2023 June. Books.

Books I'm reading #

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I'm listening to an audiobook in Polish and I'm 16 hours in of 65 hours.

Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully by Gerald M. Weinberg.

Books I've read #

Brain Energy: A Revolutionary Breakthrough in Understanding Mental Health--and Improving Treatment for Anxiety, Depression, OCD, PTSD, and More by Christopher M. Palmer MD.
This is a pretty interesting idea of linking all mental health problems to problems with mitochondria of your cells. Basically, making an argument for metabolic disorders of the cells as a common pathway of everything. Book is packed with arguments for the thesis and feels like it's written more for medical professionals than a general public. Overall it makes an argument why things like the ketogenic diet, fasting, exercise or good sleep help so many people. The sad fact I've learned is that most people with depression and other disorders are not getting permanently better with current treatments.

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford.
This is a good take on where a cheap automation will take us. During the industrial revolution people from agriculture were needed in factories. Later a lot of people moved into knowledge work because there was a need for them. But what will happen when new AI will be as capable as most university graduates? Argument that new jobs will magically show up is currently made based on the past, but unlike in the past its now much harder to say what those jobs will be.
Overall I finally understood after reading it that we have no idea what will be the impact of automation of knowledge work on people, jobs or economy and that's why you hear about the Universal Basic Income so much.

We Have Been Harmonised: Life in China's Surveillance State by Kai Strittmatter.
This one is worth reading to get a view of China outside of the public media.

The Art of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence by Josh Waitzkin.
I'm mostly disappointed in this one. It's a memoir with some advice, but it's not relevant for most people.

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake. Fantasy. I don't recommend it.

In Polish #

Cham i pan. A nam, prostym, zewsząd nędza? by Andrzej Chwalba and Wojciech Harpula.
Probably interesting only for people in Poland as it's about history of the common people living in Poland. Worth reading.

Inteligentny Inwestor XXI wieku Tom IV by trader21. Last book in a series about investing.

Elsewhere on the Web #

Is growth mindset real? New evidence, new conclusions

You Can't Optimize For Rest

Illich is echoing the earlier work of the French polymath Jacques Ellul, to whom Illich acknowledged his debt in a 1994 talk I’ve cited frequently. In his best known book, The Technological Society, Ellul argued that by the early 20th century Western societies had become structurally inhospitable to human beings because technique had become their ordering principle. These days I find it helpful to gloss what technique meant for Ellul as the tyrannical imperative to optimize everything.

Stop over-engineering your CSS by Kevin Powell

Busy developer’s guide to feature toggles • Mateusz Kwaśniewski • Devoxx Poland 2023

Ten of My Favorite Papers on the Science of Learning and Thinking by Scott Young

How to Use ChatGPT to Ruin Your Legal Career by LegalEagle

Why Child Labor in America is Skyrocketing | Robert Reich

Fun #

Should We Let Nature Finally Delete Pandas? by Casual Geographic. I can recommend the whole channel if you like his sense of humour. 😂

Personal Thoughts #

I've been preparing an intro to Frontend Development and was going through a bunch of materials. If you have some spare time and want to refresh your knowledge or just pick up some basics then I can recommend:

My kid was sick for the whole month so I'm pretty happy with what I managed to do while babysitting. Having something easy to read allowed me to take a break and put a dent into my backlog of books. So I can recommend having a harder and easier book you're reading at the same time. It will allow you to make some progress regardless of how much capacity you have on a given day.

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