Archive of posts with tag 'authors'

Interview with Richard Rhodes, on the Making of the Atomic Bomb

May 23, 2023 • #

This is a phenomenal interview with Richard Rhodes, author of the legendary The Making of the Atomic Bomb, an expansive history of the Manhattan Project and the development of nuclear weapons technology.

Dwarkesh Shah’s show The Lunar Society is generally excellent and highly recommended. Just listen to how long he lets Rhodes answer and expound on questions without interruption. These are my favorite types of long-form interviews.

David McCullough Dies at 89

August 16, 2022 • #

Historian David McCullough died last week at age 89. If you’ve never read his work, it’s some of the best, most readable and engaging history you can find. I’ve read a few of his books over the years, like The Great Bridge (about the building of the Brooklyn Bridge), 1776 (the Revolutionary War), and his biography John Adams. Looking back on his bibliography, all of his others are on my reading list.

It’s always unfortunate to lose such a critical voice in American culture, but at least his books will stand the test of time...

On Legibility

July 31, 2020 • #

I think I probably read three different pieces this week alone that reference James Scott’s Seeing Like a State. It presents an argument about the desire for “legibility” that overthrows and reorders bottom-up, emergent systems that develop naturally.

In this piece, Venkatesh Rao dives into what legibility means and what happens when the pursuit of order and “governability” ignores locally-discovered motivations that could be at work informing why a system works the way that it does.

Boca Raton, planner's paradise Boca Raton,...

Image credits: Daily Overview

Weekend Reading: Ted Chiang, Renewable Energy, and ColorBox

September 21, 2019 • #

✍🏼 Ted Chiang Uses Science to Illuminate the Human Condition

I enjoyed this interview with author Ted Chiang. It covers his recent short story collection Exhalation: Stories with nice context and background on the ideas behind each one. I just finished the book last week, and would have to say that The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling was my favorite. A story about the fallibility of memory and what it would be like if our memories were recorded...