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