CR 68 – My top 5 books of 2014

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

top_5_books_2014

 

How numbers rule the world by Lorenzo Fioramonti

Statistics are, by definition, static: ‘Things have to keep static if you’re going to count them’, argues David Boyle, fellow at the New Economics Foundation and author of The Tyranny of Numbers: ‘But real life isn’t still.’

 

A Man’s Head by Georges Simenon

The Time machine  by George Orwell

“Simple was my explanation, and plausible enough—as most wrong theories are!”

 

What I believe by Bertrand Russell

“The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.”

 

The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler

“There are places where cops are not hated, Captain. But in those places you wouldn’t be a cop.”

The mayfair set

The Mayfair Set is a series of films that study how buccaneer capitalists of hot money were allowed to shape the Thatcher government in Britain during the 1980s. The series focuses on the rise of Colonel David Stirling, Jim Slater, James Goldsmith and Tiny Rowland — all members of The Clermont club in the 1960s, and how their distinct financial roles influenced the Thatcher government…

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International suffering – Thinking allowed

Also on the programme, the suffering of strangers: What is it that makes us care for people we have never met and have very different lives from our own? A sense of justice or an impulse for charity? Laurie talks to Kate Nash

Listen from about 20 mins 15 secs into the podcast..

Listen

Source : BBC

Don’t Worry, America: China is Rising But Not Catching Up – Harvard – Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Because of the one-child policy, China will soon suffer the most severe aging process in human history. The ratio of Chinese workers per retiree will plummet from 8:1 today to 2:1 by 2040. The fiscal cost of this swing in dependency ratios alone may exceed 100 percent of China’s GDP. The American working-age population, by contrast, will expand by 17 percent over the next 40 years. America’s fiscal future may not be bright, but it is brighter than China’s

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Source : Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Living in the End Times

When we are shown scenes of starving children in Africa, with a call for us to do something to help them, the underlying ideological message is something like: “Don’t think, don’t politicize, forget about the true causes of their poverty, just act, contribute money, so that you will not have to think!”

by Slavoj Zizek

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Democracy and Education: an introduction to the philosophy of education

There is always a danger that increased personal independence will decrease the social capacity of an individual. In making him more self-reliant, it may make him more self-sufficient; it may lead to aloofness and indifference. It often makes an individual so insensitive in his relations to others as to develop an illusion of being really able to stand and act alone—an unnamed form of insanity which is responsible for a large part of the remediable suffering of the world.

by John Dewey

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#38 Collected Reading – A year in review 2011

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

1.Design Thinking 

Design should not be seen as a discipline in the same way as geography or physics. It is 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

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2. The food edition 

This week I have collected together a series of recipe videos I made. Most of them were made on a recent visit to London in my mum’s kitchen.

-KP

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3. Thinking about the present

A collection of thoughts around thinking, work and how to be in the present. 

“Today is a gift.
That is why they call it the present.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

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4. Introduction : Sherlock Holmes and the design process

After reading a collection of  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes short stories and novels,  I was struck by how much the process of detection has in common with the process of design. I have picked out some of the best quotes which illustrate these ideas.

-KP

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5. 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

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