Monday, June 11, 2012

Unevenly distributed future

I am only 130 pages in "The Makers" by Cory Doctorow (yes, that Cory Doctorow of the blogosphere fame), but it already might be the best book I've read in the last 6 months. No, wait, scratch that - 12 months (Kraken did come just about two years ago). There is a Big Idea on every page, it's bursting with enthusiasm, imagination, and - despite the outwardly bleak post-post-industrial after-the-Crash American setting - even optimistic book. It is crazy, intelligent and incisively funny in the way that Neal Stephenson's "Zodiac" or "Cryptonomicon" (it even deals with similar themes of entrepreneurship, startups, business ethics, futurism, social implications of technology, and wild crazy adventure), or Stross' Halting State were. I will have more to say about "The Makers" when I finish it, but at this current pace it'll be quite soon - I literally had to force myself to put it down today. Errrr, the students can do pre-exam review on their own, right?


P.S. Why so many links in this post to Amazon? No, I'm not shilling for Amazon (although if you're from Amazon and want to give me money I will not say no), but if you have not read any of these books you need to order them right now from Amazon, or your nearest public library, or your nearest mIRC portal and then put your life on hold until you read them!


P.P.S. Doctorow's book is already inspiring me to rant on a few topics. Expect more activity as the school year winds down and my free time goes up. Some of the upcoming topics may include:
- what will happen if all personal debt was erased overnight
- the new model of education
- political revolutions in fantasy
- lessons from this teaching year
- my European vacation!