Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

Books – week 1, 2005

Posted by shannonclark on January 7, 2005

During 2005, I am going to try an experiment, not sure how successfully, to record every book and magazine I read during the year – from the whimsical to the serious and in between. I may from time to time also note articles or webpostings – generally when they are lengthy and significent enough that I print them out and/or file them for future reference.

At present I have a number of books I am working on, but for the year there are a few that I have recently finished and thus start this list with one of the first books I completed this year. (There may be one or two others, will check my shelves when I am home and may add a few to this list as a result – can’t remember if I finished them this year or last…)


1. Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences by Edward Tenner

This book had been recommended to me by many people so I finally picked up a copy, after which it then sat on my shelf for quite a while. I started it in December of last year, though I did not bring it with me to India. I just finished it last night. While not without flaws and elements that are dated, Tenner’s perspective on the unintended consequences of nearly all types of technology – from agriculture to software offers a challenging and fairly unique perspective, one that will inform my own work for years to come. This is, perhaps, the highest praise I can give a book – that it has changed and thus influenced my own perspective. While I have often thought about the unintended consequences of much of technology, having now read Tenner’s book, I have new tools, perspectives and examples to reference and refer to in the future.


This past week I read the following magazines and newspapers:

New Yorker (double fiction issue from last weeks of Dec and the Jan 3rd issue)
Software Development – last issue in Dec 2004, first of Jan 2005 – skimmed for articles on trends in development/technology of interest
Chicago Reader – Jan 6th issue
Red Eye – Jan 7th issue (local daily paper from the Chicago Tribune)
Barrons – first issue of 2005

Currently Reading

New Yorker – Jan 10th issue (mostly finished)
Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads to Another by Phillip Ball – started this in Nov of 2004, hope to finish it this weekend
Wired – January 2005 issue
CIO – Dec 15/Jan 1 issue
Esquire – January Issue (will purchase this weekend to read Thomas P. M. Barnett’s article
The New York Review of Books – Jan 13th issue

I also have about 120 some books on my shelves waiting to be read and over 20 magazines from 2004 piling up (nearly a year’s worth of Baselines, Queue, and CIO, a few Wired issues I didn’t finish, and assort misc. others including two issues of Granta).

For a book club I will also be reading The Dispossessed by Ursala LeGuin which I am greatly looking forward to as though I own two copies (one which was signed to me by Ursala LeGuin) I haven’t actually read it yet.


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