The First 20 Hours

By Josh Kaufman

Brief description

Take a moment to consider how many things you want to learn to do. What’s on your list? What’s holding you back from getting started? Are you worried about the time and effort it takes to acquire new skills—time you don’t have and effort you can’t spare?
 
Research suggests it takes 10,000 hours to develop a new skill. In this nonstop world when will you ever find that much time and energy? To make matters worse, the early hours of prac­ticing something new are always the most frustrating. That’s why it’s difficult to learn how to speak a new language, play an instrument, hit a golf ball, or shoot great photos. It’s so much easier to watch TV or surf the web . . .
 
In The First 20 Hours, Josh Kaufman offers a systematic approach to rapid skill acquisition— how to learn any new skill as quickly as possible. His method shows you how to deconstruct com­plex skills, maximize productive practice, and remove common learning barriers. By complet­ing just 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice you’ll go from knowing absolutely nothing to performing noticeably well.  (Source)

Mentioned in episode 17

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Pedagogy of the oppressed

By Paulo Freire

Brief description

First published in Portuguese in 1968, Pedagogy of the Oppressed was translated and published in English in 1970. The methodology of the late Paulo Freire has helped to empower countless impoverished and illiterate people throughout the world. Freire's work has taken on especial urgency in the United States and Western Europe, where the creation of a permanent underclass among the underprivileged and minorities in cities and urban centers is increasingly accepted as the norm. With a substantive new introduction on Freire's life and the remarkable impact of this book by writer and Freire confidant and authority Donaldo Macedo, this anniversary edition of Pedagogy of the Oppressed will inspire a new generation of educators, students, and general readers for years to come.  (Source)

Mentioned in episode 17

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The art of self-directed learning

By Blake Boles

Brief description

The Art of Self-Directed Learning is a collection of 23 stories and insights that will help you become a more motivated and self-guided learner.

Drawing on a decade of research, adventures, and interviews conducted by Blake Boles (author of College Without High School and Better Than College), this book will inspire you to craft your own unconventional education, no matter whether you're a young adult, recent graduate, parent, or simply someone who never wants to stop learning.

Each chapter is brief, story-oriented, and accompanied by an original line drawing, making The Art of Self-Directed Learning a great choice for readers and "non-readers" alike.  (Source)

Mentioned in episode 17

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A pattern language

By Christopher Alexander

Brief description

At the core of A Pattern Language is the philosophy that in designing their environments people always rely on certain ‘languages,’ which, like the languages we speak, allow them to articulate and communicate an infinite variety of designs within a formal system which gives them coherence.

This book provides a language of this kind. It will enable making a design for almost any kind of building, or any part of the built environment. ‘Patterns,’ the units of this language, are answers to design problems: how high should a window sill be?; how many stories should a building have?; how much space in a neighborhood should be devoted to grass and trees?

More than 250 of the patterns in this language are outlined, each consisting of a problem statement, a discussion of the problem with an illustration, and a solution. As the authors say in their introduction, many of the patterns are archetypal, so deeply rooted in the nature of things that it seems likely that they will be a part of human nature and human action as much in five hundred years as they are today. (Source)

Mentioned in episode 17

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Emergent Strategy

By Adrienne Brown

Brief description

Inspired by Octavia Butler's explorations of our human relationship to change, Emergent Strategy is radical self-help, society-help, and planet-help designed to shape the futures we want to live. Change is constant. The world is in a continual state of flux. It is a stream of ever-mutating, emergent patterns. Rather than steel ourselves against such change, this book invites us to feel, map, assess, and learn from the swirling patterns around us in order to better understand and influence them as they happen. This is a resolutely materialist “spirituality” based equally on science and science fiction, a visionary incantation to transform that which ultimately transforms us. (Source)

Mentioned in episode 17

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Organizations as Learning Systems

Elsevier Science Ltd

Brief description

The main contribution of this book is the living composition, the model of living organizations. It is a new and original interpretation of the theory of living, self-producing systems (autopoiesis theory). A living composition is defined here as strategic components and their relationships. A living organization is thereby a self-producing system that is composed of ten different non-physical strategic components that are continually produced by the organization itself. The components and their relationships are defined so that they enable and facilitate interconnected openness and closure, i.e. the 'sensing' (interactive openness) and 'memory' (self-referentiality) of an organization. These characteristics and related knowledge flows enable the capability to learn and co-evolve with the broader business ecosystem.  (Source)

Related to podcast episode 16

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Homo Deus

By Yuval Noah Harari

Brief description

Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods.

Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.

What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.

With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times bestseller, Harari maps out our future.  (Source)

Mentioned in episode 14

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The Teenage Liberation Handbook

By Grace Llewellyn

Brief description

An estimated 700,000 American children are now taught at home. This book tells teens how to take control of their lives and get a "real life." Young people can reclaim their natural ability to teach themselves and design a personalised education program. Grace Llewellyn explains the entire process, from making the decision to quit school, to discovering the learning opportunities available (Source)

Mentioned in episode 11

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Making It Up as We Go Along

By Chris Mercogliano

Brief description

Making It Up as We Go Along is the story of the Albany Free School, a school based on real freedom, real community, real democratic principles, and real affection between teachers and students. There, for over twenty-five years Chris Mercogliano has taught a never-ending variety of children-kids of all ages from every race and social class, from those with developmental and behavioral problems to the so-called "gifted." Thanks to this ongoing experiment in education, one of the longest running of its kind in America, Mercogliano has come to understand how children learn and above all, how important autonomy and authenticity are to the learning process.

There is no preset methodology to describe because Mercogliano and his students make it up as they go along. What the author does do is render into words some of the possibilities that abound when teachers and students learn together in an atmosphere of freedom, personal responsibility, and mutual respect. His book debunks many of the misconceptions about teaching and learning, including the belief that education requires a lot of money, sophisticated technology, and extensive specialized teacher training.

Mercogliano wrote this book with three broad goals in mind: to provide an in-depth history of the Free School, including a brief analysis of its place in the broader scheme of things; to describe the school in a way that is meaningful to both those who have some point of reference to the various alternatives to conventional schooling and those who do not; and to address certain fundamental subjects that are too often neglected in our national thinking about children: aggression, sexuality, race/class, and spirituality. In the process, he proves that teachers can help all students pursue their genius and their dreams through the union of self-direction, excitement, joy, and emotional honesty. (Source)

Mentioned in episode 11

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Democratic Education

By Yaacov Hecht

Brief description

Massive Change is a modern illustrated primer on the new inventions, technologies, and events that are affecting the human race worldwide. The book is a part of a broader research project by Bruce Mau Design intended to provoke debate and discussion about the future of design culture, broadly defined as the "familiar objects and techniques that are transforming our lives."

Democratic Education: A Beginning of a Story describes a fascinating personal journey and recounts the history of the foundation of the Democratic School of Hadera, which has successfully implemented a fascinating and important pedagogical experiment: How to convert the authoritative school into a democratic community, where the students have equal rights. Anyone with interest in education should read this fabulous book, about a unique school which has justly gained a worldwide reputation. (Source)

Mentioned in episode 11

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Massive change

By Bruce Mau, Jennifer Leonard, Institute Without Boundaries

Brief description

Massive Change is a modern illustrated primer on the new inventions, technologies, and events that are affecting the human race worldwide. The book is a part of a broader research project by Bruce Mau Design intended to provoke debate and discussion about the future of design culture, broadly defined as the "familiar objects and techniques that are transforming our lives."

In essays, interviews, and provocative imagery aimed at a broad audience, Massive Change explores the changing force of design in the contemporary world, and in doing so expands the definition of design to include the built environment, transportation technologies, revolutionary materials, energy and information systems, and living organisms.

The book is divided into 11 heavily illustrated sections covering major areas of change in contemporary society — such as urbanism and architecture, the military, health and living, and wealth and politics. Each section intersperses intriguing documentary images with a general introductory essay, extended captions, and interviews with leading thinkers, including engineers, designers, philosophers, scientists, architects, artists, and writers. Concluding the book is a graphic timeline of significant inventions and world events from 10,000 B.C. to the present. (Source)

Mentioned in episode 10

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Design for the Real World

By Victor Papanek

Brief Description

Design for the Real World has, since its first appearance twenty-five years ago, become a classic. Translated into twenty-three languages, it is one of the world's most widely read books on design. In this edition, Victor Papanek examines the attempts by designers to combat the tawdry, the unsafe, the frivolous, the useless product, once again providing a blueprint for sensible, responsible design in this world which is deficient in resources and energy. (Source)

Mentioned in episode 10

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Who owns the future?

By Jaron Lanier

Brief description

Jaron Lanier is the father of virtual reality and one of the world’s most brilliant thinkers. Who Owns the Future? is his visionary reckoning with the most urgent economic and social trend of our age: the poisonous concentration of money and power in our digital networks.

Lanier has predicted how technology will transform our humanity for decades, and his insight has never been more urgently needed. He shows how Siren Servers, which exploit big data and the free sharing of information, led our economy into recession, imperilled personal privacy, and hollowed out the middle class. The networks that define our world--including social media, financial institutions, and intelligence agencies--now threaten to destroy it. In this provocative, poetic, and deeply humane book, Lanier charts a path toward a brighter future: an information economy that rewards ordinary people for what they do and share on the web. (Source)

Mentioned in episode 10

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Designing Reality

By Neil Gershenfeld, Alan Gershenfeld, Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld

Brief description

That's the promise, and peril, of the third digital revolution, where anyone will be able to make (almost) anything
Two digital revolutions--computing and communication--have radically transformed our economy and lives. A third digital revolution is here: fabrication. Today's 3D printers are only the start of a trend, accelerating exponentially, to turn data into objects: Neil Gershenfeld and his collaborators ultimately aim to create a universal replicator straight out of Star Trek. While digital fabrication promises us self-sufficient cities and the ability to make (almost) anything, it could also lead to massive inequality. The first two digital revolutions caught most of the world flat-footed, thanks to Designing Reality that won't be true this time. (Source)

Mentioned in episode 10

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Fab: The Coming Revolution

By Neil Gershenfeld

Brief description

What if you could someday put the manufacturing power of an automobile plant on your desktop? It may sound far-fetched-but then, thirty years ago, the notion of “personal computers” in every home sounded like science fiction. According to Neil Gershenfeld, the renowned MIT scientist and inventor, the next big thing is personal fabrication–the ability to design and produce your own products, in your own home, with a machine that combines consumer electronics with industrial tools. Personal fabricators (PF’s) are about to revolutionize the world just as personal computers did a generation ago. PF’s will bring the programmability of the digital world to the rest of the world, by being able to make almost anything-including new personal fabricators. In FAB, Gershenfeld describes how personal fabrication is possible today, and how it is meeting local needs with locally developed solutions. He and his colleagues have created “fab labs” around the world, which, in his words, can be interpreted to mean “a lab for fabrication, or simply a fabulous laboratory.” Using the machines in one of these labs, children in inner-city Boston have made saleable jewelry from scrap material. Villagers in India used their lab to develop devices for monitoring food safety and agricultural engine efficiency. Herders in the Lyngen Alps of northern Norway are developing wireless networks and animal tags so that their data can be as nomadic as their animals. And students at MIT have made everything from a defensive dress that protects its wearer’s personal space to an alarm clock that must be wrestled into silence. These experiments are the vanguard of a new science and a new era-an era of “post-digital literacy” in which we will be as familiar with digital fabrication as we are with the of information processing. In this groundbreaking book, the scientist pioneering the revolution in personal fabrication reveals exactly what is being done, and how. The technology of FAB will allow people to create the objects they desire, and the kind of world they want to live in. (Source)

Mentioned in episode 10

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Building the intentional university

MIT Press

Brief description 

Higher education is in crisis. It is too expensive, ineffective, and impractical for many of the world's students. But how would you reinvent it for the twenty-first century -- how would you build it from the ground up? Many have speculated about changing higher education, but Minerva has actually created a new kind of university program. Its founders raised the funding, assembled the team, devised the curriculum and pedagogy, recruited the students, hired the faculty, and implemented a bold vision of a new and improved higher education. This book explains that vision and how it is being realized.

The Minerva curriculum focuses on "practical knowledge" (knowledge students can use to adapt to a changing world); its pedagogy is based on scientific research on learning; it uses a novel technology platform to deliver small seminars in real time; and it offers a hybrid residential model where students live together, rotating through seven cities around the world. Minerva equips students with the cognitive tools they need to succeed in the world after graduation, building the core competencies of critical thinking, creative thinking, effective communication, and effective interaction. The book offers readers both the story of this grand and sweeping idea and a blueprint for transforming higher education. (Source)

Mentioned in episode 09

 

Rejection Proof

By Jia Jiang

Brief Description

Rejection Proof is Jia Jiang's entertaining and inspiring account of conquering his fear of rejection, offering a completely new perspective on how to turn a no into a yes.

Jia Jiang came to the United States with the dream of being the next Bill Gates. Despite early success in the corporate world, his first attempt to pursue his entrepreneurial dream ended in rejection. Jia was crushed and spiraled into a period of deep self-doubt. But he realized that his fear of rejection was a bigger obstacle than any single rejection would ever be, and he needed to find a way to cope with being told no without letting it destroy him. Thus was born his "100 days of rejection" experiment, during which he willfully sought rejection on a daily basis - from requesting a lesson in sales from a car salesman (no) to asking a flight attendant if he could make an announcement on the loudspeaker (yes) to his famous request to get Krispy Kreme doughnuts in the shape of Olympic rings (yes, with a viral video to prove it).

Jia learned that even the most preposterous wish may be granted if you ask in the right way, and here he shares the secret of successful asking, how to pick targets, and how to tell when an initial no can be converted into something positive. But more important, he learned techniques for stealing himself against rejection and ways to develop his own confidence - a plan that can't be derailed by a single setback.

Filled with great stories and valuable insight, Rejection Proof is a fun and thoughtful examination of how to overcome fear and dare to live more boldly. (Source)

Frugal Innovation

By Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu

Brief Description

Frugal innovation is a way that companies can create high-quality products with limited resources. Once the preserve of firms in poor markets, Western companies are now seeking ways to appeal to cost-conscious and environmentally-aware consumers at home. With an estimated trillion-dollar global market for frugal products, and with potentially huge cost savings to be gained, frugal innovation is revolutionizing business and reshaping management thinking. This book explains the principles, perspectives, and techniques behind frugal innovation, enabling managers to profit from the great changes ahead. The book explains:

How to achieve mass customization, using low-cost robotics, inexpensive product design and virtual prototyping software.

How consumers and other external partners can help develop products
How to implement sustainable practices, such as the production of waste-free products
How to change the corporate culture to become more frugal. (Source)