Synopses & Reviews
When faced with complex problems, we have all become accustomed to looking to our leaders to set out a plan of action, to blaze a path to success.
In this groundbreaking work, Tim Harford shows us a new and inspiring approach to solving the most pressing problems in our lives. Harford argues that today's challenges simply cannot be tackled with ready-made solutions and expert opinions; the world has become far too unpredictable and profoundly complex. Instead, we must adapt. Deftly weaving together psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, physics, and economics, along with compelling stories of hard-won lessons learned in the field, Harford makes a passionate case for the importance of adaptive trial-and-error in tackling issues such as climate change, poverty, and the financial crisis.
"Tim Harford has made a compelling and expertly informed case for why we need to embrace risk, failure, and experimentation in order to find great ideas that will change the world. I loved the book."
--Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality Dan Ariely
"Tim Harford could well be Britain's Malcolm Gladwell. An entertaining mix of popular economics and psychology, this excellently written book contains fascinating stories of success and failure that will challenge your assumptions. Insightful and clever."
--Alex Bellos, author of Here's Looking at Euclid
"This is a brilliant and fascinating book--Harford's range of research is both impressive and inspiring, and his conclusions are provocative. The message about the need to accept failure has important implications, not just for policy making but also for people's professional and personal lives. It should be required reading for anyone serving in government, working at a company, trying to build a career or simply trying to navigate an increasingly complex world."
--Gillian Tett, author of Fool's Gold: The Inside Story of J.P. Morgan and How Wall St. Greed Corrupted Its Bold Dream and Created a Financial Catastrophe Gillian Tett
"Harford's wide-ranging look at social adaptation is fresh, creative, and timely."
--Sheena Iyengar, author of The Art of Choosing Sheena Iyengar
"Adapt is a highly readable, even entertaining, argument against top-down design. It debunks the Soviet-Harvard command-and-control style of planning and approach to economic policies and regulations and vindicates trial and error (particularly the error part) as a means to economic and general progress. Very impressive!"
--Nassim N. Taleb, Distinguised Professor of Risk Engineering, NYU-Poly Institute and author of The Black Swan Nassim N. Taleb
From the author called Britain's Malcolm Gladwell, an innovative, counterintuitive new look at how to change the world--one failure at a time.
About the Author
TIM HARFORD is the Undercover Economist and Dear Economist columnist for the Financial Times. His writing has also appeared in Esquire, Forbes, New York, Wired, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. His previous books include The Undercover Economist and The Logic of Life.