Cake
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    • I’m listening to Children of Dune by Frank Herbert and reading The System of the World by Neal Stephenson. Both are definitely a bit more obscure Sci Fi but I’m enjoying them!

      Neither are on my bookshelf.

    • I do love me some Neil Stephenson, not many writers can produce an 800+ page book that is interesting and engaging. Still haven't gotten around to Baroque Cycle (it's not a light decision to dive in there), but loved Seveneves and Cryptonomicon, well, it should be compulsory reading.

      Right now, I'm in the middle of Redemption Ark, and have Autonomous lined up to go next, with working further through Culture series after that.

      On non-fiction side, just last week I got "Millions, Billions, Zillions: Defending Yourself in a World of Too Many Numbers" by Brian W. Kernighan (THE programming OG who, among other things, named Unix).

    • Have you read Anathem by Neal Stephenson? I couldn't stomach finishing Crytonomicon (too long and tangential) and I slogged through Seveneves (kept waiting for a payoff that got skipped).

      Overall, I'm feeling a bit ambivalent about Neal. Anathem was my first Stephenson book and it was so amazing that I tried reading a few of his other books and was left disappointed.

    • I haven't ready Anathem yet but the ones I've read (or reading) are Seveneves, Snow Crash, Baroque Cycle, Cryptonomicon. I've liked everthing so far, but I like the tangents and minutiae probably more than the main storylines 🙂. Planning on reading all of his novels over time, though they are all pretty long so it will take a while.

    • Welcome to Cake, luhem. 🎂 I don't know what it was about Cryptonomicon and Seveneves, but you make me feel better about myself because I felt the same. I had several people tell me I HAD to read Cryptonomicon because it was so amazing, and somehow it didn't grab me despite his other amazing books. I've felt like something was wrong with me ever since.

    • This was recommended by a friend, (previous) boss, and mentor, a current read for me. So far I'm finding it interesting.

    • I used to be a regular reader of his Study Hacks blog. He fundamentally believes that the ability to engage in deep work is a differentiator for career success. Curious to see what you think of Digital Minimalism: I just placed on hold a copy of his previous book.

    • I read Deep Work a loved it. His thesis seems to be the brain adapts to stimulus just like the body does. A runner comes to look different than a weight lifter. When the brain trains to focus, it learns how. If it has to context switch constantly due to interruptions, it learns to do that at the expense of concentrating on one thing.

      And the thing is I know how the sausage is made. Young engineers do all the interrupting on social media because they need to generate engagement for Twitter and Facebook, so they deliver the alerts that grab your attention — things that generate outrage like young men in MAGA hats confronting a native American Elder or a gymnast's perfect 10 just now. Those things are so stimulating, you won't be concentrating on deep work anytime soon.

    • Yep, loved Anthem. I get that some people find Stephenson hard to get through, but he packs so much research and ideas into those 'side-quests' that I really don't mind them at all. Cryptonomicon, goes in detail into how cryptocurrencies might work (10 years before Bitcoin). Not to mention working with top crypto minds (Bruce Schneier) to develop a working, usable cryptography algorithm that works with a pack of playing cards. I'm a sucker for things like that.

      While we're at it, here's a challenge: Lady of Mazes. Fewer than 300 pages, but with enough ideas to fill a dense trilogy. ;-)