The Diff Reading List

A common request I get is to list books that have influenced The Diff. That’s harder than it sounds, because the most influential books turn into part of my background process; I only realize how much I’ve been citing them when I go back and reread them.

With that in mind, here’s a quick list of books that have had an influence on my worldview:

This list is a work in progress. I’m biasing it away from books I’ve read in the last year or two, so expect it to expand slowly and on a lag.

Reading compounds over time as analogies become more apparent. This seems to be true across every domain—you can use The Extended Phenotype to understand why early chip companies gave away product designs to manufacturers, or use Hard Landing to get a better metaphor for expansionist empires. All the books above have biases, sometimes accidental, and reading several books about the same time period from different angles is a good way to net those biases out.