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For some reason this one hasn’t gotten as much love as the “What are you working on?” weekly threads but I’m always curious as to what new books and/or papers everyone is reading at the moment.


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    • Study: Haskell Programming from First Principles
    • Serious: Early Retirement Extreme
    • Entertainment: Distress, by Greg Egan

    More at my 2015 list

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      BGP: Building Reliable Networks with the Border Gateway Protocol

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        I’m reading the recently released print edition of Clojure for the Brave and True. Seems pretty good so far.

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            On the topic of “Becoming a Technical Leader”, I recommend reading “Leading Snowflakes”. Lots of great stories/tips in there.


            They even have a free weekly newsletter with solid articles: http://softwareleadweekly.com/

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              Thanks! I will check this out.

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              How are you finding Zen and The Art of Archery? I like archery, particularly because I find it such a relaxing, peaceful experience.

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                I think this paper provides a nice contrast to Zen in the Art of Archery, and provides further insight into the origins of kyudo:


                It does come off as attempting to invalidate Zen in the Art of Archery, but I find it provides lots of useful perspective, even if you disregard the premise.

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                  As a german Kyudo archer (albeit very amateurish), I was communicated that Herrigels Book is generally not considered very interesting.

                  Especially his interpretation the “target in darkness” event was explained to me by my sensei as problematic (I do have to say that I’m really just reiterating what I understood, take it with a huge grain of salt). Hitting the first arrow with the second is a western legend and mystical: Robin Hood. So probably Herrigel interpreted that into the event. Kyudo weapons are war weapons though: an arrow hitting the first is a destruction of equipment. The ultimate shot is the second shot hitting right next to the first. So, many things are possible: He was lied to out of shame or didn’t understand the complexity of the situation out of other reasons.

                  Also, while some people are inspired by it, no pupil of Herrigel can be found in Germany. Kyudo was brought to Germany by different persons.

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                    An interesting read, illustrating the problems of translation :~)

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                    By the way, I can recommend Archery as a very good sport for programmers and desktop people in general. It has multiple interesting properties for me:

                    • It’s a standing sport, upright and stretching the shoulders
                    • It’s concentration without structured thought, which I find very appealing after a day of concentrating with structured thinking
                    • It has a lot of rules to follow for good reasons (mainly projectiles of up to a meter flying around and people having to concentrate), which I find a nice variation over the usual worklife where people try to avoid rules like the pest.
                    • And finally: most people are older then I am, which is a nice perspective shift after my day to day experience in coder offices.
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                      Just finished it actually. I really enjoyed it. It was an easy read and quick.

                      I’ve been on a big Alan Watts kick, and really enjoyed Pirsig’s two books as well. I don’t do archery but I take a lot away from the books.

                      Biggest takeaway for me is how to be a leader and a teacher to the less experienced.

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                    • Haskell Programming from First Principles
                    • Second chapter of Artificial Intelligence: A modern approach
                    • Catching up on (Rather boring) school powerpoints on java

                    And whenever I get bored of reading academic stuff, I pull out The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke

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                      Unrelated to programming, I’m reading “The Anatomy of Fascism,” by Robert O. Paxton.

                      It’s a very readable study of fascist movements in Germany and Italy, and also touching on less successful movements elsewhere. The stated goal is to arrive at a meaningful definition of “Fascism,” which is apparently a hotly contested word in academia.

                      I’m about 2/3 of the way through, and I recommend it.

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                        I had started Assemblers, Compilers, and Machine Translation, but it was a little slow and boring, and I lost interest.

                        So now I’m reading through the book version of Purely Functional Data Structures.

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                          Essentialism - Greg McKeown

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                              I like this thread!

                              Lately (and continuing this week) I am reading through a whole bunch of New Scientist magazines from the past year, given to us by a neighbour. I’ve skimmed them before, when my wife occasionally buys them (for light reading—she prefer to read scientific papers, which is a bit too much like hard work for me) but this is the first time I’m reading them from cover to cover.

                              Also continuing (Teach Yourself:) Small Business Accounting. I don’t actually run a business, but since my employer is overseas it looks that way for tax purposes—so I need to keep accurate records. First time around doing this, so still a bit jittery about tax.

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                                  Algebra: An Elementary Text Book by Chrystal

                                  So far the best damn algebra book I have ever read. I bought the original from ebay for a decent price.

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                                    • Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams
                                    • Uncle Tom’s Cabin
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                                      I just got the Go programming language book by Kernighan and Donovan so I will be consumed by that.

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                                        Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne (3 book series) by Brian Staveley

                                        I bailed on the Takeshi Novacs books after the second one - the graphic sex got weird, and I thought the main character was too all-powerful, and inconsistent. I enjoyed some of the premise, and the writing’s not bad, but would probably not recommend it.

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                                          “The hard things about hard things” by Ben Horrowitz.

                                          Very easy read, lots of practical advice. Not too rambly either.

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                                            Fevre Dream by GRRM

                                            It’s my introduction to this author and I am loving the story and characters. Absolutely infuriating one moment, and harrowing the next.

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                                              • Riak Core blog posts and the source code
                                              • Learn C the hard way