Suggested Books

1) “System Effects” by Robert Jervis – Excellent review of how complex adaptive systems theories apply to social science

2) “War and Peace and War: The Rise and Fall of Empires” by Peter Turchin – Recurring patterns in history

3) “The Collapse of Complex Societies” by Joseph Tainter – Similar to Turchin’s book, but more focused on how increasing complexity plants the seeds of future collapse

4) “Why Intelligence Fails” by Robert Jervis – Of the many books written about intelligence failures, this is one of the best

5) “Military Misfortunes: The Anatomy of Failure in War” by Eliot Cohen – A classic description of the main sources of strategic failure in military history

6) “Sensemaking: A structure for An Intelligence Revolution” by David Moore – Excellent review of the process that is critical to maintaining situation awareness and making good decisions in the face of dynamic uncertainty

7) “Expert Political Judgment” by Philip Tetlock. – An excellent, and humbling, analysis of the limits of predictive skill in complex adaptive systems

8) “The Nature of Technology” by W. Brian Arthur -- A very readable and stimulating overview of what technology is and how it evolves

9) “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman – Classic review of how System 1 and System 2 reasoning affects our lives

10) “The Logic of Failure” by Dietrich Dorner – Classic discussion of why human beings find dealing with complex adaptive systems so difficult

11) “The Square and the Tower” by Niall Ferguson – A new and thorough review on the powerful influence of different types of networks throughout history

12) “Forewarned: A Sceptic’s Guide to Prediction”, by Paul Goodwin – A thorough and readable overview of challenges to anticipation

13) “Seeing What Others Don’t” by Gary Klein – A highly engaging account of where insights come from

14) “The Black Swan” by Nassim Taleb – The first book in Taleb’s excellent four volume series on the nature of uncertainty and how to cope with it

15) “Flirting with Disaster” by Mark Gerstein – Engaging review of how many disasters provide early warning signals

16) “Crashes, Crises, and Calamities” by Len Fisher – Another excellent discussion of how weak signals frequently precede calamities

17) “Warnings” by Richard Clarke and R.P. Eddy – Told through a series of case examples, this is an outstanding review of the challenge posed by warnings from Cassandras

18) “The Signal and the Noise” by Nate Silver – An excellent book on prediction, particularly quantitative approaches

19) “Superforecasting” by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner – How the Good Judgment Project team won the U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Project Activity’s four-year forecasting tournament, and the lessons we can learn from them

20) “Models. Behaving. Badly.” by Emanuel Derman – A short and engaging summary of the pleasures and dangers of quantitative modeling

21) “Only Humans Need Apply” by Thomas Davenport and Julia Kirby – One of the best recent books on the implications of rapidly evolving artificial intelligence technologies