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March 28, 2014

A fine weekend read

The full text of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea.

Just because it's so very, very good.

March 26, 2014

"5 Brilliant Strategies Jeff Bezos Used To Build The Amazon Empire"

I think I've mentioned before that any organization should consider implementing the Two Pizza Rule.

And I'm currently reading and really enjoying Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. Strongly recommended.

March 24, 2014

Update to "Free college math textbooks"

Free textbooks authored by William G. Trench (previous link) have now moved here

March 12, 2014

"The Manual for Civilization Begins"

From the Long Now Foundation blog:

As we near completion on the construction at the new Long Now space in Fort Mason, we are also building the collection of books that will reside here.  We have named this collection The Manual for Civilization, and it will include the roughly 3000 books you would most want to rebuild civilization. While this may sound a little apocalyptic, we are not predicting any collapse of civilization. As it turns out, using this as an editing principle just seems to give us a very interesting collection of books.

So… If you were stranded on an island (or small hostile planetoid), what books would YOU want to have with you? 

Link via Metafilter

March 11, 2014

"Lee’s Real Plan at Gettysburg"

New book argues that Pickett's Charge wasn't as stupid as it seems

Carhart makes a compelling case that Lee had planned a large scale three pronged and brilliant strategic attack that would ensure that his army was as successful the on the third day as it had been on July 1 and 2. The third day’s three pronged strategic and simultaneous assault would ensure the destruction of the Army of the Potomac and southern triumph. The singular disaster of Pickett’s unsupported charge was not to happen the way that it ultimately played out. Carhart makes the argument that Lee had focused his considerable and brilliant strategic efforts on a simultaneous operation where Pickett would hit the Union Center, Ewell would attack Culp’s Hill and turn the Union flank and Jeb Stuart, incommunicado until the end of the 2nd day with detrimental effect for his commander, would on the third day execute the coup d’grace with a attack on the Union rear in concert with Pickett and Ewell.

March 08, 2014

"The hobbit — an unexpected deficiency"

More evidence on the importance of Vitamin D. From The Medical Journal of Australia:

Systematic textual analysis of The hobbit supports our initial hypothesis that the triumph of good over evil may be assisted to some extent by the poor diet and lack of sunlight experienced by the evil characters.

Via MetaFilter.

February 25, 2014

Two very different interpretations of one event

50 years later, two books reexamine the infamous murder of Kitty Genovese.

"New Details In One Of NYC's Most Infamous Murders Show The Scary Power Of 'The Bystander Effect'".

Kitty Genovese's neighbors — who did nothing to help her as she was brutally raped and murdered in Kew Gardens 50 years ago — were even more indifferent to the young victim's screams than has previously been reported, according to a new book.

"Debunking the myth of Kitty Genovese".

But as journalist Kevin Cook details in his new book, “Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed America” (W.W. Nor­ton), some of the real thoughtlessness came from a police commissioner who lazily passed a falsehood to a journalist, and a media that fell so deeply in love with a story that it couldn’t be bothered to determine whether it was true.

The account of the murder at the top of this story is accurate, based on Cook’s reporting. Instead of a narrative of apathy, the media could have told instead of the people who tried to help, and of the complex circumstances — many boiling down to a lack not of compassion, but of information — that prevented some ­others from calling for aid.

December 08, 2013

"At Last, The 'Netflix For Books' Is Here"

Could be good

Meet Oyster, the book subscription app that wants to do for books what Netflix did for movies and what Spotify did for music; provide an all-you-can-read experience for a monthly fee.

December 02, 2013

"15 Famous Business Books Summarized In One Sentence Each"

I think most business books could be much shorter, so I think this is a fine timesaver.

October 15, 2013

"A Surprising Case Against Foreign Aid"

Review in the New York Times[!] of economist Angus Deaton's new book

In his new book, Angus Deaton, an expert’s expert on global poverty and foreign aid, puts his considerable reputation on the line and declares that foreign aid does more harm than good. It corrupts governments and rarely reaches the poor, he argues, and it is high time for the paternalistic West to step away and allow the developing world to solve its own problems.

Deaton is a very distinguished economist currently at Princeton. But I'm pretty sure the Left will discover he's a corrupt racist or something.

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