Telling your grandpa what you do all the time

I guess you are getting ready to meet grandpa. After all, he has prepared all the marvelous cookies for you. Yes, he does even cookies in this politically correct update of this posting. Then comes the moment when he asks you about your studies at TU Graz. For me this always was a critical moment. How to answer?

Here is what you could put at the core of your answer to grandpa if you study “Computer Science” or “Information and Computer Engineering” or “Software Development”:

“The universe is made of energy, matter, and information, but information is what makes the universe interesting. Without information, the universe would be an amorphous soup. It would lack the shapes, structures, aperiodic orders, and fractal arrangements that give the universe both its beauty and its complexity.”

I just read this sentence in a book two hours ago. It is the first sentence in the book with the title “Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies” written by Cesar Hidalgo.

Maybe you got curious about this book. Then get it and read it. You might even already worry that you miss interesting food for thought during the next two weeks.

[Actually, in my case it was always grandma who was asking. Grandpa was less interested in science and technology. Moreover, he was also not able to bake cookies. They were grandma’s, too. It seems to me that grandpa was just interested in fermented apple cider. And music.]

Did I hear you say that you have no time to read because you are busy with getting your thesis project done? Well, then I have another suggestion: I promise that the time you invest in reading it will actually save you some time; you might even be able to finish earlier than expected. The book’s title is “The Unwritten Rules Of Phd Research (Open Up Study Skills)” and its author is Marian Petre.

Ah. Did you say that you are not anymore into thesis writing? All right! You worry about the future. Then I would suggest that you read Jaron Lanier’s excellent book “Who Owns the Future?“. Check it out. I really liked it.

OK, I understand: You are more into fiction. How about “Fall of Man in Wilmslow” by David Lagercrantz and George Goulding? It is about a police detective trying to find out the circumstances around Alan Turing’s death. A quite amazing book. You learn about Alan’s work during World War 2, about homophobia, and about the craziness during the years after the war.

Did you read this posting up to this point? Thank you for your patience. I have two final suggestions for those who want to read in German and are more into politics and all that jazz:

Slavoj Žižek, Michael Adrian: “Blasphemische Gedanken: Islam und Moderne“, and Frank Schirrmacher: “Technologischer Totalitarismus: Eine Debatte“.

Merry Reading! And a Happy New Book!

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One thought on “Telling your grandpa what you do all the time

  1. Pingback: Any Idea How to Spend Your X-mas? | kc posch, iaik, graz univ of technology

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