What are you reading? (April 2016)


#1

I don’t know if it makes sense to make 1 thread per book or 1 thread per month of books (probably the first one) but for now, this is a nicer call to action!


Right now I’m reading (and loving) Metaphors we live by, from an indirect recommendation from Pat:

I’m loving this book because it’s providing me a whole different perspective on cognition and how we internalize / work with the world, namely much of how we perceive the world is via metaphor. The way we talk about an argument is in terms of war / combat, for example. I’m only halfway through but I’m really enjoying it so far.

What are you reading / recently read that you’re really enjoying?


#2

A bit less serious than Jason, but I just finished Derek Yu’s “Spelunky”:

Spelunky is (IMO) a very unique video game because the mechanics fit together in a way very close to perfection, with nothing superfluous. In this eponymous book, Yu recounts the development process of the game he single handedly designed, and muses on the many creative choices he made, what went well, and what went wrong.

It’s a pretty short read, but it has some very good insights regarding game design, and how to design systems intended for players to figure out on their own, rather than hold their hand through tutorials etc. like many games do these days.


#3

Ha! This is literally sitting on my kitchen table in my read next pile! Really looking forward to it.

Nice! Having not yet read the book, your description reminds me a little bit about Seymour Papert’s Hard Fun essay, instead of sugarcoating activities, remove the incidental complexity and instead aim for finding a pleasurable flow state from the inherent challenges.

(I gotta play this game again)


#4

Having a pretty technical year so far (: Most of my free reading time has been diverted towards SICP and the Rust book. I like SICP because it reminds me why I <3 computer science and the experience is basically like a kind wise wizard gently whispering into your ear about functional programming. I like the Rust book because it’s very unassuming and a good reintroduction to systems programming languages from the perspective of a person who hasn’t touched C in many years!


#5

I’m not sure if I should admit this, but I’ve never actually read SICP heh. It does sound like a rite of passage though! How are you finding it?

Rust seems really neat! Do you use it for work/side projects? I’ve never tried it, but I use Swift it seems pretty inspired by Rust :slight_smile:


#6

What kind of time commitment does SICP take? I want to read it but I worry that it might take 6 months to read and really process, which seems prohibitive. Maybe I should just dive in and find out.


#7

With a decent math/functional programming background it’s a smooth read, and scheme is funky business. I’m doing all the exercises so I’m going quite slow. I’m in no rush though (: It’s a wonderful book.


#8

In the spirit of Earth Day, here’s a life cycle analysis on plastic bags: https://www.heartland.org/sites/default/files/threetypeofgrocerybags.pdf

These studies are always fascinating and horrifying because they reveal that plastic shopping bags are actually the correct answer over paper bags, which is super counterintuitive. Takeaway is that it’s easier to make institutional changes than to try to fix society @__@


#9

Wow that is super counterintuitive. Having not read past the summary of the paper, what sorts of institutional changes do they discuss? Better recycling facilities?