Applied Big History Book

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

Applied Big History:

A Guide for Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Other Living Things

By William Grassie


  1. Thriving in a Complex World

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

  1. The Great Matrix

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

  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. Death and Taxes

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

  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. Existential Challenges

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

  1. 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


Applied Big History is a guidebook to doing good and well in the Anthropocene. William Grassie builds a lattice work of diverse disciplines—physics, chemistry, geology, cell biology, energetics, informatics, evolution, anthropology, psychology, economics, complexity, chaos, discovery, and innovation—with a practical eye to how these new sciences can help us better understand and better practice economics, business, and finance in a rapidly changing world. Applied Big History weaves many specializations together in a useful framework that you can use every day in your work and in your life.

Available on Amazon