Haven’t done one of these for a while, so time to clear out some bookmarks to interesting stories:

David Byrne gets evolution
As a Talking Heads fan since, well, ever (yes, I am old), I’ve very much enjoyed reading David Byrne’s blog, particularly his recent travelogue posts from his current tour. Reading this post, his musings on bringing back extinct species, I was pleased to see him eloquently explain one of the more misunderstood concepts about evolution:

“We wrongly, I think, persist in believing that evolution is some kind of “progress” — a series of more or less linear improvements in each species — and that animals alive today, including us, are therefore “better” than what came before. Xenophobic thinking, seems to me. Critters that came before, and stayed around way longer than we did, were extremely evolutionarily successful in that they had adapted beautifully to the environment that existed around them. For example, if present-day animals were somehow transported back millions of years, we might find ourselves less suited for survival than our hairy pals. We’d be the ones that would go extinct. Evolution is not absolute.”

Byrne and Brian Eno’s new album, by the way, is definitely in my top 5 for the year.

Open Access and Citations
Another study asking whether open access provides an advantage to getting citations for your articles. This one says no.

New Kindle leaked
Photos of the next-gen Kindle have leaked, looks like they’ve caught up from the 80’s to the late 90’s/early 00’s in their design sense. One wonders what this leak will do to holiday sales, whether there will be something of an “Osborne Effect” (which is always an interesting misnomer). Also, there’s this competing reader.

Business Book Breakdown
I think this commentary should be extended to books about Web 2.0, or the onrushing digital revolution. I keep buying them, reading the first 50 pages or so, then putting them down and never returning. Most would make great magazine articles or blog entries, but stretching a few ideas out over several hundred pages never seems to work.