Currently most of my reading has been juggling political philosophy books.
My main list is: The Origins of Capitalism, Carceral Capitalism, Why I’ve Stopped Talking (To White People) About Race, and October (by Mieville)
However, I usually keep on having to stop reading these, because, in the case of Meiksins’ book, the density, and in the case of the rest, people have a habit of being disgusting creatures when The System tells them it’s acceptable. One part of October describes how, in the run-up to the revolution, a right-wing ‘protest’ where they locked a town-full of jewish people inside a church and set it alight…
So for the inter-rim between those books, I’ve been ripping through Whipping Girl, it’s ridiculously accessible and a very good deconstruction of gender and how society deals with it. I also recently obtained a copy of Bruce Lee’s “Fighting Method” for fitness reasons.
Another book I obtained recently was Morton’s “Humankind: Solidarity with non-human people”, which rather surprisingly turned out to be a Marxist argument for the better-treatment of animals. The first five pages demonstrate the author has clearly done his philosophical research, however, so I am rather looking forward to it.
The Origins of Capitalism is an excellent book. The way it traces the development and solidification of institutions, and the way they channel human behavior and potential, dissolved a whole bunch of my preconceived notions about the nature of things.
You might also like A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey
I’m doing 52 for 52. I read a sci-fi book every week in an effort to relearn(?) focus which social media and the internet has almost certainly destroyed. I’m currently reading “The Dispossessed” by Ursula K. Le Guin.
Been looking for some books like this (and the Mieville has been on my list for some time), those look worth a shot - thanks. I have the same problem with political/history books, for what it’s worth’ I can only take so much depressing history before I need to clear my head with something lighter.
Everyone here seems like a morning person…
I typically get up around 10am, if it makes you feel better. :-)
Hey, same as me! I kept trying to shift to an earlier schedule since bosses tend to prefer it. Brain just doesn’t agree with it. They and I are happier if they schedule me in a bit later to leave a bit later.
6am isn’t early in my world. I usually get up at 4am for exercise. Have done most days for the past 18 years.
Been starting work most days around 6am for the past 6 or 7.
Experimenting with injecting some leisure time into my morning by starting work at 7:30-8am.
By “world” you mean you live in a Nordic country?
It was this comment that inspired me to write mine. ;)
Frankly, I’m surprised no one posted a night schedule.
if it were up to me I’d work in fits and starts from about 10am to midnight. Unfortunately an office job comes with an expectation of visibility, and an attempt to travel at the same time as other road users.
Hopefully another pass at GEB and these:
The Linux Programming Interface is very good. A lot lower-level than I normally go, but still fascinating.
Any similar ones you’d recommend ?
Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment, I guess? I don’t really read many low-level books like that. Most of the higher-level things I like are more conceptual than specific.
Soul of a New Machine is a delightful read, and if you like it I’d check out Masters of Doom.
I’ve read it already! It was an exciting read. I read it one sitting.
From Bacteria to Bach and Back - The Evolution of Minds
To me this (philosophical) AI discussion ist really fascinating and it was recommended from a class reading list
This looks superb. Thanks for the pointer!
Another would be
Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom
“I highly recommend this book” –Bill Gates
“Nick Bostrom makes a persuasive case that the future impact of AI is perhaps the most important issue the human race has ever faced. Instead of passively drifting, we need to steer a course. Superintelligence charts the submerged rocks of the future with unprecedented detail. It marks the beginning of a new era.” –Stuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science, University of California, Berkley
What a fantastic find! I hope it is not too dense.
Lots of books on the coral reef these days! I get all my programming book recommendations from this community, so here are some titles from other areas of my reading life that have crustacean appeal.
Two tech history books:
Two books on contemporary technology:
And two novels:
Anymore book recommendations on the topic of computing history ?
Information on computers from the 1970s and earlier, now with added books tag :-)
Sure! :) Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly and William Aspray is a drop-dead classic. (The first edition came out in 1996 but they’ve since updated and expanded the book with contributions from other historians.) Or, for a deep dive on a single machine with an unusual story, check out Now the Chips Are Down, a history of the BBC Micro by Alison Gazzard.
I always list the best I read during the year as my Christmas book list.
Awesome! Had to check book tag also since 2016 & 2017 are tagged books.
Thanks. Your comment prompted me to make the tags consistent, e.g., book vs books, or even Just Christmas. So the other yearly suggestions are now listed on the same tag :-)
A few draft picks for best book I’ve read this year (all them recommended by fellow crustaceans):
Worst book bar none:
This history fails to acknowledge the grid computing era which predates cloud computing by several years. One of the goals of grid computing was much like “serverless” functions, ie the ability to have a function run on demand, on any available node in the grid.
History begins with the Internet in the world of computing these days. It is an inconvenient truth that virtualization has existed in mainframes since the 1960s.
Definitely true. Maybe I can mention this as well :)
CP-40 was a research project in 1964 that ran on the 360. IBM released a product from that called VM in 1972. I wouldn’t doubt you could still run it on a z machine. This eventually turned into z/VM, which has a long line of products before it.
Edit: Here’s an article from 2009 about it, interviewing one of the people who worked on it.
Any good books/sites/anything to read about this? That’s absolutely fascinating!
Thank you for your comment @patrickdlogan. This is definitely a good hint to improve the article, maybe I can add an extra section to provide this bit of history. I will start to dig some info, so feel free to send me any link you might think to be relevant for this section :)
Probably as good a place as any is this Wikipedia article.
Here’s a link to one of the old ones that were easy to acquire:
Click What Is Globus at bottom left to see some familiar-looking concepts in a chart.
BOINC is a similar thing, also open source.
Minecraft + Legos!
Legos are basically the best toy ever, in my opinion. If your kids don’t have legos yet, buy some! :)
Especially just the brick sets as opposed to the kits, the kits always made me feel like I was forced into a limited number of designs. That said some of the bricks in the kits are super nice to have, like wheels and stuff.
I’m reading Oathbreaker by Brandon Sanderson, it’s not networking, it’s not sci-fi, but it certainly is good!
For more fantasy, I’m reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson. It’s ten books and I’m currently about to finish the sixth. Definitely a great read for anyone who loves good worldbuilding or fantasy characterization.
This series is the only fantasy blockbuster series I’ve finished. Good quality right up until maybe the end. I especially like the shift to an entirely different continent and system of magic around book 5.
I got to 6 or 7 in the series and started to lose track of what was going on. I absolutely love the world though, and definitely intend to pick them back up in the future.
How are the other books in the series ?
I really enjoyed them. I’m a big fan of Sanderson’s work generally, and this series seems to be one of his best so far.
However if you’re considering starting the series, you should know that it’s only 3/5 complete, so you’ll have a long wait to finish it!
I waited for “The Wheel of Time”. I just hope it is fun to read!
I’ve not read it, I’ll stick it on my list :)
it’s not networking, it’s not sci-fi,
it’s not networking, it’s not sci-fi,
Honestly, I’m really eager for that kind of discussion around here. I get tired of everyone recommending the same circle of tech books or science fiction.
Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll take a look!
Edit: Oh… it’s fantasy. Erm, I suppose the tribe doesn’t wander far from the community-approved genres.
If you like history, I’m still chewing on Empire of the Steppes. The book is always described as “majestic” and “sweeping”. I’ve never read another history book that provides such an encompassing view. Its scope extends from mainland China, to the silk road oasis kingdoms, to Persia, to Kiev, to Attila’s march on Rome. It’s fascinating how a military campaign in China can set off a chain reaction like billiard balls and cause an invasion in Europe.
Another amazing history is Jonathan Spence’s God’s Chinese Son, but really, you cannot go wrong with Spence. He is a magician.
Oooh, that does sound great! Thanks, I’ll definitely look for that one!
I’m reading Catherine the Great for fun and Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured to prep for the upcoming EMT classes. I just finished The Storm Before the Storm, which was fantastic. I love everything Mike Duncan does.
For classic science fiction, here are some of my favorites:
I love Lord of Light, it’s one of the few books I have read more than once
EMT classes/exams aren’t too bad. Practicals/clinicals are nerve wracking. Using EMR/foosoftware is stepping on legos.
Check this out if you have five minutes emin5. Her youtube channel is filled with useful videos.
I am reading Fumbling the Future and Pearls of Functional Algorithm Design.
For classic Science Fiction, I would recommend some John Brunner (The Shockwave Rider, Stand on Zanzibar…).
For networking, it really depends what you’re looking for. For instance, if you want a good reference about the main protocols of the Internet, this is pretty good. TCP/IP illustrated is also a good alternative (I only read the first edition which did not have IPv6, but this one does).
The Idea Factory may be something you’d like as well.
Classic sci-fi recs: Karel Capek’s War with the Newts is a better version of his robots story than R.U.R. I also really enjoy Kurt Vonnegut, reading his work feels a bit like role-playing a pinball if you’re into that sort of thing.
I enjoy Vonnegut’s books as literature - I appreciate the language, the way they are constructed, and the ideas he conveys - but I don’t find them particularly engaging. I read Sirens of Titan recently and it has deep thoughts about free will and the meaning of life, but all the characters in his books are just weird and not at all relatable. I guess it’s just personal preference - I like to be able to empathise with the characters.
The cover art of War with the Newts looks amazing already. Does it translate well into English?
I enjoyed the English and haven’t read the Czech :)
I’m reading Fearless Change. So far it’s pretty interesting, I don’t think I’ll necessarily gain a lot of wisdom for reading it. I’m hoping that it will fix a few bugs in the way I try to champion change in the workplace, and maybe teach this old dog a few new tricks.
I hope you’ll come back and report changes if it works !
I’m reading Ender’s Shadow at the moment.
Are you going to read the whole series ?
Yes. I reread Ender’s Game a couple weeks back after reading The Swarm. Then I went back and read the First Formic War trilogy, Earth Unaware, Earth Afire, and Earth Awakens. Now I’m reading the parallel novels and then I’ll move on chronologically. I was originally planning to read them in the order published, but since Card says he wrote them to be read either way, I’m going chronological.
Last time I reported on “Convinct Conditioning” by Paul Wade. That was 2 months ago and I have been following a twice a week intro training schedule from it.
Here is a cheat sheet of the step for each exercises.
Initially the exercises didn’t look daunting. I do however approach them like the book recommends, with very slow and perfect execution (attempts ;P). I was surprised how hard even the most basic exercise can pump out of you. I’m speaking as someone who did a lot (7 years) of ju-jitsu in the past, does running and generally I consider myself in an OK shape.
A training session combines 2 of the above exercises. You pick previous steps as warm up (ie. Push-ups Step 1 2x30, Step 2 2x15) then the main step you are on.
Now to the main point. I don’t see a change in my muscularity, though wife states that some muscles are starting to shape out more prominently. I do however notice a significant change in general endurance and functional strength. I’m going to continue this training, I plan to move to more advanced schemes from the book with more days in the week but I’m trying not to rush this. I will report how it goes next time ;)
In other books. Things that I finished reading.
“Mafia” by Petra Reski - a book about the Italian mob, it’s structure, hierarchy etc. I’m disappointed, not in the content itself but in the writing style that made this book very hard to follow. Half of it is written in the present as the author goes on a trip to Italy, with sudden flashbacks to her memories from past interviews, cases, meeting with politicians and mobsters etc. This makes it very hard to follow & discern the presented facts about specific cases and actors taking part in the main topic off the book - it’s just distracting and annoying to suddenly read about a cab driver she hires when in Italy that spends most of the time doing courses for ladies playing bingo… There were a lot of interesting facts about the history of the mob in Italy but a lot of them felt not fully explored.
“Sylvia Rafael: The Life and Death of a Mossad Spy” by Ram Oren. I didn’t expect much from this book and was very nicely surprised. The narration is split into two interleaving halves - the perspective of Sylvia Rafael & her nemesis from the Black September responsible for the kidnapping and killing of the Israeli athletes during the Summer Olympics in 1972 in Munich. The book explores motives on individual and organizational level on both sides of the conflict, shallow but interesting insight into general operational security of intel agents. However the most interesting part is the accidental killing of the wrong target in Lillehammer, and not even the fact that it happened but what happened after it. The level of pressure Israel was putting on the release of it’s agents and how the goverments cooperated on that. It’s also surprising how quickly the agents were released and how that played in tandem with media attention dropping off. Recommended, entertaining read.
“Getting Things Done” by David Allen - I just recently started and I’m trying to implement the methodology as I go, using taskwarrior as my main tool and a plain pen & notebook. So far I feel slightly better organized but it’s far too soon to draw any serious conclusions on the positive/negative impact this book has. I will report back later after I’m done with it and have the system ticking for a few more cycles.
For aesthetics, a lot of results will be diet based (99%).
Agreed. I’m actually trying to gain weight (by changing my diet) as I’m 66kg while 182cm height. My skinny factor is the only reason wife sees some changes in how the muscles look.
So there are really two questions here: 1) What are you reading?
Work: Godel, Escher, Bach: The Eternal Golden Braid. This isn’t networking but WOW what a book. Formal systems, recursion, incompleteness theory and testability, this thing is a master work.
Also I’m nibbling at Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferris. The interviews are little bites of a few pages each, so I break one off when I want a break from the heavy lifting.
Pleasure: Jerusalem by Allan Moore. This is a mammoth book - 1.6K pages. I’m 64% through. Basically thus far it’s Moore’s Northampton UK flavored afterlife. I’m enjoying the ride but it’s LONG and I’m hoping the ending packs enough of a wallop to justify the commitment :)
Yes on both counts!
Classic Sci-Fi: Doesn’t get any more classic than the Lensman series by E.E. “Doc” Smith.
This is the archetype of science fiction books. Written from the 1930s - 1950s these books tell the story of two clashing hyper advanced alien races - the Arisians and the Boskone, and the effect they have on humanity and many other species.
This series is OLD. As a result of which, it’s sexist, ethnist, and has some really seriously wacky ideas about health and morality. HOWEVER if you can put that aside and enjoy it for the period piece that it is, IMO they’re well worth the read.
Networking: This isn’t strictly a networking book, but The Linux Programming Interface will give you a really deep understanding of how networking meshes with the gears of the OS - what’s happening at the system call, libc, sockets, etc level. Super great read with good exercises to work through:
My favourite bit from the Lensmans series is when the hero arrives at a new planet in his Faster Than Light ship……. and reaches for his trusty slide rule to calculate the orbit….
The other book from the Era of GEB is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mind%27s_I
Which introduced me to the joys of Jorge Luis Borges and Stanislaw Lem.
One of my favorites is a set of passages where they’re disparaging some drug that our hero has taken doing undercover work, where they refer to healthy wholesome substances like tobacco.
Wow 1.6k pages! And here I thought GEB was already a commitment. The Linux Programming Interface looks just about right for what I need to be reading.
GEB is definitely a commitment. Truth be told I tried and bounced off twice, but now I’m about 1/2 way through because I’m reading it with someone. We help each other get un-stuck when we can’t wrap our heads around something.
That said, the book is a sumptuous feast for the mind if you have the audacity to get through it :)
I also picked it up recently and plan on reading it. Hofstadter claims to have said (Dutch wikipedia about him), 1/10 of the people that buy it, will start it, 1/10 of those will finish it, and 1/10 of those will understand it. Those aren’t good odds ;)
Forever War is an amazing book. It makes the reader experience the senselessness of war.
I’m reading Cryptonomicon at the moment. It’s a great book: all the intertwined plot lines are fascinating and I want to know what happens to the characters. As usual for Stephenson, there are frequent diversions and a lot of technical details (eg on cryptography, the physical structure of the internet). He has become one of my favourite authors.
As far as classic sci-fi goes, Alfred Bester is great. The Stars My Destination is one of my all time favourites. The Demolished Man got a Hugo award in 1953.
The Machine Stops is an amazing story by E.M. Forster all the way from 1909! It predicts the internet and videoconferencing, among other things.
Some more classics:
Heinlein seems to be recommended by a lot of people in the community so I’ll give that a read next week along with the sequel (Forever Peace) to Forever War.
Heinlein has several phases. There’s the early teen / mil sf stuff (“Farmer in the Sky” etc), the psuedo-libertarian propaganda stuff (“Moon is a Harsh Mistress”) that seems to have come along with his libertarian 2nd (3rd?) wife, then he has a stroke & a bunch of medical problems and starts writing weird huge books: “Friday”, “Stranger in a Strange Land” etc. He was also bright guy who, at least some of the time, was actually satirising the things he was writing about. So there are many Heinlines & people are probably attached to different aspects.
Honestly, I think there’s better SF being written in the modern era though. If you really get into the field, it’s worth going back & reading some of the older stuff, to see what later authors are sometimes reacting against / referring to, but reading SF from the 30s<->50s is not in any sense mandatory.
I tend to agree. Avoid Heinlein, other than maybe Starship Troopers. I will never forget his line “9 out of 10 rapes are actually the womans fault”, which is from Stranger in a Strange Land. That was such a bad book, it actually put me off reading for a while.
bleah I wish I could unread that line. Not only is it preposterously and poisonously paradox, it also disgustingly ignores the fact that by far not all rapes involve women at all.
Stranger in a Strange Land is great not just because it’s a great story, but again because it’s a window into the counter-culture / free love movement of the 60s. Same warning applies though - walking talking screaming sexism in this book. Doesn’t make it any less of a classic, but being aware is good :)
I could never get into Heinlein. I finished Starship Troopers, but couldn’t even make it half way through Moon is a Harsh Mistress. I just don’t think he’s that great a writer. I’ve heard good things about Stranger in a String land; might give that one a shot, but from what I’ve read so far, I have several other things I’d rather try to get through first.
I really enjoyed Forever Peace too, although it isn’t really a sequel.
The three companion pieces to Forever War would be Starship Troopers by Heinlin, Armor by Steakley, and then pick one of either Falkenberg’s Legion by Pournelle and Stirling or the anthology Hammer’s Slammers by Drake.
Other military sci-fi novels (say, Old Man’s War by Scalzi or a lot of the space-opera-y stuff) to me just feels too…cartoony, I guess? Like, I don’t want to go so far as grimdark 40K “FOR TEH EMPRAH ETERNAL WAAAGH”, but I also want the fighting and fighters–or the politics behind them–to be in focus instead of the technology or cutesy sci-fi tropes.
I may be in the minority in that opinion though. :)
Abhorrent - I worked 7 am to 12 midnight all this week. I worked on software and non-software projects.
I might be the only person in this thread who likes the new keyboard. I use a 2017 15” Macbook Pro with Touchbar for work and find the keyboard easier to type on than my 2015 13” Macbook Pro. I like the reduced travel distance and what I perceive as a louder click when typing.
The thing that changed my life, however, is setting CAPS LOCK to be ESC. I’ve done it across all of my computers now and would not have done so without Apple giving me a nudge when removing the physical ESC key on the Touchbar Macs. I don’t miss CAPS LOCK at all and the travel distance to ESC is so much more pleasing.
I do have problems with my hand sometimes brushing the touchpad if I’ve not positioned my wrists correctly. That’s a little aggravating but I’m largely over it now in the ~4 months I’ve been using this machine. Turns out I never really used the media keys much except for volume and pause/play so I don’t mind the touchbar and the extra info it can provide in many modern apps I use (e.g. Chrome, Outlook).
To each their own?
I can totally see switching caps lock to be esc on the touch bar model. However, people who use the CTRL key a lot, like people running Windows or Linux or spend their day inside the terminal in macOS, might find it useful to swap CTRL and Caps Lock. Vim users might then want to start using CTRL+C instead of Esc to enter normal mode.
Especially people on MacBooks or Lenovos where the Fn and CTRL keys are all wrong should consider swapping the buttons if they ever use CTRL for anything.
Set caps lock to BOTH Ctrl and Esc!
X11: xcape (like this)
Windows: AutoHotkey (like this)
Is there a High Sierra work around?
I haven’t tried it (I’m still on Sierra) so can’t confirm, but the Karabiner Elements repo suggests it works on High Sierra. Karabiner Elements still has far fewer features than Karabiner though.
There wasn’t, the last time I checked.
A shame. I’m still on 10.11 and I won’t upgrade because my workflow depends on karabiner.
Just a warning for potential users of this setup: ^C and Esc aren’t exactly the same in vim. A major difference is entering text [count] amount of times (like 3i or 4A): hitting ^C to enter normal mode will only insert the new text once.
That’s true. My .vimrc has the following lines to make ^C act as Esc in normal and insert mode:
nmap <C-c> <ESC>
imap <C-c> <ESC>
You could use C-[ instead. It’ll work everywhere without any mappings and is equivalent to ESC.
Yeah, I concur. I like the new keyboard, even coming from a cherry MX green keeb on my desktop.