Ian Mulvany

January 12, 2024

Reading - 2024 - Book 1 - The System of the World.

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.

About Ian Mulvany

Hi, I'm Ian - I work on academic publishing systems. You can find out more about me at mulvany.net. I'm always interested in engaging with folk on these topics, if you have made your way here don't hesitate to reach out if there is anything you want to share, discuss, or ask for help with!