Category Archives: books

Monday Musings–19FEB24

Read two books this week. Both on just about thesame subject. The first Grunch of Giants, was. published in 1981 and is more for historical value, But Bucky got a lot of stuff right, although this book was not about solutions. He alludes to his previous book Critical Path (or for those.

Examines the evolution of multinational corporations, from the military-industrial complex of the postwar period to the present world economic crisis, and evaluates the economic and political impact of such entities on the American and international economic systems

You can get this book at Amazon (Kindle) or as a free download at Archive .org

The other book is Cory Doctorow’s The Internet Con. which you can get at various places:

The platforms locked us into their systems and made us easy pickings, ripe for extraction. Twitter, Facebook and other Big Tech platforms hard to leave by design. They hold hostage the people we love, the communities that matter to us, the audiences and customers we rely on. The impossibility of staying connected to these people after you delete your account has nothing to do with technological limitations: it’s a business strategy in service to commodifying your personal life and relationships.
We can – we must – dismantle the tech platforms. In The Internet Con, Cory Doctorow explains how to seize the means of computation, by forcing Silicon Valley to do the thing it fears most: interoperate. Interoperability will tear down the walls between technologies, allowing users leave platforms, remix their media, and reconfigure their devices without corporate permission.
Interoperability is the only route to the rapid and enduring annihilation of the platforms. The Internet Con is the disassembly manual we need to take back our internet.

Even direct from Cory himself:

Cory has more of a solution to the problem than Fuller, which at this is more historical than something you could use in this era,and the book is highly recommended.

I’ve given you links to 2 versions of the books that you can get as EPubs. Some of you may not know how to read these on a kindle. Well it’s fairly easy, here’s the page on Amazon that explains it.

That’s it for me this week. Don’t forget to put pants on when you go outside.

Monday Musings — 27NOV23

I’ve been thinking (just thinking, mind you) about electric bikes, and maybe getting an electric trike. I don’t think I could do a 2 wheeler, because of my balance problems, but a 3 wheeler would work. I don’t go far most of the time, groceries, pharmacy, library. It would beat taking the truck out when I just want to go a short distance. Except in winter. No way, I can barely be outside in cold weather.

And they are better for the environment.

What advantages do electric mopeds and bikes have?

The electric transport revolution is a great chance to rethink how we move through our cities—and whether we even need a car at all.

Cars, after all, often have only one occupant. You’re expending a lot of energy to transport yourself.

By contrast, electric mopeds and bikes use a lot less energy to transport one or two people. They’re also a lot cheaper to buy and run than electric cars.

If you commute on an e-bike 20 km a day, five days a week, your charging cost would be about $20—annually.

In Australia, electric bikes are very rapidly going from a hobbyist pursuit to a serious mode of urban transport. Over 100,000 e-bikes were sold here last year.

Of course, you’re unlikely to use electric mopeds or bikes to drive from Sydney to Melbourne. Their real value is in short-hop trips—the school run, the milk and bread run, or even the commute—where they take roughly the same time or shorter than a car.

I finished The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin this week. Highly recommended.

“A gorgeous and inspiring work of art on creation, creativity, the work of the artist. It will gladden the hearts of writers and artists everywhere, and get them working again with a new sense of meaning and direction. A stunning accomplishment.” –Anne Lamott From the legendary music producer, a master at helping people connect with the wellsprings of their creativity, comes a beautifully crafted book many years in the making that offers that same deep wisdom to all of us. “I set out to write a book about what to do to make a great work of art. Instead, it revealed itself to be a book on how to be.” –Rick Rubin

Many famed music producers are known for a particular sound that has its day. Rick Rubin is known for something else: creating a space where artists of all different genres and traditions can home in on who they really are and what they really offer. He has made a practice of helping people transcend their self-imposed expectations in order to reconnect with a state of innocence from which the surprising becomes inevitable. Over the years, as he has thought deeply about where creativity comes from and where it doesn’t, he has learned that being an artist isn’t about your specific output, it’s about your relationship to the world. Creativity has a place in everyone’s life, and everyone can make that place larger. In fact, there are few more important responsibilities. The Creative Act is a beautiful and generous course of study that illuminates the path of the artist as a road we all can follow. It distills the wisdom gleaned from a lifetime’s work into a luminous reading experience that puts the power to create moments–and lifetimes–of exhilaration and transcendence within closer reach for all of us.

Or in case you’d like the ebook.

That’s it for this week. take care of yourselves, and stay warm.

Samuel R. Delany’s Atlantis: Model 1924 and the Origins of Blackness

“Atlantis: Model 1924” belongs among the most important fiction in Samuel R. Delany’s vast bibliography, precisely because it distills so much of what makes this black, gay Harlemite science fiction writer such a unique figure in American letters—including his family’s history, his thinking on race, sexuality, and gender, his artistic methods as a writer, and his creative approach to literary criticism. “Atlantis: Model 1924” follows the life of a 17-year-old black kid named Sam on his journey from North Carolina to Harlem in the fall of 1923. The character is based on the author’s father, and the storyline is based on Delany’s family history. Two of the fictional Sam’s siblings — Elsie and Corey in the novella — are based upon the famous Delany sisters, Sarah (Sadie) Delany and A. Elizabeth (Bessie) Delany, who became internationally known centenarians with their bestselling book Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years (1993).

The Bookman’s Wake – John Dunning

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Few novels have been as eagerly awaited as John Dunning’s sequel to the award-winning “Booked to Die,” which was hailed by critics and readers for both its powerful writing and its fascinating glimpse into the world of rare book collecting. Now, Denver cop-turned-book-dealer Cliff Janeway is back, lured by an enterprising ex-cop into going to Seattle to bring back a fugitive wanted for assault, burglary, and the possible theft of a priceless edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” The bail jumper turns out to be a young, vulnerable woman who calls herself Eleanor Rigby, and who happens to be a gifted book scout. Janeway finds Eleanor enchanting — and is equally intrigued by the deadly history surrounding the rare volume. Stalked by people willing to kill to get their hands on it, a terrified Eleanor slips from Janeway’s grasp and disappears. To find her, Janeway must unravel the secrets surrounding the book and its mysterious maker, for only this knowledge can stop the cruel hand of death from turning another page….

Notches (The Montana Mysteries Featuring Gabriel Du Pré Book 4)

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The news is bad: five young women—so far—raped, tortured, and left in the Montana wilderness to be devoured by coyotes. It’s not long before Gabriel Du Pré, Métis Indian cattle inspector and occasional deputy, gets the call from Sheriff Benny Klein, summoning him to yet another grisly crime scene—this time in his own backyard. Not far from the victim, he finds two more murdered women, their bodies arranged over each other in a cross. A message from the killer? But what does it mean?

Working alongside a Blackfoot FBI agent and his feisty female partner, Du Pré, a father and grandfather with two daughters of his own, gives his all to the manhunt. But as more victims are found, and a young woman he cares about disappears, he will come to the grim realization that he must learn to think like this monster in order to catch him.

“Like the most memorable creations in detective fiction, [Du Pré’s] moral center is unshakeable” (Booklist).

Notches is the 4th book in The Montana Mysteries Featuring Gabriel Du Pré series, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.

Indian Killer by Sherman Alexie

First published in 1996, this book’s insight into race and relationships is just as true today as it was then. It’s about colonization and what it does to the colonized. A great book, although it was a slow start for me.

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“Part thriller, part magical realism, and part social commentary, Indian Killer . . . lingers long past the final page.”—Seattle Weekly

A national best seller, Indian Killer is arguably Sherman Alexie’s most controversial book to date—a gritty, racially charged literary thriller that, over a decade after its first publication, remains an electrifying tale of alienation and justice. A serial murderer called the Indian Killer is terrorizing Seattle, hunting, scalping, and slaughtering white men. Motivated by rage and seeking retribution for his people’s violent history, his grizzly MO and skillful elusiveness both paralyze the city with fear and prompt an uprising of racial brutality. Out of the chaos emerges John Smith. Born to Indians but raised by white parents, Smith yearns for his lost heritage. As his embitterment with his dual life increases, Smith falls deeper into vengeful madness and quickly surfaces as the prime suspect. Tensions mount, and while Smith battles to allay the anger that engulfs him, the Indian Killer claims another life. With acerbic wit and chilling page-turning intensity, Alexie takes an unflinching look at what nurtures rage within a race both colonized and marginalized by a society that neither values nor understands it.(US) (UK)