Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress is Steven Pinker‘s masterpiece. If you choose just one of his books to read, this is the one. He takes an optimistic view of the current political and social upheavals plaguing our world and puts them in context with both recent and ancient history.
In his perfect-pitch prose, Pinker makes the case that although many people decry the times in which we live, he disagrees, in essence saying, “let the good times roll.“ He doesn’t think we’re nearing the end of The Enlightenment, either — he thinks it’s a set of ideas and a way of reasoning that can and should be renewed with each successive generation.
He cites numerous statistics showing how people are richer, wealthier, and live longer than any other time in history. There are hundreds of examples that give ample reason for optimism as we navigate this era of confusion and frustration in U.S. and world politics.
Enlightenment Now is a long and dense book, but be sure to read it all the way to the end, because all through this masterful narrative of our society, there are some of the most profound paragraphs, pages and chapters I’ve ever read.
This is one of my favorite books of all time, perhaps my most favorite. I need a long time to think about and sort out all the ideas in this book. After spending the past month reading and studying it, it’s become clear to me that I need to adjust my point of view on many issues. One thing is certain: I will carry with me the ideas, concepts, and most importantly, the way of thinking that I’ve learned in Enlightenment Now for the rest of my life.
My old 120GB SSD was getting way too full, so it was time for an upgrade. What would be the best SSD replacement for a 5-year-old PC? I emailed my trusty PC maker Jon Bach at Puget Systems (who made the best PC I have ever owned) to find out. He recommended this Samsung 850 Pro SSD, one that has never failed on him or any of his customers after installing thousands of these into the computers he sells over the past five years. All that was left was to determine the storage capacity.
Black Friday was right around the corner, so I laid in wait. Sure enough, the price for the Samsung 850 Pro came down about 10% and I jumped for the 1TB version. I was concerned about installation difficulties, mainly migrating all my data from the old drive to the new. My fears were unfounded because Samsung provides a terrific migration software tool. Please note: the easiest way to use this software is to get a cheap $12 USB-to-SATA III adapter for the new SSD, and simply plug it into a USB 3.0 port on your PC. Samsung’s migration software promptly makes a clone for you and then you can replace the old drive with the new. For me, the freshly cloned drive booted up immediately.
At first, it was difficult to tell anything happened. When I looked at my “this PC” window, there was the new drive C, with a huge cornfield’s worth of space waiting for me. Mission accomplished! I did a few tests and this drive is spectacularly fast! I have what feels like limitless space and limitless speed now (look at the impressive CrystalDiskMark scores above — to give you some context, 10 years ago a 50MB/s read/write speed was considered miraculous). Best of all, I got a relatively new-tech drive that formerly retailed for more than $700 for less than $400. I couldn’t be happier with this purchase of the Samsung 850 Pro.
I’ve been looking for the perfect smartphone dock, and I’ve tried several candidates so far. My next contender is the Sarvi Dock, an undulating aluminum stand whose makers claim it works with a variety of cases and smartphones. Let’s see what it can do.
The newly released Galaxy S5 brings a 2.5GHz quad-core CPU and a gorgeous 5.1″ display to your hands, but only a 2800mAh battery. Brando has aimed to address this by releasing its Power Jacket series of cases in both covered and non-covered versions and with different battery capacities.
I put the $33 non-covered 3500mAh version of the case to the test for two weeks and gathered some real-world performance data and observations.
The Oscars ceremony is Sunday night (3/2/2014 at 7pm ET on ABC)), and you might be wondering which movies are worth watching before the hardware is handed out in Hollywood. Continue reading
The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray took a huge leap in performance and styling in 2014, but its interior technology still lags behind. Chevy aims to fix that with faster 4G LTE connectivity and apps in its 2015 Corvette Stingray, and the company gave me a hands-on demo. Continue reading
I’ve been searching for the world’s best smartphone and tablet charging dock. Could it be the sticky-based EverDock from FŪZ Designs? Let’s see what happens when I test it with a couple of smartphones and a tablet. Continue reading
The JLab Epic Earbuds have an unusual feature that sets them apart from any other earphones I’ve tested. Let’s take a close listen and find out just how epic they are. Continue reading