HackerNews Readings
40,000 HackerNews book recommendations identified using NLP and deep learning

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Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship

Robert C. Martin

4.7 on Amazon

43 HN comments

Designing Data-Intensive Applications: The Big Ideas Behind Reliable, Scalable, and Maintainable Systems

Martin Kleppmann

4.8 on Amazon

34 HN comments

The Martian

Andy Weir, Wil Wheaton, et al.

4.7 on Amazon

27 HN comments

The Pragmatic Programmer: 20th Anniversary Edition, 2nd Edition: Your Journey to Mastery

David Thomas, Andrew Hunt, et al.

4.8 on Amazon

27 HN comments

Snow Crash

Neal Stephenson, Jonathan Davis, et al.

4.3 on Amazon

24 HN comments

The Mom Test: How to Talk to Customers & Learn If Your Business Is a Good Idea When Everyone Is Lying to You

Rob Fitzpatrick and Robfitz Ltd

4.7 on Amazon

22 HN comments


Frank Herbert, Scott Brick, et al.

4.7 on Amazon

20 HN comments

Seveneves: A Novel

Neal Stephenson, Mary Robinette Kowal, et al.

4.1 on Amazon

20 HN comments

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

Matthew Walker, Steve West, et al.

4.7 on Amazon

19 HN comments

Project Hail Mary

Andy Weir, Ray Porter, et al.

4.7 on Amazon

18 HN comments

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It

Chris Voss, Michael Kramer, et al.

4.8 on Amazon

18 HN comments

Brave New World

Aldous Huxley

4.6 on Amazon

16 HN comments

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Daniel Kahneman, Patrick Egan, et al.

4.6 on Amazon

16 HN comments

The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition

Don Norman

4.6 on Amazon

15 HN comments

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center for Environmental Structure Series)

Christopher Alexander , Sara Ishikawa , et al.

4.7 on Amazon

15 HN comments

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londons_exploreonMay 17, 2021

You should read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

rootsudoonJuly 7, 2021

"Brave New World is a good book to understand why this is a bad idea. It seems that Orwell and Huxley books are being used as manuals instead of the cautionary tale that they are. "

This, 100%. Turns out turning fiction to reality is a profitable endeavor.

dumb1224onJune 16, 2021

Haha I've just been reading Brave New World and this jumps up.

ohduranonJuly 15, 2021

> Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, in which citizens are manipulated into an intelligence-based social hierarchy.

This is by far the WORST one line summary I've ever seen about that novel.

crypticaonAug 5, 2021

It feels like a form of discrimination against unhappiness. It reminds me of the book 'Brave New World' - In the book, unhappy people are looked down upon and they see sadness as an illness which needs to be medicated with 'Soma'.

stcredzeroonApr 17, 2021

I guess you would know her intent better, but in this particular regard, I am making a literal recommendation to go "Brave New World." I won't vouch for any of the other concepts from the book.

frombodyonApr 15, 2021

Reminds me of how the future population is structured in the book Brave New World


SquibblesReduxonJuly 6, 2021

The article and the phenomena it describes makes me think of the ending of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World [1]. (I strongly recommend the book if you have not read it.) A line that really stands out:

"Drawn by the fascination of the horror of pain and, from within, impelled by that habit of cooperation, that desire for unanimity and atonement, which their conditioning had so ineradicably implanted in them, they began to mime the frenzy of his gestures, striking at one another as the Savage struck at his own rebellious flesh, or at that plump incarnation of turpitude writhing in the heather at his feet."

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brave_New_World

pmlnronJune 16, 2021

Brave New World is set 400 years after the Ford T-Model. A 100 passed since; 1/4th of that book has already become true.

The interesting bit is that if you're part of Brave New World's society, it's not a bad place... it's just stuck in time. There's an original series Star Trek episode where they ask the question: can they disturb a society which hasn't progressed for centuries; their answer was yes. I have mixed feelings about that, but I certainly wouldn't like to see humanity to stop evolving, dreaming, building, and if we keep this up, we might just will.

xiphias2onJuly 8, 2021

I see this even with Netflix: the movies look like they are designed for optimizing for the longest view time instead of also taking account people who are older, willing to pay for shorter view time, but well written and produced content and storyline. The last example was Brave New World where my girlfriend also read the book, and even she wasn't able to explain me the series, because it just didn't make sense (although the visuals were beautiful).

rramadassonJuly 8, 2021

Excellent! This is a subject after my own heart :-)

The answer i think is already being played out around us and involves Nihilism, Hedonism and Fanaticism. Aldous Huxley's Brave New World also hints about it. On the individual level we all need means to access "varying altered levels of consciousness" and on the societal level we need to be made more interdependent as a collective. The former is an experience to justify our individual existence while the latter keeps us bound to "society".

ElViajeroonJuly 6, 2021

This is a very elitist and narrow way to look at society. It advocates to have an uneducated underclass that would not have the tools to improve or protest their situation.

Brave New World is a good book to understand why this is a bad idea. It seems that Orwell and Huxley books are being used as manuals instead of the cautionary tale that they are.

seph-reedonJune 23, 2021

When I was in high school, we read both "1984" and "Brave New World."

At the time I kind of thought: "liberals are more like BNW with drugs and 'karma' and such, and conservatives are more like 1984 with endless wars and refusing to acknowledge things."

At some point in my life, it feels this has flipped.

I now see conservatives as consuming soma (tv) to lull them into a false and simple world, and liberals as enforcing wrong-think.

Obviously, life is much more complex than two books, and similarities can be drawn in any direction. But I still find it interesting having watched my perceptions flip.

luxuryballsonMar 29, 2021

Speaking of CS Lewis, everyone should read his cosmic trilogy. It’s so astounding that I’m surprised it didn’t get the attention that the Narnia books did, and the third book is on par with 1984 and Brave New World, written as a modern fairy tale yet also as a sci-fi in the tradition of HG Wells.

It’s such a good series and probably paints a better understanding of what a fallen world means and what a proper relationship with God is like, yet using sci-fi literalism instead of religious dogma.

sjwalteronJuly 6, 2021

Brave New World was not written initially as a dystopia. Huxley was a member of the elite and was writing what amounted to a pamphlet of where we were all going, influenced along the way by the writings of Carroll (Tragedy & Hope), who told the tale of the elite cabal of banksters and other social engineers and how their various iterations formed and dispersed, their history, in sum.

Huxley's editor said it'd never sell, so he added the plotline from the perspective of one man who wanted to break free and made the entire thing dystopic.

I believe the signs are all there that many of the real Team Elite really do want Brave New World-esque domination, with a tiny group of truly free elite managing the masses as though they were cattle.

dmitryminkovskyonAug 9, 2021

> We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn't, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares.

> But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell's dark vision, there was another - slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley's vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

> What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us.

> This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right.”

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