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Category Archives: Recommended Books

Data-Driven Law: Data Analytics and the New Legal Services

Recommendation via Joe Hodnicki: Data-Driven Law: Data Analytics and the New Legal Services, edited by Ed Walters “helps legal professionals meet the challenges posed by a data-driven approach to delivering legal services. Its chapters are written by leading experts who cover such topics as:

  • Mining legal data
  • Computational law
  • Uncovering bias through the use of Big Data
  • Quantifying the quality of legal services
  • Data mining and decision-making
  • Contract analytics and contract standards

“In addition to providing clients with data-based insight, legal firms can track a matter with data from beginning to end, from the marketing spend through to the type of matter, hours spent, billed, and collected, including metrics on profitability and success. Firms can organize and collect documents after a matter and even automate them for reuse. Data on marketing related to a matter can be an amazing source of insight about which practice areas are most profitable. “Data-driven decision-making requires firms to think differently about their workflow. Most firms warehouse their files, never to be seen again after the matter closes. Running a data-driven firm requires lawyers and their teams to treat information about the work as part of the service, and to collect, standardize, and analyze matter data from cradle to grave. More than anything, using data in a law practice requires a different mindset about the value of this information. This book helps legal professionals to develop this data-driven mindset.”

New book – It’s not that economists didn’t see a crash coming – they just didn’t see the crash that happened

The Prospect August 2018 issue – review by Duncan Weldon – How economists predicted the wrong financial crisis. “As the 10th anniversary of the fall of Lehman Brothers approaches, many books on the financial crisis will be published. Few are likely to match Adam Tooze’s Crashed in scope, ambition or rigour. This is truly contemporary… Continue Reading

The Book of Hope

Rockefeller Institute of Government – Nancy Zimpher: “Working together, good people are changing the world. In his new book Reclaiming the American Dream: Proven Solutions for Creating Economic Opportunity for All,[1] Ben Hecht spotlights efforts that are successfully addressing some of the country’s most pressing issues: meaningful employment, economic empowerment, impactful civic involvement, education that… Continue Reading

Commentary – Welcome to the ‘New Dark Age.’

OpenDemocracy – “Data is making us dumber. This seeming paradox has been gaining currency, at least in the tech-saturated Global North. We’re increasingly bombarded with advice on how to manage data overload. The English comedian Dave Gorman summed it up in the tongue-in-cheek title of his recent book: “Too much information: Or: Can Everyone Just… Continue Reading

Women, Gender, Sexuality, and Computing History

David Brock, Computer History Museum: “The experience of women, and the issues of gender and sexuality, are vitally important to our understanding of the story of computing, and hence our contemporary world, for many reasons. Perhaps most straightforwardly, women have been ubiquitous throughout the history of computing as makers and users of it. As Eileen… Continue Reading

OCLC Research’s Merrilee Proffitt Shows How Libraries Can Leverage Wikipedia

OCLC: “In Leveraging Wikipedia: Connecting Communities of Knowledge, published by ALA Editions, Merrilee Proffitt of OCLC Research shows how libraries can contribute to Wikipedia to improve content quality and make library services more visible. The vision statement of the Wikimedia Foundation states, “Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the… Continue Reading

Good News – Life gets better after 50: why age tends to work in favour of happiness

The Guardian – Jonathan Rauch, author of The Happiness Curve, was relieved to find an explanation for his gloom – academics say adulthood happiness is U-shaped “Academics have found increasing evidence that happiness through adulthood is U-shaped – life satisfaction falls in our 20s and 30s, then hits a trough in our late 40s before… Continue Reading

Book Review – ‘The Efficiency Paradox’ Review: Big Data, Big Problems

WSJ – Though technology is making our lives ever more convenient, it also may be having the unintended effect of lowering our skill set. Gregg Easterbrook reviews “The Efficiency Paradox” by Edward Tenner. “‘Big Data” is the Big Bad of our moment. Companies and governments amass enormous troves of information about our online and offline… Continue Reading

The Role of Luck in Life Success Is Far Greater Than We Realized

Scientific American – Scott Barry Kaufman – March 1, 2018: “What does it take to succeed? What are the secrets of the most successful people? Judging by the popularity of magazines such as Success, Forbes, Inc., and Entrepreneur, there is no shortage of interest in these questions. There is a deep underlying assumption, however, that… Continue Reading

Recommended – The best books on Military Strategy

Via Five Books: “Texts about military strategy take us back into the mists of time but what it is, and what the nature of war is, remains hotly debated. Antulio Echevarria II of the US Army War College talks us through key books, both old and new, on military strategy.” Continue Reading

Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours: a Pre-Photographic Guide for Artists and Naturalists

Via Colassal: “First published in the pre-photographic age, Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours was the preeminent guide to color and its classification for artists, scientists, naturalists, and anthropologists in the 19th-century. Without an image for reference, the book provided immense handwritten detail describing where each specific shade could be found on an animal, plant, or mineral. Prussian Blue for… Continue Reading

The Golden Age of the Illustrated Book Dust Jacket

The Illustrated Dust Jacket, 1920-1970 chronicles the rise of the book dust jacket from disposable object to a creative platform for publishing design. “…The Illustrated Dust Jacket, 1920-1970 by Martin Salisbury, out now from Thames & Hudson, chronicles how this once disposable object became a major creative force in publishing.Salisbury has identified numerous book illustrators, yet a… Continue Reading