Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction

Email a Friend
From and

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.)