Posts in Readable
Your Kindle highlights

As you read a Kindle you can, with some effort, highlight a passage. The best way to extract those passages so that you can cut and paste them later, or so you can insert the text into an article, or otherwise use a highlight as text, is to go to this page and login with your Amazon credentials. You’ll see your highlights book by book. There you select texts and copy them. Or on that page use Bookcision, a browser bookmarklet, that will download each book’s passages as a text file. — KK

ReadableClaudia Dawson
Read first pages of novels

When you go to Recommend Me a Book you are presented with the first page of a novel, but you are not told the name of the book or the author. If you don’t like what you’ve read, click “Next Book.” If you do like it, click “Reveal Title & Author,” and buy it from Amazon. I wish it let you buy a book without finding out who wrote it, so it was a surprise when it arrived in the mail. — MF

ReadableClaudia Dawson
Unusual articles

Wikipedia’s “Unusual articles” page has links to hundreds of eclectic and offbeat articles. Learn about the Korean invasion of Normandy, happy numbers, and the Phantom time hypothesis (it’s really 1719, not 2016 as we’ve been led to believe). I’d love this as a multi-volume hardbound illustrated set. — MF 

ReadableClaudia Dawson
New Scientist magazine

New Scientist” is a weekly dose of real science reporting, with broad lay appeal. Of course there is an online version, but I prefer to turn pages and read while I eat my lunch. Either way, it’s the best solid source for new science. — KK

ReadableClaudia Dawson
Silicon Valley oral history

A new book I am enjoying is Valley of Genius — an oral history of Silicon Valley. The entire book, compiled by Adam Fisher, is the recollections of those who were there, interrupting each other, as they describe the birth of new technologies. This rollicking, non-stop, geek chorus leaves me with one impression: There was no plan. Each of the achievements of Silicon Valley were unexpected, improbable, and a surprise to those who created it. — KK

ReadableClaudia Dawson
Books related to The Inevitable

Books related to my book The Inevitable that I have found useful:

Magic and Loss by Virginia Heffernan: Treats the digital world as a great work of art.

The Master Algorithm by Pedro Domingos: Best book to date on artificial intelligence.

Machines of Loving Grace by John Markoff: Best book to date on robots.

Superforecasting by Philip Tetlock: Why predicting is hard and how to get better at it.

Pogue’s Basics by David Pogue: Extremely practical tips for techno-literacy. — KK

ReadableClaudia Dawson
The Inevitable

I unabashedly recommend my book The Inevitable, available in paperback for $12, as a clear vision of 25 years in digital technology. It’s an optimistic explanation of how we can use this tech for our mutual benefit with the least harm. Years after I finished writing it, I wouldn’t change a word. I think it nails the big trends. — KK

ReadableClaudia Dawson
Lab-grown meat

I’m reading Clean Meat, a new book about the emerging field of lab-grown meat. It covers the efforts of about a dozen companies and research centers trying to create animal meat without animals. The book lacks many scientific details, but it gives a comprehensive overview to this embryonic industry circa 2017, and some of the possible ramifications of success. It’s the current best one-stop source for a very fast-moving frontier. — KK

ReadableClaudia Dawson
Proving the reality of progress

I loved Steven Pinker’s brand new book Enlightenment Now. It does many things including making an argument for the essential role of reason and science in creating happiness, liberty and wealth. But most importantly it is a broad, detailed, logical case for the reality of progress on our planet. If you have any doubts about whether science, education and technology are making this a better world, I believe you can be persuaded by the evidence in this book. — KK

ReadableClaudia Dawson
Short meditations on Love

I bought How to Love by Thich Nhat Hanh on Kindle, read it in one sitting and often go back to it for short, helpful reminders on how to be more loving. Two of my favorite passages are: “You are part of the universe; you are made of stars. When you look at your loved one, you see that he is also made of stars and carries eternity inside. Looking in this way, we naturally feel reverence,” and “There’s a tradition in Asia of treating your partner with the respect you would accord a guest. This is true even if you have been with your loved one for a long time.” — CD

ReadableClaudia Dawson
Skeletons on the Zahara

My current page turner is Skeletons on the Zahara, the true story from the early 1800s of American sailors (who may have been slave runners) shipwrecked off the west coast of Africa, starving on a lifeboat, then starving in the desert, then captured by desert Arabs and sold off as white slaves through a chain of tough masters until they were ransomed as “skeletons.” I don’t take our easy life for granted. — KK

ReadableClaudia Dawson
Psychedelics revisited

Michael Pollan’s new book, How to Change Your Mind, is fantastic on many levels. It charts the recent rehabilitation of psychedelics as a therapy for many mental ailments, and in the right settings, as a reliable aid for spiritual experiences. Pollan is an open-minded skeptic who brings a clarity and balance to this long controversial subject. He changed my mind and will probably change your mind. — KK

ReadableClaudia Dawson
The Supply Cloud

This article about the Supply Cloud by Alexis Madrigal details how any teenager can make an instant retail store using Instagram, Shopify, and Alibaba. It’s suppose to be a warning about the unreliable ads for interesting stuff in your Instagram and Facebook feeds, but it’s actually a good primer on how to make an instant legitimate store. — KK

ReadableClaudia Dawson
Easy Electronics

Charles Platt’s growing series of electronics learning books are the best I’ve come across. He explains concepts very clearly, and his illustrations are excellent. His latest book in the series is called Easy Electronics. It covers voltage, resistance, capacitors, transistors, integrated circuits and more. No tools are needed to make the projects. — MF

ReadableClaudia Dawson