Marginalia

If it doesn’t fit anywhere else, it’s here.

My favourite newsletters

Now we live in the substack era, I thought I'd share a few newsletters I enjoy receiving... Admittedly, the line between newsletter and RSS feed is rather blurred (and personally I like to consume things via RSS when I can). But here are a few recommendations... David...

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The best podcasts of 2021

I'll admit, this is a somewhat arbitrary mix of podcasts that are noteworthy because they are particularly wonderful, noteworthy because I feel they are underappreciated, and noteworthy because they are new. Still - they are all free, and truly we live in an age of...

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My books of the year 2021

Ananyo Bhattacharya, The Man From the Future - A biography not only of the genius's genius, John von Neumann, but also of von Neumann's ideas and influence, which are nearly impossible to exaggerate. Serious and brilliantly-written. David Bodanis, The Art of Fairness...

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Interesting books arriving on my pile

The books I'm actually reading this week are: Mastermind by Maria Konnikova - drawing on the life of Arthur Conan Doyle and the adventures of Sherlock Holmes as inspiration to riff on creativity, rationality and memory. A pleasure to read and full of good ideas....

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Cogs and Monsters and Dungeons and Dragons, oh my!

Lots of intriguing books on deck this week! Jon Peterson's "Game Wizards" is an in-depth history - and I really do mean in-depth - of the creation of Dungeons and Dragons and in particular the ugly struggle for control of TSR. It's vivid and incredibly...

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Comics, games, and a genius

I was delighted to see The Economist give a glowing review to Ananyo Bhattacharya's brilliant new book The Man From The Future, noting that it fills "a yawning gap in the history of science". You heard about that book here first. A different book in almost every way...

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ZOMG it is a very exciting week for new nerd books

Some nerd-tastic books coming out this week from friends and colleagues:Ananyo Bhattacharya’s stunning and deep intellectual biography of John von Neumann, “The Man From The Future”. Looks beautiful, full of telling detail and packed with ideas about group theory,...

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In conversation with Richard Thaler and other news

I'm interviewing Richard Thaler at How To Academy (online) at 6.30pm UK time today. Tune in! We will, of course, be discussing "Nudge: The Final Edition".Tom Chatfield's book "How To Think" is a masterclass in clear critical thinking. I've been tickled by Rich...

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