Tag: books

Reading July - September 2018


Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach, John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson. Great book covering low level details of computer architecture, from instructions sets, memory architectures to custom machine learning accelerators. I definitely recommend this for anyone with an interest in computing or software engineering.

The Age of Comfort, Joan DeJean. Interesting content, but way to verbose and repetitive. Stopped reading half way through.

Hight Output Management, Andrew S. Grove.

Why We Sleep, Matthew Walker. This book got me to take my sleep cycle a whole lot more seriously, there's hardly a night now that I sleep less than …

Reading April - June 2018


The Power, Naomi Alderman. Interesting point of view on gender and power dynamics. Turned out different (better) than I expected from the beginning.

Letters to a Young Scientist, E. O. Wilson. Half very interesting advice about how to do science, half anecdotes from the life of a biologist with a speciality in ants.

How we got here, Andy Kessler. Whirlwind tour of the history of the industrial revolution, technology and how it lead to modern capital markets.

Pitch Perfect - how to say it right the first time, every time, Bill McGowan. Chock full of tips to improve the way …

Reading January - March 2018

Inspired by [cached] Eli Bendersky's post


The Obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holiday. A modern introduction to Stoicism. If you don't like the writing style, try Seneca or Marcus Aurelius.

Cicero - Selected Works, Penguin Classics. One of the greatest orators of all time, contrasting his speeches with modern politicians gives you a lot of perspective.

Lessons of History, Will & Ariel Durant. Lessons from their history research, personally I found it a bit underwhelming compared to the tittle, but it has a concise summary of many historical events.

The Master of Go, Yasunari Kawabata. An account of the last title …

Work Rules!

Work Rules! is the title of a great book by Laszlo Bock, SVP of People Operations at Google.

It's a pretty accurate portrait of life at Google (at least from what I've seen over the last three years), and at the same time it is a great guidebook for companies that haven't yet come as far along the path of employee empowerment.

If you are in any way involved with work - be it employer or employee - this is a must read, with lots of practical advice on how to improve your organization (and your life!). It may also give you …

Tidy your Life

I just finished Marie Kondo's [cached]The Life-changing Magic of Tidying: A Simple, Effective Way to Banish Clutter Forever, but even before I was halfway through I couldn't stop myself from reorganizing half my room and finally disposing of many clothes I hadn't even looked at in two years.

I had always considered that I could just let things sit at the back of a shelf until the next time I moved flat and then I'd finally get rid of them, but while tidying yesterday I realized that I actually had many nice clothes I'd wanted to wear that I …

Reading Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

After mentioning that I was reading Influence to my good friend [cached]Adrienne, she recommended [cached]Drive as my next book. The theme is quickly explained: While there are three different ways to motivate us - biological urges like hunger or sex, external reward & punishment, and intrinsic reward from performing a task - only intrinsic reward can consistently foster creative behavior.

Pink starts out by showing how traditional external motivation - cash bonuses et al. - overly constrain our focus, interfere with creativity, extinguish internal rewards and even lead to unethical behavior (think doctoring sales numbers to meet a bonus target). Only in special …

Reading Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

The theme of [cached]Influence is clear: unable to keep up with the onslaught of information and decisions we fall back to mental shortcuts and learned behavior.

Robert Cialdini orders them into six large groups:

  • Reciprocation. Giving a gift or doing a favor makes us much more likely to comply with a subsequent request, even if the favor was unwanted. The same concept applies to making an initial high demand and then "conceding" to a lower one. Example: charities giving you a free gift.
  • Commitment and Consistency. We will change our opinions and desires to be in line with our …

Reading Dataclysm

As probably many of you, I've long been an avid follower of [cached]OkTrends, OkCupid's blog. After a three year long silence, finally some new articles appeared, and it soon became clear why: Christian Rudder had been working on a book, [cached]Dataclysm.

It contains tons of interesting findings extracted from the copious amounts of data available to todays datascientists, but I wanted to show a short excerpt I found quite striking:

Woman like Men roughly their own age

The numbers roughly following the diagonal line are the median ages of the men. As you would expect, women prefer men roughly their own age.

Now compare this …

Reading Live on the Margin

After a recent recommendation I read [cached]Live on the Margin, a book about following your dreams while paying for it by trading. It's mostly an introduction to short term trading, but starts out with an introduction to slacker lifestyle.


The principle is simple: You want to follow your dreams now, not wait for retirement when you are old. You have a bit of money, so how do you make it last longer while you travel the world? First step, figuring out the burn rate: How much money you actually need to spend to do so. Try to get …

Reading Fluent Forever

After being tempted for a good while, I finally read Gabriel Wyner's [cached]Fluent Forever. It's a solid introduction to language learning and teaches you a lot of good techniques. While I knew most of it already in theory, I hadn't put everything into practice yet, so reading it was a good way to take a look at my own language learning and see what I could improve.

Introduction: Stab, Stab, Stab

Gabriel starts of with 3 basic keys to language learning: 1. Learn pronunciation fast 2. Don't translate 3. Use SRS

He then recommends to get a few books …

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