Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

Written on December 27, 2011. Written by .

I think this book is one of the better introductions to Zen. It doesn’t spend much time talking about the mystical aspects of Buddhism, instead focusing on conveying a sense of what Zen means to a Zen practitioner. He doesn’t hype it up, he almost makes it seem boring and de-emphasizes the significance of philosophical […]

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Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Written on December 27, 2011. Written by .

The author of this book uses psychology to understand happiness and how to live an enjoyable life. The theory of flow says that people enjoy experience the most when they are “living in flow.” This state is obtained when a person is being challenged, but has the required skills to meet the challenge, and also […]

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The Cuckoo’s Egg

Written on December 27, 2011. Written by .

Cliff Stoll is a real astronomer who got caught up in chasing a hacker through the global networks of the late 80s. The book is a detailed account of his experience with the chase, which is probably one of the most interesting true stories that have occurred in the last couple decades. There aren’t too […]

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The Emperor’s New Mind

Written on December 27, 2011. Written by .

Penrose has a lot of interesting thoughts in this book. He deals with physics, mathematics, and artificial intelligence, which are basically all of my greatest interests. That doesn’t automatically mean that it is the best book of all time. It was very thought-provoking, but popular style books like this are usually not very educational. This […]

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Excursions in Mathematics

Written on December 27, 2011. Written by .

I found this book somewhat interesting, although most of the content was pretty basic. This kind of book is good for background facts in mathematics; stuff that you never really need to know, but might be interesting for a conversation with a mathematician at some point. ★★★★★

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The Golden Ratio

Written on December 27, 2011. Written by .

This is one of your standard math-popularization books, but it is a pretty interesting one at least. I liked the parts that provided interesting facts about the golden ratio and the fibonacci sequence. However, there was also a lot of garbage about the golden ratio in art, which basically amounted to saying that the golden […]

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Catch Me If You Can

Written on December 27, 2011. Written by .

This is a well told true story. Frank Abagnale was a real swindler and this is his tale. It is fun because it is so out of the ordinary. He really went through a lot of situations where he cunningly deceived others and subsequently he spent a lot of time in prisons. For me it […]

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A New Kind of Science

Written on December 27, 2011. Written by .

Wolfram seems to be pretty self-absorbed. I have to give him a lot of credit for his part in the creation of Mathematica, which is an excellent piece of software, but he writes this giant book that is really just a summary of observations of cellular automata and tries to hype it up to be […]

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Prime Obsession

Written on December 27, 2011. Written by .

In order to find out what all the fuss was about with regards to the Riemann hypothesis, I decided to read this exposition of it. My general impression was that it provided a good overview, with just a little bit too much breakdown of the math for my level (meaning there were explanations of very […]

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Hacker’s Delight

Written on December 27, 2011. Written by .

This is simply a book full of tricks for low level programmers. Most of the book was pretty boring stuff. It was boring because it was little optimizations and methods that are not commonly useful. On top of this, the tone of the book is fairly heavy, making it more dull than other books of […]

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