Jon Krohn, Cajoler of Datums

June 2017


Neuralink and the Brain's Magical Future - Tim Urban ★★★

In his characteristic, inimitable style that blends technical content with humour and memorable illustrations, Tim at long last publishes his introductory neuroscience piece. To mind-bending effect, he carefully applies this foundational material to contemporary brain-machine interfaces, persuasively drawing a line of trajectory from the Gutenberg printing press to the society-upending "wizard hats" of coming decades. 


May 2017


Born to Run - Christopher McDougall ★★★

Pulling disparate strands of research together -- e.g., physiological, anatomical, anthropological -- Christopher develops a compelling overarching hypothesis that humans evolved to fit a novel predatory niche: hunting prey to death by chasing them slowly over many hours. While he butchers some of the science, the tales he recounts are gripping and the practical content galvanised, lightened, and enlightened my existing endurance-running practice. This book was given to me by Stephanie Krohn. 


March 2017


The Artist's Way - Julia Cameron ★★★

Three sentences appearing here soon. This book was recommended to me by Raphaela Sapire


Deskbound - Kelly Starrett ★★

Three sentences appearing here soon. I borrowed this book from Lauren Eichhorn. 


February 2017


An Open HeartTenzin Gyatso, edited by Nicholas Vreeland ★★★★

In straightforward language that renders subtle material readily tangible, Nicholas Vreeland summarises three days of lectures given by the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, in New York in 1997. This summary covered Buddhist doctrine and rituals, meditation best-practices, and the personal and societal benefits of right thought and right action. The concepts resonated well with me, particularly the emphasis on creating knowledge for oneself through experience and reflection. This book was recommended to me by Debra Williams


The Lean StartupEric Ries ★

This book is a classic -- perhaps the must-read classic -- in the contemporary start-up world. In common with most modern business books, it is light on content and long on real-world analogies in offensively simplistic English. While drawn out unnecessarily, the topic is nevertheless valuable, describing Ries' agile system for iteratively scaling a data-driven enterprise, product, or service. 


January 2017


The Bhagavad Gita ★★★

Alongside the Vedas and the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita is a text I regularly hear quotes from during the Dharma talks that begin yoga classes. Knowing embarrassingly little about Hindu culture and wading through sometimes repetitive verses, I moved rather slowly through the first chapters of my 1944 translation by Swami Nikhilananda, which largely consists of the deity Krishna imparting advice to the warrior Arjuna as he weighs battle. The occasional thought-provoking verse in those early chapters gave way to a banquet of profound and practical life philosophy later on. I particularly profited from the detailed distinction between the three Gunas (roughly speaking, personality types), that is

  • rajas: attachment, overzealous action, greed, desire for the fruit of one's labour
  • tamas: ignorance, arrogance, deceitfulness, lack of regard for consequences
  • and the ideal of sattva: knowledge-seeking, lack of attachment, freedom from longing and action

This book was kindly given to me by Steve Fazzari


The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt ★★★★

Three sentences appearing here soon. I borrowed this book from Judy Pastushchyn. 


Deep Work - Cam Newport ★★★★

Three sentences appearing here soon. 


On The Road - Jack Kerouac ★

Three sentences appearing here soon. I borrowed this book from Audrey Palmen. 


All-Time Favourites


Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut ★★★★

Three sentences appearing here soon. 


Waking Up - Sam Harris ★★★★

Three sentences appearing here soon. 


Watchmen - Alan Moore ★★★★

Three sentences appearing here soon. This book was birthday-gifted to me by Aleksandar Obradovic, Harvey Aspeling-Jones, Mikey Forster, and Amy Monroe. 


Zero to One - Peter Thiel ★★★★

Three sentences appearing here soon. This book was recommended by Elizabeth Lodge.