Lux Recommends — #4

By Sam Arbesman

Welcome to Lux Recommends #4, the newest edition of what we at Lux are reading and thinking about.


Long term price trends for electronic goods and services : they all decline, except for “cable and satellite television and radio service” — Sam

Humanist among machines: why we need Arnold Toynbee’s perspective on progress and technology in our modern world — Sam

Finding Your Recipe: “More comprehensive then just discovering a business model or reaching product market fit, a successful recipe requires the ability to repeat your results.” — Zack

“You see, money doesn’t exist in the 24th century”: Transcript of an incredible discussion between “Paul Krugman and Brad Delong, Annalee Newitz (i09), Chris Black (Enterprise writer), Felix Salmon and Manu Saadia, author of the new book Trekonomics” on Star Trek and the post-scarcity society — Sam

London Police ‘Super Recognizer’ Walks Beat With a Facebook of the Mind: “Facial recognition software managed to identify one suspect of the 4,000 captured by security cameras during the London riots. Constable Collins identified 180.” — Adam K


A Guide To The Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine: The ultimate hack: finding equanimity by appreciating the little things, cherishing that which might be gone tomorrow and realizing that whatever you might be upset about it complaining about could always be far worse. This is timeless wisdom from Seneca, Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus wisely written in page turning prose. — Josh

Shadow Show: Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury: a graphic novel with chapters by Neil Gaiman, Harlan Ellison and Charles Yu. Thought provoking and brilliantly illustrated, my favorite is Neil Gaiman’s short treatise on how remembering someone’s name is the way they live after they die and once they are forgotten they are truly dead. — Josh

My Fight / Your Fight by Ronda Rousey: Oh you laugh now, but the book is jam packed with stories of determination and Ronda is on her way to world domination — Adam G


The Martian: (spoiler-free) Matt Damon is mistakenly left for dead on Mars only to be alive and now having to figure out how to survive and get back to earth. Thought it was excellent. Saw it in 3D. Not best picture excellent, but close. Will get nominated for some of the major awards. Matt Damon was great. He will get nominated. Only downfall is id say it runs 15 minutes too long. Effects are subtle and look real which is great. Soundtrack is ok. Use of Bowie was great but rest was mediocre. Stays very close to the book. Few minor plot points missing but overall the same. I really loved it and recommend it. — Adam K


Hamilton: Original reco. came from Zack, but I got around to seeing it a couple of weeks ago on Broadway. My favorite show by leaps and bounds. Writer/director/lead Lin-Manuel Miranda is spectacular on all fronts and now the deserving winner of the MacArthur “Genius Grant”. According to 538 it’s the fastest-paced show in history. If you can’t make it to Broadway, you can download the soundtrack here. — Jeff


Mr. Robot: A dark, exhilarating show that sucks you in and never lets go. I haven’t been this engrossed in a show since Breaking Bad! — Jeff

Online Courses

Edge Master Class 2015: A Short Course in Superforecasting by Phil Tetlock: attended by Danny Kahneman, Danny Hillis, Rod Brooks and other brilliant minds on the topic of Superforecasters, a new book of the same name. Tetlock investigates and reveals what it is about this group of people in the way they think and evaluate evidence that makes them more accurate than others at predicting the future. A remarkable intro to better decision making and better forecasting the future. — Josh

Have a suggestion? Let us know.