Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny

Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny - Robert Wright The author's survey on early civilizations is worth the cost of the book alone. Societies tend toward more complex organization as they spread their cultural memes. The arc of history tends towards working together by utilizing win-win situations. Constructive coordination defeats the second law of thermodynamics (entropy) for the coordinators. Yes, that's a mouthful, but the author is expert at clearly explaining it all.

The two items needed for economic development, cheap transportation and effective communication, are facilitated by higher population density leading to more growth and technological developments hence an evolving of civilizations.

The book was originally copyrighted over 10 years ago (today is 2012). The book only lost my interest when he was topical and futuristic during about 2 hours of the second half. I was ready to give up and I'm glad I didn't. The book then got really interesting by tying together his major theme on the organization of organic processes. He got into the second law of thermodynamics, and how information and the processing of that information at its core is physical.

His real theme is that cultures evolve by constructive coordination (win-win situations) but he supports that by educating the listener through historical narratives, fine points on economic theory and the importance of information processing for growth.

I enjoyed this book so much I've downloaded his next book, "The Evolution of God".