What I’ve been reading
I’ve been badly overstretched for the last few months, with an excessive amount of travel, and one symptom has been a failure to keep up with regular features like this one. I’m gradually getting my life under some control, so I thought I’d try to restart some conversations about books and writing. I have a huge pile of books on my desk, some of which I’ve promised to review. In this category, theres“Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything” (Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner), “In Defense of Globalization” (Jagdish Bhagwati), and Diversity in Development: Reconsidering the Washington Consensus.
I’ve also become interested in philosophical issues relating to causality, which are closely linked to my concerns about uncertainty (in a world with no uncertainty, causality is essentially trivial). Books I’ve found helpful include“Reasoning about Uncertainty” (Joseph Y. Halpern)“Facing the Future: Agents and Choices in Our Indeterminist World” (Nuel D. Belnap, Michael Perloff, Ming Xu, Nuel Belnap)“Causation and Counterfactuals (Representation and Mind)” (The MIT Press) and“Causality : Models, Reasoning, and Inference” (Judea Pearl)
On the leisure front, I’ve been enjoying Iain Banks series of novels about The Culture, most recently Excession
I hope to extend this post during the week, adding a range of comments on these books over the fold. But feel free to jump in first with your thoughts, recommendations for further reading etc.