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Brian Klaas on chance, chaos, and why everything we do matters

Have you everwonderedwhat would change if you could rewind your life and redo one small moment? Brian Klaas, a professor of Global Politics at University College London, explores thistheme in a new book called “Fluke: Chance, Chaos, and Why Everything We Do Matters.” 

He argues that tiny, chance moments can change our individual lives, maybe even the course of history on a global scale. Klaas offers several examples of big events that could have gone down very differently had onesmall thing been slightlyaltered.

The 1997Zambian coupattempt in Southern Africawas prevented –almost literally,by a thread. The U.S. bombed Hiroshima andNagasaki andkilledhundreds of thousands of peoplein 1945.Kyoto, originally considered for targetting, was spared because a U.S. official had vacationed there with his wife 19 years earlier and asked President Harry Truman to spare it.

Klaas joins us to discuss why social scientists, and all of us, could benefit from acknowledging the world is chaotic and uncertain, and why in an interconnected world, everything we do matters.

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Anna Casey