an illustration of the author James S. Wheaton
Applying systems thinking to our complex, irrational world

Reading Library

This page is under construction. Some listings may be added, removed, or annotated at my discretion.

Systems Thinking

  • Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Donella Meadows
  • The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Science of the Learning Organization by Peter M. Senge
  • Critical Path by R. Buckminster Fuller
  • Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth by R. Buckminster Fuller
  • Antifragile: Things that Gain From Disorder by Nicholas Nassim Taleb
  • Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results by Mike Rother
  • The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman
  • Utopia or Oblivion by R. Buckminster Fuller
  • Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity (Advances in Systems Theory, Complexity, and the Human Sciences) by Gregory Bateson
  • Human Dynamics: A New Framework for Understanding People and Realizing the Potential in Our Organizations by Sandra Seagal
  • The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision by Fritjof Capra
    • The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism
    • The Hidden Connections: Integrating the Biological, Cognitive, and Social Dimensions of Life into a Science of Sustainability
    • The Science of Leonardo: Inside the Mind of the Great Genius of the Renaissance
    • The Web of Life: A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems
  • Chaos: Making a New Science by James Gleick
  • Spatial Organization: The Geographer’s View of the World by Ronald F. Abler

Hacker Ethos & Cypherpunk

  • A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace by John Perry Barlow (1996)
  • A Cyberpunk Manifesto by Christian As. Kirtchev
  • A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto by Eric Hughes (1993)
  • The Cathedral & the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary by Eric S. Raymond


  • Simple & Direct by Jacques Barzun
  • The Reader Over Your Shoulder by Robert Graves & Alan Hodge
  • The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White
  • The Modern Researcher by Jacques Barzun


  • Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
  • First Things First by Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill & Rebecca R. Merrill
  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
  • Self-University: The Price of Tuition Is the Desire to Learn: Your Degree Is a Better Life by Charles D. Hayes


  • Reflections on Trusting Trust by Ken Thompson (1984)
  • C Is Not a Low-level Language: Your computer is not a fast PDP-11 by David Chisnall (2018)
  • Position paper: the science of deep specification by Andrew W. Appel, Lennart Beringer, Adam Chlipala, Benjamin C. Pierce, Zhong Shao, Stephanie Weirich, Steve Zdancewic
  • The Surprising Security Benefits of End-to-End Formal Proofs by Adam Chlipala (2018)

Reference Material

Systems Engineering
  • INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook: A Guide for System Life Cycle Processes and Activities (4th Ed.) by INCOSE
  • Model-based System and Architecture Engineering with the Arcadia Method by Jean-Luc Voirin
  • Systems Architecture Modeling with the Arcadia Method – A Practical Guide to Capella Modeling Tool by Pascal Roques
Bodies of Knowledge
  • Systems Engineering (SEBoK)
  • Software Engineering (SWEBoK)
  • Project Management (PMBOK)
  • Business Analysis (BABOK)
  • Data Management (DAMA-DMBOK)


  • The Century of the Self
  • Fed Up!
  • Fast Food Nation (or read the book)