New books

Coming out of the holidays, I have three new books to go dig into. 

The first is The Emotion Machine by Marvin Minsky. Several years ago, I read his “The Society of Mind” and I’m interested to see where he’s gone with his thinking about thinking from there. 

The second is The Definitive Guide to Django – the print version of the book at I’d intended to pick this up in print from the first blush of it, and I’m glad I have a copy now. I’m sure it won’t stop me from doing most of my django research on the web, but it’s nice to have a Django reference at hand.

The third is Programming Collective Intelligence, which has a subtitle that I have begun to suspect is completely frivolous – “Building Smart Web 2.0 Applications”.  The book is really about a large number of interesting search and prediction (read “AI” technologies and algorithms) and working with data – as far as I can tell, you can delete “Web 2.0” from that sentence and it reads just fine and doesn’t do any weird damage with the now near meaningless hype words. I’ve flipped through it, but just breezed onto it so far.

I’m looking forward to adding a fourth some time in the next few months: Visualizing Data.  Nobody seems to have it in stock quite yet, and my favorite local bookstore got the word that ordering it was just silly because they weren’t given any sorts of dates for when the print would be available. I suppose I could always go Amazon with it… but I’ve got three others to work with for a while, so I don’t see much need in doing so.

Published by heckj

Developer, author, and life-long student. Writes online at

One thought on “New books

  1. Hi Joe,

    Happy New Year!

    “Programming Collective Intelligence” is a terrific book. For added bonus, it uses Python for all of its code snippets 😉

    Incidentally, Amazon seems to think it can get “Visualizing Data” to you by tomorrow if you order today.



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