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Books on economics and scifi recommended by Paul Krugman
Popular economist's book choice
Buy on amazon “An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding” by David Hume
-from interview to The Browser
While not strictly throwing out morality and religious understanding, Hume separates ideas from impressions, and then distinguishes between related ideas and facts based on experience. In his own time, Hume was considered to be an atheist; currently, he is known as a moderate skeptic. His ideas on cause and effect and their relation to matters of fact, especially the idea that a denial of a matter of fact isn't necessarily a contradiction, should be explored by serious students of philosophy and Western thought. Scientific thinkers may be surprised at his assertions on the shaky logical foundation of predictions.
Buy on amazon “The General Theory Of Employment Interest And Money” by John Maynard Keynes
-from interview to The Browser
A Cambridge scholar who resigned his Treasury representative post at the Treaty of Versailles, Keynes has influenced 20th century economics to an inordinate degree. Not only did he help to create the system of fixed-rate exchange between international currencies, but also encouraged banks to stabilize economies by lowering interest rates during times of price increase. His General Theory ideas, such as the link between consumption and demand, were born after Britain's high unemployment rates during the 1930's. His assertion that governments should get involved in unemployment by investing in public works was promoted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the New Deal era.
Buy on amazon “Essays in Persuasion” by John Maynard Keynes
-from interview to The Browser
Buy on amazon “Essays in Economics” by James Tobin
-from interview to The Browser
Buy on amazon “The Restoration Game” by Ken MacLeod
“I just finished Ken MacLeod’s “The Restoration Game,” which was great fun”
–from interview to The Boston Globe
Online gamers will love the combination of fantasy, revolution, and folk tales in this gripping story. Lucy Stone's family has a long history mixed up with Russia, spy stories, and manufactured Krassnian folk tales. Somehow, she must distinguish between history and fantasy, and play her role in the game without losing sight of her own identity. The combination of themes ranges from political wranglings between former Soviet republics and the CIA, underground resistance movements, and small startup companies caught in the dance of conspiracy. Per io9, readers may also want to check out McLeod's British futuristic fiction such as The Night Sessions and The Execution Channel.
Buy on amazon “The Foundation Series” by Isaac Asimov
-from interview to The Browser
Also recommended by Elon Musk
Besides Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series, perhaps no other series has found its way into the hearts of the reading public and critics alike. Winner of the prestigious Hugo Award, this series covers philosophy, man's origins, the laws of science, and whether or not man really can conquer space travel. As in Star Wars, politics and robots often determine the fate of ...well, the Galaxy. Unlike in either Star Wars or Blade Runner, the hero (Hari Seldon) is a mathematician who has caught the attention of the Emperor. Seldon's powerful tool will eventually prevent humans from devolving into savage beasts, thus securing a win for the future and civilization.
Buy on amazon "Dune" by Frank Herbert
–from interview to The Boston Globe
Herbert's classic is still considered a necessary book list addition to real fans of science fiction. (Over 5,500 Wired magazine readers voted for Dune as their first book list choice, out of their top 10 favorite sci-fi novels.) Though the plot drags in some sections, just like the book-based film, the story of Arrakis' political intrigues over the flow of a valuable spice (that gives long life and interplanetary travel capability) will also capture the imaginations of political science students, who may see some connections between this book and the influence of Machiavelli's The Prince.
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