Books from Elon Musk

The Fault in Our Stars

I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.Despite the tumour-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars brilliantly explores the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.Praise for The Fault in Our Stars: Sunday Times (Culture) 'A touching, often fiercely funny novel'The Sun on Sunday (Fabulous Magazine) 'So good I think it should be compulsory reading for everyone!'Daily Express 'John Green brilliantly captures the voices of a young generation while instilling it with the wisdom of a life that has lived too much yet will never live enough'The Metro - 2013 Best Fiction 'The love affair of two terminally ill teenagers could be mawkish. In fact, it's funny, clever, irreverent and life-affirming.'Grazia 'So good!'Good Housekeeping 'As funny as it is heartbreaking... we defy you not to fall in love with its main characters, Hazel and Augustus.'The Tablet 'A humourous and poignant love story... It's terrifically funny... as well as a moving exploration of loss and grief. And no, it's so much not just for teenage cancer sufferers... it's for everyone.'Bliss 'If you need inspiration when it comes to making the most of a moment, this one is for you'Mizz 'Insightful, bold, irreverent and raw, if this doesn't make you cry, it'll definitely make you think, laugh and maybe even fall in love yourself!'
Elon Musk
Elon Musk
Entrepreneur, Scientist
@johngreen @hankgreen You had me at Sheen or Gaddafi. Must admit to liking "The Fault in Our Stars" too. Sad, romantic and beautifully named
Books from Elon Musk

Modern Engineering for Design of Liquid-Propellant Rocket Engines

Elon Musk
Elon Musk
Entrepreneur, Scientist
What's your favorite book about space? Ignition by John Clarke, Huzel & Wang book on propulsion, Asimov's Foundation, Heinlein's MiaHM
Books from Elon Musk

Human Compatible

"The most important book I have read in quite some time" (Daniel Kahneman); "A must-read" (Max Tegmark); "The book we've all been waiting for" (Sam Harris)Humans dream of super-intelligent machines. But what happens if we actually succeed?Creating superior intelligence would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, according to the world's pre-eminent AI expert, it could also be the last. In this groundbreaking book on the biggest question facing humanity, Stuart Russell explains why he has come to consider his own discipline an existential threat to our species, and lays out how we can change course before it's too late. There is no one better placed to assess the promise and perils of the dominant technology of the future than Russell, who has spent decades at the forefront of AI research. Through brilliant analogies and crisp, lucid prose, he explains how AI actually works, how it has an enormous capacity to improve our lives - but why we must ensure that we never lose control of machines more powerful than we are. Here Russell shows how we can avert the worst threats by reshaping the foundations of AI to guarantee that machines pursue our objectives, not theirs. Profound, urgent and visionary, Human Compatible is the one book everyone needs to read to understand a future that is coming sooner than we think.
Elon Musk
Elon Musk
Entrepreneur, Scientist
Worth reading “Human Compatible” by Stuart Russell (he’s great!) about future AI risks & solutions
Books from Elon Musk

The Lord of the Rings

A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins. From Sauron's fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, his power spread far and wide. Sauron gathered all the Great Rings to him, but always he searched for the One Ring that would complete his dominion. When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom. The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider. This new edition includes the fiftieth-anniversary fully corrected text setting and, for the first time, an extensive new index. J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973), beloved throughout the world as the creator of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion, was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. His chief interest was the linguistic aspects of the early English written tradition, but while he studied classic works of the past, he was creating a set of his own.
Elon Musk
Elon Musk
Entrepreneur, Scientist
“The heroes of the books I read, ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and the ‘Foundation’ series, always felt a duty to save the world,” he told me.
Books from Elon Musk

Superintelligence

The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. Other animals have stronger muscles or sharper claws, but we have cleverer brains. If machine brains one day come to surpass human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become very powerful. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on us humans than on the gorillas themselves, so the fate of our species then would come to depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence. But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed AI or otherwise to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation? To get closer to an answer to this question, we must make our way through a fascinating landscape of topics and considerations. Read the book and learn about oracles, genies, singletons; about boxing methods, tripwires, and mind crime; about humanity's cosmic endowment and differential technological development; indirect normativity, instrumental convergence, whole brain emulation and technology couplings; Malthusian economics and dystopian evolution; artificial intelligence, and biological cognitive enhancement, and collective intelligence.
Elon Musk
Elon Musk
Entrepreneur, Scientist
Worth reading Superintelligence by Bostrom. We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes.
Books from Elon Musk

Foundation Trilogy

A speculative science fiction series about a galactic empire facing decline and fall. The individual volumes are: Foundation (1980), Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation (both 1986). A fourth volume is Foundation's Edge (1982).
Elon Musk
Elon Musk
Entrepreneur, Scientist
MediaBistro's GalleyCat asked him which SF books in particular have inspired him, and the answer includes a lot of classics: Asimov's Foundation series.
Books from Elon Musk

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Extremely funny . . . inspired lunacy . . . [and] over much too soon.”—The Washington Post Book WorldNominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American ReadSeconds before Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.Together, this dynamic pair began a journey through space aided by a galaxyful of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox—the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian (formerly Tricia McMillan), Zaphod’s girlfriend, whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; and Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he’s bought over the years.Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? For all the answers, stick your thumb to the stars!Praise for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy“A whimsical oddyssey . . . Characters frolic through the galaxy with infectious joy.”—Publishers Weekly“Irresistable!”—The Boston Globe
Elon Musk
Elon Musk
Entrepreneur, Scientist
My sort of philosophical foundation is in line with Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." Everyone has their sort of favorite philosopher, but my favorite philosopher is Douglas Adams.