What We’re Reading – February, 2012

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This is part of an ongoing series highlighting what our members are currently reading in the Post Growth and sustainability realms.

In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honore

In Praise of Slowness

A delightfully simple and inspiring read about how worldwide movements are challenging the cult of speed. Carl Honore sprinkles in a good mix of examples, evidence, anecdote and honesty to cover a broad range of topics. From Italy’s better-known ‘slow food’ movement, to the less well-known ‘Sloth clubs’ of Japan and obscure practices like ‘Superslow weightlifting’ in North America, Honore takes us on a whirlwind tour of worldwide activity.

was expecting a greater critique of the fast economy; perhaps via exploration of ‘slow money’, for example. Instead, Honore commonly includes characters who return to their high-paced corporate environments all Zen from their latest Vipassana retreat, slow dining experience or tantric sex workshop.

This aside, the book is rich with evidence that, on so many levels, slow can indeed be beautiful. – Donnie

The Web of Life: A New Synthesis of Mind and Matter by Fritjof Capra

The Web of Life

The Web of Life takes the reader step-by-step through the human journey from the centuries-old mode of mechanistic, deductive, linear thinking to the still emerging mode of holistic, non-linear, systems thinking.

Capra, a physicist, explains scientific theories and ideas in a way that non-scientists can understand. The Web of Life tells the story of how and why scientists from a variety of different fields discovered concepts integral to systems theory, such as emergence, self-organization, interdependence, order and disorder, and how different systems theories came to be. Towards the end, he describes the synthesis of diverse systems theories into a single theory of living systems.

Covering everything from cellular biology to quantum physics to the study of consciousness, the reader will come to understand just how comprehensive systems thinking is… and how important. Capra’s The Web of Life illustrates how systems thinking gives us a new way of seeing our world, analyzing the challenges we face and finding holistic solutions. – Jen

This Changes Everything: Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement

This Changes Everything Cover

The Occupy Movement (and the 99%) has made quite an impact in the way the general populace sees itself in relation to the global economic world. Spurred by a group in the “belly of the beast,” New York’s Wall Street, this grassroots, “horizontal” activism is rooted in participatory, consensus-based democracy and founded around inclusion, acceptance, solidarity and love.

The book was put together by my favorite periodical, Yes! Magazine, and their editor Sarah van Gelder. It is a collection of first-hand accounts from the beginning of the occupation of Liberty Square (aka Zuccotti Park) to the greater developments that spread the movement worldwide, as well as articles providing ideas for changing the issues raised by the revolution Occupy has started.

At 96 pages this is a quick read, but a very inspiring one! I had chills reading about the “peoples mic,” the police stand-offs and the moments of diverse solidarity that this group organized. I wish I had been there from the start, but it is certainly inspiring to read the words of those who were there. Royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to the Occupy Wall Street movement. – Joshua

Published by Joshua Nelson

Joshua's life goal is leave this world better than when he came in – similar to the campsite rule. He started writing about sustainable economics with his blog Steady State Revolution, acted as Washington Chapter Director for the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE) for a few years and is a co-founder of the Post Growth Institute. An avid reader, cyclist and hobbyist mead maker, Joshua lives Seattle, WA USA with his wife and son.

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