Charlie Harvey

February 2016 reading

  • Some remarks, by Neal Stephenson

    Some remarks by Neal Stephenson (cover image)

    A collection of various stuff that Stephenson has written including some very cyberpunk short stories, essays from Wired and a couple of interviews. The largest piece, Mother Earth, mother board is the utterly enthralling story of undersea cables, in particular about the instalation of FLAG, but also investigating the history of the industry. Despite the occasional slip into free-market proselytism (he was writing for Wired, after all), Stephenson remains, for my money, one of the most readable and interesting sci-fi writers working today.

    2016-02-02 by Charlie Harvey

  • Inverted World, by Christopher Priest

    Inverted World, by Christopher Priest (cover image)

    This was another book picked up just because it looked intriguing — for three quid at Oxford’s "The Last Bookshop". The plot is about a city that must be pulled along on tracks across the ever changing surface of a post apocalyptic world. There is some rather old-fashioned writing about gender along with a perceptive description of the mechanics of colonialism. Other than that it is a tense and disturbing story of a not-quite-right world under constant threat of annhilation. Three quid well spent.

    2016-02-13 by Charlie Harvey

  • What if?, by Randall Munroe

    What if? by Randall Munroe (cover image)

    Randall Munroe is the creator of one of the most entertaining and long-running web comics ever — xkcd. This book, a christmas present from my sister, finds him researching scientifically plausible answers to largely preposterous questions. With fascinating results. I found out more interesting stuff about horrific ways that physics might go wrong than in any other book I have read. And I laughed a lot.

    2016-02-29 by Charlie Harvey

  • Beyond Numeracy, by John Allen Paulos

    Beyond Numeracy, by John Allen Paulos (cover image)

    John Allen Paulos’s book is written for a non-mathematical audience and covers a huge amount of maths — from probability theory to chaos theory, fractals and calculus in short, digestible chapters rather in the style of a dictionary. Another charity shop treat, it is very readable — explaining mathematical concepts in an easily comprehensible and occasionally amusing fashion.

    2016-02-29 by Charlie Harvey


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