Best history of civilization & culture books according to redditors

We found 681 Reddit comments discussing the best history of civilization & culture books. We ranked the 122 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about History of Civilization & Culture:

u/meekrobe · 209 pointsr/Showerthoughts

This book is similar. Basically, we're happier as hunter-gathers, but you could never go back unless you're OK with 90% of people dying off due to starvation.

u/RenixDC · 187 pointsr/history

I remember reading a book called Guns Germs and Steel back in the day that seemed to cover all of these developments!

u/voiceofreason2 · 117 pointsr/science

Actually, even that's not strictly true. The Galileo Affair was more to do with Galileo insulting the Pope than his scientific positions. The Church was happy to reinterpret scripture when scientific proof was shown, but Galileo didn't have the necessary proof and instead argued that scientific theory, even without proof, must come before scripture.

I highly recommend "The Sleepwalkers" for a good history of the relationship between the church and science.

Edit: strictly true

u/DolphinLundgren · 92 pointsr/todayilearned

>Its the only biological difference between ethnic groups

Wrong. Evolution has produced a host of biological differences between ethnic groups after the interbreeding event. Here is a good introduction to the topic.

u/k3q3 · 85 pointsr/SubredditDrama

I too enjoyed reading Sapiens.

The book goes in-depth how much of the world is a "fiction" around us - LLCs aren't real, baseball's rules aren't real, capitalism isn't real. But if the reader's takeaway means that "fiction" == "not real and therefore meaningless", they've hugely missed the point.

u/jondavidbrooks · 54 pointsr/AgainstHateSubreddits

It should be mandatory that everyone either read or watch the documentary Guns Germs and Steel. Because on the face of it it wouldnt be a unfair question to ask why did Europeans become the most advanced and dominated other cultures. Guns Germs and Steel lays out a rock solid case on and to sum up the answer comes down to Geography and timing not because of superiority of any race. But the answer is even more complicated then that... andv to sit there and argue with these knuckleheads with this long complicated arguments is pointless. It would be better if kids learn young about why these discrepancies exist so we can shut down those questions early on.

u/LindsayHansenPark · 40 pointsr/exmormon

Great question. Again, I struggle with being concise but I will try.

Belief is hard. I'm still trying to understand it myself. The short answer is, at the end of the day- I still feel like a believer. Like, I wake up many mornings and feel like nothing has changed for me. I think this suggests that Mormonism is far more than just a belief system. I still feel Mormon. It's still a very natural instinct to pray when I'm stressed.

Logically, I don't believe in God, but I still feel like I do and so I still pray. I think this is the actual definition of Mormon faith- a hope for things. I hope that someone or something hears my prayers, but I know it is very unlikely. But it's a habit and practice I value.

I don't believe in the literal truth claims of most things, only because I have a very different understanding of how to view it thanks to my professional historian friends who have taught me how to think of things from a sort of dispassionate, scientific way.

That shows me, and experience has shown me that things don't have to be literal to have meaning. Have y'all read Sapiens? I love the way Harari talks about constructs and myths. Everything is a myth- everything- equality, human rights, religion, all of it. I sort of take that approach.

So what do I believe? It's hard to pin down. I have a testimony in the messiness of it all. I bear my testimony that humans are super illogical and messy and broken, acting out of hurt and scarcity sometimes, and other times acting out of generosity and kindness. I see this acted out through Mormonism daily. It certainly isn't specific to Mormonism, but I've learned it all through a Mormon lens and I really value that.

So I believe in the Mormon movement. In Mormon people to do good and bad things in a very Mormon way. I love the Mormon communities we have and actually feel spiritually fed in seeing the complexity of it all. To me, divinity is found in collective human experience and I see that in Mormonism.

I know that doesn't make a lot of sense and isn't sufficient. We want temple recommend answers to this sort of thing. Everything else feels like deflection. But the reality is, it's not deflection- I just am not sure how to articulate that my mind and body are very complicated in Mormonism. So the easiest thing to say is that I still feel Mormon and I still feel like a believer. My brain is just more naturally oriented towards belief than skepticism. That's caused me plenty of problems along the way.

I certainly also have a lot of harmful scripts I'm still unpacking but I'm committed in a very Mormon-dilligence sort of way to deconstructing that so i reserve the right to constantly change my mind.

Belief really is complicated and complex. But I certainly no longer believe in a literal, traditional way we usually define belief. But I think that sort of belief requires a very underdeveloped way of looking at the world and most believers I know these days don't subscribe to a sort of blind-faith, immature, take-your-word-for-it belief. There are certainly many that do, but there are also very smart and thoughtful people who let belief be complicated.

u/oppleTANK · 40 pointsr/todayilearned

Horses, steel weapons, steel armor against obsidian clubs, Inca weakened by disease,

ohhh and gun powder.

Guns, Germs and Steel

u/organichewn · 34 pointsr/Drugs

You should read Sapiens, the author explains how the agricultural revolution was a horrible thing for mankind.

tl;dr : We stopped eating diverse foods, which were then more prone to parasites, began to live together and spread diseases among us, stopped running like our bodies are supposed to and began working with our backs curved, which gave us hernias and stuff, etc.

The book isn't just about the agricultural revolution, it's about the history of our species from the first homo sapiens to right now. Amazing book, very trippy.

u/ciarao55 · 33 pointsr/worldnews

I think part of the problem is really that people are looking at only granular parts of problems today and don't have enough historical context. Its useless to follow every story about everyone and every little thing. There are lots of ups and downs in politics and there's no reason to be so reactionary to every single new and probably manufactured "scandal".... that's what's exhausting. I like to keep updated on a few big issues, I follow the careers of a few people I find inspiring (and follow a few that do things that worry me), and spend the rest of the time reading up on topics in book form... they have the advantage of being written over time, and with more vigorous standards for accuracy. The news, while still important where immediate info is necessary, is essentially click bait now. You don't need to get caught in the rip tides that pull you everywhere constantly, just understand the general trajectory of the important things.

edit: to those curious about some book recommendations: I'm by no means an expert in anything really, and the books you read should really be about the topics you personally are interested in, so don't take my word as gospel (or any author's). I like American history, ancient history, international relations, and though I think they're more boring I force myself to read about the health care system and the American education system because I feel they're important. I'm also looking to read some books on the military industrial complex and cyber security/ big data because I don't really know anything about them other than the stuff I see in passing on the news or here on Reddit. So if anyone knows a good overview of those issues, feel free to let me know.

  • For a good start on human history and the beginnings of modern economics/ intl relations (basically why the West has historically dominated), try Guns, Germs, and Steel I believe there's also a documentary if the book is too dense for your taste (it is pretty dense).

  • Perhaps if you're interested in why people get so damn heated talking politics, The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation

  • If you wonder why people vote against their own social and economic interest: What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America Full disclosure: I liked this book, but I lean left. I'm not sure if it matters, the point of the book is just to track how the Republican party went from being the party of elites, to the party of blue collar workers.

  • If the Supreme Court interests you at all, I liked Jeffrey Toobin's, The Nine

  • The achievement gap? Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria

  • Health care? There's a lot, but this one is an easy read and it compares the systems of Britain, Japan, Germany, and I believe Cuba (which is very good for their GDP!) and the US's. The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care by T.R. Reid

    This is just some stuff I've listed off the top of my head. Another thing that I find helpful to better understanding intl relations are books about the major genocides of the past few decades, which are hard to get through (because of the brutal content) but... What is the What (Sudan), First they killed my father (Cambodian genocide), Girl at War (more of a autobiography, but still chilling) there's a couple of others I've read that I can't remember now.

    Anyway, just go to Good Reads and look at Contemporary Politics. Perhaps Great Courses has a political philosophy course too that you can draw from if you wanna go even farther back into the origins of society's structure and political thought.

    Also podcasts! I've just discovered these but there's a lot of audio content (FREE!) that you can listen to on your commute and whatnot. I like Abe Lincoln's Top Hat right now.

    Edit edit: wow thanks for the gold!!
u/killall-q · 33 pointsr/Guildwars2

Queen Jennah and Exemplar Salia are brown. Besides select few NPCs though, it seems Ascalonians have completely pushed out both the Krytan gene pool and architecture. If real world history is any parallel, it's possible that native Krytans were wiped out by diseases they had no immunity to brought by the Ascalonian immigrants, though that doesn't make sense seeing that the two peoples were not isolated from each other before the exodus. More likely that Ascalonian food production technology outcompeted Krytans' such that Ascalonians multiplied so fast that Krytans were left with no resources and a diminishing population. Read Guns, Germs, and Steel.

u/WarwithintheWalls · 31 pointsr/writing

I like thinking about culture. We tell the story of people, real and imaginary, and we should know where they come from.
I believe culture is driven by the head, the heart, and the belly. So if an idea comes into my head for a culture I ask five questions:

  • What do they eat?
  • What do they believe in?
  • Where do they come from?
  • Where are they going?
  • What do they consider family?
  • How do they court, marry, fu...nction in a relationship?

    You'd be amazed how much you can inform yourself there.

    That gives me a nice start. Then I start to ask other questions on themes. Ask the 5W1H (Who What When Where Why How) questions about 6 random subjects based on what you now know

    For instance, Death:

  • Who handles the body?
  • What is done with the body?
  • When is this done?
  • Where do they put a body?
  • Why do they do these things?

    It's a never fails way of going about things. Now come up with the life of five people living in a society based on this information. Use Proust's questionnaire and Gotham's questionnaire to frame them.

    Do all of this with first thoughts. Look it over. Think about it. Look at common travel questions like "What's the best place to eat?" or "what should I not do to piss off the locals"?

    You can get the true feel for a society in hours. Then put your characters who are in that culture through those same questionnaires, same random questions. You'll know them from head to heart to belly, and you're golden.

    EDIT: I just saw some other information. DO NOT READ GENRE FICTION FOR WORLD IDEAS. Read history, philosophy, anthropology. Pick up a history of food ,Guns, Germs, and Steel, other books that give you overviews on specific topics in history and anthropology.

    Tolkien wasn't reading Kingkiller Chronicle, he was learning about hillbillies, ancient languages, and living in WW1 England. Pratchett was a polymoth. Heinlein dug in on so many topics it's unbelievable. Inform with ideas, write from your head and not someone else's.
u/Mharbles · 30 pointsr/videos

Cliff Notes video version of Sapiens (good book)

u/zdaytonaroadster · 29 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Historian here, ACTUAL truth, because of the warm all year climate and abundance of food with small tribal populations divided by geography (for the majority of the time) there was no development to the advanced civilization the rest of the world did, and the ones that did, didnt last long (great Zimbabwe, Nubia, ect). The middle east had vast deserts, Europe and to a lesser extent Asia had winters, so food cultivation and thus tool making never really materialized in vast amounts of sub-Sahara Africa because they didnt have to overcome their environment as far as climate goes. (i am assuming thats what you are talking about as north africa is a different story, they arent poor).

Africa actually has vast amounts of resources, rare earths for example, but their governments corruption keeps any of the wealth out of anyone's hands but the government and military war lords.

The idea that things were just fucking dandy until colonial powers came to the shores is laughable and only a fool with no education would believe such non-sense. The few iron age civilizations that did developed were gone long before the Europeans arrived. And it was the Arabs who arrived first and began slavery and "exploitation" of Africa, not Europe. And for every augment for colonialism raping Africa, there is another Rhodesia to Zimbabwe story to counter it.

tl;dr-Its not always Whitey's fault, despite it always being blamed on him

^gives you a basic idea in layman's terms

u/ShootTheChicken · 28 pointsr/gardening

Is that by the same guy that did this book? Because that book is excellent, I highly recommend it.

u/caffarelli · 26 pointsr/AskHistorians

How to Judge a Book Without Even Reading It

Do you think librarians read all those books they buy?? Heck no. Yes, collection development librarians rely heavily on library review journals, but you can pretty successfully judge a book before you even read the intro. And how!

1. Try a Little Intellectual Snobbery

Basically with this you need to try to smell out the people who are saying “I’m not a historian but…” when they start their books. Who wrote this thing and why? Is this a historian going for tenure, is this maybe a historian trying to write more popular history, is this a historian at the end of their life putting out a magnum opus, is this a journalist? Who published it, academic press or regular press? Does this person have Something to Prove with this history book?

Now, I’m a little leery of recommending this method first, because I’ve seen some pretty shitty books published by big academic houses from heavily degreed people, and I’ve seen some very nice historical work put out by tiny publishers you’ve never heard of or self-published, and written by people who just decided to write a book because they cared deeply about the history of something that few others cared about. Good work absolutely stands on its own merits, and independent scholars are important animals in the academic ecosystem. But there is a correlation here, and not necessarily a causation, between academics working with academic publishing houses and the production of rigorous history, and you can lean on it a little.

2. Give it the Vulcan Citations Pinch

Flip to the back of the book. Where does the actual book stop and the endmatter start? Basically the more endmatter the better. You want maybe a good solid half centimeter of paper between your fingers, preferably more. If you start seeing appendices in addition to citations and index that’s very good.

3. Scope-to-Cred Ratio

This one’s hard to quantify but basically, the more modest the book’s scope the more modest of arguments and credentials the author needs to pull it off. So a book about say the importance of paperback books for soldiers in WWII, this is a pretty modest scope, and it’s not making any very bold claims, there’s no real reason to be suspicious about the arguments made in this book, although it’s absolutely a popular history work. A book trying to explain the history of everything, get suspicious.

4. Read the Intro

Okay after the first three bits you’ve decided this book has merited your attention enough to open the thing. The intro to a book should give you the outline of the major argument and you can decide whether the argument passes a basic smell test of not being total bullshit. If you find the argument compelling and you want to see how they are going to argue it in the knitty gritty, it’s time to commit to checking out/buying the book and seeing what’s up. (Intros are usually available for new books on Google Books or Amazon previews.)

4b. Read the Acknowledgments

You can tell a lot about a person from their acknowledgments section. I’ve seen books where the author specifically thanked the ILL staff of their local library. They should ideally be thanking an archives or two if it’s a modern history book, because that means they’ve done Real Research.

5. Have a Good Idea of How One Does History

This one takes a little time investment, but having a basic idea of what makes a good historical argument and what makes a bad one will serve you well for judging any history book, from any topic. Maybe just spend some time on the logical fallacies section of Wikipedia. Just knowing to run away when you hear someone start yammering about glorious progress or indulging in extended hero-worship will serve you remarkably well in the history section at Barnes and Noble.

6. Nothing Wrong with Reading a Bad Book

Okay, so you did all this pre-judgement and you still managed to read a real turd. Ah well. You always can learn a lot from something done poorly. They’re a certain grim joy in hating a bad book, especially if you get to feel smarter than an author, so just treat yourself to a really firm critical dismissal of the work. Maybe leave a real stinker of a review here on a Saturday or /r/badhistory.

u/HippyCapitalist · 22 pointsr/collapse

Plants pull CO2 out of the air and use around half of it to build their bodies. They exude the rest of the carbon into the soil as simple sugars to feed the microbes that live in the soil. The microbes eat the sugar and excrete acids into the soil, breaking down the rock to get the minerals they need in addition to carbon to build their bodies. When the microbes die, the plants can absorb the minerals the microbes collected.

People have degraded topsoil so much that we have a huge opportunity to remove CO2 from the air and store it in soil by restoring soil health, which would happen if we could/would restore the native ecosystems. David Mongomery has some great books and videos explaining where we are and how we got here.

Trees have an enormous amount of solar collecting leaves powering the photosynthetic machinery that converts atmospheric CO2 to wood and carbon in the soil. Compare that to the photosynthesis a lawn cut a few inches high can do. People need to plant as many trees as possible, and even more importantly save every bit of old growth ecosystems we can.

u/waistlinepants · 21 pointsr/changemyview

> No single program explains immigrants' higher overall welfare use. For example, not counting subsidized school lunch, welfare use is still 46 percent for immigrants and 28 percent for natives. Not counting Medicaid, welfare use is 44 percent for immigrants and 26 percent for natives.

> The welfare system is designed to help low-income workers, especially those with children, and this describes many immigrant households. In 2012, 51 percent of immigrant households with one or more workers accessed one or more welfare programs, as did 28 percent of working native households.

> The high rates of immigrant welfare use are not entirely explained by their lower education levels. Households headed by college-educated immigrants have significantly higher welfare use than households headed by college-educated natives — 26 percent vs. 13 percent.

You said, "scientific and intellectual progress could be heightened with more people [from those in Central America]". What data are you using to base such a claim? 97% of all innovations have been from Europeans from 800BC to 1950AD.

u/FSMFan_2pt0 · 21 pointsr/politics

I've been reading the book Sapiens, by Yuval Harari. It explains a lot about human behavior on a grand scale. Tribalism is part of our genetic makeup.

u/BlckHawks2015 · 21 pointsr/exmuslim

Please ignore idiots like that, they appeal to fear because they have no recourse to reason, fear is one of the lowest most primal human emotions. They are idiots.

Check out Sherif Gaber on Youtube and Masked Arab.

I'd also like to recommend you this book "

u/hnat · 20 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

If you would like a very detailed explanation of this, might I recommend the book Guns, Germs, and Steel, but what it boils down to is similar to what person132 said in another comment.

High population density, and larger populations as a whole, combined with city living and poorer diets, means that more Europeans got sick in general. To infect the surviving Europeans, diseases needed to adapt to be stronger, and more resistant to their immune systems. When these diseases came with them to the colonies, they were no match for the Native American's less/differently developed immune systems.

u/mikelj · 17 pointsr/books

Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. Great thesis on why different human societies have developed so differently.

u/0b_101010 · 16 pointsr/mealtimevideos

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. It's excellent.

u/pencilears · 16 pointsr/TrueReddit

to be fair, while a giant monocropping farm can produce a shit-ton of corn or soybeans, in terms of efficiency of soil conservation and total possible calories to be derived from that soil, small multi-crop mixed farms do a lot better both over the short and long term.


over the next century I expect a return to traditional farming methods as we run out of oil and need to produce more calories per acre as the population continues to grow.

u/Harpua99 · 16 pointsr/genetics

I found "The Gene" to be pretty helpful.


u/plokijuhujiko · 15 pointsr/history

Well, it was the deciding factor in the birth of human civilization. Without the shift to agriculture from hunter/gatherer societies, we could never have achieved the necessary population to create virtually every human innovation that has ever happened. It is true that agriculture led to most of humanity's woes as well: war, plagues...Glenn Beck, etc... But without that shift we would still have an average lifespan of 30-40 years, and our population would be in the thousands instead of the billions. There are pretty valid arguments for why that's not such a great thing, but it's really a moot point. We're here, we did what we did, so that's that.

On a side note, anyone who hasn't read this book is missing out.

u/brinstar117 · 15 pointsr/todayilearned

I'd imagine it's more of a generality than anything else. I'd wager that it is partly based on the fact that certain latitudes were more conducive for successful colonization by European powers. Those latitudes closely approximated the seasonal conditions in which their draft animals and crops thrived. This lead to a larger and more stable base in which to built wealth upon.

I recommend reading Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond as he details reasons why environmental factors are major contributors to why certain societies (ultimately countries) are wealthier than others.

u/AJs_Sandshrew · 14 pointsr/biology

For those who don't want to watch the video:

Big Ideas in Brief by Ian Crofton

Sapiens: a Brief History of Human Kind by Yuval Noah Harari

Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind by Sandra Blakeslee and Vilayanur S. Ramachandran

Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh

How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer

Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers by Robert Sapolsky

The Brain: A Beginner's Guide by Ammar Al-Chalabi, R. Shane Delamont, and Martin R. Turner

Ill go ahead and put in a plug for the book I'm reading right now: The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

u/[deleted] · 14 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

I'm not sure of the commenters sources, but I have read the same thing in two books.

1491 -

Guns, Germs and Steel -

I'm no history buff, but I thoroughly enjoyed these two books.

u/lurker4lyfe6969 · 14 pointsr/Sino

You could’ve just google Eugenics

If you want some reading that contained this information, get the book “The Gene: An Intimate History” by Siddartha Mukherjee

u/worlds_of_smoke · 13 pointsr/occult

I don't think so.

I took an online class based on this book and it has a good theory in it. It's been a few years but, IIRC, Harari says that the followers of monotheistic religions are almost required to suppress or eliminate other religions and their deities. If your god is the only true god, all other gods must be false gods or your entire religion is false. Nobody likes their religion being called a false religion, especially when they're deeply emotionally invested in the religion.

Basically, IMO, calling pagan gods "demons" is the result of a smear campaign against those gods and religions tied to them by monotheistic religions. Polytheistic/pagan religions are much older than monotheistic religions, but one of the results of this drive to prove that YHWH is the one "true god" is that some of the other deities became "demons". And the Bible, of course, has to reflect this bias.

Yes, you have some people who believe in monotheistic religions and are more secular. But this smear campaign was run by the church and people who were/are deeply religious and fundamentalist.

u/GodfreyForCongress · 13 pointsr/WayOfTheBern

Absolutely. And furthermore, let me say this: if they push me to the point where I feel the need to filibuster, I will take the opportunity to educate them. How? By reading books on the floor of the House like Guns, Germs, and Steel (so they understand better where we came from), The Black Hole War, Bully for Brontosaurus (so they understand a little bit about science), and Subliminal, so they know how the NRA and Fox News is killing their minds.

u/ChuckieOrLaw · 12 pointsr/instantbarbarians

No worries! Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind is a really good book if you're into this kind of thing.

u/johnix · 12 pointsr/funny

This subject has been Jared Diamond's life's work. Guns, Germs, and Steel explains it all much more thoroughly.

u/weirds3xstuff · 12 pointsr/changemyview

There are two books that I have read that have done a great deal to help me understand the dynamics that allowed Europe to rise to dominance starting in the 17th century: Guns, Germs, and Steel, and Why Nations Fail. The former talks about the geographical and ecological considerations that stifled development outside of Europe. The latter talks about the role if extractive institutions, set up by colonial powers, that remained after decolonization and prevented previously-colonized nations from developing. I can't do their arguments justice here, but if you are sincerely interested in changing your view I strongly recommend reading those books. I'll try to address your specific points:

> it seems to me that those of European heritage have made the most long-lasting and significant contributions to mankind. To name a few: space travel, internet, modern technology and medicine.

All of these marvels are founded in the scientific method, which developed during the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment has been successfully exported to multiple non-European countries, most notably Japan. So, it's not just Europeans who are able to appreciate Enlightenment values. But the Enlightenment did start in Europe. So, to believe that the Enlightenment proves that Europeans are superior you must prove that the cause of the enlightenment was the innate character of Europeans, and not any contingent factors. That is...very difficult to do. And, yes, the burden of proof is on you, here, since the null hypothesis is that the biological distinctiveness of Europeans is unrelated to the start of the Enlightenment.

> I realize Arabs of ancient times also contributed a lot in the realms of mathematics and medicine.

Yes. Different civilizations have become world leaders at different points in history, which makes the idea of some kind of innate superiority of one civilization really hard to believe. It just so happens that the Islamic Golden Age occurred at a time when it was impossible to communicate over large distances, while the European Golden Age (which we are now in) occurred at a time when communication is instantaneous and we can project military power across the entire world. In other words, the global dominance of Europeans is historically contingent, not an immutable fact of biology.

>One argument I frequently hear to counter this position is that other nations have failed to develop due to colonization and exploitation.

This is an excellent argument, and is, essentially, correct.

> if they were on the same level as Europeans intellectually and strength wise, why couldn't they have found the means to fight back and turn the tables?

Although they were at the same level as Europeans "intellectually and strength wise", they were not at the same level technologically. Europe was in a golden age, Africa, India, and China were not. Again, the key here is that the European Golden Age occurred at a time when it was possible to travel the oceans and project military power worldwide. That was not the case in the Islamic Golden Age or the Indian Golden Age, which explains why those civilizations didn't conquer the world in the way the Europeans of the 19th century did.

>Instead of Europeans doing what they've done to others, why couldn't it have been the other way around?

Guns, Germs, and Steel does the best job of explaining this. In short: Europeans were blessed with livestock that could be domesticated and a consistent climate that allowed them to produce lots of food more efficiently that other regions of the world could, which allowed them to spend more time on other things, like technology. Again, the full argument is the length of a (very good) book, so I suggest you pick it up to get more details.

u/_xGizmo_ · 12 pointsr/comedyheaven

It’s crazy to think about, but during the dawn of mankind (a couple hundred thousand years ago) there were actually several sapient species on Earth at the same time.

Homosapiens, Neanderthals, Denisovans, and a handful of others all lived on the Earth together. There’s a lot of evidence of them intermingling, socializing, and mating with one another. Some of these species didn’t die out until relatively recently (30,000 years ago). There were also notable physical differences between them, such as Neanderthals being significantly stronger and more robust (and contrary to popular belief, equally or more intelligent) than their Homosapien counterparts.

No one is entirely sure why, but our species ended up dominating and the others went extinct. The theory I personally believe is most likely is a combination of two:

  • Homosapiens tended to socialize in very large groups (a couple hundred) compared to Neanderthals (groups sized around 30) which gave us a huge edge for obvious reasons.
  • Unlike Neanderthals, which due to their robustness, were able to face large prey with a head on melee approach, homosapiens were too weak and fragile so they had to invent alternative methods. This led our species to develop very effective ranged throwing weapons that led us to be able to out-hunt the Neanderthals. Our weakness ultimately led to our domination, because it forced us to think outside the box, unlike Neanderthals.

    If stuff like this interests you, I strongly recommend the book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari.

    Some more fun facts:

    Humans are able to throw projectiles farther and with more power than any other animal on Earth due to our superior balance.

    Humans are better at stamina running than any other land animal due to our unique ability to regenerate stamina while running (because of our high concentration of sweat glands). In fact, some ancient African hunting techniques involved chasing after prey for over 15 miles until they collapsed from exhaustion.
u/EhrmantrautWetWork · 11 pointsr/conspiracy

trust. Humans are unique animals in this way.

Read Sapiens by Yuval-Noah-Harari

Blows up and articulates how strange human culture is, and how weird that we just accept "the way things are"

u/quantumtraveller · 11 pointsr/worldnews

You know what won't give them the ability to believe whatever they want? If they release the actual fucking statistics instead of hiding it and spouting crap like "every human is the same, race doesn't exist" when modern biology and evolution has proven that is not the case. I recommend you read The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution. If the west refuses to acknowledge biology and evolution in its policy development, it will be in real trouble in the future.

In New Zealand, Europeans make up 74% of the population, but only 33% of the prison population. Where as 15% of the population is Maori, but they make up 51% of the prison population.

And you naive Europeans think that this won't happen to you as you haven't really had much experience of multi ethnic societies.

u/patron_vectras · 11 pointsr/teslamotors

Mightaswell reccomend a book while we are off topic.

Dirt: Erosion of Civilizations by David R Montgomery.

The story of humanity and how it has been changing the climate since the dawn of agriculture.

u/Fywq · 10 pointsr/oddlysatisfying

Yeah a pig is a lot worse for instance. I may also be influenced a bit by having recently read a book that goes a great way to question how we humans inflict pain on other sentient beings without thinking twice as long it is for food production. You get fined for kicking a dog, but we subject farm animals to all sorts of treatments that would qualify as torture if used on humans. Why is it not ok to have human slaves, but fine to enslave animals? In a monotheistic worldview god allows both. In a scientific world view we should have neither.

For those interested this is the book:

I can strongly recommend it though it may challenge your beliefs about who we humans are in the grand scheme of things.

Sorry that was a bit offtopic. And yes I still eat meat and consume dairy products.

u/seismic · 10 pointsr/askscience

If you're interested in the history behind all of this, I would definitely check out The Sleepwalkers by Arthur Koestler.

u/DeviousBluestocking · 10 pointsr/AskFeminists

> What you say would only makes sense if germs guns and steel would have been unrelated to immigration

My point is that immigrants to the US will not be able to colonize us using superior weaponry, resources, or immunity asymmetry. They will not be able to overpower us with their superior numbers. We are in no danger of going the way of Native Americans or Texas. With or without a more secure border.

>native Americans who were so stupid to think the refugees they helped would be grateful in the long run and treat them with respect and behave as guests?

Well, for one thing, Native Americans were so outmatched that they could not have prevented us from immigrating, as many attempted to do throughout the the Continent. Particularly after we unleashed several deadly plagues.

>By contrast the Africans who did resist immigration/conquest still have their culture and way of life

Your example of African is not nearly the gotcha you think it is. People on the African continent traded with Eurasia for thousands of years and built up an immunity to diseases like small pox, what's more many African regions had their own deadly diseases that Europeans were not immune to. A big part of the reason that Africa put up a better resistance to colonization was that they had the same type of immunity asymmetry that Europeans had in North and South America.


More info

>A lot of them quite prefer living under white rule and emigrate to white areas like South Africa and Europe and most people would say their life would be better off if we accept our way of life (doctors transportation jobs economy all around whiteness) as better, but they have a choice to live like their forefathers or not.

This really has nothing to with your point, but it is still a profoundly ignorant understanding of colonization. For one thing, South Africa is a majority black state. Doctors, transportation, and jobs are not exclusively the white way of life. Just ask China who had such advanced "transportation" that they could have make a trans Atlantic or trans Pacific voyage several hundred years before Europeans.

What's more colonization is the systematic pillage and dominance of another country. African countries did not have to be invaded and stripped of their sovereignty and resources in order to import European innovations such as cars.

There are many people all over the continent of Africa that do choose to follow a more traditional way of life. And, like you said, many African countries have economies that are prosperous and culturally more similar to European and Asian countries. There are also a number of countries and regions that are still struggling with the atrocities of the past five centuries, and do not "chose" to lack jobs, doctors, and "transportation"(cars?, highways?).

u/TheUndead96 · 10 pointsr/uncensorednews

Don't worry, I am actually reading Guns, Germs and Steel at the moment and I have read many of these details within the last 7 days.

I am not trying to name names and point fingers here. The point I am trying to make is that all nations have a history with race. Additionally, think about:

  • Australia and the Aboriginals
  • Native Siberians
  • South East Asians before the Austronesian expansion (this happened many hundred years ago, though)

    Apartheid was bad, but it was certainly not the Holocaust, and the world seems to think that we are all a bunch of white-supremists. Just because Americans killed with Germs instead of Guns doesn't not take the deaths away. But that also does not mean you need to feel guilty. White people were indeed slaves at many points in history.

    I didn't have anything to do with Apartheid.
    But I'm still prepared to say sorry for any harm my ancestors caused. And I hope that we can learn to love each other, despite our histories.
u/J_Webb · 10 pointsr/worldbuilding

Since you are looking for some reference books, here are some that I resort to using quite often in my world-building process.

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared M. Diamond

Plagues and Peoples by William H. McNeill

Weapon: A Visual History of Arms and Armor by Roger Ford

What People Wore When: A Complete Illustrated History of Costume from Ancient Times to the Nineteenth Century for Every Level of Society by Melissa Leventon

The History of Money by Jack Weatherford

If you need more, I can list more. I have a reference book for just about anything you could imagine in my ever-growing personal library.

u/MichaelJSullivan · 10 pointsr/Fantasy

They missed one of the most important ones!!

Guns, Germs, Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

u/TomatoHere · 9 pointsr/badscience

> 1. 'The EU center" Yes, trust the EU's report, they clearly have no agenda whatsoever, especially when considering Juncker's recent statement in which he asserted the EU would try to block democratically elected right wing parties from power. Even if Sweden over-reports rapes as compared to the rest of the world, there is still the crucial statistic of quantity of rapes by race. The fact people of foreign background are so over-represented means there is clearly an issue. Something like 91% of rapes in sweden are committed by people of foreign background, and the percentage is similar in pretty much all European countries that have experienced Islamic immigration in recent years.

Poisoning the well.

> 2. Actually, it's quite obvious that this is primarily a result of immigration. If old racial proportions had not changed, whites becoming a minority so soon would not have even been a possibility. Whites made up over 95% of most European countries following the end of WW2.

Read my other comments. I don't deny that.

> At worst, the population would slightly decline or stagnate as a very small minority of the population reproduced faster than the majority.

This is a major problem across Europe. In only a few years, we will have a
major economic problem, due to low birth rates.

> While I don't care to discuss race mixing because I doubt there is actually much science behind claims either pro or anti it,

There is significant evidence pro it.

> there are quite significant racial IQ gaps. Whites and Asians have an average IQ of somewhere between 100 and 110, those inhabiting Middle Eastern countries have an average IQ of between 80 and 90, and those inheriting Sub-Saharan Africa have an average IQ ranging from 60 to 80.

This can be explained by environmental factors.

> A quick google search on the matter yielded quite a few interesting results. Here is one: This book does a great job of covering human achievement through the ages and this set of graphs should say it all

That book is incredebly eurocentric, and really low-quality IMO.

u/3423553453 · 9 pointsr/ImGoingToHellForThis

There is no historical evidence of a written language in the entire sub-saharan region of africa at the time.

And no the slaves didn't come from the other regions of africa where was some written language called Ge'ez, they mostly came from Senegambia:

Also confirmed by my school textbook.

So you should really get out of your cucked history books, or maybe talk to actual historians:

[link removed because automod]AskHistorians/comments/1nz7k6/were_there_no_native_written_languages_in/

Also, there was no wheel and no two-story building and no vessel that could even dream of crossing the ocean, you want more ?

I know it's hard to swallow for liberals but humans are different, blacks have a bigger penis, better musculature, more testosterone = more inclined to violence = less inclined to get educated = lower IQ.

Asians have a smaller penis than whites but are also smarter so I don't see why blacks would have a problem acknowledging other differences.

Also, if you want to learn more about the history of humans on this planet: Great read.

u/freshthrowaway1138 · 9 pointsr/worldpolitics

Never had enduring stability? Are you kidding? I mean if you think that area is unstable then what do you think Europe was, a paradise of reason and peace? And you can't just dismiss the West's involvement in the region.

u/NewbombTurk · 8 pointsr/agnostic

There's a lot you have wrong here. I'm fairly sure your posting in good faith, so I'll try to hit all your points

> Yes I understand that some religion uses it as cover

They do. And it makes them and it makes them intellectually dishonest, at best, and flat out liars, at worst.

> and I also know that almost all atheists believe that life just started as a coincidence and evolved to where it is now

OK, so a couple of things here. The first is that atheism doesn't have anything to say on the matter of abiogenesis, or evolution. Atheist is the response to a claim. The lack of a belief in god(s). That's it. And second, while there are some common beliefs among atheists, no one is saying that life started as a "coincidence". The beginnings of life are largely unknown.

> and that intelligent design is a direct attack to that believe but still why the hate,

What do you mean by hate? I don't see that, and I've been a secular activist for 30 some odd years. ID isn't a direct attack on atheism, it's a concerted effort to rebrand creationism in an attempt to get it into class rooms. The liars at The Discovery Institute have admitted as much. And you not familiar with the Wedge Document?

> I thought they were supposed to be the rational ones

As I said, atheists aren't a monolith. Being an atheist doesn't mean you're rational. People can arrive at an atheist position for bad reasons.

> but every time a scientist releases their evidence for ID no matter how convincing and scientific it is

That has never happened. Ever. There's no such thing as a "creation scientist". Are you aware that organizations like The Discovery Institute create their own publications so they can call their work peer reviewed?

> you will still see it pasted on an atheist forum and shitted on with no real refutes but instead insults about how dumb and stupid the scientist ,

Insults are wrong, but there's typically nothing to refute.

> how intelligent design is just pseudoscience

It's not even pseudoscience. It's a religious claim that can't be supported. At all.

> or just the usual religion argument counters like if God created humans then who created God,

That's not the argument. The argument your referring to properly stated, would be "If everything has a cause, what caused god?". I'm not a huge fan of this response to the Cosmological Arguments, but it's a legitimate one.

> if god is perfect then why is the human body so terribly designed or other arguments like these that depends entirely on god being the Christian one or must be perfect, omnipresent etc.

We can only response, or refute, to the claims we're presented. Most Christians claim that god is perfect, and omnimax. Calling out the contradictions in these statements in, again, legitimate.

> In the end both theories are not 100% proven

OK, again, this is lack of understanding about what science is. A scientific theory isn't a guess, or unsupported conjecture. A theory in science is an explanation of an aspect of the natural world that can be repeatedly tested and verified in accordance with the scientific method, using accepted protocols of observation, measurement, and evaluation of results.

Also, science doesn't "prove" things, let alone to 100% certainty. And, when a conclusion can't be reached , that doesn't mean that all assertions are equiprobable. For example; if we have a large jar filled with jellybeans, but we don't know how many there are in the jar, is one billion as likely the correct answer as two hundred? Of course not.

> and both have their faults like an ID believer will also argue that if life randomly started then why has it no happen again

No one is saying that life start randomly. Please stop building this strawman. I bet if you googled this, you'd find many, many scientific responses to this question.

> or if life randomly started because of the different nature of early earth then why do we have only one common ancestor not hundreds.

We did have more than one. I suggest you read Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. It's brilliant, and it will straighten you out on some of this stuff. If you have a PO BOX, I'll send you a copy.

> So why the bias to ID, why is it that God must be imaginary and that is it?

Because there is zero evidence of ID. Zero. All they have to offer are strawmen, Arguments of Ignorance, and Incredulity. And attempts to poke holes in legitimate science. At best.

The time to accept a proposition is when it's indicated by evidence. Not before.

u/metatron-one · 8 pointsr/badhistory

I've been reading Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, due to an interest in the history of the human species brought about by an Intro to Biological Anthropology class I'm in. I'm maybe three chapters in so far, but I'm engrossed. Harari theorizes that the reason that Homo Sapiens were able to outlive all the other Homo species is our ability to conceive fiction, our ability to conceptualise things that don't exist, like religions, nations, etc. This isn't really a historic text, but it's well written and seems to be worth reading if you have an interest in the topic. I'd like to read some critical reviews from experts in the field, though.

u/KenshiroTheKid · 8 pointsr/bookclapreviewclap

I made a list based on where you can purchase them if you want to edit it onto your post:

This Month's Book

u/CrosseyedAndPainless · 8 pointsr/askscience

Probably the most well-known example of recent and ongoing human evolution is lactase persistence (aka lactose tolerance). Ordinarily humans lose the ability to digest lactose fairly soon after being weaned. However, among populations of pastoralists more than once a beneficial mutation has appeared and spread that conferred the ability to digest lactose throughout adulthood. But there are still large human populations (most notably East Asians) for whom lactose intolerance is still the norm.

For more on this, and other topics related to your question, I highly recommend The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution by Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending.

u/gofkyourselfthendie · 7 pointsr/antinatalism

Top is "The Sixth Extinction".

The fattest one in middle is Countdown.

u/Vaxthrul · 7 pointsr/conspiracyundone

We need lots of the basics, MKultra, JFK assassination, Operation Northwoods, Iran-Contra, GLADIO, Project Paperclip, etc.

One thing I feel strongly about is history white washing, so I recommend A People's History of the United States, which is also available from amazon in book format.

Guns, Germs, and Steel is another good book to read once you understand the flows of political power.

Also a shout out to Noam Chomsky, Lots of his books are worth reading and going over, however for those that don't wish to read, I recommend the documentary based on his book Manufacturing Consent, which I hope you were going to include anyway :P

EDIT: Here's a decent source for ebooks -

u/spedmonkey · 7 pointsr/AskHistorians

While I agree that your question is quite subjective, I'd suggest taking a look at Guns, Germs, & Steel, the ubiquitous recommendation when dealing with this question. I'm not sure I agree with all of Diamond's ideas, but it's a thought-provoking book, and he makes some excellent arguments within.

u/rockne · 7 pointsr/todayilearned

Also, Collapse and Guns, Gems and Steel by Jared Diamond

u/that_cad · 7 pointsr/todayilearned

If you haven't, you should read Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond ( Taking a very scientific, objective approach to civilization and the development thereof, it provides an interesting and, in my opinion, highly plausible reason why African countries have typically fared worse than Western-European countries over the past 500 years (and which has nothing to do with race).

u/juliebeen · 7 pointsr/books

Jared Diamond - Collapse and Guns, Germs and Steel

Both are great. Not at all boring. Both are favorites of mine.

u/Shisno_ · 7 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

What an absolutely idiotic response.

Whites weren't successful because they were white. They were successful because, their harsh environment and access to resources caused them to look toward innovation to overcome nature. After that mindset was established, they further advanced through structured warfare, and after that, colonization.

If you want to dumb it down and say, "cuz white ppl", then by all means...

Guns, Germs, and Steel can give you an absolutely masterful understanding of why white European peoples came to preeminence.

u/CrimsonGear · 7 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

So, all white people in America have the same culture? A culture that values education and politeness? What about the deep south, where, let's be honest, higher education is not overly stressed? Or how about the differences between a person from New York and a person from Idaho?

"White" is a homogenized term that refers to skin color only. The culture you speak of is "American".

I'll also just point out that Africa is not a uniformly shitty hellhole, and the parts that ARE hellholes are like that largely due to outside influences. I'd also point you toward places like Egypt, with cities like Alexandria that were the once the center of knowledge and learning in antiquity. If you're interested in learning why certain cultures seem to be underdeveloped while others thrive technologically, you should read Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. There's also a movie version on Netflix.

Anyway, let's get down to brass tacks. When I see a "black cultural event", I see a group of people with common interests and common troubles who come together to support one another. The fact that they feel the need to do this tells us more about the environment they exist in than it does about their culture. If I were in another country - one that did not support or welcome me as an American - I would probably find other Americans or like-minded people to hang around.

During the time of slavery, the ONLY people that would support black people was other black people. They formed a culture that meshed (mainly southern) American elements with their African heritage. Because they had no real support from the outside, they had to support themselves from within, and that leads to a very strong cultural identity - one that still exists. And a big reason that it still exists is because, by and large, they are still not completely welcomed or accepted.

Now, when I hear a white American complaining about black events, I think of a child who has always gotten his way, who throws a tantrum when someone else gets to do something that he can't. Largely because he, and people like him, created a NEED for those sorts of things in the first place. Black people wouldn't feel the need to form these groups and events if the larger population accepted them the same way they accepted other cultures. And regardless of what you, personally, may feel or believe, there is still a very large group in America that sees blacks as foreign and thuggish. It's a foolish thing to think, and is clearly untrue.

And it's this "why do they get an event, I want an event!" mentality that makes anyone who wants to form a "white culture" event or group seem like a spoiled brat who wants something solely because someone else has it.

u/SerratusAnterior · 7 pointsr/IAmA

The Ashkenazim supposedly have an average IQ a standard deviation above the norm. Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending claim that this is because among the Ashkenazim only those who excelled in banking and trade thrived the last 1000 years of pogroms, having 5 times as many children as Ashkenazim working in unrelated fields. As you can imagine their claims are controversial though.

u/Ned_Shimmelfinney · 6 pointsr/PipeTobacco

Some personal favorites:

u/Aussiewhiskeydiver · 6 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Great question and a good answer. It's called the Cognitive Revolution and is described in more detail here

u/Catamount90 · 6 pointsr/barstoolsports

Sapiens is an excellent book about the history of humans and it is a super easy, thought-provoking read. Puts into perspective how short modern humans have been around in the scheme of all humankind

u/annagri · 6 pointsr/financialindependence

I'm currently reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, and he spends some time discussing the collective myths we invent (money, countries, religion, etc.). I would highly recommend the book, it's quite interesting.

u/CharlieBrownBoy · 6 pointsr/newzealand

According to the book Sapiens the Maori wiped out around 60% of NZ's native species before Europeans arrived. Similar story with the Aborigines in Australia.

Yes they like to claim they lived on the land harmoniously, but they first caused a lot of damage before they learnt to do so.

u/nc863id · 6 pointsr/politics

I strongly recommend reading this book. The super-short TL;DR for it is that Europe sort of hit the jackpot in terms of geography, biodiversity, natural resources available, etc., which gave the people settling there an inherent leg up versus other areas of the world.

u/gblancag · 6 pointsr/AskWomen

I'm traditionally more into literary fiction, but I've been exploring non-fiction recently.

Currently Reading: 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

Recently Finished: The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration and Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam Trilogy

Next on the List: Either Guns Germs and Steel or Devil in the White City. Haven't decided yet

u/ShrimShrim · 6 pointsr/pics

Nope. 100% have a B.A. in history a B.A. in education and a B.S. in health science. Currently in graduate school.

I didn't respond to your "facts" because you didn't list any. You went on some schizophrenic rant about race. You've completely failed to understand how geography influences the success and failures of societies. If I had handed in a paper with your line of reasoning my professor would have handed it back and said "start over, this is trash."

I'd suggest you read the book "Guns, Germs, and Steel" by Jared Diamond or the "Wealth and Poverty of Nations" by David Landes

You're going to have to go into reading those books with an open mind, because they might not fit your predetermined narrative that societies are only successful because of skin color.

u/lorenzomiglie · 6 pointsr/MapPorn

You also read Jared Diamond, am I right?

Great Book.

u/winterus · 6 pointsr/science

" the last 50-100k years"

Make that the last couple of thousand years. Specifically the Ashkenazi Jews seem to have evolved higher than average intelligence because of cultural and sociological factors.

u/timfitz42 · 6 pointsr/intj
u/wastednoob · 6 pointsr/eu4

After Tamerlane


Covers world history from shortly before the start of the game to the present day. It's a good read and most of the book covers the eu4 time period.

u/LaskerEmanuel · 5 pointsr/MultipleSclerosis

I have been struggling with the same thing, after years of being what some people might think of as a bit of a workaholic, once I got to “Now I can’t work, what do I do” (After I got done struggling with “Now I can’t work, who am I), this is what I came up with:


Exercise: Everything I have read thus far, highly encourages persons with MS to get as much exercise as they can get. All of the stories I read about MS that make you think “I would like to experience what that person is experiencing” start out with “I got MS, and I thought my life was over, but then I got very serious about sleep, diet, and exercise”) This gentlemen just posted a very nice one on this very subreddit:
One of the challenges for me was as someone who used to be fairly athletic years ago, for me exercise was a way to enjoy the wonders the human body was capable of, and going for a short, shuffling walk at the end of which I was exhausted felt… I don’t know, not great. At that point I went to a talk on MS and one of the doctors that was speaking talked about the importance of exercise, and relayed a series of stories about exercise and MS. One of them was about a gentlemen who had lost the use of everything but his left arm. His words were something like “That arm is one of the most important things going on in my practice, it’s the arm he uses to order food, to facetime with his children…”, and then he went on to describe the stretching and exercise he would do to try to preserve as much function as possible.
Some days of course are better than others, on the good ones I try to get in as much exercise as possible. On the bad ones, well I can do less, but I try to do what I can. One thing that has helped for me is thinking of the MS like a foe. It wants to destroy you, take things away, crippled you (I realize this is silly anthropomorphizing, but I feel like it helps me maintain a good state of mind). On the days I feel good, it makes it easier to go out and do what exercise I can, it feels like I am gaining on my foe. On my bad days, I think “Alright, you got me today, but let’s see how I feel tomorrow, perhaps the MS leaves a hole and I can slip through”. Somehow approaching it this way makes me feel slippery and determined, rather than crippled.


Reading: When I was younger I read a great deal, but it fell off as my career picked up. I got to a point where I would only read a handful of books a year. Now with more time, I have been spending more time with a book.
I recently finished Sapiens, and very much enjoyed it:
I am now working my way through the histories of Herodotus (and am finding them fascinating):


Watching: The wife and I watch some TV together, and we have both been on history kick. We have been watching some of the great courses, and really enjoying the experience. Some of our favorites: Everything I have seen by Greg Aldrete is good, he seems to conduct creditable scholarship (For example, he calls out when historians disagree on some topic, shares the views of both camps, and THEN shares his thoughts), and he tells a fantastic story. Robert Garland takes moments out of history and works to make them come alive. I would argue that (at least for me) he succeeds spectacularly in this series. The history of food, and history told with an eye to how everything has been shaped by food.
In addition to these, there are countless other good ones. As someone who purchased some great courses in the past (at what were some fairly exorbitant prices even on their sales), I very much like their new subscription model where you pay a fee each month and have access to everything. You can try out a lecture and see if you enjoy the lecturer style.


Gaming: Weirdly, being sick has destroyed a lot of the fun of gaming for me. Before I got sick, gaming was a thing I enjoyed “After I did my work”. Now that I don’t have work to be done with, someone how I don’t feel like I have “Earned the right to game”. Not saying this makes sense, necessary, but of course we feel how we feel. I have continued to play EVE Online (which I played before I got sick), albeit at a much lazier pace. I played through much of the latest Zelda with my 6 year old, which was fun, and recently played through FAR: Lone Sails which is a quiet, atmospheric puzzle solving game that involves piloting a vehicle through a post apocalyptic wasteland. Despite that description, I feel like the game is more soothing then it is anything else. It’s beautiful made, it was an enjoyable experience.


In addition to this jazz, I have of course been spending time with my wife and children. After my last flare I was spending a lot (almost all) of my time in the house, and more recently I have been making plans to see friends. Because my energy does not last so long, I have been trying to do lunches, perhaps meet a friend on their lunch break at work. The lack of outside the family adult contact once I stopped working has been weighing on me, and having a chat with an old friend has been a real boost.

u/reallyserious · 5 pointsr/Kombucha

If you're interested, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, is an incredible book where such ideas and many more are examined.

u/Mescalitoburrito · 5 pointsr/Showerthoughts

One of my favorite guests on the Joe Rogan Experience was Johann Hari who gets really deep into how depression and values interact. He pretty much talks about a lot of the same stuff at the beginning of that book Sapiens - for thousands of years we evolved to use whole villages to raise children and now we're at this point, at least in Western society, where (misquoting Hari here) 'most people don't have someone they can turn to in a time of need.'

Essentially, many of us are pushed like round or square pegs into the wrong hole our entire lives and yeah, of course you're going to be depressed. But our society values working hard at the sake of happiness so don't complain or you're a bitch. Annnd, depression should probably be treated with a healthy diet, exercise, free cows, and more - not just popping a pill.

This comment feels meandering and I wasn't sure what to say but this thread had a lot of pain. Seriously, this video helped me through a tough time a few weeks ago and then I quit the job that was making me miserable! Got an offer for an equivalent job today and probably a better one next week. Maybe don't quit your job but that was what I needed to do to make my life enjoyable.

Find something that intrinsically gives you happiness and go for it.

Edit: I cannot link. Also, don't let Bro Jrogan scare you off, he's chill

u/mystrdat2 · 5 pointsr/Cinemagraphs

Give a read to Sapiens, namely the gossip theory (which I'm quoting) and cognitive revolution fundamentals, it might give you another perspective.

u/InscrutableTed · 5 pointsr/todayilearned

Oh geez, who invited Stormfront?

If anyone would like a less bigoted examination of history:

(But if you would rather trust a GIF on the internet than a Pulitzer-prize winning book, go ahead. It's a free country. Be as dumb as you want.)

u/Carrue · 5 pointsr/Survival

Here is how I would organize it:

Physiological needs of survival.

  • Temperature
  • Water
  • Food

    Techniques for temperature

  • Basic principles of heat transfer, warmth, and cold
  • Techniques for clothing
  • Techniques for shelter
  • Techniques for fire

    Techniques for water

  • The importance of water purity
  • Water purification, sanitation, and filtration

    Techniques for food.

  • Foraging
  • Hunting
  • Trapping and fishing
  • Primitive cooking

    Miscellaneous techniques

  • Wilderness hygiene
  • Hiking properly
  • Land navigation
  • Things idiots do

    Psychology of survival

  • The importance of optimism and never quitting.
  • The parasympathetic nervous system and you.
  • Operant extinction and how it makes you crazy, plus how to survive through it.
  • The Basil Ganglia and automation, the strength of habits, and how to learn and maintain skills effectively.

    Each numbered section could be a book of its own, and some of them have already been written. I think this is a good way to organize wilderness survival for the short term. I think once you start thinking about preserving food you are entering a new realm where you'll need a new, more complicated organization. Maybe I'll write the psychology one some day, as I haven't seen a good survival psychology book out there, just a bunch of bullshit.

    Now I don't agree that society has failed us. I think you would really like to read Guns, Germs, and Steel. It will put societies into a perspective where they are just groups of people providing themselves with the same physiological needs of survival, in ways most efficient for their environment. But I also think it's best for society that individuals can carry on in the event of a problem. So I hear what you're saying. Anyway, I hope you find this helpful.
u/ErdeTyrenne · 5 pointsr/CapitalismVSocialism

Are you retarded? I'm saying & giving you a source for the fact that Natives were dropping like flies from diseases brought over by the survivors of said diseases, who had biologically developed immunities that prevented them from dying at nearly those high of rates. The natives had a far less varied, lower caloric intake diets than did the Europeans who not only had a wider selection of crops but also of cattle. They had steel weapons and steel armor that the natives did not develop as well as guns, all of these factors growing out of the generally higher level of diffusion of technology on the Eurasian landmass & it's east-west orientation as opposed to the more difficult to traverse, mixed climate north-south orientation of the Americas. It's very similar to how the north-south orientation of sub-Saharan Africa hindered greatly the abilities of it's people to develop relatively advanced societies as opposed to Eurasian societies. Read [Guns, Germs and Steel](Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond.

u/InhLaba · 5 pointsr/booksuggestions

Some nonfiction books I enjoyed that came to mind:

u/sojjos · 5 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

This is a loaded question. As you can expect, there are many reasons, some of which are still being debated.

One main thing to remember about the Native Americans is that they, until the first Europeans began to come (1500s ish?) and interact with them, didn't have any contact with the the rest of the world. Contact between Asia and Europe and even Africa spread many cultural ideas and innovations. The native Americans didn't have the Silk Road. Simply put, it's hard to be as advanced as the rest of the world when you're working all by yourself.

Why didn't the inuits in the north trade and diffuse "advancement" with the Iroquois in modern New York, or with the Incans and Mayans? An interesting (and probably true) theory is that this is due to the axis of the americas versus the axis of the rest of the world.
Throughout the rest of the world, people spread and migrate easily because they generally are moving on an east to west axis with much less change in latitude. The Americas are relatively narrow in comparison to the "Old World," and most "spreading out" would be done on a north-south axis. This is MUCH harder to do on a large, noticeable scale because different latitudes come with different temperatures, climates, etc. People in modern day New Mexico did not have the necessities to travel to modern day Alaska, and vice versa.

It's important also to note that while the native Americans as a whole weren't as "advanced" as the rest of the world, certain societies (specifically the Incas and Aztecs) built massive and advanced cultures and civilizations that awed even the Spanish conquistadors.

Edit: I'm so happy that everyone is mentioning Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. This is truly a great book that broadens your world view!!

u/zissouo · 5 pointsr/askscience

In The 10,000 Year Explosion, the authors, an evolutionary biologist and an anthropologist, argue that homo sapiens most likely inherited almost all the beneficial genes of the neanderthals, and that only a few dozen cases of interbreeding would have been enough for this to happen. It's an interesting read.

u/DeaththeEternal · 5 pointsr/badhistory

^A modern history-focused look but it's a nice practical example of a non-Eurocentric thesis that doesn't treat history like it has a single teleological arc that all the world must follow or else.

^This presents a nice revision of some older narratives and gives the Qing Dynasty more of its own due in military terms.

A broader global standard across the entire expanse of European and Chinese history is too broad a category across too much of a timetable to really be useful in more than a popular historical sense, if that. Historians always select what to omit, and that's where the problems begin and they go downhill from there.

Depending on what's omitted and how it's omitted from either Europe or China either way you get a skewed perspective that raises more questions than it answers.

u/avatar_of_prometheus · 4 pointsr/DecaturGA

Because making loose correlations between anecdotal observations is a lot easier than thinking about socioeconomic issues. Because humans are hardwired to be tribal, and most of our self selected tribes are monochromatic. Sapiens, Outliers, and The Tipping Point touch on these flaws in our wetware.

u/katsuhira_nightshade · 4 pointsr/DebateReligion

This is actually the thesis of Yuval Harari's book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. Essentially, he believes that what separates humans from other animals is our ability to create and collectively believe in common fictions, allowing for greater social cohesion.

u/rdar1999 · 4 pointsr/btc

As she said, the potential to do harm and to do good is huge. This is in all dimensions.

The good side is to make the world even more connected for mutual enrichment. Our species's great leap was the ability to cooperate with large amounts of unknown people, this means trade with them (see

We want to interact with other groups because we want to trade with them. To do this, we need communication, which is flexible but also standardized: languages. Trade is the biggest drive to language, the same way trade is the biggest drive to money (and only from this we derive the concept of store of value BTW).

All of this makes me pretty confident that we need bitcoin (cash), it is the natural step forward. We can only cooperate in higher degree if we can eschew the trust element, that's why national issued "cryptocurrencies" are an uninformed move to keep the obsolete alive, it won't work, I'm 100% confident of that.

The "evil" part of it is the perception that if I control communication, I control the economy. If I control money, I control trade, I control cooperation, I control an important part of communication.

Hence the tension.

ps: that's why I always agreed with Ver on how stupid core's concept of "bitcoin as reserve of value" really is, it is fundamentally flawed.

ps2: Teal Swan, whoa, what an alluring human being :D

u/Soperman223 · 4 pointsr/CGPGrey

So I recently read Sapiens, which is a book that attempts to explain human history from a bit more of a cultural perspective.

I found it absolutely fascinating (and started reading guns, germs, and steel afterwards because I wanted more), and I was wondering if you’ve read it and what you thought about it.

Also, in terms of relating to the podcast, I kind of agree with Grey on just disconnecting (from social media at least). I don’t think it’s psychologically healthy to be exposed to that as often as we are

u/pier25 · 4 pointsr/Psychonaut

In the academic world this is called the cognitive revolution.

I really recommend the book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind which touches this topic when the author talks about the formation of culture and civilisation.

u/what_u_want_2_hear · 4 pointsr/worldnews

For anyone interested, Sapiens is a good book to start.

u/jvlpdillon · 4 pointsr/40something

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind: This is the best book I have read in a very long time. This is about how our cultures, religions, and values were formed based on biology and psychology theories. I know that sounds boring but it is very interesting.

A Higher Loyalty: If you believe Comey your opinion will not change and if you do not believe Comey your opinion will not change. Meh, skip it.

[Dune] ( I do not read a lot of Sci-Fi but with the expected move coming u in a few years I thought I might get ahead if it. It was interesting but not exactly action-packed.

Leonardo Da Vinci The Walter Isaacson biographies about "geniuses" Steve Jobs, Ben Franklin, Albert Einstein are all interesting.

u/scurvydog-uldum · 4 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Jared Diamond's masterpiece, Guns, Germs, and Steel had a chapter on this.

Zebras get nasty as they get older and don't stay tamed.

u/LE4d · 4 pointsr/InternetIsBeautiful
u/Banzeye · 4 pointsr/gameofthrones

Shit, some interesting reading material is Guns, Germs, and Steel.

It's an interdisciplinary work but it's pretty fascinating and its a good read.

Interested in a fun East Asian account? Try reading The Last Samurai: The Life and Battles of Saigo Takamori. This is the book that the movie of the same name was adapted from. (I seriously mean ADAPTED, by the way.) It's an interesting read about the Meiji Restoration and how the Japanese countryside reacted.

How about something from Africa? Read Sundiata: an Epic of Old Mali. It's an epic poem about the founding of the African state of Mali (MANSA MUSA DA GOD). Captivating read.

Get cracking.

u/Stubb · 4 pointsr/askscience

Go read Guns, Germs, and Steel.

Europeans lived in proximity with a far greater variety of domesticated animals than Native Americans.

u/NYC_summer · 4 pointsr/history

I would recommend you read Guns, Germs and Steal by Jared Diamond. Talks about this subject and it is an easy read.

u/TheTeachingMirror · 4 pointsr/Teachers

World History: Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. (It is also made as a documentary now)

US History: A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

In regards to being sensitive for issues like slavery and the Holocaust, I recommend Teaching Tolerance. They have some good resources.

u/WRSaunders · 4 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

You might be interested in Jered Diamond's book Guns, Germs, and Steel. He does a pretty thorough discussion of the subject. If boils down to white people coming in quantity from a content that's wider (East-West) than it is tall (North-South). This means temperate bands are longer, providing more opportunities to fight over crops and resources. This builds up the capability to fight, and when the advent of long-distance sailing comes into the picture, these fight-prone groups sail around the work, find less fight-prone people, and vanquish them.

u/p0x0rz · 4 pointsr/Fantasy

Gotta add Guns, Germs, and Steel to these, though it paints in much broader strokes. Fantastically interesting read.

u/jones1618 · 4 pointsr/history

I'd really recommend Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond.

It's one of the rare history books that takes on the grand sweep of human history, upending a lot of what you were taught and weaving it all together in a highly-readable and entertaining way.

u/VetMichael · 4 pointsr/AskHistorians

If I may jump in here, /u/Mycd is making a similar argument to Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel. Though I am not sure about the claim that livestock were a significant source of disease. I know that they were a significant source of vaccination in the 18th century, but disease? Zoonotic diseases aren't usually small pox level variants (except for exotic ones which emerge well after the Columbian exchange).

There is a history of continual exposure to the major, and quite deadly, pathogens in Eurasian history that were the subject of medical inquiry from about 1000 CE onward; Chinese and Indian physicians, for example, experimented with blowing the dust from dried scabs of plague victims into the noses of people who had not gotten sick yet in order to inoculate them. It didn't work as well as modern science would have liked - the Black Death claimed tens of thousands of lives in Cairo alone - but it was better than nothing.

In Diamond's book, he makes the argument that since Eurasian trade routes were roughly east-west, the pathogens had similar enough environs - and continual human hosts - to survive and even mutate. On the other hand, Diamond points out, there was no equivalent to the Silk Road in the Western Hemisphere, thus preventing continual human-to-human transmission necessary for viral or bacterial mutation to the degree in Eurasia. Also, the fact that different latitudes often brought wildly varying environments, hampered potentially deadly plagues from emerging on such a vast scale in the Americas. He doesn't say, though, that Mesoamericans or other major empires didn't have plagues - they did - but compared to Eurasian ones, they were relatively weak or mild.

Other sources: Bernard Lewis Islam: From the Prophet Muhammad to the Capture of Constantinople

Arthur Silverstein A History of Immunology

Jared Diamond Guns, Germs, and Steel

u/ambivalentacademic · 4 pointsr/biology

The Selfish Gene is of course great, but I thought Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker was a better written book.

However, a new and really really great book is "The Gene" by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Just a gorgeous book, and full of history that any biologist should know.

u/Jlas · 4 pointsr/conspiracy

Real? yes , but evidence could lead one to believe its artificial

Who Built The Moon

Robin Brett, a scientist from NASA stated, “It seems easier to explain the non-existence of the Moon than its existence"

u/PublicolaMinor · 3 pointsr/politics

Not OP, but based on the words on top of each page, it looks like it's taken from Charles Murray's book "Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences".

Presumably, pages 252 and 296. Just guessing.

u/CertifiedRabbi · 3 pointsr/DebateAltRight

Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950 by Charles Murray (of The Bell Curve fame).

Alt-Hype made a great video which referenced Charles Murray's work and convincingly debunked the popular leftist argument that non-White civilizations greatly surpassed White Europeans technologically in the past. As you'll see in the video, virtually all of the technological developments that were made before the White European Industrial Revolution were relatively insignificant in comparison. And even the so-called "Dark Age" of European history really wasn't as backwards and primitive as popularly claimed by the left. As soon as civilization reached Europe, Europeans have pretty much always been on par with India, China, and the Middle East. And then White Europeans left everyone in the dust with the Industrial Revolution. And only a couple of Northeast Asian countries have caught up to White Western countries in the last few decades.

u/Imatros · 3 pointsr/warfacts

I just searched using a string with a couple unique words; specifically, I just searched for the quote "Henceforth [...] engines"

u/mesosorry · 3 pointsr/BeAmazed

Read this book. It'll blow your mind :)

u/kindness12 · 3 pointsr/dataisbeautiful

Got the timeline of the universe from here, here, and from the book Sapiens by Yuval Harari. The years are not exactly the same from all sources but I tried to triangulate. Also it doesn't make a big difference since I'm converting it to a 72 year period (made all the conversions on excel). Average lifespan of a human being is 71.5 years over the 2010-2015 period according to this Wikipedia article; this is the primary source.

u/albino-rhino · 3 pointsr/AskCulinary

Coming to this a little late but wanted to say that (a) I completely agree, and (b) I'd take it a little further.

The thought that there was some Valhalla of wonderful food in earlier days is easily proven wrong. We live in the best time for eating there has ever been. For instance this article explains at some length and convincingly to me that food has only improved. Think about it - name one major city in the US where food was better 15 years ago. I can't think of any.

And if you go back further in time, you find that agriculture is coincident with higher population but also with malnutrition. This book is awful in some parts but it explains at length the accepted knowledge that agriculture = more people, but is also = disease and malnutrition at significant levels.

Skipping forward, I think 'modern' agriculture starts with crop rotation, Source, and pretty soon you have the British Agricultural revolution that kickstarts the industrial revolution.

Coincident with that you have the greatest rise in per-capita GDP there has ever been. Source, The Great Divergence.

And then that's why I get to work at a desk instead of doing mind-numbing, back-breaking work in the fields, and that's why I enjoy more material plenty than anybody could imagine 200 years ago, and why I can choose among multiple places, in my major urban center, to get pretty damn good pho. Lo those many years ago when I was young, sushi was a foreign concept. Now I can get it (or a rough approximation of it) in a strip mall in the middle of nowhere.

There is a downside to removing people from their food. There is also a downside to industrial agriculture. A lot of folks eat out more often. We have lost the spiritual connection to our food in large part that is created by hunting for your food or growing it and shepherding it the whole way through. We don't take food as seriously, and we don't contemplate as closely where it came from. We are complicit in the dead zone at the mouth of the Mississippi and in the overuse of antibiotics in, and ill-treatment of, our livestock, to name but a couple examples.

But come the fuck on. I more than likely owe my life to my forebearers moving away from the fields and working in factories. I certainly owe my material comforts to that. I don't have to wonder whether I'm going to have a crop failure and starve to death.

That some of us can turn back and re-discover a better connection with food is a wonderful luxury. Appreciate it as such.

u/TheInfidelephant · 3 pointsr/seancarroll

"Sapiens - A Brief History of Humankind" - also by Yuval Noah Harari

u/OrbitRock · 3 pointsr/onehumanity

Book list:

Nature and the Human Soul by Bill Plotkin. The author discusses this same theme of The Great Turning. Argues that people in modern western society are pathologically orientated towards adolescent things, and among our main problems is that few of us mature fully, and few of us can ever be considered elders who guide each other towards a wise way of life. He also argues that we historically have developed equally in both nature and culture, but modern people spend their lives solely in culture, and lack understanding of the natural world.

Future Primal by Louis Herman. The author lays out a big picture view of human history and how the solutions for the future we face can be found in the past among primitive cultures. He links his own personal struggles to the planetary struggles we face, and shows that it is true that the personal and planetary are linked.

The Ascent of Humanity by Charles Eisenstein. Lays out huamn history, and "how the illusion of a seperate self has led to our modern crisises".

Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein. Looks at how primitive economies differed from our own, and how we can come to a different understanding of economics and wealth in our own society.

The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible by Charles Eisenstein. Lays out a vision for what the world could be and how we could organize ourselves in a wiser way.

Limited Wants, Unlimited Means an analysis of the economics of hunter-gatherer societies by an actual Economist. Very in depth look at the different foundational beliefs and practices. This is the most scientific and in depth book I've ever come across on this subject.

Eaarth by Bill McKibben. Goes into great detail on the the stark reality of the effects that climate change have already had and will likely have over the next decades and century. Finsihes by making reccommendations for how to make a life on a rough new planet.

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. A look at the deep history of our species. This book presents an understanding about what humans are and where we've come from that I think is hard to get anywhere else, really great work.

Blessed Unrest by Paul Hawken. Very similar to the theme of my above post, the author explains how this new movement is much larger than you might think, and could soon become one of the largest cultural movements in all of human history.

Active Hope by Joanna Macy. On "how to deal with the mess we are in without going crazy".

Greening of the Self by Joanna Macy. An exploration into the idea that we are interdependent with the ecology around us.

Natural Capitalism by Paul Hawken and others. A look at how we can start a green industrial revolution.

The Green Collar Economy by Van Jones. Lays out the idea that one solution- work on constructing a sustainable infrastructure- can fix our two biggest problems: the ecological crisis, and the rampant poverty and inequality in our society.

Spiritual Ecology: the cry of the Earth by Thich Nhat Hanh, Joanna Macy, and others. Outlines a spiritual perspective of what is happening to the world, and how we can remedy it, rooted in Buddhist thought.

Changes in the Land by William Cronon. A look at how the ecology of New England has been altered since Europeans first set foot there.

A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold. This is one of the classics of nature writing by a great naturalist. I include it here because I think it fits, and shows how much of this in not new thinking. Leopold talks about his experiences in nature and from living off the land, and lays out his own 'land ethic' for how best to coexist in nature.

The Evolving Self: a psychology for the third millennium by Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi. Explains the authors view of psychology and how to find meaning in the modern world. Talks about playing an active role in the evolutionary processes of life, and linking that up with your own personal evolution.

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimerer. Brings together scientific understanding, indigenous wisdom, and respect for nature and for plants, in a very poetic book.

The Future of Life by E. O. Wilson. Wilson is one of the greatest biologists of our time, and gave us many of the foundational concepts that we use today, such as popularizing the idea of "biodiversity" and the desire to preserve it. Here he talks about the future of life and the challenges we face in preserving the Earths biodiversity.

Half Earth by E.O. Wilson. Here Wilson lays out his strategy for saving the biodiversity of the Earth and preserving it through the hard times it will face in the future, by devoting fully half of the surface of the Earth to wildlife habitats. This book just came out so you might not be able to order a copy yet.

If you know of any other books or media in this sort of genre feel free to post it.

u/attofreak · 3 pointsr/india

Wow, I didn't know he wrote a book dedicated specifically to "the Grandest Society of Merchants in the Universe". East India Company has been a subject of intrigue for me since the first time I got to know of its exploits during school. This company had an army (not mere mercenaries) to fight kingdoms! Imagine that in today's time. In Sapiens, Harari briefly mentions them, and the trinity of Imperialism-Capitalism-Scientific Revolution that swept the entire globe from Europe. Reading John Keay's unbiased narrative and propensity to be poetical in A History, The Honourable Company looks like an amazing read. And something that I naturally want to know more of, once getting at least some idea of the grand history of this country. Thank you!

u/confusedneuron · 3 pointsr/JordanPeterson

As far as the book recommendations go, it would be good if you could qualify what kind of books you're interested in (e.g. philosophy, psychology, history, science, etc.).

Books I recommend:

Psychology (or: On Human Nature)

The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime

Thinking, Fast and Slow (my personal favorite)

The Undiscovered Self

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature


Strategy: A History

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Marxism, Fascism, and Totalitarianism


Economics in One Lesson

Basic Economics


Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government

As always, the list of books to read is too long, so I'll stop here.

u/davidsa35 · 3 pointsr/Israel

>Who/which are the best Israeli musicians/bands in your opinion?

I like Avraham Tal (singer) he has unique and stirring songs

>How much can you understand Arabic (or other Semitic languages) just basing on Hebrew?

While watching "Fauda" last year (an Israeli tv series about Israeli unite disguised as Arabs to collect intelligence and make operations and arrests in the Palestinian authority) I realized that there are many words in Arabic which resemble Hebrew

>How are the relationships between the Mizrachim and the Ashkenazim?

As the time goes by the differences between the two are blurring more

>How are the Ethiopian Jews treated in your opinion?

There is some racism from private people and not from the government which gives them many privileges as scholarships and affirmative actions

>What's the greatest thing about living in Israel? What's the worst thing about living in Israel?

The greatest thing in my opinion (as one who had also lived abroad) is to feel Jewish pride, to see the renascence of the ancient Jewish identity in Israel (Judea) after 2000 years and having our own country and military to take care of ourselves
The most irritating thing in my opinion is the feeling that here is too much corruption, especially on the municipal levels, I've seen many bribery and such stuff that I feel that it's not fair for the law abiding citizens who work their ass off for a decent salary. I also think that some of the public sector is not efficient in that there is much hidden unemployment. People who literally contribute nothing and get large salaries just because they have "connections" with the right people - although those phenomenons here aren't as bad as in 3d world countries and I think there is some improvement and efficiency under Netanyahu's tenures

>Got any good (and translated) Israeli poets or writers to recommend?

Edit: in second thought I remember that Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by prof. Yuval Noah Harrari was a good read

>Why are Israeli girls so cute?

I think that it's because of 2 main causes:

  1. "Intermarriages" between Jews of different backgrounds in Israel (Europeans with North Africans and so) which make some amazing kids with unique facial features - reminds me a little of Brazilians

  2. Military/civil service - this period in their lives is shaping their personalities and make them grown up women in their early 20s

    >I've got to say that your national anthem is sick wicked. Fucking a+ music.

    This is my favorite performance, by the Jewish community in Moscow

    I hope I was informing, take care.
u/fallflight · 3 pointsr/Anthropology

For books, The Fossil Trail and The Complete World of Human Evolution are good overviews, while Sapiens and Lone Survivors are interesting accounts of evidence about the emergence of our species.

I also really recommend the CARTA lectures available on YouTube -

You can browse through that playlist to look for interesting topics, or search for something like 'carta university california' or 'carta uctv' or 'carta uctv [topic]' to see what's popular, or follow YouTube's recommendations between videos. Each one is pretty short at ~20 min, with 3 sometimes linked in hour-long videos.

There's a wide range of evidence and interpretations about things like coexistence of varieties vs intra-population diversity, the general nature and causes of genetic structure between populations, extinction due to direct conflict or competition vs. other factors, and so on - so it helps to see the range of viewpoints between different researchers, and range of evidence and interpretations from different fields.

These are some examples:

Emergence of Homo:

Sapiens origins, population movements, non-sapiens admixture:





u/23143567 · 3 pointsr/rational

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and Good and Real - each could be considered a canon of rationalist thought on evolution of humankind and ethics respectively.

u/CEZ3 · 3 pointsr/askscience

In his book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, the author speculates on this question. Check the "Cognitive Revolution" section.

Brain size, use of fire for cooking and communication were all part of the explanation.

u/akwakeboarder · 3 pointsr/Neuropsychology

There are two great books that talk about exactly this.

  1. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind which focuses on social issues.

  2. Story of the Human Body which focuses on biology and medical issues.
u/blackcatkarma · 3 pointsr/history

Sapiens is a general history book about humanity, not so much traditional countries' history. It explores things like how did agriculture and warfare start, why is homo sapiens the only surviving human species etc.

For fun reading about history, I recommend anything written by Robert K. Massie. This is not general history; he wrote mostly about Tsarist Russia, but Dreadnought: Britain, Germany and the Coming of the Great War is a good starter for pre-WW1 European history.
I say "a good starter" because Massie's approach is very biographical - he mostly tells the story through the lives and actions of the decision makers, with less "modern" emphasis on economic factors etc. But he's a really good writer and it's the kind of history book you can read on a beach.

u/Uptonogood · 3 pointsr/seduction

"Alphabetic writing, Shlain believes, "subliminally fosters a patriarchal outlook" at the expense of feminine values.""

Yep. Someone saying the alphabet is an instrument of patriarchy gets published in academia, your argument is invalid. This turd is just the tip of the iceberg of the "women's studies" shithole.

u/mynuname · 3 pointsr/DebateAChristian

Many of these facts I read about in "Guns, Germs and Steel" and "The Fall", both written by non-Christian anthropologists. These statistics and generalizations were confirmed by friends of mine who's are in the field.

u/100dylan99 · 3 pointsr/AskReddit

None of these answers are good. The reason why light skinned people have succeeded more than to darker skinned people is because of geography. Before I start, it is face that the farther you get from the equator, the lighter skinned people get. Now, while I don't remember exactly what diseases, I do remember that the farther you get from the equator, the lighter skinned you generally become, and vice versa. That was a simple answer.

Now, people started farming around nine thousand years ago in many places around the same time, like in China, North America, and the Middle East. However, while farming was a big advancement and led to to things like villages, war, and diseases, which are very, very important for the development of humanity, there were two big factors to how successful a civilization got. The second was how many domesticated animals you had in your area. In the middle east, where humanities first big civilizations started, you had four domestic animals. They had sheep, cattle, pigs, and horses. In other places, you only had one dmosticated animal. For example, the Inca had one domesticated animal, which was the llama. The Middle Eastern's got lucky, because they had horses, and cattle, two very strong animals. This allopwed them to have a plow, which revolutionized farming and was used from prehistory all the way up to the industrial revolution. Not only that, but they could move faster on their horses, which allowed them to hunt and war better. About a thousan years after the middle easterns developed farming, they started migrating because their land was similar to the US's in the 30's. Some of them went west, to conquer Europe, and some East, to conquer China. I can elaborate further, but I am a mere freshman. If you want more information I reccomend:

Bill Nye's The Eyes of Nye, Episode 108, "Race"

Guns, Germs, And Steel. Also a documentary on Netflix.

Mankind, the Story of All of Us. A truly wonderful History Channel documentary that was released this year, covering all of humanities's achievements.

Also: This was all of the top of my head, so please tell me if something I said was inaccurate or wrong. And if you want me to elaborate more on something, ask.

u/MalignantMouse · 3 pointsr/AskReddit

Guns, Germs and Steel - Jared Diamond

Have you ever wondered why the world is the way it is? This book basically answers that question. It's so broad-reaching it's amazing.

u/DeusExCochina · 3 pointsr/atheism

Parent gives a few good likely reasons. But just to clarify:

UCLA Professor Jared Diamond has written a whole book with his hypotheses on this topic: Guns, Germs and Steel. I'm not qualified to guess whether he's correct, but that there's whole books dedicated to the topic shows that it's not the kind of simple question that can be answered with any depth in a Reddit comment.

u/symonsays · 3 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Most animals cant be domesticated. In history i think only 14 animals have been fully domesticated. In the book Guns Germs & Steel you can find more info on this

u/aRealNowhereMan_ · 3 pointsr/TiADiscussion

Understanding that they are saying something out of pain is one thing, being expected to shut up and apologize for something I didn't do, while simultaneously being something else all together. So tell me, when did you read Guns, Germs, and Steel? I'm sure you have, given the sanctimonious way with which you preach your superior understanding of history and the development of modern societies.

Also, the notion that someone is likely prejudiced for not "understanding history" or "understanding privilege" is a non sequitur; you are essentially saying anyone who doesn't agree with you is likely a racist, and that's absurd.

You know who keeps contributing to the problem of racism? People who see everything in terms of race; you know...racists. People who inject race into situations where it would otherwise be absent, or people who justify bigotry against a specific subset of people, because those people are somehow less deserving of basic human decency, kindness, and empathy.

It is not the kind-hearted but impoverished white man, nor is it the kind-hearted but impoverished black man who perpetuate racial tensions. No, it is the man who acts as the self-appointed champion, the man who would claim to speak for those who are fully capable of speaking for themselves; It is the man who would burn our bridges rather than help build them, the man who prefers the ease of antagonization over the difficulty of ingratiation. It is these men who stoke the fires of racial animosity, it is these men who are truly racist.

u/celeritas365 · 3 pointsr/changemyview

This is a really complex question that doesn't have a single answer. I do think it is a stretch to say that the exploitation didn't help at least a little bit. There are also other factors than economic policy, innovations, and social institutions. You should check out Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond if you are interested in this kind of stuff. I don't agree with all of it but it is pretty interesting. If you are more into documentaries PBS made some documentaries based off of the book that are also pretty well done. CGP grey also made a video summary of a small section of the book's argument.

u/BionicTransWomyn · 3 pointsr/DebateFascism

>And how can colonization make the African nations all inferior to the European nations?

Because when you litterally enslave millions of people and force them to work for you without providing their offpspring with education, it might harm their long term potential for a bit. As for Africans themselves, are you even kidding? We basically took over their entire continent and kept them in abject poverty, actively creating colonial institutions that worked against their betterment. What African kingdoms were actually doing well, we quashed with superior technology (ie: Zulus)

>Why are Europeans richer and brought up in better circumstances than Africans? Who creates these circumstances? Europeans built the strongest nation on Earth today, the USA, on the same land that Native Americans lived on for thousands of years while accomplishing little. Africans or Native Americans have done this no where.

A combination of geography, access to natural ressources and communication with every part of the world. This is a question that would require a small book to answer on its own, so I'm simply going to link you to some of the more prevalent theories:

>I don't know if I should bother arguing with someone who just claimed that most of Europeans great generals were of African descent.

What? Can you even read. Here's the quote for you, emphasis mine:

>Some of Europe's most talented generals and officials were of African descent.


>Surely the Africans wouldn't have been so badly defeated and enslaved if they were truly equal with the Europeans.

Actually, it turns out that when they are given a good education and the tools to succeed, they can hold their own quite well:

Also, it might surprise you that for a long time, Europe was basically irrelevant and weak. Its ascent really doesn't start until the 16th-17th century, and even then, most empires were able to marshall, by then, ressources that Europe could not dream to match. Already, Western Europe is weaker than China and Russia, and depends on the US to prop itself up.

>The different races of humans are certainly genetically different and have different traits.

Physical traits certainly, but there's a marginal difference between a half-black/half-white kid and a kid from either ethnicity.

PS: You should probably source your claims, I'm sure Darwin would love to have a word with you about the misinterpretation of his theories.

u/Rab-bit · 3 pointsr/science

If anyone is curious about this stuff, there's a good book that goes into great detail about this called Guns, Germs and Steel: The fates of human societies.

u/Pertz · 3 pointsr/geography

I think you're mixing up two visually similar maps, with two highly different concepts.

This one that you're talking about.

And this that I think you should be focusing on:

Also: here is a rough map of your observations about general wellbeing.

Countries with low levels of prosperity generally have relatively recent history of slavery or other types of subjugation effecting large swathes of the population. Africa is a perfect example as shown on the second and the third map.

There are exceptions to everything, but countries with high quality of life were either colonizers (Spain, UK, Holland), or were colonized mainly through genocide (Canada, US, Australia, some southern countries in South America).

The purposeful destruction of culture and the devaluation of whole peoples seems inseparable from the process of colonization, and it sets back the people effected for over a hundred years. Take a look at what has happened to remaining native populations of Canada, the US, and Australia, and you'll see the same patterns as what you're observing in what is called "The Global South".

I could go on forever but I think studying colonization and oppression will help you explore the concepts you brought forward. This is a good resource on oppression:

Remember the important difference between correlation and causation!

A different question you may also be asking now is "Why did the Northerners get to oppress the Southerners?" A lot of it has to do with luck (to have metal, to learn to use it, and to be accustomed to filthy diseases), and I think this book gives a really interesting starting point.

u/this_is_poorly_done · 3 pointsr/SecurityAnalysis

1)Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1926-1945 - David Kennedy

2)From Colony to Superpower: US Foreign Relations Since 1776 - George Herring

3)History of Economic Thought: A Critical Perspective - E. K. Hunt and Mark Lautzenheiser

4)When Washington Shut Down Wall Street: The Great Financial Crisis of 1914 and the Origins of America's Monetary Supremacy - William Silber

5)Guns, Germs, and Steel - Jared Diamond

6)A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present - Howard Zinn

7)20th Century Baseball Chronicle: A Year-By-Year History of Major League Baseball (what? you asked for history books sitting on my shelf)

8)Gunpowder: Alchemy, Bombards, and Pyrotechnics : The History of the Explosive That Changed the World - Jack Kelly

and currently I've just started working on U.S. Bank Deregulation in Historical Perspective - Charles Calomiris. Should be interesting since it was published in 2000...

edit: I like Drited's idea, so I'll take some time to add on some stuff. 1, 2, 4, and 6 give me perspective on how government institutions interact with each other and with the public they are supposed to serve as time and events take place, shaping the history of the US. 3 has given me insight into the evolution of Neoclassical and Labor-value (Marxian) economics. Though Hunt writes with a very heavy labor bias, his book has shown me how a persons beliefs affect there analysis, even when claiming to be value-free. In it he discusses the origins of marginal productivity and efficient markets, and his writings have allowed me to grasp in economic terms why certain ideas are flawed, even though I already knew them to be false after I had studied Psychology. 5 and 8 are a bit different because to me, they remind me that it's not what actually happened that matters, our interpretation of history relies solely on the importance we give those events. All and all, the above texts give me a longer time frame in which to view current events. In fact that's why I like companies such as GOOG and GS so much is because the above readings allow me to look beyond balance sheets, and gives me alternative ways to judge a potential investment. I understand GOOG's importance to the internet world, and the internets importance to our world, and how that relationship might continue on into the future. Stuff like that

u/ChaosFearsNone · 3 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

And done!!!

  1. Blue the best for obvious reason.

  2. Summer what’s better than beer pong? Pool beer pong.

  3. Usual Food the best because it’s a local thing.

  4. Gift for another for my love of Disney animation.

  5. Book to read great insight into the human race.

  6. Cheap because yummy.

  7. For the doge because adorable.

  8. Useless yet so awesome.

  9. Movie because it’s my favorite.

  10. Zombie to destroy their brains.

  11. Life changing to adapt to in work life.

  12. Add on because my kids are always getting sick.

  13. Fandom because it’s an awesome show and these are in apparently.

  14. Pricey for when the lights go out.

  15. Sharks because it’s badass and my daughter would love it.

  16. Good smells one of my favorite scents.

  17. Childhood feels spent so many playing games on this.

  18. Writers was helpful for me once upon a time.

  19. Obsessed my life of Disney is strong right now.

  20. Weird because lol.
u/rasterbated · 3 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

In addition to the previous answers, I would mention that Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond, while not highly regarded by academic historians, contains a long discussion about the scholarship leading to the numbers of indigenous population deaths from European-borne disease that we can cite today. If you're interested in understanding the subtlety of the conversation, you'll find a good summary there.

The book's overall thesis, which is far from a consensus, is that Europeans were able to spread so widely and successfully across the globe because they had a unique mix of natural and animal resources, as well as a variety of disease immunities that were not shared by other cultures. So, the guns, germs, and steel were all on the side of the Europeans, thanks to the random distribution of minerals and resources around the globe. Again, not really a consensus, but it explains how you can have this conversation without falling back on which culture is "better" in some false way.

One important element of Diamond's argument is that it is perhaps impossible to know exactly how large indigenous population centers were, and therefor how many people were killed by disease. The invading Europeans weren't exactly interested in keeping track, and probably couldn't have done so even if they wanted to. Indigenous American cultures were also structured far differently from Europeans, not in small part because the Americas are enormous and everything was a big more spread out. This contributed to their lack of disease immunities common in Europeans, but how could an entire hemisphere of people be completely smallpox-naive?

Some historians might answer that, because the continent of Europe had a somewhat unique mix of livestock and because that livestock lived in close quarters with Europeans, disease jumped from animals to humans more quickly, and there were many more diseases in all the animals that Europeans lived with. As a result, there was a much richer tapestry of disease flooding through Europe, and that same domestic animal disease vector was almost completely absent from the Americas, which have virtually no useful native livestock species apart from the llama.

So Europeans, especially children, died from infectious disease a lot. The ones that survived carried diseases that European adult society was largely immune to, since the surviving adults had almost certainly been infected with and survived the same diseases in childhood.

Smallpox, for example, was startlingly common in Europe at the time of the American invasion. The disease is deadly, virulent, impossible to cure with contemporary medical techniques. (sidebar: Even today, smallpox is a terrifying disease. If a terrorist somehow released an airborne infectious smallpox virus in Times Square, modern Americans could expect an terrifying near-epidemic before the disease was contained, very similar to the Spanish Flu of the early 20th century. Part of that is because we don't have many doses of smallpox vaccines, and another part is because there is no known cure for smallpox infection, even today. But the biggest problem is that no one is immune to smallpox anymore because no one gets it—the last known case was in 1977 in Somalia—putting us in virtually the same immunity situation as the indigenous American populations during the European invasion.) As might be expected, it shredded the population of the Americas, which not only had no immunity to the disease, but were likely utterly unfamiliar with how the disease spread.

I hope I haven't made too many errors in my blunt summary of the topic, but hopefully this can give you a sense of an answer to your question.

u/CannedMango · 3 pointsr/askscience

The hypothesis of this book is that human beings have evolved more in the past 10,000 years than in any other period of the development of man. It's interesting that you picked that exact time frame.

u/ktool · 3 pointsr/evolution

The 10,000 Year Explosion answers your exact question.

> Scientists have long believed that the “great leap forward” that occurred some 40,000 to 50,000 years ago in Europe marked the end of significant biological evolution in humans. In this stunningly original account of our evolutionary history, top scholars Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending reject this conventional wisdom and reveal that the human species has undergone a storm of genetic change much more recently. Human evolution in fact accelerated after civilization arose, they contend, and these ongoing changes have played a pivotal role in human history. They argue that biology explains the expansion of the Indo-Europeans, the European conquest of the Americas, and European Jews' rise to intellectual prominence. In each of these cases, the key was recent genetic change: adult milk tolerance in the early Indo-Europeans that allowed for a new way of life, increased disease resistance among the Europeans settling America, and new versions of neurological genes among European Jews. Ranging across subjects as diverse as human domestication, Neanderthal hybridization, and IQ tests, Cochran and Harpending's analysis demonstrates convincingly that human genetics have changed and can continue to change much more rapidly than scientists have previously believed. A provocative and fascinating new look at human evolution that turns conventional wisdom on its head, The 10,000 Year Explosion reveals the ongoing interplay between culture and biology in the making of the human race.

u/css4517 · 3 pointsr/slatestarcodex

Since it hasn't been mentioned, Cochran has a blog called "West Hunter", which I consider recommended reading -- although many posts are sadly a bit low effort, compared to e.g. SSC, Overcoming Bias, or other favourites among the rationalist crowd. Still definitely worth adding to your blog roll.

And his book with Henry Harpending, "The 10'000 Year Explosion", is required reading for anyone curious about the HBD debate, of course. :)

> (2:07:00) A few people bet on Trump winning after Greg wrote predicting the “shy Trump voter” would put him over the top despite the polls, and then tipped him for it.

Just to pat my own back here: I made about $4000, betting on Trump winning. Not because of Cochran, I hadn't read his post, but because I noticed there was a huge gap between the bookmakers and the exit polls reported at Nate Silver's 538. So betting big on Trump late on election day seemed like a no brainer. In particular so because exit polls usually underestimate the most controversial pick, due to social desirability bias.

Also, I've never seen such an edge at a bookmaker before, compared to an "expert opinion", and I bet professionally on sports for about a year (until I quit when it became too much effort to work around the bookmakers' restrictions on winning players). IIRC, bookmaker odds had Trump at about 16-17% of winning, late on election day, while the exit polls indicated about a 28% chance of winning.

By the Kelly criterion I should have bet way more on the outcome than I did, btw. Assuming the exit polls were right, I should have gone in for about 13% of my betting bankroll. Considering the known bias of exit polls, I should probably have pushed for more like ~25% of my bankroll. But I chickened out, for personal reasons. Being a father of 3 young kids combines badly with being a gambler, so I just played my scared money and bet the $600ish I happened to have sitting around in an online bookie account from old.

u/homo_homini_lupus · 3 pointsr/PurplePillDebate
u/tilther · 3 pointsr/worldnews

The problem is applying a (albeit excellent) novel to the entire hell that was the dust bowl. I dislike a lack of conversation and it's obvious the above poster read The Grapes of Wrath and is using it as the basis for feeling holier-than-thou. I'm a farmer and I'm passionate about soil fertility and stewardship of the land - to portray the dust bowl as financial genocide is to ignore the giant mismanagement of the midwest loess.

I highly suggest this book - "Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations". It deals partially with the dust bowl, but covers the overall story of our species' mistreatment of our soil and how it ties in to the survival and demise of numerous civilizations.

u/Billmarius · 3 pointsr/Futurology

>TIL solar and other progress in reducing CO2 aren't progress.

You claimed that the technological triumph over "Peak Oil" was a good thing. There has been no reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere, and very little reduction in emissions (which continue to rise, year by year.) Meanwhile the growing Chinese and Indian middle classes - hundreds of millions of people - will intensify both CO2 emissions and the over-consumption of natural resources.

> food security is getting better and better over time.

This is a temporary phenomenon. See the sources I cited, the ones you haven't read yet. 20% of the world's arable cropland has been ruined due to salt degradation. This trend is accelerating due to the pressures posed by exponential population growth.

>I much prefer academics. Please cite those instead.

I did, but you didn't bother to read the multiple sources I cited. You haven't cited a damned thing while making sweeping claims.

Ronald Wright was chosen as the 2004 CBC Massey Lecturer and delivered his lecture series at major universities across Canada. All were sold-out, standing-room only. Here's his introduction written by the former Master of Massey College. He has done graduate-level work in both Archaeology and Anthropology, has published several books, and was awarded an honorary Doctorate by the University of Calgary. I don't have to defend this man; physically half of the print version of A Short History of Progress is bibliography. You can look up the sources by using the citation numbers in the text and finding the corresponding citations in a physical copy of the book.

I can't argue with pie-eyed optimism. Global civilization is lurching from crisis to crisis and will do so until we reach a breaking point (see the Oxford report I provided). The soil is going saline; it's why we have to talk about eating bugs now. It's sad- if we had been conscientious about our reproductive and consumption habits we wouldn't be in this mess, or it would be going a lot slower.

Edit: My sister is a Master's level geologist focused on soil science. Here's a book she recommended to me that corroborates Mr. Wright and the other sources I cited.

u/dange-the-balls · 3 pointsr/Damnthatsinteresting

It’s not post modern at all :) it’s incredibly relevant and contemporary primatology, as well as some philosophy especially in the realm of ethics. There’s some wonderful books on the this and I’ll list the links for them if you ever want to check them out

In the Shadow of Man (1971) this one is a bit old but incredible considering it was one of the first accounts of primate behaviour so accurate.

Sapiens (2014) now this book is an incredible read if you want a brief , easy and wonderful account of humans over our evolution. And what makes us “different.”

Primates and Philosophers (2006)

A personal favourite of mine, an excellent account at how something as “human” as morality is something perhaps shared amongst at least some great apes

The Metaphysics of Apes: Negotiating the Animal-Human Boundary(2005)

And a rather analytical text, tracing the interpretation of the human-like great apes and ape-like earliest ancestors of present-day humans, this study demonstrates how from the days of Linnaeus to the present, the sacred and taboo-ridden animal-human boundary was constantly tested. The unique dignity of humans, a central value in the West, was, and to some extent still is, on the minds of taxonomists, ethnologists, primatologists, and archaeologists. This book thus offers an anthropological analysis of the burgeoning anthropological disciplines in terms of their own cultural taboos and philosophical preconceptions.

u/randysgoiter · 3 pointsr/JoeRogan

I'm in the middle of Homo Deus currently. Its great so far, Yuval is a great writer and his books are a lot more accessible than traditional history books. I'm sure there are a lot of liberties taken with some of the history but I think Sapiens is a must-read. Homo Deus is more assumption based on current reality but its very interesting so far.

Gulag Archipelago is one I read based on the recommendation of Jordan Peterson. Awesome book if you are into WW1-WW2 era eastern europe. being an eastern european myself, i devour everything related to it so this book tickled my fancy quite a bit. good look into the pitfalls of what peterson warns against.

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning is another history book discussing that time period and how it all transpired and the lesser known reasons why WW2 went down the way it did. some surprising stuff in that book related to hitler modeling europe around how the united states was designed at the time.

apologies for inundating with the same topic for all my books so far but Ordinary Men is an amazing book chronicling the people that carried out most of the killings during WW2 in Poland, Germany and surrounding areas. The crux of the argument which I have read in many other books is that Auschwitz is a neat little box everyone can picture in their head and assign blame to when in reality most people killed during that time were taken to the outskirts of their town and shot in plain sight by fellow townspeople, mostly retired police officers and soldiers no longer able for active duty.

for some lighter reading i really enjoy jon ronson's books and i've read all of them. standouts are So You've Been Publicly Shamed and The Psychopath Test. Highly recommend Them as well which has an early Alex Jones cameo in it.

u/Zulban · 3 pointsr/nottheonion

I'm currently reading this good book on the history of genetics, that's certainly my impression. Very surprising.

u/Summit_Calls_All_Day · 3 pointsr/biology

The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee.
Well written and explained book about genetics, medicine, and progression of our understanding of biology.

u/joepyeweed · 3 pointsr/AskHistorians

Thanks for the detailed reply! It's interesting to get another opinion on these topics. I just read [After Tamerlane by John Darwin]( and (to me, as a history enthusiast at least) it seemed like he was taking a different view on these subjects - that the Indian market was pretty crucial to the British Industrial Revolution.

u/jlablah · 3 pointsr/exmuslim

cites this book:

Which seems to be delicious to nutjob alt right like Daniel Pipes.

At the of the day having 7 billion on a planet that had one billion in the late 1800s.. Getting rid of billions takes at least a couple of life times.

I predict Islam is not going anywhere for a hundred years. At that point the world will be a very different place.

u/thatcat7_ · 3 pointsr/HOLLOWEARTH

Moon was likely put into perfect orbit around earth and perfect distance from earth and the Sun for perfect eclipse. I think moon was a natural satellite of some another planet, moon was turned into a spaceship and it wandered through space for long time until earth, and perhaps seeded earth.


u/Atlas_B_Shruggin · 3 pointsr/PurplePillDebate

no. read the 10000 year explosion by cochran and harpending

we ar eimperfectly adapted to agriculture, we are not remotely "exactly the same" as 30k yrs ago

the genes to digest lactose and emmer wheat alone disagree with you

u/TimShitPants · 2 pointsr/milliondollarextreme

>unquantifiable discoveries


>predisposed vested interest


Either buy the book or read the fucking article. You have absolutely no leg to stand on here and are literally resorting to Islamic Golden Age and Moore memes.

u/polakfury · 2 pointsr/The_Donald

> 80% of the greatest things in the world

Its more likely around 90 % + range.

u/StardustSapien · 2 pointsr/AskScienceDiscussion
u/MyDogFanny · 2 pointsr/atheism

In his book Sapiens, Harari talks about this issue at length.

>As far as we know, only Sapiens can talk about entire kinds of entities that they have never seen, touched, or smelled. Legends, myths, gods, and religions appeared for the first time with the Cognitive Revolution. Many animals and human species could previously say ‘Careful! A lion! Thanks to the Cognitive Revolution, Homo sapiens acquired the ability to say. ‘The lion is the guardian spirit of our tribe.' This ability to speak about fictions is the most unique feature of Sapiens language…You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven.

>Any large-scale human cooperation — whether a modern state, a medieval church, an ancient city, or an archaic tribe — is rooted in common myths that exist only in people's collective imagination. Churches are rooted in common religious myths. Two Catholics who have never met can nevertheless go together on crusade or pool funds to build a hospital because they both believe God was incarnated in human flesh and allowed Himself to be crucified to redeem our sins. States are rooted in common national myths. Two Serbs who have never met might risk their lives to save one another because both believe in the existence of the Serbian nation, the Serbian homeland and the Serbian flag. Judicial systems are rooted in common legal myths. Two lawyers who have never met can nevertheless combine efforts to defend a complete stranger because they both believe in the existence of laws, justice, human rights, and money paid out in fees.

Blog source for the above quotes and an excellent review of this topic from the book.

A quote from the above blog:

>Harari is quick to point out that these aren't lies. We truly believe them, and we believe in them as a collective. They have literal truth in the sense that if I trust that you believe in money as much as I do, we can use it as an exchange of value. But just as you can't get a chimpanzee to forgo a banana today for infinite bananas in heaven, you also can't get him to accept 3 apples today with the idea that if he invests them in a chimp business wisely, he'll get 6 bananas from it in five years, no matter how many compound interest tables you show him. This type of collaborative and complex fiction is uniquely human, and capitalism is as much of a collective myth as religion.

u/usnoozer · 2 pointsr/ukpolitics

Reddit is no good for this - especially this sub which is informed by the right-wing press, which in turn is owned by right-wing billionaires - the press basically sells audiences to advertisers, its no good as a news source - especially the Telegraph, Mail and Sun. Read as much as you can from everywhere - and never forget to check who owns what you are reading and what they want you to think and why. is worth a go as background.

u/PDXPTW · 2 pointsr/makemychoice

Sapiens! Based on your library this might be up your alley.

Follow it up with Homo Deus if you like it.

u/SardineePackage · 2 pointsr/DiaryOfARedditor

ps. The books I mentioned are kinda embarrassed to tell, but I do really like Pop science books!

My books are including Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, More Forensics and Fiction: Crime Writers' Morbidly Curious Questions Expertly Answered, (Thai) The war that never won: History of fighting between humans and germs and more. Also I bought the complete series of The Famous Five, because I loved it since childhood and the artwork for this edition is really cute! It gives me the nostalgic feeling.

But as I told, I can just open some pages and leave it behind. Such a long journey to be an adult I guess. :/

u/unruly_bernoulli · 2 pointsr/NoStupidQuestions

Here's the amazon page

u/cihmapoutlisce · 2 pointsr/LateStageCapitalism

Excellent book.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Harari, Yuval Noah

u/ma-hi · 2 pointsr/Paleo

Here is a good write-up of some of the evidence. I have seen it mentioned in other places too - Sapiens maybe, but I could be misremembering.

I know that Weston A Price did a bunch of work in this area too.

u/nate_rausch · 2 pointsr/JordanPeterson

I should add, the thing I am finding is that postmodernism has a lot of overlap with what you can read in this book Sapiens. It's just that, while Harari stops at saying social concepts are socially constructed, the postmodernists say everything is. And while Harari says these stories are useful ways to coordinate - postmodernists say all language function only to dominate.

That last thing is another thing Peterson finds objectionable, and where I believe he thinks marxism was snuck in the backdoor -postmodernists seem to make an exception from "the world is made of words, even words"-view of the world, when it comes to one thing, which is power. Power is real (but chairs are not).

This is what Foucault brought to the table, with the concept biopower, which is that "language is oppression". "meaning that language functions in such a way as to render nonsensical, false, or silent tendencies that might otherwise threaten or undermine the distributions of power backing a society's conventions—even when such distributions purport to celebrate liberation and expression or value minority groups and perspectives."

Which leads to his "his rejection of what he deemed to be Enlightenment concepts of freedom, liberation, self-determination, and human nature. Instead, Foucault focused on the ways in which such constructs can foster cultural hegemony, violence, and exclusion."

So, there you have it. If you believed that. That the world is made of words, and words are made of words. And not only that, but words are only used to foster violence and suppress people - so naturally dialogue is not something you want, you would basically just setting yourself up to being dominated without knowing it sort of.

And there is no objectivity or truth to figure out really, since all words are just pointing to other words. I mean this is a really bleak, dark view of the world, that just happens to have some truth in it, very well described in the book Sapiens.

u/artearth · 2 pointsr/ranprieur

In Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari writes about the birth of language as instrumental to human cooperation beyond the tribal level, including the capacity to create and share complex stories that create meaning for people beyond food, shelter and sex.

This ties into the idea of Egregores, autonomous psychic entities created from groupthink who take on a life of their own.

u/charlie_mar · 2 pointsr/NoStupidQuestions

There is a great chapter about this in the book Sapiens. If this is your kind of thing, you will probably love that book. Basically, humans drove them to extinction through hunting and habitat loss due to farming and agriculture. As humans became better hunters with more advanced tools, it became more advantageous to be smaller and hide than it did to be large and able to fight. As human communication and cooperation advanced, they became better hunters through teamwork and coordination. They also began to desire a greater prize (a large kill that could feed their booming population). The evidence in support of this is the fact that large species thrived in places where humans were not. As humans expanded across the globe, the large species began to vanish from those places.

Highly recommend the book, but you can read about it here too.

u/Ainatuoretta · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

I highly recommend read this book about this topic : Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. This book is very easy to reed and explain a lot about Religion and gods.

u/rualive2day · 2 pointsr/exmormon

If you like to read - I suggest you pick up a copy of “Sapiens”, it helped me sort out who I am and where I came from and how we deal with the world around us.

u/xandarg · 2 pointsr/IAmA

I know exactly what you mean! I'd call myself a monkey when explaining my desires/belief structures all the time, even before my first experience with hallucinogens.

I think my thought process in nightclubs or parties was always more self-scrutinizing, due to approach anxiety, so it was easy for me to sit there and start philosophizing about the social dynamics, and how this guy was trying to seduce this girl, and whether it seemed to be working or not, and what signals I was putting out by acting uncomfortable, etc. And how weirdly simplistic it was, on some level (and I'm sure there was also some aspect of belittlement out of sour grapes as well).

You'd probably like this, if you haven't read it yet. It sort of gives me hope that even though we might all be monkeys clamoring for power now, there are other, more healthy ways for monkeys to feel good and live in harmony with each other, too:

Oh, and you might also like the book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (it's soooo interesting!!)

u/chromeragnarok · 2 pointsr/indonesia

It's this one Ada bagian where he talks about how spices and other common food source like potato move around the world.

u/whatelsedoihavetosay · 2 pointsr/worldnews

I can’t take credit. The book “Sapiens”, by Yuval Harari uses it to describe the way human beings use imaginary ideas to control our collective and individual behavior:

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

u/rectorium · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions
u/TheAbyssGazesAlso · 2 pointsr/starcontrol

I highly recommend both Sapiens, and also The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker (which Bill Gates calls "the most inspiring book I've ever read")

They'll make you think (a lot) but they're good reads and super interesting.

u/Parley_Pratts_Kin · 2 pointsr/mormon

Read these books in this order:

  1. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari. Overview of the history of humanity. Fascinating.
  2. God: A Human History by Reza Aslan. Overview of the development of religion and ideas about God.
  3. The Bible Unearthed by Israel Finkelstein. Overview of the archeology of ancient Israel and historical criticism of the Old Testament.
  4. Authoring the Old Testament by David Bokovoy. Overview of textual criticism of the Old Testament.
  5. Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman. Overview of textual criticism of the New Testament.

    This mini library is a sort of behind the scenes peek into humanity, religion in general, and the Bible specifically. You’ll never look at these things the same way again.

    Now, after reading these, return and report and give us word.
u/Waylander84 · 2 pointsr/sexover30


I'm a few chapters into it; so far it's been an explanation of how many human species there initially were, how they interacted, and how ours (Homo Sapiens) came to be the only one still present. It's good reading on a topic that interested me, but it hasn't really grabbed me, so I'll pick it back up after we finish Come As You Are.

u/greaseballheaven · 2 pointsr/occult

I have a very good book that discusses this in depth (but it isn't a very difficult read). The main thesis is the failing battle of the feminine way of doing and knowing versus the masculine written word, and how societies have changed once ridding themselves of their female deities and taking up masculine alphabets. If you're interested in it, I'll be finished with it in a week or two and can mail it to you (if you live in the states).

u/OpinionGenerator · 2 pointsr/books

Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?

To be honest though, this isn't really my wheelhouse or genre so it's not like I've got a lot of other books with which to compare it, but the issue really spoke to me and it's a subject environmentalists tend to avoid.

u/erstrom · 2 pointsr/svenskpolitik

Klimathotet är ett verkligt problem, men ja, vi har ett oproportionerligt fokus på CO2-utsläpp. Befolkningsantalet kommer såklart att plana ut så småningom - men 11 miljarder människor är ingen bra siffra att plana ut på. Det finns inte ett enda miljöproblem som blir bättre av fler människor.

Vi måste såklart jobba för att många U-länder sänker sina barn/kvinna-siffra, inte minst i Nigeria. Men även länder med väldigt stora befolkningar med måttliga födelsetal är också ett problem.

Men nej, tredje världen bär inte ensam ansvaret. Vi måste konsumera mindre, punkt slut. Vi måste diskutera tillväxtekonomin. Vi måste vara beredda på att sänka vår levnadsstandard och acceptera att vi går mot en framtid där vi på vissa plan kan få det sämre. Vi måste sluta tro att teknologin ska rädda oss. I många fall har den dels räddat oss, men också möjliggjort ännu större befolkningsökningar.

Få feta människor förväntar sig att det ska komma någon ny teknologi som gör att denne inte längre måste bränna fler kalorier än den konsumerar för att gå ner i vikt. Men med fossila bränslen, koldioxidutsläpp och demografi resonerar vi precis så här.

Vi måste inse att oavsett hur mycket man gillar eller ogillar naturen och miljön är det i slutändan den som dikterar våra livsvillkor.

Om folk även fick för sig att vi har en skyldighet att leva på ett sätt som gör att andra varelser kan dela planeten med oss utan att riskera utrotning, och att naturen har ett egenvärde precis som kulturarvet, vore det också bra. Men det är inget jag kräver.

Alan Weisman har skrivit en jättebra bok om detta.

u/Nrussg · 2 pointsr/AskThe_Donald

No problem - like I said, history is my jam so I never mind talking about it.

In terms of history subs - I think /r/AskHistorians is great, and usually really well sourced - they have an FAQ that is fun to browse and a cool collection of best answers.

In terms of books, I would recommend Guns, Germs, and Steel - it is far from a perfect book (I don't agree with a lot of it) but it presents a very interesting perspective, and based of the types of things you were asking, I think you would really enjoy it. It's also fairly accessible as far as these types of books go. Just make sure you think of it as a starting point rather than an end point.

I would also recommend both Mike Duncan's podcasts (the History of Rome - dealing with Roman History, and Revolutions - dealing with various historical revolutions) Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast is also pretty good and spans a lot of topics.

If you're in college or have the opportunity to attend classes, I'd also recommend just trying out a class on non-European history.

If you ever have any questions feel free to message me.

u/jaghutgathos · 2 pointsr/opieandanthony

Yo, dopey. Do some research. Believe it or not, languages are often related. Think of a set of grandparents. In Europe you might have two sets of grandparents and in Sub-Saharan Africa you might have 6 sets of grandparents. Even if Europe has more languages, if they are related (as they are) its easier to communicate than with fewer languages that are totally unrelated.

As to the animals - why do people not ride zebras? Do you think its from lack of trying? The domesticated animals that we have now were domesticated because they COULD be domesticated. Dummy.

Here is a good book related to the subject - its a wonderful read (seriously):

u/veringer · 2 pointsr/JordanPeterson

Thanks for clearing all that up. I think your perspectives are deeply flawed and it's likely fruitless to debate with you. However, you might want to read Thomas Sowell's "Black Rednecks and White Liberals". He's one of the primary sources for my above comments and incidentally a black libertarian-conservative economist and social commentator. I think his work, and that book in particular, would resonate with you. From there, I'd recommend "Guns, Germs, and Steel" as a counter-point to you opinions regarding Africans, but you'd have to be open to challenging your current (pathological) memeplex.

> you can cry me a river and i still will not change my mind

This is not the sign of a wise person. You should try harder.

u/Rose1982 · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions

Your dad sounds like my dad, and he loved this book that I got him- Guns, Germs and Steel.

It has great reviews.

u/Neodamus · 2 pointsr/worldnews

There so many other factors. If you want to feel superior, you'll find some reason to. But that doesn't mean it's objectively correct. You may need to do some reading on the subject of why those cultures are "better" than others. You'll probably find it has absolutely nothing to do with the color of people's skin. Try reading this. It's a book about why cultures are the way they are.

u/Zelazny7 · 2 pointsr/asoiaf

The answer to your "why did it start here instead of there" questions can be answered by reading Guns, Germs and Steel.

u/vinterzun · 2 pointsr/shittyaskhistory

If you really want to know, read Guns, Germs and Steel
Your question is what this book is all about. It's super interesting and the author does an amazing job of explaining it.

u/Sad_Wallaby · 2 pointsr/AskReddit
u/WikiRelevance · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

The relevant wikipedia article on domestication explains that there are several traits that a species typically possess that enables them to become domesticated. For animals they should preferably have: a flexible diet, reproduce in captivity, fast growth and reproductive rate, pleasant disposition and good temperament, and should have a social hierarchy that humans can become apart and "alpha" of.

Some species don't have these traits, for example the Indri lemur of Madagascar does not breed in captivity. Another good example is the Zebra: "Attempts to domesticate many kinds of wild animals have been unsuccessful. The zebra is one example. Despite the fact that four species of zebra can interbreed with and are part of the same genus as the horse and the donkey, attempts at domestication have failed. Factors such as temperament, social structure and ability to breed in captivity play a role in determining whether a species can be successfully domesticated".

Domestication differs from taming. "the process whereby a population of living organisms is changed at the genetic level, through generations of selective breeding, to accentuate traits that ultimately benefit the interests of humans. A usual by-product of domestication is the creation of a dependency in the domesticated organisms, so that they lose their ability to live in the wild. This differs from taming in that a change in the phenotypical expression and genotype of the animal occurs, whereas taming is simply an environmental socialization/behavioral trait; the process by which animals become accustomed to human presence."

In actuality only a handful of animals have been truly domesticated. "In human history to date, only a few species of large animal have been domesticated. In approximate order of their earliest domestication these are: dog, sheep, goat, pig, ox, yak, reindeer, water buffalo, horse, donkey, llama, alpaca, Bactrian camel and Arabian camel." Jared Diamond's book guns, germs and steel explores how the natural distribution of these species influenced how cultures arose and how some gained dominance over others...simply because they were located in the right area where a domesticable species lived. It is one of the explanations he gives for the development of great city states in Eurasia, as opposed to say...Africa. Guns, germs and steel has also been made into an excellent movie by PBS

Domestication and Evolution

Domestication is an event, not a trait. There are certain heritable traits that make a species better suited for domestication (e.g. flexible diet). In those specific species these traits were selected for other reasons (e.g. a flexible diet is a good thing in a highly variable habitat where food resources fluctuate), specific to that species within its niche - not for some unforeseen future domestication event by humans. Remember that evolution has no goals or directions. And evolution cannot select something from nothing. First a trait or behaviour must exist within the population, then selective forces within their social or natural environment will dictate whether that trait remains or disappears. Domestication can also be described under aritifical selection which differs from natural selection in that the actor is not nature, but humans.

u/GornoP · 2 pointsr/CasualConversation

The 100

Guns, Germs and Steel -- there was also a 3 part series on the history channel that condenses this.

Basic Knowledge -- I was given this as a gift, it's Dry as shit to try to just sit around and read, but super handy to look up stuff.

u/fallenpollen · 2 pointsr/arabs

This author is right on the money! So many of us blame the current Arab situation on some kind of moral failing on the part of the people, but the reasons are usually tied to the bigger picture and the world around us.

'Guns, Germs, and Steel' by Jared Diamond expands on this so much in terms of the basic idea. Although its not specifically about the arab world and about all societies in general, its a fantastic read and i recommend it wholeheartedly.

And the take from all of this is quite positive in my opinion. The Arab world is currently undergoing a fundamental shift in terms of demography, economics, and education. As the Arab world starts to reach its full potential in these areas in the coming decades, I foresee wonderful advancement in our societies and resurgence of our historical status in the world as a whole.

u/poopascoopa69 · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Oh, jeez. Just one?

I might as well say the one I'm reading now. It's Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. Everybody knows that Western Europe took over the world because they had better technology. Diamond tries to find out what factors led to that state of affairs, though. He gives a biologists' view of the last 13,000 years while also drawing on his experience with history and language.

u/gibberfish · 2 pointsr/Documentaries

Haven't yet watched the documentary, but the description reminds me of Guns, Germs and Steel, an excellent book on the same subject.

The fact that Western culture dominates the world (for now) seems a given, but it's not so easy to explain why it wasn't, say, Sub-Saharan Africans or Native Americans that conquered the world.

If you're at all interested in how geography defines societies, why inventions were or weren't made by them, why conquests happened or didn't, and so on, I can really recommend this book. Easily one of the most fascinating I've ever read.

u/UtimateAgentM · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Guns, Germs, and Steel. Why the world is the way it is.

Personally, I'd also choose To Kill a Mockingbird. It's accessible, engaging, and has real depth.

u/Ilickexpectedthings · 2 pointsr/Documentaries

>But why didn't they develop industry?

a book with hypotheses on that:

u/alpacIT · 2 pointsr/geography

You've already had some good suggestions, which I'd suggest following. I have a BA in geography and even after school found these interesting reads.

Cultural and Historical Geography

Eratosthenes' "Geography"

The World of Gerard Mercator: The Mapmaker Who Revolutionized Geography

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

Race And Culture: A World View

Technical, GIS, Cartography

How to Lie with Maps

Thinking About GIS: Geographic Information System Planning for Managers

An Introduction to Geographical Information Systems

I know most of these won't be of much use with a BS degree, but gives you a good foundation for thinking geographically. For the more science aspects; a good understanding of physics, chemistry, and to a lesser extent biology, will really give you a leg up when starting out.

u/bwv549 · 2 pointsr/exmormon

Thank you. I acknowledge that the topic is deep (far deeper than my training and study, and I've been studying the topic for quite some time).

I think Guns, Germs and Steel is great for exposing a person to lots of the data that scientists use to make these models and with some of the way these models are arrived at and reasoned with.

Other than that, I mostly go at it one wikipedia article, or one Young Earth Creationist debate, at a time. :) For real, I think that engaging in thoughtful debate with someone who holds an opposing viewpoint is a very quick way to bring yourself up to speed on the issues (gives you the opportunity and motivation to study one issue at a time). It's definitely still a work in progress for me.

u/golden_canary · 2 pointsr/TrollXChromosomes

Not u/misyo but I'm also a historian. Best overarching history series is [Blood, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond] ( imo. It touches on a bunch of different historical eras and locations so it's pretty diverse. It is western-centric however, so you won't learn too much about any eastern history. That being said, the book doesn't ignore it either, so if it's relevant you'll get it. :)

u/WhineyThePooh · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

I remember really liking Lies My Teacher Told Me, which debunks common misinformation found in U.S. History text books. Though it might be not be as intellectual as he likes. Check it out, though.

There is another one my father-in-law gave great reviews, but I can't remember the title. I'll ask and edit if I figure it out.

Edit: Guns, Germs, and Steel!!! I haven't read it myself but it sounded interesting.

I also thought of The Master and Margarita, if he hasn't read it already. I bought this version, and a lot of the footnotes go into how the Russian political climate at the time influenced the novel. I thought it was very interesting.

u/Vladha · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

It was a combination of multiple factors. In short, humans have reached North America and the American continent in general much later than humans reached Europe. By the time Native Americans managed to develop crops and livestock, Europeans were way ahead of them with much better food, weapons and with diseases that the Native Americans were not used to.

If you are interested in this topic, I would recommend this book,
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies.

u/WhiteDove · 2 pointsr/atheism

If you are very curious I'd recommend reading Guns Germs & Steel for a fairly accurate (and interesting) summery of why Europe pretty much won Civ V. If you are only moderately curious the documentary is pretty informational as well.

TLDR; Europe is wide, and had more resources due to natural selection having more contiguous territory to play with.

Edit: Also, the southern hemisphere mostly consists of narrow landmasses. The argument is essentially that because the basic biomes are much larger in the northern hemispheres they had more 'advanced' plants and animals, essentially wolves, cattle(cows, sheep, pigs etc...) and grain. This jumpstarted northern societies so they were able to have the excess resources to develop technology (the guns and steel part). The germs were because they domesticated (and lived closely with) animals as well as traveled extensively. Once the oceans were conquered it was pretty much settled.

u/alarmmightsound · 2 pointsr/SubredditDrama

Holy fuck, man.

> Typically they're defined by factors like economic performance, social stability, resources, political structure, etc.

So what made their economic performance, social stability, and political structure that of a 4th grade level? Who did that?

Here's something you should read to help you, and here's another, and I guess even this one, although it's not nearly as good. But I'm sure you won't- you just stumbled into a very complex topic with the faintest of knowledge- so it really doesn't matter. What you'd learn from it is that geography is about the only thing that is really deterministic in human development- everything else is what you decide to do. And geography isn't what's determining the difference between North and South Korea, so...

It seems as if we should be comparing them all, instead of infantilizing whole nations of people so you can make some awkward and cringeworthy conspiracy that isn't even correct anyway.

Wow. Just wow.

u/Deradius · 2 pointsr/AnythingGoesNews

>Remember when MTV filmed ODB on a limo ride to "get paid" at the welfare office with his welfare and foodstamps?

You believe that a disproportionate number of parasites are black because of one guy behaving irresponsibly?

Do you also believe that all black people are astrophysicists?

Let's get to the root of why you believe what it is that you believe.

>Nobody knows why all 47 sub Saharan countries in Africa are hellholes of disease, famine and poverty.

You should check out Guns, Germs, and Steel, if you're interested in this topic and you haven't read into it already. It does an awesome job answering this question, though I'd not have phrased it quite the way you did.

To sum it up, Africa, unlike Europe and the US, is situated on more of a North-South axis. Interestingly, this can make it much tougher (as a society) to transport resources and ideas from one place to another, stifling production and innovation and making it very difficult for industrial societies to develop. I don't do the concept justice, really, but it's a pretty cool concept and I highly recommend you check it out before you dismiss it out of hand.

There's also the exploitation of and tampering with these countries by first world nations that can make it tough for them to develop. It can be tough to develop a free and enlightened society when some first world power is buying ordnance for the oppressive regime du jour to accomplish whatever political goals they might have in the region.

And as you well know from following U.S. politics, corruption is certainly not exclusive to these nations.

>African American children are more than three times as likely as white children to be born into poverty and to be poor, and are more than four times as likely to live in extreme poverty.

Yep, and let's take a minute to talk about why.

Let's say that the first slaves arrived in the US in 1619.

Let's figure slavery ended with the emancipation proclamation, even though it didn't, which took place in 1863.

Let's suppose that oppression of blacks ended with the civil rights movement, which we will say happened at the nice round figure of 1960.

So you've got 244 years of slavery, in which, on the basis of their skin color, blacks were maintained almost exclusively as a servant class. They were deprived of education. They were deprived of any economic opportuniteis whatsoever. They were kept poor and undereducated specifically for the purpose of having them perform menial labor jobs.

From 1863 to 1960, you've got 97 years in which they were specifically targeted for oppression by society and government on the basis of their skin color alone. They were deprived access to equal facilities, they were deprived access to education, they were deprived access to educational opportunity.

The deliberate intent here was to create and maintain an economic servant class through the imposition of economic constraints, since it could no longer be done directly through legislation.

The effect was to create and perpetuate a system of generational poverty.

Black Americans could not obtain a quality education. They could to obtain quality jobs. As such, they could not amass financial resources either for themselves or for their offspring.

Those who lack education value education less and encourage it less in their offspring.

Those who have fewer resources are not able to provide resilient support networks for their offspring.

While having a car transmission die might be a bad thing for you or I, for someone stuck in generational poverty, it can be a catastrophe. Three jobs won't help you when you can't get to any of them, and not only do you not have the funds to fix the car - but neither does anyone in your support network.

You don't snap your fingers and get rid of three hundred and fifty years of baggage overnight. The grandparents of today's high schoolers, many of whom are directly raising those high schoolers, experienced direct educational and economic deprivation at the hands of an oppressive system.

It is, therefore, not particularly surprising that we see widespread problems in the African American community. They are the result of a deliberate and artificial imposition of educational and economic poverty, assigned along racial lines.

Affirmative action is an attempt to reverse the impact of negative racial poicies of the past by instituting 'beneficial' race-based policies in the present.

I (likely) agree with you that affirmative action is a bad idea.

Racism in the present, whatever form it takes, cannot possibly hope to correct racial injustice in the past.

Young people today do not need to be taught the lesson, "You deserve a leg up because of the color of your skin,", or "Because of the color of your skin, we don't think you can hack it, so you're being given a leg up." Both lessons are false and damaging.

Instead, policies should be instituted that differentially benefit artificially impoverished minorities until the disparities are resolved.

For example, a college scholarship that targets individuals who are the first in their family to go to college and whose parents fall below a certain income threshold will benefit a disproportionate number of African-American youths until the disparities are fixed, but will neither exclude eligible whites nor convey the wrong message to anyone.

>12.5% black population.

I was afraid of that.

Going back to the original quotation:

>How can a minority that does not work hard and is not as smart as the majority win the battle for scarce resources?

Please provide support for your generalization that black people, as a whole, do not work hard and are not as smart as 'the majority' (who I take to indicate white people based upon your reasoning - correct me if I'm wrong).

>60% of black students don't graduate high school. In NYC, that figure is 75%.

Does this have more to do with their capacity to achieve or with unstable home lives that are a product of generational poverty combined with an ongoing tradition of imposed racial inequality at the hands of police and school officials?

>72% of black babies are born to single mothers.

Does this have anything to do with the disproportionately high incarceration rate of African American males, stemming at least in part from differential enforcement of the laws?

u/Virnibot · 2 pointsr/aznidentity

Virnibot has detected a misspelling or incorrect use of grammar in your comment.

> I am also a white devil and tbh I think only morons idealize the culture and advancement of whites without looking at the blood that was spilt to propogate it, white people colonized and enslaved millions throughout history to get to where we are today. However the only people that think 18th century china were backwards are also morons and I doubt that they opened a single historical textbook.
> That being said, human nature is violent and opportunistic, you can't judge our ancestors with the world view of today, their simply wasn't the infrastructure in place for people to be co exist peacefully in the same manner as today. There was no antibiotics, no internet, no welfare, no democracy, limited legal and policing systems, no easy transport, no supermarkets the list goes on and on. Without these systems in place, people become greedy and mistrustful of each other.
> If one cut on your knee can get infected and kill you, leaving your family destitute and the average life expectancy was 30 then people are going to act alot more sociopathic, it becomes about survival, like actual life or death survival.
> The reality is human history is dirty and messy and violent, and pretending that any race or ethnicity is innocent from that is completely ignorant, its in our genes to be opportunistic and violent, its evolution and natural selection at work. We only became largely peaceful in the last 50 years because a) we developed to such a degree that working together economically was in our better interests than military and b) the deterrant of nuclear war and mutually assured destruction
> I recommend you read the following books:
> Basically how all human societies are violent and
> This book gives the reasons why civilizations rise and fall and why European culture became the dominant one post 19th century
> Essentially there are deterministic factors that are needed for any culture to prosper and white people inherited them all just because of geography and luck

  • You wrote alot which should have been a lot

  • You wrote propogate which should have been propagate

    <3 Good day Courtesy | Of | User Virnios
u/CKtheFourth · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

There's a really good book that answers this question and a whole lot more

Jared Diamond - Guns Germs and Steel

u/roconnor · 2 pointsr/canada

> Maybe the laws of nature just don’t allow for industrial efficiency principles to be applied to living beings.

Or maybe nature has been evolving epidemics ever since the neolithic revolution.

u/mementomary · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

I pretty much only read non-fiction, so I'm all about books that are educational but also interesting :) I'm not sure what your educational background is, so depending on how interested you are in particular subjects, I have many recommendations.

Naked Statistics and Nate Silver's Book are both good!

Feeling Good is THE book on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

The Omnivore's Dilemma is good, as is Eating Animals (granted, Eating Animals is aimed at a particular type of eating)

Guns, Germs and Steel is very good.

I also very much enjoyed The Immortal Live of Henrietta Lacks, as well as Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman :)

edit to add: Chris Hadfield's Book which I haven't received yet but it's going to be amazing.

u/mykart · 2 pointsr/TheRedPill

Oh jeesh this is embarrassing. Go read Guns, Germs, and Steel if you really want to know the thousands of reasons why North America and Europe is more stable than Africa and Asia.

Hint: Variations in female sexuality is not mentioned.

u/Rhianu · 2 pointsr/Alabama

Actually, their ancestors DIDN'T start out in the same socio-economic situation as everybody else. In fact, there isn't even a standard starting point for anyone. Each continent had different natural resources, and those people who happened to be lucky enough to be born on continents with better and more plentiful resources became more prosperous. The only reason white people became the most prosperous race is because Europe had better natural resources than any other continent on Earth (though Asia was a close second). The book Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond reveals the absurdity of racial meritocracy.

Also, legal rights mean nothing if those in power still want to keep you down. The book The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander exposes how white politicians have used all sorts of creative and underhanded methods to keep black people uneducated and poor, despite the passage of apparent equal rights in the legal system.

u/DavidByron · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

For politics there's a lot of heavy heavy stuff which is good but if you want something light and more story orientated but still good try Confessions of an Economic Hitman It's about how America came to dominate and exploit the third world.

If you can handle something a little heavier I'd suggest the free on-line copy of A People's History of the United States. It's an upbeat history of ordinary people struggling for their rights against the rich - stuff you don't get told at school.

Many people will suggest George Orwell's 1984 which is also free on-line but I'd read only half way through if you want to keep it a bit lighter because the ending is pretty goddam nasty and all the buzz words that the book entered into the English language (apart from "Room 101") are in the first half of the book.

For a great book on pre-history try Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel. Famous book with ideas you'll find very useful in conversations. It answers the question as to how come it was White Europeans going and beating up on everyone else instead of vice versa?

If you're not a conservative (and why would you be) you'll enjoy Bob Altemeyer's The Authoritarians. It's his research on why some people seem to act in irrational ways and it's free on-line again. Bonus: his writing style is very easy to read and it's short.

u/braincow · 2 pointsr/askscience

The wiki article I linked to has a few decent references on why the hypothesis is incorrect (and also references to supporting evidence).

> The original "thrifty gene" hypothesis argued that famines were common and severe enough to select for thrifty gene in the 2.5 million years of human paleolithic history. This assumption is criticized by some anthropological evidence.[14][15][16] [17] Many of the populations that later developed high rates of obesity and diabetes appeared to have no discernible history of famine or starvation (for example, Pacific Islanders whose "tropical-equatorial islands had luxuriant vegetation all year round and were surrounded by lukewarm waters full of fish.").[15][16] Moreover, one of the most significant problems for the 'thrifty gene' idea is that it predicts that modern hunter gatherers should get fat in the periods between famines. Yet data on the body mass index of hunter-gatherer and subsistence agriculturalists clearly show that between famines they do not deposit large fat stores [17].

Also, Guns, Germs, and Steel devotes a couple chapters to discussion regarding the theory.

u/Mablun · 2 pointsr/exmormon

Why Evolution is True

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (free online!)

Guns, Germs, Steel

The God Delusion

Misquoting Jesus (Conceptional this is very compatible with Mormonism--the Bible not being translated correctly so we need the BoM!--but the specifics about what got mistranslated are devastating as Mormonism doubled down on the mistranslated parts. oops.)

Don't even both learning anything more about Mormonism. Just be widely read and you'll soon see that the Mormon version of history is in incongruent with reality. This will cause cognitive dissonance and when you're ready to resolve it, go back and read independent sources about Mormonism and it will be very obvious that the narrative they indoctrinated into you as a child doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

u/INTPClara · 2 pointsr/INTP
u/LarParWar · 2 pointsr/TheRedPill

Words such as "race" are used to draw dividing lines between genetically dissimilar populations. How dissimilar varies over time. Europeans and Africans are clearly of different races, for example. Nor would Europeans and Arabs ever be mistaken. When you compare West Europeans (core Europeans) and Eastern Europeans (Slavs, mostly), the water gets a little murkier. They certainly fall under the "white" umbrella, but how much? For instance, I have a good eye for this, and can tell them apart with ease. The average white person cannot. So is there a grand unified White Race™? Probably not. But there are white races, of which the label "white" can be reasonably applied to all of them.

What seems to have happened to most of the ancient world—through Europe, Asia, the Middle East—is that the Indo-European people(s) swooped down and conquered, established civilizations, and then gradually, over many generations, "melted" into the conquered peoples. The white phenotype was probably as fragile to intermixing then as now, and besides, though most similar to Europeans (or "whites") they were forerunners, "prototypes".

Historical genetic overlap, though important, is not the whole story, as evidenced by convergent evolution, which can form nearly the same structure from totally unlike ancestries; see sharks, which once were fish, and dolphins, which once were deer-like ungulates. Not the same, but remarkably similar in some important ways. Put differently, a group of stone-age Europeans living in Africa would lose their essential European characteristics over time, slowly becoming more and more like Africans.

And the ancient Romans were right: the tribes that inhabited the island of Brittania were incapable of being civilized. They are the ancestors of modern Britons, yes, but not the same. They have changed—genetically; they literally evolved—rather substantially in the past two millennia. Read The 10,000 Year Explosion for a better idea, it's quick and easy.

Re: Iraqi vs Iranian. I can tell them apart, but again, convergent evolution.

Yes. Do you have two thousand years to wait while the harsh European environment civilizes the Semitic tribes currently colonizing it? I don't. (And even then they'll still be largely Semitic in nature and temperament, just see the Ashkenazi jews.)

The Japanese are indeed distinct from all other Asian races. They alone were subject to similar environmental conditions as Europeans over the millennia. The small island of Japan just off the Asian continent is remarkably similar to the small island of Britain just off the European continent.

u/justwasted · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

It's not really likely that either modern day or ancient peoples would be ravaged by diseases in the same way that native americans were by the sicknesses introduced by european colonists.

The book "The 10,000 Year Explosion" goes into detail on how the native american populations had uniquely specialized and homogenous genetic approach to fighting illness that was totally overwhelmed when the europeans introduced new sicknesses into the environment. It's a very good and easy-to-read book for dealing with such technical matter, highly recommended.

Although back on the subject, the marines would probably suffer much more due to illness simply because their unit is much smaller.

u/katabaticpat · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

I suggest, if you have an interest in human evolution from an anthropological or biological perspective, that you check out The 10,000 Year Explosion.

I don't know that it discusses human love or relationships, but it does focus on variations in populations in build, problem-solving ability, etc., and hypothesizes on how they might have arisen. If you have more of an interest in looking at the biology or evolutionary side of things, you could always take a look at The Selfish Gene by Dawkins (depending on how you feel about him).

u/AwesomePurplePants · 2 pointsr/FragileWhiteRedditor

Mostly just googling, combined with half-remembered facts from reading.

The 10,000 year explosion was good for info on this IIRC. Though mostly focused on the European evolution of lactose tolerance.

Everything is educated guesses. The known fact is that Africans have more genetic diversity than Europeans. Simplest explanation for that would be that humans started in Africa and left.

u/thecave · 2 pointsr/Psychonaut

I'd recommend you read Yuval Noah Harari's, "Sapiens." It's a great perspective on where we came from and how we got here and whether or not we're better off. It may help you put your observations in context better.

In India it's not uncommon for older, upper-caste men to quit everything and take to the Himalayas to live out their lives in prayer, meditation, and reflection - living entirely on charity. I've met some of these guys in Rishikesh. I'm sure there's a lot of bullshit and phoniness in that scene. But it's sort of reassuring to know that the option is there, you know? They're called renunciates, because the renounce all this BS, right?

But anyway, Sapiens. I think you'll find a lot in it. It's from a scientific rather than a mystical point of view. So I think it anchors psychedelic observations within a factual framework.

u/DaffGrind · 2 pointsr/AskPhysics

Tranforming Matter is a very good overview of the history of chemistry/atomic physics from the enlightenment onward.

The Gene has some very good stuff on genetics and molecular biology.

u/Hendo52 · 2 pointsr/latvia

You can find information about Fascism by reading books about the history and development of Western philosophy. Fascism is the ideological successor to the Holy Roman Empire and in more modern times it was a reaction to the Enlightenment and to the French Revolution. Any books that deal with those topics will discuss Fascism in the context of the era.

I agree the world will survive if you learn about Fascism but that’s not why you are down voted. Most people feel that Fascism is an ideology that had catastrophic consequences for the countries who adopted it, most notably Hitler's Germany. Those consequences were not only bad for Germany and its citizens but also for a lot of other people which is why it is taboo.

I might take the opportunity to mention that Fascism was based on several pseudo-scientific ideas which were later debunked by advances in genetics that mostly took place after the decline of Facism. If you want to get into the details, this book goes into very deep detail explaining why ethno-nationalism is complete nonsense from the perspective of the genetics. It also has a lot of history about Fascist Germany.

u/ragsoflight · 2 pointsr/biology

My favorite text on science as a whole is Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact, by Ludwik Fleck. He describes the evolution of scientific ideas (and the cultural morass surrounding them) in elegant anecdotes that are, to me, more effective than many other philosophers of science that came after him.

In terms of recent popsci, The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee was exceptional.

u/wasabicupcakes · 2 pointsr/Anxiety

The Fight or Flight response in you is about 100,000 years old. 100,000 years ago, if you heard a loud roar in the forest, you either ran like Hell or got ready for the fight of your life. Failing to do either one, meant you were lunch.

That response is still in you. The problem today is that subconsciously everything appears to be roaring at you. In other, words, your Fight or Flight response is always in the ON position.

We could go back to Darwin but that is a bit tedious although hats off to him for coming up with the Law of Natural Selection. A better book would be How Civilizations Die. Its more about people and less about turtles.

u/koprofile · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

Has anyone read How Civilizations Die by David Goldman? I don't agree with everything he writes, but he makes some interesting points about declining birth rates and their effects. He focuses on Iran how it's declining population will ultimately result in it's destruction or "cultural suicide", as he refers to it.

u/AnonEGoose · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

Yeah about that language thingy....

According to the author of "How Civilizations Die..."

He sez that there have been an estimated 128,000 languages since the beginning of humankind, we have samples of writings of 90+ of these same languages and we can only read 19 of these.

I guess he's pointing out how really fragile human existence is and we really don't know a lot about previous civilizations.

u/Lucretius · 2 pointsr/Frontier_Colonization

If you are interested in these things, I just finished The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution by Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending which makes a strong case for signifigant evolution in humans since the development of agriculture 10, 000 years ago.

u/boy_who_loved_rocket · 2 pointsr/canada

The article I linked to explains why that isn't true. To take a deeper look at recent human evolution and why it has created group differences read this book.

The argument that race does not exist is politically correct nonsense. Human evolution has accelerated since the development of civilization, and group differences are both real and important.

u/mushroommman · 2 pointsr/metacanada

He is a Christian Greek-Orthodox from what is now being categorized as Lebanon formerly known as the Levant. The majority of the people native to Lebanon have Greco-Phoenician genes, not Arab.

After the Lebanese civil war in the 70's, all the news outlets and the Arabist kept echoing that Lebanon is in the Middle East, and Lebanese are Arabs, while the island of Cyprus, located 250 km away from Lebanon, is part of Europe.

Read a book. Don't be sheep. This one, perhaps.

u/drodspectacular · 2 pointsr/politics

I'd like to reference a damn-good Mike Rowe post to preface my comment. The political climate in the United States is reactionary, but I'm simply a man with my own biases and pre-conceived notions. So don't take my word for it. Study history. Empires come and go, calamities happen, and people adjust to keep the collective learnings of our ancestors alive. The United States is in grave danger due to our arrogance, narcissism and greed. Hard-working, honest people naturally go with the flow of nature; the dark-side manipulates, intimidates, makes you question if there's goodness left in humanity. When this happens we have to be our own light in the world and insist we can be better, to give us strength and courage in the face of calamity and despair.

u/ProcessFiend · 2 pointsr/cults
  1. ...Rose of the World, a controversial Moscow-based organisation which describes itself as "training for personality development". While researching for a documentary into Korshunova's death, Pomerantsev learned that the model spent three months attending training session at Rose of the World. These sessions—which encourage participants to share their worst experiences and recall repressed memories—are modelled after Lifespring...

  2. Ruslana Korshunova was born in Almaty, Kazakh SSR.

    Kazakhstan has been a hotbed of bizarre, hyper-authoritarian, pseudo-mystical religiosity for at least three millennia; maybe four. (See Frankpan's The Silk Roads, and one of Karen Armstrong's books, though I cannot remember which one.) Start connecting those dots, boys & girls.

u/Axvelk19 · 1 pointr/uncensorednews

This is the book in question.

> European people's relied on circumstance?

Once it is a happening. Twice it is coincidence. Thrice it is a pattern. The European land is the best as far as evolutionary benefits goes. Best nutrition, weather, resources etc. Yes. This is why we are here today. This is why by the evolutionary process the achievements of Europeans number 90-95% of all.

> How much of it was won through the spoils of war instead of self innovation?

Precisely? No clue. However when are the means more important than the end? And by what metric do you judge war to be inherently negative? By war men know the fullness of life. By war we reveal the worst of humanity yes, but also the best minds, the most innovative discoveries and forms of progress.

> This "my people" shit just seems like a way for people who haven't accomplished shit to feel a part of the accomplishment of their ancestors.

The idea is simple. Our ancestors fought, bleed, sacrificed and constantly pushed for better. We live on their shoulders and the greatness that was their existence. What we have today: safe and prosperous societies, those things came about because of their goodwill. The conclusion is that we should strive to be as best as we can be. To honor them and ourselves. To match their greatness and eventually surpass it. That is the idea of "my people". A never ending passion to better yourself and what is yours. I believe this is what everyone of all people on Earth should be doing. Love for your own does not need hatred for others.

> However culture is learned and not predetermined by your genetics.

To some degree yes. However genetics dictate the level of intelligence of the individual. They tell about the likelihood for addictions, the speak of capability to understand and innovate. Genes are everything. If the genes of humans coded for roughly the same capacity all across the board then how come there are still groups of people in Africa that are living in mud huts? Surely if the biological capacity were there, they would have evolved beyond that point a long time ago. 5,000 years ago. Culture is an expression of genetics.

u/hallonkatastrof · 1 pointr/RandomActsOfGaming

If you like reading I highly recommend this book! It's taught me some very valuable things and increased my understanding of society, as well as giving me a new way to look at society. :)

u/tekvx · 1 pointr/movies

Wiki only mentions three, but the book I'm reading mentions around 6.

u/blippyz · 1 pointr/Bitcoin

Thanks, I'll check it out! Just to clarify this is the book you're talking about?

u/Corporatecut · 1 pointr/exmormon
u/Messiah · 1 pointr/AskMen

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind It is a factual book with a cynical overtone, which is why it worked so well for me.

Brave New World by Huxley. One of the best dystopian novels out there.

u/BitcoinAllBot · 1 pointr/BitcoinAll

Here is the post for archival purposes:

Author: Jebick


>A few of my assumptions.

<li>The oldest coin currency that we know is a Sumerian bronze piece dating from before 3000 BC. </li>
<li>The Sumerians also created writing which was a basic form of accounting. </li>
<li>Humans were able to grow, in part, beyond what normal forces of natural selection because our ability to believe in intersubjective</strong> realities. The are subjective realities shared between many people. Such realities are money, gov., and countries. (talked about in Sapiens by yuval noah harari)</li>
<li>These intersubjective realities allowed us to cooperate in scales unknown to other animals. </li>
<li>Money is an intersubjective reality</li>
<li>Money only has value because people all believe it has value (intersubjective)</li>

>These intersubjective realities take decades to build and are a function something like this:
time to build = ((impact on people) * (inherent trustworthiness)) / (quantity of people involved in the reality)</strong>. The problem is Bitcoin's trustworthiness is low, because it's not backed by an established asset such as gold. The impact on people is critical, because money... and the quantity of people in the reality is **everyone on earth</strong>. If Bitcoin can provide legitimate value to our world and annihilate other currencies, I think it will take decades for the world to adopt it.

>Next, the electricity per transaction is 524kWh per transaction (on average) per this . That's enough energy to power 5000+ 100 Watt lightbulbs. How is that sustainable when you scale up to billions of transactions per hour on a global scale?

u/damoncarr · 1 pointr/Psychonaut

I highly recommend the book Sapiens for a discussion of how we got here. His latest book is also great on describing the severe challenges we will face in the near future.




u/capitancheap · 1 pointr/changemyview

Yeah no high density living means filth, communicable disease could not exist. Hunting-gathering means that they had variety of food and plenty of exercise. Read Sapiens: a brief history of humankind

u/MattieShoes · 1 pointr/politics

Sapiens suggested it's a characteristic of monotheism.

u/JimDixon · 1 pointr/atheism

The author's name is Harari, not Harris.

u/Trama-D · 1 pointr/aoe2
u/manatee1010 · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

If this sounds interesting to anyone, I highly recommend the book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.

It covers a lot of early evolutionary characteristics around and after the Cognitive Revolution (when we arguably "became human"). Some of my favorite parts are in depth discussions around how evolutionary prepositions like a belief in the supernatural/religion may have increased odds of survival (although may or may not have improved individual life quality).

u/Your_Favorite_Poster · 1 pointr/history

There are all kinds of obscure forces at play. You'd probably love this book - it's written by a historian, and it's one interesting story after another, all tied up tightly with a few bows (also a top pick by Obama, Gates and Zuckerberg):

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

u/Folkariffic · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Hey! This is my kind of contest. Here's my list:

  1. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Horari -
    From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”
    One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? (copied from the Amazon page)

  2. [Name of the Wind - Kingkiller Chronicles by Pat Rothfuss] ( -
    My name is Kvothe.
    I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
    You may have heard of me. (copied)

  3. [The Golem Cypher: T.R.I.X. by B.V. Bayly] ( - Once one of the best assassins in the galaxy, Cadell is now the hunted. The Ascendency, the ruling galactic empire and Cadell’s ex-employer, has stripped him of everything and placed a significant bounty on his head. Forced to live with the shadows of his past, Cadell hides on the backwater planets of the outer rim. Away from anyone who would recognize him.
    When his old friend and mentor, Salis, dangles a job in front of him that will get him an Ascendency pardon and let him clear his name, Cadell is ready to take it on. Armed with his constant companion, a strange alien symbiote named T.R.I.X. and his skills as an assassin, Cadell sets off to complete the strange job. ( A nifty book but a relatively new author, worth the read!)

  4. [I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid] ( - All I'll say about this is that it's quite volatile when it comes to the reviews it's received. I enjoyed it, but many other didn't... It's quite a ride if you end up enjoying it.

  5. [Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer] ( - In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild. (One of my favorite books/stories of all time. I
    also hold the movie close to my heart.)

    This took me a good few minutes, I hope you find something you like through this contest :)
u/rukus23 · 1 pointr/INTP

A great book. Awesome big picture perspective and helps put so many different ideas in place. Almost done reading it.

u/the_other_brand · 1 pointr/TrueReddit

No, that's a very broad overview of the latest findings in the Political Sciences on how Dictatorships work. The Dictator's Handbook is a pretty informative book on the structure and ,holding of power. Power is rooted in voting blocs for Democracies and money for everything else. Any structure used to maintain or use power results in governance.

This governance structure is something deeply wired into humanity. This was the conclusion to another book I read called Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. The premise of the book is that there has to be a reason why Homo Sapiens came to be the dominate Homo species on this planet. And it was the best guess of the author that it was Homo Sapiens ability to collectively believe in fictional structures that allowed them to unite in groups bigger than tribes. These fictional structures are what we today would know as laws, governments, states, nations, corporations, etc.

It was a long way around, but in short you can't separate government and power. One concept always induces another. Its a fundamental part of human nature.

u/I_just_made · 1 pointr/BlackPeopleTwitter

>"Fake news" and "alternative facts" actually prove that you can't revise recent history. Regardless of what you say, you can't change the events if people are alive who witnessed it. That's why any one who uses those terms aren't taken seriously.

The problem with this is that people read what agrees with them and disavow any differing opinions. If people look no further than their normal news source, then they could be misunderstanding current events. Have to read multiple several news sources, as many different angles as possible, to infer what you believe is an accurate representation of the event.

>Then why even provide the source?

I do not want to pretend to be an expert. This is provided as an entry point for people interested in further reading and what the current state of the situation is.

>The fact is Egypt is in Africa, and Europeans/Arabs didn't invade until millenia after the pyramids were built. Things are a black and white issue because it's the world we live in. I'd never have to even make this argument, if it weren't about black & white to begin with. Ancient white civilizations are credited with these discoveries and advancements, not because they were first, but because they were white.

This saddens me to read it. We will never get past these issues when people are too stubborn to see it any other way. And I never debated that humans didn't originate in Africa. Science agrees with that, and I'd hope most people are in agreement as well. For an interesting read that goes into a bit more detail about this, check out "Sapiens:
A Brief History of Humankind"
. Issues will always be black and white as long as you use a filter to see them that way. And to briefly revisit your response about white civilizations stealing Egyptian discoveries; that is just patently false. You learned about papyrus and mummification for instance? Egyptians were hosts to all sorts of discovery that is to their credit.

>Yes, because those events are fairly recent in human history and include genocide, slavery, and oppression of my ancestors. I can't move on from it because the ancestors of the people that committed the atrocities, and their descendants, never made things right.

And does the same go for genocidal events throughout history like that in Rwanda?

>You don't know that for sure, and even stated that you can't say with absolute certainty that some other ethnic or racial group would have done the same thing, because there's no reset button.
Violence is a part of our nature, but so is the dignity, compassion, and love that comes with "helping your fellow neighbor" that you speak of at the end of your argument.

And you don't either. That's the point. If you push the reset button time and time again, you may get a different outcome. But given how human history evolved during those critical points, it is a reasonable assumption that any group outstripping their competitors in weapons and innovation would have done what they could to secure their dominance/future.

>I'm not gonna pretend like I have the solution, but I know at the very least, reparations and the end of white supremacy is where it begins. These two things lie in the hearts of white people, and aren't something black people can give themselves.

You see the white supremacists on the news right now, but those people are not what we feel. We abhor those people, we want just as much for them to go away, and I do think that we need to do more to stand up to them and move them out. People need to understand that Trump has done this nation no favors by giving them a voice.

Social reparations are a great idea. But monetary reparations are not. Who gets it, how much? Who has to pay? What if there is no trace of slave ownership in your history? What if you are a recent immigrant? What happens to the people who don't get the money?

>We can build our way out of poverty, rebuild our communities, end drug addiction, and gang violence...but there'll still be a white person somewhere to call us all niggers.

Sure, there will always be a racist somewhere. It is a numbers game. There will always be someone believing something; that is the problem we face with religious extremism. But how do you effectively combat it? That is not so simple, and it is a problem we all desperately want to solve.

>The solution to the revision of history being carried out is to educate our children at home. Buy them books and teach them about the other ancient civilizations.
There are more and more black people doing that every day, and there'll come a time, when they'll show up in your classrooms and correct the teacher when they begin their lessons on revised history. How do you think those teachers are going to treat them?

YES YES YES YES YES!!!!! That is EXCELLENT! We have to realize that education does not stop at the parking lot of the school! Foster curiosity, education, learning in the home, it will benefit everyone. Can you imagine what this world would be if people did that? It would be so much better. We wouldn't have many of the petty divides that exist today. Creationism vs Evolution as an example.

>White supremacy is a problem, and it's ubiquitous. It's not just the cross burning, violent shit you see on TV, or at Charlottesville. It's in our education, our media, our tastes, it's to a point where even non-white people unknowingly take part in it through their own language, beliefs, and attitudes.

I agree with the first part, and want to do everything reasonable to put an end to it. But your second part edges on a racist remark. Where is the line drawn between white people allowing to have a culture and it becoming white supremacist?

>That's the truth, no matter how many accounts you long on to downvote in disagreement with.

I only have one account, I could care less whether there is a positive or negative number there. It is about discussion.

>I'll leave you at it. You can have the last word and log onto your other accounts to downvote me if you want.

Again, not doing that. I'm sorry this is your first thought.

>You clearly just wanna argue and gaslight. You've moved so far from my original point, that I've had to argue prehistorical remains, textbook publication, human nature, and what we're doing to fix it.

Come on, really? Why does an opposing viewpoint have to lead to petty insults and character attacks? There is no gaslighting here. I saw you said things that I believed were very biased in a way of misrepresenting historical events, I responded with a point of view to counterbalance that. If you treat everyone who doesn't hold your view as a gaslighter or agitator, then you are closing the door to open discussion; and that is exactly what this country needs right now. I'm really sorry you feel this way, I do not deny that there is a lot of work to be done. But let's work together to do it right, and to be proactive in avoiding these events in the future.

u/Everything_and_More · 1 pointr/Harmontown

Interesting. I've always assumed Dan drew his evolution rants from [Sapiens] ( Do you know if Harari uses Lamarckian ideas?

u/Darkeyescry22 · 1 pointr/samharris

Have you ever read Yuval Harari's book, Sapiens? This isn't really an answer to your question, but based on this post, I think you would like it.

u/JaccoW · 1 pointr/todayilearned

Shot put is a very specific athletic sport to stack hunter gatherers against? It's like complaining that they are not the greatest basket ball players, are noobs in eSports or suck at cycling.
Of course a trained professional will win from a layman especially in areas where skill becomes more important.
Certain martial arts such as Jiu Jitsu and Wing Chun favor smaller or more skilled performers.
But even the best female female martial artist will struggle against a stronger opponent if she is 1.50m (4.9feet) and up against a 2.2m (7.2feet) male. Myths of the short person in martial arts

All I am saying is, when given similar training, ancient hunter gatherers would dominate our current day athletes.

Fossil records shows that after we started with agriculture our bones and muscle mass started to dwindle. We did get very efficient in specialised areas such as our brains which shrunk 10% in the past 20,000 years and processing certain food that became important to ancient famers such as corn and milk. (Though to be fair it is uncertain if our minds became more efficient or if we basically domesticated ourselves)


u/TroyMendo · 1 pointr/exjw

For anyone interested, this TED Talk is awesome. It talks about turning on genes in chickens to bring back some of their dinosaur traits.

EDIT: On an ever so slightly related note, I am currently reading Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and it's fascinating. It points out how what differentiates homo sapien from other species (there are around 15 in all) was the cognitive ability to use fiction in everyday lives.

Typical primates stay in groups of a few dozen or so, and they all know who they can and can trust. Any groups larger than that tend to have problems because there is no way to control the group.

The ability to create mythologies and stories (religion) allowed for far greater control of much larger groups of people because they collectively believe in the entity (whether good or bad) on a collective level where no one has proof of the story or myth, but everyone around you believes so it's all good.

u/bethelmayflower · 1 pointr/exjw

I listening to which i'm pretty sure you would like.

One point that was of interest to me is that the whole point of science could be said to be the acceptance of ignorance.

During the dark ages even up to Christopher Columbus most people believed that old sacred texts contained all knowledge that would ever be needed.

As soon as the idea became popular that it was important to admit not knowing and just looking and seeing where the evidence leads that real progress happened.

If you only pick and choose evidence that supports your preconceived conclusions knowledge stops.

The fundamental problem is the idea that the Bible is true.

u/ejpusa · 1 pointr/nyc

Don't know. But now, all those outstanding warrants for low-level charges have been retired.

At one point in time, 42% of New Yorkers had slaves. That's a mind blowing number. Almost $170K a year (and those numbers are 4 years old now) now to put a kid in Rikers for a year. That's another mind-blowing statistic. So we have some history to work through.

Highly recommend "Sapiens", somehow all of us "tribes" survive in places like NYC, it's so amazing.

> NEW YORK — New York is indeed an expensive place, but experts say that alone doesn't explain a recent report that found the city's annual cost per inmate was $167,731 last year — nearly as much as it costs to pay for four years of tuition at an Ivy League university.

u/Loga-rhythm · 1 pointr/Stoicism

Ill check that out, that's right up my alley.

I think it is definitely important to recognize just how removed from nature humans have become, especially in a philosophical context. Arriving at hard line to define what is or isn't natural is quite difficult though.

If you like this sort of stuff I have some book recommendations too that are along the same lines: (author of this one is a bit opinionated, but still the book is very worh it.)

u/Mythpunk · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

What would be considered safe for retirement plans? There aren't any other investments available that can be liquidated on the spot at the decision of the retirees that also provide the amount of growth necessary to have a retirement plan worth anything.

I don't really see how this law would destroy Comcast, at all. It would radically harm working class people with retirement plans, but the wealthy people in control of Comcast would develop complex legal arrangements via contracts and insurance to ensure that their business would continue otherwise.

For example: suppose such a law passes and all shareholders are held directly liable in proportion to their ownership. This effectively destroys limited liability capitalism. Share prices of every company would drop as every charity, retirement fund, investment bank, and regular person sells as fast as they can. The economy suffers another Great Depression due to the sell-off. Smaller firms die. The larger ones, like Comcast, will have the capital to buy back their shares and "go private." The individuals owning those shares could then put the shares into a trust - they would be the grantors and trustees, but the beneficiary (the individual with legal title to the property) would be a well-paid fall guy. That fall guy would likely never have the money necessary to cover any of a company's legal obligations; the company would become judgment proof.

Destroying limited liability capitalism in this way would not kill Comcast. But it would essentially halt all economic growth and cement wealth even more firmly into the upper classes. Before limited liability, economic growth was essentially zero. Limited liability capitalism (read: the distribution of risk and reward behind an artificial legal entity) is the engine that enabled the global economy to grow so rapidly since the 1500s. This is what enables the vast majority of humans to have the wealth necessary to be something besides subsistence farmers. Check out Sapiens for an explanation.

u/Ziggote · 1 pointr/Showerthoughts

This is an actual discussion in Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind!

Something about how one Nomadic traveler accidentally dropped wheat seeds as he traveled and humankind flourished along that path due to the easy cultivation of the Wheat. The author obviously explains the theory much better than I can.

u/anditcametoass · 1 pointr/exmormon

Homie you must have gotten the cliff notes version.

Amazon Link

For the record I listened to it on Audible so I didn’t know it had 464 pages, I just knew it was about 15 hours long.

u/Lord-Talon · 1 pointr/unpopularopinion

Yeah I agree.

It's also really, really unnatural.

A lot of people don't believe it, but with every human step we actually had to work more. Initially a farming society might have worked less than a hunterer & gatherer society, but after a few decades they actually had to WORK MORE than earlier, mainly because of the growing living standard and society. Same goes for the industrialisation.

If you compare our live to that of a stone-age civilization, you'd actually find that we work far more than them. Obviously that has granted us a FAR higher living standard, but it's still unnatural.


u/SanguineHerald · 1 pointr/DebateAnAtheist

I am a particular fan of the Atheist Experience. It is a weekly call in show that takes calls from theist and atheists to discuss whatever is on their mind.

I am currently reading [Sapiens](sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind This books takes a deep dive into the origins of humanity. It's not particularly about religion but it does make some mention of it. I really like this book because it addresses why Humans are the way we are, what seperated us from our ancestors, how the way we think influences every aspect of our society today.

Talk Origins is an excellent resource that has cited knowledge for just about any topic you could think of.

I am not gay and don't have any real insight into that situation nor have I done much reading or research into that. I do know that the Bible is not friendly to the LGBT+ community, particularly those of the Baptist variety.

Never stop looking for the truth. Evaluate whether the facts you find mesh with your beliefs, if they don't, evaluate your beliefs to see if that is something you can actually believe in.

Remember your parents may never come to accept you as you. I hope they are able to see past their beliefs to still love you but they might not. I have been unable to convince my Father, who is an otherwise brilliant man, that evolution is an actual fact and that the earth is older than 6,000 years old. And I might not ever be able to. You cannot allow your families unwillingness to seek truth and accept you as you to dictate your life. The people I consider my family now are unrelated to me, my brothers and sisters are the ones I have chosen.

Remember, even if you conclude that Christianity is the truth, there is not a single atheist I know that will condemn you for being you. We may argue against beliefs we view as false, but that will not change your value as a human being.

tl;dr seek out facts, evaluate your beliefs against the facts. Repeat till you die. Find people worthy of your time that respect you for you, not their vision of you.

u/a_guy_from_CEE · 1 pointr/changemyview

> Everything from the trial of Galileo and Copernicus

There is a huge chance that you bought into urban legends and deliberate falsifications (originally, an anti-Catholic propaganda spread by Protestant Christians) regarding that.

Read The Sleepwalkers from (atheist) author Arthur Koestler, he gets the story right, backed up with proper sources, and is a fascinating story in general.

Seriously do, it is an absolutely great book:

u/Thetravelingboy · 1 pointr/news

For the shifting view of Galileo you can read: for the basis of the argument against him.

As for the inquisition declaring heliocentrism heretical you can just check out the wikipedia page on it:

It's right in the opening paragraphs: "in 1616 the Inquisition declared heliocentrism to be formally heretical."

u/logictweek · 1 pointr/tangentiallyspeaking

I'll have to check out The Master and His Emissary some time. It was mentioned in 79 - Professor Andrew Gurevich. They also discussed The Alphabet Versus the Goddess which I've read and enjoyed. It relates neurology and linguistics.

u/FThumb · 1 pointr/WayOfTheBern

As an amateur anthropologist with an interest in evolutionary psychology, this was one of my favorites:

u/MMurd0ck · 1 pointr/LateStageCapitalism

It's a very interesting topic indeed. I am entry level in this subject, gathering some books about.

In my seach I have found this book called Alphabet vs The Goddess where the author makes a parallel between the rise of patriarchy simultaneously with the phonetic alphabet.

u/ghintp · 1 pointr/science

> Gnosticism is actually really interesting once you get deep into it, and I say this as an atheist. Tons of focus on dualities.

Excellent. Have you heard of or read Dr. Shlain's book?

The Alphabet Versus the Goddess : The Conflict Between Word and Image by Leonard Shlain
“Making remarkable connections across brain function, myth, and anthropology, Dr. Shlain shows why pre-literate cultures were principally informed by holistic, right-brain modes that venerated the Goddess, images, and feminine values. Writing drove cultures toward linear left-brain thinking and this shift upset the balance between men and women, initiating the decline of the feminine and ushering in patriarchal rule."

Jesus said to them, "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom]."
The Gospel of Thomas

u/Beerquarium · 1 pointr/movies

So this video was uploaded in 2012, so I guess the actual movie never got made. If anyone is interested in this type of subject matter there's a movie called Surviving Progress that you may want to check out. I'd also recommend the book Countdown it is a very well written book about population and how different countries and cultures around the world are dealing with it.

u/FF00A7 · 1 pointr/Futurology

Good luck with that. There are a lot of reasons why it may not happen that way. Suggest checking out the book Countdown by Alan Weisman who addresses these and many other issues.

Take for example Africa. One might think increased standard of living would reduce population just as it did in Japan etc.. but in reality that has not happened. Why? One reason is because in Africa there are so many endemic diseases there is a high morbidity rate (morbidity means people are sickly but not dead). This means mothers still need large families because she can't count on 2 healthy children. Malaria might be solved in a long time but it's just one of very many diseases in Africa. Corruption, crime and wars also take a toll needing bigger families.

Or take Pakistan. It is projected to have more people than the USA in a region smaller than Texas, with a similar lack of water as Texas. Have you ever seen a conservative Islam man (eg. Taliban) embrace condoms and family planning?

Or Iran which has started a national policy to increase population to counter the threat from neighboring countries who have increasing populations (eg. Pakistan). When the Ayatollah wants something, people listen.

Certain places in the world can get away with reducing population, other places are much more difficult. It's not so simple as increased wealth = less population. That's a first world, liberal democracy late stage capitalism phenomenon.

u/s3ddd · 1 pointr/books

Guns Germs & Steel by Jered Diamond

u/jchiu003 · 1 pointr/OkCupid

Depends on how old you are.

  • Middle school: I really enjoyed this, this, and this, but I don't think I can read those books now (29) without cringing a little bit. Especially, Getting Things Done because I already know how to make to do list, but I still flip through all 3 books occastionally.

  • High school: I really enjoyed this, this, and this, but if you're a well adjusted human and responsible adult, then I don't think you'll find a lot of helpful advice from these 6 books so far because it'll be pretty basic information.

  • College: I really enjoyed this, this, and started doing Malcolm Gladwell books. The checklist book helped me get more organized and So Good They Can't Ignore You was helpful starting my career path.
  • Graduate School: I really enjoyed this, this, and this. I already stopped with most "self help" books and reading more about how to manage my money or books that looked interesting like Stiff.

  • Currently: I'm working on this, this, and this. Now I'm reading mostly for fun, but all three of these books are way out of my league and I have no idea what their talking about, but they're areas of my interest. History and AI.
u/Just1MoreYear · 1 pointr/Anarcho_Capitalism

Which time periods and which parts?

This has already been explained throughouly by so many people. A great resource is this book:

There are several factors including geography, environment, and so on.

I'm certain you've never been to the Middle East or Africa.

u/DrImpeccable76 · 1 pointr/HistoryWhatIf

Why exactly do you think that North America, Europe and Asia have so much more cropland than Africa and South America?
What do you think people do when they are more fertile land which requires fewer farmers to keep them alive? They become more educated, develop more advanced infrastructure, create technology at a much faster pace, etc. Just as an example, about 2% of the US population works in agriculture, 15% of Brazilians do the same.

And since you seem to like books so much (despite not even linking one that backs up your statments):

Anyway, I don't want to act like cultural factors don't make any difference in the economic development over long periods of time becaue they certainly do, but you should not ignore the fact that certain parts of the world (such as Europe and North America) have climates and natural resources that are much more conducive to economic development.

u/Morazan1823 · 1 pointr/history

Diamond, Jared. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. New York:Norton, 1999. Print.

Paperbacks on Amazon selling from $5.50


If you're into Mythical Legends, The Nobel Literature Prize winning author, Miguel Angel Asturias wrote Legends of Guatemala, a collection of Mayan Mythical Legends. I highly recommend it, it's a bit trippy, and surreal. $13 on Amazon.

... And there's Popol Vuh, The 'Book of Genesis' for the Mayan people. It's FREE via PDF, starts at page 51. If I recall my favorite story, two brothers (Xb‘alanke & Junajpu) avenge the demons who killed their father. They are summoned to the seven level of Hell and are forced to play an ancient form of what is soccer (World's first sport, Mayans invented the rubberized ball), for their lives... they failed purposely and escape with their lives to accept harder challenges, in order to find the head demon and obtain sweet revenge, It's an epic.

u/Gorm_the_Old · 1 pointr/history

There's a lot of discussion on this subject, and a lot of debate between academics, but no real consensus. Some people think they have the answer - William McNeill is an older example and Jared Diamond is a more recent example - but the debate is still ongoing.

I would say, though, that at a very basic level, the Old World was simply larger and more interconnected than the New World. With more people in the Old World and more people connected to each other, technology was developed more quickly and transmitted across a wider distance. That meant that even though the Old World had its ups, like the dramatic technological advancement of the Roman Empire, and its downs, like the Mongol conquest, it more or less moved forward.

The New World actually had significantly better technology several hundred years prior to the arrival of the conquistadors. The Mayan civilization was much more advanced than the Aztec civilization, including a much more sophisticated system of writing that let them preserve knowledge. But the Mayans went into a long-term decline for reasons that are still not entirely clear. They didn't have as much contact with neighboring groups as civilizations in the Old World did, so when they went into decline, they took much of their technology with them. Contrast that with the fall of Rome - even as Rome fell, much of its knowledge and technology was preserved in the Islamic world or in the monasteries of Europe. That didn't happen for the Mayans, and so the native peoples that were met by the conquistadors were significantly behind where they had been a thousand years previous.

u/frooben · 1 pointr/DebateFascism

If you can read German get Solzhenitsyn first, it has not yet officially been translated into English because the Jews control all publishing. I have also refrained from providing books on science and philosophy and kept it to history because it would become too expansive:

u/dizzyelk · 1 pointr/Christianity

So far the best book I've read has been Guns, Germs, and Steel. Right now I'm reading Botany of Desire, which is pretty interesting. And after I finish that I think something old-fashioned and cheesy would be nice. So I'm probably going to read Edgar Rice Burroughs's Venus series.

u/Reputedly · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Something like that! There's a lot more to be said on the topic, if you're interested. Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel talks about a lot of what I mentioned above in greater detail (there's also a pretty good PBS Documentary based on the book).

u/kingkong672 · 1 pointr/history
u/KillYourHeroesAndFly · 1 pointr/books
u/CleverPunWithBadWord · 1 pointr/AskSocialScience

I think you might enjoy some books that often serve as a learning tool for many sociology students.

A Shopkeeper's Millennium by Paul E. Johnson.

Obedience to Authority by Stanley Milgram.

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond.

War and Empire by Paul Atwood.

Each book is either a study to prove or present a hypothesis, so naturally tries to present evidence in a simple and clear way. No extended parts on boring sociological theory. The books are all easy to read and understand, and most importantly they are all a pretty good read.
One thing they all have in common is that their value or methodology is often controversial and highly debated in many crowds.

For instance, the Milgram book is the foundation for the famous Milgram Yale Shock Experiments in the 60's, so naturally there is the issue with ethics and methodology. If I remember correctly, this study is the reason any scientist today has to have his/her work approved by an Ethics Committee every time human subjects are involved.

War and Empire is a bit far-fetched at times, but is still very engaging, and at times hard to put away. Some might argue that it falls under 'History' more than 'Sociology', but because of how recent a lot of the topics are, I think there is real value there within sociology.

Guns, Germs and Steel is basically an overly simplified answer to a very complex and multidimensional question, but it's still a very fun idea to explore when you read it. Most people in the social sciences have heard of this book, and with it most people have also heard a lot of criticism.

The Shopkeeper's Millennium is probably the "best" of the four, as it often used as a "benchmark" for many sociology students on how historical research is conducted and used to present a study. The book is old, but it's still taught at many colleges to this day.

Based on your request, I think the Milgram book would be the most interesting for you to start with. Simply put the purpose of the study was to see if there is a correlation between obedience and the presence of authority.

I've also read a few books on poverty and unemployment in the Black and Latino communities. If that sounds interesting, let me know and I'll see if I can dig up some titles and names for you.

EDIT: Fixed some words.

u/glennerooo · 1 pointr/askscience

this won't address your question thoroughly but it talks a lot about these kinds of topics and even mentions a very similar question in the first few chapters: Guns, Germs and Steel.

u/Nixon737 · 1 pointr/AskReddit

You're right, but only in the technical sense. Even today, in smaller chiefdoms and tribes in places like New Guinea, the murder rate per capita is much higher than in 'civilized' countries. This isn't so much an evolution of human civility, but a result of organized government. If someone wrongs you, there is a system in place to exact retribution, where as in the above mentioned areas the only recourse is often direct physical action, often reciprocated a few times before settling down.


Personally, I think it's more important that you know where your food comes from, something too many people don't seem to care about. I eat meat, but luckily I can afford to buy from local farms where I know the animals were treated with care up until their slaughter. Sources of non-meat food can be just as bad if not worse than the killing of an animal for a meal. If the source of your daily cereal comes from an industrial farm dumping fertilizers and chemicals into a gulf, or employs horrendous working conditions, it's really not much better than buying a Tyson chicken breast.

u/lifestream87 · 1 pointr/history
u/machete_io · 1 pointr/history

If this topic really interests you, you'll really like the book "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Jared Diamond. It discusses the multitude of ways that make some civilizations spread and dominate others. IIRC, a contributing factor for the "migration" to Europe was that originally the Tigris/Euphrates had a ton of forrest and as the society advanced they essentially cut it all down and it turned into a desert.

Here is a link to the book:

u/Comet7777 · 1 pointr/worldnews
u/Keeping_itreal · 1 pointr/Anarcho_Capitalism

> absent the necessary punishments of parasitism?

Are you claiming that this can only be provided by a State? Come on man, you're better than that.

>Your guys' political economy has no other explanation for why Africa is so low trust other than "they were brainwashed, man!"

I don't know which "guys" you are referring to, but I personally find the issue far more complex than that. In my opinion, there are environmental, cultural and ultimately genetic reasons why we Africans are so damn poor. We were not just "brainwashed, man".

u/Canadian_Infidel · 1 pointr/canada

The fact white people took over was basically chance. You should read the book Guns, Germs and Steel.

u/yo2sense · 1 pointr/AmericanPolitics

> "Why did Europeans rule the world, more or less, at one time? Because of Evolution and they were superior, or because God blessed them?"

So either whites are naturally superior or are superior because God has given some special blessing to whites? I reject both racist options. And so does science. Guns, Germs, and Steel is a good place to start informing yourself about these things before you put your foot in your mouth again.

u/Hollowgolem · 1 pointr/history

If you want a book that takes a look at this dynamic, regarding pack animals, check out Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond or Why the West Rules—for Now by Ian Morris.

u/The-zKR0N0S · 1 pointr/new_right
u/walkswithwolfies · 1 pointr/pics
u/-MadGadget- · 1 pointr/ArtefactPorn

You should read Guns Germs and Steel! It's a super interesting analysis of why it happened that way.

u/Klaatuprime · 1 pointr/pics

That's not quite the way it happened. I'd suggest reading Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond, but I'm guessing you aren't letting any information in that you didn't get off Stormfront.

u/dshakir · 1 pointr/MurderedByWords

Are you referring to when human development was at a standstill? Sure, caveman.

We didn’t start progressing until trade routes and the exchange of values, ideas and cultures became prevalent though.

u/brownribbon · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

There are too many reasons to post here. I recommend reading the book Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond (or at least the miniseries--available on Netflix last I checked).

Some of the main reasons include:

  • No domesticable pack animals in the Americas to do work. Eurasia has things like cows, horses, etc. that could be tamed and trained to do hard labor like plowing fields and hauling carts. The closest such animal in the Americas is the llama/alpaca, native to northern South America. This made food production in the Americas more human labor intensive which took away time from other endeavors.

  • The Americas are "taller" than they are "wide." That is, they cover a greater range of latitudes than longitudes. The opposite is true of Eurasia. As it turns out, crops, technology, and people diffuse less efficiently north/south than they do east/west. This is primarily due to climates being more even along latitudes than longitudes. This retardation in trade would slow the exchange of ideas, and therefore technological development.

  • The Americas have fewer cereal crops (rice, wheat, barley, corn, sorghum, etc.) native to them compared to Eurasia. These are the crops that are responsible for the establishment of agriculture and, as a result, sedentary societies. A sedentary society (i.e., one that is not picking up and moving itself every few months to follow food supplies) is one that can allow for specialization. Some people will become really good farmers and can produce enough food such that others can pursue different fields. With fewer available crops there were fewer opportunities in the Americas to establish such societies.

    Again, there are reasons beyond these and everything I just listed is conjecture. Human development was an incredibly complex process and for every example supporting one argument there is another example that refutes it.
u/PMme_Your_Problem · 1 pointr/pics

Ahahaha. Ha.
Your bullshit theory that you use to justify the blatant racism of yours is not going to get you far, amigo. Stop trying.

Have you ever heard of the Guns, Germs, and Steel theory? I don't count on it, so I'm going to educate you on it if you would like to consider some truth for a change. Guns, Germs, and Steel (hereafter referred to as "GGS") states that no race is superior to another due to its genetics or culture, but rather due to being incredibly lucky in geography, wildlife, plant-life, and their culmination with farming and so forth. The GGS theory is constantly getting stronger with every circumstance it is applied to. It does state that Caucasian people have essentially 'won' the literal human race, as Caucasian people were the ones to settle an entirely new continent, have won every colonial battle, and have propagated their religions the furthest.

To start off with a very shortened version of world's history with relation to man, people first moved out of Africa and into the Middle East. There they let go of their nomadic lifestyles and settled next to rivers and took advantage of crops like barley and wheat, which could have multiple harvests, easy planting styles, and could last long times in grains reserves before becoming inedible. They also were the first to domesticate animals that were around them, like cows, sheep, goats, pigs, horses. This was due to them being herd animals, and once they controlled the leader of the herd they could control the entire herd. Thus they had plentiful food, plentiful meat and milk, and this created a loop of positive feedback, with animals feeding on harvest leftovers and then fertilising the fields. This eventually allowed room for creativity within the small communities, as there was no need for every person the a farmer now. They started specialising in different skills, and then invented plaster, by hearing rock rubble and mixing with water (my knowledge of plaster is limited, correct me if needed). These skills branched out widely. But eventually they had to move out of the Fertile Crescent. Evidence suggests that this was due to over-farming and unrestrained use of surrounding natural resources. They moved eastwards and westwards. In this they had their second major advantage; their continent itself, Eurasia. Eurasia is spread out majorly on the east-west axis. This provides an advantage in that those people could take their crops and animals with them and not worry about growth of them, as the climate does not change greatly along line of latitude, but not so for longitude. This allowed them to settle in the Europe proper and east Asia.

So to summarise so far, the early people have had advantages with agriculture, domestic animals, and geography. But it only goes further. Some of the broader ideals is that due to their close contact with animals, these people contracted diseases from their animals, but eventually gained immunity to these diseases. People they would eventually come in contact with would contract these germs, and because they have no natural immunity, would start dying off. Guns have been instrumental in their progress, as there has only been one battle in history where the side with guns lost against those without guns (The battle of blood river). Steel has led to the production of guns, of plate armour, and of trains which have been vital to the creation of larger empires and countries.

So read up on the topic! Educate yourself! I'll make it easier. Here: Buy a copy of it on Amazon, its worth it. , or just read the Wikipedia page, I'm not a cop. So maybe one day, instead of posting on a thread like this, you can post on a thread like this

No one needs to 'win' this debate. We can both leave with newer opinions, not necessarily for worse or for better.

u/_WishIThoughtOfThat · 1 pointr/history

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond covers pretty much most of these details, while looking at how different societies progressed differently.

u/Nobusuma · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

As stated Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. The region played a factor. Focusing on Europe, Europe had easy access of travel due to the Mediterranean sea. In broader view they had the silk road. There is a book called Why Nations Fail. A very interesting read. Out of dozens of examples the book shares, I will point out two that help shape Europe; the first being the story of Hercules and second the Black Death. The story of Hercule enabled a change in thought over the centuries as greek men went to the Olympics trying two win fame and glory for themseleves. The individual. The Black death on the other hand destroyed the working class and enabled a change in the current western system.

u/fiendlittlewing · 1 pointr/AskHistory

According to historian Jared Daimond, it's because of geography and resources. In his book, Guns Germs and Steele, Daimond argues that Eurasia had more species of domesticateable animals and plants, and could spread these resources and ideals better because the continent existed on an East/West orientation rather than the North/South orientation of the Americas and Africa. (this is an advantage because climate is more similar across the same latitude than it is across the same longitude.)

For some details, the youtuber CGP Grey has some good videos. For all the details, you could read Dimond's Book.

u/MiffedMouse · 1 pointr/AskHistorians

Not books, but I recommend CGPGrey's videos on topics such as the formation of the commonwealth for some anecdotal discussion of how modern states are structured. Crash Course World History is another good series that gives extremely quick (~10-15 minutes) overviews of a variety of topics historians like to discuss.

As for books - many of the more interesting books are on specific topics. Guns, Germs, and Steel is an interesting discussion on why some societies do better than others. Stuff matters is a neat discussion of how modern materials came to be. Honestly, I think it is more fun to pick a topic that interests you and dig into that topic specifically. You will probably learn about other things as necessary along the way. One of Dan Carlin's Common Sense podcasts, Controlling the Past, discusses this very idea.

Some of my favorite "history" books aren't even sold as "history" books. The Emperor of all Maladies is a fascinating look at the history of cancer. As a kid I loved David Macaulay's Building Big, which discusses large structures in America. And an embarrassing amount of my knowledge on other countries comes from folktale anthologies.

If you are interested in international politics specifically, I would suggest looking for books on the UN and NATO (two of the biggest international organizations right now).

u/hulahulagirl · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

I enjoyed the audio version of Don't Know Much About Mythology and have heard good things about other books in the series as well.

Guns, Germs and Steel is another one that covers a lot of ground but ties it all together.

u/simmelianben · 1 pointr/writing

> do you know of any helpful formatting guides?

Here's a google search
that may help you get started. That said, just getting the words onto paper will be the hardest, longest portion of the work.

I would also suggest reading some non-fiction books for ideas of how you can layout your ideas.

"Group Theory in the Bedroom" for instance uses essays with postscripts/afterwords for each chapter. Each 'chapter' is it's own, self-contained work. You could yank out any chapter and have a cohesive work.

Meanwhile, "Guns, Germs, and Steel" breaks down more by topic/question and ties them together for a summary "the whole is greater than the parts" ending. You cannot take out a portion and still get the whole idea. They all intertwine.

Then you have biographies of all sorts that basically start with "So and so was born" and tell the story from there. You can yank out a portion and get a cohesive idea about "so and so's" high school years or education, but not the entire person.

I'd suggest leaning towards a Guns, Germs, and Steel style if you can. Tying together how fried chicken carries across cultures, connects huge portions of the planet, and carries an huge amount of "cultural capital" in popular culture and real life would be huge.

Some examples you can borrow/develop:

  • KFC is huge in China, bigger than McDonalds even.
  • The Japanese celebrate Christmas by eating KFC
  • The film "The Help" includes Fried Chicken as a crucial plot point as a black woman teaches her white employer how to make it properly. Fried Chicken is a form of "Cultural capital" in the film.

    Last words: You're looking at the phenomenon of Fried Chicken, so sociological concepts like Phenomenonology and other Sociological terms will help you in the research phase of your question. Cultural rifts about fried chicken and "the right" way to make it for example will likely be discussed using terms like "cultural lag" and "norms".
u/kandoras · 1 pointr/books

The (mostly complete) collection of works by Mary Roach. They're pop science, but great reads.

Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond. Both great books on how different cultures either became more or less powerful than others (how come large civilizations took longer to rise in sub-Saharan Africa than in Europe) and why some societies just failed completely (Easter Island).

Lies My Teacher Told Me. It shows a lot of details that a typical high school American History textbook just glosses over or ignores.

u/Mercury_NYC · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

If you have a chance, read "Guns, Germs and Steel", it goes into detail exactly how we got to the industrial revolution and what factors caused it.

u/cantidokun · 1 pointr/BlackPeopleTwitter

Troll or not. The best book on the issue you're so wrong about.

u/MercuryChaos · 1 pointr/race

There's more to it. I don't really have the time or desire to explain it all to you, and it'd probably be just as easy for you to read the book yourself anyway. Your local library probably has it, or you can get used copies on Amazon for around $5.

u/MisterE_MD · 1 pointr/history

After I graduated high school/college, one of the first books I picked up for myself was A Short History of the World by H G Wells. It's ~300 pages and, I'm sure, is not a perfect account of world history... but, Wells takes the universe back to its origins to his present day (post WWI).

If you just want an explanation as to how civilizations formed and why some seem more successful than others, I loved Guns, Germs, & Steel. My world history teacher used it as a template for our course, and I read it after. Excellent book.

u/haroldp · 1 pointr/gifs

>Sometimes, you can even pry open the peach pit and see something that looks just like a shelled almond inside. You probably don't want to eat that though. I believe they have cyanide in them.

So do almonds, or WILD almonds did, anyway. But the cyanide producing gene switches off frequently and it was relatively easy to domesticate them.

Oak tree acorns are ALSO poisonous to humans, but sometimes that gene switches off and they aren't. Story is, in hard times, people used to know the oak tree in town that was ok to eat. However, oak trees were never domesticated because they take so long to grow, and also squirrels ruin everything.

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

u/terpichor · 1 pointr/geography

Great Maps seems to come up sometimes when people are talking about good geography books, as well as Maps: Their Untold Stories. I have a list somewhere of good map books, I'll check when I get home.

For geology, Assembling California is pretty accessible, as are most of his books.

If they haven't read it, Guns, Germs, and Steel is pretty great for people who are interested in geography. It's more anthropology, but he talks a lot about how the physical spaces people built settlements in affected how they developed.

Do you know any more details of what kind of geology in particular they like?

u/fridgidfallus · 1 pointr/alaska

I agree with you that equality is a fallacy that doesn't really exist. Some people are simply born with better tools in their toolbox. Some people are nicer, smarter, better looking, and some people are are dumb, ugly, assholes. That's just the way of the world. However, the notion that race determines any sort of objective intelligence characteristic has been roundly rejected by the anthropological, biological, and sociological communities (read: all of credible science). Yes, race can determine your height, color of your skin, your hair type, but it does not determine your intelligence. Any studies that claim that race does this have been show to be using a biased test. Giving a kid from the Sahara a #2 pencil and asking him to complete an IQ test in English, isn't really a fair measuring stick. One also has to remember that race and culture are two related but different things. You are born WITH your race INTO your culture. There can definitely be cultures that place different levels of value on certain types of intelligence, decorum, physical beauty, etc and therefore cause their cultural members to strive for/away from those certain characteristics. But the thought that onc group is inherently better or smarter based on their race is the textbook definition of racism and asking for a separation of people based along these lines is extremely racist. Most of the differences that are apparent today have a lot more to do with opportunity, access to resources, geography, and well.. simple luck. I recommend Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel. In there he very eloquently explains a lot of the factors that lead to Europeans finding their way to the top of the heap.

That being said, if you want to have one country that is whites only that's totally fine for you to want it. But you gotta realize that's a pretty racist thing to want. I don't accept the notion that a homogeneous society is inherently better than a mixed race one. I have heard you claim that no one has provided tangible evidence of the benefits of a mixed race society. That is very difficult because the main benefits are acceptance and open mindedness and those are not very tangible benefits in the sense you are looking for. But I would ask you to explain to me the credible and tangible benefits to a homogeneous society. And we have to remember that correlation does not equal causation. Show me something credible that proves the link.

u/Fireclave · 1 pointr/worldbuilding

This might be overkill to suggest, but you might be interested in the book "Guns, Germs, and Steel", by Jared Diamond. It's an archaeological exploration of causes behind why power, wealth, and technology became so unevenly distributed around the world. It explores factors such as environment, resources, agriculture, and culture. It's certainly good food for thought for these kind of questions.

u/RochnessMonster · 1 pointr/history


Book I read last year after a deep dive into Carlin's Hardcore History podcast. I got curious about how and why certain civilizations form the way they do and how quickly they advance, and I knew if you toss out the obvious, wrong answer (racism) there had to be a whole bucket of knowledge exploring it.

u/russilwvong · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

"The March of Folly" is a pretty easy read. A good place to start. The focus is primarily on the Vietnam War, though.

Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel argues that the origins of civilizations are closely tied to the invention and spread of agriculture. Also an easy read. Won the Pulitzer Prize.

I'd also recommend William McNeill's A World History for a broad overview of human history, starting with the ancient civilizations.

u/Heyorant · 1 pointr/uwaterloo

>Again, name a non-asian stable country.

>not knowing when our stability started, not knowing Western history, forgetting what nuance is yet again

>White people built the cities and their wealth

Fuck off. Don't reply to me anymore. I'm done with this White Pride^TM historically revisionist bullshit. Non-white people aren't people to you, and any of their contributions, innovation, or leadership in the Western world since its inception are invalid, so frankly, you aren't a person to me either. Your brand of culture that you express is trash.

It's cultish vomit, you should kys, and you should export yourself elsewhere where you aren't enjoying the fruits of past immigrants' labour out of ethical commitment.

Not completely on this topic (I don't have the time to find literature on hand for our conversation), but because of your illiteracy (combined with brash, dehumanizing extremity) I've noticed in some areas, here are a few accessible books I'd recommend reading in general

and, just to really get on your nerves, here's some interesting triggering history of philosophy

Islamic scholars also scoured the earth to obtain copies of books and texts so that they may build on that knowledge and share it with future generations. But progression in society is not always a certainty.

u/apullin · 1 pointr/AdviceAnimals

That's where it starts to get pretty tricky. I assume that you've read Guns, Germs, and Steel, wherein the domestication of plants and animals is talked about, and reminds me of the very point that you're raising.

I'm not sure. Would the corn propagate without our intervention? There are seedless plants that wouldn't, for example. But I'm not sure, I don't have a great answer here.

Consider the native American Three Sisters method, where they specifically use systems of natural occurrence for the benefit of the crops.

u/rogue417 · 1 pointr/AskReddit

You should read this

u/kalimashookdeday · 1 pointr/AskHistorians

There are lots of different theories out there, some stronger than others. One that you may find interesting and that I enjoyed reading and getting more insight on is that of Jared Diamond. He has a book called, Guns, Germs, and Steel I would recommend as a good read for a theory about this. There are some criticisms of Diamond, but most theories have a few.

Diamond's book discusses plenty of reasonings and ideas for why societies in Europe/Asia developed. He starts by explaining ideas of a hunter gathering society's limitations on technological advancement as well as the society/cultural connotations versus those of agrarian societies (who invented farming). A huge difference being farming societies had more time to develop other areas and skills (technology, art, etc.).

Another one of his compelling ideas is that horizontally oriented societies benefited more from similiar plants, animals, and trade versus societies who were oriented vertically. Due to climate and simliarities in culture (in horizontally oriented societies) the spread of technology, domestication, and availability of different animals and resources aided man's ability to develop faster than Native cultures on North America for instance.

u/Captain_Waffle · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. One of the best-written books I've ever read, a historical look at how geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Basically how we (societies) can all come from the same place and yet be so drastically varied from place to place over the course of thousands of years. Not only is it immensely interesting and thoughtful, but the writing is exquisite.

u/ocktick · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Jared Diamond - Guns Germs and Steel would disagree, it's incredibly interesting, you should consider reading it.

u/Iamaleafinthewind · 1 pointr/todayilearned

You keep focusing on race.

It had nothing to do with magic race powers. White folks aren't magically superior, Islanders aren't magically inferior.

A low-tech culture encountered a high-tech culture. It had nothing to do with the specific cultures in play - the dynamics are universally bad for the low-tech / undeveloped culture in these situations, from the perspective of retaining independence.

The reality is that they now have self-rule, which monarchy ISN'T, and access to all the benefits of the higher-tech culture, which are desirable by people in general, regardless of WHO manages to develop them first. Yes, new problems arise as technology advances, but that's part of life.

In any case, my point stands - race isn't a determinant in the outcome of these situations. Read Guns, Germs, Steel sometime if you want a better idea what is.

u/Poland_Is_Kill · 1 pointr/worldnews

Any history text book ever and literally a quick google search would confirm what xboxmodscangostickit (sorry if I misspelled that) said but anyways if your really interested I recommend this book Guns, Germs, and Steel it goes into detail on why the native Americans did not develop technologically as much as Europe and how foreign diseases helped wipe them out.

u/antonbe · 1 pointr/AskHistorians

I've immersed myself in science and history my whole life and quite possibly the best book I've ever come across that condenses everything in a sequential order is "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson.

> In A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson trekked the Appalachian Trail—well, most of it. In A Sunburned Country, he confronted some of the most lethal wildlife Australia has to offer. Now, in his biggest book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand—and, if possible, answer—the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world’s most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, traveling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read) their books, pestered them with questions, apprenticed himself to their powerful minds. A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest, and it is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more involving or entertaining.

The book is simply amazing. I learn something new from it everytime I read it and I highly recommend it to everyone from an uneducated teenager to a PhD carrying senior!

While you're at it, I would also recommend the rest of his books. Bryson is an amazing nonfiction writer (I daresay one of the best in the world) and his penmanship will captivate you. Just search for him on Amazon and pick another one of his books up in a category that interests you as he writer about a very broad range of topics.

Edit: Also, I highly recommend "Guns, Germs, and Steel" by Jared M. Diamond. and Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt

u/DutchOvenCamper · 1 pointr/Showerthoughts

In his book Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond addresses this. He says that no large carnivores have been domesticated because feeding them would take more effort than they're worth. The only large domesticated animals are herbivores. He actally has quite a discussion about which animals were domesticated and why.

u/Trent_Boyett · 1 pointr/audiobooks

Depends on what you liked about it I guess. It's a bit unique in the way it covers so many topics.

If you liked the stuff about evolution, check out

If you liked the history:

If you like true crime:

Or if you just liked how it went from topic to topic and you could never really predict what would be next, try this podcast:

u/tgeliot · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Anything by Stephen Jay Gould

The Scars of Evolution -- What Our Bodies Tell Us About Human Origins by Elaine Morgan.

The Ten Thousand Year Explosion

Anything by Richard Feynman. Not always science, but brilliant and entertaining.

Guns, Germs, and Steel is on my list to read.

u/danysdragons · 1 pointr/science
u/the_calibre_cat · 1 pointr/PurplePillDebate

>Evolution takes hundreds of thousands of years.

I love it when liberals invoke arguments that, in other arguments, creationists invoke. Basically, humans have been around for more than thousands of years (2 million, approximately), human civilization has been around for more than thousands of years, and honestly? If we can see significant changes over thousands of years, we can see less significant changes over hundreds of years - and we do.

It should also be noted that more interacting samples increases the rate of mutation, and tests of fitness - which is exactly what happened during the agricultural revolution. More food meant more humans meant more evolution, and this is the premise behind the book The 10,000 Year Explosion discusses.

>By that logic, if choose to rob a bank, to home and fuck my wife and get her pregnant, my kid has a higher chance of growing up to be a bank robber. Do you see how ridiculous that sounds?

No, not whatsoever, since that crime was likely motivated by aggression and a lack of respect for social norms that is behaviorally coded for somewhere in your genetics - and that will be carried on if you planted your seed in a woman who bore your child.

Rather than ridiculous, it's basically "the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior," which apart from being true within generations, is pretty fucking true across generations thanks to our awareness of genetics, which demolishes blank slate theory that nonetheless dominates the cultural signaling apparatus.

u/thenamtab · 1 pointr/TheRedPill

No offense, but this is not true. There has been enough time for genetically-based differences to have possibly emerged.

Here’s another example of evidence suggesting otherwise.

u/hailmurdoch14 · 1 pointr/TopMindsOfReddit

Race IS a euphemism for sub-species. Saying "no it's not" isn't exactly a compelling counter-argument. Every species has sub-species within it. Have you really not ever noticed that we don't call anything else on this planet another human sub-species? Do you think we are the one species on earth that is magically not subject to evolution, and that we don't have any diversity? The reason you never hear this is because we use the term race, to de-animalize the language when dealing with people.

And if you don't deny that the African Lion and the Asian Lion have real and meaningful differences between them, then why would you argue that an African Human and an Asian Human have no difference between them. The African Human and the Asian Human are MUCH more distinct than an African Lion and an Asian Lion are from each other.

And humans DID need to adapt. Obviously. Why do you think some groups developed light skin and dark skin? Because in different parts of the world, people needed different melanin levels to appropriately let in the right amount of vitamin D, while also guarding against harmful UV rays. Why do you think some people developed an epicanthic eye fold and some did not? The East Asians, evolving on the desert steppe there in Asia, had to deal with an unusual amount of glare compared to any other human group, which lead to more narrow eyes. You are deeply underinformed if you aren't aware of the fact that the different human groups faced vastly different selective pressures, having traveled to wildly different environments. You think that a Black African moving up to icy Scandinavia wouldn't need to adapt to the new environment? Are you twelve?

And they DO die out, that's how evolution works. The creature doesn't morph like a pokemon. Ones that are maladapted to the new environment do not survive and do not reproduce, and the few that ARE properly adapted bottleneck the genome and reset the species at a new normal, in a relatively quick time.

You think meaningful evolution takes millions of years? At least learn something about the subject before attempting to speak with some authority. Evolutionary changes happen very quickly, they are just usually few and far between due to the relative stability of environments. As soon as a massive environmental shift happens, evolutionary adaptation to that change will happen very quickly. An animal species can change core attributes within a very short time, as humans have proved through breeding wolves into all the different dog breeds we have today. Or by experiments where we put creatures in certain environments, and find that they can physiologically adapt within decades.

"Rapid Evolution Changes Species in Real Time"

"Instant" Evolution Seen in Darwin's Finches, Study Says

"Lizards Rapidly Evolve After Introduction to Island"

Watching Evolution Happen in Two Lifetimes

Lastly, interbreeding and producing fertile children in absolutely NO WAY interferes with the fact that the different human populations are all branching evolutions of the species Homo Sapiens. By definition, sub-species of the same species can of course interbreed with each other and produce fertile offspring. That's what makes them sub-species, and not different species.

Two animals are considered sub-species of the same species, when they could interbreed and produce fertile offspring, but are still distinguishable from each other with over 80% accuracy. So the African Lion and the Asian Lion are both obviously Lions, they could both obviously breed with each other and produce fertile offspring, but they are also distinct enough from one another, than humans can tell the two breeds apart with over 80% accuracy.

Now ask yourself. Can African Humans and Asian Humans interbreed and produce fertile offspring? Yes, they can. Which means we know that they are the same species. Now ask yourself, can you distinguish between an African Human and an Asian Human with over 80% accuracy? Then you know that by the rules of science, African Humans and Asian Humans are both members of the species Homo Sapiens, and are two different sub-species of that species.

Also, your implication that there aren't major genetic differences between the races is false. Scientists, forensic anthropologists, and other important fields regularly use DNA evidence to determine the race of a subject. The race of a person can be determined from their DNA with extreme accuracy, and can even tell what race the father was (by checking the Y chromosome), and what race the mother was, (by checking the Mitochondrial DNA).

You really should read a book called "The 10,000 Year Explosion" by Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending.

This book details how humans have evolved a great deal over the past 10,000 years. I really hope you take a look, because your idea that evolution is a slow process that takes millions of years is just patently wrong, and your idea that humans didn't evolve and adapt to wildly different environments in isolation from each other over a long enough period to become distinct enough from each other to be worth mentioning is ridiculous.

u/Darwins_Beard · 1 pointr/evolution

If you're really interested in the evolution of the human brain and how evolution has shaped our psychology, I suggest reading Steven Pinker's "How the Mind Works." It's not a light read, but it's incredibly fascinating.

For a more general look at recent human evolution, I enjoyed "The 10,000 Year Explosion." The authors argue that genetic changes have led to higher than average IQs among European Jews.

u/CharlesAnonymousVII · 1 pointr/atheism

Now I hate to break up the like-fest, but a theist could argue maybe that modern man is not exactly or substantially the same as the species of homo sapiens which inhabited the earth during those hundreds of millenia of which Hitchens speaks. Cochran & Harpending's The 10,000 Year Explosion (an excellent, relatively new publication garnering high-acclaim) truly provides a lot of evidence for the idea that Man has evolved rapidly since as recent as the advent of agriculture and argues that we're actually quite different from the typical human who lived just 10 centuries ago. So I see no reason to think that homo sapiens couldn't have undergone any subtle alterations, throughout those 98,000 years of miserable "indifference", that could've been important re: the farming revolution(s) and nonetheless significant enough to undermine the sentiment behind this quote. Along similar lines, then, this devil's advocate might object that God perhaps waited until the end of earth's last major ice age before instituting some grand change and fulfilling the divine plan in question.

A number of explanations/rationalizations could plausibly survive definite -- i.e., undeniably compelling -- debunkery; and that'll forever suffice to sanction faith for the majority of religious believers. But the difficulty w/the atheist's logic here, for me, lies w/the apparent imposition of thoroughly anthropomorphic standards upon this alleged, presumably super-ethical deity of Christianity (viz., one which would probably not be held to the same norms of morality and justification as we social humans of fragile civilizations are and always need to be). Ultimately, in this case, if I were Hitch I would've restrained my urge to announce any bold claims about which theoretical notions are indubitably out of doxastic bounds for what's supposed to amount to the entire class of existing rational agents.

u/stcamellia · 1 pointr/AskScienceDiscussion

Environmental factors are surely important. Culture is hard to tease out of other research.

There is some emerging work on how humans have evolved int he past 10,000 years. This book for instance that talks about how humans have been changing.

While this might seem to contradict the consensus in the thread that the "races" are not really races, I don't think its a stretch to acknowledge differing selective pressures in humans across the planet but still note that a) interracial genetic variance is on the same order as variance between races and b) humans are all still one human race.

It is also worth pointing out that the "white race" or the "black race" is not very descriptive. Are Egyptians as "black" as Somalians or Kenyans? Are Spaniards as "white" as Brits or Russians?

u/JCCheapEntertainment · 1 pointr/aznidentity

>As for your “race realist” beliefs, the way I see those theories is that they are backwards rationalization of “innate” human capacities based on results of recent history (a time period that accounts as a mere tick on the entire span of human time-line). It also does not take account the effects of disparity in starting points of geography and environment, and different available starting packages offered by said environments.

They're not backwards rationalizations for the results of recent history. Evolution never stopped, different selection pressures have been placed on different lineages of humans ever since they diverged some 40-50k years ago when the group that became our ancestors (all none Africans) marched out of Africa. And the theory of course takes into account varying geography and environments, in fact they were the very driving force behind the evolution of different population traits or averages. Culture and biology are intertwined, they can and in fact have co-evolved with each other throughout our evolutionary history. If you're open to learning more about this, The 10,000 Year Explosion is a good primer on the topic of recent human evolution. It is an easy (even if you have little knowledge on genetics) and succinct read, but is definitely compelling in the theories it puts forth as they are backed up by ample evidence.

>if you want to subscribe to “race-realist” beliefs, then you might as well save the effort and just kowtow to the white man's self-researched “Goldilocks superiority”, and accept your current lot in life as a second/third class worker drone. After all, if “race-realism” is real, then everything as manifested in the status quo is the natural order of things right? Why struggle instead of just accepting the world order? It's yet another comfortable trap of contentment to curl up in after all.

You speak of "subscribing to 'race-realist' beliefs" as if it's some religion one can just choose to follow or not. It's either science or it's not, and if the former, then I have no choice but to "subscribe" to it. For every group of people, there are theories in the race realism framework that would make them uneasy and perhaps feel some sort of immediate revulsion to. But at the end of the day, how one feels about these theories are completely irrelevant, if the research methodologies are sound (which after having read many books and studies on both sides of the debate, I've deemed to be so), then the ensuing results and conclusions must be incorporated into our understanding of the world. Admittedly not all aspects of racial differences are well studied, which is exactly why they should be, science and knowledge in itself is neither good nor evil, morality only comes into play when it's time for their application. And again, just as evolution never stopped at the advent of human cultures, it continues to enact itself even today, and will continue to do so for as long as humans exist. So just because the white man might be the "Goldilocks" currently, doesn't mean Asians cannot become strictly better in every genetic metric that matters via the application of science. So no, understanding race realism does not at all necessitates one to "just accept the world order".

>Empathy could be useful for knowing your enemy, know what makes them tick, and devise how to deal with them. Going beyond that becomes sympathizing with them, a pit of no return where you become their useful idiot.

Yes point taken. But again, I'm not at all advocating for Asians to put their necks out on the line for them right now (or ever if one chooses not to), but rather once our position is secured, why not help the other groups of people? It is the moral thing to do. There's little to be gained from being cruel masters.

>As for morality, I got only one word: Lol. We Asians are family-oriented though, so save that morality for your loved ones.

This ties back to my earlier point that humanity is an extended family. You don't treat all members of your family the same, do you? Of course not, that would be impossible. Some you like more, some you like less. Some you treat better and help out more, others you're simply indifferent to. But at the end of the day, they're still your family members. Barring unforgivable transgressions, you would not usually wish irreversible ills upon any member. And so it goes for me when it comes to humanity.

>Why is it always individuals from the losing side that talks about reconciling with everyone to sing cum bah yah? Why is it that Asians, the most ridiculed race on planet earth, who have the least reason to want to reconcile, have most people among them that want reconciliation?

Hopefully you realize by now that's not the message I was trying to convey. No illusions of pleading and begging the victor for pity and scraps on my end here. The future goal is exactly that, for the future, after we get our own shit taken care of. East Asians are well on their way to reclaiming the throne for the top civilizational center of the world. The dominance of the West over Asia is an aberration through the lens of history.

>You want to change the rules of the game from zero-sum (the way history and nature had operated since inception) to something else? At the very least, you have to be in charge in order to have any chance of changing the rules.

Precisely. This was implicitly stated in my previous comment, guess it wasn't clear enough.

>And all this without even having to look at how all utopian ideals fail to address how to change human nature to make that utopia work.

I don't believe in Utopias, because that implies there is some idealized final destination for society, which goes against science. And yes human nature needs to be changed for the better, it will continue to evolve, just as it has always done so. But if science and technology grants us the choice to direct it to a course that would be beneficial for all of humanity, why not take it?

>then we are eagerly wanting to break bread and seek commonality with white nationalists.

In general, Nationalists (who love their own) are not Supremacists (who hate and oppress others), this applies to nationalists of all races, whether they be Asian, white, brown or black. And if they follow similar core beliefs as those that I outlined, which many do, then they can definitely be reasoned with and made into allies for the common Human Nationalist cause. I'd die for my family, have love my people, and do good for humanity.

>What “unique strengths” would that be? Whites are more adept at leadership? Asians at being mental workhorses? Blacks at being physical workhorses? Latinos at keeping the spaceship decks immaculate?

Lol. Not everyone needs to work or even be on the spaceship. In any case, by the time such efforts become feasible, the state of science and technology (especially wrt automation) would likely be very different from that of today, so it's rather pointless to speculate about it now.

u/umbrellapower · 1 pointr/asianamerican

So Nigerians aren't representative of African-Americans despite your entire argument being based on race? I agree that these two groups shouldn't be compared, but you're the one who brought up race. If I'm not mistaken, the majority of African-Americans can trace their lineage to West Africa.

Of course intelligence has a base in genetics, but genes mutate all the damn time. And there's now evidence that civilization contributes a significant portion. Take a look at this:

What I'm trying to get at is that intelligence - as defined by Western academia - may not be distributed evenly across the races, but it's not magic. It is cultivated and it is most definitely not an inherent property of any race, contrary to what racists might believe.

>You stated that the school a student goes to results in similar kinds of students.

Take a look at the usernames.

u/RobertGreenIngersoll · 1 pointr/exatheist

>rather suddenly, came abstract thought, art, religion, jewelry, and eventually things like language and alphabets. Our consciousness greatly leaped forwards, and began exponentially increasing on such a level that it still hasn't stopped. Interestingly, interference from something like Set is by far more parsimonious than the entire humans species magically sharing the same mutation which overwrites the previous genetic makeup of the whole species, or even worse, having a massive leap forwards as some sort of uncaused event.

Some have argued that not all ethnic groups were equally involved in that leap, and that we only know of the advances of those which did.

>Scientists have long believed that the 'great leap forward' that occurred some 40,000 to 50,000 years ago in Europe marked the end of significant biological evolution in humans. In this stunning account of our evolutionary history, top scholars Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending reject this conventional wisdom and reveal that the human species has undergone a storm of genetic change much more recently. Human evolution in fact accelerated after civilisation arose, they contend, and these ongoing changes have played a pivotal role in human history. They argue that biology explains the expansion of the Indo-Europeans, the European conquest of the Americas, and European Jews' rise to intellectual prominence. In each of these cases, the key was recent genetic change: adult milk tolerance in the early Indo-Europeans that allowed for a new way of life, increased disease resistance among the Europeans settling America, and new versions of neurological genes among European Jews. Ranging across subjects as diverse as human domestication, Neanderthal hybridization, and IQ tests, Cochran and Harpending's analysis demonstrates convincingly that human genetics have changed and can continue to change much more rapidly than scientists have previously believed.

u/JacksonMiholf · 1 pointr/beholdthemasterrace

Except yes:

Evolution and biology explain the differences much better.

> comparing tests from the 20's to the tests of the 70's as if the testing hasn't changed at all since then

> socioeconomic status improved

So if it's just culture then why did Jews and Italians increase in SES but so many others didn't? Wouldn't they all increase since the environment is shared? Why just them?? Seems like a hole in your narrative.

u/ThrongSong- · 1 pointr/ufc

You have no fucking clue what the "research shows." Again, you're a brainless NPC spouting politically convenient gibberish. If only all humans had an equal capacity for high intelligence the world would be a much better place, but that's not how it is.

Where do you get the idea that because the brain is complex it would be less susceptible to mutation as opposed to more susceptible? After all, which would you say has had the greatest impact in the past 100,000 years, our legs, our opposable thumbs, our livers, or our brains? As Harpending and Cochran demonstrated in 'The 10,000 Year Explosion' humans have been under intense evolutionary change in regards to the brain most of all.

Here you go, if you weren't a dogmatic dimwit who wants to believe idealistic lies, you could always start here:

u/Obelisk57 · 1 pointr/DebateAltRight

Do you deny that the various races experienced different selective pressures over the last few hundred thousand years? If you accept this, do you also accept that evolution also works on humans as well.

BTW here is a book on recent human evolution

u/MetaMemeticMagician · 1 pointr/TheNewRight


Darwin’s Enemies on the Left and Right Part 1, Part 2 (Blog Post)*

The History and Geography of Human Genes (Abridged edition) – Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza
The 10,000 Year Explosion – Gregory Cochrane
Race, Evolution, and Behavior – Rushton
Why Race Matters – Michael Levin


Intelligence and Mind

The Bell Curve – Charles Murray
The Global Bell Curve – Richard Lynn
Human Intelligence – Earl Hunt
Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence – Robert Sternberg
A Conflict of Visions – Thomas Sowell
The Moral Animal – Robert Wright
The Blank Slate – Stephen Pinker
Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature – Murray Rothbard (essay)



Real Education – Charles Murray
Inside American Education – Thomas Sowell
Illiberal Education – Dinesh D’Sousa
God and Man at Yale – William Buckley
Weapons of Mass Instruction – John Taylor Gatto
The Higher Education Bubble – Glenn Reynolds



u/eat20hamburgers · 1 pointr/Cascadia

>Do you not believe in human kindness?

Some people are kind, some are not, some are straight up cruel, most are cattle.

>Do you not believe that we actually can create enough resources for all, with all the resources we have on Earth?

No, because resources are finite. For example my house in Seattle cost more than one in say, South Dakota because Seattle only has so much build able land. On a larger scale with rapid population growth we are looking at quickly running out of such simple necessary resources as water and arable land. I suggest reading UW professor David Montgomery's book Dirt: The Erosion of Civilization

>Also, perhaps people are greedy and self-centered because the current political and economic system makes them that way?

Competition and greed are a unfortunate part of human nature, it is part what pushed out ancestors to new lands, and what lead us to invent new technology. There are some tribal civilizations that lack the idea of property and possessions between their immediate social group, but these civilizations also live under a strict hierarchy.

>I believe in restorative justice. Instead of forcing them into slavery, which we call prison, I believe they should still be able to live among us, but also make sure to pay their penitence.

While I agree that more effort should be made towards reform in the criminal justice system, I also do not think you have much experience dealing with criminals. Many are just as brutal and manipulative as any "capitalist" is not more so, many simply lack the mental capacity for empathy. Though Norway's prison system seem promising in the regard of reformation

>we are the working people, your average, everyday, ordinary people.

So you work, what's your skill set?

You seem to want to deny me of my property that I worked for so I do not think we constitute the same "we." Keep in mind that I hate the banks as much as you do, if not more due to owing them a large sum of money.

>So many innocent black people are shot, but the white cops get away with it most every time. Maybe there's a black cop who shoots a white kid, but you know what the difference is? In a majority of the former cases, the white cop is never convicted; in a majority of the latter cases, the black cop is.

Citation needed.

However police do kill a disproportionate amount of white people when compared to murder rate.

Police killings of blacks down 70% in last 50 years

In 2012, 123 blacks were killed by police with a gun

In 2012, 326 whites were killed with a gun

(Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, CDC)

In 2013, blacks committed 5,375 murders

In 2013, whites committed 4,396 murders

Whites are 63% of the population blacks are 13%

(FBI, Census Bureau)

>The politicians and the capitalists are never hungry. But many of us get to starve to death.

In the US one must want to starve to death. Again who is "us?"

>Fortunately, I'm not starving. But millions die from that every day.

This has more to do with weather patterns than capitalism. Also food aid breeds dependence because populations quit growing their own food.

> I believe it's that power corrupts.

And the corrupt seek power.

EDIT:Hit send too early

u/Elukka · 1 pointr/collapse

Different ones but also this:

He claimed that Mesopotamia went through cycles of salinification and topsoil loss which coincide with the cultures coming and going. Many cultures in Mesopotamia have collapsed and disappeared, you know. It's not an unbroken chain of culture there.

At least Montgomery makes the point that the Greek valleys went into decline after a few hundred years of farming and took the larger civilization there into decline with them. After about 300-1000 years natural erosion and wildlife would have replenished the soil again enough to restart the civilizational cycle. (The length of the cycle depends on the climate and soil types.) Top soil loss doesn't mean that everyone dies. It just means that a few valleys can no longer sustain a city of 20000 people and the farmers supporting it.

u/Vailhem · 1 pointr/energy

if Hillary hadn't made corn a product of choice for ethanol, we probably wouldn't have an agriculture industry right now. Or, rather, there would've been an even larger consolidation of the agriculture industry than there has been in the past 10 years to the point that it would become very very difficult to pull it out of that depression.

Switchgrass and other products for ethanol make more sense on a multitude of levels (EROEI, cost, resources, etc) but one of the major, and oft overlooked reasons is:

it would allow for new lands (otherwise not dedicated to farming) to be used, as well as allow lands that have been overworked, over fertilized, and otherwise leading to the death of soil, ( dated, and modern techniques allow it to be rebuilt... read: switchgrass/biochar/etc, but a good example is the first few chapters of this )
Switchgrass can prepare new lands for food-crop growing, it can repair old lands, and it otherwise can be grown on lands that most likely will never be suitable or economical for food-crop growth but perfectly fine (and profitable/sustainable) for switchgrass (or hemp, take your pick, I think switchgrass is more realistic in this environment).

This would allow for lands to be redirected back to their original purposed to begin with: growing crop to export (for profit). US agriculture exports have plateaued and even dropped over the past decade. There was supposed to be a major Gulf port facility upgrade back in 2000 that Bush didn't sign because he only agreed to build it if he got offshore drilling (a few hurricanes and an oil spill later, he got his offshore drilling... though port facilities still haven't been upgraded)

This was going to overhall all the shipping lanes on the major rivers (Ohio, Missouri, Mississippi, etc) as well as increase road width from the southeast to three lanes to allow for the increased trucking as well as rail line upgrades. Also, and the major plug to the whole thing, the port facilities from the Gulf out were supposed to be upgraded to be larger than the LA port upgrades happening just before then (same crews were to move from LA to New Orleans, etc after the LA ports were finished).
When this happened, plus some trade agreements between the US and China, combined with arrangements between US/China/Brazil... we cut our exports at the same time that Brazil was investing heavily in theirs (with money from China... ultimately, from US and Bush investors who'd bought up large swaths of brazilian rainforest and otherwise destroyed it for farmland under Bush-ite control (yes, I'm saying that Bush and friends own and control the Brazilian agriculture industry). Brazil was able to grow well beyond our capacity and to become the major exporter of food-crop to China and Africa (as well as pretty much everywhere else). Essentially, Brazil replaced the US as China/the world's breadbasket.

Now that their industry is up and running, and running strong and profitably, and likely to continue to grow at a controlled rate, I wouldn't be surprised if a major agriculture bill in the US as well as infrastructure projects weren't pushed by Obama/democrats to overhaul and increase our shipping/handling facilities and infrastructures as well as readjust our farm subsidies so that farmers can profitably stop overworking their land, and begin to grow on currently undeveloped land, as well as..... you get the general idea

Then again, with the repub's winning control of the Senate, and ganking so much from the house, it'll prob be a fairly difficult beast to wrestle away from them.... read: we will most likely be locked in stalemate until 2012. Personally, fine with me (i hate neocons, tea party is stupid, Obama is almost as incapable and... Hilary or Ron Paul are my two choices for pres in 2012. And, I'm from KY, I voted for his son... who, despite the rhetoric, is not a (modern incarnation of the) teaparty nut case though he did use them for votes... and I would imagine thinks Sarah Palin is a whore, and used her as such to get votes.). With any luck, a vote of no confidence will come up for Obama forcing him to compete in dem primaries in 2011/12 and Hillary will win. The ag industry has been hers since 2004 anyway, and its only likelyhood of moving forward with any stability or chance for success is by something she proposes (no longer a senator so easier said than done) or, in fact, pushes through as president.....

either way, its form will most likely include a switch of subsidies from corn to switchgrass, at least until the infrastructure for corn export is increased to allow for imports to come back in and help the industry grow w/out them (subsidies).

u/gunslinger81 · 1 pointr/AskReddit

The Axemaker's Gift by James Burke: All about examining of why we are the way we are and how we got here the way we did--it's the evolution of technology starting all the way back when monkeys came down from the trees.

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson: The science textbook you wish you got in school. Funny, informative, and provides an accessible way to learn about the world around us.

The Republic by Plato: Pretentious, I know, but this was the first philosophy book that ever really opened my mind to different types of thought.

u/SereneScientist · 1 pointr/CasualConversation

Hi friend! I don't know how well this book would fit the general argument of your class, but it made a deep impression on me in college:

u/talanton · 1 pointr/AskReddit
u/CaptainKabob · 1 pointr/programming

I'm sorry if you took my comment spitefully as that was not my intent. Here is some reading you might find interesting:

u/Gen_McMuster · 1 pointr/AskMen

To an extent yes. The moral/intellectual failing of early eugenicists was mistaking phenotype for genotype. Assuming phyhsical characteristics and behaviors with little or no genetic basis were confered by genetics. IE: crime and head size, race and financial accumen

As our understanding of genetics deepens, choices made by informed parents will more and more resemble the practice of eugenics (intentionally changing the genetic makeup of a population)

The Gene is a remarkable and approachable book on the topic. It explores the history of genetic science, the failings of those who miss-applied it and how modern practices and genetic engineering look moving forward

u/Schytzophrenic · 1 pointr/todayilearned

Evolution keeps disease-causing genes around because in their recessive genotypes (non-disease causing) there is some benefit that we cannot readily see. For example, cystic fibrosis, in its pathological phenotype, will cause people to sweat out all their salt, cause organ failure and death. But if that cholera hits, those with the recessive CS genotype will be able to withstand bouts of diarrhea much better. I highly recommend The Gene, which goes over the history of how humanity came to discover heredity, DNA, etc. Well written, fascinating story. First science page turner I've read.

u/Brainkandle · 1 pointr/Showerthoughts

Well every thing on the planet that has cells, has DNA, right. DNA is the blueprint that tells each cell what to do, be, perform, etc. So you and I have 99.9% the same DNA cause we're both humans. You and I have 60% the same DNA as both a chicken and a banana.

But start going up the mammalian ladder and our DNA similarities get higher and higher because- 2 legs/2 arms/1 head/2 lungs/1 backbone/hair/carry our young/warmblooded etc everything that categorizes us as mammals comes from a very very similar set of DNA. Again, every cell has this code in it so that it knows how to perform its job.

Us and cats are 90% similar. It just happens that us and chimps/bonobos have the most DNA in common. Not something we purposely set out to prove, but once we mapped the genomes and stuck all of them side by side, that is where the data arranged itself.

Back to DNA - this is why stem cells are so fascinating, we can alter the DNA and tell the stem cell how to be, what to be, cause we already have all the DNA mapped so we're really just copying off of original DNA.

If you are interested in DNA and its complexity and how we figured all of it out, I highly recommend The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee. You will understand it so much more and appreciate all the folks who moved along the science until now. ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

u/Khiv_ · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

If you are still curious, though, I suggest this book. I haven't read it, but the author is known for discussing medical topics in an interesting way that is understandable by non-experts.

u/Berenor · 1 pointr/gaybros

Joe, 26, Albuquerque, New Mexico (though spending a few days in Pasadena, California visiting family for the holidays)

Picture of me from Thanksgiving

  1. My parents got me a book they thought I'd be interested in (The Gene: An Intimate History, by Siddhartha Mukherjee) and a bottle of Glenlivet 12-year single-malt scotch. Home run on both counts!
  2. Moving to Albuquerque - my parents helped me pack up my life into a U-Haul and we made the 14 hour drive to start the newest chapter of my life. :)
  3. I'll be ringing in the new year with my California friends!
  4. Current celebrity crush is Rain Dove because holy shit.
  5. I'm working on a demo app with a friend of mine who is teaching herself how to code. We're re-implementing tetris, with graphics, on pc, mobile, and web, with a tie-in to a leaderboard website (REST API) and a few other bells & whistles.
  6. I finally got around to watching Stranger Things last month, so still in love with that - especially the soundtrack. Also the band Autoheart (in particular their single Oxford Blood - featuring Rain Dove in the video!)
u/random_story · 1 pointr/pics

I read a whole book claiming the moon was man-made, or alien-made. And no it wasn't by that guy from the history channel. Ah, here it is:

u/NAM007 · 1 pointr/Christians

I'd suggest first reading a book called "Who Built the Moon" and then watch a video called "The Real Star of Bethlehem", and posit the idea that from the beginning of time, God may have provided and did in fact provide, a recognizable message or a signature, yes right here in the Earth/Moon/Sun configuration, so that it would be unambiguous and unmistakable that mankind was created and included, by anticipation and with intent, along with the Son of God / Son of Man to make the predicament of standing right next to the Godhead less prone to possible satanic outcomes and more enjoyable, let us say, within the framework of reconciliation/atonement.

I realize you were talking about something in contrast to so-called Christian reality, but the truth of the matter is that Christian reality might be rather far reaching in it's cosmological implications..

You could then have these observers or watchers who "left their estate" (that's somewhere in the Bible) and became jealous of God's latest and greatest creation, whereby Satan, as their leader, refused to bow (I can find the reference for that if you like, which I think is from the excluded book of Enoch), once at the time of Adam and then again at the cross of Jesus Christ, the first time perhaps seen as not unreasonable (since we are newer and 'younger') and thus the rebellion of other angels and/or created beings, the 2nd time, caught up in a double-bind from which there's no escape, within a satanic 'blindspot' that was anticipated by God and Jesus from the beginning of time or "before the foundation of the world".

You could then have this Universal Controvery surrounding the issue of Spiritual Authority resolved by what might be thought of as Jesus Christ's Superdeterministic, Cosmological, Magnum Opus (Great Work).

So that might be part of a Scifi/Fantasy as seen within a Christian worldview, that isn't out of congruent alignment with the funamental principal at the heart of it, nor with the Biblical narrative of the Gospels themselves.

If this interests you and you'd like to learn more, just read my posting history over the last month or so, and/or PM me for more ideas.

Good luck with your project - wouldn't it be fun though to confound many self-professed 'Christians' while placing the context and framing in a Cosmic/Scifi setting or a "world" that works and that jives perfectly with scripture?

The climax could involve the rising of the lunar eclipse at the 6th hour with Jesus crying out the first line of Pslam 22.. oh, they must have been so freaked out by that and the timing of the eclipse... those who were there, or were observing.. OMG it was a HOODWINK!!! We're screwed what do we do what do we do?!!

The resolution then becomes like a cosmic practical joke seemingly told at the expense of human ignorance (and resulting sin and evil), but in truth only using us as a foil by which to "punk" the devil and the watchers, so while it might orginate here, it's good enough to traverse the whole of it all, and ring a note that might still resound to this very day about 35 human generations later, throughout all the spheres of the heavens, both to laughter, and, sadly for some, to groans. Elements from C.S. Lewis' "The Great Divorce" could also be employed. So it would be a type of scifi humor or satire in it's assessment both of the human and the non-human condition.

What do you think?

u/bgny · 1 pointr/conspiracy

Here's Lloyd Pye’s Intervention Theory Essentials that discusses evidence of DNA manipulation and terraforming of earth. If you are looking for moon stuff there's the book "Who Built the Moon."

u/swiley1983 · 1 pointr/Showerthoughts

No. Rest assured, the moon is real and it was actually built.

u/KevinBurgerKing · 1 pointr/rutgers

Society is a racial construct. Your post is Marxist nonsense and anti science. Tell me how we can determine a social construct by someone's DNA, or why certain diseases only affect certain social constructs, or why different social constructs have different bone structures and skull sizes. You think Pygmies and Japanese are exactly the same? If you don't believe in evolution (and you clearly don't), or if you believe evolution magically only happened to humans from the neck down, you are anti science. You're just some backwards yuppie. Probably from some backwards blue state like New Jersey and drink lattes like it's 1990. Get with the times you cousin fucking liberal.

If you're interested in human evolution without all the Marxist bullshit you're being fed at Rutgers, read this

If you're interested in why you are being fed Marxist Bullshit at Rutgers, watch this

If you want to know who is behind you being fed Marxist bullshit at Rutgers read this

u/Rosenmops · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

The book
The 10,000 Year Explosion
talks about evolution that has happened in the last 10,000 years, since agriculture was invented.

u/SaveUsTrump · 0 pointsr/politics

Dr. Kevin MacDonald has an excellent book on this subject called 'The Culture of Critique'.

And a reminder that King isn't wrong, he just said what you're not allowed to say:

u/AppleLion · 0 pointsr/Libertarian

You are so dangerously naive. Is your first name Neville?

This false concept of policy is one of the biggest obstacles for libertarians. It’s why they think we are crazy. And honestly your belief is crazy. It only works if the entire world is filled with stoners like yourself with the same motivations, culture, religion, and priorities.

You simply can’t understand that people do place missile launchers on the rooftops of elementary schools and hospitals. It’s so far outside of your personal logic that you assume that it’s false, and that western civilization is a fright blight.

You are two steps away from being a leftist demanding white genocide. It’s insanity.

If you still have the ability to reason, instead of emotioning your decisions through life, there’s some very important concepts for you in this book:

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

u/this_is_who_I_am · 0 pointsr/todayilearned

I'm not citing anything, I'm saying that this technology hasn't even been around long enough for us to study the long-term effects! Long-term doesn't mean 3 years. It doesn't mean 20 years. By long-term, I mean:

What genetic mutations might take place our offspring, and in turn, THEIR offspring, due to the strange games we're playing with food today?

You have to look at this from an evolutionary perspective. Man has been cultivating and eating wheat, and unintentionally modifying the wheat we eat, for 40,000 years. Same with fruits and vegetables - by planting the seeds of the best looking fruits from the best looking fruit trees, and not the worst-looking fruits from the worst-looking fruit trees, man genetically modified that fruit, albeit completely unintentionally.

That is a completely different kind of modification than taking the DNA from an animal species and splicing it into the DNA of a plant species. Just because there haven't been any negative side effects yet does not mean that years or decades down the road we're not going to see a bunch of issues from it.

Cancer has been around for a long, long time, and we have linked some things to be possible causes. But cancer has become so widespread in recent years because of the terrible things we put in our bodies and the things to which we expose our bodies over and over again. Every cell we have in our bodies gets its nutrients from what we consume, and if we consume things that our bodies aren't supposed to consume, it causes problems!

Here's your citation - Guns, Germs, and Steel - the Fates of Human Societies

u/Electric2097 · 0 pointsr/CringeAnarchy

Now, I know you probably make it a point not to read anything written by some filthy no-good Jew, but you should take a look at this book.

u/internetcamel · 0 pointsr/todayilearned

Hey you should really [read this] ( I mean yea maybe this one instance is wrong but for sure Native Americans were purposefully infected. It doesnt take a statistician or modern doctor to realize how much more deadly the disease was for them.

u/Redfel · 0 pointsr/WTF

>Firstly, a higher IQ is closely correlated to factors beyond genetics.

Wrong. The American Psychological Association puts the heritability of intelligence at around 0.75 for adults. Based on the available research, I'd say intelligence is somewhere between 70-80% heritable.

>Diet and education are by far the most important.

Not even close:

>The role of nutrition in intelligence remains obscure. Severe childhood malnutrition has clear negative effects, but the hypothesis that particular “micronutrients” may affect intelligence in otherwise adequately-fed populations has not yet been convincingly demonstrated.

Look, I don't doubt that nutrition has some role to play in the development of intelligence, but to claim that nutrition is more important than genetics is absurd.

>Both suffer in poor communities.

As Murray and Hernstein wrote: "The average black and white differ in IQ at every level of socioeconomic status (SES) , but they differ more at high levels of SES than at low levels." Impoverished whites do better on tests like the SATs than upper-middle/upper class blacks.

>But beyond that, in the amount of time the various human races were separated from each other, evolution simply couldn't have made people THAT different.

Obviously, you haven't read the book The 10,000 Year Explosion. It argues that human evolution rapidly increased thanks to civilization.

I think that the cognitive differences between the races are quite minimal when compared to the physical differences. Still, it seems quite evident that the cold northern environments of Asia and Europe would select for intelligence and cooperation. The idea that evolution worked its magic on skin color, facial structure, bone density, penis size, etc. but stopped at the brain is a farce.

>We know there is no mechanism in Asians' bodies that makes them smarter than anyone else.

Yes, but nobody has ever claimed there is a mechanism in Asians' bodies that makes them smarter than anyone else. What people claim is that the races have a different distribution of gene frequencies, and some genes that are correlated with intelligence are more common among some population groups.

>But, I like how you think 100,000 Japanese Americans to represent the entire Asian community in the United states

I was specifically talking about Japanese-Americans.

>then compare them to the plight of 39 million African Americans living today.

My point was that there are Americans who have had it much worse than blacks and yet they've been able to thrive. Of course, I attribute this mostly to their higher average IQs.

>And yes, there are poor Asian communities riddled with crime. Look at the LA neighborhoods rife with Asian street gangs.

There will always be a large number of low IQ members of any race or ethnic group. Still, I'd bet the poorest 90% Asian neighborhood will be safer than the average 90% black neighborhood.

u/ipeonyou · 0 pointsr/australia

> If complying with the law results in profit, the company will comply. If it results in loss, the company will not comply

That's the whole point of law. Cause and effect. That is what most people on this planet called preventative. Congratulation for discovering the basic concept of law, though taking a long winded road to it. You are still extremely confused about it though.

> The next time somebody comes to kill you go ahead and hold that law out in front of you and see if it stops a bullet or a knife blade. Then we'll see who is living in reality.

What the fuck are you talking about? Law isn't a physical object you moron. How the fuck are you going to "hold that law" out in the first place? The fact that law is in place deters people from coming to my place and trying that in the first place.

> Well my society isn't lawless, so I find this to be a moot point.

Laws in your society is fucking useless and thus lawless. Law in your society is no different commandments from the Bible.

> Whose repercussions? The governments?

Yes. Governments prevent me from hitting your face.

> I could fly to your house, punch you in the face, leave immediately, and if your lucky an officer might take your statement.

Yea, do that. I have cameras set up that provides enough evidence for the officer to hunt you down. Obviously the threat of being in jail (criminal law) doesn't deter you from hitting people but it deters you from cheating taxes (tax law). You contradict even yourself.

> You've placed me in a situation where I am forced to concede property in order to protect my freedoms or my life.

No shit moron. I'm place in a situation where I am forced to not punch you in order to protect the freedom of my life. This is the whole point of the law. You don't like to concede property, I don't like to not punch your face. But we both have to follow the law due to repercussions.

> I must give money to the government or I lose more money, freedom (prison), or death.

Yes. That is the law and thus it prevents you from trying to not pay tax. See how preventative it is? It works because it has repercussions. This is an example of law preventing you from acting out a behaviour (not paying tax).

> Explain to me how a mugger with a gun to your head ("Your money or your life") is different from taxation.

LMFAO, every idiotic libertarian always trot out this bullshit like it's on automatic playback. Explain to me how a mugger with a gun to your head ("Your money or your life") is different from paying rent to your landlord.

> You used a word made up by a comedian with a satirical political show to insult my argument

Yes, that's the point. Your arguments are based upon nothing but GUT INSTINCT. What you lack in knowledge, you made up in confidence. That word, "truthiness", describes you extremely well.

> It's an insult made up by a different person.

It can't be an insult when it is true. Calling a fat overweight person "fat" is not an insult. Likewise with you. You are IGNORANT and you WANT TO and LIKE TO remain IGNORANT.

> These types of law do not prevent anything.

Holy fuck you are dumb. Two sentences ago you admit to having to pay tax. The tax laws prevents you from cheating tax. That's what it prevents. The environmental laws prevent companies from polluting due to financial disincentives. That's what it prevents.

> Tort law is by definition only relevant to disputes. Two parties who settle their differences on their own are completely outside the purview of the law. The case must be brought to court before the law applies.

No you dumb idiot. Tort laws specified a companies or a person can be fined for misconduct. THis is made aware to everyone and thus prevent people and companies in engaging in misconducts.

> You moved the goal posts here.

Wrong. 1+1 is not 5.

I said laws encompasses MANY (M for Mary, A for Asshole, N for nelly, Y for Yellow). MANY, not ALL (A for Asshole, L for Lily, L for Lily) but MANY. See how I have to spell it out for you?

> That's largely irrelevant though, seeing as you missed the point entirely and provided a faulty example of your own point.

Er no dumb ass. I didn't miss my own point. I set the point and you missed it and interpret into something else. You purposely moved the goal post and you blame me for missing my own point. Do you see how fucking stupid you are?

> In your example the law recognizes marriage for heterosexuals and civil unions for homosexuals.

Yep, support both set of moralities - people who hates gay, and gay people who want to be recognized as couple.

> What if I believe gays shouldn't have civil unions? What if I believe marriage should be outlawed? What if I believe government recognition of union, marriage or civil, should be banned? Maybe only gays should be allowed to marry.

So fucking what? What you show is only an example of a subset of ethics.

> The law can only support ONE ethical and moral outcome.

Nope. It supports many morality and ethics. It takes some from each group. Do you understand SET Theory? Each morality and ethics contains a set of beliefs. For example, Morality of person A has { BeliefA1, BeliefA2, BeliefA3, ...} Morality of person B has { BeliefB1, BeliefB2, BeliefA3, ...}

The law accommodate some beliefs from each morality. It is an intersection of belief sets. It never has to accommodate ALL beliefs from everybody or one set of the other beliefs.

> You repeatedly ignore my attempts to provide detailed resources that explain how a DRO type system might form in order to enforce law.


I'm not going to waste time and read your bullshit if you never bother to pick up a book and read about the core concept of the legal systems and the foundation of human civilizations.

> Once again: The Machinery of Freedom

Yea, read these first: Concept of law, Republic, The Prince, Das Kapital, History of Civilization

Yea read those books first and understand that you are a complete fucking moron, before you even suggest to me to read your filthy masturbatory junk literature.

You've purposely throughout this ENTIRE conversation dropped arguments you cannot addressed. You are ignorant and are intellectually dishonest with me as well as yourself.

  • You dropped the point where Google is used instead of the US.

  • You dropped the point where the Mother having the enforcement power to carry out justice.

  • You dropped the point where Murdoch and his massive empire could easily take your land in your shitty society.

  • You dropped the point where your entire family actually want to stay in this country despite your insane lunatic ass.

  • You dropped the point where you have to pay to use roads regardless of your private property.

  • You dropped the point where you in fact never actually own a property, read the fucking property contract and only argued from ignorance.

  • You dropped the point where bitching about signing contracts "under duress" is no different to all renters who are "under duress" when they have to signed contract for rent.

    Fuck man, you're like a child with a leaking diaper. You purposely dropped so many fucking points that inconvenient the way you think in your shitty bubble of alternative reality.

    > so I'm done arguing this point with you.

    Meh, I don't really give a fuck in continuing this conversation with a wilful moron, who is most likely a shittiest of engineer, whose ideology is nothing but a fucking fairy tale for adults.

u/Fraek · 0 pointsr/Conservative

"no scientific consensus that black people are genetically predisposed to lower intelligence"

The report is by the APA from 1996. The APA in 96 to even acknowledge that there was a gap was a huge thing, considering its bias. Discoveries have ramped up in the last few years so I don't know why wikipedia is relying on sources from 94 & 96 considering the human genome mapping wasn't completed until 2003. Discoveries since then have been one after another.

It's no surprise wikipedia comes to the PC conclusion, but it suffers from problems. It acknowledges that the black-white test gap exists. Either it is genetic, or environmental. There has been decades of money, and time thrown at fixing the environment by rich billionaires like Gates, and others. Dozens upon dozens of education, nutrition, parent swapping (giving black babies to whites), and other experiments, and they all failed. There is not a single study in the world that can claim lasting gains in the IQ gap. This bit of evidence would point to a genetic basis right? That and the fact that twin studies (the only proper studies that can control for genes) shows intelligence, among other dispositions, are highly heritable. In that wikipedia page, they link to the actual numbers from the APA study: "A 1996 statement by the American Psychological Association gave about .45 for children and about .75 during and after adolescence."

Finally, does that statement even pass the laugh test? "Science" doesn't work by consensus, but if it did, wouldn't it be relevant to ask the actual scientists involved in intelligence research?

There are people with very high intelligence, very low IQ, and everyone between. Most people can recognize that height is highly heritable, but it isn't a guarantee, sometimes you are taller than your tallest parent, sometimes you are shorter than the shortest parents. Most times you regress towards the mean. The idea that the brain is a blank slate has been discredited by Steven Pinker, Noam Chomsky, and others. The brain comes with innate abilities, abilities that are partly inherited from your parents genes.

If you are actually concerned with finding the truth you can read Nicholas Wade, who writes for the NYTimes. The 10,000 Year Explosion. Or Gene Expression1. Or Gene Expression2. Rather than having your views filtered by whoever happens to be editing one of the many wikipedia pages.

u/magusj · 0 pointsr/science

yes, among other things (selection over past 20k-50k years, larger population size in certain populations over past 10k years leading to more mutations and adaptations, etc.).

I'd highly encourage reading :

Cochran was one of the first to hypothesize sapien-neanderthal interbreeding. He touches on several interesting topics in the book.

his blog (WestHunter) is a must read for speculation, comments, etc.

u/malaboom · 0 pointsr/The_Donald
u/WaitWhat000888 · 0 pointsr/Christianity

> It is quite likely that Islam will overtake us in number in the next 50-100 years.

Nah the evidence doesn't support that:

Plus, their birthrates are falling just like the first world's are. But much much faster, what the first world has done slowly in a century they're doing in a single generation, and its going to be disastrous, read the free parts of this book

u/tamrix · 0 pointsr/IAmA

Read Who Built the Moon by Christopher Knight ;)

u/bussche · 0 pointsr/Winnipeg

> Ah yes, a copy-pasted single sentence definition from a online dictionary is totally not another oversimplification. Wow. Thanks for proving my point twice in a row.

That's it's a religion, as I originally stated, and not some boogy man, as you insinuated? Your welcome lol.

> Hence my use of the term, "religion". Glad we agree on one thing.

Hence your assertion that it's worse than Christianity, hardly the same.

> But there is some pretty intense indoctrination going on in some mosques and in some countries.

Ah yes the specter of the Islamic boogeyman again.

> I apologize all my examples are from Palestine and I do understand the situation there

Lol, speaking of understatements. That's like making a statement about Catholicism based on the IRA during the troubles.

> . There are many similar examples from other Islamic countries and mosques (Red Mosque in Pakistan, Finsbury Mosque in London, etc.) but it's getting late and you honestly have to do some research yourself, buddy.

West Borough Baptists Church, the KKK, LRA, etc. We can both play that game.

The fact of the matter is that extremists of any religion are in the minority. The proof is in the pudding, there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, just over a million in Canada, and the extremists are in the extreme minority. For every Red Mosque, Finsbury Mosque, Paris Attack, etc, there are hundreds of millions of peaceful Muslims.

> The Crusades were arguably a response to the Muslim Conquests. The Islamic invasion of Europe was only stopped by a few decisive battles like the Battle of Tours in France. So please, if you're going to bring up the Crusades then understand the whole history a little better.

lol, read this book.

TL;DR: The Battle of Tours was 300 years before the Crusades. During the crusades the Muslims had little interest in invading Europe, because there wasn't anything of value compared to Egypt, China, etc. This was before Portuguese opened trade routes with India and China, and the Spanish ransacked the gold of South America, which were the two events that catapulted Europe into a place of prominence.

Also funny that you should frame the Umayyad Caliphate as being the antitheses of a Christian Europe, considering:

"The Umayyad Caliphate was secular by nature.[4] At the time, the Umayyad taxation and administrative practice were perceived as unjust by some Muslims. The Christian and Jewish population still had autonomy; their judicial matters were dealt with in accordance with their own laws and by their own religious heads or their appointees, although they did pay a poll tax for policing to the central state.[5] Muhammad had stated explicitly during his lifetime that Abrahamic religious groups (still a majority in times of the Umayyad Caliphate) should be allowed to practice their own religion, provided that they paid the jizya taxation. The welfare state of both the Muslim and the non-Muslim poor started by Umar ibn al Khattab had also continued, financed by the Zakat tax levied only on Muslims.[5]"

> Not justifying persecution of Muslims at all. This isn't a binary issue where either people like Muslims or hate all Muslims. Once again, I'm merely countering your pseudo-intellectual facts.

Perhaps you've forgotten where this exchange started. I stated simply stated that Islam was a religion, which is a fact.

You went off on a rant about how "Islam is a political, financial, judicial, and militant system. It provides a beautifully organized framework to incite hate and violence. More so than Christianity."

So tell me again what the point of all this is? Because it really seems like your trying to turn it into a binary issue.

u/boothofthebeast · -1 pointsr/soccer

Probably, I'm not religious and tend to agree, but compared to what? So is football - do you think it was given to us in the primordial soup or something? So are lots of other stuff, from Manchester City, human rights, Peugeot the automotive mfg, the French state, genders and to a large extent race. All that stuff are human constructs that depend on the unique ability humans have of constructing non-natural narratives and holding common beliefs about them - it's actually what separates our species from other animals and what separated the homo sapiens from other species of homo (other human species that used to exist), like the neardental, etc, and the reason why the Sapiens species ended up dominating the planet. I strongly recommend Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari (an atheist historian and scientist) which is very much about this.

Anti-Catholic bigotry was a staple of the KKK; and Stalin and Mao; and Nazis - so you're far from alone.

Anyway, one doesn't need to be erudite or get philosophical or resort to historical analogies to know what's wrong with that: it's just the lack of basic decency, aka, not being an unhinged asshole. There's simply something to be said about not acting like a jerk to other people because of different systems of beliefs. It's called common decency. I don't know, it's just about being a good person, or at least the normal, okayish, one, and not the demented lunatic going around throwing slurs and insults.

u/SnarkLobster · -1 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

May I suggest: Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared M. Diamond

"Fascinating.... Lays a foundation for understanding human history."―Bill Gates

In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history.

u/iStandWithBrad · -1 pointsr/politics

Okay, first of all, there was a long period of time where Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean was booming and Europe was in the dark ages. So I find it's generally best to specify what time period you're talking about when making blanket statements.

Secondly, you're wrong when you say always a "festering shit-hole" compared to the rest of the world. There were major cities with sea ports on both the West coast and the East coast of Africa, where people came from other parts of the world to trade. This was before Europeans ever managed to settle Africa. I recommend a couple of books for you:

Where do I get my connection to this issue? Anthropology major in college, with a concentration on Africa. Also lived in an African city for 5 months. Happy to answer questions about that.

u/DEM_DRY_BONES · -1 pointsr/todayilearned

Hey! I just read about this last night in Guns, Germs, and Steel. Hit that up for more on domesticating wild plants!

u/Kirkaine · -1 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

That's a monster of a question. Hell, development economics is an entire academic field, you might as well ask 'ELI5: Physics'. Anyone who seriously thinks they can give you an answer here is lying to you, and probably to themselves as well.

That being said, for my money there are three books that are really required reading on the topic of how countries end up poor, plus two books that are required reading on why it's so hard to fix. I'd call them the bare minimum to call yourself literate on the subject.

  1. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, Jared Diamond. Essential reading on the big (i.e. several millennia) question of how the world ended up broadly split between rich and poor. I think they made it into a documentary, that's probably worth checking out.

  2. Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson. If you only read one of these, make it this one. Perfect blend of big picture history and modern policy analysis.

  3. Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo. Much more micro-focused, this one is about poor people more than it's about poor countries. I mainly include it because Esther is a beast, and this is one of my favourite books of all time. Definitely worth the read.

    Two that you should read on why it's so hard to fix global poverty (Poor Economics sits at the intersection).

  4. The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for our Time, Jeffrey Sachs. Jeff Sachs is one of those names that everyone in the world should know. Read this book, end of story.

  5. The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good, William Easterly. Easterly is another name everyone should know. To be honest, I don't agree with him on a whole lot of things. But pretending the other side of the debate doesn't exist is utterly moronic, and you can always learn a lot from people you disagree with.
u/maoiguy · -1 pointsr/aznidentity

I am also a white devil and tbh I think only morons idealize the culture and advancement of whites without looking at the blood that was spilt to propogate it, white people colonized and enslaved millions throughout history to get to where we are today. However the only people that think 18th century china were backwards are also morons and I doubt that they opened a single historical textbook.

That being said, human nature is violent and opportunistic, you can't judge our ancestors with the world view of today, their simply wasn't the infrastructure in place for people to be co exist peacefully in the same manner as today. There was no antibiotics, no internet, no welfare, no democracy, limited legal and policing systems, no easy transport, no supermarkets the list goes on and on. Without these systems in place, people become greedy and mistrustful of each other.
If one cut on your knee can get infected and kill you, leaving your family destitute and the average life expectancy was 30 then people are going to act alot more sociopathic, it becomes about survival, like actual life or death survival.

The reality is human history is dirty and messy and violent, and pretending that any race or ethnicity is innocent from that is completely ignorant, its in our genes to be opportunistic and violent, its evolution and natural selection at work. We only became largely peaceful in the last 50 years because a) we developed to such a degree that working together economically was in our better interests than military and b) the deterrant of nuclear war and mutually assured destruction

I recommend you read the following books:

Basically how all human societies are violent and

This book gives the reasons why civilizations rise and fall and why European culture became the dominant one post 19th century
Essentially there are deterministic factors that are needed for any culture to prosper and white people inherited them all just because of geography and luck

u/xbayuldrd · -1 pointsr/AskHistorians

This book talks a lot about that stuff. I recommend it.

u/lamamafia · -1 pointsr/MapPorn

For anyone interested in what /u/cos_dasis saying... read Guns, Germs and Steel.

There's also a movie which you can find easily...

u/FrostMonstreme · -1 pointsr/TrueReddit

This comes off as political tut-tutting. Here is my take.

(1) The popular take-away from GC&S is precisely what Romney put forth, namely, that: "the physical characteristics of the land account for the differences in the success of the people that live there." Pointing out that the availability of iron ore does not constitute a significant difference just seems petty.

(2) Romney's culture-heavy explanation from the recent editorial is obviously pandering, but Jared Diamond is also guilty of pandering, in that he's unwilling to consider that there might be biological differences between groups. Romney and Diamond are environmental determinists: cut from the same cloth. So Diamond is close to hypocritical in calling Romney out.

u/TheHayisinTheBarn · -1 pointsr/space
u/rowdyrodyduterte · -2 pointsr/PoliticalHumor

It's a book by Charles Murray and it's exceedingly well-researched. Go read it. Maybe you'll learn something.

u/Leisureguy · -2 pointsr/wicked_edge

Synthetics started getting actually good around 2011, with at least some if not most of the impetus coming from a feeling that the EU might prohibit the use of badger hair (cf. ivory prohibitions). Mühle took an early lead, but quite a lot has happened. Check out, for example, these articles in Sharpologist, and note the dates.

Memes (in the Richard Dawkins sense—cf. Chapter 11 of The Selfish Gene) are subject to the Darwinian laws that follow from inheritance with some variation and limited resources, which brings natural selection into play: those memes with variations favoring reproduction will survive, just as is true for lifeforms, only memes evolve at a MUCH faster rate. The recent book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind is, in effect, a history of the evolution of memes. It seemed to me that many of his insights and much of his account required looking at things from a meme point of view, though he doesn't even mention memes until the middle of the book, and then only briefly and diffidently. (Bayesian statistics was initially looked down upon by classical statisticians as not quite the thing, but quite a few found that Bayesian statistics actually worked really well, so they started using it in secret and, when publishing, translated their results back into classical statistical terminology and methods. It seems that the same dynamic is at play here, with a reluctance to talk explicitly about memes, even though they explain a lot.)

u/buddhafig · -5 pointsr/AskHistorians

Sorry I don't have the short answer, but Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared M. Diamond is a good source for crop development over history and how it affected various cultures.

u/RevolutionReadyGo · -39 pointsr/Health

There was no disease before we domesticated draft animals. Educate yourself from all sides before entering the debate, please.

Edit for sources:

First I just want to say that their is no "source" for the history of the First Nations. We've spent hundreds of years erasing every trace of their culture and history from our collective memories. So either you make a commitment to go educate yourself about how these people lived, and see firsthand that they lacked most major diseases, which tied into their susceptibility to smallpox and co and therefore the genocide, or you believe the hype. Sorry but I am under no burden whatsoever to educate you about these people's lifestyles.

With that said, if you insist on some sources, here's some good reading material:

Guns, Germs and Steel

Omnivore's Delima

A People's History of the United States of America

u/QuirrelMan · -79 pointsr/MapPorn

You are asking me to condense Early Modern History to a comment on Reddit? Uhh, no. But you can read a book if you are interested!

Try After Tamerlane: The Rise and Fall of Global Empires, 1400-2000

Great read, with a new Global perspective on the rise and fall of Empires.

If you want to continue, you should then dive into the arbitrary/flexible notion of the Empire and read The Comanche Empire

Good stuff.