The second book written by Ted Nace, published in 1989, Ventura Tips and Tricks set the tone for his successful tech-publishing venture, Peachpit Press. The friendly open style, use of graphical elements – which was shared by many other technical publishers and rapid publication techniques made how to books a valuable part of disseminating knowledge through the rapidly changing technical community.
Published in 1986 and subtitled How to Get the Most from your Hewlett Packard LaserJet or LaserJet Plus Printer this was Ted Nace’ first book and the beginning of the very successful publishing firm PeachPit Press. Ted went on to write a series of other how to technical book, mostly about desktop publishing, then focused on publishing other authors. He later handed over the company to one of his managers and focus on climate activism.
First published in March 1995, The Australian Internet Book introduced over 250,000 Australians to the Internet. The book sold 65,000 copies across four editions making it the best selling technical book ever published in Australia and was packaged with modems and Internet accounts while people learned how to take advantage of this brilliant new tool.
The book introduced an original pedagogy that used one double page spread per idea, with two images, the starting point and the end point and adopted the emerging format of all technical books: a series of regular graphical and textual formatting devices to assist the reader in navigating through the complex text an separate technical information from explanatory information.
The directory published in the first edition included all 66 websites available in Australia and had become an online tool by the second edition, one of the four most popular websites in Australia at the end of 1995. At the time Microsoft did not believe the Internet would interrupt its plans for the MSN and offered the author an attractive contract to write the Australian MSN book. It was declined. Other publishers wanting to dominate the market offered the author attractive contracts to work on their books instead. The Australian version of many early editions of Internet books were co-authored by Geoff Ebbs, or co-author Maryanne Philips. This game culminated with Living on the Web for Dummies at which point I briefly became publisher of IDG Books Australia until it was purchased globally by J Wiley and Sons.
Subtitled Our information ecosystem, from the Age of Print to the Age of Trump this work deals with the nature of truth and the forces that undermine it or oppose it to protect their vested interests.
Originally published in 2007 it was updated earlier this year to include the story of the Trump election campaign and Trump’s war on the press, free speech and civil liberties since taking office.
… from Al Gore’s website: “Director Davis Guggenheim eloquently weaves the science of global warming with former Vice President Al Gore’s personal history and lifelong commitment to reversing the effects of global climate change in the most talked-about documentary of the year.
“An audience and critical favorite, An Inconvenient Truth makes the compelling case that global warming is real, man-made, and its effects will be cataclysmic if we don’t act now. Gore presents a wide array of facts and information in a thoughtful and compelling way: often humorous, frequently emotional, and always fascinating. In the end, An Inconvenient Truth accomplishes what all great films should: it leaves the viewer shaken, involved and inspired.”
Former Vice President of the United States, Al Gore comes from a wealthy political dynasty and has been a global advocate for action on Climate Change. His film Inconvenient Truth, spawned a global climate movement and an army of climate change speakers who he personally trained.
His latest book and film, An Inconvenient Sequel deals with the diminishing capacity of the political process to engage in rational debate and decision making. It follows on from The Assault on Reason, “a call to rebuild the vitality of American democracy by restoring the nation’s information ecosystem so that we can start making good decisions again”.
US Presidential candidate in the 2000 election, Al Gore lost to George W Bush in a narrowly contested result. After decades as a US Senator and two terms as Bill Clinton’s Vice President he resigned his political positions to found The Climate Reality Project, The Deep Space Climate Observatory and Generation Investment Management.
Christopher Alexander’s best known book, A Pattern Language sets out the 253 individual components of good design identified by Alexander and his students over 20 years of research.
The foundation of most of Alexander’s work, the principles of object-oriented programming and the programming patterns movement, this work has influenced the development of computer science significantly.
In a 2009 lecture, Alexander challenged computer scientists to apply the fundamental principle behind his work, that good design has a moral foundation, to their work. In that speech he said that his research into the influence of his work on computer science revealed to him that this basic principle has been overlooked.
Architect, writer and philosopher, Christopher Alexander has taken a bottom up approach to design, identifying what makes individual components of a design good, and building from that a series of patterns that lead to good architectural design. His best known work A Pattern Language was written in 1977 and compiled thousands of these patterns as the basis for future work.
His work has influenced Computer Science, especially object oriented programming, the design patterns movement and the extreme programming movement. His work was influential in the development of the Wiki, SimCity and its immensely popular spin-of The Sims. His works Notes on the Synthesis of Form, and the Nature of Order underpin significant developments in computer science but Alexander himself has applied them more broadly to investigate religious and philosphical questions from a new basis.
Subtitled On the Front Lines of the Fight against Coal Ted Nace’ book is a personal account of his activist journey as well as an account of the battle between coal funded climate sceptical think tanks and the scientific and environmental community.
A book by Ted Nace, Corporate Gangs of America is an account of the direct lobbying from company directors to raise the status of corporations, starting with personhood in the late nineteenth century and culminating in the protection of their profits under so called free-trade agreements.
While reviewers have criticised the book for failing to take into account the positive benefits of corporations it has been widely recognised as well-researched, and factually accurate. The book has a large amount in common with the 2003 Canadian film The Corporation. in both structure and background research. The film does not credit Corporate Gangs of America as an inspiration or source, however.