Patrick Collison's favorite books

  • Out of Mao's Shadow

    Out of Mao's Shadow

    Out of Mao's Shadow

    Philip P. Pan
    History
    4.10 (1,470)

    An inside analysis of modern cultural and political upheavals in China by a fluent Beijing correspondent describes the power struggles currently taking place between the party elite and supporters of democracy, the outcome of which the author predicts will significantly affect China's rise to a world super-power. 125,000 first printing.

    Patrick Collison

    Included on Patrick Collison's Bookshelf Book recommendations

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  • The Inner Game of Tennis

    The Inner Game of Tennis

    The Inner Game of Tennis

    W. Timothy Gallwey
    Sports & Recreation

    Master your game from the inside out! With more than 800,000 copies sold since it was first published thirty years ago, this phenomenally successful guide has become a touchstone for hundreds of thousands of people. Not just for tennis players, or even just for athletes in general, this handbook works for anybody who wants to improve his or her performance in any activity, from playing music to getting ahead at work. W. Timothy Gallwey, a leading innovator in sports psychology, reveals how to • focus your mind to overcome nervousness, self-doubt, and distractions • find the state of “relaxed concentration” that allows you to play at your best • build skills by smart practice, then put it all together in match play Whether you're a beginner or a pro, Gallwey's engaging voice, clear examples, and illuminating anecdotes will give you the tools you need to succeed. “Introduced to The Inner Game of Tennis as a graduate student years ago, I recognized the obvious benefits of [W. Timothy] Gallwey's teachings. . . . Whether we are preparing for an inter-squad scrimmage or the National Championship Game, these principles lie at the foundation of our program.”—from the Foreword by Pete Carroll

    Patrick Collison

    Theres a really good book that I very highly recommend called The Inner Game of Tennis.

     — Source

  • Something Incredibly Wonderful Happens

    Something Incredibly Wonderful Happens

    Something Incredibly Wonderful Happens

    K. C. Cole
    Biography & Autobiography
    4.17 (133)

    How do we reclaim our innate enchantment with the world? And how can we turn our natural curiosity into a deep, abiding love for knowledge? Frank Oppenheimer, the younger brother of the physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, was captivated by these questions, and used his own intellectual inquisitiveness to found the Exploratorium, a powerfully influential museum of human awareness in San Francisco, that encourages play, creativity, and discovery—all in the name of understanding. In this elegant biography, K. C. Cole investigates the man behind the museum with sharp insight and deep sympathy. The Oppenheimers were a family with great wealth and education, and Frank, like his older brother, pursued a career in physics. But while Robert was unceasingly ambitious, and eventually came to be known for his work on the atomic bomb, Frank’s path as a scientist was much less conventional. His brief fling with the Communist Party cost him his position at the University of Minnesota, and he subsequently spent a decade ranching in Colorado before returning to teaching. Once back in the lab, however, Frank found himself moved to create something to make the world meaningful after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He was inspired by European science museums, and he developed a dream of teaching Americans about science through participatory museums. Thus was born the magical world of the Exploratorium, forever revolutionizing not only the way we experience museums, but also science education for years to come. Cole has brought this charismatic and dynamic figure to life with vibrant prose and rich insight into Oppenheimer as both a scientist and an individual.

    Patrick Collison

    Included on Patrick Collison's Bookshelf Book recommendations

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  • Hard Landing
    Patrick Collison

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  • Tuxedo Park

    Tuxedo Park

    Tuxedo Park

    Jennet Conant
    Biography & Autobiography

    Presents the story of financier Alfred Lee Loomis and his role in the American victory during World War II, discussing Tuxedo Park, the lavish safe haven he created for some of the world's greatest scientists to meet and share ideas.

    Patrick Collison

    Its very good.

     — Source

  • Anthropic Bias

    Anthropic Bias

    Anthropic Bias

    Nick Bostrom
    Philosophy
    4.01 (77)

    Anthropic Bias explores how to reason when you suspect that your evidence is biased by "observation selection effects"--that is, evidence that has been filtered by the precondition that there be some suitably positioned observer to "have" the evidence. This conundrum--sometimes alluded to as "the anthropic principle," "self-locating belief," or "indexical information"--turns out to be a surprisingly perplexing and intellectually stimulating challenge, one abounding with important implications for many areas in science and philosophy. There are the philosophical thought experiments and paradoxes: the Doomsday Argument; Sleeping Beauty; the Presumptuous Philosopher; Adam & Eve; the Absent-Minded Driver; the Shooting Room. And there are the applications in contemporary science: cosmology ("How many universes are there?", "Why does the universe appear fine-tuned for life?"); evolutionary theory ("How improbable was the evolution of intelligent life on our planet?"); the problem of time's arrow ("Can it be given a thermodynamic explanation?"); quantum physics ("How can the many-worlds theory be tested?"); game-theory problems with imperfect recall ("How to model them?"); even traffic analysis ("Why is the 'next lane' faster?"). Anthropic Bias argues that the same principles are at work across all these domains. And it offers a synthesis: a mathematically explicit theory of observation selection effects that attempts to meet scientific needs while steering clear of philosophical paradox.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Democracy in America
    Patrick Collison

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  • Poor Charlie's Almanack
    Patrick Collison

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  • Age of Ambition

    Age of Ambition

    Age of Ambition

    Evan Osnos
    History
    4.26 (7,319)

    A Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker documents the political, economic and cultural changes occurring in today's China, examining a transition from Communist to personal power while addressing key questions about national freedom, generational identity and the influence of the West. 50,000 first printing.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Spastic Diplegia--Bilateral Cerebral Palsy

    Spastic Diplegia--Bilateral Cerebral Palsy

    Spastic Diplegia--Bilateral Cerebral Palsy

    Lily Collison MA MSc
    Family & Relationships
    4.80 (5)

    "A must-read for professionals, parents, and the individual with CP."-Deborah Gaebler-Spira, MDAn empowering and evidence-based guide for living a full life with spastic diplegia-bilateral cerebral palsy."This detailed and practical book on spastic diplegia, written by a parent in conjunction with medical practitioners at Gillette, is simply brilliant and fills a huge gap."-Lori Poliski, parentCerebral palsy (CP) is the most common cause of childhood-onset lifelong physical disability. Approximately one-third of those with CP have the subtype spastic diplegia-also known as bilateral spastic CP, or simply bilateral CP. An estimated 6 million worldwide have spastic diplegia. Until now, there has been no book focused on this condition to help this large group of people. This book focuses on the motor problems-problems with bones, muscles, and joints, and their impact on walking. The Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) is a five-level system that indicates the severity of the condition. This book is relevant to those at GMFCS levels I to III: those who are capable of walking independently or with a handheld mobility device. These three levels account for the majority of people with spastic diplegia.The book addresses how spastic diplegia develops over the lifespan and explains the evidence-based, best-practice treatments. It empowers parents of young children, and adolescents and adults with the condition, to become better advocates and co-decision makers in the medical process. The focus of this optimistic, yet practical book is on maximizing activity and participation-living life to its fullest. Health care professionals, educators, students, and extended family members will also benefit from reading this book. Indeed, while this book focuses on spastic diplegia, much of what is addressed also applies to other forms of spastic CP at GMFCS levels I to III, namely hemiplegia and quadriplegia.Written by Lily Collison, a parent of a son with spastic diplegia and a medical sciences graduate, in close collaboration with senior medical experts from Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare-a world-renowned center of excellence for CP treatment-this is an excellent, long-needed resource for spastic diplegia.

    Patrick Collison

    Congrats, Mom!

     — Source

  • The Art of Doing Science and Engineering
    Patrick Collison

    Included on Patrick Collison's Bookshelf Book recommendations

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  • The Paris Review Interviews, I
    Patrick Collison

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  • The Rise and Fall of American Growth

    The Rise and Fall of American Growth

    The Rise and Fall of American Growth

    Robert J. Gordon
    Business & Economics
    4.19 (1,553)

    In the century after the Civil War, an economic revolution improved the American standard of living in ways previously unimaginable. Electric lighting, indoor plumbing, motor vehicles, air travel, and television transformed households and workplaces. But has that era of unprecedented growth come to an end? Weaving together a vivid narrative, historical anecdotes, and economic analysis, The Rise and Fall of American Growth challenges the view that economic growth will continue unabated, and demonstrates that the life-altering scale of innovations between 1870 and 1970 cannot be repeated. Gordon contends that the nation's productivity growth will be further held back by the headwinds of rising inequality, stagnating education, an aging population, and the rising debt of college students and the federal government, and that we must find new solutions. A critical voice in the most pressing debates of our time, The Rise and Fall of American Growth is at once a tribute to a century of radical change and a harbinger of tougher times to come.

    Patrick Collison

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  • The Dream Machine

    The Dream Machine

    The Dream Machine

    M. Mitchell Waldrop
    4.55 (855)

    At a time when computers were a short step removed from mechanical data processors, Licklider was writing treatises on "human-computer symbiosis," "computers as communication devices," and a now not-so-unfamiliar "Intergalactic Network." His ideas became so influential, his passion so contagious, that Waldrop coined him "computing's Johnny Appleseed." In a simultaneously compelling personal narrative and comprehensive historical exposition, Waldrop tells the story of the man who not only instigated the work that led to the internet, but also shifted our understanding of what computers were and could be.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Nixon Agonistes

    Nixon Agonistes

    Nixon Agonistes

    Garry Wills
    Biography & Autobiography
    4.12 (490)

    With a new preface: A “stunning” analysis of the troubled Republican president by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Lincoln at Gettysburg (The New York Times Book Review). In this acclaimed biography that earned him a spot on Nixon’s infamous “enemies list,” Garry Wills takes a thoughtful, in-depth, and often “very amusing” look at the thirty-seventh US president, and draws some surprising conclusions about a man whose name has become synonymous with scandal and the abuse of power (Kirkus Reviews). Arguing that Nixon was a reflection of the country that elected him, Wills examines not only the psychology of the man himself and his relationships with others—from his wife, Pat, to his vice-president, Spiro Agnew—but also the state of the nation at the time, mired in the Vietnam War and experiencing a cultural rift that pitted the young against the old. Putting his findings into moral, economic, intellectual, and political contexts, he ultimately “paints a broad and provocative landscape of the nation’s—and Nixon’s—travails” (The New York Times). Simultaneously compassionate and critical, and raising interesting perspectives on the shifting definitions of terms like “conservative” and “liberal” over recent decades, Nixon Agonistes is a brilliant and indispensable book from one of America’s most acclaimed historians.

    Patrick Collison

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  • If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... Where is Everybody?

    If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... Where is Everybody?

    If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... Where is Everybody?

    Stephen Webb
    Science
    4.20 (1,044)

    Given the fact that there are perhaps 400 billion stars in our Galaxy alone, and perhaps 400 billion galaxies in the Universe, it stands to reason that somewhere out there, in the 14-billion-year-old cosmos, there is or once was a civilization at least as advanced as our own. The sheer enormity of the numbers almost demands that we accept the truth of this hypothesis. Why, then, have we encountered no evidence, no messages, no artifacts of these extraterrestrials? In this second, significantly revised and expanded edition of his widely popular book, Webb discusses in detail the (for now!) 75 most cogent and intriguing solutions to Fermi's famous paradox: If the numbers strongly point to the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations, why have we found no evidence of them? Reviews from the first edition: "Amidst the plethora of books that treat the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligence, this one by Webb ... is outstanding. ... Each solution is presented in a very logical, interesting, thorough manner with accompanying explanations and notes that the intelligent layperson can understand. Webb digs into the issues ... by considering a very broad set of in-depth solutions that he addresses through an interesting and challenging mode of presentation that stretches the mind. ... An excellent book for anyone who has ever asked ‘Are we alone?’." (W. E. Howard III, Choice, March, 2003) "Fifty ideas are presented ... that reveal a clearly reasoned examination of what is known as ‘The Fermi Paradox’. ... For anyone who enjoys a good detective story, or using their thinking faculties and stretching the imagination to the limits ... ‘Where is everybody’ will be enormously informative and entertaining. ... Read this book, and whatever your views are about life elsewhere in the Universe, your appreciation for how special life is here on Earth will be enhanced! A worthy addition to any personal library." (Philip Bridle, BBC Radio, March, 2003) Since gaining a BSc in physics from the University of Bristol and a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Manchester, Stephen Webb has worked in a variety of universities in the UK. He is a regular contributor to the Yearbook of Astronomy series and has published an undergraduate textbook on distance determination in astronomy and cosmology as well as several popular science books. His interest in the Fermi paradox combines lifelong interests in both science and science fiction.

    Patrick Collison

    Included on Patrick Collison's Bookshelf Book recommendations

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  • Mindstorms

    Mindstorms

    Mindstorms

    Seymour A. Papert
    Education

    In this revolutionary book, a renowned computer scientist explains the importance of teaching children the basics of computing and how it can prepare them to succeed in the ever-evolving tech world. Computers have completely changed the way we teach children. We have Mindstorms to thank for that. In this book, pioneering computer scientist Seymour Papert uses the invention of LOGO, the first child-friendly programming language, to make the case for the value of teaching children with computers. Papert argues that children are more than capable of mastering computers, and that teaching computational processes like de-bugging in the classroom can change the way we learn everything else. He also shows that schools saturated with technology can actually improve socialization and interaction among students and between students and teachers. Technology changes every day, but the basic ways that computers can help us learn remain. For thousands of teachers and parents who have sought creative ways to help children learn with computers, Mindstorms is their bible.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Mind-Body Problem
    Patrick Collison

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  • Masters of Doom

    Masters of Doom

    Masters of Doom

    David Kushner
    Biography & Autobiography
    4.28 (14,735)

    Presents a dual biography of John Carmack and John Romero, the creators of the video games Doom and Quake, assessing the impact of their creation on American pop culture and revealing how their success eventually destroyed their relationship.

    Patrick Collison

    one of my favorite books about building software

     — Source

  • Dancing in the Glory of Monsters

    Dancing in the Glory of Monsters

    Dancing in the Glory of Monsters

    Jason Stearns
    History
    4.16 (4,131)

    Chronicles the horrors of the years-long war still raging in the Congo by focusing on the personal stories of those most affected by the conflict.

    Patrick Collison

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  • A Pattern Language

    A Pattern Language

    A Pattern Language

    Christopher Alexander
    Architecture

    You can use this book to design a house for yourself with your family; you can use it to work with your neighbors to improve your town and neighborhood; you can use it to design an office, or a workshop, or a public building. And you can use it to guide you in the actual process of construction. After a ten-year silence, Christopher Alexander and his colleagues at the Center for Environmental Structure are now publishing a major statement in the form of three books which will, in their words, "lay the basis for an entirely new approach to architecture, building and planning, which will we hope replace existing ideas and practices entirely." The three books are The Timeless Way of Building, The Oregon Experiment, and this book, A Pattern Language. At the core of these books is the idea that people should design for themselves their own houses, streets, and communities. This idea may be radical (it implies a radical transformation of the architectural profession) but it comes simply from the observation that most of the wonderful places of the world were not made by architects but by the people. At the core of the books, too, is the point that in designing their environments people always rely on certain "languages," which, like the languages we speak, allow them to articulate and communicate an infinite variety of designs within a forma system which gives them coherence. This book provides a language of this kind. It will enable a person to make a design for almost any kind of building, or any part of the built environment. "Patterns," the units of this language, are answers to design problems (How high should a window sill be? How many stories should a building have? How much space in a neighborhood should be devoted to grass and trees?). More than 250 of the patterns in this pattern language are given: each consists of a problem statement, a discussion of the problem with an illustration, and a solution. As the authors say in their introduction, many of the patterns are archetypal, so deeply rooted in the nature of things that it seemly likely that they will be a part of human nature, and human action, as much in five hundred years as they are today.

    Patrick Collison

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  • A Course in Mathematical Analysis
    Patrick Collison

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  • The Enlightened Economy

    The Enlightened Economy

    The Enlightened Economy

    Joel Mokyr
    Business & Economics
    4.04 (114)

    "This book focuses on the importance of ideological and institutional factors in the rapid development of the British economy during the years between the Glorious Revolution and the Crystal Palace Exhibition. Joel Mokyr shows that we cannot understand the Industrial Revolution without recognizing the importance of the intellectual sea changes of Britain's Age of Enlightenment. In a vigorous discussion, Mokyr goes beyond the standard explanations that credit geographical factors, the role of markets, politics, and society to show that the beginnings of modern economic growth in Britain depended a great deal on what key players knew and believed, and how those beliefs affected their economic behavior. He argues that Britain led the rest of Europe into the Industrial Revolution because it was there that the optimal intersection of ideas, culture, institutions, and technology existed to make rapid economic growth achievable. His wide-ranging evidence covers sectors of the British economy often neglected, such as the service industries."--Publisher description.

    Patrick Collison

    it's very good.

     — Source

  • Feynman Lectures on Computation

    Feynman Lectures on Computation

    Feynman Lectures on Computation

    Richard P. Feynman
    Science

    When, in 1984?86, Richard P. Feynman gave his famous course on computation at the California Institute of Technology, he asked Tony Hey to adapt his lecture notes into a book. Although led by Feynman, the course also featured, as occasional guest speakers, some of the most brilliant men in science at that time, including Marvin Minsky, Charles Bennett, and John Hopfield. Although the lectures are now thirteen years old, most of the material is timeless and presents a ?Feynmanesque? overview of many standard and some not-so-standard topics in computer science such as reversible logic gates and quantum computers.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Foucault's Pendulum

    Foucault's Pendulum

    Foucault's Pendulum

    Umberto Eco
    Fiction
    3.90 (63,478)

    Bored with their work, three Milanese editors cook up "the Plan," a hoax that connects the medieval Knights Templar with other occult groups from ancient to modern times. This produces a map indicating the geographical point from which all the powers of the earth can be controlled—a point located in Paris, France, at Foucault’s Pendulum. But in a fateful turn the joke becomes all too real, and when occult groups, including Satanists, get wind of the Plan, they go so far as to kill one of the editors in their quest to gain control of the earth.Orchestrating these and other diverse characters into his multilayered semiotic adventure, Eco has created a superb cerebral entertainment.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Ocean Flying
    Patrick Collison

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  • Toward a Theory of Instruction

    Toward a Theory of Instruction

    Toward a Theory of Instruction

    Jerome Seymour Bruner
    Education
    4.20 (74)

    Instruction is an effort to assist or to shape growth. In devising instruction for the young, one would be ill advised indeed to ignore what is known about growth, its constraints and opportunities. And a theory of instruction - and this book is a series of exercises in such a theory - is in effect a theory of how growth and development are assisted by diverse means.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Popper Selections

    Popper Selections

    Popper Selections

    David W. Miller,Karl R. Popper,Sir Karl Raimund Popper
    Philosophy
    4.01 (172)

    These excerpts from the writings of Sir Karl Popper are an outstanding introduction to one of the most controversial of living philosophers, known especially for his devastating criticisms of Plato and Marx and for his uncompromising rejection of inductive reasoning. David Miller, a leading expositor and critic of Popper's work, has chosen thirty selections that illustrate the profundity and originality of his ideas and their applicability to current intellectual and social problems. Miller's introduction demonstrates the remarkable unity of Popper's thought and briefly describes his philosophy of critical rationalism, a philosophy that is distinctive in its emphasis on the way in which we learn through the making and correcting of mistakes. Popper has relentlessly challenged both the authority and the appeal to authority of the most fashionable philosophies of our time. This book of selections from his nontechnical writings on the theory of knowledge, the philosophy of science, metaphysics, and social philosophy is imbued with his emphasis on the role and by reason in exposing and eliminating the errors among them.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Weather of the San Francisco Bay Region

    Weather of the San Francisco Bay Region

    Weather of the San Francisco Bay Region

    Harold Gilliam
    Nature
    4.37 (82)

    "Harold Gilliam, California's premiere environmental journalist, never fails to bring the power and beauty of nature home to the most citified readers. In this eloquent little book he transforms the local climate into an entire ecological education."—Theodore Roszak, author of The Voice of the Earth "Ask Hal Gilliam, 'How's the weather out there?' and, as always, you get an eloquent, exciting and updated answer—this time, to journalism's most fascinating topic."—William German, Editor Emeritus, San Francisco Chronicle "In this enjoyable volume Harold Gilliam, a pre-eminent California nature writer, enlightens us about the weather in the San Francisco Bay region. He makes sometimes-abstruse concepts easily understandable and brings the vagaries and variations of Bay Area weather into sharp focus. The book should be of interest to the many Bay Area residents for whom weather is a matter of daily concern."—Edgar Wayburn, M.D., Honorary President of the Sierra Club

    Patrick Collison

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  • In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz

    In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz

    In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz

    Michela Wrong
    History
    3.99 (2,796)

    Known as "the Leopard," the president of Zaire for thirty-two years, Mobutu Sese Seko, showed all the cunning of his namesake -- seducing Western powers, buying up the opposition, and dominating his people with a devastating combination of brutality and charm. While the population was pauperized, he plundered the country's copper and diamond resources, downing pink champagne in his jungle palace like some modern-day reincarnation of Joseph Conrad's crazed station manager. Michela Wrong, a correspondent who witnessed Mobutu's last days, traces the rise and fall of the idealistic young journalist who became the stereotype of an African despot. Engrossing, highly readable, and as funny as it is tragic, In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz assesses the acts of the villains and the heroes in this fascinating story of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Stuff Matters

    Stuff Matters

    Stuff Matters

    Mark Miodownik
    Science
    4.10 (15,666)

    New York Times Bestseller • New York Times Notable Book 2014 • Winner of the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books “A thrilling account of the modern material world.” —Wall Street Journal "Miodownik, a materials scientist, explains the history and science behind things such as paper, glass, chocolate, and concrete with an infectious enthusiasm." —Scientific American Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? Why does any material look and behave the way it does? These are the sorts of questions that renowned materials scientist Mark Miodownik constantly asks himself. Miodownik studies objects as ordinary as an envelope and as unexpected as concrete cloth, uncovering the fascinating secrets that hold together our physical world. In Stuff Matters, Miodownik explores the materials he encounters in a typical morning, from the steel in his razor to the foam in his sneakers. Full of enthralling tales of the miracles of engineering that permeate our lives, Stuff Matters will make you see stuff in a whole new way. "Stuff Matters is about hidden wonders, the astonishing properties of materials we think boring, banal, and unworthy of attention...It's possible this science and these stories have been told elsewhere, but like the best chocolatiers, Miodownik gets the blend right." —New York Times Book Review

    Patrick Collison

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  • The Book of Dust

    The Book of Dust

    The Book of Dust

    Philip Pullman
    Adventure stories
    4.13 (89,017)

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Philip Pullman returns to the parallel world of His Dark Materials--now an HBO original series starring Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, James McAvoy, and Lin-Manuel Miranda--to expand on the story of Lyra, "one of fantasy's most indelible heroines" (The New York Times Magazine). Don't miss Volume II of The Book of Dust: The Secret Commonwealth Malcolm Polstead and his daemon, Asta, are used to overhearing news and the occasional scandal at the inn run by his family. But during a winter of unceasing rain, Malcolm finds a mysterious object--and finds himself in grave danger. Inside the object is a cryptic message about something called Dust; and it's not long before Malcolm is approached by the spy for whom this message was actually intended. When she asks Malcolm to keep his eyes open, he begins to notice suspicious characters everywhere: the explorer Lord Asriel, clearly on the run; enforcement agents from the Magisterium; a gyptian named Coram with warnings just for Malcolm; and a beautiful woman with an evil monkey for a daemon. All are asking about the same thing: a girl--just a baby--named Lyra. Lyra is at the center of a storm, and Malcolm will brave any peril, and make shocking sacrifices, to bring her safely through it. "Too few things in our world are worth a seventeen-year wait: The Book of Dust is one of them." --The Washington Post "The book is full of wonder. . . . Truly thrilling." --The New York Times "People will love the first volume of Philip Pullman's new trilogy with the same helpless vehemence that stole over them when The Golden Compass came out." --Slate

    Patrick Collison

    Going to own up to being very excited that there's a new Philip Pullman book.

     — Source

  • The Princeton Companion to Applied Mathematics

    The Princeton Companion to Applied Mathematics

    The Princeton Companion to Applied Mathematics

    Nicholas J. Higham
    Mathematics
    4.63 (64)

    This is the most authoritative and accessible single-volume reference book on applied mathematics. Featuring numerous entries by leading experts and organized thematically, it introduces readers to applied mathematics and its uses; explains key concepts; describes important equations, laws, and functions; looks at exciting areas of research; covers modeling and simulation; explores areas of application; and more. Modeled on the popular Princeton Companion to Mathematics, this volume is an indispensable resource for undergraduate and graduate students, researchers, and practitioners in other disciplines seeking a user-friendly reference book on applied mathematics. Features nearly 200 entries organized thematically and written by an international team of distinguished contributors Presents the major ideas and branches of applied mathematics in a clear and accessible way Explains important mathematical concepts, methods, equations, and applications Introduces the language of applied mathematics and the goals of applied mathematical research Gives a wide range of examples of mathematical modeling Covers continuum mechanics, dynamical systems, numerical analysis, discrete and combinatorial mathematics, mathematical physics, and much more Explores the connections between applied mathematics and other disciplines Includes suggestions for further reading, cross-references, and a comprehensive index

    Patrick Collison

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  • The City in History

    The City in History

    The City in History

    Lewis Mumford
    Cities and towns

    The city's development from ancient times to the modern age. Winner of the National Book Award. "One of the major works of scholarship of the twentieth century" (Christian Science Monitor). Index; illustrations. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Myth of the Machine
    Patrick Collison

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  • The Journalist And The Murderer

    The Journalist And The Murderer

    The Journalist And The Murderer

    Janet Malcolm
    Language Arts & Disciplines
    3.80 (3,634)

    A seminal work and examination of the psychopathology of journalism. Using a strange and unprecedented lawsuit as her larger-than-life example -- the lawsuit of Jeffrey MacDonald, a convicted murderer, against Joe McGinniss, the author of Fatal Vision, a book about the crime -- she delves into the always uneasy, sometimes tragic relationship that exists between journalist and subject. In Malcolm's view, neither journalist nor subject can avoid the moral impasse that is built into the journalistic situation. When the text first appeared, as a two-part article in The New Yorker, its thesis seemed so radical and its irony so pitiless that journalists across the country reacted as if stung. Her book is a work of journalism as well as an essay on journalism: it at once exemplifies and dissects its subject. In her interviews with the leading and subsidiary characters in the MacDonald-McGinniss case -- the principals, their lawyers, the members of the jury, and the various persons who testified as expert witnesses at the trial -- Malcolm is always aware of herself as a player in a game that, as she points out, she cannot lose. The journalist-subject encounter has always troubled journalists, but never before has it been looked at so unflinchingly and so ruefully. Hovering over the narrative -- and always on the edge of the reader's consciousness -- is the MacDonald murder case itself, which imparts to the book an atmosphere of anxiety and uncanniness. The Journalist and the Murderer derives from and reflects many of the dominant intellectual concerns of our time, and it will have a particular appeal for those who cherish the odd, the off-center, and the unsolved.

    Patrick Collison

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  • On Intelligence
    Patrick Collison

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  • On the Shortness of Life

    On the Shortness of Life

    On the Shortness of Life

    Charles Desmond Nuttall Costa,Lucius Annaeus Seneca
    Health & Fitness
    Philosophy
    4.19 (22,673)

    Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves--and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives--and destroyed them. Now, Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are. Penguin's Great Ideas series features twelve groundbreaking works by some of history's most prodigious thinkers, and each volume is beautifully packaged with a unique type-drive design that highlights the bookmaker's art. Offering great literature in great packages at great prices, this series is ideal for those readers who want to explore and savor the Great Ideas that have shaped the world. The Stoic writings of the philosopher Seneca offer powerful insights into the art of living, the importance of reason and morality, and continue to provide profound guidance to many through their eloquence, lucidity and timeless wisdom.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Global Catastrophic Risks

    Global Catastrophic Risks

    Global Catastrophic Risks

    Milan M. Cirkovic,Nick Bostrom
    Science
    4.00 (220)

    A global catastrophic risk is one with the potential to wreak death and destruction on a global scale. In human history, wars and plagues have done so on more than one occasion, and misguided ideologies and totalitarian regimes have darkened an entire era or a region. Advances in technology are adding dangers of a new kind. It could happen again. In Global Catastrophic Risks 25 leading experts look at the gravest risks facing humanity in the 21st century, including asteroid impacts, gamma-ray bursts, Earth-based natural catastrophes, nuclear war, terrorism, global warming, biological weapons, totalitarianism, advanced nanotechnology, general artificial intelligence, and social collapse. The book also addresses over-arching issues - policy responses and methods for predicting and managing catastrophes. This is invaluable reading for anyone interested in the big issues of our time; for students focusing on science, society, technology, and public policy; and for academics, policy-makers, and professionals working in these acutely important fields.

    Patrick Collison

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  • The Educated Mind

    The Educated Mind

    The Educated Mind

    Kieran Egan
    Education
    4.19 (86)

    The Educated Mind offers a bold and revitalizing new vision for today's uncertain educational system. Kieran Egan reconceives education, taking into account how we learn. He proposes the use of particular "intellectual tools"—such as language or literacy—that shape how we make sense of the world. These mediating tools generate successive kinds of understanding: somatic, mythic, romantic, philosophical, and ironic. Egan's account concludes with practical proposals for how teaching and curriculum can be changed to reflect the way children learn. "A carefully argued and readable book. . . . Egan proposes a radical change of approach for the whole process of education. . . . There is much in this book to interest and excite those who discuss, research or deliver education."—Ann Fullick, New Scientist "A compelling vision for today's uncertain educational system."—Library Journal "Almost anyone involved at any level or in any part of the education system will find this a fascinating book to read."—Dr. Richard Fox, British Journal of Educational Psychology "A fascinating and provocative study of cultural and linguistic history, and of how various kinds of understanding that can be distinguished in that history are recapitulated in the developing minds of children."—Jonty Driver, New York Times Book Review

    Patrick Collison

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  • The Big Score

    The Big Score

    The Big Score

    Michael Shawn Malone
    Business & Economics

    An investigative, behind-the-scenes report on the semiconductor/computer industry traces the history of Silicon Valley and the electronics industry, and the entrepreneurs, innovations, industrial espionage, drug scene, and other realities of Silicon Valle

    Patrick Collison

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  • The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan

    The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan

    The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan

    James Justinian Morier
    English fiction

    Narrates the adventures of a nineteenth-century Persian rogue.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Computer Lib

    Computer Lib

    Computer Lib

    Theodor H. Nelson
    Computer graphics
    4.46 (118)

    Patrick Collison

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  • Metamagical Themas
    Patrick Collison

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  • The Hunters

    The Hunters

    The Hunters

    James Salter
    Fiction
    4.10 (1,912)

    With his stirring, rapturous first novel--originally published in 1956 --James Salter established himself as the most electrifying prose stylist since Hemingway. Four decades later, it is clear that he also fashioned the most enduring fiction ever about aerial warfare. Captain Cleve Connell arrives in Korea with a single goal: to become an ace, one of that elite fraternity of jet pilots who have downed five MIGs. But as his fellow airmen rack up kill after kill--sometimes under dubious circumstances--Cleve's luck runs bad. Other pilots question his guts. Cleve comes to question himself. And then in one icy instant 40,000 feet above the Yalu River, his luck changes forever. Filled with courage and despair, eerie beauty and corrosive rivalry, The Hunters is a landmark in the literature of war.

    Patrick Collison

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  • How Asia Works

    How Asia Works

    How Asia Works

    Joe Studwell
    Business & Economics
    4.27 (3,109)

    A freelance journalist in Asia and founding editor of China Economic Quarterly presents a detailed analysis of why the economies of some Asian countries have flourished while others have declined. 20,000 first printing.

    Patrick Collison

    a really good book on this topic called How Asia Works by Joe Studwell

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  • Amusing Ourselves to Death

    Amusing Ourselves to Death

    Amusing Ourselves to Death

    Neil Postman
    Social Science
    4.13 (23,577)

    Examines the ways in which television has transformed public discourse--in politics, education, religion, science, and elsewhere--into a form of entertainment that undermines exposition, explanation and knowledge, in a special anniversary edition of the classic critique of the influence of the mass media on a democratic society. Reprint.

    Patrick Collison

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  • On Lisp

    On Lisp

    On Lisp

    Paul Graham
    Computers

    Written by a Lisp expert, this is the most comprehensive tutorial on the advanced features of Lisp for experienced programmers. It shows how to program in the bottom-up style that is ideal for Lisp programming, and includes a unique, practical collection of Lisp programming techniques that shows how to take advantage of the language's design for efficient programming in a wide variety of applications.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Dealers of Lightning

    Dealers of Lightning

    Dealers of Lightning

    Michael A. Hiltzik
    Business & Economics
    4.13 (1,977)

    In the bestselling tradition of The Soul of a New Machine, Dealers of Lightning is a fascinating journey of intellectual creation. In the 1970s and '80s, Xerox Corporation brought together a brain-trust of engineering geniuses, a group of computer eccentrics dubbed PARC. This brilliant group created several monumental innovations that triggered a technological revolution, including the first personal computer, the laser printer, and the graphical interface (one of the main precursors of the Internet), only to see these breakthroughs rejected by the corporation. Yet, instead of giving up, these determined inventors turned their ideas into empires that radically altered contemporary life and changed the world. Based on extensive interviews with the scientists, engineers, administrators, and executives who lived the story, this riveting chronicle details PARC's humble beginnings through its triumph as a hothouse for ideas, and shows why Xerox was never able to grasp, and ultimately exploit, the cutting-edge innovations PARC delivered. Dealers of Lightning offers an unprecedented look at the ideas, the inventions, and the individuals that propelled Xerox PARC to the frontier of technohistoiy--and the corporate machinations that almost prevented it from achieving greatness.

    Patrick Collison

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  • The Arabs

    The Arabs

    The Arabs

    Eugene Rogan
    History
    4.33 (3,194)

    Named Best Book of the Year by the Financial Times, the Economist and the Atlantic In this definitive history of the modern Arab world, award-winning historian Eugene Rogan draws extensively on five centuries of Arab sources to place the Arab experience in its crucial historical context. In this updated and expanded edition, Rogan untangles the latest geopolitical developments of the region to offer a groundbreaking and comprehensive account of the Middle East. The Arabs is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the modern Arab world. "Deeply erudite and distinctly humane."-Atlantic "An outstanding, gripping and exuberant narrative . . . that explains much of what we need to know about the world today."-Simon Sebag Montefiore, Financial Times

    Patrick Collison

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  • Sum

    Sum

    Sum

    David Eagleman
    Fiction
    4.13 (17,007)

    At once funny, wistful and unsettling, Sum is a dazzling exploration of unexpected afterlives—each presented as a vignette that offers a stunning lens through which to see ourselves in the here and now. In one afterlife, you may find that God is the size of a microbe and unaware of your existence. In another version, you work as a background character in other people’s dreams. Or you may find that God is a married couple, or that the universe is running backward, or that you are forced to live out your afterlife with annoying versions of who you could have been. With a probing imagination and deep understanding of the human condition, acclaimed neuroscientist David Eagleman offers wonderfully imagined tales that shine a brilliant light on the here and now.

    Patrick Collison

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  • A Decade of Research
    Patrick Collison

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  • The Ocean of Life

    The Ocean of Life

    The Ocean of Life

    Callum Roberts
    Nature
    4.27 (716)

    A vibrant tribute to the sea by a leading conservation biologist traces the human race's relationship to the ocean, identifying the consequences of modern fishing, pollution and climate change on marine life while making urgent recommendations for reversing damage.

    Patrick Collison

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  • The Cowshed

    The Cowshed

    The Cowshed

    Ji Xianlin
    Biography & Autobiography
    3.92 (216)

    If a Chinese citizen has read one book on the Cultural Revolution, it is likely to be Ji Xianlin's Memories of the Cowshed, a candid account of his year of imprisonment on the campus of Peking University and his later disillusionment with the cult of Mao worship. As the campus spirals into a political frenzy, Ji, a professor, is persecuted by lecturers and students from his own department. His home is raided, his most treasured possessions destroyed, and he endures hours of humiliation at brutal "struggle sessions." He is eventually imprisoned in the "cowshed," a makeshift prison for intellectuals who have been labeled as class enemies. Prominent intellectuals rarely spoke openly about the Cultural Revolution, so when Ji's memoir was published in 1998, it quickly became a bestseller. His eyewitness account of this harrowing experience is full of sharp irony, empathy, and remarkable insights.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Orality and Literacy

    Orality and Literacy

    Orality and Literacy

    Walter J. Ong
    Literary Criticism
    4.10 (1,702)

    This classic work explores the vast differences between oral and literate cultures offering a very clear account of the intellectual, literary and social effects of writing, print and electronic technology. In the course of his study, Walter J. Ong offers fascinating insights into oral genres across the globe and through time, and examines the rise of abstract philosophical and scientific thinking. He considers the impact of orality-literacy studies not only on literary criticism and theory but on our very understanding of what it is to be a human being, conscious of self and other. This is a book no reader, writer or speaker should be without.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Matterhorn

    Matterhorn

    Matterhorn

    Karl Marlantes
    Fiction
    4.19 (41,336)

    In the tradition of Norman Mailer's "The Naked and the Dead" and James Jones's "The Thin Red Line," Marlantes tells the powerful and compelling story of a young Marine lieutenant, Waino Mellas, and his comrades in Bravo Company, who are dropped into the mountain jungle of Vietnam as boys and forced to fight their way into manhood.

    Patrick Collison

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  • The Old Way

    The Old Way

    The Old Way

    Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
    Social Science
    4.22 (425)

    One of our most influential anthropologists reevaluates her long and illustrious career by returning to her roots—and the roots of life as we know it When Elizabeth Marshall Thomas first arrived in Africa to live among the Kalahari San, or bushmen, it was 1950, she was nineteen years old, and these last surviving hunter-gatherers were living as humans had lived for 15,000 centuries. Thomas wound up writing about their world in a seminal work, The Harmless People (1959). It has never gone out of print. Back then, this was uncharted territory and little was known about our human origins. Today, our beginnings are better understood. And after a lifetime of interest in the bushmen, Thomas has come to see that their lifestyle reveals great, hidden truths about human evolution. As she displayed in her bestseller, The Hidden Life of Dogs, Thomas has a rare gift for giving voice to the voices we don't usually listen to, and helps us see the path that we have taken in our human journey. In The Old Way, she shows how the skills and customs of the hunter-gatherer share much in common with the survival tactics of our animal predecessors. And since it is "knowledge, not objects, that endure" over time, Thomas vividly brings us to see how linked we are to our origins in the animal kingdom. The Old Way is a rare and remarkable achievement, sure to stir up controversy, and worthy of celebration.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Plagues and Peoples

    Plagues and Peoples

    Plagues and Peoples

    William McNeill
    Social Science
    3.90 (4,192)

    Upon its original publication, Plagues and Peoples was an immediate critical and popular success, offering a radically new interpretation of world history as seen through the extraordinary impact--political, demographic, ecological, and psychological--of disease on cultures. From the conquest of Mexico by smallpox as much as by the Spanish, to the bubonic plague in China, to the typhoid epidemic in Europe, the history of disease is the history of humankind. With the identification of AIDS in the early 1980s, another chapter has been added to this chronicle of events, which William McNeill explores in his new introduction to this updated editon. Thought-provoking, well-researched, and compulsively readable, Plagues and Peoples is that rare book that is as fascinating as it is scholarly, as intriguing as it is enlightening. "A brilliantly conceptualized and challenging achievement" (Kirkus Reviews), it is essential reading, offering a new perspective on human history.

    Patrick Collison

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  • China Airborne

    China Airborne

    China Airborne

    James Fallows
    Business & Economics
    3.86 (589)

    From one of our most influential journalists, here is a timely, vital, and illuminating account of the next stage of China’s modernization—its plan to rival America as the world’s leading aerospace power and to bring itself from its low-wage past to a high-tech future. In 2011, China announced its twelfth Five-Year Plan, which included the commitment to spend a quarter of a trillion dollars to jump-start its aerospace industry. In China Airborne, James Fallows documents, for the first time, the extraordinary scale of China’s project, making clear how it stands to catalyze the nation’s hyper-growth and hyper-urbanization, revolutionizing China in ways analogous to the building of America’s transcontinental railroad in the nineteenth century. Completing this remarkable picture, Fallows chronicles life in the city of Xi’an, home to 250,000 aerospace engineers and assembly-line workers, and introduces us to some of the hucksters, visionaries, entrepreneurs, and dreamers who seek to benefit from China’s pursuit of aeronautical supremacy. He concludes by explaining what this latest demonstration of Chinese ambition means for the United States and for the rest of the world—and the right ways for us to respond.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Technics and Civilization

    Technics and Civilization

    Technics and Civilization

    Langdon Winner,Lewis Mumford
    History
    4.29 (465)

    Technics and Civilization first presented its compelling history of the machine and critical study of its effects on civilization in 1934—before television, the personal computer, and the Internet even appeared on our periphery. Drawing upon art, science, philosophy, and the history of culture, Lewis Mumford explained the origin of the machine age and traced its social results, asserting that the development of modern technology had its roots in the Middle Ages rather than the Industrial Revolution. Mumford sagely argued that it was the moral, economic, and political choices we made, not the machines that we used, that determined our then industrially driven economy. Equal parts powerful history and polemic criticism, Technics and Civilization was the first comprehensive attempt in English to portray the development of the machine age over the last thousand years—and to predict the pull the technological still holds over us today. “The questions posed in the first paragraph of Technics and Civilization still deserve our attention, nearly three quarters of a century after they were written.”—Journal of Technology and Culture

    Patrick Collison

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  • A Vast Machine

    A Vast Machine

    A Vast Machine

    Paul N. Edwards
    Technology & Engineering

    The science behind global warming, and its history: how scientists learned to understand the atmosphere, to measure it, to trace its past, and to model its future. Global warming skeptics often fall back on the argument that the scientific case for global warming is all model predictions, nothing but simulation; they warn us that we need to wait for real data, “sound science.” In A Vast Machine Paul Edwards has news for these skeptics: without models, there are no data. Today, no collection of signals or observations—even from satellites, which can “see” the whole planet with a single instrument—becomes global in time and space without passing through a series of data models. Everything we know about the world's climate we know through models. Edwards offers an engaging and innovative history of how scientists learned to understand the atmosphere—to measure it, trace its past, and model its future.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Whole Earth Discipline

    Whole Earth Discipline

    Whole Earth Discipline

    Stewart Brand
    Business & Economics
    4.13 (1,143)

    Discusses the ways in which climate change will affect the next half century and explores such topics as the green potential of cities, the virtues of nuclear engineering, and the sustainability of genetically modified crops.

    Patrick Collison

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  • The Chip
    Patrick Collison

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  • The Count of Monte Cristo

    The Count of Monte Cristo

    The Count of Monte Cristo

    Alexandre Dumas

    The Count of Monte Cristo (French: Le Comte de Monte-Cristo) is an adventure novel by French author Alexandre Dumas completed in 1844. It is one of the author's most popular works, along with The Three Musketeers. Like many of his novels, it is expanded from plot outlines suggested by his collaborating ghostwriter Auguste Maquet.The story takes place in France, Italy, and islands in the Mediterranean during the historical events of 1815-1839: the era of the Bourbon Restoration through the reign of Louis-Philippe of France. It begins just before the Hundred Days period (when Napoleon returned to power after his exile). The historical setting is a fundamental element of the book, an adventure story primarily concerned with themes of hope, justice, vengeance, mercy, and forgiveness. It centres around a man who is wrongfully imprisoned, escapes from jail, acquires a fortune, and sets about getting revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment. However, his plans have devastating consequences for the innocent as well as the guilty. In addition, it is a story that involves romance, loyalty, betrayal, and selfishness, shown throughout the story as characters slowly reveal their true inner nature.The book is considered a literary classic today. According to Luc Sante, "The Count of Monte Cristo has become a fixture of Western civilization's literature, as inescapable and immediately identifiable as Mickey Mouse, Noah's flood, and the story of Little Red Riding Hood.

    Patrick Collison

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  • The Nature of Mathematical Modeling
    Patrick Collison

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  • Incompleteness
    Patrick Collison

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  • The Scramble for Africa

    The Scramble for Africa

    The Scramble for Africa

    Thomas Pakenham
    History
    4.14 (2,185)

    White Man's Conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876 to 1912

    Patrick Collison

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  • Medieval Technology and Social Change

    Medieval Technology and Social Change

    Medieval Technology and Social Change

    Lynn Townsend White,Lynn White (Jr.)
    Biography & Autobiography
    3.71 (217)

    Bibliography.

    Patrick Collison

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  • The Planet Remade

    The Planet Remade

    The Planet Remade

    Oliver Morton
    Business & Economics
    3.78 (280)

    First published in Great Britain by Granta Books, 2015.

    Patrick Collison

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  • The Long Way

    The Long Way

    The Long Way

    Bernard Moitessier
    Sports & Recreation
    4.26 (2,257)

    The Long Way is Bernard Moitessier's own incredible story of his participation in the first Golden Globe Race, a solo, non-stop circumnavigation rounding the three great Capes of Good Hope, Leeuwin, and the Horn. For seven months, the veteran seafarer battled storms, doldrums, gear-failures, knock-downs, as well as overwhelming fatigue and loneliness. Then, nearing the finish, Moitessier pulled out of the race and sailed on for another three months before ending his 37,455-mile journey in Tahiti. Not once had he touched land.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Postcards from Tomorrow Square

    Postcards from Tomorrow Square

    Postcards from Tomorrow Square

    James M. Fallows
    History
    3.91 (741)

    The author of the highly acclaimed "Blind Into Baghdad" reports firsthand on the momentous changes taking place in China and what it means for America. Photographs throughout.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Dracula

    Dracula

    Dracula

    Bram Stoker
    Children's stories

    Retold for younger readers, Bram Stoker's 1897 classic was so popular upon publication that a paperback was published just three years later.This chilling tale, which is told through the diaries and letters of the main character, is the story of Count Dracula, a vampire who comes to England from Transylvania to feed on new blood and to widen his ever-increasing circle of vampires "

    Patrick Collison

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  • Stories of Your Life and Others

    Stories of Your Life and Others

    Stories of Your Life and Others

    Ted Chiang
    Fiction
    4.22 (76,577)

    Ted Chiang's first published story, "Tower of Babylon," won the Nebula Award for 1990. Now, collected for the first time, are all seven of this extraordinary writer's extraordinary stories--plus a new story written especially for this volume.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Longitude

    Longitude

    Longitude

    Dava Sobel
    Biography & Autobiography
    3.93 (66,653)

    The dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest and of one man's forty-year obsession to find a solution to the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day--"the longitude problem." Anyone alive in the eighteenth century would have known that "the longitude problem" was the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day-and had been for centuries. Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Thousands of lives and the increasing fortunes of nations hung on a resolution. One man, John Harrison, in complete opposition to the scientific community, dared to imagine a mechanical solution-a clock that would keep precise time at sea, something no clock had ever been able to do on land. Longitude is the dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest and of Harrison's forty-year obsession with building his perfect timekeeper, known today as the chronometer. Full of heroism and chicanery, it is also a fascinating brief history of astronomy, navigation, and clockmaking, and opens a new window on our world.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Expert Political Judgment

    Expert Political Judgment

    Expert Political Judgment

    Philip E. Tetlock
    Political Science
    4.02 (554)

    Since its original publication, Expert Political Judgment by New York Times bestselling author Philip Tetlock has established itself as a contemporary classic in the literature on evaluating expert opinion. Tetlock first discusses arguments about whether the world is too complex for people to find the tools to understand political phenomena, let alone predict the future. He evaluates predictions from experts in different fields, comparing them to predictions by well-informed laity or those based on simple extrapolation from current trends. He goes on to analyze which styles of thinking are more successful in forecasting. Classifying thinking styles using Isaiah Berlin's prototypes of the fox and the hedgehog, Tetlock contends that the fox--the thinker who knows many little things, draws from an eclectic array of traditions, and is better able to improvise in response to changing events--is more successful in predicting the future than the hedgehog, who knows one big thing, toils devotedly within one tradition, and imposes formulaic solutions on ill-defined problems. He notes a perversely inverse relationship between the best scientific indicators of good judgement and the qualities that the media most prizes in pundits--the single-minded determination required to prevail in ideological combat. Clearly written and impeccably researched, the book fills a huge void in the literature on evaluating expert opinion. It will appeal across many academic disciplines as well as to corporations seeking to develop standards for judging expert decision-making. Now with a new preface in which Tetlock discusses the latest research in the field, the book explores what constitutes good judgment in predicting future events and looks at why experts are often wrong in their forecasts.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Asimov's New Guide to Science

    Asimov's New Guide to Science

    Asimov's New Guide to Science

    Isaac Asimov
    Science

    Asimov tells the stories behind the science: the men and women who made the important discoveries and how they did it. Ranging from Galilei, Achimedes, Newton and Einstein, he takes the most complex concepts and explains it in such a way that a first-time reader on the subject feels confident on his/her understanding.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Men, Machines, and Modern Times

    Men, Machines, and Modern Times

    Men, Machines, and Modern Times

    Elting E. Morison,Leo Marx,Rosalind Williams
    Social Science
    3.91 (77)

    An engaging look at how we have learned to live with innovation and new technologies through history.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Justice as Fairness

    Justice as Fairness

    Justice as Fairness

    John Rawls,Professor John Rawls
    Philosophy
    3.91 (1,292)

    This book originated as lectures for a course on political philosophy that Rawls taught regularly at Harvard in the 1980s. In time the lectures became a restatement of his theory of justice as fairness, revised in light of his more recent papers and his treatise Political Liberalism (1993). As Rawls writes in the preface, the restatement presents "in one place an account of justice as fairness as I now see it, drawing on all [my previous] works." He offers a broad overview of his main lines of thought and also explores specific issues never before addressed in any of his writings. Rawls is well aware that since the publication of A Theory of Justice in 1971, American society has moved farther away from the idea of justice as fairness. Yet his ideas retain their power and relevance to debates in a pluralistic society about the meaning and theoretical viability of liberalism. This book demonstrates that moral clarity can be achieved even when a collective commitment to justice is uncertain.

    Patrick Collison

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  • The Man Behind the Microchip

    The Man Behind the Microchip

    The Man Behind the Microchip

    Leslie Berlin
    Biography & Autobiography
    4.24 (381)

    The triumphs and setbacks of inventor and entrepreneur Robert Noyce are illuminated in a biography that describes his colorful life in context of the evolution of the high-tech industry and the complex interrelationships among technology, business, big money, politics, and culture in Silicon Valley.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Quantum Computing since Democritus

    Quantum Computing since Democritus

    Quantum Computing since Democritus

    Scott Aaronson
    Science
    4.14 (799)

    Takes students and researchers on a tour through some of the deepest ideas of maths, computer science and physics.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Season of the Witch

    Season of the Witch

    Season of the Witch

    David Talbot
    Biography & Autobiography
    4.28 (4,979)

    Traces the story of San Francisco in the latter half of the twentieth century, covering topics ranging from the civil rights movement and pop culture to the 49ers and famous crime cases.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Nixonland

    Nixonland

    Nixonland

    Rick Perlstein
    History
    4.20 (8,586)

    An exciting e-format containing 27 video clips taken directly from the CBS news archive of a brilliant, best-selling account of the Nixon era by one of America’s most talented young historians. Between 1965 and 1972 America experienced a second civil war. Out of its ashes, the political world we know today was born. Nixonland begins in the blood and fire of the Watts riots-one week after President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, and nine months after his historic landslide victory over Barry Goldwater seemed to have heralded a permanent liberal consensus. The next year scores of liberals were thrown out of Congress, America was more divided than ever-and a disgraced politician was on his way to a shocking comeback: Richard Nixon. Six years later, President Nixon, harvesting the bitterness and resentment borne of that blood and fire, was reelected in a landslide even bigger than Johnson's, and the outlines of today's politics of red-and-blue division became already distinct. Cataclysms tell the story of Nixonland: • Angry blacks burning down their neighborhoods, while suburbanites defend home and hearth with shotguns. • The civil war over Vietnam, the assassinations, the riot at the Democratic National Convention. • Richard Nixon acceding to the presidency pledging a new dawn of national unity--and governing more divisively than any before him. • The rise of twin cultures of left- and right-wing vigilantes, Americans literally bombing and cutting each other down in the streets over political differences. •And, finally, Watergate, the fruit of a president who rose by matching his own anxieties and dreads with those of an increasingly frightened electorate--but whose anxieties and dreads produced a criminal conspiracy in the Oval Office.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Pacific

    Pacific

    Pacific

    Simon Winchester
    4.02 (3,083)

    Travelling the circumference of the truly gigantic Pacific, Simon Winchester tells the story of the worldâe(tm)s largest body of water, and âe" in matters economic, political and military âe" the ocean of the future. The Pacific is a world of tsunamis and Magellan, of the Bounty mutiny and the Boeing Company. It is the stuff of the towering Captain Cook and his wide-ranging network of exploring voyages, Robert Louis Stevenson and Admiral Halsey. It is the place of Paul Gauguin and the explosion of the largest-ever American atomic bomb, on Bikini atoll, in 1951. It has an astonishing recent past, an uncertain present and a hugely important future. The ocean and its peoples are the new lifeblood, fizz and thrill of America âe" which draws so many of its minds and so much of its manners from the sea âe" while the inexorable rise of the ancient center of the world, China, is a fixating fascination. The presence of rogue states âe" North Korea most notoriously today âe" suggest that the focus of the responsible world is shifting away from the conventional post-war obsessions with Europe and the Middle East, and towards a new set of urgencies. Navigating the newly evolving patterns of commerce and trade, the worldâe(tm)s most violent weather and the fascinating histories, problems and potentials of the many Pacific states, Simon Winchesterâe(tm)s thrilling journey is a grand depiction of the future ocean.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Wind, Sand and Stars

    Wind, Sand and Stars

    Wind, Sand and Stars

    Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    Biography & Autobiography
    4.11 (15,404)

    Exupery was a prize-winning novelist, professional mail pilot, airborne adventurer, war correspondent, commercial test pilot, and the author of a popular children's book The Little Prince. Wind, Sand, and Stars more than all the others is a synthesis of his skill as a writer and his life as a flier. It is a collage of anecdotes, speculations and peotic reflections the earth and its inhabitants as seen from the air, all glued together by one basic them: that the airplane has broght man into confrontation with the elemnets of the univeerse, and thus has given him a new perspective on his own nature.

    Patrick Collison

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  • A Great Leap Forward
    Patrick Collison

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  • The Feminine Mystique

    The Feminine Mystique

    The Feminine Mystique

    Betty Friedan
    Social Science
    3.86 (25,433)

    Released for the first time in paperback, this landmark social and political volume on feminism is credited with being responsible for raising awareness, liberating both sexes, and triggering major advances in the feminist movement. Reprint.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Plato at the Googleplex

    Plato at the Googleplex

    Plato at the Googleplex

    Rebecca Goldstein
    Philosophy
    3.87 (1,734)

    Acclaimed philosopher and novelist Rebecca Newberger Goldstein provides a dazzlingly original plunge into the drama of philosophy, revealing its hidden role in today's debates on religion, morality, politics, and science.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Wittgenstein's Vienna

    Wittgenstein's Vienna

    Wittgenstein's Vienna

    Allan Janik
    Philosophy
    3.86 (7)

    Fin de siecle Vienna was once memorably described by Karl Kraus as a "proving ground for the destruction of the world." In the decades leading to the World War that brought down the Austro-Hungarian empire, the city was at once an operetta dream world masking social and political problems and tension, as well as a center for the far-reaching explorations and innovations in music, art, science, and philosophy that would help to define modernity. One of the most powerful critiques of the retreat into fantasy was that of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, whose early career in Vienna has helped frame debates about ethical and aesthetic values in culture. In Wittgenstein's Vienna Revisited Allan Janik expands upon his work Wittgenstein's Vienna (co-authored with Stephen Toulmin) to amplify a number of significant points concerning the genesis of Wittgenstein's thought, the nature of Viennese culture, and criticism of contemporary culture. Although Wittgenstein is the central figure in this volume, Janik places considerable emphasis on other influential figures, both Viennese and non-Viennese, in order to break down some of the persistent stereotypes about the philosopher and his surrounding culture, especially the myths of "carefree" Vienna and Wittgenstein the positivist. The persistence of these myths, in Janik's view, stems in part from the inability of many historians to differentiate past from present in the evaluation of intellectual currents. Janik reviews a number of figures overlooked in assessing Wittgenstein: Otto Weininger, Kraus, Schoenberg, Nietzsche, Wagner, Ibsen, Offenbach, and Georg Trakl. All of these, Janik demonstrates, are absolutely necessary to understand what was at stake in the debates on aestheticism and the critique of a modern culture. Wittgenstein's efforts to recognize the limits of thought and language and thus to be fair to science, religion, and art account for his place of honor among critical modernists. These essays elucidate Wittgenstein's perspective on our culture.

    Patrick Collison

    Sorta related, have also been enjoying Wittgenstein's Vienna

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  • Spacetime and Geometry

    Spacetime and Geometry

    Spacetime and Geometry

    Sean M. Carroll
    Science
    4.30 (410)

    Spacetime and Geometry is an introductory textbook on general relativity, specifically aimed at students. Using a lucid style, Carroll first covers the foundations of the theory and mathematical formalism, providing an approachable introduction to what can often be an intimidating subject. Three major applications of general relativity are then discussed: black holes, perturbation theory and gravitational waves, and cosmology. Students will learn the origin of how spacetime curves (the Einstein equation) and how matter moves through it (the geodesic equation). They will learn what black holes really are, how gravitational waves are generated and detected, and the modern view of the expansion of the universe. A brief introduction to quantum field theory in curved spacetime is also included. A student familiar with this book will be ready to tackle research-level problems in gravitational physics.

    Patrick Collison

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  • I Didn't Do It for You

    I Didn't Do It for You

    I Didn't Do It for You

    Michela Wrong
    History
    4.13 (1,203)

    Scarred by decades of conflict and occupation, the craggy African nation of Eritrea has weathered the world's longest-running guerrilla war. The dogged determination that secured victory against Ethiopia, its giant neighbor, is woven into the national psyche, the product of cynical foreign interventions. Fascist Italy wanted Eritrea as the springboard for a new, racially pure Roman empire; Britain sold off its industry for scrap; the United States needed a base for its state-of-the-art spy station; and the Soviet Union used it as a pawn in a proxy war. In I Didn't Do It for You, Michela Wrong reveals the breathtaking abuses this tiny nation has suffered and, with a sharp eye for detail and a taste for the incongruous, tells the story of colonialism itself and how international power politics can play havoc with a country's destiny.

    Patrick Collison

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  • River Town

    River Town

    River Town

    Peter Hessler
    Travel
    4.24 (11,714)

    A New York Times Notable Book Winner of the Kiriyama Book Prize In the heart of China's Sichuan province, amid the terraced hills of the Yangtze River valley, lies the remote town of Fuling. Like many other small cities in this ever-evolving country, Fuling is heading down a new path of change and growth, which came into remarkably sharp focus when Peter Hessler arrived as a Peace Corps volunteer, marking the first time in more than half a century that the city had an American resident. Hessler taught English and American literature at the local college, but it was his students who taught him about the complex processes of understanding that take place when one is immersed in a radically different society. Poignant, thoughtful, funny, and enormously compelling, River Town is an unforgettable portrait of a city that is seeking to understand both what it was and what it someday will be.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Midnight's Children

    Midnight's Children

    Midnight's Children

    Salman Rushdie
    Fiction
    3.98 (109,132)

    The iconic masterpiece of India that introduced the world to “a glittering novelist—one with startling imaginative and intellectual resources, a master of perpetual storytelling” (The New Yorker) WINNER OF THE BEST OF THE BOOKERS • SOON TO BE A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time • The twenty-fifth anniversary edition, featuring a new introduction by the author Saleem Sinai is born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the very moment of India’s independence. Greeted by fireworks displays, cheering crowds, and Prime Minister Nehru himself, Saleem grows up to learn the ominous consequences of this coincidence. His every act is mirrored and magnified in events that sway the course of national affairs; his health and well-being are inextricably bound to those of his nation; his life is inseparable, at times indistinguishable, from the history of his country. Perhaps most remarkable are the telepathic powers linking him with India’s 1,000 other “midnight’s children,” all born in that initial hour and endowed with magical gifts. This novel is at once a fascinating family saga and an astonishing evocation of a vast land and its people–a brilliant incarnation of the universal human comedy. Twenty-five years after its publication, Midnight’ s Children stands apart as both an epochal work of fiction and a brilliant performance by one of the great literary voices of our time.

    Patrick Collison

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  • Moral Mazes

    Moral Mazes

    Moral Mazes

    Robert Jackall
    Business & Economics
    4.00 (341)

    This classic study of ethics in business presents an eye-opening account of how corporate managers think the world works, and how big organizations shape moral consciousness. Robert Jackall takes the reader inside a topsy-turvy world where hard work does not necessarily lead to success, but sharp talk, self-promotion, powerful patrons, and sheer luck might. What sort of everyday rules-in-use do people play by when there are no fixed standards to explain why some succeed and others fail? In the words of one corporate manager, those rules boil down to this maxim: "What is right in the corporation is what the guy above you wants from you. That's what morality is in the corporation." This brilliant, disturbing, funny look at the ethos of the corporate world presents compelling real life stories of the men and women charged with running the businesses of America. This anniversary edition includes an afterword by the author linking the themes of Moral Mazes to the financial tsunami that engulfed the world economy in 2008.

    Patrick Collison

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