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 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

When Will this Low-Innovation Internet Era End?

“Then there’s another view, which I heard from author Neal Stephenson in an MIT lecture hall last week. A hundred years from now, he said, we might look back on the late 20th and early 21st century and say, “It was an actively creative society. Then the Internet happened and everything got put on hold for a generation.”

Read more

Source : HBR

The Army of Technological Slaves

“That is Benedikt’s call, cited above: take advantage of the machines, they are made for this! And that means: also creative professionals, mind workers, editors, journalists, should think like hackers. Hacker for me is a neutral to positive term. Hacker make use of technology as completely as possible. Like the famous investigative journalists, they don’t let themselves hold up by arbitrary rules which are supposed to tell us, how we should use information.”

Read more

Source : Slow media

Tech And toddlers

“She recently carried out a study to see if the ways mothers interacted with their toddlers differed depending on whether they were playing with more traditional toys –a shape sorter, a book, a toy animal – or battery-powered equivalents. She found that with the electronic toys, “Parents were not less affectionate, but they were less responsive, less encouraging and did far less teaching. It was almost like the toy was interfering.”

Read more

Source : Guardian

You think you are a consumer but maybe you have been consumed

“One of the guiding beliefs of our consuming age is that we are all free and independent individuals. That we can choose to do pretty much what we want, and if we can’t then it’s bad.”

Adam Curtis documentary 

Source :Adam Curtis

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