Book Info
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What's Our Problem? book image
Political Science

What's Our Problem?

By Tim Urban

book iconWait But Why


From the creator of the wildly popular blog Wait But Why, a fun and fascinating deep dive into what the hell is going on in our strange, unprecedented modern times.

Between 2013 and 2016, Tim Urban became one of the world’s most popular bloggers, writing dozens of viral, long-form articles about everything from AI to colonizing Mars to procrastination. Then, he turned his attention to a new topic: the society around him. Why was everything such a mess? Why was everyone acting like such a baby? When did things get so tribal? Why do humans do this stuff?

This massive topic sent Tim tumbling down his deepest rabbit hole yet, through mountains of history, evolutionary psychology, political theory, neuroscience, and modern-day political movements, as he tried to figure out the answer to a simple question: What’s our problem?

Six years later, he emerged from the hole holding this book. What’s Our Problem? is a deep and expansive analysis of our modern times, in the classic style of Wait But Why, packed with original concepts, sticky metaphors, and 300 drawings. The book provides an entirely new framework and language for thinking and talking about today’s complex world. Instead of focusing on the usual left-center-right horizontal political axis, which is all about what we think, the book introduces a vertical axis that explores how we think, as individuals and as groups. Readers will find themselves on a delightful and fascinating journey that will ultimately change the way they see the world around them.

Anyway he wanted to say a lot more about all of this but there was a word limit on this book description so just go read the book.

Summary by AI

What's Our Problem? by Tim Urban

Author's Background:

  • Tim Urban is a blogger and entrepreneur known for his popular blog, Wait But Why.

Main Theme:

  • The book explores the challenges and opportunities facing humanity in the 21st century.

Key Points:

  • The Fermi Paradox: Why haven't we found evidence of extraterrestrial life?
  • The Great Filter: What obstacles might prevent civilizations from reaching advanced stages of development?
  • The Singularity: The potential for artificial intelligence to surpass human intelligence.
  • The Meaning of Life: How to find purpose and fulfillment in a rapidly changing world.
  • The Future of Humanity: Possible scenarios for the future of our species.


  • Positive:
    • Praised for its thought-provoking ideas and engaging writing style.
    • Received positive reviews from critics and readers alike.
  • Negative:
    • Some critics argue that the book is too speculative and lacks concrete solutions.
    • Others find the author's tone to be overly pessimistic.

Who Should Read It:

  • Anyone interested in the future of humanity and the challenges we face.
  • Readers who enjoy thought-provoking and speculative non-fiction.
  • Individuals seeking a deeper understanding of the meaning of life and their place in the universe.


Emily Perea Córdoba
Peter Trizuliak
Yuya Uzu



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