reading

A -post collection

The Robots Are Coming: Grappling with Our AI Future

A superintelligent computer seizing control of the world's nuclear arsenal. Robots for every human need, from housecleaning to filing your taxes. A dystopian future in which social scores determine who you marry, what job you get, and where you live. These may sound like plots for this year's top science fiction novels, but to the authors reviewed in this essay, they are anything but imagined realities—they are our possible future. This review tackles introductory reading material about AI from three angles: why AI might destroy humanity, why AI might destroy the economy, and the new who's who of in the international AI race. If you read all three, you will reach expert-level AI doomsayer—just in time for the robot apocalypse. Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, and

Read more

Six Books to Help You Quit Your Job: What To Read Before You Quit

For three and a half years, I worked for a boss who had zero experience in the department he managed. He was the "good old boy" type who got ahead by being a white male who kissed his boss's ass (and, likely, other parts). He had no interview process for his role (he was an internal promotion from an unrelated department), no accomplishments of his own to claim (although he had no problem taking credit for others' hard work), and zero qualifications. I imagine his boss's thought process went something like this: "He was a (novice) wedding photographer in college, so I guess he's qualified to run marketing for a $200 million/year company." It was a mystery to most in the

Read more

Book Review: Walden on Wheels: On the Open Road from Debt to Freedom by Ken Ilgunas

Ah, the coming of age adventure memoir - one of my favorite genres. Ken Illgunas's book Walden on Wheels: On the Open Road from Debt to Freedom shares plot points with others in the genre: boy becomes disillusioned with modern American society and disdains the 9 to 5 cubicle grind. Boy makes the harrowing journey hitchhiking across the country, encountering the great grizzly bear in Alaska's wilderness, and falling in love on the trail. Throw in a little financial advice - in this case, how to get out of student loan debt, or any large debt, and fast - and you've got a winning piece of nonfiction for the millennial generation. Illgunas writes for a generation that was promised a certain level of financial freedom after

Read more

Book Review: The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King by Rich Cohen

Bananas, it turns out, don't grow on trees, but instead are large herbs and are best classified as berries. The plant, which is actually a tall grass, can grow - from a cutting and not a seed - twenty inches in twenty-four hours. The banana we eat in the United States, the Cavendish variety, is not the one that first graced our grocery store aisles; that banana, the Big Mike, is now extinct. In fact, we get our "slippery banana peel" comedy from the Big Mike, with its slimy skin. To the dismay of grade-school comedians everywhere, the Cavendish isn't slippery at all. If these banana facts astonish you, you may be delighted to know that these and more are buried in the pages

Read more