, Modified: 2016-02-02
Here’s a list of what I’ve read/listened to/watched the past month.
(*) means particularly interesting, and (h) are links to personal highlights.
I’m taking notes on the classes I’m attending this semester (tenatively MAT515, MAT597, and MAT519). They will be available under the “Notes” tab above.
- Rationality, Productivity, Life advice
- Programming, Haskell
- Freakonomics Radio: Is America’s education problem really just a teacher problem? Instead of framing as “replace all bad teachers by good teachers,” ask makes teachers great and change the system to teach those qualities.
- (*) Reply-all/Radiolab: The Cathedral A moving piece on the creation of That Dragon, Cancer, a computer game based off a parent’s experience losing a child to cancer.
- TED Radio Hour
- Building better cities
- Daniele Quercia talks about making an mapping app that focuses on the most beautiful parts of cities (found through crowdsourcing).
Benjamin Barber and Kasim Reed talk about how mayors are the ones solving some of the most challenging social problems. Mayors are closer to the people (cities are closer to direct democracy), and focus on problem-solving rather than ideology. Barber created the Global Parliament of Mayors. (h1, h2)
Until you see a city how people who are most in need of help see it, you’re never going to reach them… And I think that if you don’t take care of the basics and do them very well -make sure that the finances of the city are well-run, make sure that you provide police services, pick up trash, fix potholes - that you will never be able to do anything aspirational. And once you take on those issues and solve them, the public will then allow you to spend resources on the things that you care about.
- This American Life
- 99 percent invisible
- To keep my Chinese in practice, I decided to find some Chinese podcasts: 1, 2, 3 I decided on:
- Books I read/am reading
- Nexus, Ramez Naam - An incredible exploration of what happens when we can program our own minds. One of the big themes is the decision between technological freedom and censorship. 5 stars.
- Buddha, Karen Armstrong - A great intro to Buddhism. 4 stars.
- The Invention of Morel, Adolfo Bioy Casares - 3 stars.
- The Great Conversation, Normal Melchert - A comprehensive and clear overview of Western philosophy. I’m taking notes. (I took this as a recommendation for a philosophy textbook from the best textbooks on every topic.)
- In the Land of Invented Languages, Arika Okrent
- The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching, Thich Nhat Hanh
- Short stories I liked from 1/2016 issue of Science Fiction and Fantasy:
- The White Piano, David Gerrold
- Caspar D. Luckinbill, What are you going to do?, Nick Wolven
- Robot from the future, Terry Bisson