Charlie Harvey

February 2011 Reading

  • The Annotated Turing, Charles Petzold

    Turing's 1936 paper on Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem is something of a geek classic, introducing important concepts like the Universal Turing Machine. I’m no mathemetician even though I readily admit to being a bit of a geek. So its great to have a writer like Petzold to hold my hand. Petzold adds the context, both mathematical and biographical as well as guiding you through the paper gently but without being patronizing. Funnily enough I started reading this on 24 Feb, the day before Bletchley Park announced they had bought Turing's papers. Bit of a coincidence that.

    2011-02-25 by Charlie Harvey
  • The American Future, Simon Schama

    My Dad recommended I read this. Very beautifully written popular hostory of the States, written round about when everyone was a little over excited about Obama becoming president. It reminded me a bit of the Radio 4 programme, The Long View; with Schama trying to tie in current events around the time of Obama's meteoric rise to prominance to other events in the history of the American ruling class and more broadly the American people. The sections dealing with the US history of racism and anti-racism are stunning and fascinating in equal measure.

    2011-02-20 by Charlie Harvey
  • Selfish Pigs, Andy Riley

    Genius cartoon book of pigs being selfish. Its very funny.

    2011-02-19 by Charlie Harvey
  • Tales From Outer Suburbia, Shaun Tan

    This is one of those beautiful, poignant "children’s" books that are so lovely that adults can’t resist them. Strange and poetic stories of events that take place in the everyday world of suburbia. And Tan is a brill illustrator.

    2011-02-16 by Charlie Harvey
  • @ is for Activism, Joss Hands

    @ is for Activism investigates how digital media have changed the way we do politics; how we organise, decide, co-operate and network using social media, digital tv and mobile tech. Insightful tying together of concepts from Hardt & Negri, Habermas, Deleuze and all them lot with a fairly coherent account of the form and content of activism, resistence and rebellion and its interrelations with technology. I was particularly impressed with the concept of quasi-autonomous recognition network.

    2011-02-14 by Charlie Harvey
  • The Fountain At the Centre of the World, Robert Newman

    This was a Secret Santa pressie from a colleague. Its a moving story of resistance to global capitalism set around the time of the Seattle protests set in Mexico, the US and the UK. Written from an anarchist perspective, but much less didactic than a lot of anarchist writing, I zoomed through it in a weekend.

    2011-02-14 by Charlie Harvey
  • Nginx HTTP Server, Clément Nedelcu

    I have to admit I cheated a bit on this. I didn’t read from cover to cover, just enough to get a server set up and have a fiddle about making wordpress and Drupal work. Nginx is a nice bit of kit, I even posted a video benchmarking nginx d7 hosting performance compared with Apache. And what I’ve seen of this book is pretty ace too. After being a bit sniffy about packt back in January, I have to admit nginx http server looks like a cracker of a tech book. The first chapter was the one that stood out. I reckon it should be compulsory reading for people who are new to Unix; a really helpful summary. The rest is good quality reference documentation. The chapter about switching from Apache was especially helpful for me.

    2011-02-04 by Charlie Harvey
  • Revolution and other wriings, Gustav Landauer (trans Gabriel Kuhn)

    An interesting book to read after The End Of Capitalism. Landauer was an anarchist mostly active at the beginning of the 20th century. Richard JF Day in his preface notes how Landauer, writing so long ago, prefigures postmarxist and postanarchist concerns by analysing capitalism as a dynamic relation between people rather than a "thing" per se. You see the link with Gibson-Graham? He also has some stuff in common with the IWW (building a new society in the shell of the old) and perhaps somewhat with Hakim Bey (the temporary autonomous zone). Despite all that good stuff I got a bit disenchanted with his odd 19th century mystiscism which I found slightly baffling.

    2011-02-04 by Charlie Harvey


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