December 2019 Bookshelf
Books 12 December 2019
Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People
Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald
No matter how hard we try to keep an open mind throughout everything we experience, it is those very experiences that cause us to subconsciously develop biases. And, it is in elevating those biases to the conscious level that we can begin to counteract our own prejudices. In their book, Blindspot, authors Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald take readers through their own experiences of becoming aware of and battling their individual implicit biases. Check out their book and see if you too can begin “outsmarting the machine” known as your brain.
The Shark's Paintbrush: Biomimicry and How Nature Is Inspiring Innovation
As Western medicine became the dominant paradigm for health around the world, ancient healing techniques began to be labeled as “primitive,” “tribal,” and “unscientific.” Today, a rebalancing has begun to emerge as scientists are discovering the very real benefits many of these traditional practices hold. It’s a basic recognition that nature has a lot to teach and provide us, not only in healing but also in things like engineering, architecture, and design. Jay Harman, author of The Shark’s Paintbrush, through an exploration of biomimicry, shows just how inspiring and influential nature can be in how human beings can intentionally design to create a balanced and thriving world.
Managing the Unexpected: Sustained Performance in a Complex World
Karl E. Weick and Kathleen M. Sutcliffe
It really doesn’t matter which education paradigm you are working in, any work that is human-based is complex. The “unexpected” is a daily occurrence. And, each time, it can either make the day come crashing down, or we can manage our way through it and make the day a resounding success. What if we were able to make success in the face of complexity be the norm? Authors Karl E. Weick and Kathleen M. Sutcliffe were driven to answer this question. In their book, Managing the Unexpected, they review what Highly Reliable Organizations (HROs) do that keep them thriving during times of chaos, and how you can apply those principles to your work.
Since Maria Popova was a child, she has spent countless hours thumbing through books written by history’s most celebrated writers. In 2006, she decided to begin sharing her reflections on what she was reading with seven friends via email, which she eventually transferred over to her now 13-year-old website Brain Pickings. Ironically, Popova had not really considered writing a book herself until finally in 2019, she published Figuring. As you thumb through her work, “explore the complexities, varieties, and contradictions of love, and the human search for truth, meaning, and transcendence, through the interwoven lives of several historical figures across four centuries.”
Blunts, Bullets, and Belligerence: A Memoir Remembering the Students America Forgot
Blunts, Bullets, and Belligerence is first and foremost an awareness campaign that floods the reader with anecdotes too large in number (from just one American city) to ignore. Each story makes the reader pause, reflect, and ask, “What type of system have we created where this is a common and expected result?” Author Megan Blaising uses her personal experiences to then ask us all to acknowledge the part we play in transforming this system, the responsibility we have to engage in difficult conversations (conversations that include the voices we need to hear from most—the families the system is ill-constructed for), and the actions we can all take in resolving the problems we see within today’s education system.
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