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Wired for Culture

Y enabled human survival and progress in the past but also continues to influence our behavior today Shedding light on our species’ defining attributes from art morality and altruism to self interest deception and prejudice Wired for Culture offers surprising new insights into what it means to be huma. What this book is about Left unchecked these ploys kin selection would have caused our societies to collapse before they god off the ground To make our societies work then we had to acuire the social and psychological systems that could somehow overcome and tame selfish instincts born of millions of years of evolution by natural selection to cheat exploit dupe and even murder s one rivals These systems are our culture Is it worth reading Yes do read the chapters Ultra sociality and the Cultrual Survival Vehicle and Local Rules and the Emergence of Self Organization but feel free to skip everything else Let Sleeping Dogs Lie years of evolution by natural selection to cheat exploit dupe and even murder s one rivals These systems are our culture Is it worth reading Yes do read the chapters Ultra sociality and the Cultrual Survival Vehicle and Local Rules and the Emergence of Self Organization but feel free to skip everything else

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A uniue trait of the human species is that our personalities lifestyles and worldviews are shaped by an accident of birth namely the culture into which we are born It is our cultures and not our genes that determine which foods we eat which languages we speak which people we love and marry and which peo. An interesting book that provides an extensive and highly plausible account of the evolution of culture in our species The book s central tenet selfish genes construct physical survival vehicles in our bodies and cultural survival machines solely as a means to increase their own survival may sound reductionist to some in the humanities but is well arguedMoreover the book reviews many of the important ways in which culture once it had sprang up altered the selection pressures operating on our genes Thus although culture may be a product of selfish genes to improve their chances of survival our gene pool has also been altered by the new selection pressures introduced by cultureThe book has some problems too First culture may have led to the existence of a new type of replicators memes These reproduce differently than our genes and as such may have given rise to conflicting selection pressures This problem is discussed but I think is not given the prominence it deservesSecond although the book has an extensive bibliography no notes to support claims in the text are present As such it is sometimes difficult to evaluate whether something is a plausible just so story for which alternatives could be envisaged or whether something is supported by hard facts I encountered some inadeuacies in the treatment of my own area of expertise which makes me suspect that there may be some in other areas too and leaves me unable to fully appreciate the strength of the central thesis of the book

Mark Pagel ✓ 5 Free read

Ple we kill in war But how did our species develop a mind that is hardwired for culture and whyEvolutionary biologist Mark Pagel tracks this intriguing uestion through the last 80000 years of human evolution revealing how an innate propensity to contribute and conform to the culture of our birth not onl. A book in my favourite genre social science well explained and up to date but not overly simplified Took me uite a long time to finish not because of the book but because I had to put it aside for other books to be read first Pagel s style of writing is very pleasant with a good sense of style Some of his witty remarks came uite close to political commentary but luckily not to an annoying degree Cultural evolution is a hot topic that can be used to explain almost anything Pagel stands clear from political opportunism and focuses on his core topic what makes us the humans fundamentally different from the rest of the animal kingdomThis uestion although very much worth discussing oddly enough slightly undermines the whole idea of culture My reading of culture is that it is just a tool box for coping in a shared sense of reality Pagel s reading is different as he seems to think that culture is matter of sophistication development and progress By the same token I personally regard the humans not as fundamentally different from animals but only as an astonishing example of the mammal species Pagel s viewpoint seems to be hierarchial and he values animal cultures whether or not they attain the same ualities as the human version does Obviously they never do and theregy Pagel is slightly trapped in a viscious circleNevertheless I very much enjoyed reading this highly enlightening book One of its jewels is in its excellent list of references I am doubtful whether the Kindle edition was the best choice On one hand I made many notes and highlights and will propably return to the book for references but on the other hand I would have liked to uickly page back to earlier chapters just to check things out I also wonder whether the paper versions had any illustrations the topic could certainly have deserved some

  • Hardcover
  • 432
  • Wired for Culture
  • Mark Pagel
  • English
  • 14 March 2017
  • 9780393065879

10 thoughts on “Wired for Culture

  1. says:

    An interesting book that provides an extensive and highly plausible account of the evolution of culture in our species The book's central tenet selfish genes construct physical survival vehicles in our bodies and cultural survival machines solely as a means to increase their own survival may sound reductionist to some in the humanities but is well arguedMoreover the book reviews many of the important ways in which culture once it had sprang

  2. says:

    For whatever reason late spring and early summer is my slowest reading time so this one took me a while to finish It was not because it was not good or interesting The concept of what makes humans uniuely human has evolved over the years and has settled on symbolic language and culture We are the only animal that can record our tho

  3. says:

    A very ambitious and enjoyable book What I got out of this book was this message All of human behavior can be e

  4. says:

    If I can only use one word to encapsulate the message which the authors tries to convey in this book the word would be CYNICISM The author tries to rationalize human behaviors of all kinds whether it be a disposition to subscribe t

  5. says:

    A book in my favourite genre social science well explained and up to date but not overly simplified Took me uite a long time to finish not because of the book but because I had to put it aside for other books to be read first Pagel's style of writing is very pleasant with a good sense of style Some of his witty remarks came uite close to political commentary but luckily not to an annoying degree Cultural evolution is a hot topi

  6. says:

    Interesting book about our genetic human evolution and our cultural social evolution A long dry academic and textbook y book Three and a half st

  7. says:

    I didn't exactly finish this I read about 14 then samples from the remaining chapters in the hopes that it would get better It didn't Even though I agree with some of Pagel’s conclusions his arguments made me cringe Much cherry picking of data so even when I agreed with the conclusion I found myself thinking of counter examples that came fairly readily to mind Much illustration by false analogies the ueen in an ant colony doe

  8. says:

    The book annoyed me on several levels It seems like a book for logic if you can accept this than this other thing is true and so forth constructing a foundation for his theory It seems like a science book letting me know only some of the facts only the ones who will support his theory and not the other ones Tal

  9. says:

    What this book is about Left unchecked these ploys kin selection would have caused our societies to collapse before they god off the ground To make our societies work then we had to acuire the social and psychological systems that could somehow overcome and tame selfish instincts born of millions of years of e

  10. says:

    Informative thought provoking I took notes

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