2021 a Year in Books

What I read in 2021, the comprehensive list. How to read this list: *  = Recommend** = Really recommendNC = No comment (or, really, do not bother)RR = Re-readF = FictionNF = Non-fictionP = Plays No, I won't be posting purchase links, I suggest you purchase a copy of whatever sounds interesting from your favourite local second … Continue reading 2021 a Year in Books

The Future Starts Now

Yes, this is technically my own book - but I only wrote one of the 20 essays, so I am really more of a reader than a writer here too. Agency is a tricky thing. The less we use it, the more we lose it. The more we give up and outsource our responsibilities, the … Continue reading The Future Starts Now

Cultural Amnesia

"But in Rome, the consuls, the Senate, the knights, rushed headlong into servitude" ~ Tacitus What an utterly extraordinary book. There are not many people who made me feel badly read - Clive James is one of them. Clive James's Cultural Amnesia is an incredible, rich, well researched provocative book. It is a collection of … Continue reading Cultural Amnesia

The Beginning of Infinity

David Deutsch's The Beginning of Infinity is such an important book. For a start it's unashamedly optimistic (which is heretical these days). Indeed, it defends optimism as not only being rational (after all, if we project the likelihood of tomorrows's problems with today;'s technology and understanding, we are bound to err on the side of … Continue reading The Beginning of Infinity

We have been harmonised

We Have Been Harmonised by Kai Strittmatter makes for uncomfortable reading. The book details the seemingly unstoppable slide towards the total surveillance state (or the 360 degree, 4D WiFi curtain, as I like to call our emerging omniscient open air prison reality), not just in the Communist Party of China's China, but all over the … Continue reading We have been harmonised

On the Foolishness of the Wise

“Rabbit's clever," said Pooh thoughtfully. "Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit's clever." "And he has Brain." "Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit has Brain." There was a long silence. "I suppose," said Pooh, "that that's why he never understands anything.” ~ Benjamin Hoff The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff is a wonderful, whimsical, entertaining little book on the principles of enlightenment - with plenty of … Continue reading On the Foolishness of the Wise

The Story of Philosophy

“Tolerance grows only when faith loses certainty; certainty is murderous.”~ Will Durant Will Durant was a phenomenal writer, wise, astute, with a wonderful way with words and a particular ability to articulate complicated ideas with clarity. The Story of Philosophy is Will Durant at his best, spanning centuries of human thought, he brings long dead … Continue reading The Story of Philosophy

The Future of You

"We don’t exist unless there is someone who can see us existing . . . to be surrounded by friends is constantly to have our identity confirmed."~ Alain de Botton Tracey Follows is one of my favourite contemporary futurists. Her new book, The Future of You explains why I love the way she thinks. For … Continue reading The Future of You

Henry Hazlitt

The Way to Willpower

“What can it profit a man to think if he does not dare to?” ~ Henry Hazlitt Henry Hazlitt is one of my favourite clear thinkers. The Way to Willpower is a straight talking guide to personal motivation (not my favourite genre by a long stretch, but somehow Hazlitt makes even self improvement bearable). The … Continue reading The Way to Willpower