Top 10 Book Meme

What books have most impacted me? I picked books I have returned to over and over. Yes, I know this is solipsistic to publish, but its a fascinating thing to think through. I'm sure the list will not look right in a few months anyway. But here I go...

1 The Brothers Karamazov´╗┐, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Reason: the best book ever written. Duh.

2 Iob, LXX
Reason: bad things happen to good people, quite often.

3 (more...)

Silence

Silence. Sometimes sought after, but in reality almost certainly feared - the absence of not just sound but voice. Silence is often associated with divine encounter - the neptic tradition of the Philokalia comes to mind - but also and perhaps more accurately with abandonment, divine or otherwise. I recently read Shusaku Endo's Silence, a remarkable work, dwelling on the theme of abandonment in the context of the extirpation of Kakure Kirishitan communities in Tokagawa (more...)

Spark: A Discussion

A great presentation, worth watching in its entirety.

With apologies to my Hadoop friends but this is good for you too.

Exactly Wrong

I normally avoid anything that smacks of a competitive discussion on what I consider to be a space for personal reflection. So while I want to disclose the fact that I am not disinterested in the points I am making from a professional standpoint, my main interest is to frame some architecture points that I think are extremely important for the maturation and success of the Hadoop ecosystem.

A few weeks back, Mike Olson of (more...)

Dependent Rational Animals

I wanted to briefly comment on Alisdair McIntyre's lectures collected as "Dependent Rational Animals", but let me precede that with a couple of comments for context: first, as I alluded in my last post referencing Levinas, it is my view that the the ethics demands a certain primacy in any healthy conception of life and society; second, in the area of ethics, McIntyre's After Virtue is the book that has had perhaps the biggest impact (more...)

George EP Box

"Essentially, all models are wrong. Some models are useful."

The Other

It is the nature of short essays or speeches that they can at best explore the surface of an idea. This is a surprisingly difficult task, since ideas worth exploring usually need to be approached with some rigor. The easy use of the speech form is to promote an idea to listeners or readers who already share a common view - that is one reason speeches are effective forms for political persuasion for rallying true (more...)

Telling Tales

After struggling to find time for many months, I finally was able to sit down and watch without interruption Benjamin Bagby's Beowulf performance - an adaptation that relies on Bagby's voice and a reconstruction of a 6th century 6 tone Anglo-Saxon harp. The performance is engrossing and provokes a strong imaginative response, one that would have been communally experienced. Of course the only way to revive a sense of communal experience in the case of (more...)

Hope for Humanity

Memories of the way we were…

The fascinating thing about Hadoop is the obviousness of its evolutionary needs. For example, MapReduce coupled with reliable scale out storage was a powerful - even revolutionary - effect for organizations with both lots of and multi-structured data. Out of the gate, Hadoop unlocked data "applications" that were for all intents and purposes unimplementable. At the same time, it didn't take much imagination to see that separating the compute model from resource management would be (more...)

Berdyaev on Dostoevsky

I just finished reading Nicholai Berdyaev's interpretative study on Dostoevsky. On the one hand, this is a work that will be difficult to digest without reading at least the four major novels: Demons (or The Possessed), Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and Brothers Karamazov - as well, I might add, as the Adolescent (or A Raw Youth, as it is sometimes titled). Berdyaev pursues his themes by reference to both characters and arguments that appear (more...)

Abyssinian: Jazz at Lincoln Center Full Concert

It's my opinion that the pinnacle of artistic contribution from the American experience is found in Jazz (proof that art and suffering go hand in hand?). And I remain convinced that one of the most important exponents of Jazz as not just "high art" but truly great art is Wynton Marsalis.

Check out this Jazz-meets-Gospel concert in full. A uniquely American synthesis; uniquely wonderful.

And so it goes

Between just being flat out busy and frankly finding Twitter a much lazier way to share basic information, this blog has been dormant for too long. In May, it will get a lot more attention - too much is going on in the Big Data space and Hadoop area more specifically to keep so quiet about it. Time to speak up a bit...

Google Spanner

The key paper is here - worth reading over in its entirety.

One observation I have is that this is actually pretty straightforward. The genesis of these kinds of solutions may be companies like Google, but it is no longer safe to assume that this kind of infrastructure is meant (more...)

Coming Out


The last 16 years or so of my professional life have been dedicated to working on problems (and solutions!) in transactional middleware - by this, I mean systems that provide strong consistency guarantees: reliable queueing, distributed 2pc engines, higher level quality of service guarantees for lower level protocols (iiop, (more...)

Big Data market roundup

Big Data market roundup
http://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2012/08/16/roundup-of-big-data-forecasts-and-market-estimates-2012/

Twitter account

Have given in: @PavlikGreg

Service Computation 2012

CFP extended to mid-March - see details here: http://www.iaria.org/conferences2012/CfPSERVICECOMPUTATION12.html

Twitter Liquidity

Interesting read: http://pandodaily.com/2012/02/14/go-costolo-go-cashing-out-options-should-be-a-privilege-not-a-right/

Big Files

Dave Berry starting new twitter feed on big data movement, something we were deeply worried about back when I was trying to do middleware for digital media assets. I expect he'll find some interesting stuff: http://twitter.com/@BigFiles