The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

SpaceX has tried again to have the first stage of its rocket, the Falcon 9, land autonomously.

That’s just plain cool. The rocket was trying to land on a drone ship (also cool) called “Just Read the Instructions.” I was following the rocket’s attempt on Twitter and SpaceX’s live streaming of the launch and I saw Elon Musk Tweet using the phrase “Just Read the Instructions.” Eh?, I thought, just read the instructions? That seems kinda mean. I thought that he was saying ‘hey folks, landing a rocket autonomously isn’t that tough, why can’t you get it right? Instead it turns out that “Just Read the Instructions” is the name of the drone ship – a name which is a tribute to the author Iain M. Banks, specifically the novel The Player of Games. And from there I went to two articles.

The articles (posts? what are they?) are about Bill Gates and Elon Musk. Two fellas who I believe most anybody could agree are intelligent. One of the articles, here, is about how good reading is for you and some books that Elon Musk has apparently referenced in speeches. The other is a blog post from Bill Gates himself about his favorite books that he read in 2014.

This post is lazy, it’s just me telling you what these two smart people have read and enjoyed … But hey, I had to click ALL TWO LINKS!

Elon Musk’s List (again, written about here and it’s a good read!)

Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down by J. E. Gordon
Ignition: An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants by John D. Clark
Howard Hughes: His Life and Madness by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele
The Culture Series by Iian M. Banks
Dune by Frank Herbert
Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov
Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom
Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway
Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie
Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson

 

Bill Gates List (here, also a good read! He says why these books)

Business Adventures, by John Brooks
Capital in the Twenty-First Century, by Thomas Piketty
How Asia Works, by Joe Studwell
The Rosie Effect, by Graeme Simsion
Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization, by Vaclav Smil

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