A Little Ludwig Goes a Long Way

A smattering of opinions on technology, books, business, and culture. Now in its 4th technology iteration.

Recent Books -- For Profit, PriestDaddy, Spies, Women, Smoke and Ashes, Red Plenty, First Lie Wins, Cahokia Jazz, Outlive, Third Millenium Thinking

15 April 2024

  • For Profit: A History of Corporations by William Magnuson. I thought this was going to be a much more detailed book. The long anecdotes about some major corporate structure innovations throughout history were interesting, but ultimately I felt a little unsatisfied. The last chapter admonitions were just pablum – “corporations shouldn’t do the bad things that some did in the past”. I was hoping for more meat – a look at some bleeding edge corp structures, a deeper look at the law and regulation, etc. It is an OK book but left me wanting more.
  • PriestDaddy: A Memoir by Patricia Lockwood. Enjoyable at first but kidn of went nowhere and started to feel repetitive. The window into life with a priest father was interesting for a while.
  • Spies: The Epic Intelligence War Between East and West by Calder Walton. A walk through the history of British, US, Soviet, Russian, and Chinese spying. The main theme is the asymmetry between the approaches of the democratic west and the autocratic nations, and the dangers for the west.
  • The Women by Kristin Hannah. An odd meld of a romance novel and a gritty tale of vietnam service and its after effects. I loved the vietnam part.
  • Smoke and Ashes: Opium’s Hidden Histories by Amitav Ghosh. The story of the opium trade and its impact primarily on India and China, but also Britain and the US. A lot of great detail on just how pervasive and impactful the trade was.
  • Red Plenty by Francis Spufford. A fictionalized account of the Soviet Union’s attempts to create a planned economy that would outperform the west, he book is a mix of real history and fictionalized accounts of the people involved. Interesting and humanizing.
  • First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston. Super fun thriller jaunt, where everyone is morally gray. Supposedly coming to Hulu.
  • Cahokia Jazz by Francis Spufford. Finest novel I have read in some time, the reimagining of America is fascinating and vivid.
  • Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity by Peter Attia. I am glad I dabbled in this book. There are some interesting concepts and ideas in here. But gosh a terrible and boring book. Really this should not be a book but should be an app that injests your DNA sequence and medical tests, and gives you a plan on how to live longer and healthier.
  • Third Millenium Thinking: Creating Sense in a World of Nonsense by Saul Perlmutter, Robert MacCoun, John Campbell. A nice toolset for thinking about problems in a structured way. Would be a great 30 page article, the book is stuffed with extra words to get to book length.