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1 Burnside Anthropology- General

The Watchman's Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction

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The Watchman's Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction Cover

ISBN13: 9781593156053
ISBN10: 1593156057
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Why does it feel as if our most challenging problems today — worldwide recession, global warming, fast-spreading viruses, water and food shortages, poverty — aren't being solved? What if our brain has limits that prevent it from solving such complex problems? If ancient civilizations collapsed because they, too, hit a cognitive limitation, are we headed for a similar collapse? Can it be prevented? These are the questions Rebecca Costa confronts — and offers a solution to — in her intriguing and game-changing book, The Watchman's Rattle.

Costa believes that the mounting complexity of a problem can outpace the brain's ability to absorb and address it. With compelling evidence, she shows how we tend to quick-fix our problems by addressing the symptoms, instead of finding permanent solutions, leading to dangerous long-term consequences. Society's ability to solve its most challenging problems and progress becomes gridlocked.

In a fascinating and engrossing argument, Costa presents ideas for how we can reverse our own downward spiral. Citing cutting-edge research, she reveals how the human brain can spontaneously call upon a powerful cognitive tool: insight. She also describes four modern-day supermemes that appear all around us: the oppositional culture, the personalization of blame, casual science, and the business society. Costa meticulously proves how these supermemes have produced global gridlock.

The Watchman's Rattle, like its namesake, is ultimately a summons for help to overcome the inevitable pattern of surrendering to the cognitive threshold. We need a new strategy lest we go the way of early advanced civilizations. We must first address our prevailing attitudes and beliefs if we hope to embrace solutions…. Costa hands us the key — insight — to help us take our first steps to effect real change.

Review:

"The rafts of italics for emphasis can't reduce the value of this engaging book as a warning and a resource. It will give concerned readers new hope in human capability." Library Journal

Synopsis:

In the tradition of Malcolm Gladwell and Thomas Friedman, Rebecca Costa reveals the four telltale patterns that emerge when escalating complexity paralyzes a society.

Synopsis:

Why can't we solve our problems anymore? Why do threats such as the Gulf oil spill, worldwide recession, terrorism, and global warming suddenly seem unstoppable? Are there limits to the kinds of problems humans can solve? Rebecca Costa confronts — and offers a solution to — these questions in her highly anticipated and game-changing book, The Watchman's Rattle. Costa pulls headline for today's news to demonstrate how accelerating complexity quickly outpaces that rate at which the human brain can develop new capabilities. With compelling evidenced based on research in the rise and fall of Mayan, Khmer, and Roman empires, Costa shows how that tendency to find a quick solutions leads to frightening long term consequence: Society's ability to solve its most challenging, intractable problems becomes gridlocked, progress slows, and collapse ensues. A provocative new voice in the tradition of thought leaders Thomas Friedman, Jared Diamond and Malcolm Gladwell, Costa reveals how we can reverse the downward spiral. Part history, part social science, part biology, The Watchman's Rattle is sure to provoke, engage and incite change.

About the Author

With a proven track record of introducing new concepts and technologies, Rebecca Costa is a former CEO and founder of Silicon Valley start-up, Dazai Advertising, Inc. (sold to J. Walter Thompson in 1997), whose clients have included Apple Computer, Applied Materials, Oracle Corporation, 3M, Amdahl, United TeleCom, and General Electric Corporation. She attributes her natural ability to spot global patterns to a cross-cultural education and upbringing. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a BA in Social Sciences, and earned an MBA from Santa Clara University. She lives on the central coast of California.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

brskakuk, January 6, 2011 (view all comments by brskakuk)
This book opened my eyes in so many ways. It gave me insight into human behavior, ancient and modern belief systems, evolution, and a very believable explanation for the scary state of our world. Rebecca Costa gives us reason to be both somberly realistic and hopefully optimistic about the future of the human race. This book is a must read for every global citizen. Reading this book is like looking at humans under a very clear microscope! It's awesome.
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carterj98, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by carterj98)
Best book in a very long time! Costa explains the "super-memes" that make it impossible for us to solve the immense problems we face--failing education, dwindling energy supplies, climate change, terrorism, all the others, by citing solid research in evolutionary biology, psychology, engineering, meteorology, and numerous other sciences. Can we surmount the vast problems we face?

We live with beliefs and knowledge, which are by no means the same, and humans need both of them. But we believe all sorts of nonsense that we have the knowledge to disprove, if we could use it. But can we? She suggests some practical, if politically almost impossible, ways to do it. If every intelligent person in the world read this, or simply began to substitute knowledge for beliefs that are false, we might have a chance. Otherwise, why should we survive when the Mayan and the Roman Empires failed?
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781593156053
Author:
Costa, Rebecca
Publisher:
Vanguard Press
Author:
Costa, Rebecca D.
Subject:
Future Studies
Subject:
Philosophy & Social Aspects
Subject:
Sociology - Social Theory
Subject:
Cognitive Psychology
Subject:
General science
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Psychology-Cognitive Science
Subject:
Mathematics-Systems Theory
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20101031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General Medicine
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Cognitive Science
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
History and Social Science » Anthropology » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Future Studies
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Reference » Science Reference » Philosophy of Science
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Systems Theory

The Watchman's Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Vanguard Press - English 9781593156053 Reviews:
"Review" by , "The rafts of italics for emphasis can't reduce the value of this engaging book as a warning and a resource. It will give concerned readers new hope in human capability."
"Synopsis" by , In the tradition of Malcolm Gladwell and Thomas Friedman, Rebecca Costa reveals the four telltale patterns that emerge when escalating complexity paralyzes a society.
"Synopsis" by , Why can't we solve our problems anymore? Why do threats such as the Gulf oil spill, worldwide recession, terrorism, and global warming suddenly seem unstoppable? Are there limits to the kinds of problems humans can solve? Rebecca Costa confronts — and offers a solution to — these questions in her highly anticipated and game-changing book, The Watchman's Rattle. Costa pulls headline for today's news to demonstrate how accelerating complexity quickly outpaces that rate at which the human brain can develop new capabilities. With compelling evidenced based on research in the rise and fall of Mayan, Khmer, and Roman empires, Costa shows how that tendency to find a quick solutions leads to frightening long term consequence: Society's ability to solve its most challenging, intractable problems becomes gridlocked, progress slows, and collapse ensues. A provocative new voice in the tradition of thought leaders Thomas Friedman, Jared Diamond and Malcolm Gladwell, Costa reveals how we can reverse the downward spiral. Part history, part social science, part biology, The Watchman's Rattle is sure to provoke, engage and incite change.
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