Interesting books

I thought it could be fun to have a topic where people could post books that have some relevance to the SAFE Network in some way. It could be sci-fi books, books about economy, programming or whatever other topic.

Here’s some from the top of my head

Digital Gold by Nathaniel Popper
Great book about the history of cryptocurrencies, starting with the early conceptual ideas of cryptocurrencies from the cypherpunk movement in the early nineties.

The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson
Interesting book about the history of money. It does get a tad bit overly political at times though, as this kind of books usually do. It can also be found as a documentary on YouTube.

Money: The Unauthorized Biography–From Coinage to Cryptocurrencies by Felix Martin
On my reading list, but haven’t read it yet. Looks interesting though.

The end of Alchemy by Mervin King
A book about the financial crisis and central banks written by a former governor of the Bank of England. He comes with suggestions for ways to improve central banks to alleviate financial crises in the future. I mostly found it fun to think of crypto alternatives for the central bank things he writes about.

Daemon & Freedom by Daniel Suarez
These two books details the creation of what is basically a DAO programmed to change the world. An extreme variant of the kind of AI that could live on SAFE. Reads like a hollywood action movie.

The Nexus trilogy by Ramex Naam
Sci-fi trilogy about a “drug” that connects the brain to the internet. Doesn’t really have any SAFE-like technology per se, but once we do get to a stage with technology like this, securing data will become more important than ever.

Mirror Worlds by David Gelernter
David Gelernter describes his visions for the future of the internet in a book written just a couple years before the web was invented. His ideas are based around the concept of a tuple space, a kind of shared database used to coordinate computation between apps running on networked computers. Tuple space were, and still are, used for distributed computing, but only in trusted environments like an office network, they never figured out a way to make it scale out to internet scale. They didn’t have a secure autonomous data network after all. Not all of the ideas described necessarily makes sense today, but some could be useful for inspiration when writing SAFE apps. Even something kinda like the tuple space concept itself could be implemented with mutable data.

17 Likes

I’ll be honest, I’m only reading Julia Donaldson at the moment, her novels are quite concise but have a superbly moral nature. The cover art on her books by Axel Scheffler is inspirational and really ties her novels together.

3 Likes

Well, Julia Donaldson is Scottish, just like MaidSafe. I’m also reading the Gruffalo :smiley:

I do like audio books a lot these days. Lots of Kindle books are available with Audible Narration, it’s a very practical way to devour some books when you don’t have the chance to read, like when you’re cooking for example.

2 Likes

Nice selection @intrz - I have been wanting to read The Nexus Trilogy, but haven’t prioritized it yet. Will check out the other ones too.

I really dig audiobooks as well, easy to listen to while walking, on the train, driving, doing house cleaning etc.

Currently relistening to “Hooked - How to build habit forming products” by Nir Eyal. For anyone building apps on SAFE I highly recommend this.

1 Like

When I first came to SafeNetwork, I saw the creation of Hyperion by Dan Simmons
"The farcaster network (the “WorldWeb”) is the infrastructural and economical basis of the Hegemony of Man and thus determines the whole culture and society. Also flowing across these portals are the structures of the datasphere (a network reminiscent of the Internet in design, but far more advanced). Inseparable from mankind’s technologies is the powerful, knowledgeable, and utterly inscrutable TechnoCore, the vast agglomeration of millions of AIs who run almost every piece of high technology of mankind."

2 Likes

“Cryptonomicon” by Neal Stephenson, depicts the birth of cryptography, computers and networks in the WWII historical frame, and how the games and interests of Big Companies , governments and individuals made it evolve towards the internet that we know.
Really insightful, helps a lot in knowing what we want to evolve from with Safe.
Also funny at moments, with a bit of romance and some nice thoughts about how a male guy’s brain is wired.

1 Like

It’s a couple of years old now but I really liked Who Owns the Future by Jarion Lanier. Great look at the detrimental effect of ‘winner take all’ economies within technology.

3 Likes

This one is bang up to date Radical Technolgies by Adam Greenfield. A really well written look at where technology is taking us as a society. He looks at the psychological changes brought about by having a computer in our pockets, techno-utopian movements arising from 3D printing and organisations like the DAO, and AI or as he calls it ‘the eclipse of human discretion’. He takes in cryptos, blockchain, machine learning (‘the algorithmic production of knowledge’), automation (‘the anihilation of work’) and AR. It’s a fairly bleak take for most parts, but IMO the precautionary principle is the right one given the potential consequences.

3 Likes

Jesus. It’s 931 pages long. Glad it was good :wink:

1 Like

Needed now more than ever

3 Likes