The Case Against Education: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money, Bryan Caplan

I had to struggle to get the context right while I was reading this book. He explicitly targets the liberal arts, and I was trying to apply his statements to engineering, and disagreeing with them. I get what Caplan is trying to say at an intellectual level. The amount of analysis that he’s done is amazing,  and it’s instructive to see how different factors can be included and different impacts can be measured. There is a lot of unnecessary fluff in the U.S. curriculum, and in India, one could easily apply this logic to even regular engineering and other courses. 

Ironically, things may change in India precisely because the education system is so bad! See my other posts on hiring and interviewing, and what TCS is (hopefully) doing right now.

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Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny, Garrison Keillor

This (of course?) reads like vignettes of episodic occurrences that are very loosely strung together in a supposed story, and it ends pretty abruptly. I didn’t have to work too hard to imagine Keillor speaking this as I was reading it. Beautiful, descriptive prose, brings back fond memories of NPR in California and living in St. Paul. 

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The Lady of the Lake, Andrzej Sapkowski

I’m pretty sure I haven’t read these books before but get the feeling that I’ve read something similar to Ciri moving through space and time. Oh well.

Always be scared if you’re the sidekick. Especially if one of the other sidekicks is stepping away from the stage…

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All You Who Sleep Tonight, Vikram Seth

Revisiting an old favorite…

A glass of tea; the moon;
The frogs croak in the weeds.
A bat wriggles down across Gold disk to silver reeds.
The distant light of lamps.
The whirr of winnowing grain.
The peace of loneliness.
The scent of imminent rain.

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A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin

SciFi/fantasy makes for great reading when I’m overwhelmed with too much going on. And something like this is great to just sink into.

The resolution at the end is…. mindblowing! And of course, there can be no better way forward. This works even as a metaphor for life. 

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