The Watchman's Rattle

  • by Rebecca D. Costa
  • Narrated by Therese Plummer, Kevin T. Collins
  • 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Why can't we solve our problems anymore? Why do threats such as the Gulf oil spill, worldwide recession, terrorism, and global warming suddenly seem unstoppable? Are there limits to the kinds of problems humans can solve?
Rebecca Costa confronts - and offers a solution to - these questions in her highly anticipated and game-changing book, The Watchman's Rattle. She pulls headlines from today's news to demonstrate how accelerating complexity quickly outpaces that rate at which the human brain can develop new capabilities.
With compelling evidence based on research in the rise and fall of the Mayan, Khmer, and Roman empires, Costa shows how the tendency to find a quick solution leads to a frightening long-term consequence: society's ability to solve its most challenging, intractable problems becomes gridlocked, progress slows, and collapse ensues.
A provocative new voice in the tradition of thought leaders Thomas Friedman, Jared Diamond, and Malcolm Gladwell, Costa reveals how we can reverse the downward spiral. Part history, part social science, part biology, The Watchman's Rattle is sure to provoke, engage, and incite change.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Macro Perspective on Complexity and Cognition

Rebecca Costa provides us in "The Watchman's Rattle" an interesting take on complexity in our modern world. Essentially, she suggests that change is moving at an ever faster rate and complexity of daily problems are exceeding our cognitive ability to deal with them. We react to our limited ability to address such problems and knowledge of these circumstances in two ways. First, we tend to yield to the advice of experts and decisions of government. Second, we resort to "irrational opposition'' to circumstances which we do not understand or rather do not have adequate knowledge to deal with. This little book has many beneficial insights for anyone who approaches it. I found issues were reiterated and approached in different ways throughout the book. I hope that she will continue to expand on the ideas generated here. The writing is clear and approachable, the book informative and thought provoking, and the narration excellent throughout.
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- Roy

why we don't do what we should do

Insightful look into what causes people to take the wrong action/s, even when there is a ton of lead time to prepare. Some good ideas on how to avoid repeating these errors, as well as how to amp up your cerebral activity.
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- Andy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-12-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios