Learning From the Octopus: How Secrets from Nature Can Help Us Fight Terrorist Attacks, Natural Disasters, and Disease

3.63 avg rating
( 131 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780465021833: Learning From the Octopus: How Secrets from Nature Can Help Us Fight Terrorist Attacks, Natural Disasters, and Disease
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

Despite the billions of dollars we've poured into foreign wars, homeland security, and disaster response, we are fundamentally no better prepared for the next terrorist attack or unprecedented flood than we were in 2001. Our response to catastrophe remains unchanged: add another step to airport security, another meter to the levee wall. This approach has proved totally ineffective: reacting to past threats and trying to predict future risks will only waste resources in our increasingly unpredictable world. In Learning from the Octopus , ecologist and security expert Rafe Sagarin rethinks the seemingly intractable problem of security by drawing inspiration from a surprising source: nature. Biological organisms have been living- and thriving- on a risk-filled planet for billions of years. Remarkably, they have done it without planning, predicting, or trying to perfect their responses to complex threats. Rather, they simply adapt to solve the challenges they continually face. Military leaders, public health officials, and business professionals would all like to be more adaptable, but few have figured out how. Sagarinargues that we can learn from observing how nature is organized, how organisms learn, how they create partnerships, and how life continually diversifies on this unpredictable planet. As soon as we dip our toes into a cold Pacific tidepool and watch what we thought was a rock turn into an octopus, jetting away in a cloud of ink, we can begin to see the how human adaptability can mimic natural adaptation. The same mechanisms that enabled the octopus's escape also allow our immune system to ward off new infectious diseases, helped soldiers in Iraq to recognize the threat of IEDs, and aided Google in developing faster ways to detect flu outbreaks. While we will never be able to predict the next earthquake, terrorist attack, or market fluctuation, nature can guide us in developing security systems that are not purely reactive but proactive, holistic, and adaptable. From the tidepools of Monterey to the mountains of Kazakhstan, Sagarin takes us on an eye-opening tour of the security challenges we face, and shows us how we might learn to respond more effectively to the unknown threats lurking in our future.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Product Description:

Learning from the Octopus How should we alert others of danger? Learn from the woodchuck. How can we avoid threats? Study the octopus, the paragon of variability. This title shows us how the study of ecology and evolution can fortify us against disaster and war. It offers a glimpse of a new security strategy, one that relies on adaptable methods to protect us from threats. Full description

Review:

Foreign Policy in Focus (online)
"Years of marine research provide [Sagarin] with a unique perspective on security issues. His new book's conclusion: we can learn from nature about being more secure by being more adaptable. Nature, after 3.5 billion years of dealing with risk, is an experienced teacher."

Natural History
"Sagarin identifies several characteristics of successful species--and you can almost visualize them as bullets on a motivational PowerPoint slide.... The parallels with modern-day security concerns are evident, and Sagarin is quick to cite cases of military efforts hampered by bureaucratic inertia, insurgency strategies that successfully build on cooperative relations with local populations, and the like.... In short, this book lays out some sensible policy suggestions based on biological knowledge."

Eric Liu, co-author of The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government
"This book is a provocation and a delight. Rafe Sagarin invites us to look at national security with the eyes not of a state but of nature itself: for recursive patterns, adaptations, and the simple keys to complexity. It's thrilling to apply the lessons of octopuses, tidepools and other biological systems to defense, intelligence, and government generally. It's even more thrilling to imagine what our policymakers could learn from this book."

John Arquilla, Professor of Defense Analysis, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School
"Simply brilliant. Rafe Sagarin is one of the world's leading lateral thinkers. He can study tidepool life and find insights from it for fighting terrorism. He has harnessed our understanding of nature's immutable forces--selection, learning and adaptation--and turned them to the task of guiding us to a fresh new security paradigm. Above all, Sagarin sees how networked nature is, and how building our own networks is the best way to defeat the perils our balky security institutions have done so little to overcome."

Library Journal
"Sagarin uses his ecological knowledge to shed light on national security as well as other hard-to-predict challenges. Highly recommended for ecologists, nature lovers, and those interested in business, organizational change, and security planning."

Nature
"Drawing on life science and evidence from the military and emergency services, Sagarin defines adaptability as the "sweet spot" between reaction and prediction."

New Scientist
"Sagarin explains biology's lessons for successful national security with a brisk, clear style, designed for the broadest possible audience. The book will be as informative to a field biologist as a field commander. The natural history examples are linked cleverly and effectively, making surprising and provocative points to prompt discussion of how the flexibility of natural defenses can be used for strategic benefit."

Discover
"[An] open challenge to the status quo."

The Scientist
"Learning from the Octopus is a paean to biomimicry and a handbook on 'natural security' from an unlikely, but enlightening, source."

Courtney E. Martin, author of Project Rebirth: Survival and the Strength of the Human Spirit from 9/11 Survivors
"Learning from the Octopus is not just a brilliant book about natural security, though it is that. It is also a transformative meditation on what attributes are necessary to live a content, modern life--starting with adaptability, imperfection, and interdependence. Rafe Sagarin is not only a rarity in regards to the intersection of his professional gifts--science and writing--but his power to see beyond fear and conformity to what really makes us safe in the world."

Simon Levin, Moffett Professor of Biology, Princeton University
"In a brilliant and engaging style, Rafe Sagarin moves seamlessly between natural history and security analysis, convincingly making the case that we have much to learn in national security from how evolution has helped organisms meet environmental challenges. Learning from the Octopus is must reading for those charged with protecting our nation, and a delightful excursion for anyone interested in the wonders of the natural world."

Publishers Weekly
"A marine biologist applies his expertise to national security, delivering some ingenious ideas.... [F]ew readers will deny that Sagarin is onto something."

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781459637986: Learning From the Octopus: How Secrets from Nature Can Help Us Fight Terrorist Attacks, Natural Disasters, and Disease

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1459637984 ISBN 13:  9781459637986
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant, 2013
Softcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Sagarin, Rafe
Published by Boulder, CO, U.S.A.: Basic Books (2012)
ISBN 10: 0465021832 ISBN 13: 9780465021833
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Mima Mia Books
(BROOKLINE, MA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Boulder, CO, U.S.A.: Basic Books, 2012. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng. Seller Inventory # P33

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
10.99
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 4.78
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Sagarin, Rafe
ISBN 10: 0465021832 ISBN 13: 9780465021833
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2012. HRD. Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # IB-9780465021833

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
13.73
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.05
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Sagarin, Rafe
ISBN 10: 0465021832 ISBN 13: 9780465021833
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2012. HRD. Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # KS-9780465021833

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
14.13
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.05
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Sagarin, Rafe
Published by Basic Books
ISBN 10: 0465021832 ISBN 13: 9780465021833
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Bookhouse COM LLC
(Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Basic Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0465021832. Seller Inventory # Z0465021832ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
18.08
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

Sagarin, Rafe
Published by Basic Books
ISBN 10: 0465021832 ISBN 13: 9780465021833
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
BookShop4U
(PHILADELPHIA, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Basic Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0465021832. Seller Inventory # Z0465021832ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
18.08
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

Sagarin, Rafe
Published by Basic Books
ISBN 10: 0465021832 ISBN 13: 9780465021833
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Vital Products COM LLC
(Southampton, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Basic Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0465021832. Seller Inventory # Z0465021832ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
18.08
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

7.

Sagarin, Rafe
Published by Basic Books
ISBN 10: 0465021832 ISBN 13: 9780465021833
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Mega Buzz
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Basic Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0465021832. Seller Inventory # Z0465021832ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
18.08
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

8.

Sagarin, Rafe
Published by Basic Books
ISBN 10: 0465021832 ISBN 13: 9780465021833
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Booklot COM LLC
(Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Basic Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0465021832. Seller Inventory # Z0465021832ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
18.08
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

9.

Sagarin, Rafe
Published by Basic Books
ISBN 10: 0465021832 ISBN 13: 9780465021833
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Qwestbooks COM LLC
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Basic Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0465021832. Seller Inventory # Z0465021832ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
18.08
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

10.

Sagarin, Rafe
Published by Basic Books
ISBN 10: 0465021832 ISBN 13: 9780465021833
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Best Bates
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Basic Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0465021832. Seller Inventory # Z0465021832ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
18.28
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book