"Talks a good game about freedom when out of power, but once he’s in – bam! Everyone's enslaved in the human-flourishing mines."

Tag Archives: book review

Book Review: PiHKaL

I. PiHKAL (“Phenylethylamines I Have Known And Loved”), subtitled “A Chemical Love Story”, is the autobiography of Alexander and Ann Shulgin. Alexander Shulgin was a chemist who invented lots of new psychedelic drugs. Ann was his wife. Together they discuss … Continue reading

Book Review: Unlearn Your Pain

[Content warning: discussion of chronic pain and related conditions, and the debate over whether some of them may be psychological in origin. None of this is medical advice or a recommendation to start or stop any form of therapy. Low … Continue reading

Book Review: Age of Em

[Note: I really liked this book and if I criticize it that’s not meant as an attack but just as what I do with interesting ideas. Note that Robin has offered to debate me about some of this and I’ve … Continue reading

Book Review: Albion’s Seed

I. Albion’s Seed by David Fischer is a history professor’s nine-hundred-page treatise on patterns of early immigration to the Eastern United States. It’s not light reading and not the sort of thing I would normally pick up. I read it … Continue reading

Book Review: My Brother Ron

[Content warning: mental illness, forced institutionalization, anorexia. As always all patient anecdotes are obfuscated composites of multiple cases with all the details changed in order to protect people’s privacy] I. After I wrote about Prison And Mental Illness, a reader … Continue reading

Book Review: The Art Of The Deal

I. Many of my friends recommend Robert Cialdini’s Influence, a book about how to be persuasive and successful. I read it most of the way through, and it was okay, but I didn’t have it in me to finish the … Continue reading

Book Review: Superforecasting

Philip Tetlock, author of Superforecasting, got famous by studying prediction. His first major experiment, the Expert Political Judgment experiment, is frequently cited as saying that top pundits’ predictions are no more accurate than a chimp throwing darts at a list … Continue reading

Book Review: Hive Mind

[Conflict of interest notice: Author Garett Jones sometimes reads this blog and is generally great.] Garett Jones’ book Hive Mind is classic pop science writing: an intriguing hypothesis, a long parade of interesting studies presented as catchy anecdotes, and not … Continue reading

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Book Review: Chronicles Of Wasted Time

I. I was recently recommended Chronicles of Wasted Time, the autobiography of Malcolm Muggeridge. It was a good choice, and not just because its title appropriately described my expectations about reading 500-page books on people’s recommendation. Muggeridge is an obvious … Continue reading

Book Review: The Machinery Of Freedom

[conflict of interest: David Friedman is an amazing person who has been very nice to me and among other things hosted the San Jose SSC meetup earlier this month] David Friedman’s The Machinery of Freedom is half Libertarianism 101: Introduction … Continue reading