Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Three Recommendations

Right, so I’m back from vacation and ready to roll again. While away/home (I spent the second week of vacation at home training my new puppy) I consumed a fair amount of media. Out of that, I have three recommendations: One book and two movies.

First up is All Tomorrow’s Parties by William Gibson. I would guess lots of you have read this already, but I hadn’t and I liked it quite a bit. A few quotes to wet your whistle: “‘Future’ is inherently plural.” and “He had been taught, of course, that history, along with geography, was dead. That history in the older sense was an historical concept. History in the older sense was narrative, stories we told ourselves about where we’d come from and what it had been like, and those narratives were revised by each new generation, and indeed always had been. History was plastic, was a matter of interpretation. The digital had not so much changed that as made it too obvious to ignore. History was stored data, subject to manipulation and interpretation.” (I so love that the Kindle stores all my quotes online. Thank you Amazon.)

Great, now for the two movies. Harold and Maude is from 1971 and amazing. I sort of can’t believe I never saw it. It feels like a Wes Anderson movie made two years after he was born. (It must have been an inspiration for him.) The other is equally odd: Battle Royale is a Japanese movie about a class of kids left on an island and told they’re part of a game where they must kill each other. At the end of three days, if more than one person is emerging they will all die. It’s not gory in a nasty sort of way, though there is blood, but more than anything else it’s just an interesting “experiment” in game theory. Seeing the different strategies the different students take is a bit of a mind trip.

Right, that’s all. Back to work.

October 26, 2009