So far, I read one book on it, which I did not like: Albert Laszlo Barabasi (2010) Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do. I bought it because I had very much liked Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means (2003). Don't buy this one, unless you interested in 16th-century Hungarian history, with which every second chapter deals. Nor do these history chapters have any deep connection with the purported topic. They just dilute the discussion of what is promised by the title. And the thesis that many events in the natural worlds follow—including our own lives—exhibit a power law distribution or tendency to cluster into "bursts," is rather underdeveloped (or so it seems to me). The whole book is thoroughly underwhelming. Thus I found vaguely interesting but unsurprising the idea that "we are forced to set priorities—even the greats, Einstein and Darwin, are not exempt—from which delays, bursts, and power laws are bound to emerge," and "if we set priorities, our response time becomes rather uneven, which means that most tasks are promptly executed and a few will have to wait forever." The GTD crowd has been preaching this for a long, long time ... and what this book brings to bear on this phenomenon is very little.
However, what I found interesting in reading this book on a physical Kindle is that the Kindle stores highlighted passages and notes that you can add yourself in a text file, called "My clippings.txt." Since the Kindle looks to the PC like an ordinary an ordinary USB drive. You can open this file in other applications, edit it, move it to the desktop, send it to someone, etc.
A typical note looks like this:
Bursts (Albert-Laszlo Barabasi)
- Note Loc. 467 | Added on Friday, October 08, 2010, 01:20 PM
I wonder whether this is useful.
a highlighted passage or quote looks like this:
Bursts (Albert-Laszlo Barabasi)
- Highlight Loc. 466-68 | Added on Friday, October 08, 2010, 01:18 PM
we display a ceaseless desire to move most of the time. We are not kicked by tiny, invisible atoms but dragged by the imperceptible flickering of our neurons, which we translate into tasks, responsibilities, and motivations.
I just copy the contents into a ConnectedText topic for the book and transform "==========" into "----".
There is no reason why you could not use the book (any book) for notes that have nothing to do with the book you are reading at the moment, like reminders, todo items, or bright ideas.
This is why I don't quite understand the attraction of using the built-in experimental web browser for text editing, as some suggest. One can use Mytextfile for such purposes, but it seems to me much more convenient to use "My clippings.txt."
For those who are interested. Using the "keyboard" on the Kindle 3 is at least as easy, if not easier than, using the virtual keyboard on the iPod Touch. It isn't suited for heavy-duty writing, but it will do in a pinch.
1. Neither the PC version of Kindle nor the iPod Touch (software) versions allow you to do this. Just for the record, I have bought and read about ten books on the PC or iPod Touch. The experience on the real thing is preferable.