Most, if not all, important challenges facing humanity can be broken down as coordination problems. Whether it’s global warming, poverty or war, it’s clear that these are all problems that could be fixed provided we all agreed on a course of action and followed it (i.e. coordinated). Unfortunately, as history is testament to, our track record of doing so is mixed, often involving taking one step forward and two steps back.
The fall of the Roman Empire in AD 476 plunged the world into 1000-year long “dark ages”. Scientific, philosophical and artistic regression ensued, with even the unifying languages of Greek and Latin being forgotten such that people could no longer communicate with each other.
Throughout history, human beings have utilised a range of social technologies to address coordination issues. Successful examples include everything from religion, the nation state, money (private property rights) and markets. What these successful social technologies h