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Joined 2 months ago

He/him. YA and paranoia, mainly.

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emmadilemma's books

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Playbook for Progressives (Paperback, 2011, Beacon Press) No rating

An organizing manifesto for the twenty-first century, Playbook for Progressives is a must-have for the …

One of my regular contacts was a very brave woman whom I'll call Jessie Terry. Jessie and her three young sons would sit around a stove-like heater in the middle of their living room in the freezing cold.... Once, perhaps inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.'s metaphor, I asked her if she had a dream of what her life could be like.

"My dream is that I am able to walk in front of a car and leave this life and God will not punish me for abandoning my children."

... I realized that I had no capacity out of my own privileged life to grasp that level of despair.

Playbook for Progressives by  (Page 6)

Thinking with type (2010, Princeton Architectural Press) No rating


1 star

"Thinking With Type" looked at first glance to be a combination of reference and history, so I flipped through it to see how I would approach it.

I landed on a page with the heading "Ignoring the rules of punctuation leads to humiliation and despair" with abrasive tidbits such as: "The purpose of prime marks, or hatch marks, is to indicate inches and feet. Their use to mark quotations is a common blight across the typographic landscape.... Incorrectly used prime marks must be routed out and destroyed."

I don't have time for this attitude.

I rarely give out one-star reviews, as they are books I wouldn't have finished. Rating DNF books goes against my principles. What if it got better?

In this case, skimming the book actually told me that it wasn't worth reading at all; it is the rare exception to my rule.

A Shortcut Through Time (Hardcover, 2003, Knopf) No rating

Everywhere at once

3 stars

It was too much for me to hope to grasp quantum computing from one book, and perhaps I got as much as I could have reasonably hoped for: I know what I don't know and I will recognize these terms when dropped at the quantum water cooler.

Coming from a science and computing background at university, I knew the basics of electronics and cryptography. I fear someone without this background might not make it far in this book. The quantum bits (er, qubits) I get the basics of, but several core concepts left me with 'how' and 'why' questions that were necessarily hand-waved, to use the author's term.

How does entanglement happen and how does one choose the kind of entanglement? Why is entanglement over large distance assumed axiomatically when it's a great feat to have it happen from one side of the table to the other? How do I …