Sociobiologist Rebecca Costa on "The Watchman's Rattle" (Encore Presentation)
Whether it's the endless instability of the Middle East or the vexing reality of climate change or understanding Wall Street's complex economics, life today is getting ever-more complex. How will this complexity ultimately affect society? What happens when life becomes literally too complicated for human beings? On this encore edition of ST, we listen back to an interesting discussion with an expert on these matters. Our guest is Rebecca Costa, a sociobiologist who says our knowledge of daily events and realities is expanding faster than our brains' ability to process that information. Costa is the author of "The Watchman's Rattle: A Radical New Theory of Collapse," which examines certain historic civilizations and how they fell apart in the past; the book finds commonalities between those cultures and ours today. Ancient Mayan, Khmeri, and Roman culture were all plagued by gridlock between political factions, and also by societal complexities stemming from not understanding the difference between empirical facts and unproven beliefs. Sound familiar? A fresh and far-ranging thinker who's been likened to Malcolm Gladwell, Costa strives to offer super memes to combat society's growing complexity and complications. We spoke with her just before a pair of talks she gave here at TU earlier this year.