diff options
authorBryan Newbold <>2019-09-05 12:52:59 -0700
committerBryan Newbold <>2019-09-05 12:52:59 -0700
commit98203494c951d755683635ca1e007e208ae251f9 (patch)
parent7cda80443e057e914b152521b47a0490a002b9d7 (diff)
film and books updates
3 files changed, 93 insertions, 4 deletions
diff --git a/books/ b/books/
index 8b8b446..762e1bf 100644
--- a/books/
+++ b/books/
@@ -80,3 +80,89 @@ Overall well written and different. During and after I keep thinking of this as
young-adult or genre entertainment reading; there's more to it than that, but
also less than more traditional adult literature.
+Energy by Richard Rhodes (201?)
+After "Making of the Atomic Bomb", a bit of a narrative disapointment, though
+it is just a different sort of book. Felt like a series of snapshots, none deep
+enough to feel like I really understood the course and pressures that lead to
+success of different energy technologies.
+An over-arching theme was that ideas were had well before acceptance; it was
+often a combination of small technical polish *and* external economic or
+political changes that led to a new source being adopted.
+Narrative of coal, steam engine, and trains being intertwined was interesting:
+coal nominally being used as a heating source, but required engines for
+economical mining and transport; the engines themselves requiring cheap coal to
+be worth developing. And along the way land-use regulation being a blocker.
+Surprising to hear how much the negative health impacts of fossil fuels were
+known from the begining, and how bad the (local) environmental impacts were.
+The global impact gets so much more attention today. The period belief from the
+start that oil and coal reserves would run out. How poor Saudi Arabia was, and
+how narrowly the kingdom survived by oil exploration taking off at just the
+right moment.
+Part of what makes Niagra such a great power location is that the lake it
+drains is a huge buffer of stored water (thus energy), and the flow rate can be
+controlled at will (no flooding). More than a year of reserve water at full
+full (including the fact that water level would be decreasing).
+Didn't know that religious minorities on Nantucket partially moved back to
+Europe at some point to continue to pursue whaling.
+Roadside Picnic
+Oh, I really loved this. Very Russian. Explains "Stalker" the same way "2001: A
+Space Odessy" makes sense if you read the script/narration.
+The informal/intimate stalkers against the official/institutional scientists
+were so spot-on. This pattern doesn't always hold in sci/tech world, but it is
+pretty common.
+Devil and the White City by Eric Larson
+Decent, easy flight reading. Focus on the serial killer thread is of course
+only on the principle actors, but in the case of the fair, the focus on a
+handful of leaders and planners was less compelling.
+The scale of the Fair as a singular and super-human event really comes through.
+Will this sort of economic activity and make-work become more popular during
+late capitalism? Or post-scarcity? I continue to be perplexed why the scale of
+architecture gets less ambitious as society becomes more technically powerful;
+was it really dependent on economic inequality and exploitation of labor? Don't
+we have that again today?
+The background of economic recession, homelessness, and desparation against the
+robber barons funding and directing the World's Faire seemed like the real
+story and didn't get much coverage in depth.
+Combined with "Cadillac Desert", paints a story of agricultural development of
+the American mid-west as an economic and policy tragedy of the same
+incompetence as Soviet/Mao-ist economic planning, though of course far less of
+a tragedy in the end as most were able to survive and freely relocated.
+The Overstory by Richard Powers
+Decent, not spectacular. Most of the individual story threads would not have
+stood well on their own. The tree protectors were the most compelling to me:
+the aimless artist with a family flipbook of great tree growth, and the
+near-death college dropout. The various endings are pretty dramatic.
+Had echos of "The Wizard and the Prophet".
+Easy read; very basic introduction to the person and this period in history.
+Read because even this much I did not know!
diff --git a/books/ b/books/
index c8b5f3c..51ceb05 100644
--- a/books/
+++ b/books/
@@ -10,9 +10,7 @@ Novels
* The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
* The Magic Mountain, thomas mann
* Grapes of Wrath
-* The Illuminatus! Trilogy
* The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
-* Red Plenty (historical fiction)
Old Classics:
@@ -44,6 +42,8 @@ Philosophy
History and Politics
+* Origins of Totalitarianism by Arendt
+* Swaraj, Gandhi
* Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke
* The Art of Intelligence by Henry Crumpton (CIA history)
* The Conscience of a Conservative "by" Barry Goldwater
@@ -58,5 +58,3 @@ Other Non-Fiction
* Looking for a Ship, John McPhee (merchant marine)
-* Uncommon Carriers, John McPhee (shipping)
-* The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes
diff --git a/film/ b/film/
index f4f6438..a61b1a5 100644
--- a/film/
+++ b/film/
@@ -65,3 +65,8 @@ us together to see her family). The theater was full of couples in tears.
I liked this so much more than "Crazy Rich Asians", though it probably won't
reach as wide an audience.
+Only God Forgives