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Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed
4.20
it was amazing
Definitely one of the best non-fiction books I have read lately. So much food for thought - so much to rethink about how I look at the world.
I got int
...more
Apr 02, 2017
Feb 12, 2017
 
The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution
4.16
it was amazing
It deserves all the praise it gets.

As the subtitle suggests, Fukuyama focuses on the vast historic scale, starting from prehuman times, until the Fren
...more
Mar 14, 2019
Jun 14, 2013
 
Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past
4.16
it was amazing
This was a fantastic condensation of modern research on genomics and it's effect on our understanding of anthropology and history. Really, what is it ...more
Apr 14, 2018
Mar 22, 2018
 
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
4.39
really liked it
Eliezer has completely turned the story around with a fabulous mixture of real science and JKRverse. The book is peppered with real life use of ration ...more
Mar 16, 2015
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Jan 20, 2012
 
Restart: The Last Chance for the Indian Economy
3.86
really liked it
I am sorry, but I love rants. This book is quite a long one about what is wrong with India as a nation. The book is choke-full of hilarious anecdotes ...more
Jul 25, 2015
Jul 22, 2015
 
Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst
4.42
liked it
His classes must be very interesting. What is it with biologists and well written non-fiction that does not completely gloss over the details? The boo ...more
Jun 15, 2017
May 15, 2017
 
The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter
4.41
really liked it
Trying to queer the nature-nurture binary :D (rather the genetics-environment binary). I think it overreaches in the middle with some of the Evo-Psych ...more
Dec 16, 2018
Apr 22, 2017
 
Exhalation: Stories
4.28
it was amazing
Not as great as the first collection, Stories of Your Life and Others, but good to have his output since the last collection in a single place. He tre ...more
Jul 28, 2019
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Jul 28, 2019
 
Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States
4.13
really liked it
Too short...

Interesting counterpoint to the "ascent of man" kind of story we tell about ourselves when we think about history. The major point Scott i
...more
Aug 13, 2017
May 25, 2017
 
Annihilation (Southern Reach, #1)
3.70
really liked it
How do I say this? The ambiguity and uncertainty reminded me of Len's Solaris and Strugatsky
brothers' Roadside Picnic. Yet, it felt a lot "brighter"
...more
Mar 29, 2018
Sep 18, 2017
 
Bleeding Edge
3.58
really liked it
My first Pynchon. Very hard to review. For now I'll just say that if you like Neal Stephenson with his tangential info dumps and anti climatic endings ...more
Mar 26, 2017
Sep 25, 2013
 
Invisible Cities
4.12
it was amazing
Subtler than Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives. You think it's a travelogue but eventually realize that traveling is about ideas and living life it ...more
Apr 08, 2017
Aug 31, 2013
 
The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations
3.97
really liked it
Important read for me personally. Forced me to rethink about a lot of my beliefs. Quite surprisingly, despite being originally published in 1979, litt ...more
Aug 27, 2017
Jun 20, 2017
 
Unsong
4.42
really liked it
I loved the book. I guess the genre would be Kabbalah-punk adventure? We need more of these. I should read Foucault's Pendulum.

Would I recommend it? I
...more
May 20, 2017
Mar 27, 2017
 
The Bluest Eye
4.06
it was amazing
I was constantly reminded of Housekeeping -similar lovely prose style, "teenage" PoV etc. But compared to Housekeeping, where I was constantly at loss ...more
Jan 20, 2018
Jan 09, 2018
 
The Dream Machine: J. C. R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal
4.54
really liked it
I have read quite a few books covering different parts of the history of computing but none of them were as expansive as this one. Not sure if keeping ...more
May 30, 2017
Apr 14, 2017
 
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
4.14
really liked it
It was great that thanks to Bezos, the book acknowledged the existence of narrative bias in all such writings and came out less "worshipy" than Vance' ...more
Jun 22, 2017
May 08, 2017
 
Lolita
3.89
it was amazing
A shocking story of love? Obsession? Narcissism? Depravity? Eh. It was such a mesmerizing mashup that any attempts to analyze it fails.
Aug 03, 2018
Oct 05, 2017
 
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
4.21
really liked it
The author puts too much weight on evolution and nature than was necessary to make his points. (And this is from someone like me, who thinks people in ...more
Sep 16, 2017
Feb 17, 2013
 
The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature
4.21
it was amazing
You know the feeling that you get when you go to a national park or any forest and just sit there alone, observing, meditating... That's what you expe ...more
Mar 26, 2018
Apr 29, 2017
 
The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History
3.99
really liked it
A very compelling description of what now seems like one of the worst time in history: the 1918 "Spanish flu". Although it's somewhat unfortunate that ...more
Apr 03, 2020
Mar 05, 2020
 
The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1)
4.11
really liked it
I originally thought of giving this a three star because even though I probably write in a similar fragmentary stream of conscious style, I would like ...more
Feb 19, 2017
Feb 07, 2017
 
Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy
4.23
liked it
First half (third?) is another look at American history during the Depression years (albeit better done in Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the ...more
Dec 13, 2019
Aug 20, 2019
 
Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty
4.27
really liked it
This book goes well with Seeing like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed, highlighting how the problem of poverty ...more
May 13, 2017
Feb 02, 2013
 
The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths
3.89
really liked it
What's the book about? A scathing critique of modern civilization and liberal humanism? Loathing for the idea of faith in progress? Or a call to accep ...more
Jul 24, 2017
Mar 25, 2017
 
The White Album
4.15
really liked it
The book had me at the first line:

We tell ourselves stories in order to live.


Joan Didion is apparently a big name which I knew nothing about when I st
...more
Jul 14, 2018
Feb 19, 2018
 
Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It
4.05
liked it
First half was really great. How the calorie-in/calorie-out dynamic does not make sense is explained really well and I am inclined to agree because of ...more
Apr 09, 2017
Feb 05, 2017
 
Origins of Knowledge and Imagination (Mrs. Hepsa Ely Silliman memorial lectures)
4.24
it was amazing
Wise and timeless.

Interesting ramifications for the goal of "human-like AI".

Some excerpts:


In my view the answer is as follows. I believe the world is
...more
Jan 05, 2020
Jan 03, 2020
 
The Art of Loving
4.03
really liked it
The title is a bit of a misnomer. It's not really a self-help book of any kind but rather a philosophical/introspective book trying to dissect the dif ...more
Jun 24, 2017
Mar 25, 2017
 
What Mad Pursuit
3.98
it was amazing
I was surprised to see so many "I"s when describing his research and the process behind. So different from biology research these days.

Some of the ad
...more
Jan 28, 2020
Jan 02, 2020
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