Patrick Collison

Patrick Collison

Fallibilist, optimist. Stripe CEO. 🇮🇪

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70+ Book Recommendations by Patrick Collison

  • Martians of Science

    Istvan Hargittai

    If science has the equivalent of a Bloomsbury group, it is the five men born at the turn of the twentieth century in Budapest: Theodore von Karman, Leo Szilard, Eugene Wigner, John von Neumann, and Edward Teller. From Hungary to Germany to the United States, they remained friends and continued to work together and influence each other throughout their lives. As a result, their work was integral to some of the most important scientific and political developments of the twentieth century.Istvan Hargittai tells the story of this remarkable group: Wigner won a Nobel Prize in theoretical physics; Szilard was the first to see that a chain reaction based on neutrons was possible, initiated the Manhattan Project, but left physics to try to restrict nuclear arms; von Neumann could solve difficult problems in his head and developed the modern computer for more complex problems; von Karman became the first director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, providing the scientific basis for the U.S. Air Force; and Teller was the father of the hydrogen bomb, whose name is now synonymous with the controversial "Star Wars" initiative of the 1980s. Each was fiercely opinionated, politically active, and fought against all forms of totalitarianism. Hargittai, as a young Hungarian physical chemist, was able to get to know some of these great men in their later years, and the depth of information and human interest in The Martians of Science is the result of his personal relationships with the subjects, their families, and their contemporaries. "This is an important story that needs to be told, and Hargittai tells it well." - Nature "What a story! Hargittai, a Jewish-Hungarian like his heroes, tells the remarkable story of five immigrants, of vastly different politics, without whom American science (and the world) would not be the same." - Roald Hoffmann, Nobel laureate, Cornell University

    @paulg @robinhanson Recently enjoyed https://t.co/oppgJdVhfI on this topic.

  • Apprentice to Genius

    Robert Kanigel

    Exploring a chain of mentor relationships in one dynasty of prize-winning scientists, this book offers an account of the friendship, rivalries, and Nobel Prize ambition which characterize the creative collaborations of scientific breakthroughs

    Highly recommended: https://t.co/Ufmc1ZyHX8

  • Crucible of Science

    John H. Exton

    Examines the careers of Carl and Gerty Cori, and the other eminent scientists who trained in their laboratory

    Gerty and Carl Cori won the Nobel Prize together in 1947. Then 6 of their students won Nobel Prizes, all in physiology/medicine and chemistry. (Five separate prizes in total; one was shared.) https://t.co/VYkSySJ4SR

  • The Big Score

    Michael S. Malone

    “What’s remarkable about The Big Score? It’s truly the first, and by far the best, panoramic history of the Valley’s founding.” https://t.co/88PkTLMjsf

  • An innovative new valuation framework with truly useful economic indicators The End of Accounting and the Path Forward for Investors and Managers shows how the ubiquitous financial reports have become useless in capital market decisions and lays out an actionable alternative. Based on a comprehensive, large-sample empirical analysis, this book reports financial documents' continuous deterioration in relevance to investors' decisions. An enlightening discussion details the reasons why accounting is losing relevance in today's market, backed by numerous examples with real-world impact. Beyond simply identifying the problem, this report offers a solution—the Value Creation Report—and demonstrates its utility in key industries. New indicators focus on strategy and execution to identify and evaluate a company's true value-creating resources for a more up-to-date approach to critical investment decision-making. While entire industries have come to rely on financial reports for vital information, these documents are flawed and insufficient when it comes to the way investors and lenders work in the current economic climate. This book demonstrates an alternative, giving you a new framework for more informed decision making. Discover a new, comprehensive system of economic indicators Focus on strategic, value-creating resources in company valuation Learn how traditional financial documents are quickly losing their utility Find a path forward with actionable, up-to-date information Major corporate decisions, such as restructuring and M&A, are predicated on financial indicators of profitability and asset/liabilities values. These documents move mountains, so what happens if they're based on faulty indicators that fail to show the true value of the company? The End of Accounting and the Path Forward for Investors and Managers shows you the reality and offers a new blueprint for more accurate valuation.

    @laurenmwhite That book is quite interesting!

  • A Widening Sphere

    Philip N. Alexander

    How MIT's first nine presidents helped transform the Institute from a small technical school into a major research university. MIT was founded in 1861 as a polytechnic institute in Boston's Back Bay, overshadowed by its neighbor across the Charles River, Harvard University. Harvard offered a classical education to young men of America's ruling class; the early MIT trained men (and a few women) from all parts of society as engineers for the nation's burgeoning industries. Over the years, MIT expanded its mission and ventured into other fields--pure science, social science, the humanities--and established itself in Cambridge as Harvard's enduring rival. In A Widening Sphere, Philip Alexander traces MIT's evolution from polytechnic to major research institution through the lives of its first nine presidents, exploring how the ideas, outlook, approach, and personality of each shaped the school's intellectual and social cultures. Alexander describes, among otherthings, the political skill and entrepreneurial spirit of founder and first president, William Rogers; institutional growing pains under John Runkle; Francis Walker's campaign to broaden the curriculum, especially in the social sciences, and to recruit first-rate faculty; James Crafts, whose heart lay in research, not administration; Henry Pritchett's thwarted effort to merge with Harvard (after which he decamped to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching); Richard Maclaurin's successful strategy to move the institute to Cambridge, after considering other sites (including a golfclub in Brighton); the brilliant, progressive Ernest Nichols, who succumbed to chronic illness and barely held office; Samuel Stratton's push towards a global perspective; and Karl Compton's vision for a new kind of Institute--a university polarized around science and technology. Through these interlocking yet independent portraits, Alexander reveals the inner workings of a complex and dynamic community of innovators.

    While a little self-congratulatory ("Did an MIT write this?" Actually, yes...), the descriptions of the cultural background and motivations behind the institute are quite interesting to read today: https://t.co/X3wLAraFv6.

  • Freedom's Forge

    Arthur Herman

    Quite enjoyed *Freedom's Forge*, about the logistical efforts -- led mostly by high school dropouts and immigrants -- that yielded the Arsenal of Democracy: https://t.co/xnRc1k3NyW.

  • Scientific Freedom

    Donald W. Braben

    🧵 on https://t.co/djCKYtEYad from @stripepress. https://t.co/RgICcbGwGq

  • Scientific Freedom

    Donald W. Braben

    Some day, there'll hopefully be a vibrant genre of books putting forth different visions for how science can be structured and recounting the experience of applying various visions in practice. When there is, I suspect Don Braben's book will still be seen as one of the best. https://t.co/x4LumXOUHq

  • The story of the greatest of all philosophical friendships—and how it influenced modern thought David Hume is arguably the most important philosopher ever to have written in English, but during his lifetime he was attacked as “the Great Infidel” for his religious skepticism and deemed unfit to teach the young. In contrast, Adam Smith, now hailed as the founding father of capitalism, was a revered professor of moral philosophy. Remarkably, Hume and Smith were best friends, sharing what Dennis Rasmussen calls the greatest of all philosophical friendships. The Infidel and the Professor tells the fascinating story of the close relationship between these towering Enlightenment thinkers—and how it influenced their world-changing ideas. It shows that Hume contributed more to economics—and Smith contributed more to philosophy—than is generally recognized. The result is a compelling account of a great friendship that had great consequences for modern thought.

    @whyvert @paulg Great book, yes.

  • Working in Public

    Nadia Eghbal

    Now available for pre-order! https://t.co/aUgwhPD3Bs "Nadia writes from a unique perspective at the intersection of open source, economics, and poetry. This is the definitive book on the dynamics of online creative communities." --Nat Friedman, CEO of GitHub https://t.co/j88jNNGtnT

  • Spacetime and Geometry

    Sean M. Carroll

    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.

    @bazookanu I'm delighted to hear that. (I also think that *Spacetime and Geometry*, while a great book, makes the topic a bit more complicated than it needs to be -- it's very focused on mathematical rigor.)

  • In a 1950 conversation at Los Alamos, four world-class scientists generally agreed, given the size of the Universe, that advanced extraterrestrial civilizations must be present. But one of the four, Enrico Fermi, asked, "If these civilizations do exist, where is everybody?" Given the fact that there are perhaps 400 million stars in our Galaxy alone, and perhaps 400 million 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. Webb discusses in detail the 50 most cogent and intriguing solutions to Fermi's famous paradox.

    @tobi @tobyordoxford Have you read https://t.co/QisYM0qKon? May be less of a puzzle (per that other paper) but still very fun.

  • The Long Way

    Bernard Moitessier

    Bernard Moitessier is a writer and one of France's most famous sailors.

    @CJHandmer Would love to know what’s crazier than https://t.co/8O1KZGvHIA!

  • Bush also covers some of it in his memoir: https://t.co/R9MszxuuxC.

  • Scientists against Time

    James Phinney Baxter

    There might be better coverage elsewhere but best I've found is in medical chapters of https://t.co/8S32R1JLzK.

  • "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.

    Congrats, Mom! https://t.co/Ku4Erj2FHq

  • A candid portrait of America's greatest university and it's dazzling achievements and academic pratfalls through seven decades of dramatic change.

    @scottcowley Indeed. Conant was a reformer on this front. (More in https://t.co/CEvkWLtCRt, IIRC.)

  • Came across this chart in James Conant's autobiography. I wonder what it looks like today. https://t.co/vKZxf9XlfV https://t.co/TYfDZCOity https://t.co/IDOIpWlh2P

  • Jean Monnet

    Francois Duchene

    Recounts the diplomatic maneuvers of one of the principal architects of France's post-war economic recovery and the drive for European unity, who used his diplomatic influence to galvanize the bureaucracies of the continent

    On the culture of the early EU. (From https://t.co/oVL9QHdo2e, which is quite interesting.) https://t.co/DJ8XV62evl

  • Crucible of Science

    John H. Exton

    Examines the careers of Carl and Gerty Cori, and the other eminent scientists who trained in their laboratory

    @abhisharma_b https://t.co/VYkSySJ4SR “Not only did both Coris go on to win the Nobel Prize, the laboratory they established at the University has since produced some of the most outstanding scientists the U.S. has ever seen. Six laboratory scientists also won Nobel Prizes.”

  • Zoning Rules!

    William A. Fischel

    "Zoning has for a century enabled cities to chart their own course. It is a useful and popular institution, enabling homeowners to protect their main investment and provide safe neighborhoods. As home values have soared in recent years, however, this protection has accelerated to the degree that new housing development has become unreasonably difficult and costly. The widespread Not In My Backyard (NIMBY) syndrome is driven by voters’ excessive concern about their home values and creates barriers to growth that reach beyond individual communities. The barriers contribute to suburban sprawl, entrench income and racial segregation, retard regional immigration to the most productive cities, add to national wealth inequality, and slow the growth of the American economy. Some state, federal, and judicial interventions to control local zoning have done more harm than good. More effective approaches would moderate voters’ demand for local-land use regulation—by, for example, curtailing federal tax subsidies to owner-occupied housing"--Publisher's description.

    @Altimor https://t.co/gzVTufivjw

  • "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.

    Despite being a fan of Mokyr, only now getting to https://t.co/zYRZ3cyKeo, and it's very good. Sorta related, have also been enjoying https://t.co/h0kDbN68dh. Both do a nice job as biographies of particularly fertile places/times.

  • This is a remarkable book about a man (perhaps the most important and original philosopher of our age), a society (the corrupt Austro-Hungarian Empire on the eve of dissolution), and a city (Vienna, with its fin-de siecle gaiety and corrosive melancholy). The central figure in this study of a crumbling society that gave birth to the modern world is Wittgenstein, the brilliant and gifted young thinker. With others, including Freud, Viktor Adler, and Arnold Schoenberg, he forged his ideas in a classical revolt against the stuffy, doomed, and moralistic lives of the old regime. As a portrait of Wittgenstein, the book is superbly realized; it is even better as a portrait of the age, with dazzling and unusual parallels to our own confused society. Allan Janik and Stephen Toulmin have acted on a striking premise: an understanding of prewar Vienna, Wittgenstein s native city, will make it easier to comprehend both his work and our own problems .This is an independent work containing much that is challenging, new, and useful. New York Times Book Review."

    Despite being a fan of Mokyr, only now getting to https://t.co/zYRZ3cyKeo, and it's very good. Sorta related, have also been enjoying https://t.co/h0kDbN68dh. Both do a nice job as biographies of particularly fertile places/times.

  • An innovative new valuation framework with truly useful economic indicators The End of Accounting and the Path Forward for Investors and Managers shows how the ubiquitous financial reports have become useless in capital market decisions and lays out an actionable alternative. Based on a comprehensive, large-sample empirical analysis, this book reports financial documents' continuous deterioration in relevance to investors' decisions. An enlightening discussion details the reasons why accounting is losing relevance in today's market, backed by numerous examples with real-world impact. Beyond simply identifying the problem, this report offers a solution—the Value Creation Report—and demonstrates its utility in key industries. New indicators focus on strategy and execution to identify and evaluate a company's true value-creating resources for a more up-to-date approach to critical investment decision-making. While entire industries have come to rely on financial reports for vital information, these documents are flawed and insufficient when it comes to the way investors and lenders work in the current economic climate. This book demonstrates an alternative, giving you a new framework for more informed decision making. Discover a new, comprehensive system of economic indicators Focus on strategic, value-creating resources in company valuation Learn how traditional financial documents are quickly losing their utility Find a path forward with actionable, up-to-date information Major corporate decisions, such as restructuring and M&A, are predicated on financial indicators of profitability and asset/liabilities values. These documents move mountains, so what happens if they're based on faulty indicators that fail to show the true value of the company? The End of Accounting and the Path Forward for Investors and Managers shows you the reality and offers a new blueprint for more accurate valuation.

    @matt_levine You might enjoy https://t.co/UhRT0jRX0K; pertinent to today's column.

  • Twenty-year-old college undergraduate Lyra is once again thrown together with Malcom Polstead, now a professor, after Lyra and her daemon, Pantalaimon, receive secrets from a dying man about a daemon-haunted city and the origins of Dust.

    Going to own up to being very excited that there's a new Philip Pullman book. 📘🎉 https://t.co/rVTDnDmhYb

  • Masters of Doom

    David Kushner

    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.

    Very good John Carmack interview: https://t.co/7jVy0oubm8. (Related: https://t.co/QnsK9xwgqS is one of my favorite books about building software.)

  • Introduction : why global talent matters to you -- Talent on the move -- The economics of talent clusters -- Innovation in the United States -- Points versus firms -- The education pathway -- Talent clusters to rule them all -- The new HR challenge -- Global diffusion remade -- Revenge of the nerds -- Conclusions : fragile U.S. leadership

    @kevinweil I don’t know what’s best, but here’s one way! (Source: https://t.co/NPxHPht5Wf.) https://t.co/RUNKX3tr6G

  • The Pentagon

    Steve Vogel

    Describes the design and construction of the Pentagon during World War II, the subsequent history of the building and its role during key historical events, the September 11th attack and its aftermath, and the massive efforts to rebuild the structure.

    https://t.co/L8RynYggXA is a very engaging book about project management. https://t.co/9AtzNU9eCN

  • Zoning Rules!

    William A. Fischel

    "Zoning has for a century enabled cities to chart their own course. It is a useful and popular institution, enabling homeowners to protect their main investment and provide safe neighborhoods. As home values have soared in recent years, however, this protection has accelerated to the degree that new housing development has become unreasonably difficult and costly. The widespread Not In My Backyard (NIMBY) syndrome is driven by voters’ excessive concern about their home values and creates barriers to growth that reach beyond individual communities. The barriers contribute to suburban sprawl, entrench income and racial segregation, retard regional immigration to the most productive cities, add to national wealth inequality, and slow the growth of the American economy. Some state, federal, and judicial interventions to control local zoning have done more harm than good. More effective approaches would moderate voters’ demand for local-land use regulation—by, for example, curtailing federal tax subsidies to owner-occupied housing"--Publisher's description.

    A very good book about why houses are expensive. https://t.co/gzVTufA6b4

  • When Pete Jordan arrives in Amsterdam to study how to make America's cities more bicycle-friendly, he immediately falls in love with the city that already lives life on two wheels. His new bride, Amy Joy, joins Pete, and despite their financial hardships and instability, she eventually finds her own new calling as a bicycle mechanic as Pete discovers the untold history of cycling in Amsterdam. From its beginnings as an elitis t pastime in the 1890s to the street-consuming craze of the 1920s, from the bicycle's role in a citywide resistance to the Nazi occupation to the White Bikes of the 1960s and the bike fishermen of today, Jordan chronicles the evolution of Amsterdam's cycling. Part personal memoir, part history of cycling, part fascinating street-level tour of Amsterdam, In the City of Bikes is the story of a man who loves bikes—in a city that loves bikes.

    Jokes aside, the history of cycling in Amsterdam is very interesting. A lot of recent, deliberate effort to prioritize bikes. https://t.co/Gcincho8zc More: https://t.co/z07WJpNaba

  • @benedictevans TLDR, because earth rotation yields offshore currents along Pacific coast and that causes cold upwelling. Northwest wind over it then creates smooth marine layer. (This is why summer here is so odd: stronger winds ➡️ more upwelling ➡️ more fog.) https://t.co/FHt4VzUOqw

  • In 1960, Jack Foster bought the land that became Foster City. His plan for a new city in the Bay Area (to be built on reclaimed marshland) was approved in 1961 and the first family took up residence in 1964. The population passed 5,000 in 1966. https://t.co/udUMW2iVwB

  • The Oxford Handbook of Megaproject Management provides state-of-the-art scholarship in the emerging field of megaproject management. Megaprojects are large, complex projects which typically cost billions of dollars and impact millions of people, like building a high-speed rail line, a megadam, a national health or pensions IT system, a new wide-body aircraft, or staging the Olympics. The book contains 25 chapters written especially for this volume, covering all aspects of megaproject management, from front-end planning to actual project delivery, including how to deal with stakeholders, risk, finance, complexity, innovation, governance, ethics, project breakdowns, and scale itself. Individual chapters cover the history of the field and relevant theory, from behavioral economics to lock-in and escalation to systems integration and theories of agency and power. All geographies are covered - from the US to China, Europe to Africa, South America to Australia - as are a wide range of project types, from "hard" infrastructure to "soft" change projects. In-depth case studies illustrate salient points. The Handbook offers rigorous, research-oriented, up-to-date academic view of the discipline, based on high-quality data and strong theory. It will be an indispensible resource for students, academics, policy makers, and practitioners.

    Recommended: https://t.co/KnndqnGeBX

  • The story of the NIH grants programs

    Stephen Parks Strickland

    (If anyone has a spare copy of Stephen Strickland’s “The Story of the NIH Grants Programs”, would be much obliged!)

  • 'Excellent, their advice is sound . . . liberal parents, in particular, should read it' Financial Times The New York Times bestseller What doesn't kill you makes you weaker Always trust your feelings Life is a battle between good people and evil people These three Great Untruths contradict basic psychological principles about well-being, as well as ancient wisdom from many cultures. And yet they have become increasingly woven into education, culminating in a stifling culture of "safetyism" that began on American college campuses and is spreading throughout academic institutions in the English-speaking world. In this book, free speech campaigner Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt investigate six trends that caused the spread of these untruths, from the decline of unsupervised play to the corporatization of universities and the rise of new ideas about identity and justice. Lukianoff and Haidt argue that well-intended but misguided attempts to protect young people can hamper their development, with devastating consequences for them, for the educational system and for democracy itself.

    Bloomberg’s best books list, led by @JonHaidt’s excellent “The Coddling of the American Mind”. https://t.co/34PKpq920X

  • Masters of Doom

    David Kushner

    “To my taste, the greatest American myth of cosmogenesis features the maladjusted, antisocial, genius teenage boy who, in the insular laboratory of his own bedroom, invents the universe from scratch. Masters of Doom is a particularly inspired rendition. Dave Kushner chronicles the saga of video game virtuosi Carmack and Romero with terrific brio. This is a page-turning, mythopoeic cyber-soap opera about two glamorous geek geniuses—and it should be read while scarfing down pepperoni pizza and swilling Diet Coke, with Queens of the Stone Age cranked up all the way.” —Mark Leyner, author of I Smell Esther Williams Masters of Doom is the amazing true story of the Lennon and McCartney of video games: John Carmack and John Romero. Together, they ruled big business. They transformed popular culture. And they provoked a national controversy. More than anything, they lived a unique and rollicking American Dream, escaping the broken homes of their youth to co-create the most notoriously successful game franchises in history—Doom and Quake—until the games they made tore them apart. Americans spend more money on video games than on movie tickets. Masters of Doom is the first book to chronicle this industry’s greatest story, written by one of the medium’s leading observers. David Kushner takes readers inside the rags-to-riches adventure of two rebellious entrepreneurs who came of age to shape a generation. The vivid portrait reveals why their games are so violent and why their immersion in their brilliantly designed fantasy worlds offered them solace. And it shows how they channeled their fury and imagination into products that are a formative influence on our culture, from MTV to the Internet to Columbine. This is a story of friendship and betrayal, commerce and artistry—a powerful and compassionate account of what it’s like to be young, driven, and wildly creative. From the Hardcover edition.

    @AustenAllred "Masters of Doom". And "Show Stopper!". Both 💯 https://t.co/QnsK9xNRiq https://t.co/tj0rbgJiFs

  • Boyd

    Robert Coram

    John Boyd may be the most remarkable unsung hero in all of American military history. Some remember him as the greatest U.S. fighter pilot ever -- the man who, in simulated air-to-air combat, defeated every challenger in less than forty seconds. Some recall him as the father of our country's most legendary fighter aircraft -- the F-15 and F-16. Still others think of Boyd as the most influential military theorist since Sun Tzu. They know only half the story. Boyd, more than any other person, saved fighter aviation from the predations of the Strategic Air Command. His manual of fighter tactics changed the way every air force in the world flies and fights. He discovered a physical theory that forever altered the way fighter planes were designed. Later in life, he developed a theory of military strategy that has been adopted throughout the world and even applied to business models for maximizing efficiency. And in one of the most startling and unknown stories of modern military history, the Air Force fighter pilot taught the U.S. Marine Corps how to fight war on the ground. His ideas led to America's swift and decisive victory in the Gulf War and foretold the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. On a personal level, Boyd rarely met a general he couldn't offend. He was loud, abrasive, and profane. A man of daring, ferocious passion and intractable stubbornness, he was that most American of heroes -- a rebel who cared not for his reputation or fortune but for his country. He was a true patriot, a man who made a career of challenging the shortsighted and self-serving Pentagon bureaucracy. America owes Boyd and his disciples -- the six men known as the "Acolytes" -- a great debt. Robert Coram finally brings to light the remarkable story of a man who polarized all who knew him, but who left a legacy that will influence the military -- and all of America -- for decades to come . . .

    @michael_nielsen “Boyd” by Robert Coram is a great read.

  • Satisfaction

    Gregory Berns

    Draws on such fields as neuoscience, economics, and evolutionary psychology to address the question of how to find a more satisfying way to live, arguing that the key to satisfaction lies in the complexity and challenge in one's life.

    @mikemetral https://t.co/SZgsQVyXgg

  • "Michael Ovitz co-founded CAA in 1975 and served as its chairman until 1995. For most of the past two decades he has been a private investor and an advisor to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. This is his first book"--

    @impcapital —https://t.co/K5nPhIyBf6 https://t.co/CdwvzAg5Po

  • Millikan's School

    Judith R. Goodstein

    'Millikan's School' presents an interesting and thoroughly reliable account of the astonishing change over a period of a few years of a small technical school in Pasadena, California, into one of the world's leading scientific institutions.' --Linus Pauling

    Two great startup stories: https://t.co/jVVFcW68RM https://t.co/S75Vu7utIg (h/t @shaunmmaguire for pointer)

  • Singapore, Singapura

    Nicholas Walton

    Modern Singapore is a miracle. Half a century ago, it was thrown out of the Malay Federation and unwillingly became an independent nation. It was tiny, poor, almost devoid of resources, and in a hostile neighbourhood. Now, this unlikely country is at the top of almost every global national index, from high wealth and low crime to superb education and much-envied stability. But have these achievements bred a dangerous sense of complacency?Singapore now faces challenges from the constraints of authoritarian democracy to changing geographic realities and migration. Walking across this tiny island state, Nicholas Walton teases out its story from British rule and the war years to independence and beyond, exploring the problems and prosperity of the real Singapore.

    Just landed in Singapore. Should have slept but instead read Singapore, Singapura on the flight. Highly recommended! Singaporean infant mortality went from 3X to 0.5X the US in 100 years… https://t.co/oa5gd7UjVn

  • In this book, Sanjoy Mahajan shows us that the way to master complexity is through insight rather than precision. Precision can overwhelm us with information, whereas insight connects seemingly disparate pieces of information into a simple picture. Unlike computers, humans depend on insight. Based on the author's fifteen years of teaching at MIT, Cambridge University, and Olin College, The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering shows us how to build insight and find understanding, giving readers tools to help them solve any problem in science and engineering.To master complexity, we can organize it or discard it. The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering first teaches the tools for organizing complexity, then distinguishes the two paths for discarding complexity: with and without loss of information. Questions and problems throughout the text help readers master and apply these groups of tools. Armed with this three-part toolchest, and without complicated mathematics, readers can estimate the flight range of birds and planes and the strength of chemical bonds, understand the physics of pianos and xylophones, and explain why skies are blue and sunsets are red.The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering will appear in print and online under a Creative Commons Noncommercial Share Alike license.

    The Art of Approximation in Science and Engineering taught me a lot when I first read it (https://t.co/cRx2cwOLXT; see section 2.1 to get a sense.) Thanks to @LauraDeming for introducing me to its biology equivalent: https://t.co/doJW0VDaTt.

  • The Jasons

    Ann K. Finkbeiner

    Profiles a group of elite scientists who inherited from the Manhattan Project a mission to counsel the government on potential military applications of scientific breakthroughs, in an account that cites their contributions to such projects the "Star Wars" missile defense program and the national system for predicting global climate. Reprint. 35,000 first printing.

    @sriramk https://t.co/fri8fKGlwF

  • The futurists

    Alvin Toffler

    @sknthla I really enjoyed this a few years ago. https://t.co/ed5s0PKmX2

  • @Noahpinion Perhaps, although I did find this book very interesting (albeit macabre). https://t.co/LZXXVlLbJM. Some people may even find it reassuring. "Appendix B: How to Make and Use a Homemade Shelter-Ventilating Pump", "Instructions for a Homemade Fallout Meter", ...

  • Rest

    Alex Pang

    One of Silicon Valley’s sharpest strategists shows that success doesn’t demand longer, harder hours, it demands that you work less

    @rabois Is it really true that you give all new OpenDoor employees a copy of this?? https://t.co/By5Ne5twMj

  • Written between 1919 and 1926, this text tells of the campaign aganist the Turks in the Middle East, encompassing gross acts of cruelty and revenge, ending in a welter of stink and corpses in a Damascus hospital.

    @abarrabarr @naval Some good ones: https://t.co/ss9d5nHyiI https://t.co/QnsK9xNRiq https://t.co/G16Vtks4AJ https://t.co/OjCLHtRPUo https://t.co/e5JrpLULVN

  • Masters of Doom

    David Kushner

    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.

    @abarrabarr @naval Some good ones: https://t.co/ss9d5nHyiI https://t.co/QnsK9xNRiq https://t.co/G16Vtks4AJ https://t.co/OjCLHtRPUo https://t.co/e5JrpLULVN

  • Powerhouse

    James Andrew Miller

    @abarrabarr @naval Some good ones: https://t.co/ss9d5nHyiI https://t.co/QnsK9xNRiq https://t.co/G16Vtks4AJ https://t.co/OjCLHtRPUo https://t.co/e5JrpLULVN

  • Doing the Impossible

    Arthur L. Slotkin

    Apollo was known for its engineering triumphs, but its success also came from a disciplined management style. This excellent account of one of the most important personalities in early American human spaceflight history describes for the first time how George E. Mueller, the system manager of the human spaceflight program of the 1960s, applied the SPO methodology and other special considerations such as “all-up”testing, resulting in the success of the Apollo Program. Wernher von Braun and others did not readily accept such testing or Mueller’s approach to system management, but later acknowledged that without them NASA would not have landed astronauts on the Moon by 1969. While Apollo remained Mueller’s priority, from his earliest days at the agency, he promoted a robust post-Apollo Program which resulted in Skylab, the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. As a result of these efforts, Mueller earned the sobriquet: “the father of the space shuttle.” Following his success at NASA, Mueller returned to industry. Although he did not play a leading role in human spaceflight again, in 2011 the National Air and Space Museum awarded him their lifetime achievement trophy for his contributions. Following the contributions of George E. Mueller, in this unique book Arthur L. Slotkin answers such questions as: exactly how did the methods developed for use in the Air Force ballistic missile programs get modified and used in the Apollo Program? How did George E. Mueller, with the help of others, manage the Apollo Program? How did NASA centers, coming from federal agencies with cultures of their own, adapt to the new structured approach imposed from Washington? George E. Mueller is the ideal central character for this book. He was instrumental in the creation of Apollo extension systems leading to Apollo, the Shuttle, and today’s ISS and thus was a pivotal figure in early American human spaceflight history.

    @abarrabarr @naval Some good ones: https://t.co/ss9d5nHyiI https://t.co/QnsK9xNRiq https://t.co/G16Vtks4AJ https://t.co/OjCLHtRPUo https://t.co/e5JrpLULVN

  • @abarrabarr @naval Some good ones: https://t.co/ss9d5nHyiI https://t.co/QnsK9xNRiq https://t.co/G16Vtks4AJ https://t.co/OjCLHtRPUo https://t.co/e5JrpLULVN

  • From the Ground Up

    Goodwin B. Steinberg

    The renowned architect surveys the architectural underpinnings and modern design flavors of America's high tech capital--Silicon Valley--capturing not only the corporate world, but also public buildings, churches, hotels, community centers, museums, and private homes. (Fine Arts)

    https://t.co/CLFWn5DTBM is a very interesting read. (In part because it covers the radical time when the Bay Area built housing.)

  • Powerhouse

    James Andrew Miller

    Powerhouse is a really fun read—a story about multiple layers of entrepreneurship. https://t.co/gSsPpsU8VG

  • In this book, Jane Jacobs, building on the work of her debut, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, investigates the delicate way cities balance the interplay between the domestic production of goods and the ever-changing tide of imports. Using case studies of developing cities in the ancient, pre-agricultural world, and contemporary cities on the decline, like the financially irresponsible New York City of the mid-sixties, Jacobs identifies the main drivers of urban prosperity and growth, often via counterintuitive and revelatory lessons.

    @abarrabarr E.g. https://t.co/eMOpbLE59S or https://t.co/xFmhhysyLt

  • But what If We're Wrong?

    Chuck Klosterman

    Klosterman visualizes how our contemporary world will appear to those who will perceive it as the distant past. In doing so, he interviews a variety of creative thinkers to help explain the things we can not know, and explores how ideas and opinions shift over generations.

    @cowenconvos @MAOrthofer Longer take on this question: https://t.co/HOE6SAtVPW

  • Doing the Impossible

    Arthur L. Slotkin

    Apollo was known for its engineering triumphs, but its success also came from a disciplined management style. This excellent account of one of the most important personalities in early American human spaceflight history describes for the first time how George E. Mueller, the system manager of the human spaceflight program of the 1960s, applied the SPO methodology and other special considerations such as “all-up”testing, resulting in the success of the Apollo Program. Wernher von Braun and others did not readily accept such testing or Mueller’s approach to system management, but later acknowledged that without them NASA would not have landed astronauts on the Moon by 1969. While Apollo remained Mueller’s priority, from his earliest days at the agency, he promoted a robust post-Apollo Program which resulted in Skylab, the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. As a result of these efforts, Mueller earned the sobriquet: “the father of the space shuttle.” Following his success at NASA, Mueller returned to industry. Although he did not play a leading role in human spaceflight again, in 2011 the National Air and Space Museum awarded him their lifetime achievement trophy for his contributions. Following the contributions of George E. Mueller, in this unique book Arthur L. Slotkin answers such questions as: exactly how did the methods developed for use in the Air Force ballistic missile programs get modified and used in the Apollo Program? How did George E. Mueller, with the help of others, manage the Apollo Program? How did NASA centers, coming from federal agencies with cultures of their own, adapt to the new structured approach imposed from Washington? George E. Mueller is the ideal central character for this book. He was instrumental in the creation of Apollo extension systems leading to Apollo, the Shuttle, and today’s ISS and thus was a pivotal figure in early American human spaceflight history.

    https://t.co/OjCLHtRPUo is the best project management thriller I've read this year.

  • Lists useful books, magazines, and products related to science, land use, architecture, health care, economics, travel, crafts, parenting, communication, and education

    Two nice recent books on early history of important magazines— Scifi: https://t.co/0vtXPLNzu7 Whole Earth Catalog: https://t.co/wA5qtCIyCQ

  • Concrete Economics

    Stephen S. Cohen

    Brilliantly written and argued, Concrete Economics shows exactly how the US government has shaped and directed the economy since the very inception of the country. This book does not rehash the sturdy and well-known arguments that to thrive, an entrepreneurial economy needs a social and policy environment characterized by a broad range of freedoms. Nor does it buy into the myth of the absolutely free market. Instead, Cohen and DeLong focus on the forgotten role played by the US government in initiating and enabling a redesign of the US economy. The government not only sets the ground rules for entrepreneurial activity but directs the surges of energy that mark a vibrant economy. It is as true for present-day Silicon Valley as it was for New England manufacturing at the dawn of the nineteenth century. This is not an argument based on abstract truths, complex correlations, or arcane discoveries, but rather on the facts of how the US economy succeeded so brilliantly. And that provides a blueprint for how the government, established companies, and new ventures can partner to yet again successfully reshape the economy.

    Also: https://t.co/SCQ2LjpixV https://t.co/IR4CQd1PyZ https://t.co/8EOZqR9Cii

  • A revealing look at Wall Street, the financial media, and financial regulators by David Einhorn, the President of Greenlight Capital Could 2008's credit crisis have been minimized or even avoided? In 2002, David Einhorn-one of the country's top investors-was asked at a charity investment conference to share his best investment advice. Short sell Allied Capital. At the time, Allied was a leader in the private financing industry. Einhorn claimed Allied was using questionable accounting practices to prop itself up. Sound familiar? At the time of the original version of Fooling Some of the People All of the Time: A Long Short Story the outcome of his advice was unknown. Now, the story is complete and we know Einhorn was right. In 2008, Einhorn advised the same conference to short sell Lehman Brothers. And had the market been more open to his warnings, yes, the market meltdown might have been avoided, or at least minimized. Details the gripping battle between Allied Capital and Einhorn's Greenlight Capital Illuminates how questionable company practices are maintained and, at times, even protected by Wall Street Describes the failings of investment banks, analysts, journalists, and government regulators Describes how many parts of the Allied Capital story were replayed in the debate over Lehman Brothers Fooling Some of the People All of the Time is an important call for effective government regulation, free speech, and fair play.

    Also: https://t.co/SCQ2LjpixV https://t.co/IR4CQd1PyZ https://t.co/8EOZqR9Cii

  • Dead Souls

    Nikolai Gogol

    Chichikov, an amusing and often confused schemer, buys deceased serfs' names from landholders' poll tax lists hoping to mortgage them for profit

    Also: https://t.co/SCQ2LjpixV https://t.co/IR4CQd1PyZ https://t.co/8EOZqR9Cii

  • This book recounts the story of how Dan Colussy, the former head of Pan-Am, saved the satellite system, Iridium, from failure.

    Favorites from break: https://t.co/HMFp66GqSh https://t.co/ZWpuimtLpO https://t.co/LXXyFHUhJL Some articles: https://t.co/ARiywgmJTh

  • A story of grim comedy amid the apocalypse and a celebration of the sheer indestructibility of the human spirit in a nation run riot: Michela Wrong’s vision of Congo/Zaire during the Mobutu years is incisive, ironic and revelatory.

    @michael_nielsen Yes; great. On Congo, both "In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz" & "Dancing in the Glory of Monsters" are exceptional.

  • "Wildly imaginative, really interesting." —President Barack Obama on The Three-Body Problem trilogy The Three-Body Problem is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience the Hugo Award-winning phenomenon from China's most beloved science fiction author, Liu Cixin. Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision. The Remembrance of Earth's Past Trilogy The Three-Body Problem The Dark Forest Death's End Other Books Ball Lightning (forthcoming) At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

    Three Body Problem also very good! Sequel is worth reading too. https://t.co/C8dCgldukO

  • A bold and all-embracing exploration of the nature and progress of knowledge from one of today's great thinkers. Throughout history, mankind has struggled to understand life's mysteries, from the mundane to the seemingly miraculous. In this important new book, David Deutsch, an award-winning pioneer in the field of quantum computation, argues that explanations have a fundamental place in the universe. They have unlimited scope and power to cause change, and the quest to improve them is the basic regulating principle not only of science but of all successful human endeavor. This stream of ever improving explanations has infinite reach, according to Deutsch: we are subject only to the laws of physics, and they impose no upper boundary to what we can eventually understand, control, and achieve. In his previous book, The Fabric of Reality, Deutsch describe the four deepest strands of existing knowledge-the theories of evolution, quantum physics, knowledge, and computation-arguing jointly they reveal a unified fabric of reality. In this new book, he applies that worldview to a wide range of issues and unsolved problems, from creativity and free will to the origin and future of the human species. Filled with startling new conclusions about human choice, optimism, scientific explanation, and the evolution of culture, The Beginning of Infinity is a groundbreaking book that will become a classic of its kind.

    (If you like it, go read "The Beginning of Infinity", which is really great. https://t.co/29pjJ17clE.)

  • The Mind-Body Problem

    Rebecca Goldstein

    From the flight-home-reading-material-dept., https://t.co/Ono4nmwx7Y and https://t.co/3EouXs9T1Y were 💯.

  • How Buildings Learn

    Stewart Brand

    Buildings have often been studies whole in space, but never before have they been studied whole in time. How Buildings Learn is a masterful new synthesis that proposes that buildings adapt best when constantly refined and reshaped by their occupants, and that architects can mature from being artists of space to becoming artists of time. From the connected farmhouses of New England to I.M. Pei's Media Lab, from "satisficing" to "form follows funding," from the evolution of bungalows to the invention of Santa Fe Style, from Low Road military surplus buildings to a High Road English classic like Chatsworth—this is a far-ranging survey of unexplored essential territory. More than any other human artifacts, buildings improve with time—if they're allowed to. How Buildings Learn shows how to work with time rather than against it.

    @natfriedman Yep! Also, check out How Buildings Learn by @stewartbrand. Super read.

  • Labyrinths

    Jorge Luis Borges

    Forty short stories and essays have been selected as representative of the Argentine writer's metaphysical narratives

    @sibh Try Labyrinths by Borges next! Very clearly inspired by it...

  • Walter J. Ong's classic work provides a fascinating insight into the social effects of oral, written, printed and electronic technologies, and their impact on philosophical, theological, scientific and literary thought. This thirtieth anniversary edition – coinciding with Ong's centenary year – reproduces his best-known and most influential book in full and brings it up to date with two new exploratory essays by cultural writer and critic John Hartley. Hartley provides: A scene-setting chapter that situates Ong's work within the historical and disciplinary context of post-war Americanism and the rise of communication and media studies; A closing chapter that follows up Ong's work on orality and literacy in relation to evolving media forms, with a discussion of recent criticisms of Ong's approach, and an assessment of his concept of the 'evolution of consciousness'; Extensive references to recent scholarship on orality, literacy and the study of knowledge technologies, tracing changes in how we know what we know. These illuminating essays contextualize Ong within recent intellectual history, and display his work's continuing force in the ongoing study of the relationship between literature and the media, as well as that of psychology, education and sociological thought.

    @DKThomp https://t.co/AaZ9wXJLPx

  • @taraseshan Verdict on From Third World to First? Started but haven't finished.

  • Illich suggests radical reforms for the education system to stop its headlong rush towards frustrated expectations and inequalities.

    @eboyden3 https://t.co/mxCuj95mlp

  • Science in Action

    Bruno Latour

    From weaker to stronger rhetoric : literature - Laboratories - From weak points to strongholds : machines - Insiders out - From short to longer networks : tribunals of reason - Centres of calculation.

    https://t.co/2eu6TTLJg5 is great. Surprisingly reminiscent of startups too.

  • The Timeless Way of Building

    Christopher Alexander

    This introductory volume to Alexander's other works, A Pattern of Language and The Oregon Experiment, explains concepts fundamental to his original approaches to the theory and application of architecture

    What a hero. Christopher Alexander, found on @worrydream's desk. https://t.co/jsehRMlzFO