Charlie Harvey

August 2013 Reading

  • Everything you know about CSS is wrong

    Read it on my reading day and spoke more about it in the tech briefing I wrote up about that. It’s fine, but the material in my copy is rather out of date. It was right in its prediction that a lot would change after IE8. It did.

    2013-08-30 by Charlie Harvey
  • HTML5 and CSS3 for the Real World by Alexis GoldStein, Louis Lazaris and Estelle Wayl

    I’ve always favoured O’Reilly books over most other technical publishers, but I happened to have this SitePoint reference kicking around at work and I wanted to brush up quickly on my five and three as I was working on the site redesign of this site. It’s solid and accessible enough, not especially exciting but short enough to be digested in an afternoon.

    2013-08-26 by Charlie Harvey
  • Designing for Emotion by Aarron Walter

    This was one I borrowed from a colleague at work. Walter works through the idea of making your site pleasurable to use as well as just plain usable and not breaky. I was a bit put off by the uncritical deployment of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs albeit simply as a metaphor for thinking about designing at different levels. And I am not sure that I was convinced to abandon the minimalist aesthetic simplicity of 37signals in favour of "giving my brand a personality". But I am no doubt somewhat unusual in being rather utilitarian in my design tastes. Overall Walter makes a good argument for making sites that engage users as well as helping them achieve the goal at hand.

    2013-08-25 by Charlie Harvey
  • Marriage and Love by Emma Goldman

    Emma Goldman is something of a personal hero. She was kicked out of the US, critiscized the direction of the Russian Revolution way before Stalin came to power, met Freud, Lenin and Kropotkin and managed to develop an anarchism that combined femininist and communist critiques of power. This pamphlet was written in 1911. You can download Marriage and Love from Project Gutenberg for free. Goldman’s rhetoric is rather old fashioned, but her central thesis — that marriage and love are antagonistic not synonymous, and that women get the worse end of the deal — is still a powerful one. Her observation that women are denied knowledge of sexual matters, and assumed to be impure should they acquirte any such knowledge, is still frighteningly prevelant globally — even in Western countries (think right wing religious types, or family values conservative government here).

    2013-08-21 by Charlie Harvey
  • How to analyze people on sight through the science[sic] of Human Analysis: The Five Human Types, by Elsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict

    This 1921 book, downloaded from Project Gutenberg, attempts to divide the entire human species into five basic types of person, based on physical characteristics like how fat people are. It is fascinating because so much of what passes for popular psychology continues the meme of developing pseudo-scientific taxonomies of "types of person". The pseudoness is doubly clear because of the age o the book. So we learn that fat people are generous and other such undeniable facts. Hilarious reading and free to download.

    2013-08-21 by Charlie Harvey
  • Head First SQL by Lynn Beighley

    Its nicely written, but way too simple for me, I’ve been working with SQL for years. However, if you wanted a nice accessible intro to SQL it would do the job.

    2013-08-14 by Charlie Harvey
  • Wired Love — a romance of dots and dashes by Ella Cheever Thayer

    An 1880 romantic novel about people falling in love over the telegraph. Somebody wrote about it on Hacker News and, being as you can download Wired Love for free from Project Gutenberg, I grabbed the epub and spent a few enjoyable hours blatting through a novel that is like Jane Austen meets Marshall McLuhan in the late 19th Century. All very Victorian mores, and terrible gender politics. But the way in which the author tries to deal with the nearest thing to cyberspace — the telegraph — is weirdly contemporary.

    2013-08-04 by Charlie Harvey


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