Overview

Why Do Some Societies Make Disastrous Decisions (while others succeed)?

Whole civilisations have collapsed throughout history. What can we learn from the experience of these other societies?

 

Jared M. Diamond is the author of Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed  (2005) He is a professor of geography and physiology at University of California, Los Angeles. He offers this 'roadmap' for failure:

 

  • First of all, a group may fail to anticipate a problem before the problem actually arrives.

 

  • Secondly, when the problem arrives, the group may fail to perceive the problem.

 

  • Then, after they perceive the problem, they may fail even to try to solve the problem.

 

  • Finally, they may try to solve it but may fail in their attempts to do so.

 

See his video here: WHY DO SOME SOCIETIES MAKE DISASTROUS DECISIONS? Jared Diamond [4.26.03] at edge.org
 

While talking about reasons for failure and collapses of society may seem pessimistic, the flip side is optimistic: perhaps if we understand the reasons why groups make bad decisions, we can use that knowledge as a check list to help groups make good decisions. 

Notes


Whole civilisations have collapsed throughout history. What can we learn from the experience of these other societies?

 

While talking about reasons for failure and collapses of society may seem pessimistic, the flip side is optimistic: perhaps if we understand the reasons why groups make bad decisions, we can use that knowledge as a check list to help groups make good decisions.

 

Jared M. Diamond  is the author of Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed  (2005) He is a professor of geography and physiology at University of California, Los Angeles.

 
Quote retrieved from: http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/diamond03/diamond_index.html