Nov 2, 2011

Books I've been reading

This book narrates spectacularly the history of the link between coffee production and the political and social systems in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Costa Rica -- although there is also a discussion on Guatemala as a comparative case. The author argues, among many other things, that the structure of the agrarian fractions and the agroindustrial fractions in these countries had a strong influence on the way the political and social system developed by the end of the twentieth century. One can agree or disagree with some interpretations, but this careful research can not be ignored. This book must be a required reading for any class on social/economic/political history on Central America. 

This wonderful little book wisely argues that the secret for good writing is to focus on "the sentence." The sentence should be the unit of analysis, not "the word." A must for those who care about good writing. 

What a great book. You learn to love the robots, and to hate them. And you laugh out laud. Asimov genius is impressive. Humans start to question their own origins . . . and a robot claims: "I myself exist, because I think." I am using this book for my institutional economics class, and the laws of robotics have worked great to generate discussion. Brilliantly Asimov shows that even with a well define hierarchical set of rules chaos can happen if clear information does exist. We can indeed learn a lot about institutional economics from Asimov!!! 

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