Do we live in an adequate world?

A new exploration of systemic failure and uncommon success.

Now available in print and ebook formats from Amazon, on iBooks, and as “pay-what-you-want” digital download. All products are DRM-free.

Book photo, Inadequate Equilibria: Where and How Civilizations Get Stuck, by Eliezer Yudkowsky

About the book

When should you think that you may be able to do something unusually well?

Whether you’re trying to outperform in science, or in business, or just in finding good deals on eBay, it’s important that you have a sober understanding of your relative competencies.

The story only ends there, however, if you’re fortunate enough to live in an adequate civilization.

Eliezer Yudkowsky’s Inadequate Equilibria is a sharp and lively guidebook for anyone questioning when and how they can know better, and do better, than the status quo. Freely mixing debates on the foundations of rational decision-making with tips for everyday life, Yudkowsky explores the central question of when we can (and can’t) expect to spot systemic inefficiencies, and exploit them.


Headshot of Brian Caplan

“Every society is screwed up. Eliezer Yudkowsky is one of the few thinkers on Earth who’s trying, at the most general level, to understand why.”

—Bryan Caplan
Professor of Economics at George Mason University
Author, “The Myth of the Rational Voter”

Headshot of Scott Aaronson

Inadequate Equilibria is a little gem of a book: wise, funny, and best of all useful. Eliezer Yudkowsky and I haven’t always agreed about everything, but on the subject of bureaucracies and how they fail, his insights are gold. This book is one of the finest things he’s written. It helped me reflect on my own choices in life, and it will help you reflect on yours.”

—Scott Aaronson
David J. Bruton Jr. Centennial Professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas
Author, “Quantum Computing Since Democritus”