System Theory

Download The watchman's rattle: thinking our way out of extinction by Rebecca D. Costa PDF

By Rebecca D. Costa

Why can’t we clear up our difficulties anymore? Why do threats resembling the Gulf oil spill, around the globe recession, terrorism, and worldwide warming abruptly look unstoppable? Are there limits to the categories of difficulties people can solve?
Rebecca Costa confronts — and gives an answer to-these questions in her hugely expected and game-changing e-book, The Watchman’s Rattle.
Costa pulls headline for today’s information to illustrate how accelerating complexity quick outpaces that fee at which the human mind can strengthen new features. With compelling evidenced in keeping with examine within the upward thrust and fall of Mayan, Khmer, and Roman empires, Costa indicates how t ht tendency to discover a short options — results in scary long-term final result: Society’s skill to resolve its so much hard, intractable difficulties turns into gridlocked, growth slows, and cave in ensues.
A provocative new voice within the culture of inspiration leaders Thomas Friedman, Jared Diamond and Malcolm Gladwell, Costa unearths how we will be able to opposite the downward spiral. half historical past, half social technological know-how, half biology, The Watchman’s Rattle is bound to impress, interact and incite switch.

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How was order maintained for millions of people over such a vast geography? Food distributed? Garbage, sewage, and education managed? Many people know that the Mayans were master potters, weavers, architects, and farmers, but even by modern standards the prodigious reach of the Mayan civilization represented an unfathomable leap in human achievement. ” They also engineered elaborate hydraulic projects that included a complex maze of public reservoirs, canals, dams, and levees. On virtually all fronts, the Mayans progressed rapidly, achieving quantum breakthroughs in technological, organizational, and artistic innovation.

In this way, human beliefs are not limited to religion. We possess a wide spectrum of beliefs that help us function every minute of every day. But we are also an organism that requires knowledge: proven data to make rational decisions and solve problems. There is no debate that knowledge is much harder to obtain than belief. The acquisition of knowledge requires complex cognitive processes such as abstraction, searching, learning, inference, analysis, synthesis, decision-making, and judgment. Knowledge also requires replication, application, interpretation, and scrutiny.

Michael Merzenich, John Kounios, and Mark Jung-Beeman independently published landmark research on how the human brain tackles complex problems. Their investigation into the conditions that lead to higher cognitive functioning were pivotal in understanding how we adapt to accelerating change and complexity. It took all these discoveries—evolution, genetics, sociobiology, memetics, neuroscience, and my work in the vortex of Silicon Valley—to bring me to the biological reasons for the ascension and decline of civilizations.

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