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The Watchman's Rattle Audiobook

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

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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.

©2010 Rebecca D. Costa (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (82 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 11-05-10
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 11-05-10 Member Since 2015
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    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 02-01-11
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 02-01-11 Member Since 2010
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    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JimmySmack MorganHill, CA USA 07-26-15
    JimmySmack MorganHill, CA USA 07-26-15 Member Since 2015

    JimmySmack

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    "Insightful macro trend insights."

    Costa has build a compelling insight into the trends across our social spectrum. Something very helpful and very thought-provoking for those of us who are thinking about the next big thing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jerry South Burlington, VT, United States 12-20-12
    jerry South Burlington, VT, United States 12-20-12 Member Since 2013
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    "help for thinking outside the box"
    What did you love best about The Watchman's Rattle?

    the ideas are well conceived and well expressed


    What did you like best about this story?

    the optimism was both held to reason and sincere


    Have you listened to any of Therese Plummer and Kevin T. Collins ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    the science is at times sketchy and not well documented, a little bit more hype than science

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel YAKIMA, WA, United States 02-29-12
    Rachel YAKIMA, WA, United States 02-29-12 Member Since 2013

    I am a clay sculptor and an art instructor at a community college. I mostly listen to audiobooks while I work in my home studio.

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    "so much information I need to listen again"
    Would you listen to The Watchman's Rattle again? Why?

    Not only would I listen again, I plan to. There was so much interesting information in this book I was just blown away. The writing was very good and the content was eye opening and insightful. By the description the book sounded interesting but depressing. My mom highly recommended it and I'm glad I took her advice.


    What other book might you compare The Watchman's Rattle to and why?

    I might compare it to


    What about Therese Plummer and Kevin T. Collins ’s performance did you like?

    Hmm, that's interesting, I don't remember a man reading on this book. The performance was fine but I was occasionally annoyed by the woman's voice when she adjusted it to read a man's quote.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes. If only there were time.


    Any additional comments?

    Go get this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randall B. 10-27-10
    Randall B. 10-27-10 Member Since 2013
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    "And I Thought It Was Just Me"

    Insightful and thought provoking reality check. The comparisons and behaviors in the societies and studies discussed seem futuristic yet so simple. And are here today.... And I though it was just me....

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Acteon 10-06-11
    Acteon 10-06-11

    Acteon

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    "Did not enjoy listening to it"

    The book seemed interesting at first sight, but I did not listen very far. What I heard was verbose and rather uninteresting despite the subject's potential; judging from the opening chapter, the book would have profited from a draconian pruning by a good editor. This is aggravated by Therese Plummer's emphatic way of reading: she seems to be trying hard to make phrases and sentences more significant than they are. I found it very irritating. (I can't say anything about the other reader, Kevin Collins).
    My impression is a young writer who wants to say something important but lacks maturity and mastery of her subject, and who sorely needs the services of a professional editor. Perhaps I am unfair since I listened to very little of this long book, and I might have a different opinion had I been reading instead of listening (I would have skimmed it and perhaps discovered riches). But I found the audiobook unlistenable and cannot recommend it to anyone. This said, I don't want to keep anyone from a book whose contents I still don't know, but I suggest you at least have a look at the printed book first.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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