Reading List Part 5: Books for the World Inside Our Heads

Previous reading lists: Part 1part 2part 3part 4


Over the last few months I have been reading (and writing, and working) on what I have been calling design for the world inside our head.

The books below are a selection of highlights from that sprint.


How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of “Intangibles” in Business, Douglas W. Hubbard

In a world of abundant data, we’re still left at the end to scratch our head and make an intuitive decision. We hope we made the best decision, but it is up for the opaque future to tell us that.

There are – however – techniques to reduce the ambiguity of these decisions, which is the topic of this book.

I highly recommend this to who works with high–stake decisions (leaders, management consultants), and those seeking to quantify qualitative data (ethnographers, researchers, brand strategist and ad people).


Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change, Adam Kahane

Priya Parker recommended this book during her talk at Meetup HQ. Adam Kahane is a leadership, social change and conflict resolution practitioner. The argument he puts forward in this book is that the balance of power and love is crucial for healthy human to human exchange, and communication.

I highly recommend this for anyone thinking of how to enable other people (in whatever context that might be).

& Priya’s The Art of Gathering is a must–read.


Scarcity: The New Science of Having Less and How It Defines Our Lives, by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir

Scarcity (of money, time) has measurable neurological effect on our ability to think creativity and expansively. It is a good compromise for those who are firm believers in absolute reliance on free market.

This reminded me of the center in Kate’s donut model – those in a state of scarcity who are unable to exercise agency in the inner ring.

Feel free to subscribe to my daily note, and comment with books I surely left out.

Published by Nitzan

I am a designer, writer and strategist with interest in machine learning, liminal thinking and complexity science. In my commercial work I help companies build innovative tools, design better qualitative processes, and lead that human machine collaboration with complexity in mind.

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