READ & DOWNLOAD Ý The Upside of Down: Catastrophe Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization

SUMMARY The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization

READ & DOWNLOAD Ý The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization ê From the author of the #1 bestselling and Governor General’s Literary Award winning The Ingenuity Gap – an essential addition to the bookshelf of every thinking person with a stake in our wNing international bestseller The Ingenuity Gap Homer Dixon takes us on a remarkable journey – from the fall of the Roman empire to the devastation of the 911 attacks in New York from Toronto in the 2003 blackout to the ancient temples of Lebanon and the wildfires of California Incorporating the newest findings from an astonishing array of disciplines he argues that the great stresses our world is experiencing – global warming energy scarcity population imbalances and widening gaps between rich and poor – can’t be looked at independently As these stresses combine and converge the risk of breakdown rises The first signs are appearing in the wastelands of the Arctic the mud clogged streets of Gonaïves Haiti. This was a really stimulating read and very absorbing It gets four stars only because I felt that the concluding note of optimism wasn't entirely justified by the profound problems he identifies Overall though it's a must read for anyone interested in the future of civilisation


From the author of the #1 bestselling and Governor General’s Literary Award winning The Ingenuity Gap – an essential addition to the bookshelf of every thinking person with a stake in our world and our civilizationThis is a groundbreaking essential book for our times Thomas Homer Dixon brings to bear his formidable understanding of the urgent problems that confront our world to clarify their scope and deep causes The Upside of Down provides a vivid picture of the immense stresses that are simultaneously converging on our societies and threatening a breakdown that would profoundly shake civilization It shows too how we can choose a better route into the future With the immediacy that characterized his award win. On how forest fires are the right way to see this crisis Certain forests only reproduce if there is a firebut only as long as the fire isn't too big The main point is that many problematic situations are coinciding right now which Homer Dixon calls tectonic stresses He thinks they will function like multipliers or like an earthuake effect and we are likely looking at synchronous failure According to him it is beyond management but we need to realize that crashes can cause higher levels of creativity To sum up here are the tectonic stresses 1 The fast rising and increasingly violent population of the 3rd world and their increasing awareness of the uality of life gap 2 The increasing income gap between poor and rich which is undeniable in 1870 the average income of a rich country was 9 times greater than a rich country's Now they are 45 times greater 3 The globalized world connecting everything and everyone 4 Climate change environmental degradation 5 Peak oil He focuses a lot on what is called Energy Return on Investment Eg we are investing into energy extraction and getting less energy on what we are putting in Combine all of these and we can't manage These are pointing towards synchronous failure societal collapse making crisis and chain reactions cataclysmic and bigger and unmanageable If one or two happen at the same time it can be manageable but in no way are we prepared to manage all of them His conclusions are based on panarchy theory something developed by a Canadian named Buzz Holling who is perhaps the expert in complex adaptive systems from ecosystems to economic markets He says that all complex systems have an adaptive cycle of growth 1growth 2 collapse 3 regeneration 4 and again growth Thomas uses a forest fire analogy Something we can all learn by going on a trip to Seuoia Kings Canyon or Redwood He says societies function in similar ways If a society tries to stay on the cycle of growth without collapse or metaphorically a forest fire the inevitable collapse a super hot forest fire will be so big and catastrophic that there will be no regeneneration or return to growth the heat would burn right through the fire resistent bark of the tree and the super hot temperatures will not allow the cones to spread their seed A healthy complex adaptive system has what he calls resilience or catagenesis creative capacity for renewal of societies technologies and institutions in the aftermath of the breakdown He also takes about different stages of denial 1 existential eg climate change doesn't exist 2 conseuential denial eg climate change exists but it doesn't really matter 3 fatalist denial eg even if climate change exists there is nothing we can do so I don't want to think about it This made me think about how we need to focus on the psychological side and try to understand why people lack this 'consciousness' Perhaps Homer Dixon could be inclined to do research into this area and apply the psychological insights of teaching and education to the idea of increasing citizen consciousness This is a very significant and intelligent multi disciplinary analysis of the current world trajectory Highly recommended

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The Upside of Down Catastrophe Creativity and the Renewal of CivilizationAnd the volatile regions of the Middle East and Asia But while the conseuences of denial in our perilous world are dire Homer Dixon makes clear that we can use our emerging understanding of the complex systems in which we live to avoid catastrophic collapse in a way the Roman empire could not This vitally important new book shows how in the face of breakdown we can still provide for the renewal of our global civilization We are creating the conditions for catastrophe but by understanding the underlying principles that make human and natural systems resilient – and by working together to put those principles into effect – we can still limit the severity of collapse and foster regeneration innovation and renewa. Others have noted this but unfortunately the title is misleading It seems that the author is focused on the downward spiral rather than renewal and the 'upside' factors of breaking points and change I was very much looking forward to this book but read through half and then skimmed it and finally got to what I was searching for eg 'the upside' towards the end I feel the author was right in showing three stages of denial but the fourth which I feel they were in when writing is the denial that there is any worth in taking the strongest aspects of society and culture to head in a forward momentum with Perhaps I sought answers heading forward rather than reasons how and why things are not great