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

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okareamanonMay 13, 2021

I would like to put in a plug for Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. My intro to this author wasn't good. I listened to him try to be big brain about the pandemic and wasn't impressed, but then I picked up Sapiens. Now I know why people like Bill Gates and Barack Obama recommend him.

tomjakubowskionMay 13, 2021

For folks looking for more substance, a critical review of Sapiens by Charles C. Mann, author of 1491.


mellosoulsonJuly 2, 2021

I didn't think much of it myself but Sapiens by Harari was popular:


bpodgurskyonJuly 13, 2021

Yeah I've read Sapiens and it's a fair speculation, but I've seen no real evidence to this point. Lot of other reasons Homo Sapiens^2 coulda been good at killing off Homo Sapiens^1.

crakenzakonAug 10, 2021

I found the book Sapiens does wonders in shattering this objectively incorrect world view.

We are alongside all other animals, with some skills much worse than other animals, some much better. Nothing more than that.

jagger27onApr 15, 2021

There’s a brilliant chapter in Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind about how as we domesticated wheat, it domesticated humans in return. Grains are thought to have been dropped along trade routes which allowed for humans to be less nomadic as crops became established. Then we got comfortable. Fascinating to think about.

heliodoronJuly 15, 2021

You're thinking of this from the wrong point of view. This is about evolution and dominance. A culture in which work is highly valued (even so far as at the expense of the individual) will expand and squeeze out other cultures. The same way a successful gene will reproduce and take over.

Two excellent books that delve into this area are "Stumbling on Happiness" and "Sapiens".

runjakeonJune 4, 2021

Usually special operations/espionage/post-apocalypse type fiction. Some recent examples:

- The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (I've re-read this a number of times)

- The Postman by David Brin (Again, re-read this many times). Nothing like the movie.

- Sapiens

- The book series by Dalton Fury (RIP). His fiction is great, and if you do a little OSINT on the places in the book, you can see that he's describing these places from first-hand experience. Extremely realistic and you get the sense that many of these events really happened and are fictionalized to bypass censorship. I've re-read his book series at least 7 times. Easy reads.

- One Second After by William R. Forstchen. Although I have some minor issues with things in it, it's a fun post-apoc book.

- Anything by Derek Sivers. His writing is concise.

- The Terminal List by Jack Carr. Pretty good, not quite as good as Dalton Fury, but will read the next in the series.

- Bunches of tech books

I am very picky about the fiction I'll read but am open to unsolicited suggestions. Prefer post-apoc type stuff. Can't really get into fantasy. It needs to be an easy read because I have a house full of kids and no privacy.

toxikonAug 2, 2021

It is generally the case that things don't exist without funding, correct. Different countries have different political consensus on how much tax money to pour into funding PhDs for basic research, but /all/ do to some extent as far as I know.

I think you should read Sapiens by Harrari, he writes about the interaction between universities, capitalism and democracy. Very illuminating to me.

tarsingeonJune 11, 2021

And companies, states, ... What is a company? The contracts? Then it's just paper with ink. The buildings? It's just concrete. All of that don't exist naturally, it's a shared narrative. That these concepts can be enforced doesn't change that fact. That's not to say these concepts are not useful, civilization is built on them. The book Sapiens does a better job than me explaining that idea if you are interested.

GrayShadeonApr 30, 2021

It's a quote from Harari's Sapiens book: "[History is something that very few people have been doing while] everyone else has been ploughing fields [and carrying water buckets]". For some reason, it's in Romanian.

It may sound full of hubris, but I don't think that's the intention. Check out https://www.nano-editor.org/news.php for previous release names. The maintainer has gone through a wide variety of references.

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