Probably like many of you, I am beginning to think of what to read over the Summer Break…
Typically, I try to avoid books that are too closely connected to work stuff. My tired eyes betray that I may be doing too much of that kind of reading anyway. And the Summer Break for me is very much a moment to log off, take some distance, enjoy my family and reflect on Life, the Universe, and Everything.
That said, if you do want a recommendation for a Really Good Book strongly related to what this blog is concerned with, then Everything is Miscellaneous by David Weinberger is a book I can confidently recommend. This gem is very well written, full of nice stories and contains numerous Great Quotes:
“Facts are that about which we no longer argue”
“Information is easy. Space, time and atoms are hard.”
The fundamental insight (for me) is that we should impose order on the way out, as we need it, rather than on the way in, which always constrains us to a classification structure that works well for some goals but not for other. David also explores some of the deeper ramifications and philosophical implications for how we think about knowledge and truth. Definitely recommended!
However, to return to my original point, I am beginning to collect ideas on what I will read over summer. An easy one (for me) is Gibson’s Spook Country. I always enjoy what William Gibson writes and am very much looking forward to his latest. A somewhat different one is Popper‘s The Open Society and Its Enemies. Most of you will know that I care quite a bit about open standards, open content, open source, etc. For me, openness is a means to an end, or rather, a way to avoid barriers that closed systems impose (note to self: explain in more detail in another post!). But I do want to better understand some of the philosophical and social implications. And I’ve always had a soft spot for Popper – I still think that falsifiability is such a neat way to characterize the essence of science.
Anyway, I hope to read more than two books over Summer and I’d be very interested in what you plan to read. Or what do you suggest I should read? There may be better ways to do this – can’t believe there would not be some fully web2.0-tagging-included-social-linking-enabled-and-cool-in-so-many-other-ways tool to share this kind of recommendations?
Really, seriously and again: suggestions welcome!
Actually, I twittered the same question recently and Mo Stefaner was so kind to suggest Clay Shirky’s Here comes Everybody (“a great read. Won’t cover the whole summer though, more something for a long weekend”. Mo also mentioned that, for task management, Things is the thing!
Speaking of which, I’ve not previously expressed my admiration for Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother. As Wm. Burroughs was fond of saying, “young boys need it special”. In the case of Cory’s book, though, young girls need it special too.
In The Drunkard’s Walk Leonard Mlodinow provides readers with a wonderfully readable guide to how the mathematical laws of randomness affect our lives.
I’m sure that YOU have some suggestions too?