Download e-book for kindle: The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal by Thomas Homer-Dixon

By Thomas Homer-Dixon

ISBN-10: 1597260649

ISBN-13: 9781597260640

Environmental mess ups. Terrorist wars. power shortage. monetary failure. is that this the world's inevitable destiny, a downward spiral that eventually spells the cave in of societies? might be, says acclaimed writer Thomas Homer-Dixon - or even those crises can really result in renewal for ourselves and planet earth.

The Upside of Down takes the reader on a mind-stretching journey of societies' administration, or mismanagement, of failures through the years. From the dying of historic Rome to modern weather swap, this spellbinding booklet analyzes what occurs whilst a number of crises compound to reason what the writer calls "synchronous failure." yet, problem doesn't need to suggest overall worldwide calamity. via catagenesis, or artistic, daring reform within the wake of breakdown, it really is attainable to reinvent our future.

Drawing at the worlds of archeology, poetry, politics, technological know-how, and economics, The Upside of Down is bound to impress controversy and stir imaginations around the globe. The author's wide-ranging services makes his insights and recommendations rather acute, as humans of all countries try and grapple with how we will be able to continue to exist tomorrow's inevitable shocks to our international process. there's no warrantly of luck, yet there are methods to start puzzling over a greater global, and The Upside of Down is the best position to begin pondering.

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Additional resources for The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization

Example text

Qxp 8/29/06 3:24 PM Page 27 Te c t o n i c S t r e s s e s | 27 The traveler confronts path dependency. future becomes formidably difficult. 26 Even more than the behavior of other complex systems, human social, economic, and political behavior is often extremely sensitive to serendipity, to fad and the whims of leadership, and to sudden technological, economic, political, and environmental developments. Also, we can’t know exactly when or how any complex system that crucially affects our lives will cross a critical threshold and flip to a new mode of behavior.

If seldom desirable in itself, it’s nonetheless rarely the end of the world, and much good can come of it. We can boost the chances that it will lead to renewal by being well prepared, nimble, and smart and by learning to recognize its many warning signs. To help us recognize the signs and prepare for breakdown is a central purpose of this book. In the following pages, I don’t provide a checklist of technical and institutional solutions we might apply to manage the world’s tectonic stresses. Instead my aim here is to begin a conversation about why breakdown of some kind is becoming more likely, how we can keep it from being so severe that it’s debilitating, and what we can do to exploit the opportunities it presents when it happens.

But the chemical energy in the battery is finite, so eventually the battery is exhausted, and the light goes out. The light won’t last forever in a closed system. qxp 40 | 8/29/06 3:24 PM Page 40 The U p s i d e o f D o w n You (the person in the box) are much like the battery: you convert your chemical energy into other forms of energy, such as kinetic energy as you move and lift things. If there’s a bicycle generator in the box, you can hop on board and use it to drive the light and finish reading your newspaper, warming up the box even more as the heat from your exertion is carried away from your body by your sweat.

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The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization by Thomas Homer-Dixon

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