by adam mathes
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And We're Back

I had a great wedding and honeymoon. Thanks for asking!

Maybe it’s time to update my web site again.

Here are books I read over the past few months that I liked:

Imagine Being Surrounded Only By Things That Bring You Joy

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo - my wife is the acquiring editor for the US edition of this book about how to rationalize our relationship with the objects around us.

The secret to tidying and organizing is you start by throwing things out! My favorite. For the past few years I’ve been trying this sort of thing and it does actually matter.

It’s only when you discard the awful that you have space for the wonderful. (Physically, emotionally, etc.)

Also it has a story about cell phone disposal that made me tear up. (Don’t tell anyone.)

The Phantom Phone Virations In Your Pocket

The Distraction Addiction by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang - Pang is a futurist and this is his attempt to define theoretically and practically contemplative computing as a way to thoughtfully approach information technology use to enhance our lives (rather than letting it cause us destructive behaviors.)

Similar lessons: rationalizing our relationship with technology to hack our way to a better world. Get rid of the bad. Focus on the good. It’s not so much that less is more with our devices and connections but that everything all over all the time hurts. Some of the little software tools I dabble with are about this.


Seconds: A Graphic Novel by Bryan Lee O’Malley the new graphic novel from the creator of Scott Pilgrim is incredibly beautiful, fun, and enjoyable, even if predictable.

The Dawn of Modern Web Computing

Close to the Machine: Technophilia and Its Discontents by Ellen Ullman

In 1997, the computer was still a relatively new tool—a sleek and unforgiving machine that was beyond the grasp of most users. With intimate and unflinching detail, software engineer Ellen Ullman examines the strange ecstasy of being at the forefront of the predominantly male technological revolution, and the difficulty of translating the inherent messiness of human life into artful and efficient code. Close to the Machine is an elegant and revelatory mediation on the dawn of the digital era.

The novel feels authentic and personal and resonating in a way that conveys that period and programming culture better than anything else I’ve read.


Turns out there’s more time for books when you give up Twitter.

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