PhD. Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Marketing, Schulich School of Business, and Executive Director Schulich Executive Education Centre (SEEC) – 2001-2020
“At this time when humanity faces so many challenges: climate; use and abuse of technology in all areas from communication to gene manipulation; re-emergence of unthinking tribalism and political discord, citizens, thinkers and researchers in all disciplines need a wake up call to question how they see the world. Tom Beakbane’s work sets us in the right direction. An important contribution to society’s needed bottom up thinking and action.”
“Very impressive…. and very important.” More…
Creativity expert & author of the bestselling book, Think Better: An Innovator’s Guide to Productive Thinking
“Mark Twain famously said, “An expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less, until finally he knows everything about nothing.” Tom Beakbane’s Consilience breaks the compulsive paradigm of parsing knowledge into ever smaller grains, segregated in suffocating silos. Beakbane’s driving prose demonstrates that true wisdom lies in the power of connecting ideas from different domains, not quarantining them. I am still vibrating from the power of this book.” More…
Veteran Globe and Mail, National Post writer and editor
“What I love about this book is not just the answer it presents but the journey it describes. Tom not only spent decades searching for truth, he pushed himself to the point where he reached an illuminating destination. Readers who share in this journey will be amply rewarded.”
Michael Bungay Stanier
Author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller The Coaching Habit
“I raised my eyebrows when I read the title of this book… and found it provocative and delightful. Beakbane’s knowledge is wide, his prose is clear, and his ability to make connections is powerful. I’m wiser for having finished this book.” More…
Screenwriter and lifelong learner
“This is the most sophisticated, eloquent, exciting, mind-expanding non-fiction book I’ve ever read! It’s certainly the best researched. More…
Ph.D., Dipl.-Ing., Aerospace Engineering
“When I first read the title “How to Understand Everything” I wasn’t sure of the subject matter because I didn’t know what ‘Consilience’ was. Within the first chapters, I embarked on a journey through science, history, neurophysiology, philosophy as well as social intricacies of our daily lives.
In a thought-provoking way, Tom illustrates the complexities of human behaviour and the role communication plays in our lives. Tom combines personal examples as well as a wealth of scientific facts and knowledge to show the reader a mirror of society, making one think and analyze one’s own role and behaviour in life.
Tom vividly describes that life cannot be understood through distinct disciplines and knowledge of specifics. One must apply a multidisciplinary, holistic approach and the situational awareness of the journey that makes the difference to the outcome of any endeavour.”
C. H. Tomkinson
Corporate Finance Editor
“Take it one chapter at a time, then pause to let it sink in. Sleep on it. Finish it. Make your friends read it. Discussing it will enrich your Zoom socials much more effectively than swapping lockdown platitudes (again). This is a very, very long way from dip-in dip-out philosophy and shallow life advice.”
Corporate team-fixing consultant
“I wish I had written this book! My work over thirty-plus years as a facilitator of others’ conversations has repeatedly shown me the challenge of finding a common view that a group or team can use to move their collective endeavour forward. I didn’t write the book, but I’m really glad I read it.
The world is constantly challenged with multiple problems, many of them underpinned by how we think and the narrative we adhere to. Tribalism is at the heart of many of the greatest tests humankind has faced and Tom Beakbane unpacks this reality and offers a fresh, science-based argument about how this comes about and how we can reframe our individual and collective responses to what goes on in the media, in conversation and in society.
Tom’s writing style is refreshing, even when explaining complex topics such as the interplay between the human body’s many elements. Expect to be challenged and delighted by useful metaphors (the neuronal orchestra being a favourite of mine), a cat called Tipsy and fascinating topics such as the Mandelbrot set that lead to searches on YouTube for more information.
This book challenges many long-held positions in the sciences, education, philosophy, religion and society and offers an approach to thinking and dialogue that starts not from the top but from the bottom up. There are sure to be some who will be offended and outraged and others who will be enlightened and stimulated. I hope this book lights enough fires in enough minds that it starts a bottom-up revolution.”
PhD. materials & mechanical engineering, Cambridge University (UK) and entrepreneur
“I was easily hooked by Tom’s book. A refreshing, thought provoking way to look at science and other realms of life.”
Principal – PHA Consulting Associates, solid waste expert
“Mr. Beakbane takes us on a romp through the frontiers and some of the back-alleys of science, math, psychology and much more in this fast-paced volume. Much like the neurons that define our existence, the pages and chapters of the book fire ideas and spark perceptions that link seemingly unrelated subject matter and open up new ways of understanding how we perceive ourselves and our environment.
Replete with examples and personal experiences, How to Understand Everything is not about what we “should” understand, but about what it is that causes us to understand things in the ways that we do. Throughout, Mr. Beakbane challenges us to think not simply in terms of what we have been taught, but in terms of what we experience and to understand that experience in terms of how our bodies and our culture have evolved. In the end, Mr. Beakbane challenges us to think – a sadly necessary challenge in this age of false news, fake news, alternative facts and a general dumbing down of intellectual capacity that seems to pervade much of our society.”
P.Eng, entrepreneur, business leader
“It grabbed me… any small business owner or someone running a division or company of less that $300 million must read this book… others could benefit – but most of the big players think they have all the answers anyway – unless they take their ‘wake up call’! “
Technical Specialist at Thales
“Consilience is a perfect excuse to smash the too-well-organized ideologies and see what interesting new concepts emerge. We are to a large extent prisoner of the models we create using our senses. They serve us well on a day-to-day basis, why would it be different with science, theology and philosophy? Numerous free thinkers were laughed at while they were alive – only to become recognized later. The same goes for schools of thinking and increasingly narrow academic fields. Consilience is certainly a worthwhile exercise.”
P.Eng, Managing Director
“Tom Beakbane’s new book How to Understand Everything is a fun and challenging read. Fun because of the personal stories and anecdotes that Tom shares. Challenging because the book dares us to reexamine what we believe and ask ourselves why we believe it. From discussions about how our brain or eyes work, to what makes company cultures strong and effective, to faith, this book got me thinking.”
“At first when I saw the title I thought, well that is going to be quite a challenge to understand, literally, everything? Yet the fairly short book really did touch on just about everything and it was enlightening. I really enjoyed how it dissected pretty much every aspect of life, whether it be science, biology, evolution, politics, religion, industry etc., and outlined how integrated they are, how they overlap and relate. It makes so much sense that things work and should be approached from the bottom up instead of the reverse.”
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