Just started Complexity: A Guided Tour by Melanie Mitchell. I’m completely fascinated by this topic. What else should I read? What are y’all reading?
No Bullshit Guide to Linear Algebra, because I’ve realised not knowing linear algebra is the thing holding me back the most for my personal goals lately.
I liked Axler’s “Linear Algebra Done Right”. I am still undergrad student, but felt like I could learn more, so I found this book really appealing. But it could be too academic and kinda “dry” if you have finished with college long ago.
I never took the class in school, and dropped out of college; text books are pretty hit-or-miss for me. I’ve tried a lot of resources to learn, though. My first intro was a crash course in an ML class on Coursera, and I’ve tried Shilov’s Linear Algebra, a linear algebra refresher course on Udacity (learn it by programming), and the Khan Academy videos, and a few other books. This book clicks, and also has a math refresher so you can relearn high school math first (which was over a decade ago for me). The thing that really sold it for me was it has lots of example problems and all the answers. I’ve taken the approach of working all problems and going back when I get one wrong to figure out where it went wrong, essentially using the answers as a unit test for my thinking.
I have Linear Algebra Done Right on my bookshelf. It is quite good, a bit dry, and I wish I’d had it as the core of a class in university. The No Bullshit Guide to Linear Algebra looks like it might be a good reference with a bit more spice and entertainment to it.
No Bullshit Guide to Linear Algebra
No Bullshit Guide to Linear Algebra
Is it good? Linear Algebra came up in a job interview recently and it stumped me; it’s amazing how much you can forget if you don’t keep using it.
See my response in the other thread for why I like it. The writing style can be a bit off-putting at times, though; I just work through that because the rest of it really makes sense to me.
Another thing I forgot to mention, you can get laminated cheat sheets that summarize things. I picked up one when I grabbed a probstats cheat sheet, looks like it’ll be helpful later on.
Hi kyle, thx for the plug! Be sure to check out the jupyter notebooks that come with the book: https://github.com/minireference/noBSLAnotebooks The chapter numbers are a bit off (you need to s/n/n-1/g), but you can take a look to see examples of the SymPy commands—it’s an awesome tool for learning if you feel comfortable with code.
For everyone else interested in the book, check out the preview here: https://minireference.com/static/excerpts/noBSguide2LA_preview.pdf or if you don’t have that much time, there is also a four-pager you can print an read on your next coffee break: https://minireference.com/static/tutorials/linear_algebra_in_4_pages.pdf
Linear algebra is very powerful stuff!
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick. It is the story of the genesis of the concept of information, information theory, and the effect on other areas of science beyond communications.
How are you reading the “Algorithm Design Manual”? Are you doing all of the exercises, a subset, or none? I’m curious because I went through it, doing some of the exercises earlier this year.
So far I’ve been sampling the exercises, pausing to do those that seem interesting. The exercises are pretty good, but I feel that I would get bogged down if I tried to do all in each chapter, hence my current strategy.
Did you finish all the chapters? I was thinking of putting up coding solutions on github as a way to archive my working. I know I will lose a notebook if I start one :/
I didn’t finish all of them. Stopped after graphs’ exercises. I wrote mine in a notebook and while I still have it, it’s not easily shareable.
N. K. Jemisin: The Fifth Season.
REAMDE by Neal Stephenson. He left such a foul taste in my mouth after seveneves that I am relieved that this seems, so far, a lot more like Cryptonomicon.
I thought reamde started off really strong but unfortunately there wasn’t a good payoff in the end.
That’s basically every book by Stephenson.
I dunno, I will never forget the last bit of Cryptonomicon, personally. Would love to see that in mini-series form
Hmm, I loved seveneves. Currently on Snow Crash.
Neal Stephenson’s prose can be pretentious at times. Is that what you found in seveneves?
3/4 of the book was in current time or in the very near future and on or around Earth, then the last 1/4 of the book was a completely different story in a different time and place. I think many people found it very jarring. The only connection between the two stories is that the events of the first one had a profound effect leading to the second one. The second story was also difficult to get into, because 800 pages into a book is not when you want to be reading a ton of exposition and being introduced to new characters.
REAMDE is really fun and full of Stephenson’s trademark tangents, but I wouldn’t classify it as sci fi (which was a bit unexpected for me).
Also reading this right now. I’m really enjoying it!
Several of the characters from REAMDE have stuck in my mind. Interesting book and a good departure for Stephenson.
First half of seveneves was fun, last part, as often with him, regrettable.
I completely agree about seveneves. It was like two books for me. One of which was quite good and the other an interesting concept for a setting for a different story, but unfortunately not compelling enough to draw me into the plot or characters.
Reading two books at the moment:
Dostoevsky, “Brothers Karamazov”. This is a much easier read than I expected. It feels like Dostoevsky is personally telling me this story via letter mail. Definitely recommended.
Euan Sinclair, “Trading Volatility”. Usually considered a boring subject, finance is fascinating to me. I’m beginning to learn about options pricing, and Euan’s book is at just the right level. He was trained as a physicist, so he approaches finance with an engineer’s mindset that I find easy to understand.
Thinking in Systems: A Primer (Meadows)
Haskell Programming from First Principles (http://haskellbook.com)
My progression over the past year from Ramda.js + Redux ideas to Professor Frisbee’s videos to Elm and the more functional world have led me to this book after looking at a few others. I’m only ~200 pages in, but I like it so far, and the intro on lamda calculus was supremely helpful at understanding the why behind a number of things. It’s going to take a LOT of time to breach this world, but I’ve got some little projects lined up I want to try to make, so we’ll see what happens this week and next week and the following and…
Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem. This is the first work of fiction that I haven’t been able to put down in a while. If you enjoyed Cryptonomicon, you’ll also enjoy this book.
I loved Cryptonomicon and hated Three-Body Problem, for what it’s worth.
Sans-spoilers, what didn’t you like about Three-Body Problem?
It was long and uninteresting on all fronts: the characters weren’t interesting (I can barely remember any of them as people), the plot was structured as zero progress through most of the book and then a deus ex machina at the end, the historical stuff that takes up most of the book just isn’t interesting enough in its own right but isn’t connected to anything else either. The MMORPG conceit makes no sense on any level - why would the game exist? How does its technology work? Why would it have that invite system? Why do none of the supposedly smart players figure out what’s going on? (it’s only right there in the name). The process of inventing science can be done interestingly (I loved The Clockwork Rocket), but in Three-Body Problem it isn’t, because just as with the plot there’s no sense of progress: complete failure for most of the book and then sudden magical success at the end.
Would you recommend reading Cryptonomicon first? I’ve just purchased The Three-Body Problem, and it’s next on my list.
I’d go ahead and read The Three-Body Problem; order doesn’t matter in my opinion. ?
Awesome, thank you for the advice.
I enjoyed The Three-Body Problem but have really struggled with the second book in the series. I’m not sure exactly what to pin it up to, but I think some lack of cultural understanding is making it harder to keep my attention.
I’d always wondered if anyone had read the novel in Chinese. How is it? Perhaps it reads fantastically in the original publication.
Since I am holiday his week I am re-reading “Sed & Awk”, read “HTTPD & Relayd Mastery” and have to start with “Programming Go”.
Rereading God: A Biography by Jack Miles (it won the Pulitzer back in 1996).
Barbara Tuchman - Bible and Sword
A trip through England’s interest in Palestine/Israel from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century. Tuchman isn’t the most accurate history writer (though in this case nothing seems outright wrong), but she’s very entertaining and gets the main idea across well.
Nothing programming related at the moment.
This book is on my list!
Three things, because I like reading multiple things at once:
I probably won’t finish the one on Poland before my trip, but maybe I’ll be able to know a bit of something.
On Poland, I can recommend Norman Davies’ Heart of Europe.
Messy by Tim Harford. http://timharford.com/books/messy/
Tim is the presenter of the BBC More or Less programme (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02nrss1/episodes/downloads), which I love, and this describes how sometimes the fact that the world is messy can promote creativity, and we shouldn’t be too hung up on trying to make everything tidy.
Currently I’m reading a single book;
The Indisputable Existence of Santa Claus by Dr Hannah Fry, Dr Thomas Oléron Evans
Enjoyable, let’s abuse math to explain christmas book.
I’m at a new job working at Aarhus university in Denmark so this week I’m spending a lot of time reading related work to my project. Most anything from http://iris-project.org/ has made it’s why on to my queue and is pretty excellent. For fun I’m also reading
I’m finishing Writing an Interpreter in Go. Not as technical as it sounds, and definitely awesome.
Is this a decent primer for learning go coming from a C# background?
sorry for the (way too) late reply. I wouldn’t use this book to use Go. Though the language is used, it’s very basically done so.
Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach
Bitcoin, Ethereum and Monero withepapers.
a boot about the history of Africa before colonization
Reading the documentation for React as I might have to use it for work starting next week (We’re prototyping a new ui)
I’m also reading papers on Darcs and reading On Blue’s Waters by Gene Wolfe.
Oh and I also just burned through Go Get a Roomie
Kurt Vonnegut’s Sirens of Titan. Haven’t read enough to form any opinion so far.
Also Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina, a “literature summary” kind of book about cognitive development in children under five.
China Mieville Kraken. Started fun, but has become a bit of a slog.
Inventive character concepts, but boring characters.
Not his best book, yeah. The City and The City is the best, if you haven’t read it.
Kraken is pretty much Neverwhere, but by China Miéville. If you liked the concept but not the characters, you might prefer Neverwhere (there will be no surprises in it, though, Kraken basically spoils most of Neverwhere).
Miéville’s less-derivative books are better. @itamarst recommended The City & the City, which is excellent; in true good sci-fi form, it takes a kind of weird concept and explores it to the limit (though it’s more exploring sociological than technological concepts). I’ll also recommend Embassytown (similarly takes a weird concept and runs with it) and Railsea (which is just fun and kind of silly).
Kraken felt more to me like China Mieville’s American Gods. The Neverwhere analogue IMO is Un Lun Dun, which is both short and really good. Mieville gets to throw every idea he has into one book without having to worry about inconsistencies or torturing his characters or talking ‘bout socialism, and it’s absolutely delightful.
When recommending Mieville I usually recommend TC&TC or ULD, because they’re both really approachable and are on opposite ends of his Weird Fiction spectrum: one is about taking a single idea and going as far as possible with it, the other just seeing what he’ll come up with next.
I’ve never read Un Lun Dun, I think mostly because I tend to not like short books :/ Agreed The City & The City is probably a good book to read for folks who haven’t built up a tolerance to Mieville. My personal favorite of his though is The Scar.
Currently struggling through Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake, but may bail for some WW2 history instead.
I am reading a couple of things:
Talking with Tech Leads - Patrick Kua, not my usual type of tech book, but it puts together some interesting thoughts. I’m about half way through.
I’m a little early in my career so while it’s too soon to be thinking about a tech lead role, I do want to get an idea of the problems on their plate.
New York 2140 https://www.amazon.com/New-York-2140-Stanley-Robinson/dp/031626234X
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/334176.The_Sparrow
New York: 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson. I’ve just finished Green Earth which is his compressed Science in the Capital trilogy and thoroughly enjoyed it. He shares William Gibson’s talent in finding interesting ideas and mashing them together into surprising and thoughtful plotlines. 2140 is combining (so far) high frequency trading, cooperative housing, and climate change.
Haskell the craft of functional programming by Simon Thompson. Functional programming is a paradigm I have only used partially in C++. I want to understand it idiomatically and Haskell seems like the best learning language for that.
I devoured Raven Strategem, the sequel to Ninefox Gambit, in less than a day; I highly recommend both, at least to SF fans. Portrays a fascinating culture but in a way that’s actually integrated with the technological setting and the plot; everything fits together really well.
Nearing the end of The Jewel in the Crown; the prose is wonderful but dense, even at 500+ pages, so I have to take it a bit at a time.
Started on Too Like the Lightning; not so impressed too far. Uses singular they (and puts a lot of emphasis on doing so) in a way that feels forced and anti-reader.
I’m reading the Angband Let’s Plays by TooMuchAbstraction. Very fun!