Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny Reprint Edition
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In Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, Wright asserts that, ever since the primordial ooze, life has followed a basic pattern. Organisms and human societies alike have grown more complex by mastering the challenges of internal cooperation. Wright's narrative ranges from fossilized bacteria to vampire bats, from stone-age villages to the World Trade Organization, uncovering such surprises as the benefits of barbarian hordes and the useful stability of feudalism. Here is history endowed with moral significance?a way of looking at our biological and cultural evolution that suggests, refreshingly, that human morality has improved over time, and that our instinct to discover meaning may itself serve a higher purpose. Insightful, witty, profound, Nonzero offers breathtaking implications for what we believe and how we adapt to technology's ongoing transformation of the world.
- ASIN : 0679758941
- Publisher : Vintage; Reprint edition (January 9, 2001)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 448 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780679758945
- ISBN-13 : 978-0679758945
- Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.1 x 1 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #148,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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As used in this book, game theory seems to involve the study of interactions between two entities (say people, or family groups, or some larger unit). Most of the time these interactions work out so that one person or group wins at the expense of the other. However, in some situations it is possible for both of the units to lose, that is to have an outcome that is not favorable for either. Other times, if they manage the interaction well, there can be a positive outcome for both units. This is the origin of the term ‘win-win situation.’ Sometimes the win for one party may not be as good as it is for the other party, but overall the total outcome of the interaction will be better than the total outcome of the win-lose situation, and certainly better than the outcome of the lose-lose option.
The author then goes on to theorize that these non-zero-sum outcomes (the win-win ones) can if skillfully managed, build on each other so that societies of increasing non-zero-sumness, as well as increasing complexity result.
There are a lot of implications of this theory which he goes into in some detail. One of these is an explanation of how swell things like greed, anger, and war have fueled increasingly complicated technology over the years, with the net result of improved societies worldwide. However, don’t worry too much about this. He also notes that we are now at a stage where more greed and war are becoming counter-productive, and we need to use our collective creativity to come up with new technologies, or new ways to use old ones, so that we can continue to advance rather than destroying ourselves altogether. (Note that ‘technology’ in this book is not limited to computers or even machines, but includes such things as how two groups of people manage their relations with each other).
The most compelling case is made for Cultural Evolution, Followed by Biological Evolution, and a distant third for Intelligent Design. Given that Cultural Evolution is currently on the threshold of a paradigm shift which we and our children will impact and be impacted by this discussion alone is worth the price of the book! There is an entire other sociology book waiting to be written on what options we as a species should consider as this paradigm shift (or singularity) approaches....Sadly Prof. Wright's spends very little time here and his prescriptions are less than heartening. Nonetheless the strong case he makes for the directional nature of Cultural Evolution and the divergent possible outcomes this represents are fascinating independently of whether one buys his arguments (or those of Stephen Jay Gould) regarding Biological Evolution.... for as the title of this review says..."Yet here we are with our Brains switched on!" as any readers is likely to be after finishing this book.
Top reviews from other countries
Wright`s over all conclusion; is that the advancement of human evolution and progress, will lead to the development of a world government. A world government will be the pinnacle of humanities social evolution. This is where, I came into a strong case of disagreement with the author. Wright ignores examples like; the successful Swiss government model of decentralization and massive big government corruption at places like the UN. I am sure a lot of potential readers, support the idea of a world government. In which case, you will want to give Wright`s book a five star rating.
Over all, I loved reading this book. I did however, have strong reservations with the Wright`s final conclusion.
Ich habe es nur auf Englisch finden können.
Es ist aber auch so faszinierend, weil es die Geschichte der Menscheit so ganz anders erzählt.
Es ist aber kein Geschichtsbuch, sondern ein philosphischer Ansatz der der Entwicklung der Menschheit eine Bedeutung und Richtung zu geben versucht.
Ein spannender und überaus lesenswerter Beitrag zur Globalisierungsdebatte: