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The Life of Samue...
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The Psychedelic E...
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Enter the Kettleb...
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by Pavel
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Gwern rated a book 4 of 5 stars
The Hall of Uselessness by Simon Leys
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(~180k words; 5 hours) Anthology of literature-focused essays, highly miscellaneous. Judged by wordcount and topic, it seems that Leys's focus is fairly narrow - I would compare him to a lesser Borges, but Borges delighted too much in philosophical & ...more
Gwern rated a book 3 of 5 stars
The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell
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Gwern rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Ready Player One
by Ernest Cline (Goodreads Author)
read in May, 2015
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YA SF fiction; most similar in feel to Snow Crash and Otherland but a much faster read and overall simpler plot. Much of the appeal is simply all the '80s references to geeky movies and video/computer games (hard not to feel a rush of nostalgia at a ...more
Gwern rated a book 3 of 5 stars
Drift Into Failure by Sidney Dekker
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(101k words) Somewhat disappointing. Dekker focuses on how the occasional rare disaster is very complex, which they can be, but never gets off his high horse, instead spending a whole book talking about how everything is terribly terribly complicated ...more
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Drift Into Failure by Sidney Dekker
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The Hall of Uselessness by Simon Leys
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Digital Gold by Nathaniel Popper
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The Sagas of Icelanders by Jane Smiley
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The Sagas of Icelanders by Jane Smiley
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More of Gwern's books…
Jorge Luis Borges
“There is a line in Verlaine I shall not recall again,
There is a street close by forbidden to my feet,
There's a mirror that's seen me for the very last time,
There is a door that I have locked till the end of the world.
Among the books in my library (I have them before me)
There are some that I shall never open now.
This summer I complete my fiftieth year;
Death is gnawing at me ceaselessly.”
Jorge Luis Borges, Dreamtigers

Ludwig Wittgenstein
“If someone does not believe in fairies, he does not need to teach his children 'There are no fairies'; he can omit to teach them the word 'fairy'.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Zettel

Jorge Luis Borges
“He [Omar Khayyam] is an atheist, but knows how to interpret in orthodox style the most difficult passages of the Koran; for every educated man is a theologian and faith is not a requisite.”
Jorge Luis Borges, Selected Non-Fictions

Jorge Luis Borges
“Others died, but it happened in the past,
The season (as all men know) most favorable for death.
Is it possible that I, subject of Yaqub Almansur,
Must die as roses had to die and Aristotle?”
Jorge Luis Borges, Dreamtigers
tags: death

Jorge Luis Borges
“All things left her, all
But one. Her highborn courtliness
Accompanied her to the end,
Beyond the rapture and its eclipse,
In a way like an angel's. Of Elvira
The first thing that I saw - such years ago -
Was her smile and also it was the last.”
Jorge Luis Borges, Dreamtigers

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