Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

(Flickr user Urijamjari/flickr)

Are there limits to the kinds of problems humans are capable of solving?

It can certainly seem like it. The conflict in Afghanistan rages on, the schools keep failing, the world is warming up. We throw ideas at these problems, we dream up fixes, we try new cures, yet the problems continue. The conflict rages on. The kids keep dropping out. The hurricanes get stronger. It’s enough to make you throw up your hands and wait for the end times.

But don’t despair just yet. Rebecca Costa, author of "The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction," says that recognizing that we're stuck is the first step towards getting out. With lessons from history, she demonstrates why it can be so difficult for humans to think our way out of complex problems, and more importantly, how we can nurture the kind of insight that will bring us forward. 

Acclaimed sociobiologist E.O. Wilson joins the conversation. He wrote the forward which was chosen, among many contenders, for the print edition of Costa's book. (To read the many e-forewords to the book, written by Temple Grandin, Donald Trump, Tina Brown, and many others, visit Costa's website.)

Comments [1]


We continue to keep our blinders on about the negative effects of overpopulation. Since the 60's and the John B Calhoun rat experiments we've been studying the problems of overpopulation - all of which are contributing to our current global malaise.

"Control of our species reproductive drive is the central survival issue our species must solve if Homo sapiens is to be a successful evolutionary experiment. Solving the issue will require the cooperation of all human beings. We are not doing very well." John Omaha, Ph.D.

Time to Takeaway our blinders.

Oct. 19 2010 07:14 AM

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