Friday, February 28, 2014
Fooled By Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Last week I finished reading Nassim Nicholas Taleb's "Fooled By Randomness". What I would say about it is pretty much the same as what I wrote about "The Black Swan". This is something to read for anyone who wants to know how the world works, and why we generally don't/can't do a good job in predicting what will or will not come next.

Though I think I'm still a bigger fan of "The Black Swan", I really enjoyed reading this one too.


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Friday, February 07, 2014
Roadside Picnic

Last week I finished reading "Roadside Picnic", the 1972 sci-fi novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky [as per suggestion of a friend]. For me, the book "felt" quite a bit  similar to  Huxley's "Brave New World". Dystopian society built around one major life changing element which is a source of unnatural luck for some and unfair disadvantage for many others.

I did enjoy reading the book, I really liked the central idea. But I must also say that this is generally not my cup of sci-fi. I am much more into Asimov's style of sci-fi. When I read a science-"fiction" book, I am not really looking for a window into the future of the mess we currently have, what we are already experiencing. I'd like to look further forward, perhaps to what comes after that mess.

But if "Brave New World" or "1984" are for you, then this is totally recommended.


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Thursday, February 06, 2014
Haskell Glasgow Compiler 7.8

Last Thursday evening I attended a very interesting presentation on the pretty cool new Haskell3D[1] features of the upcoming GHC 7.8. Though I've personally not yet had the chance to play with the new release, I'm very excited about it, since apparently many of the features that were discussed for a long while are now finally included. As it was mentioned in the meeting, it's not that it's not a mess anymore, it's just that it's much less of a mess. ;)

Here you can find a PDF copy of the presentation slides [sans code]. [The talk was hosted by the Zurich HaskellerZ group.]

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Ahoo "Aasemoon" Pirsoleimani, 1998-2014