories are so important in communication, and Rohit gives step-by-step instructions on how to construct your organization's backstory. The personality of your organization comes through in that backstory. Expressions of that personality helps create a better bond between your business and the customer.

When you think of Ben and Jerry's, do you have an idea of the operation that stands behind the brand? I do. I have a story in my head, even though I've never been to their website to read their about page.

I picture two laid back hippies who love food. They met and decided to make delicious ice cream made out of yummy ingredients. These guys are so passionate about rich yummy ice cream that they managed to stand out in a crowded industry and change the way people think about ice cream. I picture their company full of happy people dressed in Birkenstock sandals. They are sitting in an old house in New England that has been converted to offices. There is an old bike rack out front with beat up 3-speeds parked there. Ben and Jerry are hanging out getting employees to taste their new fudge laden flavor.

Wow. I don't even know how this story got into my mind. I am sure that I filled in most of the details myself, Their actual story might be different. But it's no accident that I have such a rich story play itself out in my mind when I think of Ben and Jerry's. Somehow in the way that the brand interacts with me I come away with that story. Am I more likely to buy Ben and Jerry's ice cream than some equally delicious brand that does not have this kind of backstory? Yes. I have a feeling about the personality of the guys behind the product. And I like it. OK, Give me a minute while I go out and buy some Chubby Hubby. Take a second and stretch.

OK, I'm back.

PNI has gotten me thinking. What is the backstory of my business? How can I use that backstory to inform the way that I interact with current and potential clients? These are useful questions.

Rohit poses those questions and helps you answer them through a wealth of examples, guides, and tools. And he does the above with a good natured, direct style, which will delight you. Rohit practices what he preaches, packing the book with illustrations and subtitles that illuminate and entertain and give more than a hint of the personality behind the book.


Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us
Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us
by Rodney Allen Brooks
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.26
80 used & new from $0.01

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something for Everyone and Something to Skip for Everyone, November 10, 2003
Some people may recognize Rodney Brooks as the insect obsessed robot maker featured in the documentary film "Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control." He seems decidedly in control as he lays out his version of the past, present, and future relationship of people and their technology in "Flesh and Machines". This control is one of the greatest virtues of the book. While other authors practically froth at the mouth as they prophesy the coming technorapture when they predict we will become immortal by downloading our minds into robots, Brooks comes to similar conclusions, but in a calm, only occasionally boring, manner. This makes me take him more seriously.
As a reader only casually versed in the science and history of robotics, I found the book informative and approachable. The first third of the book held my interest best. In this part, he recounts the early history of robotics with particular focus on a simple robot built in the 1940s nicknamed the tortoise, which combined simple electronics and sensors to create a machine with complex behavior. Brooks then goes on to use the ideas embodied in the tortoise to turn the modern world of robotics on its head. From 1950's though the eighties, robot developers tried to build robots that developed detailed world models, and thus could navigate through them with ease. That was the theory, but it did not work. Robots spent so much time building up these models that they moved slowly and gracelessly. After years of working on robot vision, Brooks wondered what would happen if a robot did not even try to create a mental model of it's environment. What if sensors linked to simple actions, a la tortoise? And what if the actions were guided by simple instructions, layered on top of each other, much the way evolution probably layered behaviors on top of each other? The results were surprisingly agile, frisky, insect shaped robots. I got a little lost with his technical description of how these robots worked, but I got most of it, and best of all I got a good understanding of his creative process. I found this first third of the book the most engaging.
.After that he bounces around between various topics, from his studies of visual perception, to Kismet (a humanoid robot designed to respond to physical and vocal cues), to his adventures in the toy industry. By the time I got to his description of household robots of the future, I was snoozing. Gadget freaks may have a different reaction.
In the final third of the book, he weighs in on the possibility of truly intelligent human made machines. While he offers little hope for people who want to cling to our specialness as human beings, he is cautious about the prognostications of futurists who think we will download our midns into machines in the near future. Brooks says there are a lot of hurdles to jump before we create emotional, conscious machines, or before we are able to port our selves into robots. and we might not have it in us to jump those hurdles ever. But in the meantime, he asserts that we will, through machine implantation and augmentation, and through bioengineering, merge with our technology to the point that we will become robot-people, so that if the machines ever catch up with us, they will find we are already them. All this is put forth in a calm, thoughtful, carefully weighed manner, which made me trust him more than the more entertaining, but frothier, Raymond Kurzweil.
I would recommend the book to a wide audience as long as they are prepared to skip around. There is something for most intelligent, curious people here: a portrait of a brilliant scientist, the basics of robotics, and a vision of the future. And for people who care about vacuum cleaner robots, that is there too. I just skimmed that part.


The Non-Designer's Design Book: Design and Typographic Principles for the Visual Novice
The Non-Designer's Design Book: Design and Typographic Principles for the Visual Novice
by Robin Williams
Edition: Paperback
279 used & new from $0.01

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Design is Power, December 4, 2000
Robin Williams book should be taught in all the schools in this country. This would make a big dent in our national design illiteracy crisis. The root of this crisis: widespread access to desktop publishing and web authoring tools without any concept of typographic design. The result: billions of pages of confusing, hard to read verbal sludge. It doesn't have to be this way. Williams can turn the worst offenders into powerful communicators. She breaks typographic design down into four simple principles, backs them up with clear examples, and maintains a playful tone throughout.
Work through the excercises in this book and you will truly stand out from your peers.


The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence
The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence
by Ray Kurzweil
Edition: Hardcover
127 used & new from $0.01

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars here comes the future and I can't wait!, October 16, 1999
Like another reader on this list, I started rereading the book as soon as I finished it. I enjoyed the upbeat, playful tone, and I enjoyed his extrapolation of current trends into the future. I can see us merging with our technology now. Just walk down a street and look at the people talking on cel phones or whizzing down the sidewalk on their electric wheelchairs. We're merging. And this merging is just going to keep getting faster. I for one am happy to have some idea about how this merging process is likely to evolve, and I feel like Kurtzweil's book helped me out.
Kurtzweil made me feel lucky to be alive now. If this is the future, bring it on! And if it ain't, it sure was a fun read.


The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain's Untapped Potential
The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain's Untapped Potential
by Tony Buzan
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.68
179 used & new from $1.50

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fun , useful, and beautiful, October 4, 1999
This book uses vivid color images and clear examples to explain the theory and practice of Mind Mapping. I worked through the excercises sequentially and found that one task led into another nicely until I was Mind Mapping like a pro. I found the thorough explanation of the rationale underpinning the structure of Mind Maps helpful and interesting. I also enjoyed all of the different uses covered. I use Mind Mapping to write speeches, plan projects, plan my days, make decisions, communicate ideas, and learn and retain information. I plan to use Mind Mapping to design Websites. If you want a complete and beautiful treatment of Mind Mapping, this is the book.


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