What's Our Problem? - Tim Urban

What's Our Problem?

By Tim Urban

  • Release Date: 2023-02-06
  • Genre: Political Science
Score: 4.5
From 153 Ratings


From the creator of the wildly popular blog Wait But Why, a fun and fascinating deep dive into what the hell is going on in our strange, unprecedented modern times. Between 2013 and 2016, Tim Urban became one of the world’s most popular bloggers, writing dozens of viral, long-form articles about everything from AI to colonizing Mars to procrastination. Then, he turned his attention to a new topic: the society around him. Why was everything such a mess? Why was everyone acting like such a baby? When did things get so tribal? Why do humans do this stuff? This massive topic sent Tim tumbling down his deepest rabbit hole yet, through mountains of history, evolutionary psychology, political theory, neuroscience, and modern-day political movements, as he tried to figure out the answer to a simple question: What’s our problem? Six years later, he emerged from the hole holding this book. What’s Our Problem? is a deep and expansive analysis of our modern times, in the classic style of Wait But Why, packed with original concepts, sticky metaphors, and 300 drawings. The book provides an entirely new framework and language for thinking and talking about today’s complex world. Instead of focusing on the usual left-center-right horizontal political axis, which is all about what we think, the book introduces a vertical axis that explores how we think, as individuals and as groups. Readers will find themselves on a delightful and fascinating journey that will ultimately change the way they see the world around them. Anyway he wanted to say a lot more about all of this but there was a word limit on this book description so just go read the book.


  • Gives words to my abstract thoughts

    By 1234Dan
    Long, but worth the read!
  • 👍🏻👍🏻

    By edwardnotw
    A great analysis and a wake-up!
  • Fantastic and enlightening read

    By Dodgerdude22
    Very engaging and informative book. It made me really think about how I think about the world. It got a bit dense towards the end, but I’m glad I pushed through as it was well worth it. I love the Wait But Why blog, so I was really excited to finally read this book. Thanks for all your hard work Tim!
  • Required reading

    By 61 Evinrude
    Tim’s book should be required reading for everyone under the age of 25. The battle for a sane world where freedom of speech is respected and not denigrated may be lost on the older generations.
  • This is what they should read in high school!

    By Michael McCollum
    Great book!
  • An Impossible Book

    By betbrik
    I can’t imagine what it took to write this. Not only because of how complex and chaotic the political and cultural climate has become but because of the seemingly impossible task of making the points it does in such an even handed and clear manner. I will be recommending this to everyone.
  • Wait But Why… the book. Top notch.

    By Mooreatfour307
    I wouldn’t expect anything less from the creative and thoughtful mind that graced us with the Wait But Why blog.
  • Enlightening, Entertaining

    By Marsh of Randy
    Whether you agree with Urban’s hypotheses here or not, this book will give you something to think about, to discuss with others, and to use to better appreciate and empathize with others’ viewpoints. His unique writing style seen in his blogs — blending deep research with accessible prose — is present here. And, of course, the illustrations and humor add much value to the reading experience.
  • This is probably a must read.

    By Yanshoof
    3 things about this book and about Tim: 1) if you read the entire huge series - the story of us, you would still want to read this which is quite different. 2) In general I think Tim Urban is a great read and I liked a good deal of his waitbutwhy posts. Some are really eye-opening. 3) it feels quite 'short' compared with the wait but why pieces - it's clear there is editing, editing and more editing, it feels like 10 sentences in the blog are encapsulated into 1 in this book, which is fantastic as more ideas gets through in less time, but I would pay to read the pre-edited 5 million pages or so :) Who is this book for? - anyone using social media - anyone who interacts with others - anyone that takes interest in current events, news, politics, voters - politicians - everyone
  • A Breath of Fresh Air

    By Oblivio
    Tim Urban provides a much-needed framework for talking about the world we inhabit. While some may take issue with how much he focuses on low-rung thinking in social justice movements, I found it to be a pretty natural balance—enough has been said by others about the same phenomenon on the right that we really didn’t need it all spelled out for us again. I plan to recommend this book to anyone who’s open-minded enough to appreciate it. Thanks Tim!