Book Review

‘Several People Are Typing’ is the Slack workspace of your worst nightmares

Now that it’s October, it’s officially spooky season. But debut author Calvin Kasulke’s novel “Several People Are Typing” gives us something new to be afraid of — w

We’re not in competition with China; we’re at war, argues a provocative new book

If China once seemed to be committed to the free market economy, over the course of 2021, it has shattered that illusion entirely by abruptly disempowering its own tech companies and turning up the di

It’s a big moment for climate change. Here are 4 books for autumn to understand what’s changing

We’re just weeks away from COP26, the big environmental policy confab where scores of world leaders will descend on Scotland and determine the future of the planet, answering the question, “Should

Everything is accelerating in the exponential age

Buckle up, it’s going to be a wild ride. The pace of change over the last few decades is only set to accelerate in the coming years, as improvements in biology, medicine, spacecraft, manufacturing,

The dark side of environmentalism

“The Ministry for the Future” by Kim Stanley Robinson isn’t a book that lauds ecoterrorists. In fact, it mostly manages to avoid the subject across its many pages. Yet, at the center of

On 10 years of ‘The Vertical Farm’

Roughly two hours pass between my initial email and our first Zoom chat — on a Sunday, no less. I skip the post-gym shower and pop on a baseball cap, because I’m not sure when the opportunity will

How culturally deranged is our climate today?

Climate change has been the deepest, most challenging cognitive puzzle for humans to untangle these past years. It’s systems on top of systems, with emergent properties that can easily turn intuitiv

Should Mark Zuckerberg be scared of Peter Thiel?

Unless you’ve been in a cave over the last week, you’ve likely read a review or some discussion about “The Contrarian,” a new book about billionaire investor Peter Thiel by lon

Should we care about the lives of our kids’ kids’ kids’ kids’?

We live during a time of live, real-time culture. Telecasts, spontaneous tweetstorms, on-the-scene streams, rapid-response analysis, war rooms, Clubhouses, vlogging. We have to interact with the here

On the future of walls, or The Wall

Space may be the endless frontier, but here on Earth, we define space in the modern sense as something enclosed. Walls, fences and barriers enclose space, define it and make it legible. In fact, the s

Air conditioning is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th Century. It’s also killing the 21st

When did indoor air become cold and clean? Air conditioning is one of those inventions that have become so ubiquitous that many in the developed world don’t even realize that less than a century ago

How national security is being redefined by climate change

One of the most unfortunate fault lines in climate change politics today is the lack of cooperation between environmentalists and the national security community. Left-wing climate activists don’t e

Is the best way to solve climate change to ‘do nothing?’

When it comes to climate change, it might seem that a book entitled “How to Do Nothing” would not only be irrelevant, but also downright obscene and even dangerous. Not to mention that after more

Bill Gates offers direction, not solutions

Bill Gates has solved many problems in his (professional) life, and in recent decades, he’s been dedicated to the plight of the world’s poor and particularly their health. Through his foundation w

Can the world really just fall apart?

Books on climate change, as diverse as the library is, tend to fall into a couple of categories. There are the field guides and observational accounts that chronicle the destruction of our world and m

Now that summer is forever, here are 6 books on climate change to sharpen your intuitions and models

The climate is finally hitting a climax. Decades of discussions and reports by scientists have yielded pathbreaking works by writers like Elizabeth Kolbert, and today, climate fiction and non-fiction

A new book aims to blow up assumptions about the best founding teams

There’s a lot of how-to guidance out there when it comes to starting a company, and much of it has reinforced certain beliefs, including that solo founders don’t get very far on their own,

Can speculative fiction teach us anything in a world this crazy?

There’s an old saw from Mark Twain about how truth is stranger than fiction, and I think it’s fair to say we’ve lived through a very strange reality this past year. With all the chao

Gift Guide: The best books for 2020 recommended by VCs and TechCrunch writers (Part 1)

2020 was a tough year for all of us, but a strong one for books (how often do you get to say that?). Sales are up, driven by lockdowns, boredom, and the need for escape. Yet, 2020 also felt like a wat

Is the internet advertising economy about to implode?

Advertising drives the modern digital economy. Whether it’s reading news sites like this one or perusing your social media feeds, advertising is the single most important industry that came out of t
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