A necessary and thought-provoking read for the age of coronavirus, exploring eleven scenarios that may trigger the collapse of the modern world — from pandemics to nuclear apocalypse to robot uprisings — and what we can do to prevent and survive them.
In the twenty first century, our world has become impossibly complicated, relying on ever more advanced technology that is developing at an exponential rate. Yet it is a fact of mathematical life that higher and higher levels of complexity lead to systems that are increasingly fragile and susceptible to sudden, spectacular collapse.
In this highly provocative and grippingly readable book, John Casti brilliantly argues that today’s advanced, overly complex societies have grown highly vulnerable to extreme events that will ultimately topple civilization like a house of cards. Like Nassim Taleb’s The Black Swan meets Jared Diamond’s Collapse, Casti’s book provides a much-needed wake-up call, sounding a fascinating and frightening warning about civilized society’s inability to recover from a global catastrophe.
An eye-opening and necessary read, X-Events is a shocking look at a world teetering on the brink of collapse, and a population under constant threat from pandemic viruses, worldwide communication breakdowns, nuclear winter, or any number of unforeseeable “X-Events.” Fascinating and chilling, X-Events provides a provocative tour of the catastrophic outlier scenarios that could quickly send us crashing back to the preindustrial age – and shows that they may not be as far-fetched as they seem.
About the Author
American complexity scientist and systems theoristJohn Casti, is cofounder of The X-Center, a Viennabasedresearch institute focusing on human-causedextreme events and how to anticipate them. Casti haspublished nearly twenty volumes of academic and popularscience and received his Ph.D. in mathematics from theUniversity of Southern California. He lives in Vienna,Austria.
“I am assiduous reader of John Casti’s books. He is a real scientific intellectual.”
— NASSIM NICHOLAS TALEB, author of The Black Swan
“One of America’s greatest pioneers of simulation.”
— London Times
“Casti is at his best in presenting difficult philosophical ideas enthusiastically and lucidly, and in presenting everyday examples to illustrate them. ... Entertaining and absorbing.”
— New York Times Book Review
“Dazzling ... A delightful tour de force ... Casti [is] a good teacher.”
— Los Angeles Times
“I can vouchsafe that X-Events is a book worth reading. Casti is a great author ... will be of great interest.”
— JAMES WESLEY, RAWLES, SurvivorBlog.com