Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Absolutely amazing, changed the way I look at the society, will re-read:

- George Orwell, Keep the Aspidistra Flying


- Alastair Reynolds, House of Suns

- Andy Weir, The Martian

- Neal Stephenson, Seveneves

- Greg Egan, Teranesia


- Arthur C. Clarke, 3001: The Final Odyssey

- Arthur C. Clarke, 2061: Odyssey Three

- Richard Feynman, The Character of Physical Laws

- Richard Feynman, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

- Jonathan Slack, Stem Cells: A Very Short Introduction

- John Scalzi, Fuzzy Nation (bought the audiobook for Wil Wheaton's narration)

- Ray Monk, Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center

- Alastair Reynolds, Revelation Space

- David C. Cassidy, Beyond Uncertainty: Heisenberg, Quantum Physics, and the Bomb

Found full of BS, did not finish:

- Noam Chomsky, Understanding Power


- order of 10^3 pages of Open University textbooks

- Klauber, Student Friendly Quantum Field Theory

- Feynman & Hibbs, Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals

- Wald, General Relativity (5 chapters)

- Peskin & Schroeder, An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory (5 chapters)

Not as bad as I felt before making the list, but underwhelming in terms of quantity. I intend to read a whole lot more in 2016.

I just bought "Understanding Power". Why do you think it's BS?

Overall, I think the views presented in the book are superficial and do not give significant insight into power relations underlying the decision making. The wider context is often ignored. A lot of bold, unjustified statements that sound like a piece of propaganda. I just opened the book at a random page and found this: There are lots of planned economies-the United States is a planned economy, for example. I mean, we talk about ourselves as a "free market," but that's baloney. The only parts of the U.S. economy that are internationally competitive are the planned parts.

For example, his treatment of the Cold War. Like many people whose countries fell on the dark side of the Iron Curtain, I am grateful for all that the US did to contain and defeat the Soviet Union. When countries like Poland were oppressed under the communist rule which was in some ways more destructive than the second world war, Chomsky would have liked to let a large chunk of the third world fall under the same yoke just to avoid confrontation and casualties. This is a view that I find dangerous, ignorant and BS.

One could get a much more objective, fuller and clearer picture of things as well as appreciation of the complexities involved by getting an international relations textbook such as International Relations Since 1945 by Kent or a lighter read, The Global Cold War by Westad.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact