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Now tell Bill it was all possible because of Google Books!


not only did he get the name of your book wrong, he called tweets "tweaks"

and then he disses conversational media at the end of his talk (i read the whole thing and agree that its good)

i agree with Clinton that we need all of this. my mom always said, do everything, and use moderation in all of it.

so we gotta keep reading books. but "blurting out what's on your mind"
as i am doing now is also pretty important too


Did he really saw tweaks, or was that the fault of the person doing the transcription, or an editor who thought a word was misspelled?


It's fantastic that Bill was as moved by your book as I was (and probably more important for you that he has a slightly larger audience than I); I've been telling people about the book for the last two weeks -- I just thought it was wonderful. And, I bet that my fact distortion will get progressively worse (was it englightenment science? was he part of the revolutionary scientist group?), but the excitement about your organization of the ideas and concepts, and the story flow, is what i try to communicate to the people I tell the story to. great job, steven -- I hope you can get bill's tweeps to correct some of his facts, and sell a few more books (and hence, get a few more folks excited about the ideas included in the pages)



We all know that when the person in the back room speaks up to point out a small error or typo it is really pointing attention towards themselves and distracting/missing the bigger point. Humans make typos, mispronounce, etc...thus the 2nd comment typed "SAW" instead of "SAY". Yeah, blurting out in conversational media is pretty important, but it is really getting way to much praise/attention than good ole' books that make you think....think long about matters. Clinton reminds me of a "connector" when he gives talks.....which is wonderful to listen to....and it is very cool that he talked about how a great book by Mr. Johnson made him, think, connect and form more thoughts.


This reminds me of the reaction to "Moneyball." More than one baseball insider -- Joe Morgan being the prime suspect -- thought that Billy Beane, not Michael Lewis, had written the book as an act of shameless self-promotion. As Lewis says, "It was, in a perverse way, an author's dream: The people most upset about my book were the ones unable to divine that I had written it."


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That last paragraph of Bill's about Books VS Internet is a well placed dagger. Deadly poignant, accurate, and flattering to all authors.


I guess my comment is lost in cyberspace. At any rate, Thank you for writing THE INVENTION OF AIR.

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In response to the "How" question and in relating to books vs. web tweet I just read from your May '06 post...

I gleen information from my iGoogle page on news, sports, weather, quotes (Ben Franklin's one liners are great), etc. I then dig further when I start reading my Google Reader. I get info on new technology, local news, national news, friends, kayaking tales of places around Florida, and even Jason's Kottle blog. Via my gReader is how I found out about the Google/Android phone, the G1, over a year ago that led to my purchase of it.

I use it to get podcasts and listen to them on my commute, my desk at work, or when I am doing things around the apartment. One of those being NPR's Book Tour. This is where I first heard of you, S.B. Johnson, and your book, "The Invention of Air", which led to my purchase of the book.

And now, that is all that I can talk about. There is a possiblity that I would have discovered your book, but it would be small if I was just browsing shelves at B&N or a library. If it wasn't for the internet, in all of it's great developing structure, I would have never come across your book. Somehow, I feel a parallel to Priestly's discoveries, your writings, and my daily life.

Thank you.

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Now tell Bill it was all possible because of Google Books!

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    The Basics

    • I'm a father of three boys, husband of one wife, and author of eight books, and co-founder of three web sites. We spend most of the year in Marin County, California though I'm on the road a lot giving talks. (You can see the full story here.) Personal correspondence should go to sbeej68 at gmail dot com. If you're interested in having me speak at an event, drop a line to Wesley Neff at the Leigh Bureau (WesN at Leighbureau dot com.)

    My Books

    • : Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

      Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation
      An exploration of environments that lead to breakthrough innovation, in science, technology, business, and the arts. I conceived it as the closing book in a trilogy on innovative thinking, after Ghost Map and Invention. But in a way, it completes an investigation that runs through all the books. Sold more copies in hardcover than anything else I've written.

    • : The Invention of Air

      The Invention of Air
      The story of the British radical chemist Joseph Priestley, who ended up having a Zelig-like role in the American Revolution. My version of a founding fathers book, and a reminder that most of the Enlightenment was driven by open source ideals.

    • : The Ghost Map

      The Ghost Map
      The latest: the story of a terrifying outbreak of cholera in 1854 London 1854 that ended up changing the world. An idea book wrapped around a page-turner. I like to think of it as a sequel to Emergence if Emergence had been a disease thriller. You can see a trailer for the book here.

    • : Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter

      Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter
      The title says it all. This one sparked a slightly insane international conversation about the state of pop culture -- and particularly games. There were more than a few dissenters, but the response was more positive than I had expected. And it got me on The Daily Show, which made it all worthwhile.

    • : Mind Wide Open : Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life

      Mind Wide Open : Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life
      My first best-seller, and the only book I've written in which I appear as a recurring character, subjecting myself to a battery of humiliating brain scans. The last chapter on Freud and the neuroscientific model of the mind is one of my personal favorites.

    • : Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software

      Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software
      The story of bottom-up intelligence, from slime mold to Slashdot. Probably the most critically well-received all my books, and the one that has influenced the most eclectic mix of fields: political campaigns, web business models, urban planning, the war on terror.

    • : Interface Culture : How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate

      Interface Culture : How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate
      My first. The book I wrote instead of finishing my dissertation. Still in print almost a decade later, and still relevant, I think. But I haven't read it in a while, so who knows what's in there!

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