Sam Altman's favorite books

  • Superintelligence

    Superintelligence

    Superintelligence

    Nick Bostrom
    Computers
    3.87 (14,334)

    The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. Other animals have stronger muscles or sharper claws, but we have cleverer brains. If machine brains one day come to surpass human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become very powerful. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on us humans than on the gorillas themselves, so the fate of our species then would come to depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence. But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed AI or otherwise to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation? To get closer to an answer to this question, we must make our way through a fascinating landscape of topics and considerations. Read the book and learn about oracles, genies, singletons; about boxing methods, tripwires, and mind crime; about humanity's cosmic endowment and differential technological development; indirect normativity, instrumental convergence, whole brain emulation and technology couplings; Malthusian economics and dystopian evolution; artificial intelligence, and biological cognitive enhancement, and collective intelligence.

    Sam Altman

    Incidentally, Nick Bostroms excellent book Superintelligence is the best thing Ive seen on this topic. It is well worth a read.

     — Source

  • Meditations

    Meditations

    Meditations

    Marcus Aurelius
    4.22 (149,987)

    Marcus Aurelius, emperor of Rome, may be the closest mankind has ever come to producing the philosopher king that Plato envisioned in The Republic. A reluctant ruler and a reluctant warrior, much of his reign was spent in battle, defending the frontiers of the empire from the "barbarian" hordes. Fortunately for us, he carried a notebook along on his military campaigns, and thus we have the Meditations. Marcus's writings reveal him to be the last and greatest of the classical Stoics. Stoicism is a school of thought that asserts we have no control over our lives, only control over our perceptions. It advocates that the best life is the life that is lived in accordance with nature (not "nature" as in grass and trees, but "nature" as in the order of the universe). By concentrating one's thoughts and choices on what is good and virtuous, and disregarding the unimportant distractions of everyday life (even life and death are said to be neither good nor bad, but "indifferent"), we can avoid negative emotions like fear, anger, grief, and frustration, and live a life of happiness and tranquility. That's an oversimplification, of course. If you really want to know what Stoicism is and how it works read Epictetus or Seneca. What Marcus provides us with are the reflections of a man who studied and lived the Stoic life, and was its ultimate exemplar. Even if you don't buy into Stoicism, or have no interest in Philosophy with a capital P, you can still find inspiration and solace in the Meditations, as Marcus instructs us in dealing justly with others, overcoming emotional hardship, living life to the fullest by overcoming the fear of death, and resigning oneself to the insignificance of man in the universe. The Meditations are divided into twelve books. Each book contains anywhere from 16 to 75 numbered paragraphs, ranging in length from a sentence to a page. The paragraphs are arranged without regard to sequence or subject matter. This haphazard method of compilation is really the book's only flaw. What the Meditations has always needed is a good index, but I've never found a volume that has one. It is a pleasure to publish this new, high quality, and affordable edition of this timeless book.

    Sam Altman

    great read (cc @naval)

     — Source

  • The Supermen

    The Supermen

    The Supermen

    Charles J. Murray
    Computers

    Recounts the development of the supercomputer by Seymour Cray, and traces the life of the maverick engineer and entrepreneur who created a new industry

    Sam Altman

    that one's particularly good

     — Source

  • The Transit of Venus

    The Transit of Venus

    The Transit of Venus

    Shirley Hazzard
    Fiction
    3.96 (2,656)

    "The Transit of Venus tells the story of two orphan sisters, Caroline and Grace Bell, as they leave Australia to start a new life in postwar England. What happens to these young women--seduction and abandonment, marriage and widowhood, love and betrayal--becomes as moving and wonderful and yet as predestined as the transits of the planets themselves"--

    Sam Altman

    Re-reading this book tonight. It's incredible.

    Feb 1, 2017 — Source

  • Brave New World

    Brave New World

    Brave New World

    Aldous Huxley
    Fiction
    3.99 (1,546,181)

    Set far in the future, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World depicts a world where “Controllers” have achieved what they believe to be the ideal society. Through scientific and genetic breakthroughs the human race has been brought to perfection: humans have pre-assigned roles in society, and everyone happily fulfills their purpose. Bernard Marx, however, is different. He is disgusted by the predestined behaviour of his peers and has a strong desire to break free from social pressures, leading him to set off on a journey to visit one of the few remaining Savage Reservations—places where the old, flawed, and imperfect life still continues. Inspired by the popularity of utopian novels at the time Aldous Huxley created a dystopian vision of what our world might one day become—and readers will be terrified to discover that some of his predictions may have already come true. Brave New World has twice been adapted for film, most recently in 1998 as a television movie starring Peter Gallagher and Leonard Nimoy. HarperPerennial Classics brings great works of literature to life in digital format, upholding the highest standards in ebook production and celebrating reading in all its forms. Look for more titles in the HarperPerennial Classics collection to build your digital library.

    Sam Altman

    Here, in one of the most important and fascinating books of his career, Aldous Huxley uses his tremendous knowledge of human relations to compare the modern-day world with his prophetic fantasy.

    Oct 20, 2015 — Source

  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

    A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

    A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

    Dave Eggers
    Brothers
    3.68 (179,422)

    'Heartbreaking? Certainly. Staggering? Yes, I'd say so. And if genius is capturing the universal in a fresh and memorable way, call it that too' Anthony Quinn, Sunday Times 'Is this how all orphans would speak - "I am at once pitiful and monstrous, I know" - if they had Dave Eggers's prodigious linguistic gifts? For he does write wonderfully, and this is an extremely impressive debut' John Banville, Irish Times 'A virtuosic piece of writing, a big, daring, manic-depressive stew of a book that noisily announces the debut of a talented - yes, staggeringly talented - new writer' - Michiko Kakutani, New York Times 'Exhilarating . . . Profoundly moving, occasionally angry and often hilarious . . . A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is, finally, a finite book of jest, which is why it succeeds so brilliantly' - New York Times Book Review 'What is really shocking and exciting is the book's sheer rage. AHWOSG is truly ferocious, like any work of genius. Eggers - self-reliant, transcendent, expansive - is Emerson's ideal Young American. [The book] does itself justice: it is a settling of accounts. And it is almost too good to be believed' - London Review of Books 'A hilarious book . . . In it, literary gamesmanship and self-consciousness are trained on life's most unendurable experience, used to examine a memory too scorching to stare at, as one views an eclipse by projecting sunlight onto paper through a pinhole' - Time 'Eggers evokes the terrible beauty of youth like a young Bob Dylan, frothing with furious anger . . . He takes us close, shows us as much as he can bear . . . His book is a comic and moving witness that transcends and transgresses formal boundaries' - Washington Post

    Sam Altman

    The literary sensation of the year, a book that redefines both family and narrative for the twenty-first century.

    Oct 20, 2015 — Source

  • Man's Search for Meaning

    Man's Search for Meaning

    Man's Search for Meaning

    Viktor E Frankl
    Existential psychotherapy
    4.35 (479,763)

    A prominent Viennese psychiatrist before the war, Viktor Frankl was uniquely able to observe the way that he and other inmates coped with the experience of being in Auschwitz. He noticed that it was the men who comforted others and who gave away their last piece of bread who survived the longest - and who offered proof that everything can be taken away from us except the ability to choose our attitude in any given set of circumstances. The sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision and not of camp influences alone. Only those who allowed their inner hold on their moral and spiritual selves to subside eventually fell victim to the camp's degenerating influence - while those who made a victory of those experiences turned them into an inner triumph. Frankl came to believe that man's deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose. This outstanding work offers us all a way to transcend suffering and find significance in the art of living.

    Sam Altman

    Recommended as Sam Altman's Good Read in Shelfie

    Oct 20, 2015 — Source

  • 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.

    Sam Altman

    Recommended as Sam Altman's Good Read in Shelfie

    Oct 20, 2015 — Source

  • Skunk Works
    Sam Altman

    Recommended as Sam Altman's Good Read in Shelfie

     — Source

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray

    The Picture of Dorian Gray

    The Picture of Dorian Gray

    Oscar Wilde
    Fiction
    4.09 (1,076,673)

    A handsome, dissolute man who sells his soul for eternal youth is horrified to see the reflection of his degeneration in the distorted features of his portrait.

    Sam Altman

    Recommended as Sam Altman's Good Read in Shelfie

    Oct 20, 2015 — Source

  • Zero to One
    Sam Altman

    Recommended as Sam Altman's Good Read in Shelfie

    Oct 20, 2015 — Source

  • The Score Takes Care of Itself

    The Score Takes Care of Itself

    The Score Takes Care of Itself

    Bill Walsh,Craig Walsh,Steve Jamison
    Business & Economics
    4.25 (3,404)

    The last lecture on leadership by the NFL's greatest coach: Bill Walsh Bill Walsh is a towering figure in the history of the NFL. His advanced leadership transformed the San Francisco 49ers from the worst franchise in sports to a legendary dynasty. In the process, he changed the way football is played. Prior to his death, Walsh granted a series of exclusive interviews to bestselling author Steve Jamison. These became his ultimate lecture on leadership. Additional insights and perspective are provided by Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana and others. Bill Walsh taught that the requirements of successful leadership are the same whether you run an NFL franchise, a fortune 500 company, or a hardware store with 12 employees. These final words of 'wisdom by Walsh' will inspire, inform, and enlighten leaders in all professions.

    Sam Altman

    Recommended on News YCombinator site

    Oct 21, 2015 — Source

  • A Life Decoded

    A Life Decoded

    A Life Decoded

    J. Craig Venter
    Biography & Autobiography
    3.75 (742)

    The story of the man who achieved one of the greatest feats of our era--the mapping of the human genome. After nearly flunking out of high school, Venter went to Vietnam, where the life and death struggles he encountered as a medic piqued his interest ins

    Sam Altman

    Recommended as Sam Altman's Good Read in Shelfie

    Oct 20, 2015 — Source

  • The Trial of Socrates
    Sam Altman

    Recommended as Sam Altman's Good Read in Shelfie

    Oct 20, 2015 — Source

  • Blitzscaling

    Blitzscaling

    Blitzscaling

    Chris Yeh,Reid Hoffman
    Business & Economics

    What entrepreneur or founder doesnt aspire to build the next Amazon, Facebook, or Airbnb? Yet those who actually manage to do so are exceedingly rare. So what separates the startups that get disrupted and disappear from the ones who grow to become global giants? The secret is blitzscaling: a set of techniques for scaling up at a dizzying pace that blows competitors out of the water. The objective of Blitzscaling is not to go from zero to one, but from one to one billion as quickly as possible.

    Sam Altman

    I got to read an early copy of this, and have been waiting for it to come out so that I can recommend it to everyone.

    Oct 10, 2018 — Source

  • 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.

    Sam Altman

    Recommended in Sam Altman's twitter account

     — Source

  • The Death and Life of Great American Cities

    The Death and Life of Great American Cities

    The Death and Life of Great American Cities

    Jane Jacobs
    Social Science

    Thirty years after its publication, The Death and Life of Great American Cities was described by The New York Times as "perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning....[It] can also be seen in a much larger context. It is first of all a work of literature; the descriptions of street life as a kind of ballet and the bitingly satiric account of traditional planning theory can still be read for pleasure even by those who long ago absorbed and appropriated the book's arguments." Jane Jacobs, an editor and writer on architecture in New York City in the early sixties, argued that urban diversity and vitality were being destroyed by powerful architects and city planners. Rigorous, sane, and delightfully epigrammatic, Jacobs's small masterpiece is a blueprint for the humanistic management of cities. It is sensible, knowledgeable, readable, indispensable. The author has written a new foreword for this Modern Library edition.

    Sam Altman

    Recommended as Sam Altman's Good Read in Shelfie

     — Source

  • Hunger of Memory

    Hunger of Memory

    Hunger of Memory

    Richard Rodriguez
    Biography & Autobiography
    3.34 (3,056)

    Hunger of Memory is the story of Mexican-American Richard Rodriguez, who begins his schooling in Sacramento, California, knowing just 50 words of English, and concludes his university studies in the stately quiet of the reading room of the British Museum. Here is the poignant journey of a “minority student” who pays the cost of his social assimilation and academic success with a painful alienation — from his past, his parents, his culture — and so describes the high price of “making it” in middle-class America. Provocative in its positions on affirmative action and bilingual education, Hunger of Memory is a powerful political statement, a profound study of the importance of language ... and the moving, intimate portrait of a boy struggling to become a man.

    Sam Altman

    Recommended as Sam Altman's Good Read in Shelfie

     — Source

  • Thinking, Fast and Slow

    Thinking, Fast and Slow

    Thinking, Fast and Slow

    Daniel Kahneman
    Psychology
    4.16 (361,441)

    Major New York Times bestseller Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award in 2012 Selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011 A Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year 2011 Title One of The Economist's 2011 Books of the Year One of The Wall Street Journal's Best Nonfiction Books of the Year 2011 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient Kahneman's work with Amos Tversky is the subject of Michael Lewis's The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation—each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions. Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives—and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and selected by The New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011, Thinking, Fast and Slow is destined to be a classic.

    Sam Altman

    Recommended on News YCombinator site

     — Source

  • Solution Selling
    Sam Altman

    Recommended on News YCombinator site

     — Source

  • Plentiful Energy
    Sam Altman

    Recommended as Sam Altman's Good Read in Shelfie

    Oct 20, 2015 — Source

  • Fundamentals of Plasma Physics

    Fundamentals of Plasma Physics

    Fundamentals of Plasma Physics

    Paul M. Bellan
    Science

    This rigorous explanation of plasmas is relevant to diverse plasma applications such as controlled fusion, astrophysical plasmas, solar physics, magnetospheric plasmas, and plasma thrusters. More thorough than previous texts, it exploits new powerful mathematical techniques to develop deeper insights into plasma behavior. After developing the basic plasma equations from first principles, the book explores single particle motion with particular attention to adiabatic invariance. The author then examines types of plasma waves and the issue of Landau damping. Magnetohydrodynamic equilibrium and stability are tackled with emphasis on the topological concepts of magnetic helicity and self-organization. Advanced topics follow, including magnetic reconnection, nonlinear waves, and the Fokker–Planck treatment of collisions. The book concludes by discussing unconventional plasmas such as non-neutral and dusty plasmas. Written for beginning graduate students and advanced undergraduates, this text emphasizes the fundamental principles that apply across many different contexts.

    Sam Altman

    Recommended as Sam Altman's Good Read in Shelfie

    Oct 20, 2015 — Source

  • Einstein

    Einstein

    Einstein

    Walter Isaacson
    Biography & Autobiography

    The first full biography of Albert Einstein since all of his papers have become available shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. Biographer Isaacson explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk-

    Sam Altman

    By the author of the acclaimed bestsellers Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs, this is the definitive biography of Albert Einstein.

    Oct 20, 2015 — Source

  • 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.

    Sam Altman

    Recommended as Sam Altman's Good Read in Shelfie

     — Source

  • The Legend of Henry Ford
    Sam Altman

    Recommended as Sam Altman's Good Read in Shelfie

    Oct 20, 2015 — Source

  • Anna Karenina

    Anna Karenina

    Anna Karenina

    Leo Tolstoy
    Fiction
    4.06 (712,078)

    This edition, the famous Constance Garnett translation, has been revised throughout by Leonard J. Kent and Nina Berberova. "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." So begins Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy's great modern novel of an adulterous affair set against the backdrop of Moscow and St. Petersburg high society in the later half of the nineteenth century. A sophisticated woman who is respectably married to a government bureaucrat, Anna begins a passionate, all-consuming involvement with a rich army officer. Refusing to conduct a discreet affair, she scandalizes society by abandoning both her husband and her young son for Count Vronsky--with tragic consequences. Running parallel is the story of the courtship and marriage of Konstantin Levin (the melancholy nobleman who is Tolstoy's stand-in) and Princess Kitty Shcherbatsky. Levin's spiritual searching and growth reflect the religious ideals that at the time Tolstoy was evolving for himself. Taken together, the two plots embroider a vast canvas that ultimately encompasses all levels of Russian society. "Now and then Tolstoy's novel writes its own self, is produced by its matter, but its subject," noted Vladimir Nabokov. "Anna Karenina is one of the greatest love stories in world literature." As Matthew Arnold wrote in his celebrated essay on Tolstoy: "We are not to take Anna Karenina as a work of art; we are to take it as a piece of life."

    Sam Altman

    Recommended as Sam Altman's Good Read in Shelfie

    Oct 20, 2015 — Source

  • The Beak of the Finch

    The Beak of the Finch

    The Beak of the Finch

    Jonathan Weiner
    Science
    4.17 (8,485)

    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize On a desert island in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago, where Darwin received his first inklings of the theory of evolution, two scientists, Peter and Rosemary Grant, have spent twenty years proving that Darwin did not know the strength of his own theory. For among the finches of Daphne Major, natural selection is neither rare nor slow: it is taking place by the hour, and we can watch. In this dramatic story of groundbreaking scientific research, Jonathan Weiner follows these scientists as they watch Darwin's finches and come up with a new understanding of life itself. The Beak of the Finch is an elegantly written and compelling masterpiece of theory and explication in the tradition of Stephen Jay Gould. With a new preface.

    Sam Altman

    Recommended on News YCombinator site

     — Source

  • Plan B 3.0
    Sam Altman

    Recommended as Sam Altman's Good Read in Shelfie

    Oct 20, 2015 — Source

  • The Fall
    Sam Altman

    Recommended as Sam Altman's Good Read in Shelfie

    Oct 20, 2015 — Source

  • The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

    The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

    The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

    Julian Jaynes
    Psychology
    4.26 (4,552)

    National Book Award Finalist: “This man’s ideas may be the most influential, not to say controversial, of the second half of the twentieth century.”—Columbus Dispatch At the heart of this classic, seminal book is Julian Jaynes's still-controversial thesis that human consciousness did not begin far back in animal evolution but instead is a learned process that came about only three thousand years ago and is still developing. The implications of this revolutionary scientific paradigm extend into virtually every aspect of our psychology, our history and culture, our religion—and indeed our future. “Don’t be put off by the academic title of Julian Jaynes’s The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Its prose is always lucid and often lyrical…he unfolds his case with the utmost intellectual rigor.”—The New York Times “When Julian Jaynes . . . speculates that until late in the twentieth millennium BC men had no consciousness but were automatically obeying the voices of the gods, we are astounded but compelled to follow this remarkable thesis.”—John Updike, The New Yorker “He is as startling as Freud was in The Interpretation of Dreams, and Jaynes is equally as adept at forcing a new view of known human behavior.”—American Journal of Psychiatry

    Sam Altman

    Recommended as Sam Altman's Good Read in Shelfie

    Oct 20, 2015 — Source

  • Hold 'em Poker
    Sam Altman

    Recommended on News YCombinator site

     — Source

  • The Kite Runner

    The Kite Runner

    The Kite Runner

    Khaled Hosseini
    Fiction
    4.31 (2,599,572)

    Over 21 million copies sold worldwide

    Sam Altman

    Recommended as Sam Altman's Good Read in Shelfie

    Oct 20, 2015 — Source

  • Foundation

    Foundation

    Foundation

    Isaac Asimov
    Fiction
    4.17 (440,183)

    The first novel in Isaac Asimov’s classic science-fiction masterpiece, the Foundation series SOON TO BE AN APPLE TV+ SERIES • Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. Only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future—a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save humanity, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire—both scientists and scholars—and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for future generations. He calls this sanctuary the Foundation. But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. And mankind’s last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and live as slaves—or take a stand for freedom and risk total destruction.

    Sam Altman

    Recommended as Sam Altman's Good Read in Shelfie

    Oct 20, 2015 — Source

  • Winning

    Winning

    Winning

    Jack Welch,Suzy Welch
    Business & Economics
    3.84 (40,029)

    This enhanced digital edition features ten exclusive video commentaries from America's favorite CEO Jack Welch, who shares his trademark straight-talk advice and real-world management philosophy with readers at every level of an organization. Jack Welch knows how to win. During his forty-year career at General Electric, he led the company to year-after-year success around the globe, in multiple markets, against brutal competition. His honest, be-the-best style of management has become the gold standard in business, with his relentless focus on people, teamwork, and profits. Now regarded as the bible of business, Winning lays out the answers to the most difficult questions people face both on and off the job—from line workers to MBAs, from project managers to senior executives. Video commentary from Jack Welch expands on the book's treatment of the real "stuff" of work—the importance of positive energy in a leader, the proper role of HR within an organization, how to lead change effectively, why strategy doesn't have to be rocket science, the potential pitfalls of mergers and acquisitions, how to launch a new business within a big company, and more. The insights and solutions offered in the text, combined with lively video interviews with Welch, will change the way you work, lead, and succeed.

    Sam Altman

    Recommended on News YCombinator site

     — Source

  • Molecular Biology of the Cell

    Molecular Biology of the Cell

    Molecular Biology of the Cell

    Bruce Alberts
    Science
    4.34 (2,199)

    As the amount of information in biology expands dramatically, it becomes increasingly important for textbooks to distill the vast amount of scientific knowledge into concise principles and enduring concepts.As with previous editions, Molecular Biology of the Cell, Sixth Edition accomplishes this goal with clear writing and beautiful illustrations. The Sixth Edition has been extensively revised and updated with the latest research in the field of cell biology, and it provides an exceptional framework for teaching and learning. The entire illustration program has been greatly enhanced.Protein structures better illustrate structure–function relationships, icons are simpler and more consistent within and between chapters, and micrographs have been refreshed and updated with newer, clearer, or better images. As a new feature, each chapter now contains intriguing openended questions highlighting “What We Don’t Know,” introducing students to challenging areas of future research. Updated end-of-chapter problems reflect new research discussed in the text, and these problems have been expanded to all chapters by adding questions on developmental biology, tissues and stem cells, pathogens, and the immune system.

    Sam Altman

    Recommended on News YCombinator site

     — Source

  • Powering the Future

    Powering the Future

    Powering the Future

    Robert B. Laughlin
    Science
    3.66 (126)

    In Powering the Future, Nobel laureate Robert B. Laughlin transports us two centuries into the future, when we’ve ceased to use carbon from the ground—either because humans have banned carbon burning or because fuel has simply run out. Boldly, Laughlin predicts no earth-shattering transformations will have taken place. Six generations from now, there will still be soccer moms, shopping malls, and business trips. Firesides will still be snug and warm. How will we do it? Not by discovering a magic bullet to slay our energy problems, but through a slew of fascinating technologies, drawing on wind, water, and fire. Powering the Future is an objective yet optimistic tour through alternative fuel sources, set in a world where we’ve burned every last drop of petroleum and every last shovelful of coal. The Predictable: Fossil fuels will run out. The present flow of crude oil out of the ground equals in one day the average flow of the Mississippi River past New Orleans in thirteen minutes. If you add the energy equivalents of gas and coal, it’s thirty-six minutes. At the present rate of consumption, we’ll be out of fossil fuels in two centuries’ time. We always choose the cheapest gas. From the nineteenth-century consolidation of the oil business to the California energy crisis of 2000-2001, the energy business has shown, time and again, how low prices dominate market share. Market forces—not green technology—will be the driver of energy innovation in the next 200 years. The laws of physics remain fixed. Energy will still be conserved, degrade entropically with use, and have to be disposed of as waste heat into outer space. How much energy a fuel can pack away in a given space is fixed by quantum mechanics—and if we want to keep flying jet planes, we will need carbon-based fuels. The Potential: Animal waste.If dried and burned, the world’s agricultural manure would supply about one-third as much energy as all the coal we presently consume. Trash. The United States disposes of 88 million tons of carbon in its trash per year. While the incineration of waste trash is not enough to contribute meaningfully to the global demand for energy, it will constrain fuel prices by providing a cheap supply of carbon. Solar energy.The power used to light all the cities around the world is only one-millionth of the total power of sunlight pouring down on earth’s daytime side. And the amount of hydropump storage required to store the world’s daily electrical surge is equal to only eight times the volume of Lake Mead. PRAISE FOR ROBERT B. LAUGHLIN “Perhaps the most brilliant theoretical physicist since Richard Feynman”—George Chapline, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory “Powerful but controversial.”— Financial Times “[Laughlin’s] company … is inspirational.” —New Scientist

    Sam Altman

    Recommended as Sam Altman's Good Read in Shelfie

    Oct 20, 2015 — Source

  • Call Me by Your Name

    Call Me by Your Name

    Call Me by Your Name

    André Aciman
    Fiction
    4.18 (278,281)

    Now a Major Motion Picture from Director Luca Guadagnino, Starring Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet, and Written by Three-Time OscarTM Nominee James Ivory The Basis of the Oscar-Winning Best Adapted Screenplay A New York Times Bestseller A USA Today Bestseller A Los Angeles Times Bestseller A Vulture Book Club Pick An Instant Classic and One of the Great Love Stories of Our Time Andre Aciman's Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. Each is unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, when, during the restless summer weeks, unrelenting currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion and test the charged ground between them. Recklessly, the two verge toward the one thing both fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy. It is an instant classic and one of the great love stories of our time. Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Ficition A New York Times Notable Book of the Year • A Publishers Weekly and The Washington Post Best Book of the Year • A New York Magazine "Future Canon" Selection • A Chicago Tribune and Seattle Times (Michael Upchurch's) Favorite Favorite Book of the Year

    Sam Altman

    Recommended as Sam Altman's Good Read in Shelfie

    Oct 20, 2015 — Source

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