Friday Assorted Links #5 (all books)

  • A new book by neuroscientist and philosopher, Sam Harris: “Making Sense. Conversations on Consciousness, Morality and the Future of Humanity.” You may know him from his popular podcast under the same name.

  • Anne Applebaum, a columnist for the Atlantic (formerly the Washington Post), has released a new book in July entitled: “Twilight of Democracy.” Her story starts at the New Year’s party in 1999, in Poland (she is married to Radek Sikorski) at Chobielin. She writes: “At that moment, when Poland was on the cusp of joining the West, it felt as if we were all on the same team. We agreed about democracy, about the road to prosperity, about the way things were going. That moment has passed. Nearly two decades later, I would now cross the street to avoid some of the people who were at my New Year’s Eve party.” From her website: “Anne’s newest book The Twilight of Democracy explains, with electrifying clarity, why some of her contemporaries have abandoned liberal democratic ideals in favor of strongman cults, nationalist movements, or one-party states.
  • Ted Chiang’s newest short story collection: “Exhalation.” I only regret I have discovered him so late. The stories are absolute gems.

  • And last, my absolute favorite this week from the world of non-fiction: “How to Take Smart Notes” by the German author, Sonke Ahrens. I read it in two days and are re-reading it now. I will write more about the book and its concepts in the near future. Absolutely love the concept of “smart notes” based on the work of Niklas Luhmann and his famous “slip-box.” As Ahrens says in the first chapter: “It will present you with the tools of note-taking that turned the son of a brewer into one of the most productive and revered social scientists of the 20th century.”

Until the next time.

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