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Ilya Grigorik "igrigorik" RSS Feed (San Francisco, CA, USA)

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The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America
The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America
by Langdon Cook
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.00
77 used & new from $3.36

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read book for every mushroom lover., May 8, 2016
For the time being, mushrooms remain a hidden sub-culture within North America. However, if you're one of the few that always scans the menu for mushroom dishes, then this is a book you can't miss: natural history, food, and adventure woven in one. Ever wonder how those mushrooms find their way from the forest to your plate? Langdon Cook unravels the frontier-style industry behind the scenes: the colorful personalities of the individuals who do the hard work, the buyers, the wholesalers, the restauranteurs, and the frequent friction with the law at each step of this process.

An entertaining and educational read. Makes you want to grab your basket and head out to search for your own patch.


The Industries of the Future
The Industries of the Future
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $15.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, well-researched, thought-provoking read., May 8, 2016
Attempting to cover half a dozen major trends and industries within the confines of a single book is an ambitious undertaking. This book manages to pull it off: the writing is engaging, technically sound (a rarity, in this type of books), and lots of illustrative and eye-opening examples. The high-level themes are:

- Robotics: why most of the innovation is happening in Asia, the driving forces (e.g. aging population, factory automation), and the opportunity at stake (trillions).
- Medicine and genetics: why and how we need to rethink development and delivery of drugs (e.g. personalization).
- Computer ("cyber") security: sobering stories about the use of code as weapons and the need to educate and invest in the industry that will run all of our future industries. Looking for a hot career path? This may be it.
- Data as the raw material of information age: a continuation of the medicine chapter but with a broader focus. The emphasis is on the tools and know-how for how to gather and leverage the abundance of data in our new industries.
- Digitization of money: Bitcoin, digital contracts, etc.

Well put together. Rewarding read.


Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit
Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit
by Barry Estabrook
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.66
179 used & new from $2.09

5.0 out of 5 stars Tomatoes taste bland? This book explains why and what to do about it., April 23, 2016
Warning, you may find yourself paying a lot more for tomatoes after reading this book! The good news is, you'll enjoy them more too.. after you rediscover the taste of a real tomato, as opposed to its common supermarket cousin that is bred for its shape and color, picked green, and bathed in chemicals.

The book is part history of the tomato plant and part expose of the agriculture industry (shocking, to say the least) that is built on the backs of severely underpaid and abused workers.


The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur's Vision of the Future
The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur's Vision of the Future
by Steve Case
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.81
98 used & new from $5.71

4.0 out of 5 stars "Third Wave" is the (coming) transformation of the the large regulated industries., April 23, 2016
The "third wave", as Steve Case argues, is about modernizing our food, healthcare, education, energy, and other regulated industries. Each of these offers a massive market and requires a new type of entrepreneur: one that's willing to engage in policy as much as raw technological innovation; someone that can build and leverage successful partnerships with existing industry players.

The book interlaces a brief history of AOL, a look at some of the large industries that need innovation, a discussion on policy trends in the US, and a call to action to entrepreneurs. Fast and educational read, especially if you're involved in any of the above industries.


Keep the Change: A Clueless Tipper's Quest to Become the Guru of the Gratuity
Keep the Change: A Clueless Tipper's Quest to Become the Guru of the Gratuity
by Steve Dublanica
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.99
51 used & new from $0.89

3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of trivia, not much analysis..., April 23, 2016
The good: you'll learn all kinds of entertaining trivia about tipping across a dozen industries.

The bad: it's a catalogue of interviews with little or no critical examination as to whether any of this makes sense -- if you ask the people dependent on tips, guess what they'll tell you? One can't help but feel that we're subsidizing a broken system, yet no-one is willing to change it either. Also, it would have been great to see a comparison in tipping expectations—or lack of thereof—across different cultures, instead of just focusing on North America.


Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution Thatís Transforming Education
Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution Thatís Transforming Education
by Ken Robinson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.63
85 used & new from $11.70

5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any educator, parent, and well, everyone else., April 4, 2016
The role of a school is to inspire and facilitate learning. Few will disagree with this statement, but on closer inspection many of our schools—regardless of where you live—fail this test. Instead, the policies are centered on "improving test results" and students are drilled with rote learning exercises that lead them to unplug, disengage, or worse, drop out entirely.

The thing is, as this book outlines, it doesn't have to be this way. There are schools, regions, and even countries that have radically transformed their education away from the "industrial conveyor belt model, where the most important aspect is the age of the student", towards personalized and engaging classroom where students are eager to apply their best effort.

A must read for any educator, parent, and well, everyone else. Full of practical advice, examples, and thought-provoking discussions.


Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor (Columbia Business School Publishing)
Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor (Columbia Business School Publishing)
by Trenholme J. Griffin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.41
82 used & new from $10.58

4.0 out of 5 stars Curated list of Munger's quotes and wisdom, March 26, 2016
Effectively, a curated list of Munger's quotes and wisdom, with some commentary to put things in context. You'll have to do some work as a reader to piece together the larger themes and takeaways; the book threads together the quotes but doesn't delve too deep in terms of analysis. That said, still a fascinating and an educational read: minimize negative optionality; give yourself sufficient margin to allow for mistakes; don't feel that you have to swing the bat at every opportunity, know the limits of your knowledge; and dozens of other gems.


The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice
The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice
by Trevor Corson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.22
173 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars I have a new appreciation for well-made sushi., March 26, 2016
The book takes you on an apprenticeship alongside a new class of aspiring sushi chefs. The structure is informal but informative: you'll learn the history, science, and get a look inside the modern kitchen to understand how it's all made. This combination, while a bit odd, works out well in the end: science and history alone would be dry, and the extra drama of following the new students helps keep your attention. Fun and educational read.


Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction
Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction
by Dan Gardner
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.64
73 used & new from $13.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bayesian's will be happy., February 28, 2016
Bayesian's will be happy. This is a simplification, but it'll get you most of the way there: break down your forecasting problem into as many sub-questions as possible, figure out the base rates/likelihoods for each, and model your forecast based on the cumulative (weighted) results. Oh, and don't forget to continuously update your priors in light of new facts.

Conceptually, this advice is not new. However, what this book excels at, is in demonstrating for how to put this into practice, and how we often fail due to vague language and cognitive biases. Knowing and doing, as good practitioners know, are two very different things. This book explains what you need to know, and helps you put it into practice.


The Powerhouse: America, China, and the Great Battery War
The Powerhouse: America, China, and the Great Battery War
by Steve LeVine
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.49
80 used & new from $6.03

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Science, finance, IP wars, geopolitics, and colorful personalities..., February 28, 2016
An insider look at the cauldron of science, commercialization, finance, IP wars, geopolitics, and colorful personalities—yes, all in one book—behind the race to build better batteries. The strengths of the book are also its weaknesses: great broad overview of the intertwined relationships, politics, and science, but it's also easy to get lost in the minutia.

If you're interested in the energy field, this is a worthwhile and important read. To get a taste for what you're getting into, check out the free "The mysterious story of the battery startup that promised GM a 200-mile electric car" article in Quartz.


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