A Persian Cafe, Edward Lord Weeks

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Summer Reading List

My blogging has been lighter than usual or recent, primarily because I've been going through various exams. The final one was this morning, which means that I now have a fair bit of time on my hands. I'm sorting out a list of books I intend to read and review over the summer; by review I mean chapter-by-chapter or section-by-section, over at my other blog (which has also not seen much use, albeit for rather longer than this one). At the moment, my reading list is as follows:

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. I've already read most of this, but I'm intending to re-read it from the beginning and take notes.
Decisive: How to make better choices in life and work by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. I know next to nothing about this book, but it was on the CFAR recommended reading list and I feel like I've tended to focus rather more on Epistemic Rationality than Instrumental Rationality, so hopefully this will help my instrumental rationality.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. This wasn't on the CFAR list, but I've seen recommendations elsewhere and I'm reading it for pretty much the same reason.
Pop Internationalism by Paul Krugman. I've been worried for a while that I read a lot of economics by libertarians, and very little by lefties. I don't tend to read Krugman because a) there's a paywall after your first ten New York Times articles each month, and b) the relentlessly, aggressively political nature of his writing nowadays. This is a collection of his essays from (I believe) the late nineties, before he went all political.
Poor Economics by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo. A friend of mine who founded the Manchester branch of GWWC recommended this to me. I would like to have read this before the Effective Altruists Weekend Retreat in late June.
Anarchy, State and Utopia by Robert Nozick. I've been intending to read this in full for a quite considerable while, and indeed I already have notes on most of the first section. Most likely I will re-read those sections but will not worry about writing new notes on those sections.
An Economist Gets Lunch by Tyler Cowen. My mother has spent much of the last five years working towards a qualification which has boosted her pay; now that it's over, we're having a holiday - only our second foreign family holiday - in Canada. This will involve a fair amount of eating out, so I'm intending to finish this book before heading across. (I wouldn't take it across with me - my copy is in hardback, and there are weight/size limits regarding baggage on the plane).
The Strategy of Conflict by Thomas Schelling. I've seen this recommended in various places, and again hopefully it will contribute towards my instrumental rationality.

This list may be added to, although I want to avoid making it too large in order to keep my goal realistic. The main things I am considering adding are (a) a work of fiction, and (b) a textbook on computer science.

If anyone happens to read this, I would love to receive your recommendations.

One other project I am considering for this summer is that, having been through pretty much all the Sequences concerned with epistemic rationality and noting that there is rather less concerning instrumental rationality, making a list of all the important LW posts regarding instrumental rationality and recording audio versions of them. I am definitely intending to make a poster of the key points of Humans Are Not Automatically Strategic, which I shall hang up in my room. This should give me greater recall of the effective habits and increase the likelihood that I will actually act strategically in practice.

Addendum: I am also aiming to read Be Still, My Soul (editor: Nancy Guthrie) and The Bible Unearthed by Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman, for reasons explained here.

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