In his international best seller, The Situation Is Hopeless, But Not Serious, Paul Watzlawick showed us how to become unhappiness experts. Now in a new volume he turns to our strivings for ultra-solutions--those final solutions that do away with the problem and just about everything else. (A perfect ultra-solution lies in that old medical joke: "The operation was successful, but the patient died.")
As he begins this book, the author muses about the fate of Macbeth at the hands of the three witches. Their strategies led to his downfall, and--though much refined due to modern technology--are in force today. The urge for ultra-solutions has been with us since unrecorded time, and the witches are always there to offer sinister encouragement.
Sure-fire candidates for ultra-solutions emerge in such chapters as "Twice as Much Is Not Necessarily Twice as Good," "Good Can Be Bad," "Nonzero-Sum Games," "Brave Digitalized World," and "I Know Exactly What You're Thinking." Other chapters point out the dangers of security and the nature of order/disorder.
Fortunately, all can defend themselves against Hecate and her companions. While Dr. Watzlawick appears to be outlining all the ways we can "snatch failure from the jaws of success," he is, paradoxically, making us aware of the absurdity of our behavior.
About the Author
Paul Watzlawick was an associate at the Mental Research Institute, Palo Alto, and clinical professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Stanford University Medical Center. An internationally known psychologist, Watzlawick died in 2007.