There were a lot of holidays this month, and I found the time to chomp through three books. Thought I’d put up some quick reviews.
Ok, so the first book is Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash
The book is really fast paced but I found that the Sumerian history lessons were a drag. This is one of those books where, towards the end, the author seems to get bored and wraps things up real quick
However. The coolest thing about the book is the Metaverse. No fun without a second life comparision. Snow crash probably might have been an inspiration, but the secondlife metaverse beats the pants off snow crash. Some nerd would’ve written a comparision somewhere. Being me, I specifically love the 3d modelling environment and the simple scripting language that allows anybody to try and create stuff that they want to. One of these days I’m going to try hack around my client and try to cut off texture downloads that make rezzing so slow. I’ll probably be like one of the guys in snow crash, who “goggle” in from a “cheap terminal”, but the neat thing is that its only going to appear that way to me
The second book, Stephen Budiansky’s Air Power
The book, begins with early days of aviation, development and advances in aviation and engineering, and sheer stupidity that the human race is capable of. I wont go into details because I want to go to sleep. But there’s always some lesson to be learnt from history and books about history:
1) When something is wrong, fix it. Dont try to live with it and make it sound as though its right. The more stupidity in a society, more examples of this, you will be able to find.
2) Dont let success get to your head.
3) Listen to smart people.
4) Delegate responsibility. If you’re asleep after downing sleeping pills, your next in command should be able to call in the Panzer divisions.
5) Learn from the past mistakes and successes.
6) Dont buy a book at the airport bookstore. They charge almost twice its worth.
Book No. 3, that I chomped down over the last weekend: Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage
It would be wrong to consider the book only as a series of love stories/attempts. There are so many relations that are discovered, built and broken. Quite endearing.
Also, as an interesting aside, I felt that the author used the book to critic the arts of his time. Deep descriptions of art, books, artists and poets, that probably do not carry so much of weight in our current time, can feel tiresome, but I guess somebody researching the past would love to have such a nice written record.