Collected Reading

CR 72 – Smart Cities 

view-from-the-acropolis_174265092_o

This is a collection of articles which look at the idea of using technology to build “smart” cities.
This can mean a wide variety of things, but at a high level can they build towards the “triple bottom line” of economy, environment, and social equity” as one of these articles states.

Find out more

CR 71 – My top 5 books of 2015

top_5_books_2015

My top five books read in the last year in no particular order. Please share your top books of the year.

Each book shares the common link of seeking to find a way to communicate to an audience through understanding and empathy.
From kings to kids and everything in-between.

Find out more

CR 70 – Express your need

Express your need
Occupy Wall Street March – October 5, 2011 – NYC

For the last few years I have been fascinated by the idea of personal culture. How people spend their time, how they create their ideas and content and how they represent themselves to a wider world.

My fascination centers on the idea that understanding yourself better helps you ground yourself; by understanding your own needs you become more empathic towards those of others. By doing this, you become less afraid, more courageous and hopeful.

Representing yourself to the world is a tricky business, you have to show your past, present and future, and much of it centers on how you express what you need. Not what you think or what you want but what you need as a person to grow and better understand yourself.

This has led me on a path of researching how people can express what they need. Two books I have found stand out as examples of this idea.

Nonviolent communication by Marshal Rosenberg and unconditional parenting by Alphie Kohn. While these books on the surface seem to be dealing with very different subject matters they share a core idea of helping people express what they need and creating a vocabulary which is rarely taught. I hope you find the following set of quotes from these books as enlightening and as empowering as I did.

Find out more

69 CR – One step at a time…

top_5_books_2015_one_step

Governments say one thing, the media another, and your community something else. It’s hard to imagine changing the world when nothing seems to make any sense :

At the same time as governments around the world are cutting budgets and services for the bottom half of society they are pumping millions of dollars back into the top end of society through quantitative easing.

While cutting class sizes and valuing teachers has been proven to improve educational outcomes, these are the policies which seem least likely to be enacted.

Stock indexes go up, yet regular people often experience things as getting worse.

Here is a collection of books I have found helpful in understanding and making sense of what is happening in the world around us; it is a collection that provides perspective on how things can be changed one step at a time.

Find out more

68 CR – Top 5 books 2014

top_5_books_2014

My top five books read in the last year in no particular order. Please share your top books of the year.

67 CR – Top 5 books 2013

top_5_books_2013
My top five books read last year in no particular order. Please share your top books of the year.

66 CR – The promise of technology

Now thats what I call seamless technology

The promise of technology was that it would deliver people form the tedium of manual work. Robots would do all the jobs that we do not or would not do and that people would be free to pursue ideas and dreams of a higher order.
So why today in 2013 are people in China and most of South East Asia making all of the goods that were meant to be made by robots?
Here are some articles / videos which go some way to explaining where the tech utopia went and how it is effecting us as people. – KP

65 CR – Thatcherism a catastrophe story

Thatcher

Hearing the news of Margret Thatcher’s death I felt a sudden urge to express a deep felt anger about her, about her policies and the critically wrong path on which she led the Britain of my teen years. I turned to my wife and asked “how do you express outrage in public” she is a professor of urban studies and therefore has studied such ideas. She stopped for a moment and then said to me “eloquent writing”. This was not the simple answer I was looking for. It then struck me that what she said was “eloquent writing” not “your eloquent writing”, so here is another collected reading with 5 eloquently written pieces that take thatcher apart piece by piece and reveal failed public, international and monetary policies and show her shameful legacy. – KP

64 CR – Top 5 books 2012 |

Top_5_books_2012

My top five books read this year in no particular order. Please share your top books of the year.

63 CR – On Process

All of this weeks collection is taken from a variety of books which look at the ways in which we use process to inform creativity. – KP

62 CR – 2040

This weeks collection of articles try to foreshadow the future in 2040. From parenting to immigration the issues we face now and the potential outcomes of the future.

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves – Julius Caesar – William Shakespeare

61 CR – Good Habits

A mind full of preconceived ideas, subjective intentions, or habits is not open to things as they are. That is why we practice zazen: to clear our mind of what is related to something else.

– Shunryn Suzuki

But however natural old habits feel, they result in otherwise logical companies making irresponsible decisions. In what other business process is a 50-90 percent failure are acceptable? . So what has to change?

– Anthony W. Ulwick

60 CR – Health

12 rules to live by Benjamin Franklin

1. TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
2. SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
3. ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
4. RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
5. FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
6. INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
7. SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
8. JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
9. MODERATION. Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
10. CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, habitation.
11. TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
12. CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
13. HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

59 CR – Economics and Culture

“It was however, well known by the time of Herodotus that the oracle could be bribed. ”

– Bertrand Russell

58 CR – Cultural brand management

In one year, Philip Morris spent $60 million on charitable programs and then another $108 million advertising the fact that they had done so.

– Life Inc : Douglas Rushkoff

57 CR – Creative Frameworks

If you ask me why I am willing to give away the valuable formula of this discovery I will confide to you that experience has taught me two things about it: First, the formula is so simple to state that few who hear it really believe in it.

Second, while simple to state, it actually requires the hardest kind of intellectual work to follow, so that not all who accept it use it.

–  A Technique for Producing Ideas by by James Young

56 CR – Innovation

Frankfurt kitchen

“Designers shouldn’t accept false suggestions from the market. The market never suggests anything good.” So says Michele De Lucchi

55 CR – Culture and women

It seems that religiously conservative fathers were more likely to send their daughters to school after the revolution than before. With higher female enrollment and literacy came later marriages and a steep reduction in desired family size. It is ironic that the Bush administration’s attitudes toward family planning are in many ways more fundamentalist than Iran’s.

– Jeffrey D. Sachs

54 CR – Network Communities

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.

Selfishness always aims at creating around it an absolute uniformity of type

– Oscar Wilde

53 CR – The value of public space

A poem compresses much in a small space and adds music, this heightening it meaning. The city is like poetry it compress all life, all races and breeds into a small island and adds music and the accompaniment of internal engines.

– E.B. White on NYC

52 – CR – A collection of 52 weeks of Collected Reading

52 weeks after starting my collected reading experiment, here are some of the collections I have most enjoyed reading and watching again. After a year, Collected Reading is my very own wikipedia of gathered knowledge that has helped me throughout the year with projects, writing, designing and most of all thinking about the world we live in. It has made me think about how my ideas have changed (or not) over the course of 52 weeks of living.  – KP

43 CR – My favorite 2011 books on society 

36 CR – What’s your agenda ? 

47 CR – Our extended selves 

37 CR – Memory shorts

40 CR – My favorite 2011 books on detection

51 CR – Culture and young people

It is difficult to have good communication between parents and children because parents always have their own intentions.

– Shunryu Suzuki

50 CR – Culture of work

An individual who has to make things for the use of others, and with reference to their wants and their wishes, does not work with interest, and consequently cannot put into his work what is best in him.

– Oscar Wilde

#49 CR – Our role in culture

Men’s evil manners live in brass; their virtues we write in water. – Shakespeare

#48 CR – Education


And although literacy rates are notoriously difficult to assess, there is sufficient evidence (mostly drawn from signatures) that between 1640 and 1700, the literacy rate for men in Massachusetts and Connecticut was somewhere between 89 percent and 95 percent, quite probably the highest concentration of literate males to be found anywhere in the world at that time.2 (The literacy rate for women in those colonies is estimated to have run as high as 62 percent in the years 1681-1697.3)

– Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

#47 CR – Our extended selves

Human life confronts itself in its entirety through books and culture. In the the short term, the loss in quality is evident, yet this cannot be remedied by restoring the narrow humanism of the classical period.

– Maurice Merleau-Ponty

#46 CR – Our environment

Sharing the wealth is not a matter of Sustainable South Bronx franchising patented techniques to other cities—there’s enough work for them to do in the South Bronx, and they don’t need to extract value from other cities in order to achieve sustainability for themselves.

– Life Inc: Douglas Rushkoff

#45 CR – Justice not charity

University of Maryland reported that Americans, on average, believed that foreign aid accounts for 20 percent of the federal budget, roughly twenty-four times the actual figure.
– The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs

#44 CR – The state of capitalism

To curb as if in fetters unbridled hopes and a mind obsessed with the future, and to aim to acquire riches from ourselves rather than from Fortune. – Seneca

43 CR – My favorite 2011 books on society

They try to solve the problem of poverty, for instance, by keeping the poor alive; or, in the case of a very advanced school, by amusing the poor. But this is not a solution: it is an aggravation of the difficulty. The proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible

– Oscar Wilde

42 CR – The way we work today

To describe a problem is part of the solution. This implies: not to make creative decisions as promoted by feeling but by intellectual criteria. The more exact and complete these criteria are, the more creative the work becomes. The creative process is to be reduced to an act of selection. Designing means : to pick out determining elements and combining them. – Karl Gerstner

41 CR – My favorite 2011 books on thinking

The systems that fail are those that rely on the permanency of human nature, and not on its growth and development. – Oscar Wilde

40 CR – My favorite 2011 books on detection

“It is of the highest importance in the art of detection to be able to recognize, out of a number of facts, which are incidental and which vital. Otherwise your energy and attention must be dissipated instead of being concentrated.” – Sherlock Holmes

39 CR – Women and society 2012

It seems that religiously conservative fathers were more likely to send their daughters to school after the revolution than before. With higher female enrollment and literacy came later marriages and a steep reduction in desired family size. It is ironic that the Bush administration’s attitudes toward family planning are in many ways more fundamentalist than Iran’s.

– Common Wealth (Jeffrey D. Sachs)

38 CR – A year in review 2011

A selection of my favorite collected readings from this year. I hope you enjoy reading them. Happy new year!

– KP

#37 CR – Memory shorts

Always keep Ithaca fixed in your mind
To arrive there is what you are destined for.
But don’t hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for many years,
So you’re old by the time you reach the isle,
Wealthy with all you have gained on the way
And not expecting Ithaca to make you rich

– C.P Cavafy

Making these short movies had a couple of motivations. First, I wanted to see if I could actually do this while traveling (they were all made on my iPod). Second, by making them it actually made me feel like was paying more attention to where I was. I was experiencing and thinking about places with the idea of making a movie about them, and this made me look closely and ask questions : What are all the pieces that make up a place? How can I observe them? What is the best way to capture those pieces, those feelings, on video? Making these films and thinking this way made places I had been to before come alive with new perspectives, and it made places I had never been before seem less foreign. I think that making these movies made for a vivid accumulation of memory, or rather, a vivid making of new stories, and made the feeling of traveling less hurried.

-KP

#36 CR – What’s your agenda ?

You have to have dialogue before you can think about consensus and then possibly, change. With today’s news cycle, people seem to get swept up in the latest specific travesty against human rights and lose sight of the larger structural issues.

Healthcare, Education, Environment,  Living wage, Regulation of corporations and markets & Removing big money from politics. These are my big issues, what are yours? Let’s share them and have a conversation. We might not always like what each other have to say, but it is the first step to building a consensus around a better imagined future for all of us. If all the news cycle oxygen (I include social media as part of the news cycle) is devoted to a few hot button current issues then the things that really matter seem to get no coverage, and hence no dialogue, and it becomes very difficult for people to have a point a view about them, let alone to come to a consensus.

– KP

#35 CR – Occupy movement

The trader John Paulson earned himself $4 billion and his funds another $15 billion in one year by betting against the housing market. For help predicting the extent of the downturn, Paulson hired none other than Alan Greenspan as an advisor to his hedge fund. The Fed chairman who encouraged the housing bubble even after it began to crash is now cashing in on the very devastation his policies created. The money did not disappear at all.

#34 Collected reading – Our impact

The Third World today faces Europe like a colossal mass whose project should be to try to resolve the problems to which Europe has not been able to find the answers. -Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

 #33 CR – Design thinking

Design can be seen as a method: a method to join together separate ideas, information, emotions and organize them to develop a thought. None of the books listed below have any real examples of what is traditionally thought of as design. There are no glossy photos, models or “concepts”. Instead they are books which develop a way of thinking, a method which realizes that what is made is only as good as the way an idea is framed. There is no style, no “big idea”, just different ways to help you see the world you live in and how to rearrange the complexity of that world in a way that makes sense of things.

-KP

#32 CR – Looking to the future

To curb as if in fetters unbridled hopes and a mind obsessed with the future, and to aim to acquire riches from ourselves rather than from Fortune. – Seneca

 #31 Collected Reading – Free markets and democracy

“And so, the balance of business expenditures shifts from product research to market research. The television commercial has oriented business away from making products of value and toward making consumers feel valuable, which means that the business of business has now become pseudo-therapy.”

– Neil Postman

 #30 Collected Reading

“He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.”

– Benjamin Franklin

 29 CR – Movies which features New York as a character

All of these movies remind me of how lucky I am to live in New York.

-KP

 28 CR – State of the economy issue

“Neo-liberal pro-rich reform in the 1980s. According to World Bank data, the world economy used to grow in per capita terms at over 3 per cent during the 1960s and 70s, while since the 1980s it has been growing at the rate of 1.4 per cent per year”

– Ha-Joon Chang – Faculty of Economics and Politics, University of Cambridge

27 Collected Reading

“The systems that fail are those that rely on the permanency of human nature, and not on its growth and development”

– Oscar Wilde

26 Collected Reading

“It is infinitely wiser and safer, to form a constitution of our own in a cool deliberate manner, while we have it in our power, than to trust such an interesting event to time and chance.”
– Common Sense by Thomas Paine

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