Tuesday, September 27, 2022
Once you are able to look past this, the Undercover Economist is actually an engaging and thought-provoking read. It explains various economic concepts like power of scarcity, externalities, comparative advantage, and price sensitivity in simplistic and sometimes elegant ways. Each chapter starts with an everyday question like why all restaurants in Times Square are highly likely to be bad, why Starbucks always optimizes for location, why WholeFoods appears more expensive than Safeway, and so on. The two chapters that were simply mind-boggling to me were the ones about US Health Care and about the economic growth of China.
That being said, the book does tend to meander in some parts and becomes somewhat repetitive in places. A major beef I have is the handwavy way they have talked about immigration and its positive and negative impact.
All in all, give it a go if you are ok to get your hands dirty a bit. Stay away if you looking for a Freakonomics kind of a read. 4 out of 5 from me.
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
“When the world you know is out of reach, nothing is more welcome than a measurable reminder that it still exists.”“To be taught, If fortunate” is a brilliantly woven love letter to science. Yes, the plot is threadbare and yes, the characters aren’t fleshed-out in the traditional sense. But in this case, it’s not supposed to! Becky Chambers has fused the metaphorical and the SciFi aspects with utmost precision. The discussions about philosophy, morality, and ethics of space exploration and scientific experimentation are center stage as opposed to the usual aliens and “adventures”. The prose is beautiful and the tone is heartfelt and hopeful. It explores some of the most creative and fascinating ideas about SciFi in biology, evolution, and space travel.
If you are in the mood for a book that reads like sipping a smooth drink in a cozy room feeling philosophical, then this book right here; this is it!
“We have found nothing you can sell. We have found nothing you can put to practical use. We have found no worlds that could be easily or ethically settled, were that end desired. We have satisfied nothing but curiosity and gained nothing but knowledge.”
Friday, June 17, 2022
Compared to the SciFi writings of the 90s and the 2000s, I have always found Asimov’s prose to be dry and somewhat unemotional. But what it lacks in sentimentality, it more than makes up for by having very unique, original, and interesting story premises and conflicts. “I, Robot” is not an exception. A definite 4/5.
Saturday, April 30, 2022
"How could I have been so in control as a youth, yet often feel so helpless as an adult?”
Sunday, April 10, 2022
"That’s the thing about having an eternity, kid. It gets really easy to procrastinate."