The Power of Multi-cycle Thought: How Great Minds Develop New Ideas

Daniel Kahneman’s book — Thinking, Fast and Slow — helps readers avoid cognitive pitfalls and encourages everyone to double-check any quick, “intuitive” response they may have to a problem. This is immensely helpful (letting one avoid many common mistakes), yet progress on really hard problems requires a different, “extra-slow” method that I refer to as…

Read More

Un-puzzling the Anthropocene

Society seems to get stuck when dealing with problems of the Anthropocene — problems like climate change, environmental degradation, and risks posed by the rise of artificial intelligence. There’s trouble because of a complexity that overwhelms the current problem-solving capacity of society. Despite increasing awareness of the problems/risks, and despite ongoing discussion of possible solutions,…

Read More

Civilization and the Complexity Trap

Civilization has set a trap for itself. Humanity has made amazing progress over the centuries — progress made possible by the rise of the expert. But this progress creates a new problem, as ever-more-complex technologies are deployed at an accelerating rate. Billions of different devices, protocols, ideas, traditions, and people interact — second by second,…

Read More