What I’ve been reading

13th October, 2020

Annie Duke, How To Decide. A workbook that talks through all the essentials of decision theory & behavioural science – the outside view vs the inside view; analysis paralysis, pre-mortems, “resulting” – while offering exercises & and self-tests. This is a book that you’re supposed to be scribbling in. It’s well-executed and Duke is a fascinating thinker, but my personal preference – since I love stories – is for her earlier book Thinking in Bets. It might well be that if you have a difficult decision or three ahead of you, you’ll get more out of How to Decide.

US: Powells UK: Blackwell’s Amazon

Jon Peterson Playing at the World. This is a seriously detailed history of Dungeons and Dragons – more than 700 pages, I think, although I’m reading on Kindle. Peterson is the sort of fellow who will spend a couple of pages exploring when exactly wandering monsters started showing up on a 1 instead of a 6, but he leaves no stone unturned here. There are extended discussions of the history of wargames from chess through Prussian kriegspiel (and in particular how they came to influence Dave Arneson), the fantasy influences on Gygax and Arneson, the wargaming scene around Lake Geneva, WI, and so on. I learned a lot – but for conoisseurs only I think. (Peterson also contributed to this rather gorgeous-looking visual history of D&D.)

US: Powells UK: Blackwell’s Amazon

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