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

The Watchman's Rattle by Rebecca D. Costa
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's review
Dec 02, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: complexity
Read in December, 2010

I thought it was a good read, and I liked the overall argument of the book, namely:

The earth is endangered, and our cultural and financial systems are nearing meltdown
The complexity of the current world's problems outstrips our brain's ability to process it
In times of stress, societies tend to dovetail toward sameness, thus driving out diversity (which is important for the generation of new ideas
We are current enmeshed in five supermemes that further constrain our ability to engage with diverse ideas and opinions

An irrational impulse to oppose all new ideas

Mistaking correlation for fact

Always seeking to blame someone or others

Silo thinking

Imposing economic arguments on everything
There are ways out, including changing our mindsets and understanding that our problems are all complex and cannot be solved with simple, single solutions
Our brains can evolve to meet the complex demands of our society, and we can help them along by learning more and understanding how the brain works, and ourselves proactively exercising and working to improve our individual brain capacity -- and doing it in schools as well.

This book has been strongly endorsed by the preeminent socio-biologist E.O. Wilson.


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