Week 7, 2012
Book: Berlin at War. Life and death in Hitler’s Capital, 1939-45
Author: Roger Moorhouse
Type of book: History
Theme: The WWII experiences from Berlin residents.
Thesis: The perception and experiences of the WWII from the eyes of Berlin residents.
The book has a series of categories relevant to understand how the Berliners lived across time, before the war until its end. The categories include food (rationing food, clothing, interaction with other immigrants, discipline, fears, propaganda, weather). For me, it is the first book I read which focus mainly on “ordinary” German citizens, instead of the Nazis or the Jewish. The information and research done for writing the book is vast and well documented. If one wants to gain more insight of a specific topic is possible to search for it on other sources.
The author helps the reader to understand and to focus on one specific category per chapter – e.g. food – simultaneously one is connected to the wider historical context. The process allows the reader to immerse in the scenes and descriptions of the book, reflect on them, and at the same time one is not lost in them.
I did not want to stop reading the book, I enjoyed it and at the same time was an eye opener. Earlier, I read the amazon’s reviewers and someone mentioned that there were other similar books before this one, so this book was not adding nothing new. Perhaps the comment of the reviewer is true, and it will be interesting to read the other books. However, as someone that picked the book randomly from a bookshelf at the airport, because the title and topic called my attention, I am very pleased that I bought it and I feel I learned from it.
Berlin at War
week 12 of 2011
Writing, writing and more writing….
for that I need to review some of my basics in Activity Theory (AT). So, this is the third time I read the EXCELLENT book from Kaptelinin & Nardi, and still I am processing it. Their book, for me, is comprehensive and it has helped me to bring together my understanding of AT from the perspective of interaction design. Another author that I enjoy deeply to read regarding AT is Prof. Yrjö Engeström. However, I am slower digesting his message, even though I learn a lot from his lines. Sometimes when I am reading, specially with “scientific” stuff, or when I go to the library I have imagine how fantastic would be to listen to them explaining their ideas, dreams and experiences. To interact with them as friends, which ones are their personalities, how they deal with problems and how their dreams fulfills them. Each person is a whole interesting collection of volumes in different topics. I guess all of us have experienced that great feeling when someone, who has more experience than us, offers us quality of time and narrates us something so that involves actively on the topic. So many ideas and knowledge are enclosed everywhere….
Acting with Technology
The other day I was reading that there is a physical health problem call Nintenditis: an injury that causes severe pain in the extensor tendon of the thumb as a result of button presses (HÃ¶ysniemi, 2006). After read this, for my inside I said: Com’on, that is a bit too much!.
Few hours after that personal comment, on the train and without anything else to read, then I decided to play with my handy. Actually, I thought I had played all what it is in there. But I found a new game for me, hidden in the Applications folder. The name of the game is Pitfall Jungle, so GOOOOD!!! . However, the story goes that I had played it for some hours, until believe it or not, my thumb hurts then perhaps I am having some Nokiaitis 😉
HÃ¶ysniemi, J. (2002). Design and Evaluation of Physically Interactive Games. PhD Dissertation.
Sometimes it is not needed to say much. This book I recommend it OPENLY to anyone who is in his/hers PhD research path:
Becoming a researcher: a companion to the research process. By Mairead Dunne, John Pryor and Paul Yates
Without a doubt it helps to put concepts, information and ideas together.
One thing that I love and enjoy a lot of game researchers, or of the people that is engage into games is: to sense some kind of energy of life and passion, which involves this topic and environment, and that it is spread all over, generating more energy. OK, I shouldn’t generalized on this, plus it is not exclusive of the “game world”, however I find it quite often in this “world” 😉
Which by the way remaind me to recommend a book that I am just finishing to read: FLOW from Csikszentmihalyi, quite interesting.
And from my virtual life, Kovacs shared me some time ago a though from an USA ex-president, which I admit I like and I feel to share it:
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
– John Calvin Coolidge
PS. Some days, as today, I confirm how much I like technology (seeing it as a complete neutral tool, that can be use for good or not good) . But this virtual world in general is amazing!!! all what you can do, discover, share…. wow!