Reading List 📚

I've been getting into reading books for a purpose rather than pure escapism. Part of this idea involves asking people for book reccomendations so that I can learn more about what shapes their worldviews and share those ideas with others.

This reading list isn't comprehensive, it's not necessarily adhering to a particular theme, and I haven't read most of these books yet.

Hopefully you'll still be able to find something useful. 💜

More book suggestions or comments would be very much appreciated. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter, IRC, or SSB.

The Communist Manifesto - Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

Link Status: Read

This book helped me figure out what communism meant to people, what I liked about it, and what I disliked about it.

This'd be good reading if stuff like "socialism" seem appealing to you. It's useful to be able to reference some of the ideas in the book in conversations about stuff like that.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat - Oliver Sacks

Link Status: Read

I had been curious about how my brain worked mechanically and what sort of ways it could mess up. Somebody recommended the book to me when I was talking about some weird ideas I had about consciousness.

This book taught me how little we think about how we think and some of the interesting ways people might "lose their mind".

I'd reccomend this for anyone interested in exploring how their mind works.

Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson

Link Status: Read

I've always been into sci-fi and cyberpunk, but I'd mostly read William Gibson's works. I think I was recommended this book when I was asking about reading reccomendations for classic cyberpunk books.

I'd been interested in P2P and decentralized web tech for a couple of years already, so when I saw the VR tech, I thought "Wow, I could literally make this.", and I've been slowly progressing towards that since.

The neurolinguistic hacking aspects of the book were also interesting. It got me into reading more about Memetic Engineering, and got me thinking about how our minds and worldviews are influenced by the ideas we're exposed to.

The book has some gross aspects to it, too. In particular I felt really uncomfortable with how over-sexualized the teenage girl character was.

Overall, it's got some cool ideas, but is definately more of a "tech bro" book.

Walkaway - Cory Doctorow

Link Status: Read

I was talking to some people at Data Terra Nemo 2019, and several people referenced ideas from this book. It seems like it's pretty popular amongst solarpunks and people into decentralization.

It was a pretty fun read and mixed well with some of the ideas I was forming around off-grid lifestyles and P2P technology. I particularly liked the character Linpopo and how she approached living mindfully and purposfully deciding to stick to her ideals rather than following through on her gut reactions. I've been trying to apply the thought processes the character had in the book to my own life, and I think I'm slowly getting to a point where I'm more deliberate with some of my actions.

The mesh network was the other big selling feature for me, I think it's another case of "I could literally make this" and got me more excited about mesh networks and building applications on top of them.

I'd strongly reccomend this book for people interested in P2P and what humanity is going to do after society collapses. 🙃 It has a lot of tech terms, though.

Surveillance Valley - Yasha Levine

Link Status: Read

One of my friends that's into decentralization reccomended this book to me when we were talking about how surveillance capitalism sucks and how we don't have an easy way to opt out of it.

The book talks about the birth of the internet and how it was closely tied to the US military industrial complex. My biggest takeaway from this book is that computers and the internet were made to be a tool of oppression, and the good that they've done was mostly accidental. 😛

It was interesting to see how economic incentives and military requirements shaped the internet, and how the same surveillence tech that was used for counter insurgency in Vietnam is what helped Google gain traction.

Another interesting take is that "anonymimous" and "secure" software like Signal and TOR isn't as secure as you think, and the false sense of security can lead to people making opsec mistakes that they otherwise wouldn't have made.

I'd suggest this book for people that are interested in privacy and understanding some of the motivation for why the internet is so shit.

Simulacra and Simulation - Jean Baudrillard

Link Status: Read

This book was probably my first "philosophy book", and it was pretty difficult to get through. I'll probably need to re-read it a few times to fully absorb it.

The hardest part was that they kept referencing stuff that was relevant in the 1980's which I only had surface knowledge of. 😛

The general takeaway I got from it is that: When we define something, we separate it from the real and into the hyper-real. As we define more of our world, we start seeing it in terms of these definitions, and the media that people consume then shapes their world view. We define things, and those things change to fit the defintion.

Generally speaking, the monocultures that're slowly creeping around the world due to everyone consuming media that define their perception of reality sucks.

I'm not sure who I'd reccomend this to, but it helped me put some of these other books into perspective. Cybernetics, systems thinking, and economics are all parts of these sciences that are defining our hyper-real world.

Thinking in Systems: A Primer - Donella H. Meadows , Diana Wright

Link Status: Read

I'm not sure who reccomended this book to me, but I loved it. I read this in tandem with Simulacra and Simulation because I'd need to let off some steam every now and then. 😛

It helped show me how people model systems, and some of the ways people fail at designing effective systems. I already had some vague undestanding of ideas like "The more you have, to more you can get", but this helped define it more precisely and talked about how balancing feedback loops can exist to help keep unbounded growth in check. Oh, and also that unbounded growth is unsustainable, and why.

I'd suggest this book for people interested in how we can build structures that systemically benefit people rather than leaving it to economists to impose onto us.

Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World - Rutger Bergman

Link Status: Read

Not sure where I got this reccomendation, but it was probably related to me ranting about Walkaway.

The book is mostly about Universal Basic Income and the science behind why we should adopt it as a society, and some of the reasons it didn't gain traction in the past. It talks about how the GDP is an awful number for countries to focus on since a lot of things that are good for living a fulfilling life are bad for raising the GDP. In general, I liked the idea of thinking about what we want from life, and figuring out how to get there with science.

Basically, we might have been living the dream if some libertarian didn't get Reagan to turn UBI into the welfare state.

I'd suggest this book for anyone interested in living in a better world, or jaded people that think we'll never get to a better world.

Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness - Richard H. Thaler, Cass R. Sunstein

Link Status: Read

I think I found this book a while ago when I wanted to figure out how to think more mindfully and improve myself.

It starts of pretty good with some explanations of what "choice architecture" is and the effects of defaults on human behavior.

Then it gets deeper into "Libertarian Paternalism" which, while being better than the blockchain flavor of libertarian BS, is still a bit of a pain to read through.

They go through some examples that mostly economists and libertarians would care about like "We should privatise marriage" and several chapters about getting people to save up for retirement.

I'd suggest reading the first couple of chapters, and the last chapter and only diving into the rest if you really need them to spell it out for you or if you're interested in libertarian thought and economic models.

The Disposessed - Ursula K. Le Guin

Link Status: Read

This is the first I've read about anarcho-syndicalism and it really resonated with some of my ideals. I loved how the main character was a sort of anarchist among anarchist that was isolated somewhat from the rest of society. The character's isolation resonated with my own life and the disinfranchisement I've felt.

It was interesting to see how the anarcho-syndicalist culture found the greedy and short-sighted power struggles of the capitalist culture alien.

I'd reccomend this for people into sci-fi who are curious about what anarchy could look like in practice and how to find balances between different worldviews.

Status as a Service - Eugene Wei

Link Status: Read

This isn't so much a book as it is a long essay.

It talks about how social media platforms grow and die and what sorts of feedback loops exist within them.

This seems like it'd be useful to figure out how to create decentralized tech that people will actually want to use.

I'd reccomend this for people creating new apps, particularly ones with social aspects.

The Memetic Tribes of Culture War 2.0 - Peter N. Limberg, Conor Barnes

Link Status: Read

This is another (short) essay. More about how there's now memetic tribes which are people around the world unified by memetic worldviews.

The idea is pretty cool, and they go into some of the reasoning for it, but I'm not sure I like their takeaways.

This might be interesting to read for people into transhumanism.

Surrogate Humanity - Neda Atanasoski, Kalindi Vora

Link Status: Pause

This book seems to be talking largely about colonialism and how the pursuit of robots and AI to do labor is an extension of that mentality.

It's really hard to read so I'm putting it on pause for now. 😅

Grey - Jon Armstrong

Link Status: Read

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but once I got into it I couldn't stop and got through it in a couple of days.

It's about a rich kid that has no idea about how anything works other than his deep passion for fashion and magazines and his love for another rich girl.

The world he lives is in absolutely bonkers and the author did an amazing job of portraying it.

It's like that one scene from The Fifth Element where the character Ruby Rhod gets introduced on the cruise but cranked up to eleven and made a few hundred times more obscene and vulgar.

I loved the character growth and how thre were true gray zones in that nobody was purely good or evil and how a lot of people were the result of the situations they were placed in.

Overall it was a really fun ride and I'm glad I read it.

This is a good book for anyone interested in scifi or being a little disillusioned by pop culture and cliques.

The Conquest of Bread - Peter Kropotkin

Link Status: Read

This book was great in that it had some practical advise on what to do when you've overthrown the government after a revolution. How people will need to figure out how to feed everybody, how trade could function, and how people can work the minimum amount of time necessary on stuff like food and have more overall liesure time.

Reading this book, particularly the parts about the amount of work each individual would need to do to create enough food, helped me understand the society proposed in The Disposessed since it's basically what their "tenth days" were.

I wrote some more thoughts about this and had some discussions on Secure Scuttlebutt. Here's the thread: %ApyrMMJp1jhFIh4g9kye8ozqJ/Kzjvi3/xeFcQjfsQU=.sha256

This book is essential if you want talking points and practical ideas about how to structure an anarchist society.

Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds - Adrienne Maree Brown

Link Status: Read

This book was really cool. It talks about how the way society is structured is fractal, so if we want to have some sort of systemic change we need to practice it on every level of our life.

It also talks about how people should work together and try to find common goals rather than relying on charismatic leaders or more destructive actions.

Interspersed is a lot of wisdom about midful living and spirituality.

Near the end it has a set of quiz-thingies which help you figure out how much you've integrated emergent strategy into your life.

I'm going to try to apply some of what I learned here to my work and personal relationships and also try meditating more often. I should probably reread it a few times.

This book is great for anybody wanting to evoke change or participate in some sort of organizing.

How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie

Link Status: Read

Interesting book, changed the way I look at my interactions with people, but was super painful to read. It's basically a guide on how to practice empathy. However it's also a guide on emotionally manipulating people which isn't good. Keep this away from capitalists and sociopaths.

If you're careful about not being an asshole, it might be useful for you.

Daemon - Daneil Suarez

Link Status: Read

I really loved this book. It used a bunch of practical tech and hacking concepts to paint a picture of a world where an artifical intelligence wreaks havoc on the world. I especially liked the spacial AR concept and how the big bad was able to use AR to affect things IRL through an interface that was similar to menus in MMO games.

This book could be cool if you're into AI, Hacking, or Virtual Reality. Or if you're into scifi thrillers in general.

Seeing Like a State - John Grey

Link Status: Read

I read this as part of the decentralized readings for the datatogether book club I'm a part of. This book was a doozie and it took me a while to get through it all. It goes through some of the reasons states centralize power and how science and "high modernism" are tool they use for jusitfying their approaches. One thing that really hit home is that centralization creates fragility on every level of the world - from agriculture and biodiversity, to city planning and production.

I'd suggest everyone to read this since it's so full of potent ideas and insights.

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind - Julian Jaynes

Link Status: READ

Pretty cool, references old literature and how the modern concept of the "self" and conciousness seems to have been created over time. The book proposes that humans used to hallucinate voices which leads to the ideas of gods, and that the voices were less and less prominant over time as we started to develop our own conciousness and will. Reminds me of some of the concepts brought up in Snow Crash, I'm guessing the Stephenson either read this book or something similar. Relates the changes to schizophrenia and how people hearing voices is only a problem now because they exist in a world where that isn't normal. This book got me thinking about how if humanity underwent a change in how their concious mind worked, it might change again in the future. Maybe the hyper-connected nature of our modern life will lead to something novel as time progresses. It'll be cool to see how kids being born into this hyperconnected world (and their offspring) will develop. What was also cool was seeing how the book explained various religious and occult phenomena like hallucinations of gods and the need for oracles as the voices of gods became less common.

This book is pretty cool if you're into psychology, history, and maybe a bit of mysticism.

Anarchy Works - Peter Gelderloos

Link Status: READ

Recommended by Green P on SSB. Relevant to anarchy.

Book talks about examples of anarchic groups organizing in the past, how they worked, and what changed. Pretty inspiring, though I think I'll want to re-read it again to get more stuff out of it. The general feeling is that having bottom-up organizing is something that has worked and will work. Thinking on local-first scales rather than restructuring entire societies seems interesting.

This book is cool for anyone interested in community organizing, anarchy, or wanting good talking points to talk about alternatives to our extractive capitalist society.

Trancendental Magic: Its Docterine and Ritual - Eliphas Levi

Link Status: READ

I was interested in learning more about the occult and this book is apprently the source of this image of Baphomet which is edgy as heck. The book basically confirmed my suspicions that magic is just applied memetics and I can't conjur fireballs with my mind. It was a pretty cool peek into how people in the occult world see the world, it was interesting to see the language at the beginning pandering to "logical thinkers" by ruling out people that won't blindly believe whatever they read while making the reader feel like they're a special little man for being smart enough to not think critically about the stuff the book presents without evidence. It had a pretty funny chapter on "pilthers and potions" where it was like "Yeah, to seduce women you need to be a bad boy and breath on them". There were some cool ideas with regards to beleiving in things and spreading your beleifs in order to make the real. Basically, having confidence and being able to convince people to believe in what you beleive in is thew way to get your worldview to spread and effect change in the world. The book fixates on "animal magnetism" which was mentioned in "The Origin of Conciousness" which debunked it as being something similar to hypnotysm. It was kinda funny to hear the author namedrop magnetism and "caloric reactions" (burning stuff) since that was probably the peak of science at the time. I really want to read some modern occult literature to see if the brainwashing tactics are the same and if it would instead fixate on "quantum" buzzwords to justify claims for magical powers.

This book might be interesting if you want to get into occult stuff, or to be an edgelord in general.

Hierarchy in the Forest - Christopher Boehm

Link Status: READ

This was a great read about egalitarian cultures in humans and in primates.

One of takeaways I got from this is that some form of community governence can be necessary to combat dominating personality types.

I'd say the tl;dr is that "Top-down Hierarchy bad, Bottom-up Hierarchy and Consensus Good".

Highly recommended reading for anyone interested in fostering collaboration in groups.

Ubik - Philip K. Dick

Link Status: READ

My mother read this to me as a kid (the Russian translation) so I was curious to see what I'd think of it as an adult.

It was a lot more weird than I remembered but it was pretty cool. It had an interesting message of standing up to power with their will and with mutual aid.

The sci-fi aspects were pretty interesting with psychic powers and space travel.

It's a decent light read even though it can feel convoluted at times.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - Philip K. Dick

Link Status: READ

This is also something my mother read to me as a kid, and it's been on my mind a lot lately because I watched Blade Runner and the sequel.

Honestly, I like the book way more than the movies. It's got so many details that you miss out on, and the plot with the real/fake pets is interesting.

Good read if you like sci-fi or are interested in the book that inspired Bladerunner.

Magick In Theory and Practice - Aleister Crowley

Link Status: Pause

I heard the name Aleister Crowley dropped a bunch in my occult studies so I thought about reading a book by him to see what he's all about.

What I got was homophobia and misogyny and a weird magic based on memorizing meanings and connections.

It was full of putting down different group like witches and gatekeeping what's "real" or "fake".

Seemed like self-aggrandizing bullshit so I'm going to put it on hold for now.

Empire - Hardt and Negri

Link Status: In-Progress

This is pretty cool so far, describes the current state of Capitalism and how it's consuming the traditional forms of government and warfare.

Kind of a heavy read, so I'm taking it in bits.

The Book of Baphomet - Nikki Wyrd, Julian Vayne

Link Status: READ

This was a great read, kinda goes over some of the ideas behind Chaos Magick and what Baphomet represents.

Goes over some personal practices of connecting with Baphomet and universal oneness.

It's pretty wishy washy and a great intro into the occult.

Class and Capital in Peer Production - Michael Bouwens

Honestly, I read this a while ago so I don't remember it.

Something something commmons, something something peer production.

The Dharma Bums - Jack Kerouac

Link Status: READ

This was a cool read about beatniks in the hippie generation.

Didn't get much out of it other than some insight into Dharma and Zen Buddhism.

Riot Medicine - Hakan Geijer

Link Status: READ

This was cool when paired with Recipies for Disaster.

Gives some basics to protests and first aid.

I'm not going to be becoming a medic, but it was an interesting read.

Seems that in order to get into it you gotta get into practicing as often as possible and going out in the field to get hands on experience too

Seems relevant in 2020 with all the protests and the rioting cops in the US.

In the Company of Crows and Ravens - John Marzluff, Tony Angell, Paul Ehrlich

Link Status: READ

This was really nice. I love crows and I wanted to learn more about them.

An interesting insight was that crows have culture that they pass on to other crows and their offspring and how it gets affected by people.

It was interesting to learn about how Corvids affected human culture and how humans affected Corvid culture and evolution.

Animals are great and y'all should read about them. 😤

SLow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm: Nicole Daedone

Link Status: READ

This was a cool read given I've just been stumbling around with sexual stuff without really understanding any of it.

The main focus of this book is "Orgasmic Meditation" which is like a ritual for massaging your partner's clitoris (or recieving a message on your clitoris if you've got one). The idea is to do it in a way where both people are aiming to be present and to feel the sensations rather than aiming to climax or to "perform well".

The book has great tips on improving communication and making sexual experiences more personal.

There's a bit of shilling of the author's courses, but I think the book is useful reading even if you don't plan on attending them.

The language is pretty cis-centric but alas that's the world we live in. They try to be inclusive for gay and lesbian couples though the main focus is on heterosexual ones.

Would reccomend this for people of all genders / orientations to learn more about other people's perspectives and how to broaden their own / have more fulfilling sex lives.

Disclaimer: I'm still figuring this out in practice as of this writing. 😅

Semiotics: The Basics - Daniel Chandler

Link Status: READ

This book is an overview of what semiotics is, it's history, and the various aspects / approaches to it.

Semiotics is the study of "signs" which is basically "ideas and symbols".

Some cool insight I've got so far is that "opposites" and "binary systems" are a common theme where things will have "opposites" but there will be a hierarchy in opposites where one will be more dominant or "better". Whats cool is that the dominant ones get associated with each other and as do the less dominant ones. Different cultures have different sets of dominants, and this seems to guide some unconcious biases. E.g. stuff that gets associated with masculinity and femininity in western society. Subverting the order of dominance and mixing up the associations seems like a powerful tool. This all relates well to the stuff I've learned in magick-related texts.

Got me introduced to thinking about concepts in more concrete terms.

Focused a lot on media.

The world is can only really be percieved through the lenses of ideas we have about it.

Torah: THe Five Books of Moses - Moses presumably (Harry M. Orlinsky)

Link Status: READ

I'm gonna be reading through all the "abrahamic" texts to see what this religeon stuff is all based on.

So far there's some weird stuff in here like "If a child talks back to their parents they must be put to death" and "You explicitly can't eat Chameleons".

Some of the prophets seem suspicious as heck. 🤷 Pretty excited to see how the early books turn out in other religions.

Overall it's pretty violent and advocates for genocide / puts down the Hebrews which I'm not a fan of.

Interesting to see that it names Chameleons as a specific thing you shouldn't eat.

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard - Chip Heath, Dan Heath

Link Status: READ

Kinda useful, talks about reducing the amount of change you need, reducing the amount of choices people need to make to follow something, and framing things with an emotional response for why people would want the change to happen.

Sociopath's Guide to Getting Ahead - P.T. Elliott

Link Status: READ

Interesting book, I wanted to get some insight into how successful sociopaths can think.

I suppose if you're a sociopath this could be helpful for you.

Main takeaway I got out of it was to document things more and plan counter-strategies against people trying to manipulate me.

Also got me thinking about how I literally can't help but be myself and be empathetic to people.

Empire - Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri

Link Status: READ

Interesting book talking about how the current structures of capitalism came about and some thoughts about how to empower the commons (dubbed The Multitude).

Mobility of workers and being able to collaborate spontaneously seems to be a potential strength of modern workers.

Interesting insight is that Capitalism has to at once empower workers and put them down to extract value from them.

Overall it was inspiring in that it feels like the current Capitalism thing is going to die off eventually due to it seeding its own demise.

The Bully-Proof Workplace - Peter Dean & Molly Shepard

Link Status: READ

Talks about types of bullies in the workplace and how to deal with them.

Generally, documenting their behavior and scripting conversations with them or their bosses is a good way to go.

Talk about expectations vs what happened and try not to hurt their ego or be insulting.

Documenting stuff and making plans ahead of time seem to be things that a lot of books reccomend and something I never do.

A lot of times it's better to just leave. 🤷

Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe - Steven H. Strogatz

Link Status: READ

Interesting read talking about the history of Calculus.

Gives a lot of background to how the stuff I learned in highschool was derived.

Very accessible and talks about the people and how they made incremental updates to calculuse as a whole while still getting into the ideas behind how the math works.

Felt nice to think about things visually.

Debt: The First 5000 Years - David Graeber

Link Status: READ

Really interesting book that shatters the origin myth of money. It's not that people traded and then made money and then created debt and banks. People used IOUs or gift economy, eventually governments inveted money to pay soldiers. Money is literally an invention of the military industrial complex which is pretty mind blowing. Interesting takeaways is that you can have alternatives to money that work without centralized authorities or "money". Must read for anybody that's thought about capitalism (pro or anti).

Liber Null & Psychonaut - Peter J. Carroll

Link Status: READ

Talks about magic practices. Has some interesting perspectives and how-tos for rituals. Might mess around and try one of the immortality spells some day. :P

Utipia of Rules - David Graeber

Link Status: READ

Talks about how beurocracy and how it permeates western society and how it shapes the way we think. Might need to re-read it a few times before I fully grock it.

Babel-17 - Samuel R. Delany

Link Status: READ

Really exciting book about extraterrestrial space travel and a mysterious language coming from space. The book felt a little short and I'd love to have a sequel or something in the same universe. Made me think more clearly about how language shapes your perception of reality and can influence your perspective on things. Had some clever sci-fi stuff shoved in there which I haven't seen before but was interesting.

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy - Jenny Odell

Link Status: READ

Recommendation on Twitter from neauoire. Talks about the attention economy and how every second of our lives is consumed by capitalism. One of the counters was to "be present" and experience reality rather than focusing on a single task or focusing on "leveling up" or making money. A daily practice of taking some time to be mindful seems interesting. Also talks about doing small breaks from technology.

Seems useful for others that are kinda burnt out by constantly being wound up and busy.

I Have No Mouth, and I must Scream - Harlan Ellison

Link Status: READ

Interesting sci-fi about an AI that tortures the last remaining humans on earth because it hates them for creating it. It felt pretty short in that my brain compressed the contents pretty hard, but it was a nice read.

Condensed Chaos: An introduction to Chaos Magic - Phil Hine

Link Status: READ

Nice intro to Chaos Magic, has some practical guides to doing a magic practice.

The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula Le Guin

Link Status: READ

Interesting exploration of gender and the way it shapes our society and worldviews. Explores an alien planet where humans are usually genderless but temporarily develop male or female sex organs every now and then for procreation / recreation. As a result every human experiences aspects of what our society considers masculinity and femininity. It imagines a concept of Shifgrethor which is kind of like a mix between honor and humility. Also involves telepathic communication where you are unable to lie which is pretty cool.

Definately cool for people that want to think about the role gender plays in their lives.

Probability Moon - Nancy Kress

Link Status: READ

Really cool book about an alien planet where people share a world view and bioligically get "head pain" if they encounter information that contradicts it. Explores "regular" humans making contact with the civilization and the conflict arising from them having a different worldview. One thing that was interesting is that each of the humans had a totally different internal world and focus which was in contrast to the aliens. Cool for thinking about individuality versus communalism (tradeoffs between them). Also has some stuff about intersetellar travel through "tunnels" which is interesting.

Probablility Sun - Nancy Kress

Link Status: READ

Sequel to Probability Moon, in this one they explore what happens when the unified worldview shatters. I liked how the author showed the different peoples "realities" being in opposition to each other. Talks more about the evil aliens from the first book which was interesting. It's not amazing, but if you liked the first book you might like it.

Probability Space - Nancy Kress

Status: READ

Not as great as the first two books, but kinda interesting. Explores the galaxy more and talks about the politics of human colonies.

The Machine Stops - E. M. Forster

Link Status: READ

Short story about a world where human society has been totally animated and everyone lives in physical isolation while the machien keeps them alive around them. Talks about how the machine shuts down and everyone is fucked because they can't live without it. Also explores how non-mainstream views get censored by the people in power, particularly any critique of the power structure. Felt pretty intesne while going through the pandemic where everyone is stuck in their homes and can only teleconference with each other. :x

Who Goes there? - John W. Campbell Jr.

Link Status: READ

This is the book that "The thing" was based on. I saw the movie recently and wanted to compare to the source material. One thing that was interesting is that there was a lot more humor in this book compared to the movie and a lot more explanation for why people did what they did. Not as exciting as the movie, though.

Altered Carbon: Takeshi Kovacs - Richard Morgan

Link Status: READ

I really liked the TV show that was based on this book so I wanted to give it a shot. The story is pretty similar to the show, but I think I liked the book more in the end. Not really mind blowing but nice sci-fi to read between things.

Archangel 01: Archangel Procool - Lyda Morehouse

Link Status: READ

Talks about a future world (not too far from now) where humanity is networked via wearables and virtual reality. Also the world is full of theocracies and everyone has to be a member of a religion to be networked. Suddenly angels show up and can influence people's emotions via the net. But then it turns out the net angels are fake and there's actual real angels sent by the canonical God. Pretty cool mix of sci-fi and abrehamic religions. Nothing earth shattering but an interesting read

Archangel 02: Fallen Host - Luda Morehouse

Link Status: READ

Same world as Archangel Protocol, but now the literal satan on earth is trying to figure out how to make the apocalypse happen. An AI from the previous book is now fully self aware and grappling with it's relationship to it's father in the same way Lucifer is grappling with his relationship to God. Has some cool sci-fi stuff in it, but not really earth shattering either.

Hermetica - Brian Copenhaver

Link Status: READ

Talks about the history of hermeticism and the character "Hermes Trismagistus" as well as a translation of some of the writings attributed to Hermes. I wanted to learn about the history of hermeticism and get the source rather than the fan fiction I've read from alchemical and hermetic books. The history was super interesting, but most of the hermetica itself was kinda disappointing relative to contemporary stuff. 😅

Hammered - Elizabeth Bear

Link Status: READ

Set pretty far in the future where cyborgs are commonplace. Being a transhumanist the concepts are pretty appealing. Also explores AI and people being melded together as well as human minds inhaviting non-human bodies and using non-human senses. It's a fun action thriller.

Jacob's Ladder Series - Elizabeth Bear

Link Status: READ

Book about a generation ship made by a cult that was maximalist on evolutionary pressure. Lots of transhumanist vibes, nano technology. Also lots of Christian stuff. 😅 It was a fun way to escape into antoher world, the first and second books are more fun than the third IMO.

The Coming Insurrection - Invisible Comittee

Link Status: READ

Book that tries to put together some of the unrest that regular people around the world are feeling. A disillisionment and disinfranchisement from society and the people in control of it. Honestly nothing particularly actionable, give it a pass.

Who Rules The World - Noam Chompsky

Link Status: READ

Tl;dr America Bad. Talks about specific ways that america bad. Interesting insights into struggles in he middle east. Not very uplifting and not that actional, but it's very informative and has helped put some of the tensions I've been feeling into specific words. Useful book if you wanna understand some of the ways US power dominates the world.

No Asshole Rule - Robert I. Sutton

Link Status: In-Progress

Book about identifying and dealing with assholes. These people are everywhere so hopefully it'll be useful. Interested in paralells with books about psychopaths.

Rainbows End - Vergor Vinge

Link Status: READ

Interesting scifi about a futuristic world where augmented reality and wearable computing is the norm. Not much of a message in it, but the tech is interesting to think about. I'd suggest this for folks wanting to design or build virtual and augmented reality things.

Philosophical Investigations - Ludwig Wittgenstein

Link Status: READ

A friend of mine that's into linguistics recommended this. The book talks about how knowledge and language are formed and how they're tied to peoples interaction with each other. It was some good food for thought on the constructed language I've been working on. Good read for folks interested in language and semiotics.

Lilith's Brood - Octavia E. Butler

Link Status: READ

Really cool scifi about humanity almost killing itself off and being slowly ressurected by aliens. Talks a lot about genetic modification, non-binary identities, throuples, the aggressive nature of some humans, and the cooperative and kind nature of humans which is in opposition to the agression. As a transhumanist this was really inspiring. I'd recommend this to everyone that's into scifi.

Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell

Link Status: READ

Really powerful book about totalitarian regimes and their pursuit of power. The memes around this really don't do the contents justice. A lot of people that complain about censorship of bigoted speech by referencing this book don't do it justice. The book critiques the USSR and it was interesting to hear the exaggerated version of some of the stuff I've learned from my family members that had lived through it. The ending was absolutely brutal and crushed my soul. Honestly, this wasn't very actionable, but it gave me more feelings about what's wrong with blind devotion to nationalism and to the persuit of power. The book goes into depth on it's constructed language "Newspeak" which gave me some food for thought for what my constructed language could do to people's perception of reality.

It's about damn time - Arlan Hamilton

Link Status: READ

A self help book by a gay woman of color that became a venture capitalist.

Had a lot of useful talk about not giving up and to adapt in order to succeed.

Also had useful points about community and the value of investing in folks that generally get overlooked.

Would recommend if you wanna start a business.

The Innovator's Dilemma - Clayton Christensen

Link Status: READ

Book that analyses the growth of technology and the adaptations of companies to these changes, specifically with the aim to alayze why companies that hold market share can crumble.

tl;dr - As tech gets more optimized, tech that might be less shitty could address other use cases like being cheaper and empower products to be made that couldn't be made before. Large companies have a hard time adjusting to this because they serve existing customers that have needs for the more expensive tech, then they get overtaken by other companies as they take market share from the bottom up.

The Sovereign Individual - James Dale Davidson, William Rees-Mogg

Link Status: READ

One cool thing that this book does is it analyzes the dyanmics of violence and how they shape society and change over time.

Outside of that it's libertarian brain rot with hot takes like "Countries should bend over backwards to make ultra-rich people happy, and everyone else should try to lick their boots".

Really useful context for how tech people with superiority complexes and zero morals think.

I could see Jay-Beezy reading this and stroking his hog thinking about how great and powerful he is.

I wish I remembered who recommended this to me so I could lose all respect for them.

Still, it's a useful read for the violence analysis and to get some insight into capitalists thought patterns / ambitions.

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

Link Status: READ

I was really excited to read this since some folks I know swore it was super witty and funny. To be honest it holds up for a little while and then quickly takes a dive into being boring and confusing.

The movie was better but suffered from the author's inability to write an ending.

I think it would have been way better as a comic book series since the chapters fit well into small episodic narratives rather than full books.

I'd suggest just watching the movie unless you're doing anthropological ventures into british humor.

Deschooling Society - Ivan Illich

Link Status: READ

Interesting book that looks at some of the systemic failures of schooling.

Their solution to percieved issues is to put schooling more in the hands of workers and to have government fund people to do teaching as part of their regular roles as well as fund people to attend these teachings to learn what they feel is necessary.

They then propose to fund this by the government spending currently geared towards educaiton.

Honestly, this is somewhere where tech might fit in well, but I worry they didn't account for any of the inevital failure cases that would come from the recentralization of education under monopolistic capitalism which this doesn't acklowedge or guard against.

Useful read for folks interested in alternative ways to look at education.

Explaining Humans - Camilla Pang

Link Status: READ

Pretty cool look at the autistic experience and trying to understand how allistic people work and how.

Honestly i don't remember the contents at all so I should probably reread it.

Nine Algorithms That Changed The Future - John MacCormick

Link Status: READ

This was really cool. I already knew about some of the algorithms but the way the author approached describing them really got my brain juices flowing.

One thing that was particularly useful was the descriptions of indexing and how Google used links for their Page Rank algorithm.

I've been into text search which made this particularly helpful.

Also, it gave me some new ways to describe tech concepts which I've been applying when talking to less technical folks in my life.

Defs a good read for anyone into data and processing data.


Link Status: READ

A scifi book that blends hard scifi and magical fantasy.

The premise is that scientists accidentally found magic and developed scientific studies for how to interact with it.

It gets into some wild time / ai shenanigans on top of great ways of thinking about how magic might work if it was real.

Fun read for anyone into scifi and magic. 😁

There is no Antimemetics Division - qntm

Link Status: READ

Another cool book by qntm, this time set in the SCP Foundation universe.

It explores the concept of "antimemes", ideas that spread while hindering humans ability to percieve them.

It builds on a lot of SCP lore and has some cool concepts relating to semiotics and genetic engineering.

Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

Link Status: READ

This book gets referenced by pop culture a lot and I was a little intimidated to read it since I was worried it'd be some sort of pro-child-abuse thing which is how it gets referenced a lot.

However, it's the exact opposite and a condemnation of America's depravity strongly against mediocre men that pain themselves as being a "good guy" while doing atrocious things.

The author did a really good job of painting the mental model of the main character, and I feel like some readers might not appricate that you're not supposed to identify with the main character but instead see how big of an asshole he is.

Overall it had some interesting use of language and story telling.

The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge - Vernor Vinge

Link Status: READ

Got some fun scifi stories involving ai, time travel, etc.

Some of the stories are fun, got kinda bored by "Just Peace".

Vinge is really into tech elitism and free for all libertarianism and would probably love the sovergn individual.

A lot of the underlying concepts in his stories stem from idealizing centralized control by the (technologically) elite which gets old pretty quick.

It's got some interesting concepts in there regardless if you're into scifi and tech.

Accross Realtime - Vernor Vinge

Link Status: READ

Scifi about time travel over large timespans.

Again has a bunch of vinge's libertarian ideology embeded everywhere, but at least has some neat ways to think about time travel and technological progress in relation to the singularity.

Probably wouldn't start with this, but wouldn't knock it if you like other stuff by Vinge.

Dune - Frank Herbert

Link Status: READ

Honestly, it got really boring really fast and I barely remember any of it anymore.

Kinda disappointed it wasn't more captivating given the hype around the series.

It's another white savior type story and without the cool visuals it's lacking much substance for me. 🤷

To Your Scattered Bodies Go - Philip Jose Farmer

Link Status: READ

A cool scifi that starts with all of humanity being revived by aliens, but devolves into some generic conan the barbarian style adventure novel. It felt like a shitty 70's/80's low budget scifi full of unnecessary misogeny.

The premise is kind of interesting, but the main character (and author's style) is unlikeable and ends up being a slog to get through.

If that's your thing go for it, but I think I'm just not the target demographic for it.

Feed - M. T. Anderson

Link Status: READ

Talks about a scifi dystopia from the point of view of a vapid rich kid.

In this world most well off people are constantly plugged into a brain computer interface that feeds them advertisements and social media, but poor folks that can't afford it get shunned by society.

We also get glimpses into how the world is crumbling and how the privileged are shielded from this realikty and distracted from even thinking about it.

Everyone is getting lesions in their skin and instead of doing anything real about it they start treating it like a fashion trend.

Really bleak and depressing but legit as hell.

The Nature of Technology - W. Brian Arthur

Link Status: READ

Talks about technology and scientific progress in a more abstract way, made me think about how language relates to technology and the fractal nature of reality.

Really useful insights into how technology is built on top of other technology and how things can be recombined and might surge and wean in relevance over time.

Terminal World - Alastair Reynolds

Link Status: READ

A scifi-fantasy where the world has zones where higher tech doesn't work and a mysterious past that indicates this wasn't always the case.

It uses a lot of christian imagery, but doesn't do so in an evangelical way.

The author is really good at setting the atmosphere and I could feel like I was physically in this world while I was reading it.

Has a bunch of stuff from genetic engineering and transhumanist stuff to steampunk airships.

Sadly there was no sequel even though the ending really built up to one.

Link Status: READ

Reynolds again has amazing imagery and some interesting concepts for stories that span high tech worlds which have existed for long timespans.

One thing I appreciated about "Zima Blue" in particular is the contrast between the original story and the adaptation in the Love Death and Robots Netflix series which skipped past some of the message of valuing ephemerality and memory.

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids - Laura Markham

Link Status: READ

This was a book about "gentle parenting".

The main premise is that a lot of people experience childhood trauma that makes it hard for them to regulate their own emotions and that it leads them to them inflict that same trauma on their kids.

The thesis is that if you can heal your own trauma and be mindful of how people can get traumatized, you can raise kids that will have a more genuine connection of trust to you and to the world around them.

I've been thinking about doing the whole child rearing thing at some point, and this really spoke to some things I've been thinking about with regards to getting my brain figured out and in shape before doing so.

It has some really practical examples of regulating your own emotions and contexitfying how kids aren't malicious and instead need structure and compassion to succeed.

I've also taken to thinking about this in the context of pets in that instead of getting mad at the pet, it's more important to structure their environment so that they can do the good behaviors you expect from them by default.

Also also, always makes me think to industrial safety engineering where instead of punishing people for doing dangerous things, you should instead structure the environment so that people do the safe thing by default.

Thought Contagion - Aaron Lunch

Link Status: READ

A "memetics" book which looks at how ideas spread between people and how different aspects of ideas can reinforce their spread.

It was interesting to see it applied to stuff like religon, but it also felt like the author's lack of awareness of peoples experiences limited what he could talk about.

Lots of lukewarm takes about gender and procreation which feel less relevant these days.

It's a useful starting point for thinking about memetics in a more real way and to actually enginner concepts.

Would love to read more on the subject from folks with a higher range of experience.

A Scanner Darkly - Philip K. Dick

Link Status: READ

This was super cool to read. I really love how I could feel the narrator's brain deteriorating over time as drug use, paranoia, and living a double life splits his brain apart.

Dick paints a pretty intense picture of drug addiction and police indifference to people's suffering.

Would recommend to anyone.

Outsmarting the Sociopath Next Door - Martha Stout

Link Status: READ

Honestly, the tl;dr is to not react to sociopaths since they feed on emotional distress, and to document their interactions to be sent to authorities. Lastly, the advice is to avoid them whenever possible and to just get away.

Honestly wish there was more to it, but it's pretty decent advice.

1984 - George Orwell

Link Status: READ

This is literally 1984. But for real this was depressing as hell and made me feel powerless in the face of global opression.

It doesn't really offer anything useful and just leaves the reader wallowing in misery.

It takes the spirit of rebellion and crushes it like a bug under the all-encompassing force of surveillance and anti-intellectualism.

A lot of people that call any sort of moderation on the internet as "literally 1984" really don't appreciate the scope with which we're already being monitored and subdued by the government in day to day and how they themselves participate in that system of oppression.

Also, if you liked this, you'll like Brazil (1985) which has some of the same themes, but is a bit more goofy about it despite having a similar ending.

Stolen - Grace Blakeley

Link Status: In-Progress

Spells out how rich people destroy the economy and environment for their personal gain.

Talks a bit about how the US dollar and the central bank started exerting pressure around the world and became a boot slowly suffocating the rest of humanity.

War Against The Weak - Edwin Black

Link Status: In-Progress

Talks about eugenics in Europe and North America and how it's shaped society.

Pretty depressing stuff, but it paints a great picture as to how we got to where we are now.

Godel, Escher, Bach - Douglas Hofstadter

Link Status: In-Progress

Talks about formal mathematical systems and how it relates to music theory and artificial intelligence / human thought.

Here's a bunch of books that I haven't read yet, but are on my TODO list.

The Silent Patient - Alex Michaelides

Link Status: TODO

Murder mystery book someone recommended

Differential Datalog

Link Status: TODO

A programming language for incremental computation based on Datalog. I love datalog so I'm always downt o learn more.

Also here's an implementation in JS that I got linked to:

Timeley Dataflow

Link Status: TODO

Describes a system for distributed streaming computation. Relevant to the decentralized data processing I wanna do with Pando and KEN Labs.

Life Without Law - Strangers In a Tangled Wilderness

Link Status: TODO

An introduction to Anarchist Politics

Growing Neural Cellular Automata - Alexander Mordvintsev, Ettore Randazzo, Eyvind Niklasson, Michael Levin

Link Status: TODO

Paper about using neurl networks for cellular automata. E.g. if you want a particular output to be generated using cellular automata rules, you can train an NN to create said rules and be able to regenerate the structure you want from partial results.

This got brought up in the context of Graph Neural Networks which can be used to process graph-like structures.

The neat idea is using graphs to represent the ideal state of a network of people (e.g. economic, collaborative, etc), and have a neural cellular automata generate rules for how that graph can be formed.

In particular this was borought up in the context of daos and tokenomics.

Umbral: A Threshold Proxy Re-Encryption Scheme - David Nunez

Link Status: TODO

Paper on an encryption scheme which allows for taking content encrypted for one recipient and to delegate decryption to another recipient. Might be relevant to some of the search indexing and p2p database stuff I've been into.

Adventures in Fuzzing Libolm - Denis Kasak

Link Status: TODO

Article on Matrix's encryption schemes and how this person found vulns in it.

Social Choice Theory - Kevin Roberts

Link Status: TODO

It's a theory looking at how people have different preferences and how that relates to group preference and personal preference.

Seems useful to supplement my semiotics interest, might want a different book though since this was jsut the first result.

Caliban and the Witch - Silvia Federici

Link Status: TODO

Talks about the history of the transition to capitalism. From the summary: She shows how the battle against the rebel body and the conflict between body and mind are essential conditions for the development of labor power and self-ownership, two central principles of modern social organization. 🤷

The author is into feminisim so it'll be cool to see how that relates.

Building Social Business - Muhammed Yunus

Link Status: TODO

Economics / business book. Apparently the guy that wrote it is very influential. Seems to propose the sort of "good capitalism" where business serve social needs rather than just profits.

The Persuaders - Anand Giridharadas

Link Status: TODO

Talks about activits and people that persuade others as a job. Mighthave useful insights into how these movements work.

The Metaphysics of Powers - Anna Marmodoro

Link Status: TODO

Talks about metaphysics and powers like fragility or electric charge.

Wraeththu - Storm Constantine

Link Status: TODO

Transhumanist scifi book, recommended by a transhumanist friend. Messes with gender and stuff?

Verity - Colleen Hoover

Link Status: TODO

Murder mystery book.

Diaspora - Greg Egan

Link Status: TODO

Scifi with some sort of transhumanism aspects. Human minds within machines, AI, etc.

Girls and Sex - Peggy Orenstein

Link Status: TODO

Talks about young girls experience with sexuality in the age of pornography and misogeny. Saw it in a tiktok, but I forget the context. Something about childcare?

Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl

Link Status: TODO

Nonfiction book of the authors experience in a Nazi concentration camp. Talks a lot about mindset and how that affected prisoners life experience.

The Seven Spiriutal Laws of Success - Deepak Chopra

Link Status: TODO

Self-help/spiritaual book about the nature of human beings and how to use it to succeed.

The Laundry Files - Charles Stross

Link Status: TODO

Lovecraftian horror scifi sereis.

Too Much Crypto - Jean-Philippe Aumasson

Link Status: TODO

Talks about blake2 and more efficient cryptography that doesn't sacrifice security.

Driven to Distraction - Edward M. Hallowell

Link Status: TODO

Talks about ADHD and dealing with it from childhood and adulthood.

I've got a major case of it, so it'll be cool to see if it's actually useful or more shitting on people with disabilities.

Apparently written by someone with it, so probably a good sign.

The Dawn of Everything - David Graeber

Link Status: TODO

Anthropoligcal work on early human civilization.

From wikipedia: The authors open the book by suggesting that current popular views on the progress of western civilization, as presented by Francis Fukuyama, Jared Diamond, Steven Pinker and Yuval Noah Harari, are not supported by anthropological or archaeological evidence, but owe more to philosophical dogmas inherited unthinkingly from the Age of Enlightenment. The authors refute the Hobbesian and Rousseauian view on the origin of the social contract, stating that there is no single original form of human society. Moreover, they argue that the transition from foraging to agriculture was not a civilization trap that laid the ground for social inequality, and that throughout history, large-scale societies have often developed in the absence of ruling elites and top-down systems of management.

A Fire in the Sky - Travis Walton

Link Status: TODO

Scifi about alien abduction. Apparently non-fiction?

Inc. Yourself - Judith H. McQuown

Link Status: TODO

Business book about becoming a corp, usefull for small businesses. Not sure how relevant it is to Ontario tax code, though.

Invitation to a Beheading - Vladimir Nabokov

Link Status: TODO

Made by the same guy that did Lolita, apparently kafkaesque. About a guy in prisoner that's going to get beheaded.

The Stormlight Archive - Brandon Sanderson

Link Status: TODO

Some sort of fantasy series?

The Wretched of the Earth - FRrantz Fanon

Link Status: TODO

Talks about the dehumanizing effects of colonization upon individuals, nations, and society in general. Also talks bout what it means to decolonize a person or a people.

Merkle Search Trees: Efficient State-Based CRDTs in Open Networks - Alex Auvolat, Francois Taiani

Link Status: TODO

A paper that talks about CRDTs that are related to search? Probably relevant to my search indexing work.

Towards Search on Encrypted Graph Data - A. Kasten, A. Scherp, F. Armknecht, M. Krause

Link Status: TODO

Paper about doing SPARQL queries on enctypted graphs with only subsets being available to users.

Man and His Symbols - C.G. Jung

Link Status: TODO

Talks about dreams and their relationship with real life. Something about talking to your subconcious for better insights?

Messaging Layer Security - mls working group

Link Status: TODO

Some sort of working group with specs for encrypting messages. Kinda relevant to my work.

The Heart of Spritely

Link Status: TODO

Talks about object capabilities and how Spritely does their thing. Has useful info for peer to peer apps and distributed systems.

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Link Status: TODO

A book about a person living in a soviet work camp.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind - Yuval Noah Harari

Link Status: TODO

Looking at the history of humanity, looks at cognition

The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood - James Gleick

Link Status: TODO

Book about the information age and how patterns and encodings were used over time.

The Interface Effect - Alexander R. Galloway

Link Status: TODO

Book about interfaces, and I think the history of interfaces?

On Internet Quines - Barath Raghavan and Shaddi Hasan

Link Status: TODO

Short paper on what it would take to bootstrap an internet from the ground up.

Change the World Without Taking Power - John Holloway

Link Status: TODO

Talks about power dynamics (power-over, power-to). Anarchist stuff.

Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet - Benjamin Peters

Link Status: TODO

Talks about how the USSR tried to make national computer network for coordinating stuff and how it failed.

Mistrust - Why Losing Faith in Institutions Provides the Tools to Transform Them

Link Status: TODO

Talks about how people are losing faith in institutions and presumably what to do about it?

From Counterculture to Cyberculture - Fred Turner

Link Status: TODO

Something something digital utopianism?


Link Status: TODO

Not sure what this is anyemore. Some sort of scifi?


Link Status: TODO

Hindu texts from ancient India

Conan The Barbarian - Robert E. Howard, L. Sprague de Camp, Lin Carer

Link Status: TODO

Not sure where to start but this is the series that the movie was made from.

Working Out Loud - John Stepper

Link Status: TODO

a self help book about collaboration, recommended by a person that said they used the accompanying workshops to help build community in their company.

All Systems Red - Martha Wells

Link Status: TODO

Scifi book with a murderbot and space travel

The Empress of Salt and Fortune - Nghi Vo

Link Status: TODO

Faminist high fantasy

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet - Becky Chambers

Link Status: TODO

Scifi book about space exploration with a spunky crew

The Croning - Laird Barron

Link Status: TODO

Horror book about witches

The Broken Earth Series - N.K. Jemisin

Link Status: TODO

Scifi-Fantasy about a dying civilization

Gideon The Ninth - Tamsyn Muir

Link Status: TODO

Scifi fantasy with necromancy

The Devourers - Indra Das

Link Status: TODO

Fantasy book about some sort of werewolves.

Democratizing Capitalism

Link Status: TODO

🤷 Completely lost the context for this since it was so long ago

Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

Link Status: TODO

A sci-fi book that bridges stuff between time

Siddhartha - Hermann Hesse

Link Status: TODO

Some sort of book about a person doing a spiritual journey of self-discovery

Dresden Files - Jim Bitcher

Link Status: TODO

A book series about a private investigator

Krakatoa - Simon Winchester

Link Status: TODO

A book about a volcano eruption

The Map That Changed the World - Simon Winchester

Link Status: TODO

A book about some guy that made an accurate map and how that affected geology or something.

Stolen - Grace Blakeley

Link Status: TODO

Talks about how rich people are disproportionatly profiting even through financial crisises.

The Accursed Share - Georges Bataille

Link Status: TODO

Book about a new economic model called "General Economy"

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card

Link Status: TODO

A sci-fi book about insectiod aliens invading earth or something? Heard this name a bunch before.

In Defense of Cannibalism

Link Status: TODO

No clue what this is about but the title sounds whacky.

More From Less - Andrew McAfee

Link Status: TODO

Some sort of self-help book about using less resources. Might be some sort of ecology thing?

Tweak - Nic Sheff

Link Status: TODO

Book about struggling with methamphetamines. Recommended to me by somebody on the internet that was going through the struggle which might be interesting.

The $100 Startup - Chris Guillebeau

Link Status: TODO

A book about making businesses?

The Box - Marc Levinson

Link Status: TODO

Talks about the history of shipping containers and it's effects on global shipping.

The Expanse Series - James S. A. Corey

Link Status: TODO

Scifi series about humans that have colonized the solar system.

My Best Friend's Exorcism - Grady Hendrix

Link Status: TODO

A horror book about spooky demon posession or something.

Blasphemy - Douglas Preston

Link Status: TODO

A sci-fi about people trying to find the origin of the universe or something.

The Ministry for the Future - Kim Stanley Robinson

Link Status: TODO

A hard scifi which has something to do with climate change?

The Mushroom At the End of the World - Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing

Link Status: TODO

Something about mushrooms and the metaphore of their lifecycles applied to society.

Creation Life and How to Make It - Steve Grand

Link Status: TODO

This book is apprently something that influenced Jeff Bezos so that's interesting. Seems to be about creating systems and the consequences from the core building blocks of systems.

This Is Not a Progam - Tiqqun

Link Status: TODO

No clue what the context for this is anymore. Something something resistance something something. 🤷

Homage to Catalonia - George Orwell

Link Status: TODO

I hear George Orwell namedropped around a lot and asked my friends for a recommendation for which book of his to read.

Starship Troopers - Robert A. Heinlein

Link Status: TODO

I remember liking the movie as a kid and later liking the movie as a satire as an adult. Apparently the book isn't meant to be a satire so it'll be interesting to compare.

Topology A Aategorical Approach - Tai-Danae Bradley, Tyler Bryson, and John Terilla

Link Status: TODO

A graduate-level textbook that presents basic topology from the perspective of category theory.

Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng

Link Status: TODO

The novel is about two families living in 1990s Shaker Heights who are brought together through their children. The author described writing about her hometown as "a little bit like writing about a relative.

Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals - Saul Alinsky

Link Status: TODO

A guide for community organizers to use in uniting low-income communities, or "Have-Nots", in order for them to gain social, political, legal, and economic power.

The Myth of Sisyphus - Albert Camus

Link Status: TODO

A book about absurdism.

"Camus introduces his philosophy of the absurd, that life is inherently devoid of meaning and consequently absurd, but humans will nevertheless forever search for meaning."

The Stranger - Harlan Coben

Link Status: TODO

A mystery novel about some sort of conspiracy?

Difference and Repitition - Gilles Deleuze

Link Status: TODO

"In the book, Deleuze develops concepts of difference in itself and repetition for itself, that is, concepts of difference and repetition that are logically and metaphysically prior to any concept of identity."


Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia - Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari

Link Status: TODO

No clue what this was about, but my friend reccommended it to me and the title is pretty good clickbait.

Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer

Link Status: TODO

Book about society or something?? I think I was supposed to watch the movie instead.

Xenofeminism - Helen Hester

Link Status: TODO

A book about feminism and how gender politics can be trasformed by automation, automation, globalizaiton, and the digital revolution.

Tanpopo Collection - Camilla d'Errico

Link Status: TODO

A pretty art book of some sort. I think I'd want a copy of this in meatspace.

The Gulag Archipelago - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Link Status: TODO

Book about what life is like in a Gulag.

The Soviet Experiment - Ronald Suny

Link Status: TODO

Book about early Russia, the USSR, and the successor states.

The Death of the Authror - Roland Barthes

Link Status: TODO

This is an essay talking about how the intentions of a creation and the actual creation are unrelated.

Naked Lunch - Willian Burroughs

Link Status: TODO

My art history friend recommended this to me so its probably some artsy / poetry thing.

Entangled Life - Merlin Sheldrake

Link Status: TODO

This book is about fungi and their effect on our world and our minds.

Cutting Through Apiritual Materialism: Chogyam Trungpa

Link Status: TODO

Some sort of book about spirituality and a pitfall called "spiritual materialism".

The only Astrology Book You'll Ever need - Joanna Martine Wollfolk

Link Status: TODO

A friend of mine that's into astrology said this was a great book to read to learn about it.

A Door into Ocean - Joan Slonczewski

Seems cool, about comminal living somehow and water people?

Metaphores we Beleive By -- Aaron Z. Lewis

Link Status: TODO

Something about how we have replaced traditional gods with modern ones that we pretend arent't gods?

The Outsiders - S. E. Hinton

Link Status: TODO

Some sort of coming of age story with class conflict.

Parable of the Sower - Octavia E. Butler

Link Status: TODO

A post-apocalyptic Sci-fi by Octavia Butler. Sounds pretty dope.

Blog Posts - Kevin Simler

Link Status: TODO

Series of blog posts recommended by Christian Bundy on SSB.

Island - Aldous Huxley

Link Status: TODO

A utopian book that's somehow related to solarpunk? Found on SSB: %UzufGG9/t53yQtZPLorgENxrtrXtej+PU7G1QnSde2A=.sha256

Ectopia - William Weston

Link Status: TODO

An eco-utopia novel. Also found on SSB.

Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire - David Remnick

Link Status: TODO

Talks about the collapse of the Soviet Union. It'll be cool to talk to my parents about it after learning more from the book.

Parmenides - Plato

Link Status: TODO

No sure why this was recommended or what it's about, but reading Plato has good meme-value.

Crazy/Genius Podcast Can we Extend Human Lifespans to 150?

Link Status: TODO

Not really a book, but sounds like an interesitng listen.

Growing Up Absurd - Paul Goodman

Link Status: TODO

Seems to talk about how our capitalistic system sucks for kids

Deschooling Society - Ivan Illich

Link Status: TODO

Talks about how institutionalized education sucks, hopefully talks about some nicer alternatives. I've argued about this a bunch before so it'd be good to get more informed on the subject.

Manna: Two Visions of Humanity's Future - Marshall Brian

Link Status: TODO

Looks like a book exploring the idea that "Only capitalism would make people losing their jobs to robots suck"

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference - Malcom Gladwell

Link Status: TODO

Talks about sociological changes and by the looks of it, memetics.

A Non-Euclidean View of California as a Cold Place to Be - Ursula Le Guin

Link Status: TODO

Absolutely no clue what this could be about, but Ursula Le Guin is certified dope, so it must be good.

Rules, Games, and Common-Pool Resources - Elinor Ostrom

Link Status: TODO

Talks about how to protect against the "tragedy of the commons" and overexploitation of resources.

Binti - Nnedi Okorafor

Link Status: TODO

An African-based sci-fi about space.

Black Leopard, Red Wolf - Marlon James

A fantasy novel that draws from African history and mythology.

The GNUnet System - Stephane Grothoff

Link Status: TODO

Seems to be a document that's an overview of how GNUnet works? Could have some cool nuggets for planning other alternative internet projects.

Never Cry Wolf - Farley Mowat

Link Status: TODO

Absolutely no clue who recommended this to me and why, but it's about a person's experiences studying Arctic Wolves, so probably got recommended by a furry of some sort.

The History of Sexuality - Michel Foucault

Link Status: TODO

Learning more about sexuality sounds cool, also this person's name keeps popping up when talking to people that took philosophy in school.

Discipline and Punish - Michel Foucault

Link Status: TODO

More Foucault, talking about societal mechanisms for punishing people. Seems like I should be reading "Security, Territory, Population" after this.

History of Madness - Michel Foucault

Link Status: TODO

This seems like it'll pair well with the origin of conciousness book.

Clans of the Alphane Moon - Phillip K. Dick

Link Status: TODO

Some sci-fi that mentiones "simulacrum" in the summary so it's got to be cool.

Dawn - Octavia Butler

Link Status: TODO

A sci-fi from Octavia Butler. Recommended by Mix to Staltz on Twitter.

Pragmatics of Community Organization - Bill Lee

Link Status: TODO

No clue what the context for this recommendation was, and the goodreads summary is empty. The title seems pretty self-explanatory though.

My Life as a Night Elf Priest - Bonnie A. Nardi

Link Status: TODO

A book by an Anthropologist who analized communities in World Of Warcarft.

Art as Experience - John Dewey

Link Status: TODO

My friend that's into writing / reading about Art recommended this when I asked for book recommendations on how to get more language for appriciating art.

City of Golden Shadow - Tad Williams

Link Status: TODO

Recommended me by a South African guy at an infosec meetup. Seems cyberpunk and it'd be interesting to read books from African cultures.

God Shaped Hole - ???

Link Status: TODO

Zero clue what this is or where I found it, but it sounds cool.

What can an Assemblage Do?

Link Status: TODO

Some sort of paper related to assemblage my friend keeps recommending me to read.

The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction - Walter Benjamin

Link Status: TODO

Talks about how art that's copied from an original isn't good enough for this dude. My friend told me to read this when we were talking about art in the information age.

The Tyranny of Structurelessness by Jo Freeman

Link Status: TODO

Part of datatogether readings. Seems to be a critique of flat higharchies.

Peer To Peer - The Commons Manifesto - Michel Bauwens, Vasilis Kostakis, Alex Pazaitis

Link Status: TODO

Talks about peer to peer dynamics in society and proposes a vision for a commons-centric future

The 8 Laws of Change - Stephan A. Schwartz

Link Status: TODO

Talks about how large changes have been successful in the past. Might be useful to figure out how to make this decentralization / community-focused / off-grid stuff take off.

The Future Will Be Technical

Link Status: TODO

This is "a modular essay about our optimistic future". I found it through the SSB community, I think. It'd be cool to see what it's all about.

Who Owns The Future? - Jaron Lanier

Link Status: TODO

Talks about how centralization sucks.

Finite and Infinite Games - James P. Carse

Link Status: TODO

Something about games? Talks about power dynamics and culture?

On Intelligence - Jeff Hawkins, Sandra Blakeslee

Link Status: TODO

Seems to be about how brains work and AI.

The Nexus Trilogy - Ramez Naam

Link Status: TODO

Described as a "postcyberpunk thriller" which is 100% my shit.

Deprogramming Victims of Brainwashing and Cult-like Mind Control - Dylan Clearfield.


How-to guide to deprogramming people that have been brainwash. Could be generally useful for deprogramming oneself and others.

The God Virus - Darry Ray


Talks about how religions take hold of people and how to combat being infected. Interested to learn on a meta level to create anti-egregore memetic vaccines.

The Age of Em - Robin Hanson


Sci-Fi about digital brain clones, talks about running people at "different speeds" relative to reality.

Anatomy Of Love - Helen Fisher, PhD

Link Status: TODO

Seems to be about how love works in humans and animals. It'd be cool to help put my own relationships into perspective.

The Wild Girls - Ursula K. Le Guin

Link Status: TODO

No clue who recommended this anymore, but Ursula Le Guin is awesome.

Why I Am Not A Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto - Jessa Crispin

Link Status: TODO

Something to do with feminism?

Thanks for the Feedback - Douglas Stone, Sheila Heen

Link Status: TODO

Talks about how to receive feedback and presumabily how to give it?

Little Brother - Cory Doctorow

Link Status: TODO

I think I actually started reading this book as a kid, not sure if I finished it. Something something terrorism something something surveillence?

We Have Never Been Modern - Bruno Latour

Link Status: TODO

Something regarding societies relationship to science and the definition of modernity?

Down to Earth - Bruno Latour

Link Status: TODO

Sounds like weird nationalist / climate-denial propaganda but OK. Somebody recommended this to me IRL, so it's probably good.

The Windup Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi

Link Status: TODO

Sci-fi book recommended by @cblgh "It's like Neuromancer, but with genesplicing instead".

The Alchemist - Paolo Coelho

Link Status: TODO

A book about a shepherd boy's quest of some sort.

Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection - John T. Cacioppo, William Patrick

Link Status: TODO

I'm pretty lonely so it'd be cool to learn more about why I feel that way and if there's anything I could/should do about it.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success - Carol S. Dweck

Link Status: TODO

Seems to be a self help book about changing your mindset for the better. Might be useful in combination with the other books I've been reading for that.

Link Status: TODO

Something about propaganda and mass media for controlling citizens

Debt: The First 5000 Years - David Graeber

Link Status: TODO

A history about how forms of debt have evolved over time.

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself - Michael A. Singer

Link Status: TODO

Seems to be about introspection and self-help. Might be useful to be more mindful.

The Technological Singularity - Murray Shanahan

Link Status: TODO

Talks about AI and how to singularity will affect humanity.

Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action - Elinor Ostrom

Link Status: TODO

Seems to be about governence models of shared resources, what works and what doesn't? Might be useful to help figure out how to structure cooperative societies.

Selections from the Prison Notebooks - Antonio Gramsci

Link Status: TODO

Some friends of mine that are into communism reccomended this.

Remembrance of Earth's Past - Cixin Liu

Link Status: TODO

This is a sci-fi trilogy from China. It'd be really cool to be exposed to science fiction from a culture I know little about.

2312 - Kim Robinson

Link Status: TODO

This is a sci-fi about gateways being opened between planets and something tragic happens.

The Interpersonal Data at the Heart of All Human Digital Systems - Philip Sheldrake

Link Status: TODO

An essay about data, cooperation, and probably economics?

Age of Ambition - Evan Osnos

Link Status: TODO

Seems to be about China? I totally lost the context for this reccomendation, but learning more about China seems fun.

The Society of the Specticle - Guy Debord

Link Status: TODO

Marxist literature about mass media?

Anarcho-Syndicalism: Theory And Practice - Rudolf Rocker

Link Status: TODO

Presumabily exactly what it says on the tin.

Ark of a Sythe - Neal Shusterman

Link Status: TODO

A trilogy about a society with immortals and people whose job it is to kill them

Red Rising Saga - Pierce Brown

Link Status: TODO

A book series about a scifi-world with genetically egineerd humans. Sounds like brave new world but more brutal.

Q - Luther Blissett

Link Status: TODO

A historical fiction book that's somehow related to anarchy?

The Righteous Mind - Jonathan Haidt

Link Status: TODO

Something about morality and politics

The Government of No One - Ruth Kinna

Link Status: TODO

Some more anarchist literature.

The Desktop Regulatory State - Kevin Carson

Link Status: TODO

More anarchist literature. Good ideas about about math / economics of anarchism and mutualism.

Fully Automated Luxury Commmunism - Aaron Bastani

The name really speaks for itself. It's just missing "gay" and "space".

Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction - Colin Ward

Link Status: TODO

An intro to Anarchism, I guess?

Thinking, Fast and Slow - Daneil Kahneman

Link Status: TODO

Talks about fast, instinctive, emotional thinking, and slow deliberate and logical thinking

The Undoing Project - Michael Lewis

Link Status: TODO

Something to do about behavioral economics. Got brought up when I was watching a video, but I forget which one. :P

Your Freedom Is My Freedom - William Gillis

Link Status: TODO

"This piece by william gillis was designed to side-step a lot of ingroup bickering and get at some of the roots but only a very particular type of nerd enjoys it (i am one)." - Emmi on SSB

Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

Link Status: TODO

A lot of folks into VR have referenced the movie based on this book and the book itself.

It seems like it's mostly nostalgia tripping and "gamer" stuff, but it might be useful to get on the same wavelength as VR folks.


Link Status: TODO

This seems to be a book made for hackers by hackers. There's a lot of useful technical information in there.


Link Status: TODO

This seems to be a book about Kabbalah which seems to be about magic. Magic is pretty dope, so it'd be cool to see what's in there.