: New: Book Report: The 48 Laws of Power

This book tries to tell you how to get ahead by lying to people. It keeps telling you how powerful you'll be if only you follow its advice; it tells you that people who try to be "nice" are doomed to failure and blah blah blah. As an engineer who hangs out with mad scientists, I was not impressed. This book pretends that "power" == "power over gullible humans". That's fine if you want to be surrounded by minions peeling your grapes for you or whatever. But what if you want an instant pretty-good translation of some document written in a language you don't know? Too bad you wasted all that time dominating humans instead of using science and engineering to bend a fleet of computers to your will.

(This book claims that my fondness for science and technology indicates my blindness: scientists can't ignore politics. Galileo had to flatter nobles to get money to do research; when he tried to ignore politics, he got in trouble. But the book also overvalues having power over people. Anyone who's tried to explain a complex product specification to an underling and then sees what that underling builds, oy veh, knows what I'm getting at here.)

Did not finish

Tags: book unfinished

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