The 2020 Reading Thread

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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#41

Post by CaptHayfever » Sat May 23, 2020 10:17 pm

^Cheapest flight between two cities is "unsolvable" because of human manipulations intentionally making it so. :p

AJ, you'll probably wanna look into logic books. I quite like the Elements of Mathematics series from CEMREL; they have some creative examples & the notation reads cleanly.

And remember, "I'm-a Luigi, number one!"

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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#42

Post by I am nobody » Sat May 23, 2020 10:49 pm

That's what I meant by arcane ticketing reasons. There's some mechanism that alters prices so as to make the problem technically, but obviously not practically, undecidable.

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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#43

Post by Apollo the Just » Sun May 24, 2020 3:09 pm

I ordered a book called "Models of Computation" by John Savage because it had a chapter on complexity classes in pdf version online that seems clear and interesting enough for me to want the book (although there's a lot of notation I haven't been introduced to before). I'll probably go ahead and skim through that chapter online while it's in the mail and then hopefully read all of it when it gets in, but thanks for the recommendation and direction, will hopefully post in this thread again when I get through more of it provided I don't get distracted by something unrelated. :^)

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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#44

Post by I am nobody » Mon May 25, 2020 9:04 am

7. The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance by Ron Chernow (5/25)

This was really interesting up until about the 1960s, because the bank was powerful and/or influential enough that its history is largely just regular history but from an economic perspective. Most of the things you'd expect to come up in a US history covering the late 1800s to the Depression are covered, like how they financed rifle purchases in the Civil War or gave a cover for American neutrality in WWI by routing all the Allied loans through themselves. It was cool to get some perspective on the logistics of all the huge transfers and market events that are ordinarily just glossed over.

Then Glass-Steagall splits Morgan into two companies after the depression and makes the British arm largely independent and things get a lot harder to follow. It's fine for about 30 years, mostly because the major figures still stick around for many years and they're influential enough that big events are already familiar. The Morgan banks during WWII aren't nearly the superpowers the combined company was in WWI, but they're still involved with Lend-Lease, etc.

But then the various companies start to become modern investment banks and working 16 hour days instead of two hour lunches and never taking risks. It's an interesting shift when the organizations that were previously above all the big scandals and panics (they were barely involved in even the speculation before the Depression) start to become players in and even drivers of those events, but it also because nightmarish to follow what's going on when there are suddenly dozens of important people between three different companies and many of them only last a few years. The book starts covering less time per chapter and grouping events by theme rather than chronology, which makes it even harder to follow since you're never sure if it's still the 70's anymore. I think a lot of this is because the book was published in 1990, so the names and events in question were far better known to someone who'd be reading a banking history then than they are now.

The publication date is also kind of unfortunate because 1989 is just a terrible year to end this kind of book in. It would've been nice to get even a brief epilogue talking about the huge changes that have occurred since then, but it just ends. Still, it's definitely worthwhile if this kind of thing interests you.

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