A veteran journalist, Peter Wayner has published in the New York Times, Infoworld, Wired, Car & Driver and numerous other publications. He has authored 15 books on a wide range of topics, including how technology is changing the economy, and our lives. Peter’s latest title, Attention Must Be Paid, But for $800? is a financial detective story about staging Death of a Salesman in 1949 and 2012. He is often found in the audience of the theater and backstage where the magic begins. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.
Death of a Salesman: Certain Private Conversations in Two Acts and a Requiem by Arthur Miller
I’ve been rereading the play while poking around in the financial records of two productions from 1949 and 2012. My book is about the economics of putting on the play and it uses the productions as a lens to look at how the world has changed in the sixty-some years. The play itself is timeless and it helps to rethink the themes because the characters are so rich (at least emotionally) and the tragedy is so stark.
This Machine Kills Secrets: How WikiLeakers, Cypherpunks, and Hacktivists Aim to Free the World’s Information by Andy Greenberg
A long time ago, I spent some time working with cryptography and steganography, two tools that help protect secrets on line. Some of the folks from that crowd went on to start Wikileaks. It’s a bit ironic to see the staunch privacy folks working so hard to “kill secrets,” but it’s different when the taxpayer is paying for them.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel
by Maria Semple
I live on the East Coast now, but I’ve always enjoyed the Left Coast’s vibe. Seattle and Silicon Valley have all of Portland’s crunchiness leavened by the tech industry’s nerdiness. This book looks like a light, wonderful conflation of all that’s great of those cities.
Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art
by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo
Art forgery has always been a fascinating game. We want things to be real but there’s something less threatening about someone faking a painting. The stakes are intellectually smaller. Faking a painting is an act full of artistry and rebellion.
This Will Make You Smarter: 150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking
edited by John Brockman.
John Brockman has gathered together an amazing band of deep thinkers and this book contains the answers to one simple question. “What scientific concept would improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit?” The answers are wildly different and don’t require any deep knowledge of science but they make you think. They’re just the right level for dreaming as I drift off to sleep.
What helps you dream?