Rebecca Costa asks for a "call to arms" in new book

Back in the day, a watchman's rattle was a call to arms. Should a watchman run into any trouble, they would sound the rattler and the sleeping citizens would spring from their beds, ready to help the troubled patrolman. This was the inspiration for the title of Rebecca Costa's new book, "The Watchman's Rattle," which she said is a "call to arms" for the people of today. "We don't have the time to gather the facts and make rational decisions, and then we wonder why irrational policies are made," Costa said.

Costa states that we are in the process of making one of the biggest mistakes that has led to the collapse of other great civilizations. While her book discusses almost every major civilization of centuries past, Costa pulled the example of the Mayan civilization.

The Mayans knew about their drought for centuries, and as such, created irrigation systems, reservoirs, and underground tunnels. But when they didn't see the immediate effects of their efforts, they moved from rational decisions to irrational beliefs.

Costa said that it's important to research all these past civilizations because by studying the collapse of these civilizations, we can notice if there is a pattern, what the pattern is, and where we currently fit into that pattern.

According to Costa, what we are facing, both in the U.S. and some would argue, the world, is this idea of gridlock, or as Costas puts it, a "cognitive threshold," where instead of talking about ideas and experimenting with these ideas, we sit there and argue over what the right decision is.

When we get to this sort of gridlock, with a lack of new ideas and an excess of argument, Costa says that "we can no longer solve our problems, and then we begin replacing facts with irrational beliefs."

"It's not an economic scarcity that we are facing in the U.S. right now," Costa remarks. "It's a scarcity of ideas."

Using the midterms as an example, she asked, "Did you hear any ideas being put forth? It was all talk about getting the incumbent out, and that's not the kind of talk that's going to solve our problems."

One of the biggest things we can do, according to Costa, is tap into our higher genetic inheritance. She said that the impulses to lie, to cheat, to hoard, are instincts that are on our lower plane of genetic inheritance, and she said that it's time we tap into that higher plane that we should be at as a civilization.

Costa ended the lecture on this note: "We are a noble creature, and we can do better. But we need leaders to speak to us about the truth and what we can do to move forward, and we need to move forward in different ways."

Her book "The Watchman's Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction" is on sale now.