Reading - Matt Whipple

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I'm reading something fairly constantly, but unfortunately for much of the recent past the overwhelming majority of what I've read has been technical resources. Lately I've been trying to break out of that and read more well rounded material and some of that will be tracked here.

I read a fairly constant stream of small snippets of information, so anything listed here is more sizeable, ongoing, or otherwise noteworthy.



Many books will be referenced or discussed in the context of their topic, but some books will be listed here if they don't have a more appropriate home or if they're waiting to move in.

  • Literate Programming

    I picked up a copy of Literate Programming by Don Knuth[literate-programming]; since I wanted to adopt some variation of the practice by that name I figured I should become familiar with the original ideas and add to my collection of Knuth's books.

    • Computer Programming as an Art

      The first essay in the book is a fairly interesting etymological breakdown of the concepts of science vs. art and how those terms apply to computer programming. Among the threads he tugs at, the distinction of science being more or less a set checklist of knowledge whereas art is the application of creativity and insight which fills in the universe outside of that list aligns with some of what I view as an existential threat/ continued evolution facing the current field of computer programming. A fair amount of work that currently falls to developers could certainly be described as more science than art. Such known quantities are ripe for automation (or oursourcing) and the tools to offer that automation without notable compromise may be waiting in the wings.

    • TODO Premature Optimization


I'll be very slowly building out a list of technology periodicals, blogs, etc. that I regularly read to stay up to date on things.

  • ACM Queue

    I'll be starting with ACM Queue[[acm-queue-home] since I'm a practitioner and most of the information is some combination of interesting or useful without making my head hurt. I'm currently working thrrough Queue issues in reverse chronological order.


My wife is fairly involved in theatre and is currently teaching theatre history, so there's many plays littered around my house. As I'm trying to alternate between works of fiction and non-fiction, the plays provide a ready supply of material.


I'm going to be gradually working through reading all of Shakespeare's works. I'm most definitely not a bardolator but am interested from a perspective of historical curiosity. I'm particularly interested in Shakespeare's place in history in terms of how material passed through him; while his influence is certainly enormous there seems to be a popular simplistic reduction of his role as some type of sole originator rather than being a contributor operating within an ecosystem of ideas and tropes. I'm unlikely to devote ongoing attention to this, but reading the material along with the background provided in The Riverside Shakespeare[riverside-shakespeare] should leave me well enough informed to dispel some of fantasy.



  • [literate-programming] Knuth, Literate Programming, Center for the Study of Language and Information Leland Standford Junion University (1992).
  • [acm-queue-home] @miscacm-queue-home, title = ACM Queue, url =, status = wip,
  • [riverside-shakespeare] William Shakespeare, The Riverside Shakespeare, Houghton Mifflin Company (1997).

Author: mwhipple

Created: 2020-10-27 Tue 19:36