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The ingenuity gap : facing the economic, environmental, and other challenges of an increasingly complex and unpredictable world

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Despite all of society’s advances, our problems proliferate. Wars abound, environmental degradation accelerates, economies topple overnight, and pandemics such as AIDS and tuberculosis continue to spread. The Internet and other media help to disseminate knowledge, but they’ve also created an “info-glut” and left us too little time to process it. What’s more, advances in technology have made the world so bewilderingly fast-paced and complex that fewer people are able even to grasp the problems, let alone generate solutions. That space between the problems that arise and our ability to solve them is “the ingenuity gap,” and as we careen towards an increasingly harried and hectic future, the gap seems only to widen.As he explores the possible consequences of this gap, Thomas Homer-Dixon offers an absorbing assessment of the state of the world and our ability to fix it. Culling from an astounding array of fields–from economics to evolution, political science to paleontology, computers to communications –he integrates his vast knowledge into an accessible and engaging argument. This is a book with profound implications for everyone that we can ill afford to ignore.

Thomas Homer-Dixon is Director of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program and Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Environment, Scarcity, and Violence. He lives in Toronto.From the Hardcover edition.

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