You are what you share

Or so the wise saying goes. This means that today I am reading tips because reading tips is something I’m about to share (and ask).

books.pngI quite enjoyed reading Anthony Giddens’ The Politics of Climate Change if ‘enjoyed’ is the right word. It’s not easy reading but if you’re confused with the range of conflicting points of views on climate change in articles here and there it’s an easy way to get a basic understanding of energy security, global warming and related politics. Bits of information about gas pipes or energy stations in space make much more sense after reading this book.

A few nuggets to give you a flavor. I hadn’t heard about using GPI (Genuine Progress Indicator) instead of GDP as a measure of how well a country is doing. In addition to economics it looks at health care, crime rates, life expectancy and how clean the environment is to determine how well a country is going. In GDP terms the US is twice bigger than in 1970’s, in GPI terms it has stood still for 30 years.

The concept of backcasting was also interesting. Instead of projecting today onto the future it asks what changes have to be made in the present in order to arrive at alternative future state. Or the blindingly obvious fact that developed countries may frown upon pollution growth in China or Brazil but actually this is pollution that has been sort of exported. If you account the pollution to countries where goods are consumed rather than produced it’s evident it’s a global issue to tackle, not something that Chinas and Brazils of this world have to sort out locally.

Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel was a similarly good overview of how equities markets work and how your average small investor should go about investing, or not investing. For some reason I had brought it along to my summer holiday in Ibiza and for some reason it fit into the very hedonistic reading setting very well.

On a lighter note Matthew Polly’s American Shaolin is a well written story about an American bloke who goes to Shaolin for a year to learn kung fu. There’s a guy with a good sense of humour, and a good story. If you’ve been away from home for a long time or done any martial arts training yourself you’ll enjoy it double.

And thanks to my father’s influence I’ve enjoyed a few good sci-fi classics as audiobooks lately. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is a story about a super powerful computer that has developed consciousness and helps to plan a revolution on Luna (Moon, that is) out of boredom. And Dark Universe takes you underground on our planet Earth where a group of people have stayed so long they’ve forgotten the sense of seeing. All available in Audible.

And then of course Naine by Olavi Ruitlane, a book that has been praised enough times. All I can say is echo everyone that has recommended it.
PS. Pardon the very serious, almost morbid tone. These fine pieces of reading deserve better but last night’s halloween festivities have taken their toll.

PS2. All links here were affiliate links, so in case you clicked any of them you’ve in effect made me obscenely rich. Photo borrowed from internet from someone called weeping-willow.

PS3. Have holidays coming up in a few weeks and need to stock up before I set off. Any reading tips?

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