The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder

The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder

The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us And What We Can Do About It ❰PDF❯ ❤ The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us And What We Can Do About It Author Joshua Cooper Ramo – Today the very ideas that made America great imperil its future Our plans go awry and policies fail History's grandest war against terrorism creates terrorists Global capitalism intended to improve li Today the very ideas of the PDF/EPUB Ã that made America great imperil its future Our plans go awry and policies fail History's grandest war against terrorism creates terrorists Global capitalism intended to improve lives increases the gap between rich and poor Decisions made to stem a financial crisis guarantee its worsening Environmental strategies to protect species lead to their extinction The traditional physics of power has been replaced Age of the Unthinkable: Why PDF or by The Age eBook ↠ something radically different In The Age of the Unthinkable Joshua Cooper Ramo puts forth a revelatory new model for understanding our dangerously unpredictable world Drawing upon history economics complexity theory psychology immunology and the science of networks he describes a new landscape of inherent unpredictability and remarkable wonderful possibility.

10 thoughts on “The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us And What We Can Do About It

  1. Dianna Dianna says:

    think different be flexible 'cause stuff is unpredictable now and you can't you know think the same as before oh ok so how exactly?you know like keep an open mind and think different crazy stuff happening and we have to you know keep up so specific ?be DIFFERENT man ah great thanksyeah

  2. deep deep says:

    Unsatisfying Has the depth and breadth of a conversational magazine article loaded with sensationalist language and cross dimensional anecdotes as evidence Spends nearly a hundred pages saying how the world is different complex and unpredictable with endless set ups for a soon to come profound insight that never really does Someone interested in geopolitics but unfamiliar with concepts such as critical thinking biases resilience adaptability and the value of empathy would benefit from this as he names these things specifically as tools for handling our strange new world But I do not think such people exist Maybe some subset of those with Asperger’s Some salient points were made on the need for critical thinking the characteristics of complex systems the fractal geometry of highly connected ideas players and systems to create change with greater speed violence and complexity than “before” as well as age old human tendencies bollocksing things up such as needing to be liked over wanting to be right But none of these are mind blowing new revelations in a book that set out to address the mind blowing new world

  3. Jeff Jeff says:

    A book attempting to link recent terrorism and upheaval in financial markets to argue swift significant change is upon us and we are poorly prepared for it The weak point is that it never really makes its case You really just have to assume that we are in the midst of historically unprecedented change I feel like this ignores the resilience of markets and institutions as well as the upheavals of past years Russian debt default Asian currency crisis LTCM etc Not to mention the significant foreign policy hot spots that we have been able to muddle throughThe strong point is that he is right about our institutions being poorly prepared for changeWe are indeed in the midst of change just as we always have been

  4. Rob Rob says:

    I am painfully conflicted about this book It reads like it was written by a grad student not a former editor for Time The writing is gimmicky and self important and the first chapter should be torn out and lit on fire It steps into pretty much every cliche you can imagine about a dynamic world Most egregious is the section on Oriental thinking with of course a big shout out to Sun Tzu which reads like one of those late 80's pieces on why the Japanese are so much better than us that lead to embarrassments like Rising Sun only with the Chinese now standing in for the JapaneseEven a lot of the ideas in this book were interesting and novel 10 20 years ago and it feels a bit painful to hear them rolled out now It's like listening to the guy who just discovered Gibson or Stephenson and doesn't get why everyone else isn't as excited as he it With the exception of some interesting material about overfishing there's not a thing in here I haven't seen presented compellingly elsewhereButThe thing about this book is that the underlying message is if taken with a grain of salt a really really good one For all that there are failures in some specifics and some of the analysis and conclusions are just plain loopy the core thesis that the world is in a state of rapid change and that we will benefit from expanding existing models with new or new to anyone who hasn't read any science fiction or social non fiction in the past 20 years and flexible approaches to problems That a deep defense based on improving resiliency may be as important as a classical defense designed to stop a thing entirelyI ended up giving this book a favorable rating than it maybe deserved because I think this might be a good read for someone who hasn't read about or thought about how we deal with a changing world For someone who feels blindsided by the rate of change this might well have some useful insights as much as I worry about anyone accepting it all at face value

  5. Steve Van Slyke Steve Van Slyke says:

    This book is about a mile wide and an inch deep It’s formulaic It’s almost as if the author had the structure of a book in his mind but not much new or profound in terms of ideas So he strings together a series of vignettes and anecdotes no doubt re cycled from past writings and then tries to tie them together with glittering generalities and a vague theory for dealing with chaos and uncertainty that he calls Deep SecurityIn his discussions about terrorism and the financial catastrophe of 2008 he fails to mention the concept of root causes or what those might beThe non stop anecdotal vignettes and “catchy” subheads were annoying but so was his tendency to keep telling you the good part is coming so don’t stop reading Unfortunately I did keep reading but I don’t feel like I ever got to that partI gave it two stars rather than one because some of the anecdotes were interesting

  6. R R says:

    SorryI only made it through about half of this book before I started to skim He seems to try to set up a tremendous argument about foreign policy a la 'The Black Swan' but instead trots out tangential stories about Google Gertrude Stein and Nintendo Seems that rather than making a researched determined and authoritative point he's crafted a 'Gladwellian' pop intellectual book to fill the 'political' niche missed by MG and the Freakonomics guys I was given this book by someone who thought Ramo gave an excellent speech and that may be But this is a crappy book

  7. Clay Clay says:

    The world is at a tipping point like a sand pile being created a grain at a time which becomes a cone that at any point can have an avalanche Sand cones look stable but are in fact deeply unpredictable The world is becoming like a sand cone To solve today's challenges citizens and policymakers need to get beyond the linear thinking that may have worked in the past While in the past leaders thought of themselves of architects of a system they could control and manage now they need to become gardeners in a shifting context The world is too complex and unstable to be architects and builders Coping with the new world involves doing things we do not fully understand with many contextual unknowns different interests and multiple transactions that enhance risk Facing these challenges reuires addressing a range of motivational problems allowing solutions to emerge from trial and error and seeking authorization for teamwork with highly varied functional roles and skill sets It takes complex learning adaptation resilience keeping options open and mashups Draws examples from artists entrepreneurs hedge fund innovators and terrorists showing how it works for those with battlefield courage

  8. Elizabeth Herington Elizabeth Herington says:

    Reminded me of chaos theory and the idea that it can be used well to understand modern challenges Mostly fluff but some interesting ideas Made me want to study development because of its potential implications for security

  9. Mal Warwick Mal Warwick says:

    Resiliency Maybe that was what was lackingIn the opening pages of The Age of the Unthinkable Joshua Cooper Ramo cites long time Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan’s 2008 testimony to Congress on finding a “flaw” in his reasoning about how to manage the economy“In other words” Greenspan’s uestioner said “you found that your view of the world your ideology was not right It was not working?”Greenspan replied “Absolutely I was shocked Because I have been going for forty years or with very considerable evidence that it was working very well indeed”If Alan Greenspan were the only world leader who found himself at a loss to explain why his policies had gone awry we wouldn’t be facing so many crises simultaneously But he is far from the only one He’s just the only one with high name recognition who has honestly and publicly admitted how baffled he is that in effect everything he knew was wrong “The sum of their misconceptions” Ramo writes “has now produced a tragic paradox policies designed to make us safer instead make the world perilous History’s grandest war against terrorism for instance not only failed to eliminate terrorism it creates dangerous terrorists Attempts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons instead encourage countries to accelerate their uest for an atom bomb Global capitalism intended to boost the uality of life of people around the world claws the gap between rich and poor ever wider” And the litany goes on financial regulation environmental protections Middle East peace initiatives — every major effort to confront a threat to human well being seems to backfire with unintended conseuencesIn The Age of the Unthinkable Ramo explains patiently and brilliantly that this is so because at the most fundamental level the architecture of civilization has become unimaginably complex He turns to little known cognitive scientists terrorists ecologists military leaders venture capitalists and other insightful observers in their own fields to illuminate the larger challenge that the way our brains work and the way we have been taught to think in the West euip us poorly to cope with the emergent properties that inevitably appear when complex systems are tweaked The only way to survive over the long haul in such circumstances is always to view the Big Picture and to build resiliency into every system — military financial environmental you name itIn one of the most revealing scenes in the book Ramo refers to research conducted at the University of Michigan contrasting the ways American and Chinese students viewed a series of the same images Each image depicted a large object in the foreground a tiger for example with its environment shown in the background The American students devoted an overwhelming proportion of their time to viewing the foreground objects and later proved largely incapable of describing the backgrounds against which they appeared The Chinese students focused on the environment viewing each picture holistically and spending only a limited amount of time on the objects in the foregroundRamo points to this contrast Greenspan’s “flaw” as a signal of what’s wrong in the Western approach to problem solving Given any problem we’re schooled to attack it head on ignoring the context and often the possible repercussions of our actions Instead Ramo argues we should take several steps backward view every problem as the manifestation of numerous intersecting factors and look for indirect ways to prod the system to make an end run around the problem For instance Ramo cites the work of General Aharon Farkash Israel’s most successful leader of military intelligence who found that head on attacks against insurgents invariably led to failure and that asking the usual uestions would lead only to confusion Rather than focus exclusively on the movement of arms through Iranian border crossings for example Farkash asked his agents to study the most popular show on Iranian TV to understand what was new in their adversaries’ thinking “Focus on things that move and change” Farkash insisted Ramo sees that injunction as essential for a successful response to the challenges of the futureThe Age of the Unthinkable is now on my short list of contemporary books that truly help explain how the world works today It’s one of the most thought provoking works I’ve read in many yearsAccording to Wikipedia Joshua Cooper Ramo is a former senior editor and foreign editor of Time magazine and later Vice Chairman at Kissinger Associates the consulting firm of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger

  10. Ed Ed says:

    A really mind changing book that helps us see the emerging new world disorder in an extraordinary new light using the metaphor of the sand pile how unpredictable the moment of avalanche is As the book's back cover says 'the belief that globalization is harmonizing the planet has failed the tests of good science it neither predicts nor explains our world'Interestingly he is fascinated by Hezbollah whose leaders he has metnot because he approves of their methods but because of their adaptability and ability to surf chaosThe book is notable for his use of personal anecdote and personal histories to make his points He gives us a strong sense that deep security involves increasing the resilience of our society not thinking we can protect it from shocks We need to roll with the punches rather than think there won't be any I think his lessons apply well in our personal lives too

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