Current Reading

This blog is primarily for me to blog my responses to books that I'm reading. Sometimes I blog about other stuff too, though.

I'm currently reading Notes on the Death of Culture: Essays on Spectacle and Society by Mario Vargas Llosa.

Word cloud

Word cloud

Monday, February 13, 2017

Next Book: Edward Teller's Memoirs

I haven't been blogging books lately, for a lot of reasons, but I'm determined to get back to it.  Right now I'm reading Edward Teller's Memoirs.  Teller has a lot to answer for (e.g. his treatment of Oppenheimer, his utter fascination with WMD), but we're entering an era where peering inside the minds of villains might be of great practical significance.  He was a towering figure who participated in great events, working with Heisenberg as a postdoc before going to the West and getting involved in nuclear weapons.  His narration of events may not be wholly reliable, but his mind is worth peering inside.

Besides, every villain has an origin story, and in that origin story there is tragedy and triumph.  One uplifting thing I've already learned from Teller is that the British were quite proactive in recruiting German scientists as early as 1933.  I had no idea how much effort the British put into that; it is a credit to them. There's plenty else to fault them for, but at least that episode is a good one. A part of me wonders if I should be helping my Middle Eastern colleagues find jobs overseas.

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