autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.

Personal Literary Canon

As part of a recent semester discussion, the question: What books do you consider an integral part of your personal literary canon?

As long as I’m thinking about it, I suppose I should place them here as well. These books are responsible for shaping me in ways that words will not correctly or fully convey. I’ll attempt to ascribe to them particulars but, the previous statement standing, forgive me if I do so succinctly.

The Hero With A Thousand Faces ( – Joseph Campbell’s seminal work on the monomyth; I learned more about human dynamics, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, and the common roots of homo sapiens sapiens in this book than I can begin to tell. For anyone with a penchant for pattern recognition, this book will be a seed that spawns fractals. A meaty read, do not anticipate breezing through this if you intend to get something out of it. The bibliography alone is worth any number of treasures.

Normative Discourse ( – Paul Taylor’s masterful presentation on how language reveals the underlying perspectives of its speaker; I strongly suspect if people truly understood how what they say reveals their internals not only would they speak less, they would speak much more carefully. Like the previous item, a thick read that takes time and contemplation to bring its full benefit.

The Power of Personal Accountability ( – A recent edition that encapsulates decades of personal exploration and discovery far better than I likely could manage. I cannot tell you how pleased I am to find a book like this in print. The marketing as a “self-help” book is truly misplaced; the concepts and processes outlined in this book are expressions of fundamental intellectual blocks upon which consistent and recreate-able success are built.

How To Measure Anything ( – The book that got me started on analytical trending and justification in the days when usability was a topic that rarely got more than scoffed at and the notion of quantifying technology costs and benefits (particularly the “intangible” ones) was considered much akin to voodoo. Most of these concepts I knew before I found this book, but this book gave me the semantics to find more than frustration in the attempt to express them.

Nexus: small worlds and the groundbreaking science of networks ( – Aristocratic networks and the “small world” effect (more popularly known via the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” pop culture phenomenon) are far more prevalent and far more important than most people have ever guessed. This is THE underlying reason why Social Media is having the impact we are witnessing.