Joel‘s starting a technical book club and his first book is Henry Petrosky’s Small Things Considered: Why There Is No Perfect Design. I haven’t read the book, but I have read his earlier Remaking the World: Adventures in Engineering, which I thought was very good. Like many technical people, I suspect, I’m facinated by engineering and scientific history.
The weird part of it all is that I have some glancing connections to Petrosky – he’s an engineering professor at Duke University, where both of my parents worked for many years (and one still does). I also went to high school school with his children, although neither was in my particular class (one was older, one was younger). And the Petrosky’s lived about three blocks from the house where I spent most of my formative years. I used to ride by their house all the time on my bike.
All of which means absolutely nothing, except that it’s one of those weird “hey, I have some completely meaningless connection to that person” things. (Not as weird, though, as when I opened the New York Times one day and found that a classmate of mine who I sort-of, not-really knew from college had won the Pulitzer prize for her book. Makes you wonder what you’ve been doing with your life…)