problems

In Gary Shteyngart’s new novel, “Lake Success,” he tells the story of a hedge fund manager who throws in the towel and flees on a Greyhound bus for a simpler life with his childhood sweetheart. On the road, he looks to flee his problems and search for many things, including himself.

From train derailments and massive oil spills to bankruptcies and medical errors, system failures are all too common - and they’re becoming more frequent. At first glance, these failures seem to stem from very different problems.

But in their new book, Chris Clearfield and András Tilcsik reveal that surprisingly these events have a shared DNA. "Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It" is a take on how complexity causes failures in all kinds of modern systems - from social media to air travel - and reveals how we can prevent meltdowns in business and our daily lives.

Clearfield is a former derivatives trader and licensed commercial pilot, and Tilcsik holds the Canada Research Chair in Strategy, Organizations, and Society at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. Chris Clearfield joins us.

Gregg Easterbrook is the author of ten books, two of them New York Times Notable Books. He was a national correspondent for the Atlantic, and since then has been a contributing editor. He is a former visiting fellow of the Brookings Institution and a distinguished fellow of the Fulbright Foundation.

Most people who read the news would tell you that 2017 is one of the worst years in recent memory. We're facing a series of deeply troubling, even existential problems: fascism, terrorism, environmental collapse, racial and economic inequality, and more.