Doug Bedell — October 16, 2012, 10:32 am

A ‘Cheery’ New Book on Avoiding Disasters

We’re not book reviewers, not really. But here’s a new title that caught our eye, and we’ll let Amazon’s synopsis serve as a review for what seems a highly pertinent new work: Bak’s Sand Pile: Strategies for a Catastrophic World. The author, Ted G. Lewis, holds that dire happenings, or Black Swan, events are “really predictable and getting worse as we live in a more connected and interdependent world.”

Says Amazon of the work: “Ted Lewis explains the pattern of catastrophes and their underlying cause. In a provocative tour of a volatile world, he guides the reader through mega-fires, fragile power grids, mismanaged telecommunication systems, global terrorist movements, migrating viruses, volatile markets and Internet storms. Modern societies want to avert catastrophes, but the drive to make things faster, cheaper, and more efficient leads to self-organized criticality-the condition of systems on the verge of disaster…

“To avoid annihilation but allow for progress, we must change the ways in which we understand the patterns and manage systems. Bak’s Sand Pile explains how.”

Sounds like a cheery, highly pertinent work.

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