The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction. Rebecca Costa. Vanguard Press.

The Watchman's Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction Book Cover The Watchman's Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction
Rebecca Costa
Vanguard Press
October 12, 2010

Why can’t we solve our problems anymore? When the threat such as the Gulf oil spill, worldwide recession, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and failing education suddenly seemed unstoppable? Are there limits to the kinds of problems that humans can solve?

Rebecca Costa confronts – and offers a solution to – these questions in their widely anticipated and game-changing book, The Watchman’s Rattle.

Costa pulls headlines from today’s news to demonstrate how accelerating complexity quickly outpaces the rate at which the human brain can develop new capabilities. With compelling evidence based on research into the rise and fall of the Mayan, Khmer, and Roman empires, Costa shows how the tendency to find a quick fix to problems by instinctively reacting to symptoms – instead of searching for permanent solutions – leads to frightening long-term consequences: Society’s ability to solve its most challenging problems become 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 insight change.

Rebecca Costa is a sociobiologist whose unique expertise is to spot and explain emerging trends in relationship to human evolution, global markets, and new technologies. Costa joins distinguished business leaders, Nobel Laureates, scientists, innovators and Pulitzer Prize-winning authors from around the world to address growing concerns over dangerous threats such as global warming, pandemic viruses, terrorism, nuclear proliferation and failing public education. A popular speaker at thought-leader and technology conferences as well as major universities, Costa is the former CEO of Silicon Valley start-up Dazai Advertising, Inc. Costa’s clients included technology giants such as Apple Computer, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle Corporation, 3M, Amdahl, Seibel systems and General Electric. She graduated from the University of California with a BA in Social Sciences. Rebecca Costa lives on the central coast of California.