Book Corner 2023.22

by David Auerbach

Meganets are those systems which have evolved beyond the reach of human control. Facebook. Blockchains (by design). Google. AI, of course, and soon. We cannot control or contain them.

But we can monkey with them! That’s Auerbach’s suggestion. Poison the data. Slow down the virality. Make everything less efficient on purpose.


So this is me. No, not literally. But it literally is my brother, and he always was my role model.

You may have to know the original to get the sarcasm.

I’m an ordinary man
Who desires nothing more than an ordinary chance
To live exactly as he likes, and do precisely what he wants
An average man am I, of no eccentric whim
Who likes to live his life free of strife
Doing whatever he thinks is best, for him
Just an ordinary man

I’m a very gentle man
Even tempered and good natured
Who you never hear complain
Who has the milk of human kindness
By the quart in every vein
A patient man am I, down to my fingertips
The sort who never could, ever would
Let an insulting remark escape his lips
A very gentle man

I’m a quiet living man
Who prefers to spend the evening in the silence of his room
Who likes an atmosphere as restful as an undiscovered tomb
A pensive man am I, of philosophic joys
Who likes to meditate, contemplate
Free from humanity’s mad inhuman noise
Just a quiet living man

Book Corner 2023.21

by Dr. Carl Hart

I read Drug Use for Grownups before reading this; if I had read this first, I think I would have been surprised to read the second. This is Dr. Hart’s memoir. Throughout his youth and young adulthood, we feel him just floating above the surface of drug use – just a little marijuana and alcohol, very little, with his athletic performance as an excuse. And a little cocaine later. He doesn’t seem really into any of it. So what a surprise to find him an unapologetic heroin hobbyist in the second book. His overall message is the same – drugs don’t ruin lives, people ruin lives; it’s just that I really wouldn’t have pegged him for a user.

I do love a life story and I enjoyed his memoir. It did give an interesting perspective on life and problems in “the hood”. Hart grew up with five older sisters and two younger brothers; an alcoholic father, eventually separated parents. He witnessed crime, addiction, abuse; he shoplifted, he fathered a child he didn’t know about for 16 years. He also played basketball and joined the military, and from there it’s a story of life turned around.