What I’m reading

Here is a list of the last 100 things I’ve read (courtesy of Instapaper). This list has items that consists of things I’ve read since March 30, 2012. A few of these things I’ve already linked to or blogged about but most are just things that grabbed my attention long enough to read from beginning to end (which is saying a lot for links on the Internet).

  1. Gladwell reveals writing strategies | Yale Daily News
  2. Writing in the Age of Distraction (Who distracts you the most?)
  3. The Battle of All Mothers – WSJ.com
  4. Living Together, With One Condition – His and Hers Houses – NYTimes.com
  5. TED | TED Quotes | Top quotes
  6. as a child rests in his mother’s arms, so will i rest in you
  7. Let’s ride this bull!
  8. Your iPad: The Creative Tool You Never Knew You Needed [Video]
  9. How Computers Are Creating a Second Economy Without Workers – Bill Davidow – Business – The Atlantic
  10. Finding Your Voice
  11. The end of the diva paradox
  12. AuBHO – WSJ.com
  13. Essay: First, Care – Merlin’s Media – Video, Audio, Photos and More – Merlin Mann
  14. Jonathan Harris . Mar 19, 2010
  15. Jonathan Harris . The fading light
  16. Facebook and Instagram as company towns
  17. Don’t give up (you’re on the right track)
  18. Staying Independent
  19. Bad Ass | Cracked.com
  20. Love and Safety
  21. The Packers Can’t Beat the Lions – WSJ.com
  22. The Two Economies – NYTimes.com
  23. A VC: Life Liberty and Blazing Broadband
  24. A List Apart: Articles: Getting Clients
  25. A List Apart: Articles: Dive into Responsive Prototyping with Foundation
  26. Michelle Borkin
  27. Instagram’s CEO was a Marketer Who Learned to Code by Night
  28. Selling Free Software – GNU Project – Free Software Foundation (FSF)
  29. c’est bon.
  30. Wild Goose-Step Chase – WSJ.com
  31. What is free software? – GNU Project – Free Software Foundation (FSF)
  32. Mingle2 – How I Built a Web 2.0 Dating Site in 66.5 Hours
  33. Flashback and the E-Word
  34. iowahawk: A Vote For Obama is a Vote For Civility
  35. Zombies, Yes, but No Cash – NYTimes.com
  36. When Companies Become Countries
  37. Why Are So Many Americans Single? : The New Yorker
  38. How To Craft A Job Search Elevator Pitch – Forbes
  39. What’s the big idea? – FT.com
  40. The Internet Is a Major Driver of the Growth of Cognitive Inequality | Mother Jones
  41. Sourced Quotes, 14
  42. Is everyone entitled to their opinion?
  43. What is Philosophy? An Omnibus of Definitions from Prominent Philosophers
  44. Bryan Burrough on the Costa Concordia Captain’s Deadly Error and the Dramatic Rescue That Saved Thousands of Lives | Blogs | Vanity Fair
  45. Woody Allen, Creative Management Genius: Observatory: Design Observer
  46. Boyz II Goats – WSJ.com
  47. Twitch
  48. Happiness: No longer the dismal science?
  49. Cancer and epigenetics: Cancer’s epicentre
  50. The People vs. the IRS
  51. Are You Afraid to Earn More?
  52. The Ottoman Empire’s Life-or-Death Race | Past Imperfect
  53. Want To Be More Creative? Get Bored
  54. Age and wisdom: Older and wiser?
  55. Why Storytellers Lie
  56. What Is Science? From Feynman to Sagan to Asimov to Curie, an Omnibus of Definitions
  57. this link (Might as well face it, you’re addicted to games)
  58. COPE: Create Once, Publish Everywhere
  59. Tim Siedell: Baseball Is Life
  60. The Six Most Important Ideas From An Event Apart Seattle 2012 – mStoner – Blog
  61. The Dissent That Wasn’t – WSJ.com
  62. i choose to love.
  63. Apple’s Highest Priority Is Obviousness
  64. Robot Love
  65. Cloning Successful Startups
  66. Watching Me Blog | Six Pixels of Separation – Marketing and Communications Blog – By Mitch Joel at Twist Image
  67. Productive Living
  68. Obama’s Base Play – WSJ.com
  69. Is Your Product Ready for Its Close-up? | Inc.com
  70. Creativity tools: The next wave of iOS apps? — Apple News, Tips and Reviews
  71. What if Stupid People Organized?
  72. Why Entrepreneurial Thinking Is For Everyone Now :: Articles :: The 99 Percent
  73. Will Low Prices Help You Sell More? (Biz Book Friday!) « Unicornfree
  74. The Man Who Knew Too Little – WSJ.com
  75. How Perfect Pricing got me 1500 Sales in 2 Days | A Smart Bear
  76. Perfect Pricing Part Deux — More money from fewer sales | A Smart Bear
  77. Letters of Note: C. S. Lewis on Writing
  78. Why Didn’t I Think of That? | Think Quarterly by Google
  79. Startups, This Is How Design Works – by Wells Riley
  80. Why Xanax is the Most Popular Anti-Anxiety Drug in America — New York Magazine
  81. If your happiness is based on always getting a little more than you’ve got…
  82. The Case Against Kids
  83. Teaching Wikipedia to Write Itself
  84. Why Don’t Black People Protest ‘Black-on-Black Violence’?
  85. Anil Dash on Readability and Instapaper
  86. What the Betamax Case Teaches Us About Readability
  87. Symbols, everlasting
  88. Do the Right Thing – WSJ.com
  89. Thinking – Why I’m taking full responsibility for my education
  90. Talent or Handicap
  91. The War Against Youth – Esquire
  92. The psychology of morality: Time to be honest
  93. Fracking and Self-Sufficiency in Gas and Oil-Becker
  94. Test Your Creativity: 5 Classic Creative Challenges
  95. Energy Self-Sufficiency—Posner
  96. Why Some Cities Lose When Others Win
  97. The Advertising Industry’s Definition of ‘Do Not Track’ Doesn’t Make Sense
  98. My Unsavvy Twitter Code of Conduct
  99. → Hammerforum
  100. Leonardo’s To-Do List : Krulwich Wonders… : NPR

Let me know if this is of any interest, and I’ll keep posting lists of what I’m reading. Maybe I’ll include some comments about items that struck my fancy.

Show this chart to the next person that says the Internet killed reading books

Show this chart to the next person that says the Internet killed reading books

Why read books above your ‘level’

Why read books above your ‘level’

Highlight from Joseph Conrad’s “Victory”

I finished reading Victory by Joseph Conrad a few weeks ago. Here’s a few passages (presented without comment or context) that jumped out at me:

Thinking is the great enemy of perfection. The habit of profound reflection, I am compelled to say, is the most pernicious of all the habits formed by the civilized man.

I prayed like a child, of course. I believe in children praying—well, women, too, but I rather think God expects men to be more self-reliant. I don’t hold with a man everlastingly bothering the Almighty with his silly troubles. It seems such cheek.

Every age is fed on illusions, lest men should renounce life early and the human race come to an end.

The last thing a woman will consent to discover in a man whom she loves, or on whom she simply depends, is want of courage.

In his simplicity he was not able to give up the idea which had entered his head. An idea must be driven out by another idea, and with Schomberg ideas were rare and therefore tenacious.

“They give you wages as they’d fling a bone to a dog, and they expect you to be grateful. It’s worse than slavery. You don’t expect a slave that’s bought for money to be grateful. And if you sell your work—what is it but selling your own self? You’ve got so many days to live and you sell them one after another. Hey? Who can pay me enough for my life? Ay! But they throw at you your week’s money and expect you to say ‘thank you’ before you pick it up.” He mumbled some curses, directed at employers generally, as it seemed, then blazed out: “Work be damned! I ain’t a dog walking on its hind legs for a bone; I am a man who’s following a gentleman. There’s a difference which you will never understand.”

“I never heard you laugh till today,” she observed. “This is the second time!” He scrambled to his feet and towered above her. “That’s because, when one’s heart has been broken into in the way you have broken into mine, all sorts of weaknesses are free to enter—shame, anger, stupid indignation, stupid fears—stupid laughter, too. I wonder what interpretation you are putting on it?

Clairvoyance or no clairvoyance, men love their captivity. To the unknown force of negation they prefer the miserably tumbled bed of their servitude. Man alone can give one the disgust of pity; yet I find it easier to believe in the misfortune of mankind than in its wickedness.

Dreams are madness, my dear. It’s things that happen in the waking world, while one is asleep, that one would be glad to know the meaning of.

A diplomatic statement […] is a statement of which everything is true, but the sentiment which seems to prompt it. I have never been diplomatic in my relation with mankind—not from regard for its feelings, but from a certain regard for my own. Diplomacy doesn’t go well with consistent contempt. I cared little for life and still less for death.

One can die but once, but there are many manners of death.

Woe to the man whose heart has not learned while young to hope, to love—and to put its trust in life!

Changing the past

I love e-books, especially on my Kindle, but Nicholas Carr or the Wall Street Journal has some interesting ideas on the danger of e-books.

[A]s is often the case with digitization, the boon carries a bane. The ability to alter the contents of a book will be easy to abuse. School boards may come to exert even greater influence over what students read. They’ll be able to edit textbooks that don’t fit with local biases. Authoritarian governments will be able to tweak books to suit their political interests. And the edits can ripple backward. Because e-readers connect to the Internet, the works they contain can be revised remotely, just as software programs are updated today. Movable text makes a lousy preservative.

This is not an impossible problem to overcome. It is not difficult to compare versions of documents. In the digital age, version control is even easier than when monks copied out books by hand one by one.

Carr goes on to eulogize the death of the solidity of books.

Not long before he died, John Updike spoke eloquently of a book’s “edges,” the boundaries that give shape and integrity to a literary work and that for centuries have found their outward expression in the indelibility of printed pages. It’s those edges that give a book its solidity, allowing it to stand up to the vagaries of fashion and the erosions of time. And it’s those edges that seem fated to blur as the words of books go from being stamped permanently on sheets of paper to being rendered temporarily on flickering screens.

But really, what is a book before you read it? After you read it? It only is what it is as you are consuming its content.