Things we like

‘Are You Willing To Give Up Your Privilege?’ by Darren Walker for New York Times

‘Have smart people become too powerful?’ Nesta talks to David Goodhart, author of Head, Hand, Heart

‘How to understand power’ TED Talk by Eric Liu, CEO of Citizen University

Citizen University

On the Bookshelf

Head Hand Heart by David Goodhart

In this timely and original analysis, David Goodhart divides human aptitudes into three: Head (cognitive), Hand (manual and craft) and Heart (caring, emotional). It’s common sense that a good society needs to recognise the value of all three, but in recent decades they have got badly out of kilter. Cognitive ability has become the gold standard of human esteem. The cognitive class now shapes society largely in its own interests, by prioritizing the knowledge economy, ever-expanding higher education and shaping the very idea of a successful life. To put it bluntly: smart people have become too powerful.

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Seven And A Half Lessons About The Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett

In seven short chapters (plus a brief history of how brains evolved), this slim, entertaining, and accessible collection reveals mind-expanding lessons from the front lines of neuroscience research. You’ll learn where brains came from, how they’re structured (and why it matters), and how yours works in tandem with other brains to create everything you experience. Along the way, you’ll also learn to dismiss popular myths such as the idea of a ‘lizard brain’ and the alleged battle between thoughts and emotions, or even between nature and nurture, to determine your behaviour.

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The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood

Marian is determinedly ordinary, waiting to get married. She likes her work, her broody flatmate and her sober fiancé Peter. All goes well at first, but Marian has reckoned without an inner self that wants something more, that calmly sabotages her careful plans, her stable routine – and her digestion. Marriage à la mode, Marian discovers, is something she literally can’t stomach . . .

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Outsmart Yourself – Brain Based Strategies to a Better You by Prof. Peter M. Vishton

The brain is an astounding organ, and today neuroscientists have more insights than ever about how it works – as well as strategies for helping us live better every day. These 24 practical lectures give you a wealth of useful strategies for improving your well-being. By presenting evidence-based “hacks” for your brain, Professor Vishton empowers you to take charge of your life and perform better all around.

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A Portable Paradise by Roger Robinson

These are finely crafted poems that reveal Roger Robinson’s capacity to tell involving stories and capture the essence of a character in a few words, to move the emotions with the force of verbal expression, and engage our thoughts, as in the sequence of poems that reflect on just what paradise might be. A Portable Paradise is a feast to be carried by lovers of poetry wherever they go.

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The Brain-Based Enneagram – you are not A number by Dr Jerome Lubbe

By marrying the traditional Enneagram with present-day neuroscience, Dr. Jerome offers a model for engaging our personal, relational, and global well-being with greater agency and awareness. Neuroscience and the Enneagram are two pieces of the same puzzle. This book will reshape your understanding of the Enneagram, expand your capacity for (w)holistic well-being, and provide practical, neuroscience-based applications for you to develop step by step into the best possible version of yourself.

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Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology An Integrative Handbook of the Mind by Daniel J. Siegel

Our mental lives are profoundly relational. The interactions we have with one another shape our mental world. Yet as any neuroscientist will tell you, the mind is shaped by the firing patterns in the brain. And so how can we reconcile this tension—that the mind is both embodied and relational? Interpersonal Neurobiology is a way of thinking across this apparent conceptual divide.

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Burning Questions – Essays and Occassional Pieces 2004-2021 by Margaret Atwood

Why do people everywhere, in all cultures, tell stories?
How much of yourself can you give away without evaporating?
How can we live on our planet?
Is it true? And is it fair?
What do zombies have to do with authoritarianism?

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Corruptible – Who Gets Power and How It Changes Us by Brian Klaas

Does power corrupt or are corrupt people drawn to power?
Are tyrants the products of bad systems or are they just bad people?
And why do we give power to awful people?

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My Grandmother’s Hands – Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Manekem

The consequences of racism can be found in our bodies – in skin and sinew, in bone and blood. In this ground-breaking, inspiring work, therapist Resmaa Menakem examines the damage, the physical consequences of discrimination, from the perspective of body-centred psychology. He argues that until we learn to heal and overcome the generational anguish of white supremacy, we will all continue to bear its scars.

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The Tipping Point – How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.

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