Are Humans Designed to Trash the Planet?

There Might Just Be an Antidote to Our Ingrained Selfishness     The answer is yes.   According to biologist Bobbi Low of the University of Michigan and science writer Matt Ridley, humans are innately selfish beings who lean toward consuming all the planet’s recourses for themselves with little or no regard for others. But, they argue, with a shift of focus that very same selfishness could also be harnessed to slow down the process and possibly save the earth for future generations.   Although this article is twenty-eight years old, it…

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The Evolution of Waiting

  How Westerners Fail at the Waiting Game   So now we wait.   Yes, we’ve already waited ten whole months, but now we have to wait even more to get the vaccine that will save us from Covid-19 and break us out of this time of suspended animation.   But why is it so hard to wait?   We should be used to waiting; we do it all the time as we wait for the bus, a companion to show up, at the doctor’s office, a baby to be born, a…

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Anthropologists In Space

The Otherworldly Tale of Anthropologists and Space Aliens     On October 4, 1957, Russia launched the first satellite, the first human-made object, to orbit the earth, calling it “Sputnik” which is Russian for “traveler.” America wanted to be the first in space — after all, the Cold War was raging, and the space race was part of that war — but it took a year before they launched a similar U.S. satellite. Those launches, and the space race in general, were signs of a massive, universal, culture shift for the human…

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The Most Selfish Culture on Earth-Or Maybe Not

Once Considered Unkind, the Ik Turn out to Be Nice When anthropologist Colin Turnbull lived among the Ik people of Uganda between 1964 and 1967, he found a bleak, loveless, unkind society where everyone was only out for themselves. Turnbull wrote about his experience in the best-selling 1972 book The Mountain People, an ethnographic follow up to his highly acclaimed The Forest People about the cooperative and socially entwined Mbuti pygmies of the Republic of Congo. The contrast between the two cultures couldn’t have been more shocking. The Ik were held up as evidence that…

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