One of the perils of the pandemic has been a voracious consumption of books. Prior to moving to the west coast, I was pretty okay with digital books because it was a lot less to carry. But the prices on digital books and real books started to narrow, making me more inclined to have the physical possessions and now I just have a whole bookshelf I’ve filled and more in the ensuring years.

The other you’ll notice is I don’t read a ton of tech/design books, partially because one of the problems with folks working in tech spaces is our broader lack of knowledge about the world around us, how policy is enforced and designed, and thus how the consequences of our work — even unintentional — can cause havoc. Sometimes, the havoc is the point and it’s important to know why.

Here are some of the books that made the cut in 2022:

  • The Modem World: A Prehistory of Social Media (Driscoll)
  • When Old Technologies Were New (Marvin)
  • The Address Book (Nash)
  • Four Walls & A Roof (de Graaf)
  • The Goods of Design: Professional ethics for designers (Guersenzvaig)
  • The Shame Machine: Who Profits in the New Age of Humiliation (O’Neil)
  • The Problem With Work (Weeks)
  • Deliberate Intervention (Schmidt)
  • Hinterland: America’s New Landscape of Class and Conflict (Neel)
  • Usual Cruelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System (Karakatsanis)
  • The Dawn of Everything (Graeber/Wengrow)
  • We Are in Open Circuits: Writings by Nam June Paik

June 20, 2022