Can the way information is presented affect the quality of our decisions and even our sanity? What if our attempts to address a mental health crisis are just making things worse? How much of the destruction do we see in the world stem from misunderstanding the nature of our own intelligence and instead of cultivating intelligence we are cultivating short-sightedness? Are there real factors and forces that are keeping us from being able to make sense of our lives? And if so, what can we do to overcome them? Are there design principles for engineering sanity or insanity into the technologies we interact with every day? Could we engineer technology to amplify the kind of intelligence we need to make sense of our lives and even ultimately survive as a species?
Starting from first principles in cognitive science, Race Against Insanity reveals with new clarity the untapped power of natural human intelligence and how to identify the every day forces that are holding it back.
Through the careful synthesis of crucial scientific findings across multiple fields including brain science, linguistics, physics, psychology, and computer science, Race Against Insanity brings to light information that challenges conventional assumptions about the human mind and information systems to give way to a new framework for understanding.
In this pioneering work, Race Against Insanity doesn't just demonstrate that we are smarter than we think. Most importantly, it provides a blueprint for how technology can amplify our natural intelligence by orders of magnitude, giving us an unprecedented capacity to solve our own problems and restore sanity to the world.
Jill Nephew is the founder of Inqwire, PBC a company on a mission to help the world make sense. The Inqwire project takes Jill's background in creating tools and models to help people think about complex systems, and applies it to the mother of all complex systems - the human mind.
The designing of the Inqwire system, required her to attempt to answer a fundamental question: how does technology interact with the mind's ability to make sense, and what are the principles that technology should follow to maximize natural intelligence and self-efficacy?
Her 7 year journey to answer these questions took her across an expanse of research. What she saw was that in every field she examined; natural science and policy, psychology, sociology, artificial intelligence, computer science, linguistics, information science, philosophy, history, statistics, and neuroscience, researchers were each in their own way revealing the same systematic errors in human thinking that are leading us towards a future of greater suffering.
In this cross discipline hunt for answers, she revealed a powerful story of hope for the escape from preventable human suffering with the revival of human spirit and the restoration of self efficacy.
Jill brings a diverse science and engineering background to this book. She has worked as an engineer developing tools, platforms, and software languages to integrate complex systems and help people find solutions to complex, real world problems. She developed algorithms and models in the area of constraint based optimization (Artificial Intelligence) to help people schedule, plan and forecast across large supply, manufacturing, and distribution systems.
She has modeled a variety of complex physical systems, such as drug binding, motorized motion control, disease kinetics, protein folding and drug binding dynamics, atmospheric pollution transit, human articulated movement, and how complex fluids behave under different conditions, where her investigations revealed a new mechanism for spontaneous pattern formation.
In part 1 we journey across various domains of science to collect and examine the most powerful evidence and arguments for defining what making sense is, what blocks it, what enhances it, and how it affects us individually and collectively.
In part 2, we look at technology's role in our ability to make sense and create a world that makes sense as well as reveal a blueprint for how we could engineer technology to work around biological limitations to enhance and accelerate our ability to make sense both individually and collectively.