Applied Big History

Applied Big History

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Applied Big History:

A Guide for Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Other Living Things

by William Grassie

With a Foreword by Mitch Julis

Cover Photo Credit: NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Suomi NPP VIIRS data from Miguel Román, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center


Table of Contents

Foreword by Mitch Julis, Canyon Partners

1. Thriving in a Complex World

Out Performing the Market/ Caveat Emptor/ Applied Big History/ Wikipedia

2. The Great Matrix

Size/ Time/ Matter/ Energetics/ Electromagnetism/ Sound/ Information-Ingenuity/ Sentience-Intelligence/ Evolved Cultural Hierarchies/ Emergent Complexity/ A Multi-Dimensional Matrix

3. The Economy of a Single Cell

The Central Bank of Chemistry/ The Currency of Life/ New Business models/ The First Agricultural Revolution/ The First Industrial Revolution/ The Whole Economy of Nature

4. Complexity Economics

‘All Hell Breaks Loose’/ Big Money/ Short and Long-Term Oscillations/ Scaling Effects/ Complex Adaptive Systems/ Complicated versus Complex/ The Fluid Dynamics of Markets/ Natural and Economic Selection

5. Death and Taxes

Energy Density Flow/ Goldilocks Gradients/ Energy Regimes/ Instability and Resilience

6. Your Hunter-Gatherer Brain

A Really Great Ape/The Great Cooperators/What We Don’t Know/Survival/Reproduction/Gendered Differences/The Cognitive Revolution/Stone Age Brains/Divided Self/System 1 and System 2/Luck of the Genes/Our Inner Demons/Our Better Angels/Elephant Morality/Caveats and Cautions

7. The Big Lollapaloozas

Welcome to the Anthropocene/ The Secret of Our Success/ Collective Learning/ Network Effects/ Imaginary Worlds and Artificial Instincts/ Energy Capture/ Information-Ingenuity Capture/ Gene-Culture Coevolution of Collective Brains

8. Existential Challenges

Anthropogenic Existential Risks/ Natural Existential Risks/ Case Study: Peak Humanity/ Case Study: Climates Change/ Useless Arithmetic/ Next Great Leap

9. The Bottom Line

Creating and Capturing Value/ Parasites or Symbionts/ Species of Specialization/ Little Bets and Big Wins/ Picking Winners/ Diversification/ The Alphas and the Rest of Us/ Teams work/ Inventing the Future/ Bad Things Happen to Good Investors/ Disaster Preparedness/ Investing in Values/ Universal Values/ Impact Investing/ Our Big Future/ Bottom Line


About the Author


ISBN-10: 171985307X

ISBN-13: 978-1719853071

229 pages  

Applied Big History: A Guide for Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Other Living Things by William Grassie is now available on Amazon Books.

Applied Big History is a guidebook to doing good and well in a fast-changing world. With the help of numerous experts, author William Grassie builds a latticework of diverse disciplines—physics, chemistry, geology, cell biology, energetics, informatics, evolution, anthropology, psychology, economics, and more. Grassie explores the significance of chaos and complexity, and the dynamics of discovery and innovation, in evolution and economics. He does so with a practical eye to how these new sciences can help better understand and better practice economics, business, and finance in the face of uncertainties. Applied Big History weaves many specializations together in a useful framework that you can use every day in your work and in your life.

The book includes a foreword by Mitch Julis, co-founder of Canyon Partners, a hedge fund with $25 billion under management. Julis writes:

Applied Big History does macro and micro. It zooms elegantly in and out, between the two throughout this engaging book by applying the general principles of acquired scientific and historical knowledge available to us today. As a result, we learn that value and wealth represent not just the flow and accumulation of money, but also stand for the fundamentals of energy, matter, and ingenuity that flow in and out of the economy and the financial system…. Grassie’s exposition is careful, concise, informative, and engaging in telling and applying this origin story to the investment world.

Who should read this book? Pretty much everybody. Big History is our common story—an origins story that transcends ethnic, political, religious, and linguistics differences. It provides a framework for understanding, debating, and solving the great challenges of our time. It provides an ennobling perspective on our lives, generating wonder, amazement, and gratitude. The applied part of Big History impacts how we conceive every career and industry, every academic discipline and vocation, every problem and opportunity. Grassie’s book is unique in the field for exploring Big History as to its relevance to decision-making in business and finance.

William Grassie received his doctorate in religion from Temple University and his bachelor degree in political science from Middlebury College. Grassie books include: The New Sciences of Religion: Exploring Spirituality from the Outside In and Bottom Up; Politics by Other Means: Science and Religion in the Twenty-First Century; and Transhumanism and Its Critics (edited).

Applied Big History is available in paperback for $12.99 and Kindle for $4.99.

For more information, interviews, and speaking engagements, contact grassie [at] metanexus [dot] net