Sam Houston // Senior Community Manager

💡 AWS Made Easy Livestream Ep. 99.5 | Rahul Subramaniam + Stephen Barr 

Thoughts: Ezra’s Klein’s interview with the CEO of Anthropic is an interesting discussion about the speed of growth of the industry and the impact AI will have on our electricity consumption, the impact on jobs, and more. Very interesting listen!

Bob Rudis // VP Data Science & Research

🚀 Book: The Ascendant Wars: Hellfire | Rhett C. Bruno & M.B. Vance

Why I like it: It has stylistic and narrative elements like The Expanse novels, and presents an intriguing future where some humans (dubbed Wardens) have outgrown their humanity thanks to bioengineering and rule the galaxy with ruthless efficiency. This story centers around the folks impacted by a particularly horrible Warden who decides to mess with the pseudo-stability of the regime in order to gain control. Excellent writing.

🪙 Article: Lessons after a half-billion GPT tokens | Ken Kantzer 

Thoughts: It was a good read as well. I don't necessarily agree with all the points, but the author's practical take on making real-world apps with "AI" is very refreshing amidst all the hype.

Louis Evans // Director of Product Marketing

💨 Atmospheric Disturbances | Rivka Galchen

Why I like it: This brilliant, disturbing novel centers on a psychiatrist suddenly convinced his wife has been replaced by an imposter (presumably a reference to a real disorder, Capgras delusion) and that the secret to finding his real wife is hidden in an obscure paper by a research meteorologist—clearly based on the author’s own father. Hilarious, insightful, surprisingly punny—and though written in 2006, the bite-sized chapters are perfect for our age of internet distractions (just me?).

🚪 The Saint of Bright Doors | Vajra Chandrasekera

Thoughts: Incisive, bizarre, and with a last-act twist that slides perfectly, yet shockingly, into place, The Saint of Bright Doors is certainly deserving of its string of award nominations. I saw Chandrasekera read an excerpt from this book on his tour; he chose the scene where the protagonist’s mother tells her son “the doctors will tell you I’m dying of cancer . . . but really it’s because I’m disappointed in you.” But Bright Doors does not disappoint. 

🐉 The Dragon Waiting | John M. Ford

TLDR: Neil Gaiman wrote that this book “contains no dragons”. It’s not quite true—and Gaiman’s full quote contains a qualifier that I’m cunningly concealing from you—but close enough. Now consider what it means to recommend a dragonless book about dragons. Familiarity with the Wars of the Roses and strong opinions about the Byzantine empire will be greatly rewarded. 

Ron Bowes  // Lead Security Researcher

🪄 Book: Maximum Entertainment 2.0 | Ken Weber

Why I like it: It is a book about having a more interesting stage presence as a magician. I'm not a (professional (or good)) magician, but telling stories and being interesting on stage applies to all of us!

🧛 Book: The Twelve | Justin Cronin 

Backstory: Vampire fiction might be too embarrassing to post…for context, I go to the local used bookstore to buy random books. I bought "The Passage" by Justin Cronin and got sucked into (🥁) the story about the world being overrun by a vampire virus. Halfway through, I realized it's a trilogy; now I'm halfway through the second book ("The Twelve"), with the third ready to go. 

🌟 Textbook: Improv 101 | Jet City Improv 

Thoughts: Improv classes are a great way to meet people, build confidence, and have fun in a super supportive environment!

Konstantin // Senior Researcher

🧠 Book: Being You: A New Science of Consciousness | Anil Seth 

Thoughts: It is a nice read. Basically, “the entirety of perceptual experience is a neuronal fantasy that remains yoked to the world through a continuous making and remaking of perceptual best guesses, of controlled hallucinations.” Or how I stopped worrying and learned to love the absence of free will.

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