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the world beyond your head

The attentional commons

Matthew Crawford‘s The Case for Working With Your Hands is one of my favourite books, a work of profound but practical philosophy. I’ve been wondering what Crawford would write next, and it’s now out: The World Beyond Your Head – how to flourish in an age of distraction. It’s about how we steward our attention. […]

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Book Review: The Post-Growth Project

The Green House is a new think tank, established in 2011 to explore green political ideas. One of its main initiatives has been the Post Growth Project, aimed at exploring alternatives to the austerity and growth boosting that has followed the financial crisis. I’ve browsed various reports along the way, and they’ve now been compiled […]

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the news de botton

The News: A User’s Manual, by Alain de Botton

The news is a daily routine for many of us, through the papers, the internet, the radio and television bulletins. We might check in a few times a day, out of boredom, curiosity, or to see what is happening in the world. Keeping up with current affairs is, after all, what serious people do. The […]

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don't even think about it

Don’t even think about it, by George Marshall

A few years ago, when I first grasped the importance of climate change, it was George Marshall’s book Carbon Detox that helped me to reduce my own CO2 emissions. I ended up buying several copies, and even adapted the book into a group activity for looking at carbon footprints together. One of the reasons I […]

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Book review: Stuffocation, by James Wallman

Christmas is peak ‘stuff’ time in our household. We throw away more than usual, and generally have a bunch of new things to find places for at the end of it. I’m not complaining, but it’s an interesting time to read a book like Stuffocation – Living More with Less. Stuffocation, as the name suggests, […]

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My books of 2014

I’ve just been looking back at my reading over this year. Here are the five books I’ve enjoyed most in 2014. Feral, by George Monbiot My favourite book of the last 12 months by some margin, Feral explores the topic of rewilding – the idea of letting nature take its course with the landscape, and […]

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learning with nature

Book review: Learning with Nature

I’ve written before about ‘nature deficit disorder’, and the way that 21st century children have far fewer opportunities to encounter nature than previous generations. Without access to wild spaces, children live sedentary lives, with all the associated health problems. They lack freedom and adventure, and make up for it in screen time. And they risk […]

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human politics human value

Human Politics, Human Value, by Martin Whitlock

If you read a lot of books on politics or economics, you can generally tell where an author is coming from within the first chapter or so. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and a good book will strengthen the tradition it stands within and push forward that perspective. Uncategorisable books are more rare, but […]

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rethinking the city

Rethinking the City, by Steven Liaros

“We are at a unique point in human history” says Steven Liaros. “With economic and environmental crises peaking at the moment of the ‘virtual revolution’ there is a growing sense that, as Voltaire himself said: ‘the present is pregnant with the future.’” Rethinking the City is an overview of this moment and some of the […]

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Guest post: Seven billion escapologists

Robert Wringham is the editor of the New Escapologist. Last year he republished an essay of mine on the Citizen’s Income, and today I’m returning the favour. Robert is currently crowdfunding his new book, Escape Everything, all about how to escape from drudgery, consumerism and despair. This excerpt is from the afterword, which ponders the […]

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