The WEIRDest People in the World

The WEIRDest People in the World Pdf

The WEIRDest People in the World

Author: ,

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374710457

Genre: Psychology

Page: 704

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Book Summary: A New York Times Notable Book of 2020 A Bloomberg Best Non-Fiction Book of 2020 A Behavioral Scientist Notable Book of 2020 A Human Behavior & Evolution Society Must-Read Popular Evolution Book of 2020 A bold, epic account of how the co-evolution of psychology and culture created the peculiar Western mind that has profoundly shaped the modern world. Perhaps you are WEIRD: raised in a society that is Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic. If so, you’re rather psychologically peculiar. Unlike much of the world today, and most people who have ever lived, WEIRD people are highly individualistic, self-obsessed, control-oriented, nonconformist, and analytical. They focus on themselves—their attributes, accomplishments, and aspirations—over their relationships and social roles. How did WEIRD populations become so psychologically distinct? What role did these psychological differences play in the industrial revolution and the global expansion of Europe during the last few centuries? In The WEIRDest People in the World, Joseph Henrich draws on cutting-edge research in anthropology, psychology, economics, and evolutionary biology to explore these questions and more. He illuminates the origins and evolution of family structures, marriage, and religion, and the profound impact these cultural transformations had on human psychology. Mapping these shifts through ancient history and late antiquity, Henrich reveals that the most fundamental institutions of kinship and marriage changed dramatically under pressure from the Roman Catholic Church. It was these changes that gave rise to the WEIRD psychology that would coevolve with impersonal markets, occupational specialization, and free competition—laying the foundation for the modern world. Provocative and engaging in both its broad scope and its surprising details, The WEIRDest People in the World explores how culture, institutions, and psychology shape one another, and explains what this means for both our most personal sense of who we are as individuals and also the large-scale social, political, and economic forces that drive human history. Includes black-and-white illustrations.


War! What Is It Good For?

War! What Is It Good For? Pdf

War! What Is It Good For?

Author: Ian Morris

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374711038

Genre: History

Page: 512

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Book Summary: A powerful and provocative exploration of how war has changed our society—for the better "War! . . . . / What is it good for? / Absolutely nothing," says the famous song—but archaeology, history, and biology show that war in fact has been good for something. Surprising as it sounds, war has made humanity safer and richer. In War! What Is It Good For?, the renowned historian and archaeologist Ian Morris tells the gruesome, gripping story of fifteen thousand years of war, going beyond the battles and brutality to reveal what war has really done to and for the world. Stone Age people lived in small, feuding societies and stood a one-in-ten or even one-in-five chance of dying violently. In the twentieth century, by contrast—despite two world wars, Hiroshima, and the Holocaust—fewer than one person in a hundred died violently. The explanation: War, and war alone, has created bigger, more complex societies, ruled by governments that have stamped out internal violence. Strangely enough, killing has made the world safer, and the safety it has produced has allowed people to make the world richer too. War has been history's greatest paradox, but this searching study of fifteen thousand years of violence suggests that the next half century is going to be the most dangerous of all time. If we can survive it, the age-old dream of ending war may yet come to pass. But, Morris argues, only if we understand what war has been good for can we know where it will take us next.


Cultural Evolution

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Cultural Evolution

Author: Alex Mesoudi

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226520455

Genre: Political Science

Page: 280

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Book Summary: Charles Darwin changed the course of scientific thinking by showing how evolution accounts for the stunning diversity and biological complexity of life on earth. Recently, there has also been increased interest in the social sciences in how Darwinian theory can explain human culture. Covering a wide range of topics, including fads, public policy, the spread of religion, and herd behavior in markets, Alex Mesoudi shows that human culture is itself an evolutionary process that exhibits the key Darwinian mechanisms of variation, competition, and inheritance. This cross-disciplinary volume focuses on the ways cultural phenomena can be studied scientifically—from theoretical modeling to lab experiments, archaeological fieldwork to ethnographic studies—and shows how apparently disparate methods can complement one another to the mutual benefit of the various social science disciplines. Along the way, the book reveals how new insights arise from looking at culture from an evolutionary angle. Cultural Evolution provides a thought-provoking argument that Darwinian evolutionary theory can both unify different branches of inquiry and enhance understanding of human behavior.


The Kindness of Strangers

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The Kindness of Strangers

Author: Michael E. McCullough

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 1541617525

Genre: Psychology

Page: 368

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Book Summary: A sweeping psychological history of human goodness -- from the foundations of evolution to the modern political and social challenges humanity is now facing. How did humans, a species of self-centered apes, come to care about others? Since Darwin, scientists have tried to answer this question using evolutionary theory. In The Kindness of Strangers, psychologist Michael E. McCullough shows why they have failed and offers a new explanation instead. From the moment nomadic humans first settled down until the aftermath of the Second World War, our species has confronted repeated crises that we could only survive by changing our behavior. As McCullough argues, these choices weren't enabled by an evolved moral sense, but with moral invention -- driven not by evolution's dictates but by reason. Today's challenges -- climate change, mass migration, nationalism -- are some of humanity's greatest yet. In revealing how past crises shaped the foundations of human concern, The Kindness of Strangers offers clues for how we can adapt our moral thinking to survive these challenges as well.


What Were We Thinking

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What Were We Thinking

Author: Carlos Lozada

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1982145641

Genre: Political Science

Page: 272

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Book Summary: The Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize–winning book critic uses the books of the Trump era to argue that our response to this presidency reflects the same failures of imagination that made it possible. As a book critic for The Washington Post, Carlos Lozada has read some 150 volumes claiming to diagnose why Trump was elected and what his presidency reveals about our nation. Many of these, he’s found, are more defensive than incisive, more righteous than right. In What Were We Thinking, Lozada uses these books to tell the story of how we understand ourselves in the Trump era, using as his main characters the political ideas and debates at play in America today. He dissects works on the white working class like Hillbilly Elegy; manifestos from the anti-Trump resistance like On Tyranny and No Is Not Enough; books on race, gender, and identity like How to Be an Antiracist and Good and Mad; polemics on the future of the conservative movement like The Corrosion of Conservatism; and of course plenty of books about Trump himself. Lozada’s argument is provocative: that many of these books—whether written by liberals or conservatives, activists or academics, Trump’s true believers or his harshest critics—are vulnerable to the same blind spots, resentments, and failures that gave us his presidency. But Lozada also highlights the books that succeed in illuminating how America is changing in the 21st century. What Were We Thinking is an intellectual history of the Trump era in real time, helping us transcend the battles of the moment and see ourselves for who we really are.


Mindware

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Mindware

Author: Richard Nisbett

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

ISBN: 0385681003

Genre: Self-Help

Page: 400

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Book Summary: Learn how to think more effectively, at work and at home. Many scientific and philosophical ideas are so powerful that they can be applied to our lives at home and work and school to help us think smarter and more effectively about our behaviour and the world around us. Surprisingly, many of these ideas remain unknown to most of us. In Mindware, the world-renowned psychologist Richard Nisbett presents these ideas in clear and accessible detail, offering a tool kit for better thinking and wiser decisions. He has made a distinguished career of studying and teaching such powerful problem-solving concepts as the law of large numbers, statistical regression, cost-benefit analysis, sunk costs and opportunity costs, and causation and correlation, probing how best to teach others to use them effectively in their daily lives. In this groundbreaking book, he shows that a course in a given field--statistics or economics, for example--often doesn't work as well as a few minutes of more practical instruction in analyzing everyday situations. Mindware shows how to reframe common problems in such a way that these powerful scientific and statistical concepts can be applied to them. The result is an enlightening and practical guide to the most powerful tools of reasoning ever developed--tools that can easily be used to make better professional, business and personal decisions.


Just Babies

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Just Babies

Author: Paul Bloom

Publisher: Crown

ISBN: 0307886867

Genre: Psychology

Page: 288

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Book Summary: A leading cognitive scientist argues that a deep sense of good and evil is bred in the bone. From John Locke to Sigmund Freud, philosophers and psychologists have long believed that we begin life as blank moral slates. Many of us take for granted that babies are born selfish and that it is the role of society—and especially parents—to transform them from little sociopaths into civilized beings. In Just Babies, Paul Bloom argues that humans are in fact hardwired with a sense of morality. Drawing on groundbreaking research at Yale, Bloom demonstrates that, even before they can speak or walk, babies judge the goodness and badness of others’ actions; feel empathy and compassion; act to soothe those in distress; and have a rudimentary sense of justice. Still, this innate morality is limited, sometimes tragically. We are naturally hostile to strangers, prone to parochialism and bigotry. Bringing together insights from psychology, behavioral economics, evolutionary biology, and philosophy, Bloom explores how we have come to surpass these limitations. Along the way, he examines the morality of chimpanzees, violent psychopaths, religious extremists, and Ivy League professors, and explores our often puzzling moral feelings about sex, politics, religion, and race. In his analysis of the morality of children and adults, Bloom rejects the fashionable view that our moral decisions are driven mainly by gut feelings and unconscious biases. Just as reason has driven our great scientific discoveries, he argues, it is reason and deliberation that makes possible our moral discoveries, such as the wrongness of slavery. Ultimately, it is through our imagination, our compassion, and our uniquely human capacity for rational thought that we can transcend the primitive sense of morality we were born with, becoming more than just babies. Paul Bloom has a gift for bringing abstract ideas to life, moving seamlessly from Darwin, Herodotus, and Adam Smith to The Princess Bride, Hannibal Lecter, and Louis C.K. Vivid, witty, and intellectually probing, Just Babies offers a radical new perspective on our moral lives.


A History of the Bible

A History of the Bible Pdf

A History of the Bible

Author: John Barton

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698191587

Genre: Religion

Page: 640

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Book Summary: A literary history of our most influential book of all time, by an Oxford scholar and Anglican priest In our culture, the Bible is monolithic: It is a collection of books that has been unchanged and unchallenged since the earliest days of the Christian church. The idea of the Bible as "Holy Scripture," a non-negotiable authority straight from God, has prevailed in Western society for some time. And while it provides a firm foundation for centuries of Christian teaching, it denies the depth, variety, and richness of this fascinating text. In A History of the Bible, John Barton argues that the Bible is not a prescription to a complete, fixed religious system, but rather a product of a long and intriguing process, which has inspired Judaism and Christianity, but still does not describe the whole of either religion. Barton shows how the Bible is indeed an important source of religious insight for Jews and Christians alike, yet argues that it must be read in its historical context--from its beginnings in myth and folklore to its many interpretations throughout the centuries. It is a book full of narratives, laws, proverbs, prophecies, poems, and letters, each with their own character and origin stories. Barton explains how and by whom these disparate pieces were written, how they were canonized (and which ones weren't), and how they were assembled, disseminated, and interpreted around the world--and, importantly, to what effect. Ultimately, A History of the Bible argues that a thorough understanding of the history and context of its writing encourages religious communities to move away from the Bible's literal wording--which is impossible to determine--and focus instead on the broader meanings of scripture.


Something Doesn’t Add Up

Something Doesn’t Add Up Pdf

Something Doesn’t Add Up

Author: Paul Goodwin

Publisher: Profile Books

ISBN: 1782835490

Genre: Mathematics

Page: 248

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Book Summary: Some people fear and mistrust numbers. Others want to use them for everything. After a long career as a statistician, Paul Goodwin has learned the hard way that the ones who want to use them for everything are a very good reason for the rest of us to fear and mistrust them. Something Doesn't Add Up is a fieldguide to the numbers that rule our world, even though they don't make sense. Wry, witty and humane, Goodwin explains mathematical subtleties so painlessly that you hardly need to think about numbers at all. He demonstrates how statistics that are meant to make life simpler often make it simpler than it actually is, but also reveals some of the ways we really can use maths to make better decisions. Enter the world of fitness tracking, the history of IQ testing, China's social credit system, Effective Altruism, and learn how someone should have noticed that Harold Shipman was killing his patients years before they actually did. In the right hands, maths is a useful tool. It's just a pity there are so many of the wrong hands about.


Inventing the Individual

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Inventing the Individual

Author: Larry Siedentop

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 1846147298

Genre: History

Page: 448

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Book Summary: The new book from Larry Siedentop, acclaimed author of Democracy in Europe, Inventing the Individual is a highly original rethinking of how our moral beliefs were formed and their impact on western society today 'Magisterial, timeless, beautifully written ... Siedentop has achieved something quite extraordinary. He has explained us to ourselves' Spectator This ambitious and stimulating book describes how a moral revolution in the first centuries AD - the discovery of human freedom and its universal potential - led to a social revolution in the west. The invention of a new, equal social role, the individual, gradually displaced the claims of family, tribe and caste as the basis of social organisation. Larry Siedentop asks us to rethink the evolution of the ideas on which modern societies and government are built, and argues that the core of what is now our system of beliefs emerged much earlier than we think. The roots of liberalism - belief in individual liberty, in the fundamental moral equality of individuals, that equality should be the basis of a legal system and that only a representative form of government is fitting for such a society - all these, Siedentop argues, were pioneered by Christian thinkers of the Middle Ages, who drew on the moral revolution carried out by the early church. It was the arguments of canon lawyers, theologians and philosophers from the eleventh to the fourteenth century, rather than the Renaissance, that laid the foundation for liberal democracy. There are large parts of the world where other beliefs flourish - fundamentalist Islam, which denies the equality of women and is often ambiguous about individual rights and representative institutions; quasi-capitalist China, where a form of utilitarianism enshrines state interests even at the expense of justice and liberty. Such beliefs may foster populist forms of democracy. But they are not liberal. In the face of these challenges, Siedentop urges that understanding the origins of our own liberal ideas is more than ever an important part of knowing who we are. LARRY SIEDENTOP was appointed to the first post in intellectual history ever established in Britain, at Sussex University in the 1970's. From there he moved to Oxford, becoming Faculty Lecturer in Political Thought and a Fellow of Keble College. His writings include a study of Tocqueville, an edition of Guizot's History of Civilization in Europe, and Democracy in Europe, which has been translated into a dozen languages. Siedentop was made CBE in 2004. PRAISE FOR THE BOOK 'One of the most stimulating books of political theory to have appeared in many years ... a refreshingly unorthodox account of the roots of modern liberalism in medieval Christian thinking' John Gray, Literary Review 'A brave, brilliant and beautifully written defence of the western tradition' Paul Lay, History Today 'An engrossing book of ideas ... illuminating, beautifully written and rigorously argued' Kenan Malik, Independent 'A most impressive work of philosophical history' Robert Skidelsky


This View of Life

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This View of Life

Author: David Sloan Wilson

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 1101870214

Genre: Science

Page: 304

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Book Summary: It is widely understood that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution completely revolutionized the study of biology. Yet, according to David Sloan Wilson, the Darwinian revolution won’t be truly complete until it is applied more broadly—to everything associated with the words “human,” “culture,” and “policy.” In a series of engaging and insightful examples—from the breeding of hens to the timing of cataract surgeries to the organization of an automobile plant—Wilson shows how an evolutionary worldview provides a practical tool kit for understanding not only genetic evolution but also the fast-paced changes that are having an impact on our world and ourselves. What emerges is an incredibly empowering argument: If we can become wise managers of evolutionary processes, we can solve the problems of our age at all scales—from the efficacy of our groups to our well-being as individuals to our stewardship of the planet Earth.


Fable: Edge of the World

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Fable: Edge of the World

Author: Christie Golden

Publisher: Del Rey

ISBN: 0345539419

Genre: Fiction

Page: 256

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Book Summary: The official prequel novel to the Xbox 360 videogame, Fable:™ The Journey It’s been almost a decade since the events of Fable 3, when the Hero vanquished the threat across the sea and claimed his throne. As king he led Albion to an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity. But on the night of his wedding to his new queen, ominous word arrives: The darkness has returned. Beyond a harrowing mountain pass, the exotic desert country Samarkand has been overrun by shadowy forces. Within the walls of its capital city, a mysterious usurper known only as the Empress has seized control. To protect his realm, the king must lead his most trusted allies into a strange land unknown to outsiders. As they forge ahead along Samarkand’s ancient Great Road, populated by undead terrors and fantastic creatures once believed to be the stuff of legend, the king is drawn ever closer to his greatest challenge yet. But soon Albion is engulfed in a war of its own. As the darkness spreads, town by town, a treacherous force has infiltrated the queen’s circle. Now the fate of all that is good rests with a faint flicker of hope . . . that somewhere, somehow, heroes still do exist. © 2012 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Microsoft, Fable, Lionhead, the Lionhead logo, Xbox, and the Xbox logo are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.


Moral Origins

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Moral Origins

Author: Christopher Boehm

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465029191

Genre: Science

Page: 432

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Book Summary: The natural and cultural history of the evolution of our sense of ethics, by a leading anthropologist of human morality.


The Little Book of Being

The Little Book of Being Pdf

The Little Book of Being

Author: Diana Winston

Publisher: Sounds True

ISBN: 1683643348

Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 248

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Book Summary: A practical guide to experiencing natural awareness—an effortless and spacious state of resting in the depth or our being. Do you recall, as a child, being enthralled by a drifting cloud, a rain-soaked leaf, a wandering ladybug? Or suddenly having a sense of timelessness, contentment, and ease? If so, then you've already had a taste of natural awareness. Known and revered in many traditions as a complement to focused mindfulness training, natural awareness transcends even these wondrous childhood moments. Some describe it as a profound “awareness of awareness”—an effortless, boundless state of resting in the depth of our being. For those new to meditation and experienced meditators alike, these 72 “mini-chapters” guide you on an in-depth odyssey into natural awareness, illuminated by many simple and enjoyable insights and exercises. The Little Book of Being invites you to explore: The spectrum of awareness practices, from focused mindfulness to flexible mindfulness to natural awareness How classical mindfulness and effortless natural awareness enrich and shape each other, and how to practice both Three ways to move into natural awareness—relaxing effort, broadening awareness, and dropping objects A treasury of “glimpse practices” to spark natural awareness anytime, in just a few moments How to bring this way of “simply being” into your daily life, into your connection with others, and into the world “At first natural awareness may seem far away, just a whisper, but then it will begin to grow and expand and permeate aspects of living. Over time we may feel more peace, more connection to ourselves. We may find ourselves taking life a bit more lightly. We may feel a sense of relaxed ‘beingness’ throughout the day, and when we do get caught in our dramas, we may find ourselves moving out of them quicker than we imagined we could.” —Diana Winston


Marriage, a History

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Marriage, a History

Author: Stephanie Coontz

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101118253

Genre: History

Page: 448

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Book Summary: Just when the clamor over "traditional" marriage couldn’t get any louder, along comes this groundbreaking book to ask, "What tradition?" In Marriage, a History, historian and marriage expert Stephanie Coontz takes readers from the marital intrigues of ancient Babylon to the torments of Victorian lovers to demonstrate how recent the idea of marrying for love is—and how absurd it would have seemed to most of our ancestors. It was when marriage moved into the emotional sphere in the nineteenth century, she argues, that it suffered as an institution just as it began to thrive as a personal relationship. This enlightening and hugely entertaining book brings intelligence, perspective, and wit to today’s marital debate.


The Species That Changed Itself

The Species That Changed Itself Pdf

The Species That Changed Itself

Author: Edwin Gale

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0241292700

Genre: Social Science

Page: 384

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Book Summary: An inquisitive, expansive and fascinating exploration of humans as creatures of our own making Other species adapt to their environments; we alone create ours. Over generations, we have remade the world to suit ourselves - using improved knowledge and technology to confront the traditional scourges - and for the most part we enjoy prosperity beyond the dreams of our ancestors. What's more, in changing our world, we have also reshaped the human phenotype - the interaction between genes and environment that moulds our bodies and minds. The results can be seen in the streets of our post-industrial cities. We are taller and heavier, and live longer. We think and behave differently, and die from once-rare diseases. Our experiences of life have been transformed, and in turn so have our societies. Weaving together biology, social anthropology, epidemiology and history, Edwin Gale examines the shifting physical and mental dimensions of our lives, from ageing to illness, food production to reproduction, designer bodies to IQ tests, and asks: are we a self-domesticated species?