Tempo: transformative, difficult look at advanced decision-making theory

Tempo [tempobook.com]

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10 Responses to “Tempo: transformative, difficult look at advanced decision-making theory”

  1. hardwarejunkie9 says:

    I would dearly love to have this as a digital version. I might buy a print version if I need to collect it, but such topics tend to do well for mobile reading.

  2. dragonfrog says:

    You wouldn’t be reviewing manuscripts of Schneier’s new book, would you?

    (edited to add: and would you be willing to tell us if you were?)

  3. kP says:

    If Tempo is a bit too dense, Cialdini’s book on persuasion and marketing, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, may be a little more accessible.

  4. Kimmo says:

    Tempo may be the most fascinating book whose thesis I couldn’t entirely grasp and whose author I couldn’t wholly follow that I’ve ever read.

    I feel the same way about Venkat’s blog.

    IMO he could use a collaborator.

    • csforstall says:

      IMO he could use a collaborator.

      I would agree with that, he needs someone, a tether of sorts, to communicate the implicit side of his thinking in a concise way that is understandable and relatable.        

  5. Amelia_G says:

    There’s no comparison of course, but I appreciate hearing others’ candid thoughts about difficulties reading. I used to be a voracious book consumer, and now they’re just piling up (“bibliosclerosis”?). It’s impossible to talk about it usefully in the US circles in which I move. However, I appreciate hearing numbers. 150 pp. in 2 days… wow. When I started my history studies in Germany, a chain-smoking instructor told us “You’re going to read. You’re going to read a 15-page article at breakfast,” and I did. In German. Something about as the tribe does so doest thou?

    It’d be funny if it turned out my current reading issues are somehow related to my decision-making processes. Probably everything is.

  6. Ethan Campbell says:

    Sounds like a lot of syncretic hot air.

    Probably thought provoking if it’s your first contact with the ideas used, but the blog makes the author sound as desperate to be clever and prove he has a new/better perspective on old ideas, even if it means misrepresenting them (his acknowledgement of the influence of Boyd’s OODA Loop on his work is bordering on the hilarious, the rest I have yet to read).

    Anyway, I’ll probably buy it on Kindle, if only for the pleasure of ranting against the author by myself.

  7. Adam Cahan says:

    For the past few years I’ve only engaged in ‘Dogma 95′-driven decision making….narrative is so bourgeoisie! Rao clearly needs to read Alan Sokal’s stuff  in ‘Social Text’ from ’96.

  8. samer1 says:

    tempo book amazing articles

  9. I quite enjoyed the book, but I would second Cory’s general take. I’ve described Tempo as an 800-page book in 150-pages. There is a lot of assumed prior knowledge. If you want a simple preparation, I would recommend getting familiar with four concepts:

    1) Metaphor (in the Lakoff/Johnson sense). Read the first few chapters of Metaphors We Live By, or the wikipedia article of the same. Key concepts: embodied cognition, structural similarities. See also Images of Organization by Gareth Morgan.
    2) Legibility (in the James C. Scott sense). The book Seeing Like A State is fanatastic, but it’s a hefty read – Venkat summarizes the core concept here: http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2010/07/26/a-big-little-idea-called-legibility/
    3) Complexity – in the complexity theory sense. I recommend Melanie Mitchell’s book Complexity: A Guided Tour as an introduction to the key concepts. I’m sure judicious wikipedia research would work as well.
    4) Feedback/OODA: John Robb and Chet Richards are excellent starting points on the subject. http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/the-ooda-loop.html

    I think Tempo is a rough-to-impossible read for the unprimed. If you’re clever and willing to step out of the book to follow up on some of the concepts dropped without explanation, you can get a lot of use from it. On G+ Venkat’s been talking about putting together a book-like introduction to many of these concepts based on cleaned up blog posts on the same, and that may be the better way to go, ultimately.

    I do recommend the book highly, but just with the above caveats.

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