reads and links
However you choose to consume new information (paper books, audiobooks, videos, etc.), just keep doing it. Diversify the subject matter you consume. After about 30 years of ingesting topics including feminist theory, social psychology, evolutionary linguistics, comic books, some philosophy, culturally-diverse poetry, and literary fiction, I’m convinced that a broad field of knowledge will make you a unique individual in STEM, in a field of academics mostly consumed by being a specialist in a certain field. I don’t believe in pigeonholing oneself; we’re not insects. Others will absolutely tell you otherwise. I’m also convinced that the rules of natural systems have commonalities across disciplines (e.g. there are similar principles applied to linguistics and geology via the Uniformitarianism concept). Don’t read just to keep up with current literature in your field of research, read because you’ll be blown away by how interconnected natural systems are.
In this spirit, here are some reads I’ve come by over the years (books I’ve actually read) that have enriched my perspectives on science and the human condition.
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet,
balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations,
analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
Specialization is for insects.”
– Robert Anson Heinlein