Reading Well

I love the point Simon Sarris makes here about the importance of reading fiction, and how it’s useful for work purposes as well:

I also tend to stress fiction because I think, especially among my professional peers in the industry of software, that there is too great a fondness for non-fiction. I think this arises from a belief that superior knowledge of the world comes from non-fiction. This thought is attractive to people who build systems, but over-systematizing and seeing systems in everything can be a failure mode. Careful descriptions and summaries miss too much of the world. Hard distinctions make bad philosophy. Reading fiction helps you become an unsystematic thinker, something that is equally valuable but more elided by some engineers. It is easy to maintain an intellectual rigidity. It takes more care to maintain a loose poeticism of thought.