Icosian Reflections

…a tendency to systematize and a keen sense

that we live in a broken world.

A Bag Full of Books, a Cache Full of Blogs

I'm leaving on a cruise for spring break, and so will effectively be without Internet until Sunday, March 23. I don't plan to update Faults in that time, though I do hope to get some writing done and have some things to post when I get back. (This is a minor lie; I've got one more post to push out the door later today.)

But, the prospect of being a week without things to read being approximately as appealing as vacationing in the Third Circle of Hades, I'm bringing substantial reading material along. And, because I have a blog and an itch for publicy, here's my reading list (or at least, my carrying-along-like-a-comfort-blanket list):


  • A Wizard Alone, Diane Duane (Young Wizards: VI)
  • A Wizard's Holiday, Diane Duane (Young Wizards: VII)
  • Wizards at War, Diane Duane (Young Wizards: VIII)
  • The Eternal Flame, Greg Egan (Orthoganal: II)
  • The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • Snow Crash, Neil Stephenson


  • The Oldest Word for Dawn, Brad Leithauser
  • destruction myth, Mathias Svalina
  • Selected Poems, Dylan Thomas ed. Walford Davies

Nonfiction for Classes

  • Probability and Computing, Michael Mitzenmacher and Eli Upfal
  • Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning, Christopher M. Bishop

Nonfiction for Pleasure

  • Six Not-So-Easy Pieces, Richard P. Feynman
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman
  • Rationality: From AI to Zombies, Eliezer Yudkowsky (pdf)

Online Material

(cached at various levels of recursion with ScrapBook for Firefox)

This seems like the right number of books. I don't expect to read every page of all of it, but the fiction is all things I've really been meaning to work through, and the nonfiction has a sufficient variety of technicality and topic that I don't expect to get caught without something I want to read.

Things that didn't make the cut, but were close:

  • Blown to Bits, Abelson, Leden, Lewis
  • Unweaving the Rainbow, Richard Dawkins
  • Gödel, Escher, Bach, Douglas Hofstadter
  • any of my books from last fall's Theology and Morality course

And other things I needed to do as part of packing:

  • Install Ubuntu 14.04 on my traveling laptop, since I won't be able to ssh into my home machine.
  • Clone all grading repositories for CS161, the course I'm TFing.
  • Un-pendrive about 100GB of movies and TV shows to said laptop as well.

As it turned out, the books were easy, but the ScrapBooking and other computer things took about about four hours altogether. Clothes, board games (playing cards, Cards Against Humanity, Dominion), and physical-writing supplies took another hour, max.

...and now we're ready for break.