The Ingenuity Gap: How Can We Solve the Problems of the Future?

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9780375401862: The Ingenuity Gap: How Can We Solve the Problems of the Future?
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Argues that we are in desperate need of practical and innovative ideas to solve the complex problems and challenges confronting modern society--from global climatic change and AIDS to international financial crises--at a time in which we construct and depend on little-understood systems of law, the market, technology, and more. 15,000 first printing.

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Review:

In Speed and Politics the French thinker Paul Virilio famously developed the theory that speed defines today's world. The communications revolution makes the world smaller, faster and infinitely more complex. In his fascinating new book The Ingenuity Gap, White House advisor Thomas Homer-Dixon, takes this argument a stage further, claiming that "if our societies are to manage their affairs and improve their well-being, they will need more ingenuity, that is, more ideas for solving their technical and social problems. But societies, whether rich or poor, can't always supply the ingenuity they need at the right times and places. As a result, some face an ingenuity gap: a shortfall between their rapidly rising need for ingenuity and their adequate supply" Homer-Dixon's updated version of Darwin's theory of evolution rests on brain power, and the need for "copious ingenuity to address the commonplace challenges around us". What follows is an absorbing but rather fruitless attempt to measure and quantify ingenuity, and Homer-Dixon's accounts of how ingenuity has responded to a series of contemporary problems, stretching from pollution, global warming and the crisis of the global economy, to the dark side of artificial intelligence and information technology. However, this is a very long book for such a bold and snappy thesis, that veers between rather dubious forms of social engineering and utopian liberalism, as Homer-Dixon concludes rather hopefully that "as ingenuity gaps widen the gulfs of wealth and power among us, we need imagination, metaphor and empathy more than ever, to help us remember each other's essential humanity". Not a particularly novel or ingenious solution. --Jerry Brotton

Review:

"[C]losely reasoned, accessible, and lucid . . . . [A] welcome reality check." --"The Washington Post
" "No other new concept . . . so fully condenses all of the challenges we face as a human civilization as does 'ingenuity gap.' [Homer-Dixon] is one of an elite group of academics who can write for a mass audience." --Robert D. Kaplan
"This remarkable work, based on an impressive amount of scholarship, travel, and interviews, is the most persuasive forecast of the twenty-first century I have seen."--Edward O. Wilson
"[R]emarkable . . . compelling, original . . . . This book's intellectual scope is truly sweeping." "The Memphis Commercial Appeal
"

[C]losely reasoned, accessible, and lucid . . . . [A] welcome reality check. --The Washington Post
No other new concept . . . so fully condenses all of the challenges we face as a human civilization as does ingenuity gap. [Homer-Dixon] is one of an elite group of academics who can write for a mass audience. --Robert D. Kaplan
This remarkable work, based on an impressive amount of scholarship, travel, and interviews, is the most persuasive forecast of the twenty-first century I have seen. --Edward O. Wilson
[R]emarkable . . . compelling, original . . . . This book s intellectual scope is truly sweeping. The Memphis Commercial Appeal
"

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780375713286: The Ingenuity Gap: Facing the Economic, Environmental, and Other Challenges of an Increasingly Complex and Unpredictable Future

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ISBN 10:  037571328X ISBN 13:  9780375713286
Publisher: Vintage, 2002
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9780676971484: The Ingenuity Gap : How Can We Solve The Problems of the Future

Knopf ..., 2000
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9780224050531: The Ingenuity Gap: How Can We Solve the Problems of the Future?

Cape, 2000
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9780099286288: The Ingenuity Gap: How Can We Solve the Problems of the Future?

Vintage, 2001
Softcover

9780676972962: The Ingenuity Gap: Can We Solve the Problems of the Future?

Vintag..., 2001
Softcover

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