Charlie Harvey

November 2012 Reading

  • Types and Programming Languages, by Benjamin C. Pierce

    I am working my way through this quite slowly. It is what I would describe as a nontrivial tome. I reckon it weighs in at a couple of kilos. And there is maths. And I am translating the ML code into Haskell as I go. But it is well written, if dense. And technically sharp if occasionally a little dry.

    2012-11-29 by Charlie Harvey
  • Microserfs, by Douglas Coupland

    It had a similar vibe to jPod and did some of the annoyingly art-schoolish long pages of random typographical treatments of unconnected words. But this time I got why. And I felt that the story held together much better. I found it incredibly engaging and rather moving.

    2012-11-29 by Charlie Harvey
  • Free, The Future of A Radical Price, by Chris Anderson

    Funnily enough, I paid a pound for this in my local remaindered book store. I suppose I would have got two copies had it been zero-cost. Anderson writes wonderfully, but unproblematically in a highly technoutopian wired stylee. Its a great read, and he makes a strong case, he doesn’t really address the key issue for me that of the problematic nature of capitalism itself. He simply assumes that Free is good because we can sell each other more shit. Mind you he briefly mentions Kropotkin.

    2012-11-09 by Charlie Harvey
  • The Second Sex, by Simone de Beauvoir

    Its one of those books that you feel you really ought to read. Rather hard going, but a real intellectual tour-de-force, combining lit crit, psychoanalysis, neurobiology, Marxism, historical analysis and philosophy all from what was, back in the 40s, when the book was written, a radical new way of looking at the experiences of women. It makes a fascinating read. So much has changed and so much stayed the same. As well as historical interest, the book contains moments of extraordinary insight about the position of what (in my translation) de Beauvoir insists on calling Woman. For me the fixation on the liberatory potential of work was problematic. But then I’m a lazy fucker.

    2012-11-09 by Charlie Harvey


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