I’m trying to do a bit of reading of a book every day in 2024. I’ve decided to give up on the piano for this year, and reduce my focus to reading, and getting fitter.
The first book I completed in 2024 was a re-read of The System of the World, by Neil Stephenson.
I read it a few years ago, and had re-read the other two volumes of the trilogy earlier in 2023. There are two things that I really liked about the book.
- The main character Daniel Waterhouse strikes me as a pragmatic engineer, looking to move systems on where he can, in ways that make sense. I like that a lot. I’d forgotten a lot about that.
- The book ends with a call to create if not the perfect system, at least a system that is better than the one that the enlightenment emerged out of. I like that a lot. I got a lot out of re-reading these three books.
There is a McGuffin running through all of his books, and this book is no exception. I used to obsess over this more than I do now.