Favourite books 2020

December 29, 2020

These are the books that I enjoyed reading the most this year.

  1. The Code of Capital - Katherina Pistor

    The thesis of this book is that capital is coded in law. Ordinary assets can be transformed into capital “by cloaking it in the legal modules that were also used to code asset-backed securities and their derivatives.” While laws evolve and are uncertain, global commerce has moved to get over these obstacles by getting states to recognize foreign laws. This way capital chooses which law applies to it.

  2. You’re Not Listening - Kate Murphy

    This book asks: What prevents us from listening well? What is good listening? How do we become a good listener? While going through this book, I recognized that being comfortable in silence with a person indicates my willingness to listen to them.

  3. Pedagogy of the Oppressed - Paolo Freire

    Freire writes that people can educate each other and students should not be treated as an empty vessel to be filled. People can look at the world critically through dialogues with each other. You either conform to the present system of education or you transform the world critically and creatively.

  4. Seeing Like A State - James C. Scott

    Why do states standardize and legitimate things? To make itself more effective at controlling the population, its movement and its environment. The legitimization takes the form of categorization through the law. I enjoyed the various examples ranging from the design of cities to the well ordered trees in German forests.

  5. Metaphors We Live By - George Lackoff and Mark Johnson

    This book emphasizes that metaphors are fundamental to our understanding of our world; they structure our experiences and shape our perceptions. I found it interesting that the book made explicit many of the metaphors I took for granted and emphasized that metaphors are not completely consistent and only serve a specific purpose when used.