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This is a book about the great movements facing our world civilization. Reading this book is like standing on a hillside during the great 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and watching the tsunami coming ashore. It is about those events that are clearly coming and that will destroy much of what we formerly valued but will probably leave even greater things for the survivors.

The Great Questions of Tomorrow by David Rothkopf is a book for courageous people who are not afraid to look at dismal things and see opportunities rather than mourn over the destruction. It was written by the editor and CEO of Foreign Policy magazine and is as authoritative a description of modern political realities as you are likely to read. Rothkopf comes to us with his political leanings but he does write with a decades-long Washington insider’s authority.

Assuming that you are not in an actual war zone during a battle the future is still going to be very disruptive. The causes are obvious and we must face them and be willing to adapt quickly. If we can do that and avoid being crushed by a giant Monty Python-like foot, things will be wonderful. If we cling to our past and refuse to face our new realities and adapt to them, we will suffer. That’s Rothkopf’s message. However, when it comes to the specifics of how to adapt, the book offers only generalities.

Some simple questions every eighteen-year-old must ask themselves: Is it better to get a college education or stay out of debt? What is an occupation that will offer the greatest long-term benefits and security? Should I go into debt buying a home? If I can’t get into an Ivy League university should I go into debt to get a local Junior College degree? Those are the questions facing a young person today.

Using my analogy of the great Tōhoku earthquake tsunami, “which way I should run to avoid destruction?” Just saying “don’t panic but adapt quickly” doesn’t help much. I like Nassim Taleb‘s book Antifragile because it gives practical advice within his general theory of how to construct one’s life with a structure that will permit probable survival and success no matter what happens.

The Great Question of Tomorrow is … How to survive and prosper in chaos.

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