survival of the nicest how altruism made us human and why it pays to get along

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Survival Of The Nicest

Author : Stefan Klein
ISBN : 9781615191819
Genre : Science
File Size : 67. 17 MB
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A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2014 This revelatory tour de force by an acclaimed and internationally bestselling science writer upends our understanding of “survival of the fittest”—and invites us all to think and act more altruistically The phrase “survival of the fittest” conjures an image of the most cutthroat individuals rising to the top. But Stefan Klein, author of the #1 international bestseller The Science of Happiness, makes the startling assertion that altruism is the key to lasting personal and societal success. In fact, altruism defines us: Natural selection favored those early humans who cooperated in groups, and with survival more assured, our altruistic ancestors were free to devote brainpower to developing intelligence, language, and culture—our very humanity. Klein’s groundbreaking findings lead him to a vexing question: If we’re really hard-wired to act for one another’s benefit, why aren’t we all getting along? He believes we’ve learned to mistrust our instincts because success is so often attributed to selfish ambition, and with an extraordinary array of material—current research on genetics and the brain, economics, social psychology, behavioral and anthropological experiments, history, and modern culture—he makes the case that generosity for its own sake remains the best way to thrive.

Survival Of The Nicest

Author : Stefan Klein
ISBN : 9781615192205
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 25. 22 MB
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Explores why being generous and altruistic leads to more personal and societal success than being selfish and mean based on research into brain function, genetics and social psychology behavioral and anthropological experiments, as well as history and contemporary culture.

Survival Of The Nicest

Author : Stefan Klein
ISBN : 9781925113334
Genre : Science
File Size : 41. 5 MB
Format : PDF, Docs
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The phrase ‘survival of the fittest’ conjures an image of the most cutthroat individuals rising to the top. But Stefan Klein, author of the international bestseller The Science of Happiness, makes the startling assertion that the key to achieving lasting personal and societal success lies in helping others. Klein argues that altruism is in fact our defining characteristic: natural selection favoured those early humans who cooperated in groups. With their survival more assured, our altruistic ancestors were free to devote brainpower to developing intelligence, language, and culture — our very humanity. As Klein puts it, ‘We humans became first the friendliest and then the most intelligent apes.’ To build his persuasive case for how altruistic behaviour made us human — and why it pays to get along — Klein brings together an extraordinary array of material: current research on genetics and the brain, economics, social psychology, behavioural and anthropological experiments, history, and modern culture. Ultimately, his groundbreaking findings lead him to a vexing question: if we’re really hard-wired to act for one another’s benefit, why aren’t we all getting along? Klein believes we’ve learned to mistrust our generous instincts because success is so often attributed to selfish ambition. In Survival of the Nicest, he invites us to rethink what it means to be the ‘fittest’ as he shows how caring for others can protect us from loneliness and depression, make us happier and healthier, reward us economically, and even extend our lives.

Wedding Cakes And Cultural History

Author : S. R. Charsley
ISBN : 9780415026499
Genre : History
File Size : 45. 75 MB
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The wedding cake is one of the most extraordinary of the familiar objects of the Western world. In this unique contribution to the anthropology of food, Simon Charsley traces its fascinating history, from late medieval feasts and rites, through the Victorian wedding breakfast and into the present. He shows that the wedding cake provides a vivid illustration of the traditions and traditional values inherent in all food and demonstrates the part that material culture plays in the process of change.

My Cocaine Museum

Author : Michael Taussig
ISBN : 0226790150
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 40. 9 MB
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In this book, a make-believe cocaine museum becomes a vantage point from which to assess the lives of Afro-Colombian gold miners drawn into the dangerous world of cocaine production in the rain forest of Colombia's Pacific Coast. Although modeled on the famous Gold Museum in Colombia's central bank, the Banco de la República, Taussig's museum is also a parody aimed at the museum's failure to acknowledge the African slaves who mined the country's wealth for almost four hundred years. Combining natural history with political history in a filmic, montage style, Taussig deploys the show-and-tell modality of a museum to engage with the inner life of heat, rain, stone, and swamp, no less than with the life of gold and cocaine. This effort to find a poetry of words becoming things is brought to a head by the explosive qualities of those sublime fetishes of evil beauty, gold and cocaine. At its core, Taussig's museum is about the lure of forbidden things, charged substances that transgress moral codes, the distinctions we use to make sense of the world, and above all the conventional way we write stories.

Silicon Second Nature

Author : Stefan Helmreich
ISBN : 0520918770
Genre : Science
File Size : 86. 43 MB
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Silicon Second Nature takes us on an expedition into an extraordinary world where nature is made of bits and bytes and life is born from sequences of zeroes and ones. Artificial Life is the brainchild of scientists who view self-replicating computer programs—such as computer viruses—as new forms of life. Anthropologist Stefan Helmreich's look at the social and simulated worlds of Artificial Life—primarily at the Santa Fe Institute, a well-known center for studies in the sciences of complexity—introduces readers to the people and programs connected with this unusual hybrid of computer science and biology. When biology becomes an information science, when DNA is downloaded into virtual reality, new ways of imagining "life" become possible. Through detailed dissections of the artifacts of Artifical Life, Helmreich explores how these novel visions of life are recombining with the most traditional tales told by Western culture. Because Artificial Life scientists tend to see themselves as masculine gods of their cyberspace creations, as digital Darwins exploring frontiers filled with primitive creatures, their programs reflect prevalent representations of gender, kinship, and race, and repeat origin stories most familiar from mythical and religious narratives. But Artificial Life does not, Helmreich says, simply reproduce old stories in new software. Much like contemporary activities of cloning, cryonics, and transgenics, the practice of simulating and synthesizing life in silico challenges and multiplies the very definition of vitality. Are these models, as some would claim, actually another form of the real thing? Silicon Second Nature takes Artifical Life as a symptom and source of our mutating visions of life itself.

Paradise In Ashes

Author : Beatriz Manz
ISBN : 0520246756
Genre : History
File Size : 45. 36 MB
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"Manz captures one of the most tragic periods of Guatemalan history with truly extraordinary insight, intimacy and brilliance. Myrna Mack, her friend and colleague, was murdered by the military, but ultimately the epic story of these isolated areas could not be extinguished. This outstanding, courageous and committed anthropologist has given us a precious gift in these pages--a masterpiece that is sure to become a classic of this troubled time."--Helen Mack Chang, President of the Myrna Mack Foundation and recipient of the 1992 Right Livelihood Award, also known as the "Alternative Nobel Peace Prize." "Much more than the ethnography of a beleaguered village in Guatemala, Paradise in Ashes is about how international politics, in this case, the Cold War, played itself out within a culture that is every bit as 'foreign' as that of Iraq or Afghanistan. Combining a lifetime of uncommonly solid scholarship with a lively, accessible style, Manz has produced a genuine landmark, blending the local with the global into a compelling new approach to problems that continue to bedevil our world."--Lars Schoultz, author of Beneath the United States: A History of U.S. Policy Toward Latin America "Manz reads the larger political, national, and international contexts into the gripping and nail-biting horror stories she tells about the life, death, and rebirth of Santa María Tzejá, a tough little village in Guatemala to which she is emotionally and politically bound for life. More than any anthropologist of her generation Manz is both ethnographer and compañera."--Nancy Scheper-Hughes, author of Death without Weeping: the Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil "Paradise in Ashes is a masterpiece. Written with a lucid and sensitive anthropological eye it is a work of scholarly and literary excellence. There is no happy ending to this remarkable, revealing story. Nonetheless, the strength, courage and hope of the Mayans, poignantly revealed by Beatriz Manz, makes this, after all its horrors, an up-beat, even inspiring, story. Manz brings back to us the best, the most illuminating of the legendary Latin American anthropology."--Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, Mexico's ambassador to the United Nations, and member of the Security Council "Beatriz Manz has written a moving chronicle of Guatemalan villagers who have endured unspeakable injustice, yet remarkably look to the future with hope. This splendid book is a beautifully written human story that is framed by the passions and devastating consequences of the cold war. The narrative is a testament to the power of public anthropology and a must read for those concerned about the marginalized of the South."--Isabel Allende "The violent overthrow of democracy in Guatemala in 1954 by the army, with CIA backing, spelled the end of FDR's 'good neighbor' policy. In its stead, cold war ideology transformed Guatemala into one vast death camp. No wonder President Clinton apologized to the victims of that genocide. Beatriz Manz, as both an anthropologist and a human being, gives us the precise account of the high price of a political mistake."--Carlos Fuentes "No one could have written this book but Beatriz Manz: she understood the villagers in the most perceptive of ways, and she gained their trust. Her passion and lifetime of dedication to Guatemala shine through as she brings alive these exceptional human beings and the fire they walked through. Paradise in Ashes is an extraordinary achievement and a defining document of this genocidal period."--Rigoberta Menchú Tum

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