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The Upside of Down : Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization - Thomas Homer-Dixon

The Upside of Down

Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization

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Environmental disasters. Terrorist wars. Energy scarcity. Economic failure. Is this the world's inevitable fate, a downward spiral that ultimately spells the collapse of societies? Perhaps, says acclaimed author Thomas Homer-Dixon - or perhaps these crises can actually lead to renewal for ourselves and planet earth.

The Upside of Down takes the reader on a mind-stretching tour of societies' management, or mismanagement, of disasters over time. From the demise of ancient Rome to contemporary climate change, this spellbinding book analyzes what happens when multiple crises compound to cause what the author calls "synchronous failure." But, crisis doesn't have to mean total global calamity. Through catagenesis, or creative, bold reform in the wake of breakdown, it is possible to reinvent our future.

Drawing on the worlds of archeology, poetry, politics, science, and economics, The Upside of Down is certain to provoke controversy and stir imaginations across the globe. The author's wide-ranging expertise makes his insights and proposals particularly acute, as people of all nations try to grapple with how we can survive tomorrow's inevitable shocks to our global system. There is no guarantee of success, but there are ways to begin thinking about a better world, and The Upside of Down is the ideal place to start thinking.

Industry Reviews

"Thomas Homer-Dixon [is] one of the best-in-formed and most brilliant writers on global affairs today." - THE GUARDIAN "Homer-Dixon succeeds admirably...in explaining exactly why modern stresses are so worrisome and the outcome that neglect could cause." - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY "Anyone who wants to get serious about the defense of civilization had better read The Upside of Down." - JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER, AUTHOR OF THE LONG EMERGENCY AND THE GEOGRAPHY OF NOWHERE "For over a decade, Thomas Homer-Dixon has provided that rare thing: a bridge between leading-edge research and the lay reader." - ROBERT D. KAPLAN, AUTHOR OF IMPERIAL GRUNTS AND BALKAN GHOSTS"

Prologue: Firestormp. 1
San Francisco, Thursday, April 19, 1906
Rome, Tuesday, May 13, 2003
The White Wall
Tectonic Stressesp. 9
Synchronous Failure
Beyond Management
From Crash to Creativity
The Prospective Mind
A Keystone in Timep. 31
The Thermodynamics of Empire
A Stone's Journey
Colosseum Calories
Energy Return on Investment
The Exigencies of Energy
We Are like Running Waterp. 57
Demographic Momentum
No Land Is an Island
Growth's Consequences
So Long, Cheap Slavesp. 77
From Geopolitics to Geoscarcity
Oil's Peak
Where Are the Giants?
"The World Economy Has No Plan B"
Earthquakep. 101
Negative Synergy
Connectivity and Speed
A Clausewitz of Complexity
Boundary Jumping
Flesh of the Landp. 129
Stages of Denial
Beyond the Horizon
Squeezed in a Vise
The Anthropocene
Hollow Societies
Closing the Windowsp. 153
Kilimanjaro's Retreat
Confidence Game
Back Casting
Momentum and Feedback
Walking toward a Cliff
Frayed Networks
No Equilibriump. 177
Heading for the Exits
Income Gap
The Dirty Little Secret of Development Economics
Curious Fixation
Cultivating Discontent
The Growth Imperative
Clouded Hope
Cycles within Cyclesp. 207
Licensing Denial
Why Don't We Face Reality?
Diminishing Returns
Overextending the Growth Phase
Disintegrationp. 235
Checkerboard Landscape
Energy Subsidy
Ruthless Extraction
Holland Times Ten
Motivation, Opportunity, and Framing
Power Shift
A Shattered Sphere
Catagenesisp. 265
A Watch List
Moments of Contingency
Open Source
Ballbek: The Last Rockp. 297
Notesp. 311
Illustration Creditsp. 405
Acknowledgmentsp. 413
Indexp. 417
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781597260657
ISBN-10: 1597260657
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 448
Published: 1st October 2006
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.13 x 15.24  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.62