Showing all posts tagged #book-notes:


Book review: Against the Grain, by James C. Scott

Posted on January 1st, 2020

The book that etched the deepest grooves in my mind last year was Against the Grain by James C. Scott. It explores how the unique characteristics of grain-based agriculture shaped the early history of states. While I did learn many interesting historical facts and trends from the book, what stood out to me most was Scott's emphasis on epistemics. When he pointed to the archaeological record, he wouldn't simply cherrypick a basket of facts tha...

Book notes: Against the Grain, by James C. Scott

Posted on January 1st, 2020

Here are some notes and quotes that particularly stood out to me from each chapter of Against the Grain. This isn't a summary of the book. It's mostly for my future self to refer back to (and thus probably missing a lot for someone who hasn't read it), but the tidbits are so interesting that I figured I'd share it nonetheless in case it's remotely helpful to someone else. You can read my more coherent review of the book here. Introduction The...

Book notes โ€” Walkable City

Posted on July 29th, 2016

Notes from reading Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck.Core argument: A walkable city is not just a nice, idealistic notion. Rather, it is a simple, practical-minded solution to a host of complex problems that we face as a society, problems that daily undermine our nationโ€™s economic competitiveness, public welfare, and environmental sustainability.The American health care crisis is at its heart an urb...