Books

We will have a total Chaos without Books.

creator: x14km2d | build: 2021-12-30 | update: 2022-01-10

The Pinouts Book, NODE and Baptiste

This book is something for every electrical engineering maker. On 310 pages many pinouts of different connectors, boards or single board computers are shown and described. These are super designed in the typical NODE illustrations with white outlines and black background. This book is a wonderful example of minimal and super constructively thought out design. And with all the love Baptiste and NODE put into this book, you can download it legally for free. For the future, I would like to have a printed edition to put on my shelf. Then I can also offline always quickly look up a plug, if I have forgotten again about which pinouts it is. Because as we all know, offline is the new online.

The Visit, Friedrich Dürrenmatt

In addition to the book The Physicists, I also bought The Visit. This is also a theater play and I’m beginning to like this form of literature. The play is a tragic comedy that is quite topical in the year 2021. It is about petite bourgeois dreams, hopes and a flourishing economy. Poverty meets the immense wealth of the old lady who comes back to her hometown with the intention of having her old lover killed by the inhabitants. Meanwhile, the now almost 70-year-old tries to convince the old love of his innocence as a tragic hero, then as a loser. Corruption, indulgence and betrayal end this tragic comedy and meanwhile show how the world still seems to work. Even though it is an old book (1956), I really enjoyed Dürrematt’s writing style and profound humor.

The Physicists, Friedrich Dürrenmatt

I can understand why the satirical stage play The Physicists was so popular. The comedy about the three physicists, a world formula and three murders of nurses is incomparably free and freshly written. The situations are grotesque when Einstein, Newton and Möbius sit at the table and think about ethics in science. There is no escaping it, even if the scientists turn out to be something quite different. As it was discussed in the book, even the imagined cannot be taken back again.

Hiking with Nietzsche, John Kaag

When I was 14 years old, I preferred to spend my free time in the library reading, while other children my age played outside. Besides Kant, Goethe and Schiller, I also read most of Nietzsche’s works. When you are so young you like the pathetic and heroic. With age, the splendor of Zarathustra fades and is replaced by other works. However, I never knew that Nietzsche liked to go hiking, since I had never read a biography. Hiking with Nietzsche is the life story of Nietzsche and a philosopher. Hiking in the mountains, mixing the experiences of both people. It is an interesting and fluently written book with complex thoughts.

1984, George Orwell

When I was 16, we had read and discussed the book in class but it didn’t seem to stay in my head much. I had other things on my mind at the time, like my new girlfriend and when the next party was. I bought the book again in the original language at the end of last year and read it. It’s strange, because in the 90’ the book could have been a warning. Watch out! This is what can happen with governments. Everyone will be watching you. Nowadays, the book is already naive in its approach when we look at the actual development of mass surveillance. The drama between two lovers who are eventually caught dreaming, only to be pushed back into the political family as mental cripples. The book is so bitter in its reality, leaving a really depressing aftertaste. Nineteen Eighty-Four, is what people in the 50’ find unimaginable. A dystopian novel and a classic that should be read.

The Forever War, Joe Haldeman

So far, there has never been a science fiction book where I could identify with the main protagonist. William Mandella is the embodiment of that if I had stayed with the army. The whole plot is nothing special. A antihero, aliens, faster-than-light travel, and more deaths in an eternal war. In addition, a classic love story, the meaning-seeking experiences of a constantly changing time and the unapproachable not giving up one’s own principles. A good and solid book, which I might even read again in a few years.

The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett

I don’t really read fantasy novels, but the Colour of Magic is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read in this field. Terry Pratchet has such a wonderful way of narrating that it sucks the reader into the book. The story of the not very successful wizard Rincewind who has adventures with the first tourist of the Discworld is so funny, great and wonderfully told. Away from classic fantasy literature, the book is a welcome change in my otherwise dry specialist literature. I have never chuckled so often to myself because the philosophical allusions are so intelligently placed. If you have never read fantasy literature before, you should start with the Discworld novel The Colour of Magic. I immediately ordered a few more novels.

Every Tool’s a Hammer, Adam Savage

If you want to become a Maker. Buy this book. If you are a Maker. Buy this book. I belong more to the second kind of people who read this book. Makers who have worked out a lot of tricks for themselves will not be able to read a lot of technical information from this book. Maybe you will find one or two little tricks after all, but for that the purchase of this book would not be worth it. As a Maker you will find many anecdotes, stories and little truths that are very entertaining. You also get to know the people behind the videos a little better, which I personally find very exciting. Young people and teenagers will find a lot of information here. For example how to fail correctly, how to set up your store or sometimes you have to take a step back. Much of it I would have liked to have known already as a child and could have saved myself some unnecessary side ways. You can learn quite a lot as a beginner, because Adam is also a representative of the “share your knowledge” philosophy. This aspect appealed to me a lot and I can also represent this philosophy. The book is quickly written and therefore quickly read, because short chapters and many anecdotes make the book fast in its reading flow. The book is lightened up with individual black and white photographs and technical drawings. Very entertaining.

The Demon Haunted World, Carl Sagan

This is the second book I have read by Carl Sagan and he seems to be a good scientist and author. After the last four years I am learning more about the culture of the United States of America. This includes understanding how they have developed their view of the sciences. The fascinating thing about this book is that in 1995 it describes it from a very centered viewpoint of an American. It is thus a very good window of opportunity to understand the profound connections of social history. Carl looks objectively at UFO development, the witch hunt, Americans and science. Religion and science, astrology and pseudoscience. Media (TV and radio) and popular science. He describes how many people from the United States have problems with science because it is not promoted enough. Because science is rather boring, dry and unprofitable. The book is very enlightening and it now gives me a clearer picture of where the problems lie in this country. Because…since 1995 it does not seem to have improved, rather the opposite, in fact it seems to have worsened. Mr. Sagan is critical in his observations, but does not raise a scientific finger, but addresses the readers with his idiosyncratic humor and good writing style. A very bright and illuminating book. Science as a candle in the dark.

The Martian, Andi Weir

First of all, before I even say anything here. You must have read this technique Nerd novel. Is now almost a correct recommendation. With novels I always quarrel a little, because normally I’m more focused on specialist books and I find it very difficult to read anything without “learning“ anyway. But at the beginning of the year, the Martian caught my eye in so many places that the book was simply bought. The book is fast, modern, has a high density of swear words and is technically so close to reality that you can just be thrilled as a Nerd. It is possible to read the book in one go, but one should already be interested in science, because in some places a lot is already calculated. It is very detailed. It is a typical hero novel and lives from its positive stereotypes. Conclusion. Absolutely buy.

Discrete Mathematics, Oscar Levin

This book is suitable for students who are studying mathematics and want to explore the field of discrete mathematics. It is also suitable for those who are interested and want to teach in this field later. The textbook Discrete Mathematics by Oscar Levin is an introduction to certain topics in discrete mathematics. It is illustrated with exercises and examples (473 exercises, including 275 with solutions and another 109 with hints). These have been written down in a very clear language. Oscar even has a wonderful sense of humor when it comes to clothes, pizza topics and the number 42. I can highly recommend this book, because it is also written in DIN A4, which makes it easier to place the information on the individual pages. A positive and excellent mathematician and scientist his colleagues should take as an formidable example.

Make: Electronics: Learning Through Discovery, Charles Platt

If you want to get into the subject of electrical engineering as a beginner, you always have the problem of hyper specialization. Most books are simply too complex or the authors assume that the readers already have a high level of knowledge of electrical engineering. Make: Electronics by Charles Platt is quite different. You start from scratch and work your way into the topic of electrical engineering in individual projects. In between there are texts about who invented what or how components work exactly. Charles is of the opinion that you first have to break a lot of things to understand anything at all. I share this opinion and I myself have learned a lot from the book. Even after eight years, I still look at some of it when I am building a project. All in all the book is written in detail, but does not overburden beginners. There are a lot of pictures, graphics and schematics that explain everything in detail. Also micro controllers are discussed at the end. There might even be a book for this. If you want to introduce electrical engineering to your children, this book is a good choice. I would even recommend this book to teachers for electrical engineering lessons.

Pale Blue Dot, Carl Sagan

Pale Blue Dot is a pretty interesting book and I only knew Carl Sagan as a scientist. But if I had known how interesting he can write books, I would have bought something from him earlier. Pale Blue Dot is about the vision of people colonizing space one day. Carl leads us through the history of space travel. It is talked about whether there is intelligent life in the universe and why space is such a hostile environment (for humans). The solar system is also discussed, as well as the Apollo missions or whether it is possible to colonize objects close to the earth. One learns quite a lot if one gets involved with the data that the author, as a scientist, incorporates into his texts. Unfortunately many data are no longer relevant, outdated or certain projects have already been discontinued. What fascinated me is how often Sagan addresses the threatening climate catastrophe, which has been precisely defined as a problem since the 60’.

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, Mary Roach

There are many books that deal with the subject of space travel, but few authors manage to combine so many anecdotes, information and interesting facts in one book. The humor does not fall by the wayside, which really surprised me positively. Again and again Mary goes back to the history of astronautics and compares the development of the current standpoint of technology. She talks to different astronauts, makes self-experiments and uses recordings of the NASA. Why not put a dead astronaut back into a space capsule, what does isolation do to a person or how do you actually shit on the ISS are some of the interesting questions. The book has sufficient footnotes and a sufficient bibliography. This book is written for hobby astronauts who want to get a small insight into this incredibly comprehensive topic. One point of criticism is that the author does not use the metric system.

Too Much Stuff, Kozo Yamamura

I have an issue with scientific works are rewritten into books of popular science. Unfortunately, I am missing far too many references to literature and footnotes. Nevertheless, this book is perfectly suited to help you understand the economic triggers of the 2008 financial crisis, why the world has been slipping to the conservative/right, politically, since the 1980s, and that we are still not out of the crisis, no matter how much we try to convince each other of the opposite.. You have to be interested in numbers, data, statistics and politics to read this book, otherwise you will put Kozo Yamamura’s work away very quickly. It is not a philosophical work as the title suggests, but a scientific work adapted for the general reader. Due to the unusual structure there are some repetitions, which can be exhausting for people with a good memory. All in all a well done work.

The Mysterium, David Bramwell, Jo Keeling

This book differs considerably from my other reviews, because it is not a scientific book. Unfortunately also very superficial and in my opinion the two authors could have made more out of it. Why do I write about it anyway? The Mystery is entertaining if you like conspiracy theories, UFO stories, incredible urban legends and internet meme. It’s about Paper Phantoms, the Slenderman, Cicada 3301, Prince Phillip as the Melanesian volcano God, The inimitable Chuck Tingle, Ghost Radio, The south Atlantic anomaly and Operation Mindfuck. Although the book was written rather simply to hit a mass chunk, the two authors are British and have a great sense of humour. So if you’re on the long-distance bus for several hours, you can buy the book and read through 238 pages. Those who want to read something really new and exciting will not be served, because most of the stories can also be found in The Marianas Web.

The Fly Trap, Fredrik Sjoeberg

The book The fly trap by Fredrik Sjoerberg is one of the most beautiful autobiographical books I have ever read. It has brought me closer to entomology and how the work of some entomologists relates to recent developments in the field of biology. It shows the slowness of life, how art can take wondrous paths and why you simply have to love Swedish islands. Fredrik has a very good writing style which, coupled with scientific details, makes his works rise to milestones in contemporary literature. A book to dream.

It’s Basic Income, Amy Jones, Steward Lansley

This book is a good introduction for those who have not yet dealt with the subject of universal basic income. In six chapters different essays are presented, which take a close look at the pro’s and con’s of universal basic income. You don’t have to be an economist, because the articles are clearly urbanized even for beginners. Although the authors selected by Amy and Steward from the two countries UK with 17 articles and the USA with six articles predominate, other countries also have their say. For example Belgium, Canada, Finland or India. Unfortunately, the counterarguments from the only German article are very difficult to undercut in ignorance and embarrassment. One rather limits oneself to political phrase threshing, which one should publish at most in social media. At the latest from …increasing migration… you can skip the article without missing important information. On the other hand, the counterarguments from Belgium, the UK and the USA have important points that should be considered in a public debate on a universal basic income. I am incredibly satisfied with this work, only the design disturbs me a little. I don’t like flaps in the book cover and spine and the idea to print the headline of the sub chapter once more on each page of the individual book pages is very distracting.

Utopia for Realists, Rutger Bergman

This book is positive, maybe too positive for some readers. The author deals with current topics such as universal basic income, the end of poverty and other controversial better world ideas. He takes examples from the history of mankind, well known anecdotes and published studies. There are enough footnotes and sources to give interested people more information, although it might be more scientific at this point. The scientific aspect of the book is of secondary importance, however, because it is first and foremost about encouraging readers inside in simple and clearly understandable words. Therefore, in many cases topics are only considered onside, which does not harm the book. Rutger is absolutely an author whose development should be further observed, because in four hours he had an inspiring effect on me.

Bullshit Jobs, David Graeber

In recent years I have had very few books that have personally opened my eyes. You live somehow with your work and if you get paid well, you don’t think much about your job. For example, I worked for a well known telephone company for almost a whole year. Help desk. From time to time a person came out of the office and needed a new laptop or paper had to be added to a printer. Otherwise my time consisted of drinking coffee, surfing the internet and talking to the administrators from the other department. What does that have to do with this book? David describes exactly these kinds of jobs that seem to surround us in heaps. He defines them in different classes and describes how the different activities work by means of testimonies. This not only gives you a deep insight into the bullshit job work structure but also how you are involved in it in some places. The book goes in the scientific direction, only it rumbles at two points. The annoying quotations disturb the reading flow generally and had rather into own statements of the author to be converted should. In addition, the footnote should always be placed on the same page as the citation, because no one wants to have to leaf to the end of the book again and again to look something up. Nevertheless, the book has a lot of information content and it is worth it with its 285 for a trip or a road trip. It is worth it, if you ask yourself why you are unhappy in your very well paid job. Maybe it’s a bullshit job?

How Democracies Die, Steven Levitsky, Daniel Ziblatt

There are two things I find very difficult to understand. American politics and people. For the former there is fortunately the book How Democracies Die which explains how American politics and fascism are connected. The two authors have researched very well, are able to transport factual information to the reader and reproduce it in an understandable way. Since the book also considers current events such as the election and term of office of the previous president, these can be viewed in a historical context. European and global parallels are drawn and linked to form a fixed red thread that runs through the book. As a European, I had to revise many of the prejudices of American politics, such as the roles of Democrats and Republicans. Also, I can now see much better the background to why our world community threatens to drift into a new fascist era if we do not now uphold democratic values and protect the shining torch of humanity for the humanist community. This book is a must read for people who are less concerned with politics, because the complex structure threatens to kill them. In my opinion, this book should be included in the curriculum of universities.


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