Long flights aren’t usually very enjoyable, but I had two in my holiday travels that were fascinating.
I had stumbled across a blog - The Ribbon Farm - before leaving, and the author, Venkatesh Rao, very kindly provides an easy way (via readlists.com which I”m now using) to download sets of his blog posts to epub format - see his For New Readers.
So I just loaded up my iBooks with his work. Perfect. It was like sitting down for a long-haul journey and finding your companion full of theories — totally fun, especially when the theories involve economics, technology, the future, and the sociology of entrepreneurship. His theories ring true for me, based on the experience of DHA in Vietnam and my Boston/London days in unsuccessful start-ups.
You might start with The Gervais Principle (which uses The Office to illustrate a pet theory of his).
NB: He’s also a blogger for Forbes and just published an end-of-year “best of” list of his blog posts. Do catch these articles:
Then on another leg I chose Tim Kreider’s book of essays as my companion. Again, wonderfully opinionated — and often funny, even if sometimes in a cringing way (not quite The Peep Show level, but close).
See “In Praise of Not Knowing” - which ends with this thought:
I hope kids are still finding some way, despite Google and Wikipedia, of not knowing things. Learning how to transform mere ignorance into mystery, simple not knowing into wonder, is a useful skill. Because it turns out that the most important things in this life — why the universe is here instead of not, what happens to us when we die, how the people we love really feel about us — are things we’re never going to know.