Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle

7:52 pm - Jason G. - Books

Hey Neal Stephenson fans out there… if you like audio books, Audible now has the entire Baroque Cycle available. 114 hours, retail price of $174.



What Should I Read Next?

9:56 am - Jason G. - Books, Technology

Quite literally… http://www.whatshouldireadnext.com/.

Give it a book or author you like and it will recommend other books that you may enjoy.


Daily Lit

6:56 am - Jason G. - Books, Technology

I thought this was clever… Read a book via RSS feeds… they take a book and split it up into small chunks. Then they take those chunks and put them in an RSS feed, releasing sections of the story on your preferred schedule (weekdays, every day of week, MWF are the choices right now) and the time you prefer.

They mostly have public domain books, but they do have a few recent books, such as this scifi book that is fairly recent, Eastern Standard Tribe, by Cory Doctorow (of Boing, Boing fame). The author in this case is a proponent of the open source equivalent in literature…


Cryptonomicon Sequels?

7:02 am - Jason G. - Books

From a Neal Stephenson interview from back in August, 1999:

Originally, I planned to have storylines in Cryptonomicon set in the present, past, and future, but I pulled out the one set a couple of generations in the future – more the kind of stuff that people are accustomed to seeing from me. Though it previously looked as though it was going to be kind of sparse, now it was looking like it could stand on its own, but it would take a lot more time and work. And yet the WWII and present-day timelines were done, and it seemed crazy to hold up the entire thing any longer for the future one to get done, so we could bring that out first. So we decided to take this approach. Besides, the book was already at the limits of size! The future scenario will be a later book.

I have two sequels to Cryptonomicon planned, but they’re in different time lines. I’m trying not to give the idea that it’s a tightly locked together set of books. They’re supposed to work as stand-alones. There are always a few strange little corners of the story that may not make sense outside of the context of the full series, but 99% of it can stand on its own reasonably well, I hope. It’s kind of a wink to the science fiction readers out there: ‘See, it really is a science fiction book!’


Amazon vs. Audible – Who Can Charge You More?

9:42 am - Jason G. - Books, Rant

I just looked at a book on Amazon.com and noticed that it had an “audio download” version available for $9. When I clicked on the link, the price of the audio download jumped to $19.95?!?! What up with that?

Ahhh… the curse of e-commerce partnerships. I am a subscriber to Audible and was currently logged in. If I weren’t logged in, I would see the $9 price. But, since I dutifully give Audible money every month as part of my subscription, I am subjected to a higher price.

Nice job Audible and Amazon. You both appear shady as hell when you pull stunts like this.


Pondering Risk

5:46 pm - Jason G. - Books, Quotes

The late, great Peter Drucker once said this:

Every decision is risky: It’s a commitment of present resources to an uncertain and unknown future. Risks can be minimized if you know when a decision is necessary, how to clearly define a problem and tackle it directly, and that you’ll have to make compromises in the end. You haven’t made a decision until you’ve found a way to implement it.

I’ve been thinking a bit lately about the nature of risk and what we really mean. I think this one quote helps solidify my thinking more than anything else I’ve come across while pondering the topic.

Note to self – go back and finish reading Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk by Peter Bernstein.