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Author's profile photo Jim Spath

Vinnie and the Polymathematics

A couple months back, Gretchen Lindquist The specified item was not found. the upcoming book by Vinnie Mirchandani called “The New Polymath: Profiles in Compound-Technology Innovations” (though the title has evolved I believe).  Vinnie will be on the Weekend Fun: 24 Hour Marathon later today, and I can’t wait to hear what else Vinnie will reveal about the book.  Which, by the way, can now be pre-orderded from Amazon and elsewhere. And yes, I’m quoted in the text so that might be part of my excitement and interest.

Though I have only spoken to Vinnie once or twice in person, we’ve been communicating for several months and I’ve learned just a small part of his talents.  His background is an analyst, blogger, reporter, the so-called “deal architect“. To me, he’s like a multi tool, such as a Swiss Army knife, or a Leatherman, where new abilities and skills unfold from previously hidden places.  I’ve read a few of his blogs, many of his tweets, and now more than a few emails.  It takes extra effort to go from the small game of short set pieces to work though a large complex narration of global technology trends and predictions.  I think he pulls it off in the book; you’ll need to judge for yourself.

After we had a couple of email-to-email exchanges, Vinnie expanded a part of the book talking about classics in world history.  And not the classics in a literature sense, classics in a literary sense, such as da Vinci.  At  first blush, you might think it risky to use da Vinci as an example in a serious, real world text, given the serious but non-real world of recent novels and books.  To my mind, Vinnie pulls it off and his arguments completely bypass any resemblance to fantasy fiction, going to hard knocks speculation with plenty of groundwork.

For me, the most important book, one that I hope will be well-received, not lost in the glare of enterprise software lights, is on “Clean Tech”.  Is that another phrase for Green, or Sustainability?  Not exactly, though sustainable businesses get attention in several chapters.  It’s more the vision of how good the future could be, and how many opportunities are out there, that demonstrate Vinnie’s ability to take a few interviews, a few data points, and draw lines up to a higher plane.

On a whim, I offered to do proof reading for Vinnie, after getting an advance preview of one chapter (or more).  You can find previews in different places on the internet now, including a Facebook fan page and Vinnie’s blog site. I think we both learned something in the process; if Vinnie learned new colloquialisms I hope they woven subtly into the text, and if I learned to appreciate the rigors of hard copy book publishing, it’s only by osmosis.  In other words, the deal where I commented on typos, wrong words, and awkward phrasing can only benefit us both, and better yet, also benefited Maryland’s House of Ruth, a shelter for women and children.

What time will Vinnie be on the show?  Oh, I don’t know, check the agenda here:


(ah right, 3PM Eastern)


But if you miss him for whatever reason, he may be on the show later, and will definitely be online.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Hi Jim,

      if one were to mention da Vinci, why not mention Pacioli? if da Vinci was a classic, that would make Pacioli a mentor to a classic? i think ERP owes much more to Mr Pacioli than to anyone else for the little excerpts in his Summa...
      if i only were a polyglott to read in toscan.
      i have a feeling that Vinnie's book will be a must read for many of ERPers.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      I, too, am helping Vinnie proof his book. One reason that Da Vinci is mentioned is that the book is about Polymaths, which is to say, Renaissance men. I don't think that anyone would dispute that Da Vinci met that standard; for myself, I'm not yet convinced that Pacioli did, since he was apparently quite an accomplished mathmetician but is not known for accomplishments over a wide range of disciplines. Perhaps after you read Vinnie's book the connection will be more clear.

      A lack of fluency in Renaissance Tuscan should not hold you back, and who needs Tuscan anyway, since Pacioli apparently wrote in another dialect. I've always considered one of the best sources on life in the Renaissance to be Castiglione's Book of the Courtier, which is in print in English and also available in digital form. I recommend it highly.


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Tuscan and Latin are the languages used in the treatise as per this conference paper.

      the tractatus starts in the middle (page 412)
      ...about computers and scripts (scroll for full page view)...
      i believe we are still using Latin alphabet in ASCII.