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Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, by John Carreyrou (@Kindle)
Finished 2018-06-10. Recommended. A brisk read, funny and maddening.

A consistent theme here is very successful old men deciding to rely too much on social proof and gut instinct over due diligence, physical evidence, and the advice of more conscientious but lower status people around them.

Also, to be frank, Stanford doesn't come off looking too great, particularly the Hoover Institution, although I guess anyone with a clue already knew that Hoover is a pernicious parasite.
booklog  nonfiction  finished:2018  silicon-valley  biotechnology  venture-capital  stanford  conservatism 
june 2018 by absfac
『幾何学と代数系 Geometric Algebra -ハミルトン,グラスマン,クリフォード-』(金谷健一)の感想(2レビュー) - ブクログ
【本棚登録】『幾何学と代数系 Geometric Algebra -ハミルトン,グラスマン,クリフォード-』金谷 健一
booklog  from twitter_favs
june 2018 by danbri
Twitter
Started Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
booklog  from twitter
april 2018 by drzax
『アイデア大全 [電子書籍]』のレビュー 読書猿 (文月さん) - ブクログ
09 フィンケの曖昧な部品
※なにがよいアイデアを生み出すのか?
1.あらかじめテーマを設定して、そ...『アイデア大全』読書猿
booklog  from twitter_favs
march 2018 by ocelot
Twitter
Finished Trick of the Light by Laura Elvery
booklog  from twitter
february 2018 by drzax
Twitter
Started Trick of the Light by Laura Elvery
booklog  from twitter
february 2018 by drzax
Twitter
Finished The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
booklog  from twitter
january 2018 by drzax
Twitter
Started The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
booklog  from twitter
january 2018 by drzax
Twitter
Finished Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
booklog  from twitter
january 2018 by drzax
Twitter
Started Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
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january 2018 by drzax
Free Food for Millionaires, by Min Jin Lee (@Kindle)
Finished 2018-01-05. Recommended. Remarkably rich, thematically and characterologically, for a first novel. On the other hand, I found it a little longer and more meandering than I wanted it to be, and your enjoyment may be modulated by your tolerance for detailed portraiture of the manners of upper-middle-class people in the orbits of Ivy League alumni networks and New York finance.

I'm a Korean-American from the New York area myself, and via my family and acquaintances thereof from my youth I have had some very attenuated contact with the world that Lee describes here. It wasn't much, but even that small dose ultimately filled me with disgust and resentment, and I'm pretty glad that I bailed out and went West to become a Bay Area computer geek. By all rights, I should find this novel annoying as fuck, just because of what it reminds me of. But I enjoyed it! So probably you will too.

One problem with writing novels set in contemporary America is that Americans have shed much of the social constraint that provides the potential energy for novels of manners set in past times or foreign cultures. In the 1990s Korean-American community in New York, Lee locates a subculture that is as repressed and status-obsessed as the English were a century earlier, and mines this fertile ground, obtaining in the process a surprising and unique window into the American psyche more generally (for the manners and attitudes of class that Lee describes are hardly limited to Korean-Americans).

Also Lee writes with exceptional compassion for every single one of her characters, even the choicest douchebags of New York banking, and I think you have to read the novel to believe it.
booklog  finished:2018  fiction 
january 2018 by absfac
Twitter
Started A World Gone Mad by Astrid Lindgren
booklog  from twitter
january 2018 by drzax
Twitter
Started Sleep No More: Six Murderous Tales by P. D. James
booklog  from twitter
january 2018 by drzax
The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World In Flux, by Cathy N. Davidson (@Kindle)
Finished 2017-12-30. OK, I suppose. Many suggestions overlap with those of other education reformers but this is a good overview of some of the major issues with American higher education. Most of her recommendations are pretty remote from typical practice and sadly I do not have high hopes that they will be realized in the near future across large swathes of the higher education landscape.
booklog  finished:2017  education  higher-education 
january 2018 by absfac
Twitter
Started A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro
booklog  from twitter
january 2018 by drzax
Twitter
Started Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis by George Monbiot
booklog  from twitter
december 2017 by drzax
Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee (@Kindle)
Finished 2017-12-23. Highly recommended. This is a deeply moving, meticulously crafted family epic set in the 20th century in Korea and Japan, written in the realist tradition of 19th century European novelists, but oriented in a fashion that foregrounds a 21st century sensibility and concerns including women's rights, immigrants' rights, and the experience of marginalized people. Also a page-turner without resorting to cheap cliffhangers or other excessively mechanical plottiness! Nicely done.

It is hard to separate my reaction to this from the ongoing hype (it is making numerous best-of-the-year lists, and indeed that is why I finally made the leap and read it). Do I like this so much because it is very much the kind of fiction that fits the current cultural moment, or is it as enduringly good as I perceive it to be? Regardless, it seems excellent, maybe good enough to place Lee in the running for the best living American novelist; at least, it is hard to think of someone who is clearly better.
booklog  finished:2017  fiction  historical-fiction  korea  japan  immigration  globalization  feminism  religion 
december 2017 by absfac
The Craft Sequence: (Three Parts Dead, Two Serpents Rise, Full Fathom Five, Last First Snow, Four Roads Cross), by Max Gladstone (@Kindle)
Finished 2017-11-30. Recommended.

Law is magic, literally. Unusually original, brisk and sharply written, and reflective of 21st-century concerns, without being crudely allegorical. I found this thoroughly enjoyable, although not (yet) quite sublime in the way that I hope for the very best fantastic fiction to be. My relatively minor complaints are:

(1) You can see the big bang climax coming in each one of these books; they each finish with a similar-feeling magic confrontation in much the same way that most superhero movies conclude in a giant fight with a gigantic beam of light firing out of the sky. You will probably enjoy these climaxes, but you will not be terribly surprised by them.

(2) The rules and limits of magic never feel clear enough to prevent the reader from suspecting that some new deus ex machina twist of magic is going to pop up from out of nowhere to save the protagonists from their predicament. This is rather odd, given that the author has literally constructed role playing games set in this universe. To be clear, it would be terrible for the universe to feel completely mechanistic, for the rules to be laid out in crudely expository form, or for the reader to hear the proverbial dice rolling in the background. However, other authors have managed to achieve a more authentic sense of peril and less arbitrariness without falling into these traps, and to be honest I'm not exactly sure why. (Actually arbitrariness, and its resultant deflation of dramatic tension, is just a very common pitfall of fantasy fiction in general and the so-called New Weird more specifically, which is to some extent an inevitable hazard of these genres' embrace of mystery and the sublime, and the New Weird's stylistic mannerism of densely packaged, vivid, novel imagery.)

Still these are minor complaints. You will rarely read fiction this well crafted (oh snap, see what I did there?!!!).

Lastly there is some debate in Gladstone's fan base about the proper reading order. The two most common suggestions are either publication order or chronological order. I will offer my own opinion, which is that neither is right. Instead, read in publication order, but skip Full Fathom Five until you've read the rest. Gladstone has not actually constructed a five-book series, as the recent publication of the sixth book (not included in this collection) makes clear. Rather, so far, he has written three dyads:

a. The story of Tara Abernathy and Alt Coulumb (Three Parts Dead, Four Roads Cross)
b. The story of Temoc, Caleb, and Dresediel Lex (Two Serpents Rise, Last First Snow)
c. The story of Kai Pohala (Full Fathom Five, The Ruin of Angels)

The thing about (c) is that it is relatively decoupled, whereas the other two dyads are threaded through each other somewhat more (although each novel still functions as a standalone entity). Reading in my suggested order preserves the narrative force of publication order, which produces a number of important effects that would be lost in chronological order --- for example, the dread you feel while reading Last First Snow, as you know some of the terrible things that Temoc will witness, and do --- but elides the distracting interlude between Two Serpents Rise and Last First Snow. Thus, read in this order:

1. Three Parts Dead
2. Two Serpents Rise
3. Last First Snow
4. Four Roads Cross
5. Full Fathom Five
6. The Ruin of Angels

(I haven't read (6) yet myself, but probably will, eventually.)
booklog  finished:2017  fiction  fantasy-fiction 
december 2017 by absfac
Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World Reprint, by Mark Miodownik (@Kindle)
Finished 2017-10-18. Recommended. Easy reading, surprisingly touching at points. I would perhaps prefer that the second half be bit more detailed & focused; towards the end of the book, he abandons the conceit that each chapter is a deep dive into a single material and starts to hop from a relatively shallow treatment of one subject after another (probably this is a symptom of a writer deciding to wrap up the manuscript rather than toughing it out with his original plan).
booklog  finished:2017  materials-science  nonfiction 
october 2017 by absfac
The Trials (The Red Trilogy Book 2), by Linda Nagata (@Kindle)
Finished 2017-09-30. Not as good as the first. I plan to finish the trilogy though.
booklog  finished:2017  fiction  science-fiction 
october 2017 by absfac

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