The questions I mostly frequently ask myself are "How does anything good scale?" and "How is anything good and large-scale sustained?"

The most trivial answer to this is "Markets and incentives!" which is not wrong, but also seems like an underwhelming answer. Markets and incentives do solve many coordination problems and have reduced large amounts of suffering. However, they also seem to have limits in terms of their predictive power. I would like to read books which discuss how cooperation can be leveraged when incentivized markets (free from rent-seeking!) are insufficient.

In "Mission Economy", Marianna Mazzucato claims cooperation flourishes outside of markets when the government needs to explicitly define missions. She uses The Apollo Mission as an example, but this answer felt slightly under-specified. By the end of the book, I couldn't distinguish a good "mission" from a bad one. Even worse, I can't even tell if a mission is being carried out badly, other than ham-fistedly comparing it to The Apollo Mission, even though there's a ton of vague prose spent on the topic.

What books should I read to get a better pragmatic understanding? Is there a “handbook for social change” regardless of scale?

Some candidates I'm currently considering:

  • The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger by Mark Levinson
  • A historical book about water treatment, electricity distribution or libraries?
  • A historical overview of unions. Supposedly unions have driven a number of beneficial labour reforms, but they also can result in stagnation and corruption?
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And I decided to take up organizing activities. I studied a lot of useful information with the help of https://create.vista.com/solutions-for/event/. But I would like to hear advice from the current organizers on how to develop in this direction. Maybe you can recommend some books.

Not quite what you're looking for, but if you've got a default sense that coordination is hard, Jessica Taylor has a evocatively named post Coordination isn't hard.

I do appreciate her disambiguation and would also like answers to the questions in her conclusion!

Sounds like Order Without Law is relevant, but probably not quite what you're looking for. Comments on that pointed me at (IIRC) Ostrom's "Governing the Commons", which also sounds relevant but I haven't read it.

My friends have recommended:

  1. Reading Elinor Ostrom to get a theoretical grounding.
  2. "Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty" by Acemoglu & Robinson

“The Evolution of Cooperation” is just wonderful. It fits the description and I think it's exactly what you need. Do you think it's worth trying your hand at software development? I want to, but I understand that the market is already a little crowded. I read an article on https://sirinsoftware.com/industries/industrial-automation-solutions-bringing-the-future-within-your-reach/ about programming and I realized that this is mine. I want to become a top programmer :)

Not sure how it's relevant, but that link doesn't seem to point to the right place.

I am interested in books on this topic as well  However, the answer to the original question does not seem that mysterious to me. Most evolutionary psychologists describe the mechanisms of cooperation that made it possible for humans to grow increasingly large organizations (tribes, city states, corporations, nation states) aligned behind some commonality. The forces that make people agree to cooperate don't seem to matter that much. Once there is a social contract in place and a hierarchy of leadership, people align themselves behind objectives that seem important. It seems natural that groups of people would build stadiums, churches, political parties, trade mechanisms, armies, factories, roads, etc. I would ask a complementary question: what would you need to disrupt or remove in order to make it very hard for humans to build things at scale?

Suppose you wanted to build, say, a bridge. Knowing how to create the agreements necessary in order to do that might be 'solving a coordination problem' without necessarily being 'why is it natural for these problems to get solved'.

I noticed that this book just came out, and might be relevant. I will probably read it at some point and report back.

https://www.amazon.com/Voltage-Effect-Ideas-Great-Scale/dp/B0979KTYJR/

1Sean Aubin9mo
Started reading this book and made it to chapter 3 before giving up. Mostly ends up being a tour of various pitfalls when pursuing something ambitious. For example: * Your data can come from a fraudulent source. * Confirmation bias can blind you to potential sources of failure. These points felt obvious/familiar and I was hoping for a more systematic treatment.
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I also want to know the answer to this question

“The Evolution of Cooperation” is just wonderful. It fits the description and I think it's exactly what you need. And I decided to take up organizing activities. I studied a lot of useful information with the help of https://create.vista.com/solutions-for/event/. But I would like to hear advice from the current organizers on how to develop in this direction. Maybe you can recommend some books.

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