books...

if you’re not first-time visitor here, likely you know already I’m reading a lot of books. a lot? after years of considering each and every book, and then hoarding them in stacks (because I couldn’t get enough shelf space) I realized one of my early dreams - to have a full wall of shelves to store my books (picture opening this posts shows it point-blank, with some packages taking some view, sorry for that)....

May 13, 2021 · Łukasz Bromirski

Bellingcat

Eliot Higgins created very powerful organization in his kitchen. organization, that’s trying to tame chaos created by all-present disinformation and lies coming in from people, organizations, companies and countries. the book goes through his journey from the kitchen and internet connected laptop to the place Bellingcat is today (BTW, the name comes from the bell hanging from cats neck to warn out birds from becoming cats prey). Bellingcat is both well organized “core” group of researchers and specialists that are trying to piece up together objective truth about specific events, but at the same time hundreds if not thousands of volunteers helping out in all investigations....

April 29, 2021 · Łukasz Bromirski

2034 - a book

the book did a lot of noise, being quoted everywhere even before it was published. as part of the marketing before release, they even did limited publishing in parts in partnership with wired. but… the book is bad. simply as that. if you expected Tom Clancy’s level of technical detail, just because one of the authors is retired US Navy admiral - don’t. you won’t find it. if you expected Tom Clancy’s level of characters that have nothing interesting to say and their background story is thin as cheapest printing paper for your printer - you may enjoy the book....

April 1, 2021 · Łukasz Bromirski

Calling Bullsh*t

we are all dealing daily with the eponymous “bullsh*t truth” and unfortunately we are inundated with it. we live in an age where opinions are treated as facts, and anyone who has access to the “mass media” suddenly becomes a great philosopher, thinker and scientist all rolled into one. the beginning of the book gives a brilliant summary of the situation we are in: The world is awash with bullshit, and we’re drowning in it....

February 24, 2021 · Łukasz Bromirski

fake news in practice

I recently had a chance to finish reading fantastic book covering disinformation war happening between USSR and USA during Cold War - Active Measures. it’s frightening how Soviet Russia, and by extension todays Russia, mastered skill of disinformation and manipulation of public opinion. and at the same time, reading it helps you spot influence over todays anti- and pro- movements, like antivacciners, anti-5G, anti-whatever. i’m not saying they’re all inspired and sponsored by Russia (or by whomever), but after reading this book you can easy see into how those movements start, evolve and get exploited....

December 23, 2020 · Łukasz Bromirski

SPEED

I was able to finally reach Aleksander Poniewierski SPEED book in my queue of books to read. if you don’t know Aleksander, you should - and this book will give you a lot of good answers for “why?”. I can finally attest that indeed that’s great, short, and to the point piece providing high level view of what and how drives fourth revolution, and what exactly is that revolution about....

December 20, 2020 · Łukasz Bromirski

madness is not a method

i’m great fan of Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson books. latest one - it doesn’t have to be crazy at work - is a great continuation of the previous pieces. all of them: rework, remote and getting real should be part of ‘must read’ for teams and their managers. the most important in what they write about is that they bring it to life. and they write about all of the important things - including team management and organization, the way they work, the ideas that guide them and the lack of ‘corporate bullshit stories’ typical workplaces and companies try to invent just to justify need to work harder....

December 3, 2018 · Łukasz Bromirski

wandering earth

image = “/images/2018/11/wandering-earth.png” Cixin Liu trilogy was excellent. I wrote about it before. the latest collection of stories by the same author… well. not so much anymore. i am sad to say that it’s almost like Abelard Giza said in one of his standups pieces - ‘first there’s this original idea, and then total shit’). from the whole series of stories in the volume ‘wandering earth’ you can find maybe two or three original and interesting ones....

November 26, 2018 · Łukasz Bromirski

"a ja żem jej powiedziała..."

great book. short but perfect. i will not try to praise and underline my deep knowledge and uderstanding of - Nosowska works. i know her almost exclusively from ‘texan’, and by the way she writes about people like me in one of the chapters about psychotherapists. i did not even knew, that she has a feed on instagram, publishes video - and in general - as a private person. not to mention all of her works....

October 22, 2018 · Łukasz Bromirski

backroom boys

great and unfortunately very short book about british geeks. it consists of couple of short chapters covering specific areas - from satellites (Ariel program), Blue Streak missiles, through Concorde (and all history of trying to keep it in service), to geeky pieces like legendary David Brabens Elite game. you won’t find too much about Elite game itself, as author is focusing more on the business side of things. however, there are couple of interesting pieces - like David relentless work on optimizing game code for BBC Micro (20kB of RAM!...

October 1, 2018 · Łukasz Bromirski

blood, sweat and a bad book

I bought it, so you won’t have to. ‘blood, sweat and pixels’ is book of Jason Schreier - kotaku fame. and to set record straight - it’s very, very bad book. to further add to insult, one of the chapters is focused on our very own ‘witcher 3’. let me shorten your torment, and save 30 PLNs by summarizing the diagram that Jason uses to describe the process of creating each of the games:...

September 24, 2018 · Łukasz Bromirski

altered carbon

another trilogy worth reading, rightly celebrating popularity as part of the (weak, and painfully crippled) Netflix screening. it consists of Altered Carbon, Broken Angels and Woken Furies. they all cover adventures of a single hero, however because of the “altered carbon” specifics, it’s almost like three different books. Takeshi Kovacs is single character, former Envoy, but given he’s constantly using different bodies, books are fast paced and interesting. ‘broken angels’ keeps ‘altered carbon’ tempo and adds some interesting twists, and ‘woken furies’ in my humble opinion is weakest of all three, but still written well and keeping the level overall....

September 17, 2018 · Łukasz Bromirski

remembrance of earth's past

all three books are great, and whole trilogy - delightful. they’re refreshing in style, and for me personally very similar to writings of Stanisława Lema (well, at least there where it’s close to intergalactic travels and technology) and Asimov. everything embedded into chinese cultural environment that i studied recently for professional reasons). some of that can be seen very clearly in long term (really long term) strategies mixed with tactical execution....

August 27, 2018 · Łukasz Bromirski

CTO on holidays

for the first time in a few years I took three weeks of vacation. …and this is starting to catch up with me :) i took few books with myself, but only some of them are worth mentioning - like ‘Hit refresh’ by Satya Nadella (though I have not read it yet) and ‘Now. The physics of time’ - I am in the process and it is fascinating to read. the remaining two positions will remain in the shadow of oblivion....

August 7, 2018 · Łukasz Bromirski

with arpanet it wasn't exactly as you may think

it was not built for US military. it wasn’t even built to enable survivability of US military infrastructure after nuclear war. there’s a myth in the “internet circles”, that i’m fighting for couple of years already. recently, i was reading great book - Dream Machine. it’s as good as (at least) Dealers of Lightning or 747 - but maybe even better. you probably heard the story already - US gov ordered RAND to check if they could built survivable comms system....

June 18, 2018 · Łukasz Bromirski

digest-digest-digests

140 characters at most, 5 minutes, sandwich you catch up while on the run… and then silence at around 2am and wake up call at 6am… this is how life of most of us looks like. daily. I had a chance to get back to book I’ve read too long ago - Rays Bradbury 451* Fahrenheita'. just take a look at following dialogue: “People don’t talk about anything.” “Oh, they must!...

May 28, 2018 · Łukasz Bromirski

imagineers of war

ARPA, established in 1958, was first and only space agency at that time in United States. to this day it drives fantasies and is unequivocally identified with the emergence of the Internet, but did you know that ARPA (before it became DARPA in 1972) was responsible for underground nuclear testing (as seismology allowed to determine whether other countries somewhere on Earth were conducting their nuclear tests), guerilla warfare (ARPA reps travelled to and stayed in Vietnam, Thailand and Laos long before US under falsifed “proofs” attacked North Vietnam), or development of machine rifle that became what is today known as M-16?...

May 14, 2018 · Łukasz Bromirski

communication

we are herd creatures, naturally social. we have created many tools for remote communication and although the echoes of the electromagnetic wave of our radio transmissions travel fainter and farther into space, today one of the most used tools is the good old e-mail. it was born in around 1971 so already 47 years ago. contrary to the bigots shouting radical slogans louder and louder, i believe that humanity is created for an open exchange of ideas....

April 2, 2018 · Łukasz Bromirski

we are all only metadata

6:51 AM, 30 APRIL 1975: SWIFT 22 IS OUTBOUND WITH 11 PAX ON BOARD INCLUDING THE LZ COMMANDER. ALL THE AMERICANS ARE OUT REPEAT OUT. this traditionally short message from NSA signals intelligence, was everything that was needed to confirm that all US citizens left US embassy in Saigon. Saigon changed name to Ho Chi Minh a day later, taken over by North Vietnam army. signals intelligence changed significantly from that time, but the book i’m writing about right now was published way before Snowden era....

February 19, 2018 · Łukasz Bromirski

triggers

jeden z moich znajomych zauważył bardzo celnie, że mam często ‘krótki lont’. nie mogę się nie zgodzić - czasami tak po prostu jest. zrozumienie i opanowanie tego to katorżnicza praca, która w dodatku wymaga codziennego szlifowania umiejętności. każdy kto próbował - wie. na wielu poziomach ten temat dotyka zagadnień dominujących dzisiejsze tzw. szkoły biznesu - jak zbudować zespół, jak jego członkowie powinni wzajemnie się uzupełniać, motywować i jednocześnie - zachęcać do wartościowej pracy....

February 12, 2018 · Łukasz Bromirski

holiday reading

my whole summer vacation this year is a week by the sea. however, I was able anyway to catch up my reading backlog from last few weeks - books put aside and waiting patiently in their queue. so let’s go faster this time, but through the whole list: Matthew Syed - The black box method - a great book describing the process of correcting errors; it starts with aviation, which over the last decades has led to a dramatic increase in flight safety....

August 12, 2017 · Łukasz Bromirski

deep work

some of us know it better, some worse, and the rest haven’t heard or thought about it (or claims “i don’t need it”) work ‘in the zone’ got popular immediately after world ended being enchanted by open spaces and mandatory offices, and got back to using rooms or - in XXI century - in “home offices”. the fact that giants like Facebook or Apple still build huge offices and promote unconstrained mobility, availability and capability to forget about home given work is the most important thing you can do (hence “socializing” is as well), doesn’t change too much....

February 20, 2017 · Łukasz Bromirski

why i don't give a fuck

after stumbling upon Farnam Street blog, i found another one - that of Mark Manson. and i found it thanks to The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck article. after reviewing this short list i realized how many of those advices i could give to myself seven years ago. it’s worth to read. and think.

April 18, 2015 · Łukasz Bromirski

what i was reading - january 2015 edition

from everything read up to date and noted as worth reading: Think like a freak - great set of anecdotes coming strait from author real experiences. there’s a lot of examples that if you don’t know that something can’t be done - you’ll succeed and amaze people around you. so called “ground truths” are serious problem those days. in most of the cases because people have very shallow knowledge or lack it - so can be easily manipulated....

January 12, 2015 · Łukasz Bromirski

what I've read recently

as I read a lot of books, at some point I decided to share those worth mentioning here. partly so you can see what I’m reading, partly - to have a good summary about those books. let’s start - over last two weeks I’ve managed to read: How Google tests software - great book for everyone that deals with software development, process optimization or simply building their own company. it demonstrates how important is to get feedback from users, and how hard it is to built whole compliance system right from the beginning....

December 30, 2014 · Łukasz Bromirski

christmas cleaning part 1

it seems that F-35 can’t end it’s failure series. despite GAO audits, model of building military equipment for biggest army in the world didn’t change a bit since end of second world war. they’re still ordering and building things that will bring maximum revenue to military vendors and not what military customers actually need. i immediately got back to one of the articles i’ve read recently in ACM Queue - responsive enterprise: embracing the hacker way....

December 27, 2014 · Łukasz Bromirski

essentialism #2...

…gave me food for thought. i counted 18 books in different places around my house, that i was trying to read at the same time. today in the morning i decided it doesn’t make any sense, and it’s exactly the opposite approach i should take. so, books landed in stack, into nice queue. i’ll be reading two books at the same time from today onwards - starting with ’essentialism’ and Pratchetts ‘Raising Steam’....

June 7, 2014 · Łukasz Bromirski

essentialism...

…i’m reading right now an interesting book - Essentialism. it beatifully demonstrates how to decide where it is worth to invest your time and energy. and it gives you great framework for doing just that. another theory, you’ll say? well, 37signals, builders of the great web apps announced they’ll… drop all other projects and focus on only one - Basecamp. that’s how you put theory to practice. by the way - i highly recommend all of the 37signals books, they’re great source of proven advices how to build your own business and how to choose paths in life....

May 23, 2014 · Łukasz Bromirski

don't judge decision by results... what?

let me quote book i’m reading now: A quick hypothesis: say one million monkeys speculate on the stock market. They buy and sell stocks like crazy and, of course, completely at random. What happens? After one week, about half of the monkeys will have made a profit and the other half a loss. The ones that made a profit stay; the ones that made a loss you send home. In the second week, one half of the monkeys will still be riding high, while the other half will have made a loss and are sent home....

March 30, 2014 · Łukasz Bromirski

only easy day...

after reading ridiculous, made up story of british SAS, hiding under alias “Andy McNab”, trying to tell his version of Rambo&Commando-style fictious account of Iraq operation i couldn’t find story that was so exaggerated and made-up. in reality, his total ineffectual commanding style and bravado led to death one of his own team members, and injuries as well as captivity for rest of them. that was independently verified by Michael Asher and Peter Ratcliffe....

October 11, 2013 · Łukasz Bromirski