Books, Booze & Bits

Our online book club focuses on books that explore how humanity, culture, and society are changing in the Digital Era. Our book choices will cover technology trends and impacts, ethics and policy, cultural influences and societal changes, innovation and creativity, psychology and sociology, and privacy and freedom.

Our book club’s purpose is to help each of us think more deeply about trends, technologies, society, people, and self, in order to expand our understanding, improve our perspective, and enhance our lives and our impact on others. This will drive the choices in our books and the resulting discussion. At each meeting we will discuss one book, chosen by a rotating member of the group, with discussion on

  • what we liked and disliked, and why
  • what requires more thinking and time
  • how it will impact our perspectives, lives, and society/culture going forward (if at all), and
  • how it relates (enhances, complements, or even refutes) prior books as we develop our individual and collective perspectives and understanding.

Questioning and debate are as welcome as development of common understanding. Drinking is, of course, helpful and required, and we’ll share our individual spirits of choices (and the reasons for the choices) before diving into the discussion.

Next/future meetings

When: Sept 28, 8pm. Zoom link will be in invitation.
Book: A Mind For Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra), by Barbara Oakley
Discussion lead: JP Lutz

When: Oct 19, 8pm. Zoom link will be in invitation.
Book: Futureproof: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation – Kevin Roose (NYT Science Writer)
Discussion lead: Mike Graham

Future Book Candidates

Some possible books for future events:

  • Superintelligence, Nick Bostrom
  • The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World, Simon Winchester
  • Master Your Code, Darren J. Gold
  • Atomic Habits
  • Noise: why people and groups make unexplained mistakes in decision making (vs. bias) – Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, Cass Sunstein
  • Project Hail Mary (author of the Martian – fiction)
  • The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking)
  • Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley

Past Meetings

When: August 18, 8pm. Zoom link will be in invitation.
Book: Other Minds: The Octopus, The Sea, and the Origins of Deep Consciousness, by Peter Godfrey-Smith
Discussion lead:: Judy Tierney

When: July 8, 8pm. Zoom link will be in invitation.
Book: Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro
Discussion lead:: Jay Boisseau

When: June 3 at 8PM. Zoom link in invitation.
Book: We Are the Nerds, Christine Lagorio-Chafkin
Discussion lead: Camellia Falcon

When: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 8PM. Zoom link in invitation.
Book: The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race, Walter Isaacson
Discussion lead:: Kevin Thompson

When: Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 8PM. Zoom link in invitation.
Book: Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money, Nathaniel Popper
Discussion lead: Chad Swiatecki

When: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 8PM. Zoom link in invitation.
Book: Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Videogames Are Made
Discussion lead: Mike Graham & son!

When: Tuesday, Jan 12, 2021 at 8PM. Zoom link in invitation.
Book: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, Ashlee Vance
Discussion lead: Jackson Moore

When: Thursday, Dec 17, 2020 at 8PM. Zoom link in invitation.
Book: Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, Joshua Foer
Discussion lead: JP Lutz

When: Tuesday, Nov 17, 2020 at 8PM. Zoom link in invitation.
Book: The Patient Will See You Now, Eric Topol
Discussion lead: Judy Tierney

When: Tuesday, Oct 27, 2020 at 8PM. Zoom link in invitation.
Book: Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World, Clive Thompson
Discussion lead: Jay Boisseau

When: Tuesday, Oct 13, 2020 at 8PM. Zoom link in invitation.
Book: Weapons of Math Destruction, Cathy O’Neill
Extra: We will also discuss the new (topically related) film “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix
Discussion lead: Camellia Falcon

When: Tuesday, Sept 22, 2020 at 8PM. Zoom link in invitation
Book: Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari
Discussion Lead: Kevin Thompson

When: Tuesday, Aug 25, 2020 at 8PM. Zoom link in invitation.
Book: How Music Got Free, Stephen Witt
Discussion lead: Chad Swiatecki

When: Tuesday, Aug 11, 2020 at 8PM. Zoom link in invitation.
Book: Tetris: The Games People Play, by Box Brown
Discussion Lead: Michael Graham

Fourth meeting: Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 8PM.
Book: Stand Out of Our Light, James Williams
Discussion lead: Jackson Moore

Third meeting: Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 8PM.
Book: The Fourth AgeL Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity, Byron Reese
Discussion lead: JP Lutz

Second meeting: Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 8PM.
Book: Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
Discussion lead: Judy Tierney

First meeting: Tuesday, May 26, 2020, 8PM.
Book: The Fuzzy & the Techie: Why the Liberal Arts Will Rule the World, Scott Hartley (2019)
Discussion lead: Jay Boisseau

Organizational meeting: Thursday, May 7, 8pm: Organizational meeting to determine scope, purpose, schedule, and first two books.

  • Scope: books about society, government, culture, and the individual in the Digital Era
  • Initial ideas for books: discuss possible book ideas in scope to help initial event leads
  • Schedule: every 2 (or maybe 3) weeks, on Tuesdays at 8PM Central for 1h15. We’ll open with salutations and booze choices, and we’ll spend the last 10 minutes of which will be for finalizing meeting and book two meetings out.