out of africa

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pages: 372 words: 110,208

Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past by David Reich

23andMe, agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, European colonialism, Google Earth, invention of agriculture, invention of the wheel, invention of writing, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, out of africa, phenotype, Scientific racism, supervolcano, the scientific method, transatlantic slave trade

Pääbo’s own 1997 work strengthened the evidence for a purely African origin by showing that Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA fell far outside all modern human variation.19 I too came into the Neanderthal genome project with a strong bias against the possibility of Neanderthal interbreeding with modern humans. My Ph.D. supervisor, David Goldstein, was a student of Luca Cavalli-Sforza, who had made a fully out-of-Africa model a centerpiece of his models of human evolution, and I was steeped in this paradigm. The genetic data I knew about supported the out-of-Africa picture so consistently that from my perspective the strictest possible version of the out-of-Africa hypothesis, in which there was no interbreeding between the ancestors of present-day humans and Neanderthals, seemed like a good bet. Coming from this background, we were deeply suspicious of the evidence we were finding for interbreeding with Neanderthals, and so we applied a particularly stringent series of tests in order to find some problem with our evidence.

Multiregionalism soon encountered its antithesis, the out-of-Africa theory. In this theory, modern humans did not evolve in each location in the world separately from local archaic forms. Instead, modern humans everywhere derive from a relatively recent migration from Africa and the Near East beginning around fifty thousand years ago. The recent date of “Mitochondrial Eve” compared with the deep divergence of Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA provided some of the best evidence for this theory. In opposition to the multiregional hypothesis, the out-of-Africa theory emphasizes the recent origin of the differences among present-day human populations, relative to the multimillion-year time depth of the human skeletal record. Yet the out-of-Africa argument is not entirely right either. We now have a synthesis, driven by the finding of gene flow between Neanderthals and modern humans based on ancient DNA.

M. M. Lahr and R. Foley, “Multiple Dispersals and Modern Human Origins,” Evolutionary Anthropology 3 (1994): 48–60. 13. H. Reyes-Centeno et al., “Testing Modern Human Out-of-Africa Dispersal Models and Implications for Modern Human Origins,” Journal of Human Evolution 87 (2015): 95–106. 14. H. S. Groucutt et al., “Rethinking the Dispersal of Homo sapiens Out of Africa,” Evolutionary Anthropology 24 (2015): 149–64. 15. R. Grün et al., “U-series and ESR Analyses of Bones and Teeth Relating to the Human Burials from Skhul,” Journal of Human Evolution 49 (2005): 316–34. 16. S. J. Armitage et al., “The Southern Route ‘Out of Africa’: Evidence for an Early Expansion of Modern Humans into Arabia,” Science 331 (2011): 453–56; M. D. Petraglia, “Trailblazers Across Africa,” Nature 470 (2011): 50–51. 17.


The Next Great Migration by Sonia Shah

Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, failed state, Fellow of the Royal Society, hive mind, illegal immigration, immigration reform, index card, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, open borders, out of africa, Scientific racism, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, trade route, urban sprawl

He, among others, incorporated the new DNA evidence21 with the way skulls had changed, how pathogens, languages, and cultures had evolved, and a raft of other archaeological evidence to prove that we had indeed migrated out of Africa just hundreds of thousands of years ago. Cavalli-Sforza’s work forced the fact of our recently shared African origins into mainstream acceptance. But his theory left other central planks of the sedentist paradigm intact. The premodern migrations he described occurred under exceptional and short-lived circumstances. The way Cavalli-Sforza imagined it, the journey out of Africa had been a dispersal into empty land, motivated by the allure of unoccupied territory. Our earliest ancestors evolved in Africa in a world of vast, unpopulated spaces, “new, pristine environment[s],” and “virgin territory.” They spilled out of Africa the way a pool of water expands to fill an empty container. Colonizers set out from Africa to settle new places and founded new colonies, which hatched more colonizers to settle more new places, founding more colonies, and so on until all new places were studded with human habitations.

But apart from a few grumblings, Cavalli-Sforza’s method stood. Scientific ranks closed around the Recent Out of Africa theory in the first decade of the twenty-first century, a century and a half after Darwin had first proposed25 a common origin in Africa. Documentary films, museum exhibits, and magazine articles popularized the new story of the human past that DNA technology had helped reveal. Many used the metaphor of a tree. The trunk represented ancient peoples of Africa, from whom we’d all evolved. Each population that walked out of Africa into another continent appeared as a branch, reaching out into the distance. In fact, there was no direct evidence that migration had essentially stopped after the dispersal out of Africa, as the metaphor suggested. The strands of DNA in the ancients’ cells that might have recorded their movements had rotted and decayed, along with their long-buried bodies, millennia ago.

The work of incorporating the new data rushing out of paleogeneticists’ labs into our understanding of migratory history has only just begun. But already paleogeneticists such as Sweden’s Svante Pääbo and Harvard’s David Reich, among others, have revealed a backstory of ancient migrations that is far more complex than what Cavalli-Sforza and others extrapolated from modern-day DNA. The Out of Africa journey had been cast as a dispersal into vast empty spaces. But when our ancestors walked out of Africa, new data from ancient DNA revealed, they moved into lands where other peoples already lived. These now-extinct archaic humans had beaten us there, having migrated out of Africa themselves some 1.8 million years ago. When our ancestors encountered them, they did what migrants do everywhere: they had babies with the locals, a process of mixing that allowed bits of their DNA to enter ours. About 2 percent of the DNA in modern-day peoples in Europe and Asia traces back to the migratory collision with Neanderthals; and around that proportion of DNA in people now living in New Guinea and Australia traces back to the Denisovans, a group of ancient humans discovered through genetic analyses.


A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived by Adam Rutherford

23andMe, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, bioinformatics, British Empire, colonial rule, dark matter, delayed gratification, demographic transition, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Google Earth, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, phenotype, sceptred isle, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, twin studies

The Neanderthals were a people who lived all over western Europe from the easternmost tip of Spain, to the caves of north Wales, into the mountains of central Asia, and as far south as Israel. The oldest true Neanderthal bones we’ve found are 300,000 years old, and we’ve not discovered any younger than 30,000. That is a reasonable longevity for a human species. Homo erectus, an earlier upright ape, spread all over the world from an exodus out of Africa that began 1.9 million years ago. But the Neanderthals still clocked up a longer innings than we have so far. We anatomically modern humans are generally thought to have evolved in eastern Africa around 200,000 years ago, and emerged out of Africa in our own exodus sometime in the last 100,000 years. This number inches up every few years, as more specimens are found. A discovery in October 2015, from the Fuyan cave in the Daoxian region in southern China, dug up forty-seven modern teeth at least 80,000 years old, and it’s not unreasonable to presume that the owners of those teeth took some tens of thousands of years to get that far east from the motherland.

The full gamut of suggestions has been made over the years, from their being the direct ancestors of modern Europeans, to their existence on a completely different bough of the evolutionary tree, who left no extant descendants. The last common ancestor of us and them is thought to have existed around 600,000 years before today. The migration of Homo sapiens out of Africa. Anatomically modern humans began their tenure on Earth in eastern Africa, around 200,000 years ago. They had begun to trickle out of Africa at least 100,000 years ago. They met Neanderthals in Europe, and other human species en route, and according to our DNA, bred with many of them. Svante Pääbo’s digging within Neanderthal 1’s arm bone was the first step in answering this. They extracted 0.4g of matter – the weight of a decent pinch of salt – from the section of precision-butchered bone, and from it pulled fragments of mtDNA.

But what DNA analysis revealed more categorically than anything else was that we had sex with them, repeatedly, probably as soon as these two peoples met, and every time afterwards. So what happened? Humans are both horny and mobile. The language we use feels deceptive in these terms, at least in the timescales we’re referring to. When we say humans migrated out of Africa, as our ancestors surely did, it sounds a little like they packed their bags, upped sticks and headed north to the Promised Land. The whole basis of current thinking about the origin of us is referred to as the Out of Africa hypothesis, defined by our migration away from the first site of anatomically modern humans. The timescales are not really known precisely, other than to say that they were over thousands of years. Our Homo sapiens ancestors inched into Europe around 60,000 years ago, and that story is told in Chapter 2.


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Straight on Till Morning: The Life of Beryl Markham by Mary S. Lovell

British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, Etonian, out of africa

Let me set my mournful ditty To a merry measure; Thou wilt never come for pity, Thou wilt come for pleasure; Pity then will cut away Those cruel wings, and thou wilt stay… I love Love – though he has wings, And like light can flee, But above all other things, Spirit, I love thee – Thou art love and life! Oh, come! Make once more my heart thy home. 28 Isak Dinesen: The Life of Karen Blixen, Judith Thurman, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1982. 29 ibid. 30 Interview with Mrs Doreen Bathurst Norman, Jersey, May 1986. 31 Out of Africa, Karen Blixen, Penguin, 1984. 32 Mrs Doreen Bathurst Norman in telephone conversation, October 1986. 33 Interview with Mrs Doreen Bathurst Norman, Jersey, May 1986. 34 Isak Dinesen: The Life of Karen Blixen, Judith Thurman, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1982. 35 ibid. 36 The Times, 21 September 1936. 37 Out of Africa, Karen Blixen, Penguin, 1984. 38 ibid. 39 ibid. 40 Interview with Beryl Markham, Nairobi, April 1986; and transcript of interviews with Beryl by film crew of the documentary World without Walls, Kenya, 1984. 41 ibid. 42 The Times, 21 September 1936. 43 Hunters’ Tracks: Great Men – Great Hunters, J.A.

And when she has asked me I have tried to tell her about them. But some memories I have kept for myself as everyone must. And because she understands this I have tried to help her, as she – in her own way – has helped me. Beryl Markham Nairobi, 3 April 1986 INTRODUCTION In 1985 my ex-husband, Cliff Lovell, flew his De Havilland Gipsy Moth airplane during the making of the movie Out of Africa. When he returned home at Christmas after three months of filming in Kenya, I asked him to tell me all about it. Instead of stories about Meryl Streep and Robert Redford (which is what I wanted to hear), he began telling me about an elderly woman who had been brought onto the set to see the Moth. Her name was Beryl Markham, and she had owned and flown similar planes in the 1930s when they were the most popular modern airplanes available.

Her name was Beryl Markham, and she had owned and flown similar planes in the 1930s when they were the most popular modern airplanes available. He told me that she now lived a retired life in Kenya, but that as a pioneer aviatrix she had been a bush pilot, had made many record-breaking flights, and was the first woman to fly the Atlantic ‘the hard way’ – east to west against the prevailing winds. She had also been a friend of Karen Blixen and Denys Finch Hatton, whose relationship was the basis for the Out of Africa movie, and she had been a leading racehorse trainer. To my knowledge I had never heard the name Beryl Markham, but I recall that I was aware of a frisson of recognition – almost amounting to déjà vu – and to this day I cannot explain it. As Cliff finished telling me about her he said, ‘Someone ought to write a book about her,’ and there it was again, an inexplicable prickle of the hairs on the back of my neck.


pages: 734 words: 244,010

The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution by Richard Dawkins

agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, complexity theory, delayed gratification, double helix, Drosophila, Haight Ashbury, invention of writing, lateral thinking, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, nuclear winter, out of africa, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steven Pinker, the High Line, urban sprawl

Coalescent gene trees have helped resolve a long-standing debate over human origins. The 'Out of Africa' theory holds that all surviving peoples outside Africa are descended from a single exodus around a hundred thousand years ago, more or less. At the other extreme are the 'Separate Origins' theorists or 'Multiregionalists', who believe that the races still living in, say, Asia, Australia and Europe are anciently divided, separately descended from regional populations of the earlier species, Homo erectus. Both names are misleading. 'Out of Africa' is unfortunate because everybody agrees that our ancestors are from Africa if you go back far enough. 'Separate Origins' is also not an ideal name because, again if you go back far enough, the separation must disappear on any theory. The disagreement concerns the date when we came out of Africa. It might be better to call the two theories 'Young Out of Africa' (YOOA) and 'Old Out of Africa' (OOOA).

Fossils indicate that Modern anatomy passed to the rest of the world via young out-of-Africa migrations. But Alan Templeton's work (described in Eve's Tale) suggests that we are also partly 'descended from' non-African Archaics, possibly even non-African Homo erectus. The description is both simpler and more powerful if we switch from people talk to gene talk. The genes that determine our Modern anatomy were carried out of Africa by the YOOA migrants, leaving fossils in their wake. At the same time, Templeton's evidence suggests that other genes we now possess were flowing around the world by different routes, but left little anatomical evidence to show for it. Most of our genes probably took the young out-of-Africa route, while just a few came to us through other routes. What could be a more powerful way to express it?

It might be better to call the two theories 'Young Out of Africa' (YOOA) and 'Old Out of Africa' (OOOA). This has the added advantage of emphasising the continuum between them. If today's non-Africans all stem from a single recent emigration from that continent, we would expect modern gene distributions to demonstrate a recent, Africa-centred, small-population 'bottleneck'. Coalescence points would be concentrated around the time of the exodus. If we are separately descended from regional H. erectus, however, then genes should instead show evidence of anciently separated genetic lineages in each region. At the time when YOOA supporters claim an exodus, we would instead see a dearth of coalescence points. Which is it? By expecting a single answer to this question we have fallen into the same trap as the Motherland television documentary.


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Origins: How Earth's History Shaped Human History by Lewis Dartnell

agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, bioinformatics, clean water, Columbian Exchange, decarbonisation, discovery of the americas, Donald Trump, Eratosthenes, financial innovation, Google Earth, Khyber Pass, Malacca Straits, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Pax Mongolica, peak oil, phenotype, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, spice trade, supervolcano, trade route, transatlantic slave trade

One recent controversial study, for example, argues that an unidentified hominin species reached California during the preceding ice age, 130,000 years ago.50 What does seem likely, however, is that the exodus of modern humans out of Africa around 60,000 years ago, which gave rise to all people around the world today, was not the first. Fossilised remains in caves in Israel and stone tools found in the Arabian Peninsula51 suggest earlier migrations around 100,000 years ago, but these apparently reached a dead end and didn’t go on to populate the rest of the world.52 It’s almost as if early sparks of humanity blew out of Africa but didn’t catch. § The Neanderthals weren’t the only species to have been apparently greatly affected by modern humans appearing in their environment. The dispersal of humans into new geographical regions had a profound impact on local ecosystems around the world, and in particular on large animals, known as megafauna.

Overall, of the fifteen hominin species we know of, twelve first appeared during these three variable phases.32 What’s more, the development and spread of the different stages of tool technologies that we discussed earlier–Oldowan, Acheulean, Mousterian–also correspond with the eccentricity periods of extreme climate variability.33 And not only did the variable periods determine our evolution, they are also thought to have been the force driving several hominin species to migrate out of their birthplace and into Eurasia. We’ll explore in detail in the next chapter how our species Homo sapiens were able to disperse around the entire globe, but the conditions propelling hominins out of Africa in the first place again lie with the climate fluctuations in the Great Rift. During each wet phase the filling of the large amplifier lakes and the extra availability of water and food would cause a population boom, while at the same time limiting the amount of space available for habitation along the tree-lined rift shoulders. This would have squeezed hominins along the tube of the Rift Valley and eventually pushed them out of East Africa with each wet pulse of the precessional cycle, like a climate pump.

Moister conditions would also have allowed hominin migrants to move north along the Nile tributaries and across the greener corridors of the Sinai Peninsula and Levant region to spill into Eurasia.34 Homo erectus left Africa during the variable climate phase around 1.8 years ago, eventually spreading as far as China. In Europe, H. erectus evolved into the Neanderthals, while the H. erectus population that remained in East Africa eventually gave rise to anatomically modern humans 300,000–200,000 years ago. Our own species dispersed out of Africa around 60,000 years ago, as we’ll see in the next chapter. We encountered the descendants of previous waves of hominin migrants–Neanderthals and Denisovans–as we moved through Europe and Asia. But both of these had died out by around 40,000 years ago, and only anatomically modern humans remained. From a peak in the diversity of different hominin species in Africa about 2 million years ago,35 through our interactions (and interbreeding) with closely related human species as we moved through Eurasia, Homo sapiens became a lonely species.


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Africa: A Biography of the Continent by John Reader

agricultural Revolution, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, clean water, colonial rule, discovery of the americas, illegal immigration, land reform, land tenure, Livingstone, I presume, Nelson Mandela, new economy, out of africa, Scramble for Africa, spice trade, surplus humans, the market place, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

By AD 200 numbers are said to have risen to 20 million, of whom more than half lived in North Africa and the Nile valley (and thus would have been part of the Roman Empire population in AD 14), leaving a sub-Saharan population of under 10 million.2 By AD 1500 the population of the continent is estimated to have been 47 million and in a state of ‘stable biological equilibrium’, with population growth fulfilling the potential of the environments that people occupied.3 Meanwhile, the out-of-Africa population of the world had risen to just over 300 million by AD 1500. A massive disparity in population growth rates is evident. While the out-of-Africa population soared from just hundreds to 200 million in 100,000 years, and rose to just over 300 million in the next 1,500 years, the African population increased from 1 million to no more than 20 million 100,000 years later, and to only 47 million in AD 1500. And yet both groups were descendants of the same evolutionary stock. Both groups inherited the talents and physiological attributes that evolution had bestowed during the preceding 4 million years in Africa. So why did the migrant population grow so much faster? Answer: because they moved out of Africa. By leaving the tropical environments of the cradle-land in which humanity had evolved, the migrants also left behind the many parasites and disease organisms that had evolved in parallel with the human species.

Such an impressive growth of numbers is quite within the range of human reproductive capacity (see Chapter 14) and it begs the question: if this was the extent to which the out-of-Africa human population had expanded, how fared the population which had remained within the continent? It has been estimated that about 1 million people inhabited Africa when the emigrants left the continent 100,000 years ago (see Chapter 10). By AD 200 numbers are said to have risen to 20 million – of whom more than half lived in North Africa and the Nile valley (and thus would have been part of the Roman Empire population in AD 14), leaving a sub-Saharan population of under 10 million.4 By AD 1500 the population of the continent is estimated to have been 47 million and in a state of ‘stable biological equilibrium’, with population size fulfilling the potential of the environments that people occupied.5 Meanwhile, the out-of-Africa population had risen to just over 300 million.

The facts are only that while the robusts and the graciles dwindled to extinction, Homo erectus thrived. Homo erectus is known from sites in South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Morocco and Algeria. At an early but unrecorded date, some representatives of the species took the human line out of Africa for the first time. Their fossil remains have been found in Europe, Java and China; the oldest dates from 1.8 million years ago (Java); 8 the youngest (200,000 years old) comes from China. Homo erectus is a prime candidate for the immediate ancestry of the Neanderthals, Homo neanderthalensis, who populated Europe from about 120,000 years ago; if this is true, then the Homo erectus line persisted out of Africa until about 30,000 years ago, when the Neandertals became extinct. Homo erectus individuals were significantly bigger than their antecedents and contemporary cousins. Increased size was potentially beneficial, but successful exploitation of that potential depended heavily upon keeping benefits ahead of costs.


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The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, Benoit Mandelbrot, butterfly effect, dark matter, discovery of DNA, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, longitudinal study, medical residency, moral hazard, mouse model, New Journalism, out of africa, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Scientific racism, stem cell, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Thomas Malthus, twin studies

The “youngest” humans, in contrast, are the indigenous North Americans who left Europe, and crossed into the Seward peninsula in Alaska through the icy cleft of the Bering Strait, some fifteen to thirty thousand years ago. This theory of human origin and migration, corroborated by fossil specimens, geological data, tools from archaeological digs, and linguistic patterns, has overwhelmingly been accepted by most human geneticists. It is called the Out of Africa theory, or the Recent Out of Africa model (the recent reflecting the surprisingly modern evolution of modern humans, and its acronym, ROAM, a loving memento to an ancient peripatetic urge that seems to rise directly out of our genomes). The third important conclusion of these studies requires some conceptual background. Consider the genesis of a single-celled embryo produced by the fertilization of an egg by a sperm.

“You get less and less variation”: John Roach, “Massive genetic study supports ‘out of Africa’ theory,” National Geographic News, February 21, 2008. The oldest human populations: Lev A. Zhivotovsky, Noah A. Rosenberg, and Marcus W. Feldman, “Features of evolution and expansion of modern humans, inferred from genomewide microsatellite markers,” American Journal of Human Genetics 72, no. 5 (2003): 1171–86. The “youngest” humans: Noah Rosenberg et al., “Genetic structure of human populations,” Science 298, no. 5602 (2002): 2381–85. A map of human migrations can be found in L. L. Cavalli-Sforza and Marcus W. Feldman, “The application of molecular genetic approaches to the study of human evolution,” Nature Genetics 33 (2003): 266–75. It is called the Out of Africa theory: For the origin of humans in Southern Africa, see Brenna M.

., “Hunter-gatherer genomic diversity suggests a southern African origin for modern humans,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108, no. 13 (2011): 5154–62. Also see Brenna M. Henn, L. L. Cavalli-Sforza, and Marcus W. Feldman, “The great human expansion,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109, no. 44 (2012): 17758–64. “Sexual intercourse began”: Philip Larkin, “Annus Mirabilis,” High Windows. “In terms of modern humans”: Christopher Stringer, “Rethinking ‘out of Africa,’ ” editorial, Edge, November 12, 2011, http://edge.org/conversation/rethinking-out-of-africa. Others have proposed: H. C. Harpending et al., “Genetic traces of ancient demography,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 95 (1998): 1961–67; R. Gonser et al., “Microsatellite mutations and inferences about human demography,” Genetics 154 (2000): 1793–1807; A. M. Bowcock et al., “High resolution of human evolutionary trees with polymorphic microsatellites,” Nature 368 (1994): 455–57; and C.


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Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time by Michael Shermer

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anesthesia awareness, anthropic principle, butterfly effect, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, cosmological principle, discovery of DNA, false memory syndrome, Gary Taubes, invention of the wheel, Isaac Newton, laissez-faire capitalism, Laplace demon, life extension, moral panic, Murray Gell-Mann, out of africa, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

But it seems to me that the fuzzy boundaries of the numerous sets (and no one agrees on how many there are) are becoming so broad and overlapping that this distinction is mostly dictated by cultural factors and not biological ones. What race is Tiger Woods? Today we may view him as an unusual blending of ethnic backgrounds, but a thousand years from now all humans may look like this, and historians will look back upon this brief period of racial segregation as a tiny blip on the screen of the human career spanning hundreds of thousands of years. If the "Out of Africa" theory holds true, then it appears a single race migrated out of Africa (probably "black") that then branched out into geographically isolated populations and races with unique features to each, and finally merged back into a single race with the onset of global exploration and colonization beginning in the late fifteenth century. From the sixteenth through the twentieth centuries the racial sets became fuzzier through interracial marriages and other forms of sexual interaction, and some time over the next millennium the fuzzy boundaries will be so blurred that we will have to abandon race altogether as a means of discrimination (in both uses of the word).

Further, the abduction experience itself is often a memory reconstructed through "regression hypnosis," which makes external validation even more difficult. Yet historical events can be tested. External validation is possible. For example, classicist Mary Lefkowitz has written a thoughtful reply to Afrocentric claims that Western civilization, philosophy, science, art, literature, and so on came out of Africa, not Greece and Rome. Her book, Not Out of Africa, raised storms across America, and she was accused of being everything from racist to politically incorrect. Lefkowitz wrote her book after attending a lecture given in February 1993 at Wellesley College (where she teaches) by Dr. Yosef A. A. ben-Jochannan, a noted extreme Afrocentrist. Among the outrageous statements made in the lecture was the claim that Aristotle stole the ideas that became the foundation of Western philosophy from the library of Alexandria, where Black Africans had deposited their philosophical works.

For one thing, "American" is not a race, so labels such as "Asian-American" and "African-American" are still exhibits of our confusion of culture and race. For another thing, how far back does one go in history? Native Americans are really Asians, if you go back more than twenty or thirty thousand years to before they crossed the Bering land bridge between Asia and America. And Asians, several hundred thousand years ago probably came out of Africa, so we should really replace "Native American" with "African-Asian-Native American." Finally, if the Out of Africa (single racial origin) theory holds true, then all modern humans are from Africa. (Cavalli-Sforza now thinks this may have been as recently as seventy thousand years ago.) Even if that theory gives way to the Candelabra (multiple racial origins) theory, ultimately all hominids came from Africa, and therefore everyone in America should simply check the box next to "African-American."


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Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class by Charles Murray

23andMe, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Asperger Syndrome, assortative mating, basic income, bioinformatics, Cass Sunstein, correlation coefficient, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, feminist movement, glass ceiling, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, Kenneth Arrow, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, p-value, phenotype, publication bias, quantitative hedge fund, randomized controlled trial, replication crisis, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, school vouchers, Scientific racism, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, social intelligence, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, twin studies, universal basic income, working-age population

How the Earth Was Peopled This body of theoretical work became especially relevant as paleontologists and then geneticists found compelling evidence for what is known as the Out-of-Africa explanation of human expansion. It started out simple. It is now exceedingly complex and becoming more so. Around 6 million years ago, the first hominins diverged from chimpanzees, becoming fully bipedal sometime more than 4 million years ago.8 Homo habilis, who was bipedal and apparently used stone tools, appeared about 2.5 million years ago. About 2 million years ago came our likely direct ancestor, Homo erectus. Hominins first expanded out of Africa around 1.8 to 2.1 million years ago and eventually spread throughout Eurasia.9 LABELS FOR OUR ANCESTORS Hominins: Refers to all branches of the human family, modern and extinct.

Anatomically modern humans: This term, abbreviated AMH in the technical literature, refers to archaic Homo sapiens who had globular brain cases and other physiological traits of Homo sapiens but did not leave behind substantial evidence of cultural accouterments (art, burials, ornament, musical instruments).11 Until the late 1980s, three theories competed to explain where and how Homo erectus became Homo sapiens.12 The oldest of these was Franz Weidenreich’s multiregional hypothesis, dating back to the 1940s, arguing that evolution from Homo erectus to anatomically modern humans happened contemporaneously throughout Africa and Eurasia but with continual gene flow across regions during the process.13 In the early 1960s, Carleton Coon countered with the “candelabra hypothesis,” arguing that anatomically modern humans had evolved along separate lines in Africa, Europe, and Asia.14 The third theory was the Out-of-Africa hypothesis. It emerged in the 1980s as paleontologists realized that the oldest fossil remains of anatomically modern humans were always being found in eastern Africa, not in Europe or Asia. Genetics entered the debate in 1987 when geneticist Rebecca Cann used mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited solely from the mother, to argue that all of today’s humans are descended from a single female who lived sometime between 99,000 and 148,000 years ago.15 A year later, paleontologists Christopher Stringer and Peter Andrews combined the genetic evidence with the growing paleontological record to make the case that anatomically modern humans had evolved exclusively within Africa and only thereafter expanded to the rest of the world.[16] By the end of the 1980s, the circumstantial evidence for the Out-of-Africa model had won over a majority of the scientists working on the problem, but definitive evidence required more detailed access to the genome.

Genetics entered the debate in 1987 when geneticist Rebecca Cann used mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited solely from the mother, to argue that all of today’s humans are descended from a single female who lived sometime between 99,000 and 148,000 years ago.15 A year later, paleontologists Christopher Stringer and Peter Andrews combined the genetic evidence with the growing paleontological record to make the case that anatomically modern humans had evolved exclusively within Africa and only thereafter expanded to the rest of the world.[16] By the end of the 1980s, the circumstantial evidence for the Out-of-Africa model had won over a majority of the scientists working on the problem, but definitive evidence required more detailed access to the genome. In 1991, population geneticist Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza of Stanford University initiated the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP). Geneticists around the world had been collecting blood samples and other data from different populations. Cavalli-Sforza’s idea was to assemble and augment these disparate sources of information, combining them into an integrated database.


pages: 1,152 words: 266,246

Why the West Rules--For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future by Ian Morris

addicted to oil, Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Atahualpa, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Doomsday Clock, en.wikipedia.org, falling living standards, Flynn Effect, Francisco Pizarro, global village, God and Mammon, hiring and firing, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, market bubble, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, out of africa, Peter Thiel, phenotype, pink-collar, place-making, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Sinatra Doctrine, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, upwardly mobile, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery

Instead of dying out so often, bands of modern humans grew big enough and numerous enough to stay in regular contact, pooling their genes and know-how. Change became cumulative and the behavior of Homo sapiens diverged rapidly from that of other ape-men. And once that happened, the days of biological distinctions between East and West were numbered. OUT OF AFRICA—AGAIN Figure 1.3. The unity of mankind restored: the spread of fully modern humans out of Africa between roughly 60,000 and 12,000 years ago. The numbers show how many years ago humans arrived in each part of the world and the coastlines represent those of the late Ice Age, around 20,000 years ago. Climate change is rarely simple, and while Homo sapiens’ homelands in eastern and southern Africa were getting wetter seventy thousand years ago, North Africa was drying out.

The Chinese junk Qiying in London, 1848. (Reproduced from the Illustrated London News volume 12, April 1, 1848, p. 222) Figure I.2. The British ship Nemesis in action on the Yangzi River, 1842. (National Maritime Museum. Copyright © National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London) Figure 1.1. Locations mentioned in Chapter 1 Figure 1.2. The Movius Line Figure 1.3. The spread of modern humans out of Africa, 60,000–14,000 years ago Figure 1.4. The Altamira cave paintings. (Kenneth Garrett/National Geographic Image Collection) Figure 1.5. Finds of cave paintings and portable art in Europe Figure 1.6. The Hohle Fels “Venus” figurine. (Copyright © University of Tübingen, photo by H. Jensen) Figure 2.1. Locations mentioned in Chapter 2 Figure 2.2. Temperatures across the last 20,000 years Figure 2.3.

Movius noticed that while Acheulean hand axes were common in Africa, Europe, and southwest Asia, none had been found in East or Southeast Asia. Instead, Eastern sites produced rougher tools much like the pre-Acheulean finds associated with Homo habilis in Africa. If the so-called Movius Line (Figure 1.2) really does mark the beginning of separate Eastern and Western ways of life, it could also provide an astonishingly long-term lock-in theory—one holding that almost as soon as ape-men moved out of Africa, they divided between Western/technologically advanced/Acheulean hand ax cultures in Africa and southwest Asia and Eastern/technologically less advanced/flake-and-chopper cultures in East Asia. No wonder the West rules today, we might conclude: it has led the world technologically for a million and a half years. Figure 1.2. The beginnings of East and West? This map shows the Movius Line, which for about a million years separated Western hand-ax-using cultures from Eastern flake-and-chopper-using cultures.


pages: 370 words: 97,138

Beyond: Our Future in Space by Chris Impey

3D printing, Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, AltaVista, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, butterfly effect, California gold rush, carbon-based life, Charles Lindbergh, Colonization of Mars, cosmic abundance, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, discovery of DNA, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, Haight Ashbury, Hyperloop, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, life extension, low earth orbit, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, mutually assured destruction, Oculus Rift, operation paperclip, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, phenotype, private space industry, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, supervolcano, technological singularity, telepresence, telerobotics, the medium is the message, the scientific method, theory of mind, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, wikimedia commons, X Prize, Yogi Berra

The time had come to learn what it meant to be a Pilgrim. To be an emissary of Earth in the late twenty-first century. To be in a small group chosen for a unique experiment. The experiment was designed by sober scientists and engineers but it had the trappings of madness. We were human seedlings, charged with taking root in a new world. 1 Dreaming of Beyond _______________________ Out of Africa When we were just one million strong, did we dream about what lay beyond? Two hundred thousand years ago, anatomically modern humans first emerged in Northeast Africa.1 The cradle of our creation was the place now known as Ethiopia. Over the next hundred thousand years, these humans spread across Africa. Our distant ancestors kept no journals and, as far as we know, they had no written language.

Those artifacts speak of a rugged, doughty species that ceremonially buried their dead, hunted with sharpened flints made into spears and arrows, and daubed paint on cave walls to record the iconography of their lives. Their evocative images, which must have seemed kinetic in the flickering glow of an oil lamp or a fire, speak to us across the millennia of their fears and dreams. Modern genetic techniques have allowed us to reconstruct their journey out of Africa—an epic migration as audacious as our first steps into space many millennia later. Life on Earth is united by a single genetic code. A four-letter alphabet of base pairs encodes the unique function and form of every organism. The four bases—A for adenine, C for cytosine, G for guanine, and T for thymine—form the rungs of the twisted ladder that is DNA. A pairs with T and C pairs with G across the ladder; when the ladder splits down the middle, each side is the template for a new DNA molecule.

Our DNA tells the story of the profound human urge to explore. Around 65,000 years ago, we first ventured out of the continent of our origin. The route from the Horn of Africa to the Arabian Peninsula was probably across the Bab el-Mandeb strait. Today that strait is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes; at that time, after the last ice age had lowered sea levels, it was merely a narrow, shallow channel. The tribe that ventured out of Africa may have been only a few thousand strong. It was not a single expedition but a series of small clans of loosely related family members leaving over a period of centuries. They prospered as they dispersed, starting settlements in Central Asia and then in Europe. By 50,000 years ago, they had spread to southern China and Australia. By 40,000 years ago, they’d spread throughout Europe. Populations prospered thanks to hospitable conditions in southern Europe and Asia.


pages: 852 words: 157,181

The Origins of the British by Stephen Oppenheimer

active measures, agricultural Revolution, British Empire, Eratosthenes, gravity well, mass immigration, out of africa, phenotype, the scientific method, trade route

So, for example, the male gene group R1a1, which is strongly associated with the Ukraine, I have called ‘Rostov’. I have also retained some alliterative and biblical names from my previous book, Out of Eden, such as the out-of-Africa Y-line founder Adam and his three descendent lines, Cain, Abel and Seth. There is no intention in adopting such names to infer any deeper meaning – they are simply aides-mémoires. The mtDNA picture is slightly easier. Many of the different labs agreed at an early stage to try to use a single nomenclature (perhaps there was less testosterone involved in the process!). For instance, there are two agreed non-African daughter and granddaughter lines relevant to the colonization of Europe and Western Eurasia in general: N, from the single out-of-Africa line L3, and her daughter R. In Out of Eden I called them Nasreen, in keeping with a southern Arabian origin, and Rohani, to be consistent with an Indian subcontinental origin.

European intrusions 437–8 Viking intrusions 450–1, 461 Welsh Bronze Age 269–71 York 195, 420, 455 Younger Dryas Event (YD) British survivors 115, 148 climate changes 141–2, 151–5 human activity 153 Scandinavia 177–8 Also available from Constable & Robinson OUT OF EDEN – THE PEOPLING OF THE WORLD Stephen Oppenheimer In a brilliant synthesis of genetic, archaeological and climatic evidence, Stephen Oppenheimer shows for the first time that all modern non-Africans sprang from a single exodus out of Africa, rather than multiple waves of migration. ‘I can put my finger on a map and say that is where my people came from – research by Dr Oppenheimer and others has now given us all the right to say that.’ Economist ‘The thrill of this book lies in the vast reaches of time and space that one is deftly guided through.’ Sunday Telegraph ‘Telling the tale of humanity’s takeover of the world over the last 100,000 years means synthesizing fragments of evidence from many disciplines, and Oppenheimer is a master synthesizer. To discover the real daughters of Eve, read on.’ Martin Richards, University of Huddersfield ‘Oppenheimer strongly argues for a single movement out of Africa. He tells his story with pace and authority, combining the personal and the scientific.’

This has made it possible, during the late 1990s and in the new century, for us to do something that anthropologists of the past could only have dreamt of: we can now trace the migrations of modern humans around our planet. It turns out that the oldest changes in our mtDNA (i.e. the earliest in the tree) took place in Africa between 190,000 and 150,000 years ago. Then new mutations start to appear in Asia, about 80,000 to 60,000 years ago. This tells us that modern humans evolved in Africa, and that 80,000 years ago some of us began to migrate out of Africa into Asia. It is important to realize that because of the random nature of individual mutations, the dating is only approximate. Various mathematical ways of dating population migrations were tried during the 1990s with varying degrees of success, but in 1996 a method was established which dates each branch of the gene tree by averaging the number of new mutations in daughter types of that branch.2 This method (estimation of rho) has stood the test of time, and is the main approach used to calculate the mtDNA genetic dates I give in this book.


pages: 570 words: 158,139

Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism by Elizabeth Becker

airport security, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, BRICs, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, computer age, corporate governance, Costa Concordia, Deng Xiaoping, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, Masdar, Murano, Venice glass, open borders, out of africa, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, statistical model, sustainable-tourism, the market place, union organizing, urban renewal, wage slave, young professional, éminence grise

., 363–64 Nippon Television of Japan, 39 Nissan Shipping Building, 325 Noble Radiance, A (Leon), 85 nonprofits, cruise ship industry and, 165 Normandy, France, 51 Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia, 112 North Luangwa Park, 223 Norway, 162–63 Zambian aid from, 224–25 Nouvel, Jean, 191 nuclear power, 195 Nuseibeh, Sari, 28 Obama, Barack, 134, 244, 271–72, 348, 387, 388 in 2012 election, 364–65, 366–67 and 2016 Olympics bid, 361–62 U.S. tourism industry and, 360–65 Obama, Michelle, 361 Obama administration, National Travel and Tourism strategy of, 365–66 oceans, pollution of, 20, 34, 156–63, 196–97 Oduber, Daniel, 258 Ofer, Sammy, 134 Olympic National Park, 383–84 Olympics: of 1992 (Barcelona), 350 of 1996 (Atlanta), 350, 351 of 2008 (Beijing), 163, 293–94, 322, 323, 333 of 2010 (Vancouver), 163, 293 of 2016 (Rio de Janeiro), 273, 276, 362 U.S. travel restrictions and, 361–62 Oman, 172 Ondaatje, Michael, 282 Oppenheimer, Nicky, 240 Oppenheimer, Strilli, 240 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 16, 348–49 Organization of American States, 251 Orlando, Fla., 370 Orly airport, 171 Orset, Christophe, 73–74 Osa Peninsula, 258–60 Ottoman Empire, 182 Out of Africa (Dinesen), 207 Out of Africa (film), 207, 211, 220 Out of the Rock Comes Life, 336 overconsumption, in UAE, 169–70, 196 Owen-Edmunds, Libby, 280 Pacheca island, 248 Pachequilla island, 248 Pacific Asia Travel Association, 287 Paggiarin, Claudio, 35–36, 78–79, 82 Palestinians, 185 Palin, Sarah, 165 Palm Jumeirah, 178 Panama, 157, 161 national parks of, 249 ship registry of, 140 Panama Canal, 247–48 Pan American Airways, 27 pandas, 335–38 “panther path,” 262 Papi, Daniela Ruby, 103 Parayil, Gopinath, 263 Paris, France, 70–72 as center for business meetings, 53 Twain’s love of, 50 Universal Exposition (1889) in, 50 Parker, Robert, 65–66 Park West Gallery, 131, 147–48 Parnell, Sean, 161 partisan politics, tourism policy and, 366–67 Patients Beyond Borders, 379 Patrick, Deval L., 374 Payton, Donald L., 148 Peace Corps, 228 Pei, I.

It was so civilized we rarely got a whiff of the rank circus smell from large animal excrement. Eventually those endless hours spent looking at animals in well-appointed enclosures rearranged my images of wildlife. The raccoons and possums that prowled our backyard at night were wild. The animals in those cages were not. That could be one reason why I never jumped at the suggestion of going on an African safari. I’d read Isak Dinesen’s autobiographical novel Out of Africa about her life in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Kenya and saw the movie adaptation starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. This was beautiful, romantic Africa seen through the eyes of privileged Europeans who killed buffalo, lions and antelope, who eventually understood the harm being done and, too late, mended their ways. Public television specials on Africa showed the opposite picture of wild Africa, with aerial footage of animals galloping across the savannahs, unmolested by humans while they stalked and ate each other.

To attract more tourists and encourage them to spend more days and money on the continent, the industry offers packages of visits to three and four wildlife camps in different countries, trumpeting what officials call their sublime “nature base” tourism. One visit to the Johannesburg airport, the massive air hub of the region, says it all. The shopping area of the terminal is kiosk after kiosk of safari-themed clothes, toys, gadgets and books. It is called, naturally, “Out of Africa.” Despite some attractive marketing, the parks are not on firm footing. The checkered history and modern pressures have created considerable problems: poaching, corruption, deforestation and, above all, encroaching human settlements. The promise is singular for the industry: without those animals, the industry would shrink, and with it the $76 billion in revenue tourism brings to the continent every year.


pages: 481 words: 121,300

Why geography matters: three challenges facing America : climate change, the rise of China, and global terrorism by Harm J. De Blij

agricultural Revolution, airport security, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial exploitation, complexity theory, computer age, crony capitalism, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, John Snow's cholera map, Khyber Pass, manufacturing employment, megacity, Mercator projection, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, special economic zone, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, UNCLOS, UNCLOS

Postulate that, and you conclude that something drove one of those branches—the one leading to the gorilla and EARTH'S CHANGEABLE ENVIRONMENTS 67 chimpanzee among others—to tropical Africa, while the other, leading to the orangutan, was pushed into tropical Southeast Asia. What could have been the impetus for this dual migration? The worsening of Cenozoic Ice Age conditions, of course. Before Miocene climatic conditions deteriorated, the global environment, though cooler than it had been during the Oligocene, remained fairly stable (Fig. 3-4). During that time, the descendants of Proconsul and other early apes probably moved out of Africa into environmentally diverse Eurasia, where forest habitats varied widely and relatively warm temperatures ensured an ample supply of fruits and other forage. Now Eurasia, not Africa, was the heartland of differentiation and adaptation for the great apes, and numerous lineages evolved, some of them now part of the known fossil record. But in the late Miocene the Cenozoic Ice Age took a turn for the worse, dropping global temperatures, freezing over the Arctic Ocean, drying up vast stretches of once-forested Eurasia, and destroying habitats that had for millions of years nurtured the great-ape families.

In any case, no comparable evolutionary drama occurred here: the orangutan does not share a hominid ancestry and is the end of its line. Eventually and ironically, descendants of Dryopithecus and Sivapithecus would come face to face—but not ape to ape. When interglacials in the late Pliocene warmed the Earth enough to revive forests and refill desiccated lakes, Africa's hominids did what early Miocene apes had done before them: migrate WHY GEOGRAPHY MATTERS EARLY PRIMATE DISPERSALS Fig. 3-5 out of Africa into Eurasia. And so the first of these emigrants, Homo erectus, moved across Arabia and southern Asia and, one day somewhere in Malaya or on Java or Borneo, saw a creature that, if the trip had been swifter, would have reminded her of the chimpanzees and gorillas left behind in Africa. Orangutan and hominid had closed a 9-million-year circle. THE FRIGID PLEISTOCENE Earlier we noted that the temperature plunge that began in the late Miocene and continued during the Pliocene (when early hominids made their appearance in Africa) set the stage for the Pleistocene epoch, beginning less than 2 million years ago with a series of the most severe glaciations of the entire Cenozoic Ice Age interrupted by short, warm interglacials.

When the first modern humans (the Cro-Magnons, as they are known) reached Europe from India via the Middle East and found the Neanderthals, and earlier Homo species, on the scene, they quickly overwhelmed them with their complex culture ranging from cave art to tool kits and from EARTH'S CHANGEABLE ENVIRONMENTS 71 Fig. 3-7 inventive fishing gear to sewn clothing. They lived in cooperative communities and used sophisticated language, and thus modern humans had all the advantages over the survivors of earlier out-of-Africa migrations. Their technology gave them the opportunity to cope with the Wisconsinan's climatic swings: in milder times they expanded their frontiers, and when it got colder they devised ways to cope with increasingly harsh environments. That is why paleoanthropologists are finding fossil evidence of human settlements in Europe that survived through pretty severe cold periods. Humans were finding ways to combat the rigors of changeable climate.


pages: 264 words: 74,688

Imperial Legacies by Jeremy Black;

affirmative action, British Empire, centre right, colonial rule, Donald Trump, European colonialism, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, imperial preference, Khartoum Gordon, mass immigration, Monroe Doctrine, out of africa, Scramble for Africa, transatlantic slave trade

Separately, and again helping to “locate” British and American imperialism, Athens and Rome, as their alleged forbears, have recently been criticized for their imperial policies and for denigrating other cultures. Thus, in the “out of Africa” debate, an alleged modern Western failure to appreciate the strengths of African culture, more specifically, the alleged failure adequately to acknowledge the African character of Ancient Egypt, and its influence on Greece and the Western tradition, was traced to Classical influences as well as to Western racism. Criticizing Athens and Rome becomes part of a pattern of trashing the Western legacy, a pattern that locates, and is located by, the critiques of British and American imperialism. In the case of the “out of Africa” debate, this is highly problematic and, as generally discussed, a product of tendentious modern anti-Western views.11 Some of the Classical Greeks, most prominently Demosthenes (c. 383–322 BCE) in his Philippics, developed anti-imperial language against the expansionist menace of Philip of Macedon (r. 359–336 BCE).

., Experiencing War: Trauma and Society in Ancient Greece and Today (Chicago: Ares Publishers, 2007); Edward N. Luttwak, The Virtual American Empire: War, Faith, and Power (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2009); A. G. Hopkins, American Empire: A Global History (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2018). 10 Herman Lebovics, Imperialism and the Corruption of Democracies (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006). 11 Mary Lefkowitz, Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Became an Excuse to Teach Myth as History (New York: Basic Books, 1996); Ronald H. Fritze, Invented Knowledge: False History, Fake Science and Pseudo-Religions (London: Reaktion Books, 2009), 251–56. 12 Richard Hingley and Christina Unwin, Boudica: Iron Age Warrior Queen (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2005). 13 Christopher Hagerman, British Imperial Muse: the Classics, Imperialism and the Indian Empire, 1784–1914 (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013); Joanna de Groot, Empire and History Writing in Britain. c. 1750–2012 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013). 14 Joanne Parker, England’s Darling: The Victorian Cult of Alfred the Great (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007); Roy Strong, And When Did You Last See Your Father?

Please use the search function on your eReading device to search for terms of interest. For your reference, the terms that appear in the print index are listed below. 1765 Stamp Act 1925 Geneva Gas Protocol 1966 Defence White Paper Abolitionism Aborigines abroad, term Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act in Restraint of Appeals Acton, John Aden Afghan war Africa; North Africa; out of Africa, debate; Scramble for Africa; South Africa; West Africa ahistoricism air policing alien, word Amelioration American Civil War Amin, Idi amnesia; enforced; historical; imperial; postimperial; term Amritsar Massacre Ancient Roman Empire and the British Empire in India, The Anglo-Chinese Opium Wars Anglo-Irish Treaty Anglosphere apartheid apologist Appeasement Arminius Arrow Asian Civilisations Museum assimilation Atlantic slavery Attlee, Clement Atwal, Jaspal Australia Australasia Ayers Rock National Park Baden-Powell, Robert banal imperialism Bashford, Alison Bathos Battle of Koregaon Bavaria Bean, Richard Beckles, Hilary Bengal famine Benn, Tony Wedgwood Bevin, Ernest Biggar, Nigel BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) Black Armband view Black Hole of Calcutta Blair, Tony Blighty UK Café Boer War Bolshevism Bose, Subhas Chandra Boston Tea Party Boudicca Braveheart (film) Bringing Them Home, report Britain’s Empire: Resistance, Repression and Revolt British Empire; placing, question of British Empire Exhibition bubble, term Bulwer-Lytton, Edward Burma.


pages: 654 words: 204,260

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Alfred Russel Wallace, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, Arthur Eddington, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Brownian motion, California gold rush, Cepheid variable, clean water, Copley Medal, cosmological constant, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Attenborough, double helix, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, Kuiper Belt, Louis Pasteur, luminiferous ether, Magellanic Cloud, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, out of africa, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, supervolcano, Thomas Malthus, Wilhelm Olbers

September 14, 2001, p. 1981. 16 “all present-day humans are descended from that population . . .” Swisher et al., p. 189. 17 “people began to look a little more closely . . .” Scientific American, “Is Out of Africa Going Out the Door?” August 1999. 18 “DNA from the arm bone of the original Neandertal man . . .” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “Ancient DNA and the Origin of Modern Humans,” January 16, 2001. 19 “all modern humans emerged from Africa . . .” Nature, “A Start for Population Genomics,” December 7, 2000, p. 65, and Natural History, “What's New in Prehistory,” May 2000, pp. 90–91. 20 “more diversity in one social group of fifty-five chimps . . .” Science, “A Glimpse of Humans' First Journey Out of Africa,” May 12, 2000, p. 950. 21 “In early 2001, Thorne and his colleagues . . .” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “Mitochondrial DNA Sequences in Ancient Australians: Implications for Modern Human Origins,” January 16, 2001. 22 “the genetic record supports the out of Africa hypothesis.”

The hypothesis is that the higher landscape was not only cooler, but diverted winds in a way that made them flow north and toward North America, making it more susceptible to long-term chills. Then, beginning about five million years ago, Panama rose from the sea, closing the gap between North and South America, disrupting the flows of warming currents between the Pacific and Atlantic, and changing patterns of precipitation across at least half the world. One consequence was a drying out of Africa, which caused apes to climb down out of trees and go looking for a new way of living on the emerging savannas. At all events, with the oceans and continents arranged as they are now, it appears that ice will be a long-term part of our future. According to John McPhee, about fifty more glacial episodes can be expected, each lasting a hundred thousand years or so, before we can hope for a really long thaw.

Acheul, a suburb of Amiens in northern France, where the first examples were found in the nineteenth century, and contrast with the older, simpler tools known as Oldowan, originally found at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. In older textbooks, Oldowan tools are usually shown as blunt, rounded, hand-sized stones. In fact, paleoanthropologists now tend to believe that the tool part of Oldowan rocks were the pieces flaked off these larger stones, which could then be used for cutting. Now here's the mystery. When early modern humans—the ones who would eventually become us—started to move out of Africa something over a hundred thousand years ago, Acheulean tools were the technology of choice. These early Homo sapiens loved their Acheulean tools, too. They carried them vast distances. Sometimes they even took unshaped rocks with them to make into tools later on. They were, in a word, devoted to the technology. But although Acheulean tools have been found throughout Africa, Europe, and western and central Asia, they have almost never been found in the Far East.


pages: 225 words: 54,010

A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wright

Albert Einstein, Atahualpa, Bretton Woods, British Empire, clean water, Columbian Exchange, cuban missile crisis, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, invention of agriculture, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, nuclear winter, out of africa, Parkinson's law, Ronald Reagan, Thomas Malthus, urban sprawl

Perhaps fewer than 100,000 people, scattered in family bands, were all that stood between evolutionary failure and the 6 billion of us here today.24 After Homo erectus the evolutionary path gets muddy, trodden into a mire by rival tribes of anthropologists. One camp, that of the “multiregional” hypothesis, sees Homo erectus evolving by fits and starts into modern humanity wherever he happened to be through gene diffusion, otherwise known as mating with strangers. This view seems to fit well with many of the fossil finds but less well with some interpretations of DNA. Another camp — the “Out of Africa” school — sees most evolutionary change taking place on that continent, then erupting over the rest of the world.25 In this second view, successive waves of new and improved humans kill off, or, at any rate, outcompete, their forerunners wherever they find them, until all the lowbrows are gone. This theory implies that each new wave of African man was a separate species, unable to breed with other descendants of the previous kind — which may be plausible if different types evolved without contact for long periods but is less likely over shorter spans of time.26 The debate over the path of human progress gets most heated when we reach our controversial cousins, the Neanderthals.

Genetic data suggest that at one point, “our species became as endangered as the mountain gorilla is today … reduced to only about 10,000 adults.” Christopher Stringer and Robin McKie, African Exodus: The Origins of Modern Humanity (New York: Henry Holt/John Macrae, 1997), p. 11. At the start of the Upper Palaeolithic, about 35,000 years ago, Stringer estimates that Homo sapiens had “a breeding population of at least 300,000.” Ibid., p. 163. 25. For the Out of Africa hypothesis, see Stringer and McKie, African Exodus. For opposing views, see recent works by M. Wolpoff, G. A. Clark, J. Relethford, and F. H. Smith. For a balanced overview, see Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin, Origins Reconsidered: In Search of What Makes Us Human (New York: Doubleday, 1992). 26. Animal species as different from one another as horses, zebras, and donkeys can interbreed, as can lions and tigers, even though the crosses are seldom fertile.

See also bronze; iron Mexico City, 92, 111, 161n22 migrations of humans, 37, 102–3, 138n1, 147n48 missionary projects, 7 Moby Dick (Melville), 38, 142n21 moderation, 131 Monte Verde, 41, 143n26 morals of civilization, 4, 33–34 myth of progress, 4–5, 124 myths, 4 natural capital, 83, 84, 101, 117, 125, 129 natural regeneration, 102 Neanderthals, 18–26, 27, 136n29, 136n30, 137n31, 137n33, 138n37 characteristics and customs, 20, 21, 22, 137n35 relations with Cro-Magnons, 20–21, 23–26, 31, 36, 66, 138n39 need and greed, 8 New Right, 127 News from Nowhere (Morris), 120 Newton, Sir Isaac, 11, 134n14 Old Stone Age, 8, 14, 31, 32, 34–35 Olmecs, 95 onslaught of progress, 124–25 Origin of Species (Darwin), 19 Oryx and Crake (Atwood), 123 Our Final Century (Rees), 125–26, 182n54 “Out of Africa” hypothesis, 17–18, 135n25 Ovid, 88–89 Palaeolithic era, see Old Stone Age Palenque, 98, 167n55 patriotism, 49 pesticides, 181n51 Pincher Martin (Golding), 35–36, 140n12 Pisistratus, 87 plants, cultivated, see crops; domestication; farming Pollard, Sidney, 3, 4 pollen studies, 97, 169n66 pollution, 7 Polynesia, 51, 85 Pope, Alexander, 7 Popol Vuh (Maya creation epic), 118, 179n37 population Americas, 111, 113, 175n18 China, 104 cities, 91–92, 94, 160n20, 161n22 early humans, 17, 135n24 Egypt, 68–69, 103–4 and food supply, 44 Sumerian, 68, 154n38, 157n2 world, 17, 30, 44, 109, 162n33, 171n2 population growth, 32, 100, 101, 103–4, 108, 115, 128, 130, 170n71 acceleration, 109, 171n3 and warfare, 48–49 potatoes, 114, 145n33, 176n21, 176n22 poverty, 128.


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The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity's Search for Meaning by Jeremy Lent

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Atahualpa, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, complexity theory, conceptual framework, dematerialisation, demographic transition, different worldview, Doomsday Book, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, failed state, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, Georg Cantor, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of gunpowder, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, mandelbrot fractal, mass immigration, megacity, Metcalfe's law, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, peak oil, Pierre-Simon Laplace, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Scientific racism, scientific worldview, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, social intelligence, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, technological singularity, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, ultimatum game, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, wikimedia commons

It could be because it was originally practiced by the early humans who took the first epic journey out of Africa. The original Upper Paleolithic immigrants to Europe would have brought shamanistic beliefs with them, as would their fellow travelers who migrated throughout Asia. Some of those Asian settlers then crossed the Bering Strait around thirteen thousand years ago, making it all the way down to South America within a couple of thousand years. Another explanation could be that shamanism is an inevitable part of human mythic consciousness and that, wherever humans evolved, the same set of beliefs would evolve with them. It seems likely that both explanations are true: shamanism probably is an intrinsic part of early mythic consciousness, and its beliefs diffused with the original Out of Africa migration. In this case, shamanism might have something important to tell us about the evolving role of the patterning instinct in the early human mind.18 We're fortunate that the settlers who arrived in Europe some thirty-five thousand years ago left behind a treasure trove of evidence of their beliefs, in the form of their sculptures and cave art.

However, some archaeologists have recently looked past these spectacular accomplishments to ask why it didn't happen sooner. It's generally agreed that humans were anatomically modern 150,000 years ago or earlier. Why did it take so long for symbolic thinking to get going? This rather awkward question was first framed by archaeologist Colin Renfrew, who referred to it as the “sapient paradox.”4 Figures 3.2 a-d: Ivory bird, “Venus,” “Lion-man” and bone flute from Hohle Fels Cave Out of Africa According to a growing number of experts, it actually did happen sooner. A lot sooner. In fact, there's evidence that the beginnings of cultural modernity may have occurred at least seventy-five thousand years ago. It's just that these early stirrings of modernity showed up not in Europe but in southern Africa. In recent years, excavations at Blombos Cave on the coastline of South Africa have uncovered startling new evidence of early symbolic behavior by our human ancestors.

Two archaeologists who think so, Sally McBrearty and Alison Brooks, have caused a stir arguing exactly this point, calling it “the revolution that wasn't.” Granted, some cross-hatching and engraved eggshells are not as impressive as the later explosion of symbolic thinking in Europe, but they are valuable clues to the origins of modern humans.6 In place of the Great Leap Forward, another epic story has moved into the foreground. The story, called by some “Out of Africa,” has emerged through advances in DNA analysis, which have enabled scientists to provide accurate time estimates regarding the migrations of different groups. Around seventy thousand years ago, a certain lineage of humans expanded throughout Africa, reaching as far north as Ethiopia. A small contingent, no more than a few hundred strong, then migrated across the mouth of the Red Sea, through Arabia and eastward along southern Asia until reaching Australia.


pages: 281 words: 79,958

Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives by Michael Specter

23andMe, agricultural Revolution, Anne Wojcicki, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Asilomar, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Drosophila, food miles, invention of gunpowder, out of africa, personalized medicine, placebo effect, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Simon Singh, Skype, stem cell, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, twin studies, Upton Sinclair, X Prize

Some leaders simply reject Western products on principle, particularly those, like drugs and engineered crops, that are hyped as vehicles of salvation. Commerce, too, plays a role, and so does history. “The governments and citizens of Europe continue to exercise considerable postcolonial influence in Africa through a range of mechanisms,” Robert Paarlberg wrote in his 2008 book Starved for Science: How Biotechnology Is Being Kept Out of Africa. Paarlberg, who has long studied the impact of science and technology on farmers in the developing world, noted that European countries provide a great deal of technical assistance, financial aid, and nongovernmental advocacy to Africa. But nothing comes without strings attached, and African governments learned quickly that nobody in European countries had any intention of purchasing exports grown with modified seeds.

Collins, the renowned geneticist who led the federal effort to map the genome, pointed out that the data showed there were probably more significant genetic differences within racial groups than between them. (In 2009, Collins was named by Barack Obama as director of the National Institutes of Health.) All those comments provide support for the comforting idea of a family of man, even a society without race. Nor should such findings be surprising; we are a young species, one that migrated out of Africa and throughout the world only about one hundred thousand years ago—relatively recently in evolutionary terms. Many scientists already understood this well. In fact, during the first decade of the Human Genome Project some participants were so convinced of the homogeneity of humanity that they insisted that the genomic sequence of any one person could be used as a basic reference template for everyone else on earth.

The Cutter Incident: How America’s First Polio Vaccine Led to the Growing Vaccine Crisis. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005. ———. Vaccinated: One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases. New York: HarperCollins, 2007. ———. Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008. Paarlberg, Robert. Starved for Science: How Biotechnology Is Being Kept Out of Africa. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008. Pauly, Philip J. Controlling Life: Jacques Loeb and the Engineering Ideal in Biology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. Pennock, Robert T., ed. Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics: Philosophical, Theological, and Scientific Perspectives. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001. Perrin, Noel. Giving Up the Gun: Japan’s Reversion to the Sword, 1543-1879.


pages: 267 words: 81,108

Happy Valley: The Story of the English in Kenya by Nicholas Best

British Empire, Cape to Cairo, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Etonian, lateral thinking, out of africa, Scramble for Africa

He was played, not entirely convincingly, by Robert Redford in the film Out of Africa. He is said to have been deep on safari once, hundreds of miles from anywhere, when a telegram reached him all the way from London. It had been carried in a cleft stick from Nairobi by relays of sweating natives who had strained every nerve to get the message to him. The telegram consisted of just one sentence: ‘Do you know Gervase Pippin-Linpole’s address?’ Finch-Hatton thought hard, then apparently scribbled a reply for the runner to carry through the bush back to civilisation. ‘Yes,’ he wrote. When not on safari, he spent long evenings with Karen at her house, teaching her Latin and an appreciation Greek poetry. He struck a chord in Karen that was to inspire her in later years to write what is still one of the great classics of African literature, Out of Africa. The book is the story of her farm at Ngong, of her servants and animals, of the waifs and strays both black and white who came knocking at her door for help, of attempts to juxtapose civilisation with a culture still locked firmly into the Dark Ages.

Almost the first thing Macleod did on taking office was to set up a constitutional conference aimed at preparing Kenya for independence as quickly and as decently as possible. Up until then, 1975 had been regarded as the earliest conceivable date for independence. But Macleod was a radical Tory – a bloody Communist, in the revised opinion of most settlers. He understood that the time had come for Britain to stop playing the imperial game and get out of Africa at top speed. With the full approval of the cabinet, he tore up a whole sheaf of pledges given to European settlers by previous administrations. He made it clear that the 999-year-leased white highlands were henceforth to be opened to Africans. As for compensation, if anybody was going to reimburse the settlers for all the money they had poured into their farms, it certainly wouldn’t be the British taxpayer.


The Ages of Globalization by Jeffrey D. Sachs

Admiral Zheng, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, colonial rule, Columbian Exchange, Commentariolus, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, domestication of the camel, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, European colonialism, global supply chain, greed is good, income per capita, invention of agriculture, invention of gunpowder, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, mass immigration, Nikolai Kondratiev, out of africa, packet switching, Pax Mongolica, precision agriculture, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, South China Sea, spinning jenny, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons

Most African slaves brought to the New World came from the Gulf of Guinea and farther south along the Atlantic coast of Africa, especially present-day Angola, and were sent in largest quantities to Brazil and the Caribbean. Some were sent to North America, where slave labor would take hold as the basis of the cotton empire in the colonies that would become the southern United States after the American War of Independence. 6.7 The Slave Trade from Africa, 1500-1900 Source: Eltis & Richardson, ATLAS OF THE TRANSATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE (2010), Map 1 from accompanying web site, Overview of Slave Trade out of Africa, 1500–1900. Reproduced with the permission of Yale University Press. African slaves powered the new plantation and mining economies of the Spanish, Portuguese, and British colonies, especially in the tropical regions. The most important plantation commodity was sugar, grown in northeast Brazil and the Caribbean, which together accounted for the vast preponderance of slave arrivals to the Americas, and also the Peruvian coast.

“Evolution, Revolution or Saltation Scenario for the Emergence of Modern Cultures?” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 366, no. 1567 (2011): 1060–69. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2010.0340. Eltis, David, and David Richardson. Atlas of The Transatlantic Slave Trade. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Map 1 from accompanying web site, Overview of Slave Trade out of Africa, 1500–1900. Reproduced with the permission of Yale University Press. Everson, S. ed. Aristotle: The Politics and the Constitution of Athens. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. Fernihough, Alan, and Kevin HjortshØj O’Rourke. Coal and the European Industrial Revolution. No. w19802. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2014. Findlay, Ronald, and Kevin H. O’Rourke. Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium.

Who We Are and How We Got Here. New York: Random House, 2018 Riley, James C. “Estimates of regional and global life expectancy, 1800–2001.” Population and Development Review 31, no. 3 (2005): 537–43. Rito, Teresa, Daniel Vieira, Marina Silva, Eduardo Conde-Sousa, Luísa Pereira, Paul Mellars, Martin B. Richards, and Pedro Soares. “A Dispersal of Homo Sapiens from Southern to Eastern Africa Immediately Preceded the Out-of-Africa Migration.” Scientific Reports 9, no. 1 (2019): 4728. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-41176-3. Robinson, Andrew. The Story of Writing. London: Thames & Hudson, 2007. Rossel, Stine, Fiona Marshall, Joris Peters, Tom Pilgram, Matthew D. Adams, and David O’Connor. “Domestication of the Donkey: Timing, Processes, and Indicators.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105, no. 10 (2008): 3715–20. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0709692105.


She Has Her Mother's Laugh by Carl Zimmer

23andMe, agricultural Revolution, clean water, clockwatching, cloud computing, dark matter, discovery of DNA, double helix, Drosophila, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flynn Effect, friendly fire, Gary Taubes, germ theory of disease, Isaac Newton, longitudinal study, medical bankruptcy, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral panic, mouse model, New Journalism, out of africa, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Scientific racism, statistical model, stem cell, twin studies

The Neanderthals lived in the region from at least 200,000 years ago. Modern humans make a brief appearance at Mount Carmel about 100,000 years ago, and then the Neanderthals return for another 50,000 years before giving way for good to modern humans. It’s possible that the 100,000-year-old humans of Mount Carmel belonged to a brief expansion out of Africa. Before they vanished, they may have contributed their own DNA to Neanderthals. The DNA of living humans documents more recent encounters, after humans expanded successfully out of Africa sometime between 50,000 and 80,000 years ago. In a 2016 study, Joshua Akey and his colleagues at the University of Washington found different patterns of Neanderthal DNA in different groups of people, suggesting that the interbreeding happened in at least three separate episodes. The first took place not long after modern humans came back to the Near East.

For the San, dark skin might have actually been a liability. While too much ultraviolet radiation is harmful, too little can cause trouble as well. When the rays strike the skin, they supply the energy our cells need to make vitamin D. Dark skin may have interfered with its production among the San, leading them to evolve their tan skin. Somewhere between fifty thousand and eighty thousand years ago, a small group of humans expanded out of Africa. Tishkoff and her colleagues discovered that the dark-skinned people of southern India, Australia, and New Guinea all carry the same dark genetic variants she and her colleagues found in Africa. It’s possible that one wave of migrants carried the genes for dark skin on a journey across the southern edge of Asia and into the Pacific. Some of the ancient variants for light skin made their way into light-skinned populations in Asia and Europe.

But despite those differences, they did not become entirely cut off from each other. Some genes managed to flow for thousands of miles through a network of small bands. The ancient DNA Reich and his colleagues studied suggests that at some point the eastern hunter-gatherer population expanded both to the west and east. To the west, Western Africans inherited a substantial amount of their DNA. To the east, these Africans moved out of Africa altogether; their descendants settled across Europe, Asia, and beyond. But the flow of genes also traveled back into Africa. When Reich and his colleagues studied a three-thousand-year-old girl from a tribe of Tanzanian cattle herders, they found that a third of her ancestry belonged not in Africa but in the Near East, among the first farmers. Younger fossils in Africa revealed that this Near Eastern DNA flowed all the way into South Africa, where it can be found in many living South Africans.


pages: 141 words: 46,879

River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life by Richard Dawkins

double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, job satisfaction, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, out of africa, phenotype

Whether Mitochondrial Eve was an African or not, it is important to avoid a possible confusion with another sense in which it is undoubtedly true that our ancestors came out of Africa. Mitochondrial Eve is a recent ancestor of all modern humans. She was a member of the species Homo sapiens. Fossils of much earlier hominids, Homo erectus, have been found outside as well as inside Africa. The fossils of ancestors even more remote than Homo erectus, such as Homo habilis and various species of Australopithecus (including a newly discovered one more than four million years old), have been found only in Africa. So if we are the descendants of an African diaspora within the last quarter of a million years, it is the second African diaspora. There was an earlier exodus, perhaps a million and a half years ago, when Homo erectus meandered out of Africa to colonize parts of the Middle East and Asia. The African Eve theory is claiming not that these earlier Asians didn't exist but that they leave no surviving descendants.


pages: 420 words: 130,714

Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist by Richard Dawkins

agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Boris Johnson, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, Google Earth, John Harrison: Longitude, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mahatma Gandhi, mental accounting, Necker cube, nuclear winter, out of africa, p-value, phenotype, place-making, placebo effect, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, twin studies

It is plausible that our ancestors lived in these conditions as hunter-gatherers, perhaps in something like the way modern hunter-gatherer tribes live in the Kalahari but, at least in earlier periods, with a less developed technology. We know that fire was tamed more than a million years ago by Homo erectus, the species that was probably our immediate predecessor in evolution. It is controversial when our ancestors dispersed out of Africa. We know that there were Homo erectus in Asia a million years ago, but many believe that nobody today is descended from those early migrants and that all surviving humans are the descendants of a second, more recent exodus of Homo sapiens out of Africa.*32 Whenever the exodus, there has evidently been time for humans to adapt to non-African conditions. Arctic humans are different from tropical. We northerners have lost the black pigmentation that our African ancestors presumably had. There has been time for biochemistries to diverge in response to diet.

The complaints seem to centre on particular studies that are poorly conceived or executed. But the existence of particular bad examples is no reason to dismiss an entire scientific discipline. The best practitioners of evolutionary psychology, Leda Cosmides, John Tooby, Steven Pinker, David Buss, Martin Daly, the late Margot Wilson and others, are good scientists by any standards. *32 Current thinking favours several excursions out of Africa, and genetic evidence suggests a bottleneck, that is, a temporary, dramatic reduction in the population from which all non-Africans are descended, some time under one hundred thousand years ago. Yan Wong, in the second edition of The Ancestor’s Tale which he co-authored with me, managed to use my genome (which happened to have been fully sequenced for a different purpose concerned with a television documentary) to estimate the population size at various times in the past.

He did it by comparing my maternal genes and my paternal genes, estimating, for each pair, the time elapsed since they ‘coalesced’, i.e. since they split off from a common ancestral gene. A significant majority of my pairs of genes coalesced about sixty thousand years ago. This suggests that the population was briefly very small about sixty thousand years ago – hence a ‘bottleneck’. It is probable that this bottleneck represents a particular out-of-Africa migration event. *33 And sanctioned by the ultimate role model: ‘…for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me’ (Exodus 20: 5). *34 I didn’t have time to spell out in the lecture why it is too simple. The reason is that fellow villagers are not only likely to be your closest relatives; they are also your closest rivals for food, mates and other resources.


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The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter by Joseph Henrich

agricultural Revolution, capital asset pricing model, Climategate, cognitive bias, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, demographic transition, endowment effect, experimental economics, experimental subject, Flynn Effect, impulse control, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Nash equilibrium, out of africa, phenotype, placebo effect, profit maximization, randomized controlled trial, risk tolerance, side project, social intelligence, social web, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, ultimatum game

However, archaeological evidence suggests that these kinds of expansions, on large and small scales, go deep into our species’ evolutionary history. Over a million years ago, our genus expanded out of Africa into a vast range of Eurasian environments that were experiencing rapid climatic and ecological shifts. To the degree that survival in these evolutionarily new and harsh environments depended on cooperation or social networks to sustain technologies (like fire, bows and arrows, fishing, and clothing), differential extinction would have favored any culturally transmitted behaviors that fostered either.31 Around 60,000 years ago, groups of Homo sapiens expanded out of Africa (our lineage), this time at the expense of other members of our genus and species. As they did for the Pama-Nyungan speakers in more recent millennia in Australia, “backed blades” marked the expansion of these populations into Neanderthal-occupied Europe after 50,000 years ago.

The right institutions allow groups to enter new ecological niches, for example, by fostering survival in the Arctic through cooperation in whale hunting, or by surviving shocks, like droughts in deserts, that would exterminate or disperse less cooperative groups. Groups with superior institutions simply out last and eventually replace those with fewer cooperation-galvanizing norms. Since humans expanded out of Africa and into harsh environments, for which they had few genetic adaptations or innate proclivities, this may have been particularly important during human evolution. For this kind of process to work, groups don’t ever have to meet each other, and violence between groups need not occur.5 3. Differential migration. Since social norms can create groups with greater internal harmony, cooperation, and economic production, many individuals will be inclined to migrate into more successful groups from less successful ones.

Further, he argues, if natural selection explains the continental-level variation, then perhaps it also explains the prevalent psychological, behavioral, and biological variation observed across continents. Both of Wade’s inferential moves between these lines of evidence are fraught with problems. To understand the issues with the first inference, we must realize that the genetic variation among different continental populations traces to the spread of humans out of Africa, which occurred relatively recently. These migrations gave rise to evolutionary genetic drift and founder effects, as small samplings (groups) of much larger populations set off to become founding populations on new continents. These migrations created genetic variation, but not functional variation due to natural selection. The genetic variation most suitable for studies of such ancient migration is specifically neutral (not under selection).


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Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World by Mark Pendergrast

business climate, business cycle, commoditize, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Honoré de Balzac, land reform, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, open economy, out of africa, profit motive, Ray Oldenburg, Ronald Reagan, The Great Good Place, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, women in the workforce

Encouraged by the popularity of instant coffee, many African colonies increased robusta growth dramatically. Out of Africa With the European powers weakened by World War II and natives eager to share in the wealth around them, the traditional method of rule—white Europeans applying an iron-fisted Bula Matari (“rock crusher,” in Kikongo)—clearly would not work anymore. As one African politician told the French National Assembly in 1946, “The colonial fact, in its brutal form . . . is impossible today. This historical period of colonization is over.” In 1947 the British granted independence to India, and pressure grew for Britain, France, Portugal, and Belgium to release the colonies they had carved out of Africa in the late nineteenth century. In 1951 Britain gave Libya its independence, and the next year a military coup in Egypt severed its ties to England as well.

Industry Survives the War Good Neighbors No Longer The Legacy of World War II PART THREE - BITTER BREWS Chapter 13 - Coffee Witch Hunts and Instant Nongratification Guy Gillette’s Coffee Witch Hunt Instant, Quick, Efficient, Modern—and Awful Invention of the Coffee Break The Boob Tube Price Wars, Coupons, and Fourteen-Ounce Pounds Neglecting a Generation The Land That Smelled Like Money The Great Fourth of July Frost A CIA Coup in Guatemala Suicide in Brazil Chapter 14 - Robusta Triumphant Out of Africa Hot Coffee, Cold War Regular Robusta The Chock-Full Miracle The Coffeehouse: A Saving Grace London Espresso European Coffee in the Fifties Japan Discovers Coffee Googie Coffee In Denial Scared into Agreement Stumbling Toward Ratification Boomer Bust Merger Mania The Maxwell Housewife The Decline of Hills Brothers The Creation of Juan Valdez In a Vortex PART FOUR - ROMANCING THE BEAN Chapter 15 - A Scattered Band of Fanatics Zabar’s Beans Mentors, Fathers, and Sons Tourist Coffee and Other Problems The Think Drink Thunks The GI Coffeehouses “Caution: Coffee May Be Hazardous to Health” Gold Floats, Coffee Sinks Coffee Inroads in Japan and Europe The King of the Robustas and the Burundi Massacres Starbucks: The Romantic Period God’s Gift to Coffee A Coffee Love Affair The Ultimate Aesthete Specialty Proliferates Mrs.

., 1985), by Ralph Lee Woodward Jr. For Africa and Asia: The Decolonization of Africa (1995), by David Birmingham; The African Colonial State in Comparative Perspective (1994), by Crawford Young; Black Harvest (film about Papua New Guinea coffee, 1992), by Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson; Max Havelaar (1860), by “Multatuli,” Eduard Douwes Dekker; Decolonization and African Independence (1988), edited by Prosser Gifford; Out of Africa (1938), by Isak Dinesen; Coffee and Coffeehouses: The Origins of a Social Beverage in the Medieval Near East (1985), by Ralph S. Hattox; Coffee, Co-operatives and Culture (1992), by Hans Hedlund; The Flame Trees of Thika (1982), by Elspeth Huxley; Coffee: The Political Economy of an Export Industry in Papua New Guinea (1992), by Randal G. Stewart; The Pioneers 1825-1900: The Early British Tea and Coffee Planters (1986), by John Weatherstone; In Bad Taste?


The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins

Alfred Russel Wallace, Andrew Wiles, Arthur Eddington, back-to-the-land, Claude Shannon: information theory, correlation does not imply causation, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, Danny Hillis, David Attenborough, discovery of DNA, Dmitri Mendeleev, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental subject, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, invisible hand, Louis Pasteur, out of africa, phenotype, Thomas Malthus

It was natural for a Dutchman to head first for the Dutch East Indies, but a man of his dedication should have followed Darwin’s advice and gone on to Africa: for Africa is where our ancestors evolved, as we shall see. So what were these Homo erectus specimens doing out of Africa? The phrase ‘out of Africa’ has been borrowed from Karen Blixen* to refer to the great exodus of our ancestors from Africa. But there were two exoduses and it is important not to confuse them. Relatively recently, maybe less than 100,000 years ago, roving bands of Homo sapiens looking pretty much like us left Africa and diversified into all the races that we see around the world today: Inuit, native Americans, native Australians, Chinese, and so on. It is to this recent exodus that the phrase ‘out of Africa’ is normally applied. But there was an earlier exodus from Africa, and these erectus pioneers left fossils in Asia and Europe, including the Java and Peking specimens.

He meant Africa, and the quest was not helped by the fact that his immediate successors largely ignored his advice and searched Asia instead. It was indeed in Asia that the ‘missing links’ first began to become less missing. But those first fossils to be discovered were relatively recent, less than a million years old, dating from a time when hominids were pretty close to modern humans and had migrated out of Africa and reached the Far East. They were called ‘Java Man’ and ‘Peking Man’ after their discovery sites.* Java Man was discovered by the Dutch anthropologist Eugene Dubois in 1891. He named it Pithecanthropus erectus, signifying his belief that he had realized his life’s ambition and found ‘the missing link’. Disagreement came from two opposite sources, which rather proved his point: some said his fossil was purely human, others that it was a giant gibbon.


pages: 379 words: 109,612

Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future by John Brockman

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asperger Syndrome, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, biofilm, Black Swan, British Empire, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Danny Hillis, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, social graph, social software, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

And I got to thinking about how my thinking on world peace and transnational violence has been shaped by the Internet, and how the advent of the Internet has framed my view of human history and destiny. I’m aware that I’m living on the cusp of perhaps the third great tipping point in human history, and that this is an awesome and lucky thing to experience. First, I imagine myself with a small band moving out of Africa into the Fertile Crescent around 60,000 years ago, when humans mastered language and began to conquer the globe. More than half a million years ago, the Neanderthal and human branches of evolution began to split from our common ancestor Homo erectus (or perhaps Homo ergaster). Neanderthals, like H. erectus before, spread out of Africa and across Eurasia. But our ancestors, who acquired fully human body structures about 200,000 years ago, remained stuck in the savanna grasslands and scrub of first eastern and then southern Africa. Recent archaeological and DNA analyses suggest that our species may have tottered on the verge of extinction as recently as 70,000 years ago, dwindling to fewer than 2,000 souls.

Recent archaeological and DNA analyses suggest that our species may have tottered on the verge of extinction as recently as 70,000 years ago, dwindling to fewer than 2,000 souls. Then, in an almost miraculous change of fortune about 60,000 to 50,000 years ago, one or a few human bands moved out of Africa for good. This beginning of human wanderlust was likely stirred by global cooling and the attendant parching of the African grasslands, which led to loss of game and grain. But there is also the strong possibility, based on circumstantial evidence relating to a “cultural explosion” of human artifacts and technologies, that a mutation rewired the brain for computational efficiency. This rewiring allowed for recursion (embedding whole bundles of perceptions and thought within other bundles of perceptions and thoughts), which is an essential property of both human language (syntactic structures) and mind-reading skills (or Theory of Mind, the ability to infer other people’s thoughts and perceptions: “I know that she knows that I know that he knows that . . . ,” etc.).


pages: 319 words: 105,949

Skyfaring: A Journey With a Pilot by Mark Vanhoenacker

Airbus A320, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, computer age, dark matter, digital map, Edmond Halley, Joan Didion, John Harrison: Longitude, Louis Blériot, Maui Hawaii, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, phenotype, place-making, planetary scale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, the built environment, transcontinental railway, Year of Magical Thinking

They suggest that even now, when many of us so regularly leave one place on the earth and cross the high blue to another, we are not nearly as accustomed to flying as we think. These questions remind me that while airplanes have overturned many of our older sensibilities, a deeper part of our imagination lingers and still sparks in the former realm, among ancient, even atavistic, ideas of distance and place, migrations and the sky. Flight, like any great love, is both a liberation and a return. Isak Dinesen wrote in Out of Africa: “In the air you are taken into the full freedom of the three dimensions; after long ages of exile and dreams the homesick heart throws itself into the arms of space.” When aviation began, it was worth watching for its own sake; it was entertainment, as it still is for many children on their early encounters with it. Many of my friends who are pilots describe airplanes as the first thing they loved about the world.

On the way we flew down the Somali coastline—I had never before seen a land of such colors, mixed yellow and deep red—and I realized that one reason for my particular excitement about this journey was that it required two flights, not one. Perhaps, even, I was more excited about flying to Kenya than about what I hoped to find in a dusty archive there. My mother and I both loved Isak Dinesen’s Out of Africa. My mom had left her small hometown in Pennsylvania for work and college, and later lived in Paris; her love for the book was perhaps because it’s a tale of a great life-journey that starts and ends in a small place. Personally I loved the book best for its descriptions of flight, and as the plane descended over the hills around Nairobi I half-seriously asked myself whether, if the book had not contained such elegiac descriptions of aviation, I might have picked a different branch of history, if I might now be flying to a different country or continent.

Penguin Random House: Excerpt from “The Poem of Flight” from New Selected Poems by Philip Levine, copyright © 1991 by Philip Levine; excerpt from Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck (Penguin Books, 1992), copyright © 1961, 1962 by The Curtis Publishing Company Inc., copyright © 1962 by John Steinbeck, copyright renewed 1989, 1990 by Elaine Steinbeck, Thom Steinbeck and John Steinbeck IV. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Random House LLC. Rungstedlund Foundation: Excerpts from Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen. Reprinted by permission of the Rungstedlund Foundation. A Note About the Author Mark Vanhoenacker is a pilot and writer. A regular contributor to The New York Times and a columnist for Slate, he has also written for Wired, the Financial Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Independent. Born in Massachusetts, he trained as a historian and worked as a management consultant before starting his flight training in Britain in 2001.


pages: 217 words: 61,407

Twilight of Abundance: Why the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short by David Archibald

Bakken shale, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, deindustrialization, energy security, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), means of production, mutually assured destruction, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, out of africa, peak oil, price discovery process, rising living standards, sceptred isle, South China Sea, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War

On what principle is it that, when we see nothing but improvement behind us, are we to expect nothing but deterioration before us? —Thomas Macaulay, 1830 When modern human beings made their way out of Africa 50,000 years ago, the different branches of humanity that formed from that exodus spread out over the continents. Those branches became separated for tens of thousands of years but evolved to become agricultural societies within a few thousand years of each other. They went on to produce massive stone buildings a few thousand years after that—without knowing what the other branches of humanity had achieved, or even being aware that they existed. It was as if there was an alarm clock going off in human development—as if the development of agriculture and civilization was encoded in our genetic makeup when we made that first step out of Africa, as if there is a trajectory of inevitable material progress in human affairs.


pages: 482 words: 117,962

Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped Our World and Will Define Our Future by Ian Goldin, Geoffrey Cameron, Meera Balarajan

Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, conceptual framework, creative destruction, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, endogenous growth, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, global supply chain, guest worker program, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour mobility, Lao Tzu, life extension, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, old age dependency ratio, open borders, out of africa, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, Richard Florida, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, spice trade, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, women in the workforce, working-age population

McNeill, “that when our ancestors first became fully human they were already migratory.”3 Migrants initially moved throughout Africa, before leaving the continent between 50,000–60,000 years ago to populate the world.4 As populations of hunter–gatherer groups grew to their geographical limits, members moved to settle new groups, and the process of expansion across the world continued.5 The development of agriculture and sedentary communities prompted the second stage in migration: connecting humanity. Despite the global dispersion of humans, communities remained connected through trade networks and conquest. Diversity emerged through the separate development of populations, but cross-cultural contact ensured continuing interaction between scattered human communities. EARLY MIGRATION Out of Africa Every one of us has migrant blood running through our veins. As Spencer Wells put it, “We all have an African great-great…grandmother who lived approximately 150,000 years ago.”6 Around 80,000 years ago, the archaeological record of homo sapiens grows vague, and Wells argues that the human population dwindled to around 2,000 people. Genetic mutations within this small group of humans led to rapid brain development, giving us the power of abstract thought.

Around 40,000 years ago, people began to occupy the relatively colder, though still temperate, regions of Europe and inner Eurasia through several different routes. One involved movement along the rivers and valleys of the Himalayas from South China into the Eurasian steppes. Another would have followed the Pacific shore before turning inland. A final western route may have come more directly out of Africa toward the Black Sea. An ice age between 30,000 and 15,000 years ago, however, led human populations that had initially settled the warmer parts of Eurasia to retreat farther south. The evidence for how humans occupied northern Eurasia and the Americas is unclear, and there are many competing accounts based on genetic tracing, linguistics, and archaeology. Human settlements were restricted to Africa, Asia, and Oceania until about 40,000 years ago, in part by the formidable mountain ranges of Asia.

If we agree that prosperity and social welfare are primary goals of government policy, then governments and electorates may well prefer to accept more social, linguistic, and cultural diversity that higher rates of migration will produce in the interests of a more dynamic and secure future.119 The global governance of migration is still relatively underdeveloped and immature in the context of the increasingly transnational character of international migration and relative to trade and financial flows. In the concluding chapter, we will examine global migration governance and proposals for reform. 8 A Global Migration Agenda In the preceding chapters, we have contended that migration is a defining characteristic of human societies and a driving force of global history. The audacious movement of our common ancestors out of Africa launched the settlement of diverse ecologies, forcing adaptation, innovation, and learning. Before the advent of modern communications technologies, migrants and travelers served as the broadcast medium connecting settlements and civilizations. They carried knowledge and know-how across cultural and geographic boundaries, transmitting the ideas that animate human progress. Information traveled at the pace of steady steps advancing forward.


Text Analytics With Python: A Practical Real-World Approach to Gaining Actionable Insights From Your Data by Dipanjan Sarkar

bioinformatics, business intelligence, computer vision, continuous integration, en.wikipedia.org, general-purpose programming language, Guido van Rossum, information retrieval, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, iterative process, natural language processing, out of africa, performance metric, premature optimization, recommendation engine, self-driving car, semantic web, sentiment analysis, speech recognition, statistical model, text mining, Turing test, web application

., Vertigo, West Side Story, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Silence of the Lambs, Singin' in the Rain, It's a Wonderful Life, Some Like It Hot, Gandhi, To Kill a Mockingbird, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Exorcist, The French Connection, It Happened One Night, Rain Man, Fargo, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Nashville, The Graduate, American Graffiti, Pulp Fiction, The Maltese Falcon, A Clockwork Orange, Rebel Without a Cause, Rear Window, The Third Man, North by Northwest ======================================== Cluster 1 details: -------------------- Key features: [u'water', u'attempt', u'cross', u'death', u'officer'] Movies in this cluster: Chinatown, Apocalypse Now, Jaws, The African Queen, Mutiny on the Bounty ======================================== Cluster 2 details: -------------------- Key features: [u'family', u'love', u'marry', u'war', u'child'] Movies in this cluster: The Godfather, Gone with the Wind, The Godfather: Part II, The Sound of Music, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Philadelphia Story, An American in Paris, Ben-Hur, Doctor Zhivago, High Noon, The Pianist, Goodfellas, The King's Speech, A Place in the Sun, Out of Africa, Terms of Endearment, Giant, The Grapes of Wrath, Wuthering Heights, Double Indemnity, Yankee Doodle Dandy ======================================== Cluster 3 details: -------------------- Key features: [u'apartment', u'new', u'woman', u'york', u'life'] Movies in this cluster: Citizen Kane, Titanic, 12 Angry Men, Rocky, The Best Years of Our Lives, My Fair Lady, The Apartment, City Lights, Midnight Cowboy, Mr.

Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Apocalypse Now, Saving Private Ryan, Patton, Platoon, Dances with Wolves, All Quiet on the Western Front ======================================== Cluster 10 details: -------------------- Key features: [u'despite', u'drop', u'family', u'confront', u'drive'] Movies in this cluster: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, City Lights, Midnight Cowboy ======================================== Cluster 11 details: -------------------- Key features: [u'discover', u'always', u'feel', u'city', u'act'] Movies in this cluster: Raging Bull, It Happened One Night, Rain Man, Rebel Without a Cause ======================================== Cluster 12 details: -------------------- Key features: [u'discuss', u'alone', u'drop', u'business', u'consider'] Movies in this cluster: Singin' in the Rain, An American in Paris, The Apartment, Annie Hall, Network ======================================== Cluster 13 details: -------------------- Key features: [u'due', u'final', u'day', u'ever', u'eventually'] Movies in this cluster: On the Waterfront, It's a Wonderful Life, Some Like It Hot, The French Connection, Fargo, Pulp Fiction, North by Northwest ======================================== Cluster 14 details: -------------------- Key features: [u'early', u'able', u'end', u'charge', u'allow'] Movies in this cluster: A Streetcar Named Desire, The King's Speech, Giant, The Grapes of Wrath ======================================== Cluster 15 details: -------------------- Key features: [u'enter', u'eventually', u'cut', u'accept', u'even'] Movies in this cluster: The Philadelphia Story, The Green Mile, American Graffiti ======================================== Cluster 16 details: -------------------- Key features: [u'far', u'allow', u'apartment', u'anything', u'car'] Movies in this cluster: Citizen Kane, Sunset Blvd., The Sound of Music, Out of Africa, Terms of Endearment, Wuthering Heights, Yankee Doodle Dandy ======================================== # visualize the clusters In [304]: plot_clusters(num_clusters=num_clusters, feature_matrix=feature_matrix, ...: cluster_data=cluster_data, movie_data=movie_data, ...: plot_size=(16,8)) The preceding outputs show the contents of the different clusters and their visualization. If the visual text in Figure 6-5 is too small, you can always refer to the file affinity_prop_clustering.png, which contains the plot depicted in higher resolution.

It is definitely interesting indeed that with just movie synopses, our algorithm has clustered movies with similar attributes and genres together! The blue colored movies give us similar results, in that Braveheart and Gladiator are action, drama, and war classics. We also have some classics related to drama , romance, and biographies like The Sound of Music, Wuthering Heights, Terms of Endearment, and Out of Africa. Toward the top of the dendrogram you will observe movies related to science fiction and fantasy, like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, all close to each other. Can you find more interesting patterns? Which movies do you think do not belong together in the same clusters? Can we build better clusters? Can we recommend similar movies to watch based on clustering movies together?


pages: 264 words: 74,313

Wars, Guns, and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places by Paul Collier

business cycle, dark matter, deskilling, failed state, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, price stability, structural adjustment programs, zero-sum game

Government soldiers are usually very badly paid, and so they are tempted to sell their guns or steal from stockpiles. Government armies buy Kalashnikovs most vigorously when they are fighting a rebellion. So the guns are officially imported into Africa, stolen, and so become illegal, but cannot easily be re-exported to the markets in which secondhand Kalashnikovs fetch a high price. That is because to export the guns out of Africa they have to be imported into countries that generally have sufficiently good border controls to make it difficult. But the guns do not just stay in the country whose government first imported them to Africa. Africa’s internal borders are highly porous, and so the cheap guns slosh around the continent going to 116 WARS, GUNS, AND VOTES where there is currently demand: which means wherever there is a war.

But precisely because of these concerns, it is surely better to have these forces bound by clear rules of use. While the governments of South Africa and Nigeria might well not wish to host foreign forces with an unclear mandate, they should welcome them for the specified purpose of protection from coups against governments that have committed themselves to proper standards of democratic elections. “Keep out of Africa” is irresponsible if it condemns the continent to unaccountable government. Finally, I turn to my most demanding readers: those presidents who, having read the section that sets out strategies for reducing the risk of a coup, still could not sleep soundly. Gentlemen, I promised you that if you read on you would find a fully reliable protection from your own army. You now have it: you no longer have to trust your brother-in-law.


pages: 202 words: 74,284

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

out of africa

Then I got this book I was reading and sat down in my chair. There were two chairs in every room. I had one and my roommate, Ward Stradlater, had one. The arms were in sad shape, because everybody was always sitting on them, but they were pretty comfortable chairs. The book I was reading was this book I took out of the library by mistake. They gave me the wrong book, and I didn't notice it till I got back to my room. They gave me Out of Africa, by Isak Dinesen. I thought it was going to stink, but it didn't. It was a very good book. I'm quite illiterate, but I read a lot. My favorite author is my brother D.B., and my next favorite is Ring Lardner. My brother gave me a book by Ring Lardner for my birthday, just before I went to Pencey. It had these very funny, crazy plays in it, and then it had this one story about a traffic cop that falls in love with this very cute girl that's always speeding.

And Ring Lardner, except that D.B. told me he's dead. You take that book Of Human Bondage, by Somerset Maugham, though. I read it last summer. It's a pretty good book and all, but I wouldn't want to call Somerset Maugham up. I don't know, He just isn't the kind of guy I'd want to call up, that's all. I'd rather call old Thomas Hardy up. I like that Eustacia Vye. Anyway, I put on my new hat and sat down and started reading that book Out of Africa. I'd read it already, but I wanted to read certain parts over again. I'd only read about three pages, though, when I heard somebody coming through the shower curtains. Even without looking up, I knew right away who it was. It was Robert Ackley, this guy that roomed right next to me. There was a shower right between every two rooms in our wing, and about eighty-five times a day old Ackley barged in on me.


pages: 302 words: 74,878

A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life by Brian Grazer, Charles Fishman

4chan, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Asperger Syndrome, Bonfire of the Vanities, en.wikipedia.org, game design, Google Chrome, Howard Zinn, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Norman Mailer, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, out of africa, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple

So there would be six or eight of us, from totally different disciplines, spending the day in a relaxed atmosphere, trading our problems and our experiences and our questions. What a fabulous idea. And we did it. Dr. Salk invited a robotics expert from Caltech and Betty Edwards, the theorist and teacher who wrote the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I brought director and producer Sydney Pollack (Out of Africa, Tootsie) and producer George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and George brought Linda Ronstadt, the singer who was his girlfriend at the time. The whole thing was Dr. Salk’s idea. He was curious—in particular, he was curious about how the “media mind” worked, how people like Lucas and Pollack thought about the world and what they created, and he was curious about storytelling.

Seuss story, 113 fear and, 116 to Grazer, 101, 102, 103–5, 106–7, 114 Grazer saying, 178 in Hollywood/entertainment business, 33, 61, 101–2, 169 as inside your head, 114, 116, 118 persistence and, 109, 114, 118 reactions to, 101–2 Splash and, 103–5, 106–7, 109 ways to beat, 102, 114, 116–18 Noah (movie), 78, 280 Obama, Barack, 13, 207, 209–11, 212 obstacles, Grazer’s views about overcoming, 167–69 open-ended questions, 139–40, 198–99, 261 openness, 181–85, 198–99, 200 opinions, 177–78, 179, 180 optimism, 172 others: curiosity on behalf of, 162–66 See also: point of view; relationships Out of Africa (movie), 157 Ovitz, Michael, 121 Page, Larry, 146 painful topics: and when not to be anti-curious, 175 Paley, William, 204 The Paper (movie), 128 Paramount Studios: Grazer as producer at, 28–31 Parenthood (movie), 31, 45, 128, 213 Parker, Dorothy, 1, 273 parochialism, 44–45 passion, 172, 173, 180 Penn, Sean, 93 persistence, 108–9, 114, 118 perspective of others. See point of view physics: Grazer’s interest in, 89–90 Picker, David, 21 Pink Flamingos (movie), 174 Pinochet, Augusto, 70, 71, 72 Places in the Heart (movie), 107–8 point of view: curiosity about others, 53–67 and disruptions to your own point of view, 53–67 storytelling and, 35, 45–46 Police Department, Los Angeles (LAPD), 39–40, 41, 46 polio, 153–54 political campaigns: “opposition research” in, 59 Pollack, Sydney, 157 Pop, Iggy, 174 power, curiosity and, 11, 13, 15, 40, 125, 195–96 Presley, Elvis, 217 Price, Jeff, 111 Proctor & Gamble, 57, 58, 59 producers: as “boss,” 141 collective persona of Hollywood, 120 job of, 102, 111–12 progress, human, 83–84 Public Enemy, 48 public sphere: curiosity in, 15, 183–85, 195–96 questions: and admitting ignorance, 118, 123 answers as point of, 152 and asking questions of boss, 150 atmosphere around, 152 benefits of using, 144–45 in classrooms, 14 complex, 160 creativity and, 37, 55 culture of, 148–49, 150–52 for curiosity conversations, 46, 261, 263, 264, 265 as dangerous, 11–13 disadvantages of asking, 149 and familiarity as enemy of curiosity, 158, 159 fear of asking, 114, 115, 151 freedom to ask, 15 of Grazer as child, 3 Grazer’s management style and, 28, 32–33, 134–37 about Grinch movie, 111 and Howard’s curiosity, 32 as impertinence, 196 importance of asking, 33, 63, 109, 116, 148–49, 193 as instinctive, 32 as intrinsic to curiosity, 10–11 and making the case, 139–40 as management tool, 134–37, 144–53, 161 open-ended, 139–40, 198–99, 261 and paying attention to answers, 9 preparing, 261 purpose of, 62, 111–12, 114–15, 116, 137, 149–50, 152 reality and, 78 and relationships, 158–60 stories and, 35, 37, 137 teaching people to ask good, 63 underappreciation of, 151 unwelcome, 14 as urgent and trivial, 7–8 values and, 144 Walton’s, 56 as way to uncover ideas, 147–48, 149 in workplace, 134–37, 144–52, 161, 193 See also: answers to questions radio: “driveway moments” and, 79, 80, 280 reading: Grazer and, 84–87, 162, 188 Reagan, Ronald, 25, 64 real estate agents: curiosity of, 94 reality: curiosity as connection to, 76–79, 118 Reitman, Ivan: Bronfman’s call to, 128 rejection.


pages: 314 words: 77,409

The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why It Matters by Sean B. Carroll

agricultural Revolution, British Empire, clean water, discovery of penicillin, Fellow of the Royal Society, out of africa, pattern recognition, phenotype, Skype, Thomas Malthus

In his 448-page account of his journey, Africa View, Huxley recommended that the Serengeti and other vast lands be preserved as national parks and game sanctuaries: In her large animals East Africa has a unique possession; if she allows them to be destroyed, they can never be replaced. . . . Humanity does not live by bread alone; in East African wilds a stream of men and women down the generations may find quickening, refreshment, inspiration. Huxley was a schoolmate and friend of safari guide and hunter Denis Finch-Hatton, who was later made famous as Karen Blixen’s lover in her memoir and the film Out of Africa. Finch-Hatton, whose clients included the future King Edward VIII, was a private man who eschewed the limelight. But he was appalled by the excessive killing in the Serengeti by tourist hunters. He wrote to the Times of London to condemn the “orgy of slaughter” and to push for protection of the Serengeti “before it was too late.” Parliament took up the issue, and largely due to Finch-Hatton’s efforts, the Serengeti was included in a Closed Reserve in 1930.

See also Gorongosa National Park Mozambique Resistance Movement, 186, 197 Muagura, Pedro, 197 Mukkaw Bay, 111–115, 118–119, 121 mussels, 119, 120 mutations, genetic research and, 63–67 myc gene, 97 necessity, sufficiency and, 182 negative feedback, 67–68 negative regulation: density-dependent regulation as form of, 147–150, 198–199; overview of, 68f, 153; predation as, 164–165, 166f; starfish, mussels and, 119; wildebeest, rinderpest virus and, 140–143, 141f, 142f Ngorogoro Crater, 1–3 Nielsen, Mark, 192 Nieuwe Meer, Lake, 158 Nigeria, 206–207 Nile crocodiles, 192–193 Nobel Prizes: for discovery of allostery, 71; for discovery of penicillin, 40, 92; for discovery of virus causing cancer in chickens, 93, 96; for understanding of cholesterol regulation, 78, 87 norepinephrine, 17 Norges Pattedyr (Collett), 40–41 North East Land, 39–43 northern elephant seals, 199 Norton-Griffiths, Mike, 138–140 Novartis, 103–104 Nuttall Ornithological Club, 113 ochre starfish, 111–115, 112f, 118–120 Olduvai Gorge, 3–4 olive baboons, 161–162, 164, 165f Olympic Peninsula, 111–115, 118–119 oncogenes: cancer and, 98–100, 99f, 105; discovery of, 96–97; as drug targets, 102–104; leukemia and, 98–100; retinoblastoma and, 100–102 “One Care for Our Common Home” (Pope Francis), 203–204, 210 optimism, 211 orcas, 126 Order of the Bath, 25 oribi, 145, 145f Orwell, George, 127 otters, sea, 120–123, 124f, 126, 199 Out of Africa (film), 132 Oxford University Expeditions to Spitsbergen, 32–43, 33f Paine, Robert: on future, 203; image of, 128f; sea otters as keystone species and, 120–123; starfish as keystone species and, 111–115, 118–120; Tatoosh Island and, 119–120, 121, 127 Palmisano, John, 122 pancreas, 27 parasites, population size and, 45 Pardee, Arthur, 65 Pasteur Institute, 54, 58, 60 pathogens, 45, 137–138 Paul Lake, 171–172, 173f penicillin, 40, 81, 82, 92 Penicillium citrinum, 82–84 Penicillium fungus, 81 “Periodic Fluctuations in Numbers of Animals” (Elton), 42–43 peristalsis, 18–21 Pershing, John J., 25 pesticides, 159–161, 164, 211 pests, rice production and, 158–161, 160f, 164 Peter Lake, 171–172, 173f Peterson, Charles “Pete,” 163 Philadelphia chromosome (22), 93, 98–100, 99f phosphate fertilizers, 163 phosphate groups, protein regulation and, 98–99, 101 phosphorylation, 101 phytoplankton, 171–172, 173f pigeon pea, 197 Pingo, Mike, 192, 198 Pisaster ochraceus (ochre starfish), 111–115, 112f, 118–120 plankton, 53, 171–172, 173f, 176 planthopper, brown, 159–161, 160f, 164 Plowright, Walter, 136 poaching, 146, 195, 197 political will, social will and, 210 pollution, water supply and, 155–158 population growth: buffalo and, 134–138; fluctuations in, 42f; human, 5; wildebeest and, 136–138, 137f, 148f, 149 population size: competition and, 143–144, 150; density-dependent regulation of, 147–150, 148f; factors limiting, 45; fluctuations in, 41–43; migration and, 150–152; pesticide use in rice production and, 159–161, 164; predators and, 45, 150 positive regulation, overview of, 68f, 153 Pourquoi-Pas?


pages: 476 words: 132,042

What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Buckminster Fuller, c2.com, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, charter city, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, computer vision, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, George Gilder, gravity well, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, invention of air conditioning, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Conway, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, life extension, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, off grid, out of africa, performance metric, personalized medicine, phenotype, Picturephone, planetary scale, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, refrigerator car, Richard Florida, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Kaczynski, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, Vernor Vinge, wealth creators, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

The dozen tools you carried would have been bone drills, awls, needles, bone knives, a bone hook for fish on a spear, some stone scrapers, maybe some stone sharpies. A number of your blades would be held by bone or wood handles, hafted with cane or hide cord. When you crouched around the fire, someone might play a drum or bone flute. Your handful of possessions might be buried with you when you died. But don’t take this progress for harmony. Within 20,000 years of the great march out of Africa, Sapiens helped exterminate 90 percent of the then-existing species of megafauna. Sapiens used innovations such as the bow and arrow, spear, and cliff stampedes to kill off the last of the mastodons, mammoths, moas, woolly rhinos, and giant camels—basically every large package of protein that walked on four legs. More than 80 percent of all large mammal genera on the planet were completely extinct by 10,000 years ago.

A world without technology had enough to sustain survival but not enough to transcend it. Only when the mind, liberated by language and enabled by the technium, transcended the constraints of nature 50,000 years ago did greater realms of possibility open up. There was a price to pay for this transcendence, but what we gained by this embrace was civilization and progress. We are not the same folks who marched out of Africa. Our genes have coevolved with our inventions. In the past 10,000 years alone, in fact, our genes have evolved 100 times faster than the average rate for the previous 6 million years. This should not be a surprise. As we domesticated the dog (in all its breeds) from wolves and bred cows and corn and more from their unrecognizable ancestors, we, too, have been domesticated. We have domesticated ourselves.

Romans, ancient road width established by slums decried by Romer, Paul Roszak, Theodore Rothschild, Nathan Rowe, John Rowling, J. K. Saffo, Paul Sagan, Carl Sahlins, Marshall Sale, Kirkpatrick San Francisco slums of Sapiens clothing of cooking by diet of diverse niches occupied by early inventions of grandmother effect and hominins displaced by increased longevity of items traded by language invented by megafauna extinctions and out of Africa migration of population growth of sedentism of tools of see also hunter-gatherers satellites night photography by Schachter-Shalomi, Rabbi Zalman Scheele, Carl Schwartz, Barry science fringe increase in journal articles of information compressed by in progress simultaneous discoveries in as structured global knowledge science fiction scientific method scissors Scott, W. B.


pages: 296 words: 86,188

Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong-And the New Research That's Rewriting the Story by Angela Saini

Albert Einstein, demographic transition, Drosophila, feminist movement, gender pay gap, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mouse model, out of africa, place-making, scientific mainstream, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, women in the workforce

In her 2013 book Paleofantasy, she writes that women’s running abilities decline extremely slowly into old age. They’ve been known to go long distances even while pregnant. One example is Amber Miller, an experienced runner who in 2011 ran the Chicago marathon before giving birth seven hours later. English runner and world record holder Paula Radcliffe has also trained through two pregnancies. For a large chunk of early human history, when humans migrated out of Africa to the rest of the world, women would have traveled hundreds or thousands of miles, sometimes under extreme environmental conditions. If they were pregnant or carrying infants, the daily physical pressures on them would have been far greater than those faced by men. “Just reproducing and surviving in these conditions, talk about natural selection!” says Zihlman. “Women have to reproduce. That means being pregnant for nine months.

But, as the grandmother hypothesis shows, science has provided alternative narratives, too, ones that not only challenge old preconceptions and tired stereotypes but also can be truly empowering. Indeed, Kristen Hawkes’s latest work suggests that hardworking grandmothers may have appeared very early in human development, around two million years ago, meaning they could hold much more than just the key to human longevity. “It may have been helpful grandmothering that allowed the spread of genus Homo out of Africa and into previously unoccupied regions of the temperate and tropical Old World,” she speculates. In her version of the story of us, ancient grandmothers weren’t just powerhouses in their families but vehicles for enormous change as humans migrated across the globe, tens of thousands of years ago. Age was no barrier to exercising their strength. With the hard work of these women, everything was possible.


pages: 432 words: 85,707

QI: The Third Book of General Ignorance (Qi: Book of General Ignorance) by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson

Albert Einstein, Boris Johnson, British Empire, California gold rush, cognitive dissonance, dark matter, double helix, epigenetics, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, music of the spheres, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, Ronald Reagan, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route

Lions don’t live in jungles and they sleep during the day. Almost all wild lions live on the African savannah (apart from the 400 in Gir Forest National Park in India, which isn’t a jungle either). Some lions may have to move as their habitat shrinks – one lioness was spotted in the Ethiopian jungle in 2006, but there’s no evidence she was hunting and breeding there. ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ is the most famous song ever to have come out of Africa. Originally called ‘Mbube’ (Zulu for ‘lion’) it was recorded in 1939 by Solomon Linda and the Evening Birds. During the studio session the Birds sang ‘Mbube, uyiMbube’ (‘Lion, you’re a lion’) while Solomon improvised over the top. It sold 100,000 copies in South Africa alone. It has since been translated into Danish, Japanese, Congolese and Navaho, and broadcast on US radio for the equivalent of 300 years of continuous play.

Tambora’s eruption also led, indirectly, to the writing of Frankenstein – Mary Shelley was on holiday with her husband and Lord Byron near Lake Geneva. If the weather had been nicer, they might have spent the time going on bracing walks. As it was, they were forced to stay inside and think up ghost stories. But Krakatoa and Tambora both pale into insignificance beside the most violent of all volcanic eruptions: Lake Toba in Sumatra (also west of Java). It happened 70,000 years ago, when Homo sapiens had just emerged out of Africa. The eruption ejected nearly 700 cubic miles of debris into the sky – the equivalent of 19 million Empire State Buildings. Toba’s eruption appears to have had a devastating effect on the human race. Genetic analysis shows the population fell to no more than 10,000 and, according to some estimates, as few as 40 breeding couples. There is no definite proof the two are linked, but it seems likely that Toba came very close to wiping out all human life on the planet.


Affluence Without Abundance: The Disappearing World of the Bushmen by James Suzman

access to a mobile phone, agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, clean water, discovery of the americas, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, full employment, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, means of production, Occupy movement, open borders, out of africa, post-work, quantitative easing, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, trickle-down economics, unemployed young men, We are the 99%

The same data suggests that it was only during the last twenty-two thousand years that other African branches of the human family tree, including those that would later form the first human populations in Europe and Asia, began to grow significantly. The researchers analyzing this data speculate that climatic changes in central and western Africa, as well as the challenges of adapting to new and unfamiliar habitats as they expanded out of Africa, affected these declines.2 As genetically diverse as Khoisan were before the arrival of others in southern Africa, they shared similar cultures, similar technologies, similar views on the nature of the cosmos, and similar ways of relating both to one another and to their environments. While Khoisan peoples spoke—and continue to speak—a range of mutually unintelligible languages, these languages all share the same roots marked out most obviously by the use of a series of distinctive click consonants.

Rather, it was shaped by hunting and gathering. If the ultimate measure of sustainability is endurance over time, then hunting and gathering is by far the most sustainable economic approach developed in all of human history, and the Khoisan are the most accomplished exponents of this approach. And the success of hunting and gathering as an economic system cannot be doubted. It is as hunter-gatherers that modern Homo sapiens expanded out of Africa and occupied Asia, the Pacific Islands, Australia, and eventually the Americas. It is hard to imagine that the globalized economy symbolized by da Gama’s voyage will endure anywhere near as long as the Khoisan managed to survive by hunting and gathering. Some of the more doom-laden forecasts of climate change suggest that it is already too late—that an important threshold has already been passed and that we should all be channeling our inner Noah and building arks of one sort or another.


pages: 369 words: 153,018

Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life by Nick Lane

Benoit Mandelbrot, clockwork universe, double helix, Drosophila, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, out of africa, phenotype, random walk, Richard Feynman, stem cell, unbiased observer

If this latter view is correct, then the evolutionary transition from archaic to anatomically modern humans must have happened in parallel in different parts of the old world. These two views carry a potent political charge. If all modern humans came from Africa less than 200 000 years ago, then we are all the same under the skin. We have barely had time, in an evolutionary sense, to diverge, but we can perhaps be held responsible for the extinction of our closest relatives, such as the Neanderthals. This theory is known as the ‘Out of Africa’ hypothesis. On the other hand, if the human races evolved in parallel then the differences between us are not skin deep, and our unique racial and cultural identities are firmly grounded in biology, challenging our ideals of equality. Both scenarios could have been offset by interbreeding, to an unknown degree. The dilemma is exemplified by the fate of the Neanderthals. Were they a separate subspecies driven to extinction, or did they interbreed with anatomically modern CroMagnons, who arrived in Europe around 40 000 years ago?

Most populations from outside Africa had ‘multiple origins’, in other words, peoples living in the same place had different mitochondrial DNA sequences, implying that many areas were colonized repeatedly. In sum, Wilson’s group concluded that Mitochondrial Eve lived fairly recently in Africa, and the rest of the world was populated by repeated waves of migration from that continent, lending support to the ‘Out of Africa’ hypothesis. Not surprisingly these unprecedented findings gave birth to a dynamic new field, which dominated genealogy in the 1990s. The unresolved questions raised by skeletal morphology, by linguistic and cultural studies, by anthropology and population genetics, could at last all be answered with ‘hard’ scientific objectivity. Many technical refinements have been introduced, and calibrated dates modified (Mitochondrial Eve is now dated to about 170 000 years ago), but the basic tenets presented by Wilson and his colleagues underpinned the entire edifice.

S 154–5, 171, 192, 271, 285, 297 Hall, Alan 102 Halliwell, Barry 275 Hamilton, William 192, 221, 234 Harden, Sir Arthur 79 Harman, Denham 274–5, 278 Harold, Franklin 92, 103, 195–6 heart disease, vulnerability to 255–6 heat production, by uncoupling respiration 92, 183–4, 254–6, 305–6 Helmholtz, Hermann von 73 Hemmingsen, A. M. 167 hermaphrodite lifestyle 232–3, 238 Heusner, Alfred 159, 167 Heyerdahl, Thor 246 histones 10, 32, 48–9 Hochachka, Peter 176 Horovitz, Bob 204 Hulbert, Tony 181 human evolution: mitochondrial DNA studies 244–7 ‘Out of Africa’ hypothesis 242–3, 246 population genetic studies 243–4 human genome project 68 nuclear mitochondrial sequences (numts) 132–3, 252 n. human mitochondrial genome 16, 135–9, 141–4, 281 Huntington’s disease 285, 298 Hurst, Laurence 234 Hussein, Saddam, identification of 4 Jacob, François 114 Jacobs, Howard 299–300 Jaffe, Bernard 71 Jagendorf, André 89–90 Jansen, Robert 263 Jones, Laura 38 Joule, James Prescott 73 immune function, and apoptosis 204 infertility 260 male cytoplasmic sterility 238 male infertility (asthenozoospermia) 256 ooplasmic transfer 4, 240, 264 intelligence, evolution of 23, 24 iron, as a catalyst 73–4 iron-sulphur minerals, and the first cells 99–102, 101, 103–4 isoprenes 99, 135 isoprenoids 135 Kalckar, Herman 80 Karr, Timothy 239 Keilin, David 74–7, 85, 209 Kennedy, Eugene 13, 72 Kerr, John 203 Khrapko, Konstantin 250 Kingsbury, B.


pages: 70 words: 22,172

How We'll Live on Mars (TED Books) by Stephen Petranek

California gold rush, Colonization of Mars, Elon Musk, Hyperloop, Jeff Bezos, low earth orbit, Mars Rover, nuclear winter, out of africa, Richard Feynman, trade route

The backstory of that mistake is worth understanding—how a single decision by one US president stunted space travel for decades, how we might have inspired two generations of earthlings with humankind’s ability to deliver on almost anything our brains can imagine. Nearly five decades ago we had the ability to extend ourselves into the solar system and beyond. Now private rocketry has opened a new window to the stars. Perhaps the need to explore is built into our DNA; homo sapiens began venturing out of Africa about 60,000 years ago, pushing beyond the horizon until they populated the entire globe. Exploration may be connected to human survival. But it has also led to colonization of lands already occupied, the devastation of cultures, and the plundering of resources. The settlement of Mars is about to happen far sooner than most people realize, and in a nonregulated way. Most of this book is an examination of the astonishing fact that we have the capabilities to build on Mars.


Genesis: The Deep Origin of Societies by Edward O. Wilson

biofilm, out of africa, phenotype, social intelligence

Many of the chemicals and molecules circulating in our liquid (by weight 80 percent of the body) are roughly the same as in the primordial sea. Our thought and literature remain energized by the widespread belief that all of prehistory and history, including every great transition, somehow served the purpose of placing us upon the Earth. Everything, it has been argued, from the origin of life 3.8 billion years ago was meant for us. The spread of Homo sapiens out of Africa and around the habitable world was somehow preordained. It was meant to establish our rule of the planet with the inalienable right to treat it as we please. That mistake, I suggest, is the true human condition. So let us look more closely at the great transitions. The first transition and the most difficult to visualize is the origin of life itself. The event has been very broadly and accurately conceived, but a lot of uncertainty remains in the fine detail.


pages: 374 words: 91,966

Escape from Hell by Larry Niven; Jerry Pournelle

Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, clean water, out of africa

Fifth Circle ELSE FRENKEL–BRUNSWICK Austrian–born American psychoanalyst and author. Died twentieth century. GEORGE LINCOLN ROCKWELL Commander, USNR. Leader of the American Nazi Party. Died 1967. PHLEGYAS Legendary king of the Lapiths, grandfather of Asclepius. Died second millennium B.C. KAREN BLIXEN AKA ISAK DINESEN (alluded) Danish author who wrote primarily in English. Her works include Out of Africa and “Babette’s Feast.” Died 1962. The City of Dis JAMES GIRARD One–time deputy district attorney of New Orleans, now an official in the Prosecutor’s Office in Hell. Died twenty–first century. HENRI LEBEAU Professor of civil and canon law, Tulane University, assigned to the Prosecutor’s Office in Hell. Died twenty–first century. ANTHONY GLICKA Experimental medicine coordinator, UCLA.

I have been told that the rape was necessary to produce him, and I had no right to interfere with the will of Zeus and the gods by taking revenge for my daughter’s rape.” “Don’t tempt the gods,” Rosemary said. “Be watchful and don’t tempt the gods,” Phlegyas said. “I recall saying that. Where did you hear that?” “A story we read in college mentioned you,” Rosemary said. “By the Danish woman who wrote Out of Africa. This was a really scary story.” I asked, “So Minos put you here?” “He did.” “As king?” He didn’t answer. The boat was slowing now. The fog was clearing, and I could see we were coming to a landing. Chapter 11 Fifth Circle The City Of Dis * * * And my good Master said: “Even now, my son, The city draweth near whose name is Dis, With the grave citizens, with the great throng.”


pages: 347 words: 90,234

You Can't Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction--From Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between by Lee Gutkind

airport security, Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Columbine, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Mark Zuckerberg, New Journalism, non-fiction novel, Norman Mailer, out of africa, personalized medicine, publish or perish, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, working poor, Year of Magical Thinking

Angela’s Ashes (1996) by Frank McCourt and This Boy’s Life (1989) by Tobias Wolff were both made into major motion pictures; the British actress Emily Watson starred as McCourt’s mother, Angela, and the Academy Award winner Robert De Niro played Wolff’s stepfather, Dwight Hansen. The Liars Club (1995) by Mary Karr, another of these best-selling tell-all memoirs, rode the new interest in the genre. Memoirs are not new to the literary world. Henry David Thoreau’s Walden is a classic of the form as is Isak Dinesen’s Out of Africa, first published in this country in 1938. The Kiss, however, pushed into new territory, with the subject of incest scandalizing both critics and ordinary readers. Even in 1997, book-reviewing venues were drying up, and any controversy that might help sell a few more magazines or newspapers was a boon at the time. Yardley and Wolcott predicted the demise of the memoir as a form, but it remains a significant presence on the literary landscape.

See also Frame Narrative historians, recreation and Narrative journalism Narrative line Narrative nonfiction Narrator, trustworthiness of Nasar, Sylvia Nasdijj Nash, John National Book Award National Book Critics Awards National Endowment for the Arts Navel gazing New journalism The New Journalism (Wolfe) New Republic (magazine) Newsday (newspaper) Newspapers, reading Newsweek (magazine) The New Yorker (magazine) creative nonfiction in DeLillo article in Malcolm and McPhee and New York Herald Tribune (newspaper) New York (magazine) New York Observer (newspaper) New York Post (newspaper) New York Times Book Review (periodical) New York Times Magazine New York Times (newspaper) creative nonfiction in hoaxes and recreation and The Next American Essay (D’Agata) Nick Adams Stories (Hemingway) Nickel and Dimed (Ehrenreich) Nixon (film) Norton Note-taking Novels Nuland, Sherwin Nutmeg (Nathaniel) Obama, Barack Objectivity, creative nonfiction and Ohio University O magazine O’Malley, Walter The Omnivore’s Dilemma (Pollan) On Death and Dying (Kübler-Ross) One Children’s Place (Gutkind) One-on-one interviews On Looking (Purpura) On the Road (Kerouac) Opening paragraphs Opening Skinner’s Box (Slater) Oranges (McPhee) The Orchid Thief (Orlean) Orlean, Susan Orwell, George Other Press O’Toole, Peter Outlines Out of Africa (Dinesen) Page, P. K. Palin, Sarah Parachuting Parallel narratives Paris Review (magazine) Patterson, James Patton (film) Pearson, Michael Pentimento (Hellman) The People of Penn’s Woods West (Gutkind) The Perfect Storm (Junger) Perkins, Maxwell Permission disclaimer form Persepolis (Satrapi) Personal essay. See also Memoir Personal/private creative nonfiction autobiography memoir (see Memoir) personal essay Philadelphia Inquirer (newspaper) Phillips, Chester F.


pages: 342 words: 90,734

Mysteries of the Mall: And Other Essays by Witold Rybczynski

additive manufacturing, airport security, Buckminster Fuller, City Beautiful movement, edge city, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, Jane Jacobs, kremlinology, Marshall McLuhan, new economy, New Urbanism, out of africa, Peter Calthorpe, Peter Eisenman, rent control, Silicon Valley, the High Line, urban renewal, young professional

A lot of architecture has to do with images—and imaginings. The image may be the result of a remembered family photograph, or a painting, or the experience of a real porch somewhere. For one person, getting away means a shady porch with a rocking chair and a slowly turning ceiling fan. That particular image has haunted me for years—I think I first saw it in a magazine ad for whiskey. And for me one of the pleasures of watching the film Out of Africa is the beautiful porch of Karen Blixen’s house in Kenya, with Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto playing on a windup gramophone. Alas, for Luc a porch was just a utilitarian appendage. Moreover, the image it conjured up for him was not rural but urban. I also had the impression that he considered porches to be old-fashioned—or maybe just places for old people. I have always liked farmhouse kitchens—large comfortable rooms where you can cook and eat and socialize around the kitchen table.

., 1995 bombing in Olbrich, Joseph Maria Olin (landscape architecture firm) Olmsted, Frederick Law as city planner foresight of inevitability of big cities foreseen by parkways of pragmatism of on suburbs Olmsted, Rick Olmsted Brothers Olympics, Beijing (2008) OMA On the Art of Building in Ten Books (Alberti) Opéra Bastille, Paris architectural competition for as Big Project cost of exterior of innovative technology of interior of political fights over as too big for site Opéra Comique, Paris Orinda, Calif. Orlando, Fla. Ormandy, Eugene Osceola County (Fla.) School Board Oslo, 2011 bombings in Otranto House, North Charleston Ott, Carlos Otto, Frei, West German pavilion, Expo 67 of Oud, J.J.P. Out of Africa (film) Ove Arup: Masterbuilder of the Twentieth Century (Jones) Paimio Sanatorium, Finland Palais Garnier (Paris Opéra) Palazzo Ducale, Venice Palazzo Pretorio, Cividale, Italy Palladianism Palladio, Andrea Carità convent of drawings of Il Redentore church of influence of Palazzo Pretorio of Quattro libri of San Giorgio Maggiore of Villa Foscari of Villa Godi of Villa Rotonda of Villa Saraceno of villas of Pampanito, USS (submarine) Panama Canal Pan American Union Building, Washington, D.C.


pages: 369 words: 98,776

The God Species: Saving the Planet in the Age of Humans by Mark Lynas

Airbus A320, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Haber-Bosch Process, ice-free Arctic, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Negawatt, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, peak oil, planetary scale, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, special drawing rights, Stewart Brand, undersea cable, University of East Anglia

For this transgression he was punished by being chained to a rock and having his liver eaten out each day by an eagle. And rightly so, for fire dramatically changed our relationship with the natural world. Acquiring the power of gods separated humans permanently and irretrievably from all other species. As well as cooked food, it afforded protection against predators and warmth on cold nights, allowing early humans to spread north out of Africa during the depths of the last ice age. Fire may have facilitated the spread of genes for hairlessness, as the need for body insulation diminished. However, once our hair was lost and our guts had shrunk, we were tied to the hearth—we could no longer exist without it. No human can hope to survive in the wild today without fire, and this dependence marks a major qualitative shift in human relations with the biosphere.

In what looks like a prehistoric bout of all-too-modern ethnic cleansing, Homo sapiens probably drove its closest hominid relatives, Homo neanderthalensis and Homo erectus, to oblivion. A minority of archaeologists cling to the notion that some interbreeding must have taken place, but genetic studies show this is unlikely.7 Modern human DNA instead confirms that all of us are descended from the same small initial Homo sapiens population that migrated out of Africa 50,000 years ago.8 The last Neanderthals hung on in remote mountainous parts of France until 38,000 years ago, and in southern Spain until about 30,000 years ago. The very last families died a few thousand years later in Gorham’s Cave in what is now Gibraltar, when their final refuge on the extreme southern edge of the continent was overrun.9 Officially, the direct cause of their ultimate demise is a mystery, but I think we can guess who the culprit was.


pages: 326 words: 97,089

Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search for Life Among the Stars by Lee Billings

addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, California gold rush, Colonization of Mars, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, Dava Sobel, double helix, Edmond Halley, full employment, hydraulic fracturing, index card, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Kuiper Belt, low earth orbit, Magellanic Cloud, music of the spheres, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, planetary scale, profit motive, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Solar eclipse in 1919, technological singularity, the scientific method, transcontinental railway

Imagine, as the writer Bill Bryson has, stepping into a time machine to venture back to the Phanerozoic dawn at a rate of 1 year per second. After ninety minutes, you would find yourself in the Bronze Age, around the time of the construction of Stonehenge, the domestication of the horse, and the founding of Abrahamic religions. A day later, you would be in the middle of the Stone Age, just as small bands of foraging humans began to migrate out of Africa. To reach the beginning of the Cambrian, the base of the Phanerozoic, would take you about 17 years. Now remember that almost a decade of earlier Precambrian time underlies each and every passing Phanerozoic year—departing from the far-distant Cambrian, your year-per-second time machine would take another 125 years to transport you to our planet’s first moments. Or try mapping the Earth’s 4.5 billion years onto a calendar year.

An observer somewhere among the trillion stars of Andromeda, our nearest neighboring spiral, would today see the Earth of 2.5 million years ago, when the forerunners of Homo sapiens were perfecting the production of crude stone tools in sub-Saharan Africa. Seen from the Large Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf galaxy swooping near the Milky Way, our world would be locked in the glacial advance of 160,000 B.C., with our ancestors poised to migrate out of Africa as the ice sheets retreated. Within our own galaxy, the echoes are closer to home. Among the open clusters and blue hypergiant stars of the Carina Nebula, somewhere between 6,500 and 10,000 light-years away, the Earth appears as it was during the rise of agriculture and the Bronze Age civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Indus Valley. Light from the Earth of Thales, Democritus, and other ancient Greeks now washes over the blazing newborn stars and shimmering molecular clouds of the Christmas Tree Cluster, just over 2,500 light-years distant.


The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa by Calestous Juma

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, business climate, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, conceptual framework, creative destruction, double helix, energy security, energy transition, global value chain, income per capita, industrial cluster, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, land tenure, M-Pesa, microcredit, mobile money, non-tariff barriers, off grid, out of africa, precision agriculture, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, structural adjustment programs, supply-chain management, total factor productivity, undersea cable

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and African Union, Economic Report on Africa 2009: Developing African Agriculture Through Regional Value Chains (Addis Ababa: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and African Union, 2009), 123, 125. 272 Notes 44. United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and African Union, Economic Report on Africa 2009: Developing African Agriculture Through Regional Value Chains (Addis Ababa: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and African Union, 2009), 125–126. 45. R. Paarlberg, Starved for Science: How Biotechnology Is Being Kept Out of Africa (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008), 81. 46. United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and African Union, Economic Report on Africa 2009: Developing African Agriculture Through Regional Value Chains (Addis Ababa: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and African Union, 2009), 126. 47. United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and African Union, Economic Report on Africa 2009: Developing African Agriculture Through Regional Value Chains (Addis Ababa: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and African Union, 2009), 126–127. 48.

Most of the studies on the risks of agricultural biotechnology tend to focus on unintended negative impacts. But evidence of unintended benefits is emerging. See, for example, W. D. Hutchison et al., “Areawide Suppression of European Corn Borer with Bt Maize Reaps Savings to Non-Bt Maize Growers,” Science 330, no. 6001 (2010): 222–225. 41. R. Paarlberg, Starved for Science: How Biotechnology Is Being Kept Out of Africa (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008), 2. 42. J. O. Adeoti and A. A. Adekunle, “Awareness of and Attitudes Towards Biotechnology and GMOs in Southwest Nigeria: A Survey of People with Access to Information,” International Journal of Biotechnology 9, no. 2 (2007): 209–230. 43. E. J. Morris, “The Cartagena Protocol: Implications for Regional Trade and Technology Development in Africa,” Development Policy Review 26, no. 1 (2008): 29–57.


pages: 299 words: 19,560

Utopias: A Brief History From Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities by Howard P. Segal

1960s counterculture, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, complexity theory, David Brooks, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, deskilling, energy security, European colonialism, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of journalism, G4S, garden city movement, germ theory of disease, Golden Gate Park, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, liberation theology, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, Nikolai Kondratiev, out of africa, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, union organizing, urban planning, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog

A notable exception was Japan, which, having escaped colonization and having become a world power early in the twentieth century, never relinquished its old attitudes about racial supremacy and homogeneity.78 Interestingly, in recent years there have been controversies about the alleged African origins of Western (especially Greek) science and technology and condemnations of the supposed Western theft of these intellectual and material treasures (despite that post-World War I skepticism about modern developments). But 170 Utopia Reconsidered such attempted revisionism had been decisively refuted, especially in Mary Lefkowitz’s superb Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Became an Excuse to Teach Myth as History (1996). Meanwhile, in a throwback to that skepticism about Western science, South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki (born in 1942), the successor to Nelson Mandela and the nation’s second black president, set back his country’s response to its widespread AIDS epidemic during his administration. Mbeki repeatedly questioned what was the scientific consensus on the causes and treatment of AIDS, condemning these as remnants of Western colonial oppression, and simultaneously insisted on the use instead of traditional African medical remedies.

Bradley 92 Lane, Robert 106–107, 108, 109, 114, 117–118, 119, 122 Laos 104 Lartigue, Jacques-Henri 165 Las Vegas 36 Lasser, David 9 Last Hero, The: A Life of Henry Aaron (Bryant) 191 Latin America 102 and European ideas 21–22 indigenous cultures and movements 21, 23 liberation theology and communities 52 Spanish conquest 21 utopias in 21–23 Lawrence, Francis 212 Lea, Homer 98 278 Index League of Nations 251 Lease, Mary 98 Lee, Ann 26 Lefkowitz, Mary 171 Left Hand of Darkness, The (LeGuin) 92 legitimation crisis in US science and technology 122 LeGuin, Ursula 92 LeMay, General Curtis 105 Lemontey, Pierre Edouard 60 Lenin, Vladimir 104 Lessing, Doris 9 Levitas, Ruth 7 Levittown, Long Island 244 Ley, Willy 9 library usage 218 Life in a Technocracy: What It Might Be Like in 1933 (Loeb) 89, 106, 239, 240 limits to growth 234, 237 Literary Digest 97 “literary intellectuals” 114 “living the dream” 254 Loeb, Harold Albert 89, 90, 95, 96, 239 and politics 109 Loewy, Raymond 34 London, Jack 98 Longxi, Zhang 18 Looking Backward: 2000–1887 (Bellamy) 10, 13, 24, 27, 31–32, 34, 90, 194 attitudes toward 59–60, 254 Lost Horizon 13 Lucas, George 204 Luddites 240, 241 Maastricht Treaty 252 Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America, The (Leo Marx) 84 Machines as the Measure of Men: Science, Technology, and Ideologies of Western Dominance (Adas) 169 Macnie, John 82, 87 Maine and nuclear power 142–157 Maine Yankee Atomic Power Company 142–143, 145, 146–148, 149, 151 as “cargo cult” 147 closure of 148 opposition to 156–157 referenda on 147, 155 utopian and dystopian aspects 156 views of 156–157 Malthus, Thomas 63 Mandela, Nelson 171 Manhattan Project 156 “Manifest Destiny,” American 11 Manuel, Frank and Fritzie 16 Manuel, Frank 6 Mao Tse-Tung 18, 243 utopian vision 19 Mao’s Great Famine (Dikotter) 19 Maraniss, David 191 marginalizing utopias 29, 245 Marx, Karl 32, 53, 60, 66–67, 105, 250–251 Marxism 22 Marx, Leo 84, 85 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 52 Massey, Ranymond 240, 241 Mauchly, John 160 Mayer, Anna-K. 98, 114 Mbeki, Thabo, President of South Africa 171 McDonald, Michael J. 111 McIntyre, Vonda N. 9 McKinley, President William 94 McNamara, Robert 104–105, 106, 112, 113, 166 “McNamara Line” 105 Medieval Machine, The: The Industrial Revolution of the Middle Ages (Gimpel) 236 “megachurches” 11 megaprojects: and climate change 187–188 retreat from 139ff, 157 skepticism toward 141–142 taxpayer support for 122, 150 Megatrends and Megatrends 2000 (Naisbitt and Aburdene) 168 Men Like Gods (Wells) 251 mercantilism 77 Metamorphosis (Ovid) 47 Mexico 23 mice, as subjects of research 125 Micklethwait, John 11 Microsoft 158, 192 “middle landscape” 85 military technology 238 millenarian movements 8 God and millenarianism 8, 10 Christians and millenarianism 8, 10 Judaism and millenarianism 8, 10 Mormonism 10 and Pansophism 54–55 and utopia 55 Miller, Lisa 12 Mitchell, General Billy 142 Mizora: A Prophecy (Lane) 92 Model T car 165 Modern Times in Maine and America, 1890–1930 191 “Modernization” theory 102ff, 114 over-reliance on technology 105 Index 279 Mojave Desert, California 151 monkeys, genetically modified 125 Montgomery, David 212 Montreal Expo 1967 246 Moon and the Ghetto: An Essay on Public Policy Analysis, The (Nelson) 117 Moon landing 139, 140, 141, 190, 200 moon landing fraud claims 141 More, Thomas 23, 42, 58, 247 coining of term utopia 5 and history 164 and utopias 251 utopia described 48–50 see also Utopia Morison, George Shattuck 89–90 Mormonism 10 Morozov, Evgeny 189 Morris, William 17, 32, 58–59, 60, 237, 254 see also News from Nowhere Mosquito Coast, The 202 Mumford, Lewis 1, 106, 245, 246 music, digitization of 221 Mussolini, Benito 98 MySpace 205 Naisbitt, John 161, 162, 168, 186 Nantucket Sound 150 NASA 7, 140 National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) 213–214 National Park Service 238–239 National Science Foundation (NSF) 99, 100, 115 Native Americans 81 natural user interface 220 Nazi Germany 104, 244 Nazism and utopia 188 280 Index Negroponte, Nicholas 161–162, 163, 186 Nehru, Jawaharlal 172 Nelson, Richard 117 Neo-Confucian thought 19–20 Net Delusion, The: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom (Morozov) 189 Neumann, Franz 109 Neumann, John Von 160 New Atlantis, The (Bacon) 53, 251 Condorcet on 56 New Christianity, The (Le Nouveau Christianisme) (SaintSimon) 57 New Deal 106, 159 New England 3, 24, 27, 147, 150, 156, 249 New Harmony, Indiana. settlement at 60 New Lanark Mills, Scotland 60, 62, 64 New View of Society A (Owen) 62 New World and Old World compared 24, 244 New World Order 242 New World, The; Or, Mechanical System to Perform the Labours of Man and Beast by Inanimate Powers, that Cost Nothing (Etzler) 78 New York City’s New School for Social Research 97 New York Public Library 242, 245, 254 New York World’s Fair World of Tomorrow 1939–1940 164, 240 News from Nowhere (Morris) 17, 32, 59–60, 237 newspapers and digital media 218, 221–222 Newton Message Pad 219 Newton, Isaac 55, 219 Nexi the robot 126 Nixon, President Richard 108, 155 Noble, David F 187, 190, 207, 216 non-utopian reform 244 North Americans, early European perceptions of 244 North Vietnam 105–106 Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Became an Excuse to Teach Myth as History (Lefkowitz) 171 Noyce, Robert 158 Noyes, John Humphrey 10, 27, 28 nuclear industry: France 152 Germany 152 Japan 152 US 142–156 nuclear power 142–157 being “too cheap to meter” 156 changing attitudes toward 146–147 experts and 155–156 leakage of tritium 153 and power station decommissioning 148, 149–150 possibility of disaster 154–155 nuclear weaponry 187 Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) 148, 149, 153, 154 Nutty Professor, The 201 Nye, David 81, 168, 169, 190, 237 Nyhan, David 148–149 O’Neil, Gerard 9 Obama, President Barack 140, 151 Office of Science and Technology Policy 108 Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) 117–119, 121 One Laptop per Child 161 Oneida community 10, 24, 27–28 daughter communities 28 open marriage in 27, 199 Oneida Limited 28 “Oneida Perfectionists” 28 ordinary readers and utopian writings 11, 139, 254 Organization Man, The (Whyte) 114–115 original sin 8 Orwell, George 14, 124, 166 Other America, The (Harrington) 101 Ovid 47 Owen, Robert 53, 60–64, 66, 67 and drawbacks of industrialization 62 influence on Japan 196 utopian plans 62–63 see also New Harmony, Indiana, New Lanark Mills ozone layer, monitoring of 121 pacifism 26 Packard, David 158 Page, Larry 158 Palestine 25, 35 Pansophists 48, 52, 53–55 Paradise Within the Reach of All Men, Without Labor, By Powers of Nature and Machinery, The (Etzler) 79 parents, children, and technology 239 Paris exposition 1937 35, 251–252 Paris Peace Conference 1919 251 Paris World’s Fair 1900 251, 253 Pasteur, Louis 120–121 Index 281 Pasteur’s Quadrant: Basic Science and Technological Innovation (Stokes) 120 patriot missiles 238 Peale, Norman Vincent 168, 208 Pelle, Kimberly 36 Pentagon 109 People of Plenty: Economic Abundance and the American Character (Potter) 101 Performance Measurement for World Class Manufacturing 212 Perrin, Noel 234, 235 Perry, Commodore Matthew 20 Persian Gulf War 1991 238 Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life 11–12 Pew Research Center for the People 116 phalansteries 29, 64–65 Physics of Star Trek, The (Krauss) 202 Picasso, Pablo 35, 252 Piercy, Marge 92 Pilgrims, US 24 Pindar 47 Plato 13, 47, 48, 50, 123 podcast 218–219 Point East Maritime Village, Wiscasset 150 Pol Pot 243 “Politics of Consensus in an Age of Affluence, The” 106 politics, affluence, and knowledge 106–107 significance of political power 109 Positivism 58 Post Shredded Wheat 191 post-9/11 period 142 “post-colonial” critique of Western imperialism 169–173 post-Millennialists 8, 27 282 Index post-modern skepticism and relativism 160 Postrel, Virginia 161, 164, 186 post-World War II period, beliefs, and projects 160 Potter, David 101, 102 poverty and progress 82 Prague Spring 1968 268 Prakash, Gyan 171, 172 Preface to Democratic Theory, A (Dahl) 106 pre-Millennialists 8 Press and the American Association 116 primitivism 92 Productivity for the Academic World 212 Productivity Press 212 professional forecasting 160–169 failures of 160–161 Progress and Poverty (George) 82 proletariat 66 public faith in government and scientific-technological advance 113 Puffer, Erma 145 Puritans, US 24 “Quick Technological Fixes” 107–108, 117 Quindlen, Anna 221 racism 9, 169, 172 radiation, issues with 144–145, 155 Ramo, Simon 110–111, 112, 113, 122, 160 utopian vision of 110, 166 rationalism 55 Reactionary Modernism (Herf) 104 Read and Go 220 Reader Pocket Edition and Reader Touch Edition 220 Reagan, President Ronald 8, 108, 115, 140, 142, 248 real world and the internet 194–195 Recent Social Trends in the United States (Hoover) 102 recovery narrative 81, 237 Reevely, David 221–222 Religion of Technology, The: The Divinity of Man and the Spirit of Invention (Noble) 187 religion 169 attitudes toward belief 56 declining beliefs 11–12 freedom of religion 168 religious beliefs and utopianism 9–12, 24, 29–30, 31, 90, 96, 239 in US 25, 26, 103 Western 172 Report to the County of Lanark (Owen) 62, 63 Republic (Plato) 13, 47, 48, 50, 123 Rescher, Nicholas 239–240 Research Applied to National Needs” 115 “Returning to Our Roots” 215, 216 Revenge of the Nerds 201 revolution of rising expectations 50 Ricardson, Ralph 240 Rittel, Horst 112 Road Ahead, The (Gates) 163 Robinson, Kim Stanley 9 robotics, development of 126–127 Roddenberry, Gene 200, 201, 202 Rodriquez, Simon 22 Roebling, John 79 Roemer, Kenneth 254 Rogers, Deborah 193 Rome 1960: The Olympics that Changed the World (Maraniss) 191 Roosevelt, President Franklin 102, 159 Rosas, Juan Manuel de 22 Rostow, Walt 104, 105 Roszak, Theodore 111, 112 Rural Electrification Administration 94 Ruskin, John 58, 59, 60 Russ, Joanna 92 Rydell, Robert 36, 37 94, Saddam Hussein 11 Saint-Simon, Henri de 22, 52, 56–58, 65, 66 Sale, Kirkpatrick 117 “salvation by technology” 248 Samurai “technology assessment” 235 Sargent, Lyman Tower 16, 253 Satellite (machine developed by Etzler) 79–80, 81 Saunders, Doug 105 Schindler, Solomon 10 Schuller, Robert 168 Science Advisory Committee 106 science and technology 57 science fiction 8–9, 199–203, and utopias 201 Science in the National Interest 119–122 Science Wars” 159 “science-driven globalization” 8 Science – The Endless Frontier (V.


pages: 482 words: 106,041

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

British Empire, carbon-based life, conceptual framework, coronavirus, invention of radio, nuclear winter, optical character recognition, out of africa, Ray Kurzweil, the High Line, trade route, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche

Somewhere along the way, as Australopithecus was begetting Homo, we learned not only to follow the fires that opened up savannas that we’d learned to inhabit, but how to make them ourselves. For some 3 million years more, we were too few to create more than local patchworks of grassland and forests whenever distant ice ages weren’t doing it for us. Yet in that time, long before Pan prior s most recent descendant, surnamed sapiens, appeared, we must have become numerous enough to again try being pioneers. Were the hominids who wandered out of Africa again intrepid risk-takers, their imaginations picturing even more bounty beyond the savanna’s horizon? Or were they losers, temporarily out-competed by tribes of stronger blood cousins for the right to stay in our cradle? Or were they simply going forth and multiplying, like any beast presented with rich resources, such as grasslands stretching all the way to Asia? As Darwin came to appreciate, it didn’t matter: when isolated groups from the same species proceed in their separate ways, the most successful among them learn to flourish in new surroundings.

When vandals set it on fire 10 years later, the fossil dung heap was so enormous that it burned for months. Martin mourned, but by then he had been setting blazes of his own in the paleontology world with his theory of what had wiped out millions of ground sloths, wild pigs, camels, Proboscidea, multiple species of horses—at least 70 entire genera of large mammals throughout the New World, all vanished in a geologic twinkling of about 1,000 years: “It’s pretty simple. When people got out of Africa and Asia and reached other parts of the world, all hell broke loose.” Martin’s theory, soon dubbed the Blitzkrieg by its supporters and detractors alike, contended that, starting with Australia about 48,000 years ago, as humans arrived on each new continent they encountered animals that had no reason to suspect that this runty biped was particularly threatening. Too late, they learned otherwise.


pages: 422 words: 113,525

Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto by Stewart Brand

agricultural Revolution, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, back-to-the-land, biofilm, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dark matter, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Elon Musk, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, glass ceiling, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, land tenure, lateral thinking, low earth orbit, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, microbiome, New Urbanism, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, out of africa, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Calthorpe, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, stem cell, Stewart Brand, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Thomas Malthus, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, wealth creators, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, William Langewiesche, working-age population, Y2K

In 2000, GE soybeans were legal in Argentina but outlawed in Brazil. The difference in productivity was so obvious that Brazilian farmers smuggled the seeds across the border, until their government relented and legalized GE agriculture. • Why do environmentalists want to deny the advantages of GE crops to farmers in the developing world, who need it most? Robert Paarlberg, author of Starved for Science: How Biotechnology Is Being Kept Out of Africa (2008), theorizes that rich countries have the luxury of debating the nuances of economics and perceived risk around GE crops, whereas poor countries don’t:The technology is directly beneficial to only a tiny number of citizens in rich countries—soybean farmers, corn farmers, a few seed companies, patent holders. Consumers don’t get a direct benefit at all, so it doesn’t cost them anything to drive it off the market with regulations.

Organic farming marries genetic engineering and lives happily ever after. The book has a real-life texture missing in most works about GE or organic. The Doubly Green Revolution: Food for All in the Twenty-first Century (1999), Gordon Conway. Experience tells. Conway has seen it all and knows exactly how GE fits into simultaneously feeding the world and protecting the environment. Starved for Science: How Biotechnology Is Being Kept Out of Africa (2008), Robert Paarlberg. Anatomy of an ongoing Green-sponsored atrocity in Africa. Mendel in the Kitchen: A Scientist’s View of Genetically Modified Foods (2006), Nina Fedoroff. Geneticist Federoff gives a much fuller background for how GE works with food crops than I could. CropBiotech Update (online). The successes of GE throughout the world, along with entanglements it meets, are chronicled on a daily basis here.


pages: 501 words: 114,888

The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, digital twin, disruptive innovation, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, experimental economics, food miles, game design, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hive mind, housing crisis, Hyperloop, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, loss aversion, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mary Lou Jepsen, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mobile money, multiplanetary species, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, QR code, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize

In fact, many of the most powerful technologies we’ll have at our disposal—artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, biotechnology—are only starting to come online. So yes, the threats we face might seem dire, but the solutions we already possess will only continue to increase in power. CHAPTER FOURTEEN The Five Great Migrations Our species is a migratory one. Over the past seventy thousand years, we wandered out of Africa and kept on wandering. We climbed mountains, forged forests, swam rivers, crossed continents, sailed oceans, and, eventually, managed to work our way into every corner of the Earth. It was an exodus-driven influx of innovation. While we left the old and sought the new, we brought our ideas, technologies, and cultures along for the ride. And this process is not just how the Harlem Shake got to Hong Kong, it’s how we—all of us—got to now.

—swimming becomes the fastest way to get from point A to point B. Entire island nations vanish forever. In America, twenty million people end up underwater. In Washington, DC, sea levels reach the Pentagon. And if you thought real estate in New York was expensive today, just wait until everything south of Wall Street disappears. Beyond the deluge, global warming also puts the ancient nemesis of drought on the horizon. Drought drove us out of Africa some seventy thousand years ago, and is still driving us today. Syria has the highest number of refugees in the world, and it’s partially because of drought. In Europe, even if we halt warming at two degrees, the Mediterranean will continue to dry, with Italy, Spain, and Greece being especially hard hit. “In other words,” as journalist Ellie Mae O’Hagan wrote in the Guardian, “the Mediterranean countries currently trying to cope with migrants from other parts of the world may eventually have a migrant crisis of their own.


The Atlas of Disease by Sandra Hempel

clean water, coronavirus, global pandemic, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, out of africa, trade route, wikimedia commons

In two incidents, no humans, only monkeys, were involved, and in the others, laboratory workers had antibodies to the virus but no symptoms of the disease. Infographics from the CDC, highlighting how to stop ebola outbreaks. Clarifying how the virus is transmitted. Then in March 2014, everything changed. Ebola struck in West Africa, where it had previously been unknown, first in Guinea and then in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Over the next two years, it proceeded to go global, spreading to Mali, Nigeria and Senegal, and then out of Africa to Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, where it affected people other than laboratory workers. In the summer of 2014, panic seized the developed world, with ebola dominating the news agenda for months and being compared with the great plagues of the Middle Ages. From 2014 to 2016, 28,616 people across the world contracted the disease and 11,310 of them died but – despite the terror and the headlines in the Western world – the vast majority of cases were in West Africa, where the long-term effects on the affected societies have been devastating.


pages: 403 words: 125,659

It's Our Turn to Eat by Michela Wrong

Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, Doha Development Round, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, Kibera, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, oil shock, out of africa, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, structural adjustment programs, upwardly mobile, young professional, zero-sum game, éminence grise

This pre-eminence can in part be traced to Britain's colonial role and the astonishingly resilient memory of ‘a sunny land for shady people’, where English aristocrats swapped wives and downed gin-and-tonics while snorting quantities of recreational drugs. Long before Barack Obama's ancestry came to intrigue the Western public, a pith-helmeted fantasy woven from Ernest Hemingway's tales and Martha Gellhorn's writings, the escapades of the Delamere family, stories of the man-eating lions of Tsavo, Karen Blixen's Out of Africa and the White Mischief cliché – all references irrelevant to ordinary Kenyans but stubbornly sustained by the tourism industry – guaranteed the country a level of brand recognition other African states could only dream about. But there are less romantic reasons for Kenya's disproportionately high profile. The most advanced economy in the region – thanks in part to the network of roads, cities, railroads and ports left by the British – Kenya has held linchpin status ever since independence by mere dint of what it is not.

Kenyans might be killing each other, slum-dwellers occupying one another's shacks and entire neighbourhoods upping sticks on purely tribal lines, but the local media still coyly refused to tell their audience who was doing what to whom. No one, in any case, was listening to the press. Having refused to surrender State House, Kibaki was bent on entrenching his position. Much of the eventual 1,500 death toll could be laid at the door of the government, which announced an unnecessary ban on public demonstrations and then ordered the mainly Kikuyu GSU, issued with live ammunition, to ruthlessly enforce it. Taking the wind out of Africa Union mediation efforts, Kibaki named a partial cabinet whose members, among them Kiraitu Murungi, George Saitoti, John Michuki, Amos Kimunya and Martha Karua, included not only a host of Mount Kenya Mafia hardliners, but any survivors of the Anglo Leasing and Goldenberg scandals who had managed to hold on to their parliamentary seats. Having tumbled into the ditch, the drunk had hauled himself to his feet and headed straight back to the bar to order another beer.


The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art by David Lewis-Williams

Alfred Russel Wallace, centre right, conceptual framework, Isaac Newton, Menlo Park, out of africa, social intelligence, theory of mind

Because our principal interest lies elsewhere, I summarize this evidence and avoid the detail of human fossil types, dates and dating techniques, site names, differences between what is known in Africa as the Middle Stone Age and the European Middle Palaeolithic, stone artefact typologies, demographic patterning within Africa, highly specific internal debates, and much else – fascinating and important though all these issues are.70 Although there is still some residual opposition, as well as a good deal of refining that needs to be done, researchers today generally accept the ‘Out of Africa’ hypothesis. They believe that the fossil evidence shows conclusively that the precursors of anatomically modern human populations evolved in Africa and left the continent in two waves. This hypothesis explains why western Europe was occupied by anatomically archaic Neanderthals for thousands of years before the Homo sapiens communities made their way west from the Middle East and through eastern Europe.

It seems likely that fully modern language and higher-order consciousness were, as Edelman argues, linked: it is impossible to have one without the other. This is a point that some researchers into the origins of language do not appreciate. When we speak of the acquisition of fully modern language, we are in effect also speaking of the evolution of higher-order consciousness. In sum, in western Europe at the time of the Transition, the Neanderthals, descendants of the first out-of-Africa emigration, had a form of primary consciousness and the Homo sapiens communities had higher-order consciousness. This hypothesis clarifies a number of puzzling issues. First, it explains why the Neanderthals were able to borrow certain things from their new neighbours but not others. Because their consciousness and form of language were essentially confined to ‘the remembered present’, Neanderthals could learn how to make fine blades but they could not conceive of a spirit world to which people went after death.


Moon Rush: The New Space Race by Leonard David

agricultural Revolution, Colonization of Mars, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, Jeff Bezos, life extension, low earth orbit, multiplanetary species, out of africa, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, telepresence, telerobotics

In this migration of the human species into space, it should be remembered that throughout history, plans that designate common access to natural resources have a notorious record of failure and ultimately do not result in full productivity. Systems that recognize private property have provided far more benefit to the world than those that attempt to provide common ownership. Whenever and however a return to the Moon occurs, one thing is assured. That return will be historically comparable to the movement of our species out of Africa about 150,000 years ago. If led by an entity representing the democracies of the Earth, our return to the Moon will rejuvenate the foundations of self-government that continue to enhance human well-being. APPENDIX Lunar Exploration Time Line Adapted from NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive (NSSDCA), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland. 1959 USSR Luna 1 - Jan 2, 1959 - Flyby USA Pioneer 4 - Mar 3, 1959 - Flyby USSR Luna 2 - Sep 12, 1959 - Impact USSR Luna 3 - Oct 4, 1959 - Probe 1961 USA Ranger 1 - Aug 23, 1961 - Attempted Test Flight USA Ranger 2 - Nov 18, 1961 - Attempted Test Flight 1962 USA Ranger 3 - Jan 26, 1962 - Attempted Impact USA Ranger 4 - Apr 23, 1962 - Impact USA Ranger 5 - Oct 18, 1962 - Attempted Impact 1963 USSR Luna 4 - Apr 2, 1963 - Flyby 1964 USA Ranger 6 - Jan 30, 1964 - Impact USA Ranger 7 - Jul 28, 1964 - Impact 1965 USA Ranger 8 - Feb 17, 1965 - Impact USA Ranger 9 - Mar 21, 1965 - Impact USSR Luna 5 - May 9, 1965 - Impact USSR Luna 6 - Jun 8, 1965 - Attempted Lander USSR Zond 3 - Jul 18, 1965 - Flyby USSR Luna 7 - Oct 4, 1965 - Impact USSR Luna 8 - Dec 3, 1965—Impact 1966 USSR Luna 9 - Jan 31, 1966 - Lander USSR Luna 10 - Mar 31, 1966 - Orbiter USA Surveyor 1 - May 30, 1966 - Lander USA Lunar Orbiter 1 - Aug 10, 1966 - Orbiter USSR Luna 11 - Aug 24, 1966 - Orbiter USA Surveyor 2 - Sep 20, 1966 - Attempted Lander USSR Luna 12 - Oct 22, 1966 - Orbiter USA Lunar Orbiter 2 - Nov 6, 1966 - Orbiter USSR Luna 13 - Dec 21, 1966 - Lander 1967 USA Lunar Orbiter 3 - Feb 4, 1967 - Orbiter USA Surveyor 3 - Apr 17, 1967 - Lander USA Lunar Orbiter 4 - May 8, 1967 - Orbiter USA Surveyor 4 - Jul 14, 1967 - Attempted Lander USA Explorer 35 (IMP-E) - Jul 19, 1967 - Orbiter USA Lunar Orbiter 5 - Aug 1, 1967 - Orbiter USA Surveyor 5 - Sep 8, 1967 - Lander USA Surveyor 6 - Nov 7, 1967 - Lander 1968 USA Surveyor 7 - Jan 7, 1968 - Lander USSR Luna 14 - Apr 7, 1968 - Orbiter USSR Zond 5 - Sep 15, 1968 - Return Probe USSR Zond 6 - Nov 10, 1968 - Return Probe USA Apollo 8 - Dec 21, 1968 - Crewed Orbiter 1969 USA Apollo 10 - May 18, 1969 - Orbiter USSR Luna 15 - Jul 13, 1969 - Orbiter USA Apollo 11 - Jul 16, 1969—First Crewed Landing USSR Zond 7 - Aug 7, 1969 - Return Probe USA Apollo 12 - Nov 14, 1969 - Crewed Landing 1970 USA Apollo 13 - Apr 11, 1970 - Crewed Landing (aborted) USSR Luna 16 - Sep 12, 1970 - Sample Return USSR Zond 8 - Oct 20, 1970 - Return Probe USSR Luna 17 - Nov 10, 1970 - Rover 1971 USA Apollo 14 - Jan 31, 1971 - Crewed Landing USA Apollo 15 - Jul 26, 1971 - Crewed Landing USSR Luna 18 - Sep 2, 1971 - Impact USSR Luna 19 - Sep 28, 1971 - Orbiter 1972 USSR Luna 20 - Feb 14, 1972 - Sample Return USA Apollo 16 - Apr 16, 1972 - Crewed Landing USA Apollo 17 - Dec 7, 1972—Last Crewed Landing 1973 USSR Luna 21 - Jan 8, 1973 - Rover USA Explorer 49 (RAE-B) - Jun 10, 1973 - Orbiter 1974 USSR Luna 22 - Jun 2, 1974 - Orbiter USSR Luna 23 - Oct 28, 1974 - Lander 1976 USSR Luna 24 - Aug 14, 1976 - Sample Return 1990 JAPAN Hiten - Jan 24, 1990 - Flyby and Orbiter 1994 USA Clementine - Jan 25, 1994 - Orbiter 1997 PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA/USA AsiaSat 3/HGS-1 -Dec 24, 1997 - Lunar Flyby 1998 USA Lunar Prospector - Jan 6, 1998 - Orbiter 2003 EUROPE SMART 1 - Sep 27, 2003 - Lunar Orbiter 2007 JAPAN Kaguya (SELENE) - Sep 14, 2007 -Lunar Orbiter CHINA Chang’e 1 - Oct 24, 2007 - Lunar Orbiter 2008 INDIA Chandrayaan-1 - Oct 22, 2008 - Lunar Orbiter 2009 USA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter - Jun 18, 2009 - Lunar Orbiter USA LCROSS - Jun 18, 2009 - Lunar Impactor 2010 CHINA Chang’e 2 - Oct 1, 2010 - Lunar Orbiter 2011 USA Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) -Sep 10, 2011 - Lunar Orbiter 2013 USA Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) - Sep 6, 2013 - Lunar Orbiter CHINA Chang’e 3 - Dec 1, 2013 - Lunar Lander and Rover 2014 CHINA Chang’e 5 Test Vehicle - Oct 23, 2014 -Lunar Flyby and Return 2018 CHINA Queqiao - May 20, 2018 - Lunar Relay Satellite CHINA Chang’e 4 - Dec 7, 2018 - Lunar Far Side Lander 2019 on SOUTH KOREA Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter CHINA Chang’e 5 Lunar Sample Return Mission INDIA Chandrayaan-2 Moon Orbiter, Lander, and Rover INDIA TeamIndus Lunar Lander (Private Mission) ISRAEL SpaceIL Lunar Lander (Private Mission) USA Astrobotic Peregrine Lunar Lander (Private Mission) USA Moon Express (Private Mission) RUSSIA Lunar 25 (Lander); Luna 26 (Orbiter); Luna 27 (Lander); Luna 28 (Lander/Sample Return); Luna 29 (Lander/Rover) JAPAN Small Moon Landing Demonstration Machine ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Special thanks to David Kring, Lunar and Planetary Institute; James Head, Brown University; Ian Crawford, Birkbeck College London; Bernard Foing, European Space Agency; Angel Abbud-Madrid, Center for Space Resources at the Colorado School of Mines; Mark Robinson, Arizona State University; William Hartmann, Planetary Science Institute; Clive Neal, University of Notre Dame; and the solid footing of Apollo moonwalkers Buzz Aldrin and Harrison Schmitt for their assistance in writing this book.


pages: 149 words: 48,700

The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy

Cape to Cairo, East Village, indoor plumbing, Nelson Mandela, out of africa

— BUT AS I PACKED my suitcase at the Cape Heritage, it occurred to me that I should take this chance to see some of Africa’s wildlife. Who knew when—or if—I’d ever be back in this part of the world? I did not, after all, have children. I was free to experience just a little more. I decided I would spend a weekend in the Kruger National Park. I was eager to see the copper herds of impala, the leopards winding themselves in the trees. I imagined my fellow tourists would be like Robert Redford and Meryl Streep in Out of Africa—daring loners. Instead, they were suburban couples from England and Australia on romantic vacations. At mealtimes, I wrote in my journal or read Disgrace, while the husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, sat at their tables laughing and drinking wine. Every evening, the staff placed rose petals in the shape of a heart on all the beds and I brushed them off into the trash. I was very lonesome in the dark.


pages: 1,072 words: 237,186

How to Survive a Pandemic by Michael Greger, M.D., FACLM

coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, double helix, friendly fire, global pandemic, global supply chain, global village, inventory management, Kickstarter, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, phenotype, profit motive, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, statistical model, stem cell, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, Westphalian system, Y2K, Yogi Berra

At whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/2004/WHO_CDS_CPE_ZFK_2004.9.pdf. 866. Morse SS. 1997. The public health threat of emerging viral disease. Journal of Nutrition 127:951S-56S. 867. Voigt K. 2005. What ails Asia. Wall Street Journal, April 22. 868. Beran GW, Steele JH. 1994. Handbook of Zoonoses (London, UK: CRC Press). 869. Calvert S, Kohn D. 2005. Out of Africa: a baffling variety of diseases. Baltimore Sun, May 15, p. 4A. 870. Calvert S, Kohn D. 2005. Out of Africa: a baffling variety of diseases. Baltimore Sun, May 15, p. 4A. 871. Benenson AS (ed.), 1990. Control of Communicable Diseases in Man, 15th Edition (Washington, DC: American Public Health Association). 872. Torrey EF, Yolken RH. 2005. Beasts of the Earth: Animals, Humans, and Disease (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press). 873.

New Scientist, August. www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6239. 953. Rose AL. 1996. The African great ape bushmeat crisis. Pan Africa News 3(2):1–6. 954. Rose, AL. 1998. Growing commerce in bushmeat destroys great apes and threatens humanity. African Primates 3:6–10. 955. Walsh PD, Abernethy KA, Bermejo M, et al. 2003. Catastrophic ape decline in western equatorial Africa. Nature 422:611–614. 956. Fox M. 2000. The killer out of Africa. Hobart Mercury (Australia), February 9. 957. Karpowicz P, Cohen CB, van der Kooy D. 2004. Is it ethical to transplant human stem cells into nonhuman embryos? Nature Medicine 10(4):331–5. 958. Gunter C, Dhand R. 2005. The chimpanzee genome. Nature 437(7055):47. 959. Lovgren S. 2005. Chimps, humans 96 percent the same, gene study finds. National Geographic News, August 31. news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/08/0831_050831_chimp_genes.html. 960.


pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, hedonic treadmill, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Yet even now there was no hint of what was to come, no clue that this was anything but another evolutionary avatar of a precariously successful predatory ape. The new African form, with its fancy tools, ochre paint and shell-bead ornaments, might have displaced its neighbours, but it would now settle down to enjoy its million years in the sun before gracefully giving way to something new. This time, however, some of the L3 people promptly spilled out of Africa and exploded into global dominion. The rest, as they say, is history. Starting to barter Anthropologists advance two theories to explain the appearance in Africa of these new technologies and people. The first is that it was driven by climate. The volatility of the African weather, sucking human beings into deserts in wet decades and pushing them out again in dry ones, would have placed a premium on adaptability, which in turn selected for new capabilities.

p. 51 ‘the erectus hominid species’. For simplicity, I am going to call all the species of hominid that lived between about 1.5 million and 300,000 years ago ‘erectus hominid’ after the longest-established and most comprehensive name used for hominids of this period. The current fashion is to include four species within this group: H. ergaster earliest in Africa, H. erectus a little later in Asia, H. heidelbergensis coming out of Africa later into Europe and its descendant, H. neanderthalensis. See Foley, R.A. and Lahr, M.M. 2003. On stony ground: Lithic technology, human evolution, and the emergence of culture. Evolutionary Anthropology 12:109–22. p. 51 ‘it was a natural expression of human development’. See Richerson, P. and Boyd, R. 2005. Not by Genes Alone. Chicago University Press: ‘Perhaps we need to entertain the hypothesis that Acheulean bifaces were innately constrained rather than wholly cultural and that their temporal stability stemmed from some component of genetically transmitted psychology.’


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

"Robert Solow", 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, disruptive innovation, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low earth orbit, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

Jackhammers pound away day and night to construct a giant granite addition to the mosque, as well as a multistory elevated walkway for the throngs of pilgrims walking in centripetal circles around the giant black Kaaba. The fastest-growing source of new visitors to Saudi is not surprisingly the continent with the most rapidly growing number of converts to Islam: Africa. Sixty thousand years ago, there were two main passages for man’s earliest migration out of Africa into Mesopotamia: the Sinai Peninsula and across the Red Sea over the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which like the Bering Strait was as much as a hundred meters lower before the current cycle of climate change. A decade or two from now, that crossing will be much easier again with the planned construction of an ambitious fifty-four-kilometer bridge connecting Djibouti to Yemen. This new Afro-Arabian linkage will feature a strikingly quantum phenomenon: twin cities on either side of the strait—both called Al-Noor, referring to the light of Allah’s guidance.

To my dismay, it turns out my genetic ancestry is a blur of 22 percent Mediterranean (Sampras’s family emigrated from Greece), 17 percent Southeast Asian, 10 percent northern European, and only about 50 percent Southwest Asian. And I thought I was just an un-exotic Punjabi. National Geographic’s data suggests that mankind’s ancestry is mixed in ways few anthropologists even realized. Since man wandered out of Africa over sixty thousand years ago—the first wave of globalization—large-scale genetic mixing has occurred at regular junctures. Native Americans, for example, are descended as much from European and Middle Eastern genes as from the Altai region of Siberia. Maps 35, 36, and 37, corresponding to this chapter, appear in the map insert. — OUR GLOBAL GENETIC DILUTION is not a new phenomenon but a continuous process—accelerating through global connectivity.


pages: 505 words: 147,916

Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made by Gaia Vince

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, bank run, car-free, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, energy security, failed state, Google Earth, Haber-Bosch Process, hive mind, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mars Rover, Masdar, megacity, mobile money, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Peter Thiel, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, supervolcano, sustainable-tourism

For thousands of years, humans shared the planet with Neanderthals and our other cousin species. A supervolcanic eruption at Toba in Indonesia 74,000 years ago nearly wiped us all out – the human population shrank to a few thousand. But, by 35,000 years ago, truly modern humans, indistinguishable from people alive today and littering caves and rocks with signs of their culture, had emerged and migrated out of Africa. Thus began the heroic ascent of man. In the Stone Age, our impact as a species on the planet was limited to some extinctions – particularly of large mammals – and some local landscape changes, such as the burning of forests. Technologies were primitive and minimal, and were fashioned entirely from renewable materials. Over the following centuries, our impact grew. Farming was invented around 10,000 years ago (about 300 generations ago; world population: 1 million), transforming some regional landscapes as human-bred plant varieties replaced wild flora.

It was on the African savannahs that human bipedalism emerged – our upright-walking species, with two hands free for all-important tool use and carrying capacity, owes its extraordinary success in part to changes evolved on the windswept grassy plains, millions of years ago. Humans began ‘managing’ savannahs tens of thousands of years ago, enlarging and creating new ones by regularly burning vegetation, and cutting trees. We learned to track and outrun faster and stronger animals; and, when climate change sent the ruminants on long migrations we followed them out of Africa and across the globe. Journeying after those beasts gave humans a source of food over long distances, allowing us to trade and explore new pastures. When the world became warmer at the end of the last ice age, it was the grasses growing on savannahs that inspired the first farmers to begin cultivating crops. Settlements grew up around their fields and human civilisation emerged. In the Anthropocene, few savannahs remain wild – the ones that do represent some of the last places on Earth of minimal human interference, where it is possible to imagine what a world without humans might look like.


pages: 1,132 words: 156,379

The Ape That Understood the Universe: How the Mind and Culture Evolve by Steve Stewart-Williams

Albert Einstein, battle of ideas, carbon-based life, David Attenborough, European colonialism, feminist movement, financial independence, gender pay gap, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, out of africa, Paul Graham, phenotype, post-industrial society, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, twin studies

Second, our species evolved from earlier human species, which had been hunting and gathering for millions of years before we appeared on the scene. Thus, hunting and gathering represents an extremely deep trend in our lineage. And third, after taking the hunter-gatherer baton from our premodern ancestors, humans continued to live as hunter-gatherers in Africa for most of the rest of our history. It’s only in the last 70,000 years or so that a handful of modern humans ventured out of Africa and began spreading around the globe. And it’s only in the last 10,000 years that some people gave up the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, and adopted agriculture instead. As evolutionary psychologists like to say, 10,000 years is a mere blink of an eye in evolutionary terms. Moreover, agriculture wasn’t common until at least 5,000 years ago, so that’s half a blink. We’ve done some evolving since then, but not a lot.

As Robert Wright observed in his book The Moral Animal, “We live in cities and suburbs and watch TV and drink beer, all the while being pushed and pulled by feelings designed to propagate our genes in a small hunter-gatherer population.” Or as S. Boyd Eaton put it, modern humans are “Stone Agers in the fast lane.”43 Critics of evolutionary psychology like to point out that human evolution didn’t just come to a standstill when agriculture took off or when humans migrated out of Africa. But no evolutionary psychologist is claiming (or should be claiming) that it did. Homo sapiens are not in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. (Google it if you’re interested; it’s an important concept in population genetics.) The claim is not that there’s been no evolutionary change since the dawn of agriculture or the African exodus. The claim is that there hasn’t been much time for such change. Most significantly, there hasn’t been enough time to evolve any complex new adaptations.


pages: 176 words: 55,819

The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha

Airbnb, Andy Kessler, Black Swan, business intelligence, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, David Brooks, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, follow your passion, future of work, game design, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joi Ito, late fees, lateral thinking, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, out of africa, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, Richard Bolles, risk tolerance, rolodex, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs

Mother Jones (November/December 2010), http://​motherjones.​com/​print/​79151 13. John Hagel III, John Seely Brown, Duleesha Kulasooriya, and Dan Elbert, “Measuring the Forces of Long-term Change: The 2010 Shift Index,” Deloitte Center for the Edge (2010), 2, http://​www.​deloitte.​com/​assets/​Dcom-​UnitedStates/​Local​%20Assets/​Documents/​TMT_​us_​tmt/​Shift​%20Index​%202010/​us_​tmt_​si_​shift​%20Index​2010_​110310.​pdf 14. Reed Hastings, as told to Amy Zipkin, “Out of Africa, Onto the Web,” New York Times, December 17, 2006, http://​www.​nytimes.​com/​2006/​12/​17/​jobs/​17boss.​html 15. Rick Newman, “How Netflix (and Blockbuster) Killed Blockbuster,” U.S. News & World Report, September 23, 2010, http://​money.​usnews.​com/​money/​blogs/​flowchart/​2010/​9/​23/​how-​netflix-​and-​blockbuster-​killed-​blockbuster.​html 16. Greg Sandoval, “Blockbuster Laughed at Netflix Partnership Offer,” CNET News, December 9, 2010, http://​news.​cnet.​com/​8301​–​31001_​3​–​20025235​–​261.​html 17.


pages: 219 words: 62,816

"They Take Our Jobs!": And 20 Other Myths About Immigration by Aviva Chomsky

affirmative action, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, call centre, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, European colonialism, full employment, guest worker program, illegal immigration, immigration reform, informal economy, invisible hand, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, mass immigration, mass incarceration, new economy, out of africa, postindustrial economy, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, thinkpad, trickle-down economics, union organizing, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce

In fact the current migration streams around the world are one contemporary expression of long-standing, and continuing, social and economic relationships created by colonialism. There are really two parts of the issue that we need to understand. First, we need to understand why the United States and other immigrant-receiving countries, like the European countries, are so wealthy. It is not just chance: it has much to do with the colonial world system that emerged after 1492, which drained resources out of Africa, Latin America, and Asia and into the United States and Europe. Given this background, it is little wonder that inhabitants of these former regions want some of the wealth that was created out of their resources and their labor—but that they’re denied access to in their homelands. Second, we need to look at the continuing relationships and ties that make immigration a possibility and a reality.


pages: 243 words: 61,237

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink

always be closing, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, business cycle, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, complexity theory, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disintermediation, future of work, George Akerlof, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, out of africa, Richard Thaler, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, Upton Sinclair, Wall-E, zero-sum game

And to understand the dynamics of that process and the purpose of the pitch itself, the place to begin is Hollywood. Lessons from Tinseltown At the epicenter of the entertainment business is the pitch. Television and movie executives take meetings with writers and other creative types, who pitch them ideas for the next blockbuster film or hit TV series. Motion pictures themselves offer a glimpse of these sessions. “It’s Out of Africa meets Pretty Woman,” promises an eager writer in the Hollywood satire The Player. “It’s like The Gods Must Be Crazy except the Coke bottle is an actress!” But what really goes on behind those studio walls is often a mystery, which is why two business school professors decided to helicopter behind the lines for a closer look. Kimberly Elsbach of the University of California, Davis, and Roderick Kramer of Stanford University spent five years in the thick of the Hollywood pitch process.


pages: 231 words: 72,656

A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage

Berlin Wall, British Empire, Colonization of Mars, Copley Medal, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Lao Tzu, multiplanetary species, out of africa, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade

They survive in our homes today as living reminders of bygone eras, fluid testaments to the forces that shaped the modern world. Uncover their origins, and you may never look at your favorite drink in quite the same way again. BEER in MESOPOTAMIA and EGYPT 1 A Stone-Age Brew Fermentation and civilization are inseparable. —John Ciardi, American poet (1916-86) A Pint of Prehistory THE HUMANS WHO migrated out of Africa starting around 50,000 years ago traveled in small nomadic bands, perhaps thirty strong, and lived in caves, huts, or skin tents. They hunted game, caught fish and shellfish, and gathered edible plants, moving from one temporary camp to another to exploit seasonal food supplies. Their tools included bows and arrows, fishhooks, and needles. But then, starting around 12,000 years ago, a remarkable shift occurred.


pages: 239 words: 69,496

The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return by Mihir Desai

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, assortative mating, Benoit Mandelbrot, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, carried interest, Charles Lindbergh, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, follow your passion, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, housing crisis, income inequality, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Jony Ive, Kenneth Rogoff, longitudinal study, Louis Bachelier, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, new economy, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, Pierre-Simon Laplace, principal–agent problem, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, zero-sum game

On the one hand, every case seems to come down to some injustice or memory of childhood that plays itself out in adulthood—it all seems so precious and “just so” that it can’t be right. On the other hand, it’s an illuminating and resonant set of vignettes about his patients and their struggles—and you can relate to each of them. At the end of the story of Peter, a young man who unconsciously sabotages his friendships and relationships, Grosz concludes: “Karen Blixen [aka Isak Dinesen, author of Out of Africa] said ‘all sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story about them.’ But what if a person can’t tell a story about his sorrows? What if his story tells him? Experience has taught me that our childhoods leave in us stories like this—stories we never found a way to voice, because no one helped us find the words. When we cannot find a way of telling our story, our story tells us—we dream these stories, we develop symptoms, or we find ourselves acting in ways we don’t understand.”


pages: 217 words: 69,892

My Year of Rest and Relaxation: A Novel by Ottessa Moshfegh

East Village, illegal immigration, index card, out of africa, Pepto Bismol, rent control, white picket fence

Are you feeling better? The symptoms you described in your message, frankly, puzzle me.” I realized I was wearing a hot pink Juicy Couture sweat suit. A tag from the Jewish Women’s Council Thrift Shop dangled from the cuff. There were new used VHS tapes stacked on the bare floor in the hallway, all Sydney Pollack movies: Three Days of the Condor, Absence of Malice, The Way We Were. Tootsie. Out of Africa. I had no memory of ordering Chinese food or going to the thrift store. And I had no memory of what I’d said in any message. Dr. Tuttle said she’d been “baffled by the emotional intensity” in my voice. “I’m concerned for you. I’m very, very, very concerned.” She sounded like she always sounded, her voice a breathy, high-pitched hoot. “When you say you’re questioning your own existence,” she asked, “do you mean you’re reading philosophy books?


Survival of the Friendliest: Understanding Our Origins and Rediscovering Our Common Humanity by Brian Hare, Vanessa Woods

Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, Law of Accelerating Returns, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Milgram experiment, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, out of africa, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, smart cities, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, white flight, zero-sum game

We made sharp points for weapons, tools for engraving, blades for cutting, and drill bits for piercing. We had boned harpoons; nets for fishing and traps; and snares for birds and small mammals. Neanderthals, for all their hunting prowess, were never more than mid-ranking carnivores. With our new technology, we became the ultimate predator, largely immune to predation by other species. We ventured out of Africa and spread rapidly across Eurasia. We may even have reached as far as Australia within a few thousand years. This arduous crossing would have required planning and packing food for an indefinite journey, taking tools that could repair unforeseen damage and catch unfamiliar food, and solving future imagined problems like replenishing drinking water at sea. These early sailors had to be able to communicate in detail, leading some anthropologists to hypothesize that by this time, we already had full-blown language.33 Most remarkably, these sailors had to infer that there was something beyond the horizon.


pages: 661 words: 187,613

The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language by Steven Pinker

Albert Einstein, cloud computing, David Attenborough, double helix, Drosophila, elephant in my pajamas, finite state, illegal immigration, Joan Didion, Loebner Prize, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, meta analysis, meta-analysis, MITM: man-in-the-middle, natural language processing, out of africa, phenotype, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Saturday Night Live, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, Turing test, twin studies, Yogi Berra

Strikingly, this non-obvious racial grouping corresponds to the non-obvious linguistic grouping of Japanese, Korean, and Altaic with Indo-European in Nostratic, separate from the Sino-Tibetan family in which Chinese is found. The branches of the hypothetical genetic/linguistic family tree can be taken to depict the history of Homo sapiens sapiens, from the African population in which mitochondrial Eve was thought to evolve 200,000 years ago, to the migrations out of Africa 100,000 years ago through the Middle East to Europe and Asia, and from there, in the past 50,000 years, to Australia, the islands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and the Americas. Unfortunately, the genetic and migrational family trees are almost as controversial as the linguistic one, and any part of this interesting story could unravel in the next few years. A correlation between language families and human genetic groupings does not, by the way, mean that there are genes that make it easier for some kinds of people to learn some kinds of languages.

Homo erectus, which spread from Africa across much of the old world from 1.5 million to 500,000 years ago (all the way to China and Indonesia), controlled fire and almost everywhere used the same symmetrical, well-crafted stone hand-axes. It is easy to imagine some form of language contributing to such successes, though again we cannot be sure. Modern Homo sapiens, which is thought to have appeared about 200,000 years ago and to have spread out of Africa 100,000 years ago, had skulls like ours and much more elegant and complex tools, showing considerable regional variation. It is hard to believe that they lacked language, given that biologically they were us, and all biologically modern humans have language. This elementary fact, by the way, demolishes the date most commonly given in magazine articles and textbooks for the origin of language: 30,000 years ago, the age of the gorgeous cave art and decorated artifacts of Cro-Magnon humans in the Upper Paleolithic.


pages: 714 words: 188,602

Persian Gulf Command: A History of the Second World War in Iran and Iraq by Ashley Jackson

British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, colonial rule, fixed income, full employment, out of africa, the built environment

No doubt whatsoever that this successful use of power politics has made a very deep impression.’2 Similarly, during the Eighth Army’s ‘Crusader’ offensive in the Western Desert in November, which relieved the siege of Tobruk, the Political Adviser Central Area reported that the Initial success of the Libyan offensive has overshadowed all other political effects. With a people as volatile as the Arab the effect is much exaggerated – indeed to talk to some of them one would think that not only are the Axis driven out of Africa but the war is as good as over. The more sober minded have watched the Russian campaign with renewed misgivings but there can be no doubt that Libya has riveted most of their attention. The effect of this blow, coming on top of the cumulative effects of the capture of most of Rashid Ali’s supporters in Persia, and on top of the transportation of the many Nazi supporters to Fao [al-Faw] and the obvious pro-British politics of the present Government, has certainly been very great.3 But things could swing both ways, and news of German victories, of which there continued to be many, caused great excitement and kept the flame of anti-British and anti-Soviet sentiment burning brightly across the region.

The 5th Division was almost immediately followed by the 56th Division, and Wilson decided to ‘regroup the remaining formations within the Command and issued orders for their location in the general area of Mosul–Kirkuk’.89 The Tenth Army was now able to release the greater part of its fighting units to join the campaign in North Africa. The Anglo-American ‘Torch’ landings the previous November had opened a new phase in the struggle to clear Axis forces out of Africa, and this was now reaching its culmination point.90 General Alexander, Commander-in-Chief Middle East, informed Churchill of his plans for a mid-January offensive intended to reach Tripoli. Churchill searched for ‘a source of further reinforcements, not only for North Africa but for a possible Turkish front’, and asked the Chiefs of Staff to look at the scale of the Tenth Army under Persia and Iraq Command: ‘With the German army no longer able to push beyond the Caucasus, the Tenth Army “can now be considered available in whole or in part for action in the Eastern Mediterranean or in Turkey”.’91 In February Wilson left PAIC to replace Alexander as Commander-in-Chief Middle East.


pages: 1,205 words: 308,891

Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World by Deirdre N. McCloskey

Airbnb, Akira Okazaki, big-box store, Black Swan, book scanning, British Empire, business cycle, buy low sell high, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, Costa Concordia, creative destruction, crony capitalism, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental economics, Ferguson, Missouri, fundamental attribution error, Georg Cantor, George Akerlof, George Gilder, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, God and Mammon, greed is good, Gunnar Myrdal, Hans Rosling, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, Hernando de Soto, immigration reform, income inequality, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Harrison: Longitude, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, lake wobegon effect, land reform, liberation theology, lone genius, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, means of production, Naomi Klein, new economy, North Sea oil, Occupy movement, open economy, out of africa, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Pax Mongolica, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Peter Singer: altruism, Philip Mirowski, pink-collar, plutocrats, Plutocrats, positional goods, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, refrigerator car, rent control, rent-seeking, Republic of Letters, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, spinning jenny, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, the rule of 72, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, union organizing, very high income, wage slave, Washington Consensus, working poor, Yogi Berra

I am aware that China and India should be removed from the 1973–2003 rate to make the hypothetical exact, which would make it a trifle lower—say, 4 percent. But 4 percent is still, as I say, unprecedented. 28. Mencken 1917 (2006), p. 63. 29. Knight 1923 (1997), p. 137. 30. For example, “The migration of modern humans out of Africa resulted in a population bottleneck [in the small bands of humans migrating] and a concomitant loss of genetic diversity”(Campbell and Tishkoff 2008); “all systems show greater gene diversity in Africans than in either Europeans or Asians” (Jorde et al. 2000, abstract). There is, they say, “a marked founder effect associated with the expansion out of Africa.” 31. Pritchard et al. 1999, pp. 1795, 1797. 32. Personal communication at HedgePo’s Global CIO Summit, Gleneagles, Scotland, October 23, 2014. Chapter 9 1. Klein 2007. For another view from the left, this time based on facts, see Mirowski 2013 and Mirowski and Plehwe, eds. 2009. 2.

Until 1800 new ideas had not achieved anything like a geometric progression, though trade was then already tens of millennia old. The number of people disposed by nature to enact betterments did not leap up after 1800. Human inventiveness viewed as a certain share of any population with unusual combinations of prudence, courage, and hope is a background condition, available at any time from the first clear evidence of art among Homo sapiens race on the eve of the migrations out of Africa. The social hostility to the man of business and the rulers’ hostility to hierarchy-disturbing creative destruction was suppressing betterment. The ancient problem was, as Schoeck put it, “social controls . . . imposed in the name and interest of ‘the whole society.’” Andrew Coulson of the Cato Institute, among others, has suggested to me that there has to be in the story a threshold of people with good ideas.


pages: 230 words: 72,642

Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams, Mark Carwardine

David Attenborough, Isaac Newton, out of africa, South China Sea

Attitudes have changed so much now that it is unlikely he would be allowed to escape again. Other species are still poached, but intensive protection over the past five years has at last begun to have an effect. In fact, there have been a number of rhino births and the population now stands at a slightly better twenty-two. Twenty-two. An astounding feature of the situation is this: the eventual value of a rhino horn, by the time it has been shipped out of Africa and fashioned into a piece of tasteless costume jewelry for some rich young Yemeni to strut around and pull girls with, is thousands of dollars. But the poacher himself, the man who goes into the park and risks his life to shoot the actual rhino that all of this time, effort, and money are going into protecting, will get about ten or twelve or fifteen dollars for the horn. So the difference between life or death for one of the rarest and most magnificent animals in the world is actually about twelve dollars.


pages: 220 words: 75,651

The Lunatic Express by Carl Hoffman

airport security, low cost airline, Mercator projection, out of africa, Rubik’s Cube

By luck I found David Wambugo, lounging in his taxi in downtown Nairobi, his feet up on the open doorway. There were thousands of taxis and they were all hustling me, but something about Wambugo caught my eye. He had shoulder-length dreadlocks and the whites of his eyes were as red as if they’d been caught by a too-close camera flash, but there was kindness in them. I hired him take me to the house where Karen Blixen, the author of Out of Africa, had lived, and on the way back into town I asked him if he knew any matatu drivers that I could spend the day with. Yes, he said, and in minutes he was on his cell phone and it was all arranged: he’d pick me up at my hotel at five the following morning. It was still dark the next morning when I left my hotel, and there he was. “Come on,” he said, “they have picked up the matatu and they are on their way.”


pages: 293 words: 76,294

Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard Wrangham

Alfred Russel Wallace, experimental subject, means of production, out of africa, sexual politics, social intelligence

Various modern behaviors are seen for the first time around this transition, such as the use of red ocher (presumably as a form of personal decoration), making tools out of bone, and long-distance trade. Increasing behavioral sophistication could also have happened in cooking techniques. An early form of earth oven is the kind of innovation that could have been influential because it would have marked an important advance in cooking efficiency. Hunter-gatherers worldwide used earth ovens that employed hot rocks. The ovens do not appear to have been used by the people who expanded out of Africa more than sixty thousand years ago and colonized the rest of the world, since they are not recorded in Australia until thirty thousand years ago. However, it is possible that a simpler design, now vanished and forgotten, may have been used in earlier times. In recent earth ovens the hot rocks provide an even, long-lasting heat. A typical procedure recorded in 1927 among the Aranda of central Australia involved digging a hole, filling it with a pile of dry wood, and topping that with large stones that did not crack when heated—often river cobblestones that had to be carried from a distance.


pages: 233 words: 75,477

Surrender or Starve: Travels in Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea by Robert D. Kaplan

Ayatollah Khomeini, citizen journalism, European colonialism, facts on the ground, land reform, Live Aid, mass immigration, out of africa, Ronald Reagan, the market place

The Wall Street Journal, “The Battle for North Yemen.” Kaplan, Robert D. (June 1986). The American Spectator “Behind Ethiopia's Hunger.” Kaplan, Robert D. October 29, 1986. Wall Street Journal/Europe, “Why Sudan Starves on Western Aid.” Kaplan, Robert D. (April 1987). (Book Review). The American Spectator “The Harvest of Sorrow by Robert Conquest” Kaplan, Robert D. July 6, 1987. The New Republic, “Out of Africa.” Keating, Robert. (July 1986). Spin “Live Aid: The Terrible Truth.” Keating, Robert. (September 1986). Spin “Sympathy for the Devil.” Legum, Colin. May 20, 1986. International Herald Tribune, “Ethiopia: A Regime of Torture.” Matthews, Christopher J. January 21, 1985. The New Republic, “The Road to Korem.” May, Clifford D. September 29, 1985. The New York Times, “War Rivals Drought in Africa's Hunger Crisis.”


pages: 222 words: 75,561

The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It by Paul Collier

air freight, Asian financial crisis, Bob Geldof, British Empire, business cycle, Doha Development Round, failed state, falling living standards, income inequality, mass immigration, out of africa, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, structural adjustment programs, trade liberalization, zero-sum game

Those in power loot public money and get it safely abroad. This is surely part of the story, but it is not at the heart of what is going on. For example, Indonesia had corruption on a world-class scale. President Suharto took what we might politely term “Asian family values” to extraordinary heights of paternalistic generosity. But most of the money stayed in the country. Africans took their money, whether corruptly acquired or honestly acquired, out of Africa because the opportunities for investment were so poor. One reason why the investment opportunities were so poor was because the countries were stuck in one or another of the traps. Capital flight was a response to the traps. In the sophisticated language of professional economics, capital flight was a “portfolio choice”: people were holding their assets where they would yield a reasonable and a safe return.


pages: 251 words: 76,868

How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance by Parag Khanna

Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, bank run, blood diamonds, Bob Geldof, borderless world, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, commoditize, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, don't be evil, double entry bookkeeping, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, friendly fire, global village, Google Earth, high net worth, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Live Aid, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, microcredit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, out of africa, Parag Khanna, private military company, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, sustainable-tourism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, X Prize

Because he shares commissions on investments fifty-fifty with local brokers, he provides a great incentive for them to act professionally. “In sixteen years in Africa I’ve never had a customer fail, a trade not fulfilled. They have the same Bloomberg terminals in Zambia and do the trades in real time like rich countries do.” When the public sector alone ran the show in Africa, more capital fled out of Africa and into European banks than came into Africa in investment. Now, growth in Burundi and Tanzania has been greater than 7 percent for several years straight, savings rates are increasing, and cell phone and Internet usage have doubled every year. When Botswana’s president Festus Mogae visits the United States, he courts private equity firms and hedge fund managers and reminds them that investments in Africa can return more than 300 percent, impossible anywhere else in the world.


pages: 317 words: 79,633

Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees by Thor Hanson

airport security, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, Columbine, Honoré de Balzac, if you build it, they will come, Nelson Mandela, new economy, out of africa, wikimedia commons

Secondarily solitary: The evolutionary loss of social behavior. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 12: 468–474. Wellington, W. G. 1974. Bumblebee ocelli and navigation at dusk. Science 183: 550–551. Weyrich, L. S., S. Duchene, J. Soubrier, L. Arriola, et al. 2017. Neanderthal behaviour, diet, and disease inferred from ancient DNA in dental calculus. Nature 544: 357–361. Whitfield, C. W., S. K. Behura, S. H. Berlocher, A. G. Clark, et al. 2007. Thrice out of Africa: Ancient and recent expansions of the honey bee, Apis mellifera. Science 314: 642–645. Whitman, W. (1855) 1976. Leaves of Grass. Secaucus, NJ: Longriver Press. Whitney, H. M., L. Chittka, T. J. A. Bruce, and B. J. Glover. 2009. Conical epidermal cells allow bees to grip flowers and increase foraging efficiency. Current Biology 19: 948–953. Wille, A. 1983. Biology of the stingless bees. Annual Review of Entomology 28: 41–64.


pages: 252 words: 74,167

Thinking Machines: The Inside Story of Artificial Intelligence and Our Race to Build the Future by Luke Dormehl

Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, book scanning, borderless world, call centre, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, drone strike, Elon Musk, Flash crash, friendly AI, game design, global village, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet of things, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, out of africa, PageRank, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

One of my favourite movies of all time is a film by Robert Altman called The Player, a satire on Hollywood and its sometimes lack of creativity. Throughout The Player, a running joke is the lazy shorthand descriptions that Hollywood insiders use to describe the different projects they are working on, which are always billed as ‘Movie A meets Movie B’, with each referring to an existing popular hit. The joke is that the titles being mashed together to form new projects are totally diametrically opposed to one another. ‘It’s Out of Africa meets Pretty Woman,’ says a screenwriter, pitching her script to a studio executive at the start of the film. Later, someone describes a ‘psychic, political, thriller comedy with a heart’ that is ‘not unlike Ghost meets Manchurian Candidate’. Creating a computer program that could do the same thing – only much quicker – is well within our grasp. Using the list of roughly 328,952 feature films which appear on the Internet Movie Database, I could write a program that matches up every combination of films ever made.


pages: 669 words: 195,743

Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen

Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, conceptual framework, coronavirus, dark matter, digital map, double helix, experimental subject, facts on the ground, Fellow of the Royal Society, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, Google Earth, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, out of africa, Pearl River Delta, South China Sea, urban sprawl

Calling attention to it even came to seem politically incorrect. Then, later still, its real significance would emerge from work at the level of molecular genetics. Another perceived starting point was Gaëtan Dugas, the young Canadian flight attendant who became notorious as “Patient Zero.” You’ve heard of him, probably, if you’ve heard much of anything about the dawning of AIDS. Dugas has been written about as the man who “carried the virus out of Africa and introduced it into the Western gay community.” He wasn’t. But he seems to have played an oversized and culpably heedless role as a transmitter during the 1970s and early 1980s. As a flight steward, with almost cost-free privileges of personal travel, he flew often between major cities in North America, joining in sybaritic play where he landed, notching up conquests, living the high life of a sexually voracious gay man at the height of the bathhouse era.

“Thus, virus transmission may have occurred”: Leroy et al. (2009), 6. 373. “In fact, it is highly likely that several other persons”: Leroy et al. (2009), 5. VIII. The Chimp and the River 385. “profoundly depressed” in number: Gottlieb et al. (1981), 251. 387. “strikingly similar to the syndrome of immunodeficiency”: Pitchenik et al. (1983), 277. 387. written about as the man who “carried the virus out of Africa”: e.g., Wikipedia, “Gaëtan Dugas,” citing Auerbach et al. (1984), although Auerbach et al. do not make that assertion. 387. vain but charming, even “gorgeous” in some eyes: Shilts (1987), 47. 388. “I’ve got gay cancer”: Shilts (1987), 165. 388. “Although the cause of AIDS is unknown”: Auerbach et al. (1984), 490. 388. to the more resonant “Patient Zero” of his book: Shilts (1987), 23. 389.


pages: 254 words: 14,795

Poorly Made in China: An Insider's Account of the Tactics Behind China's Production Game by Paul Midler

barriers to entry, corporate social responsibility, currency peg, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, full employment, illegal immigration, Kickstarter, new economy, out of africa, price discrimination, unpaid internship, urban planning

When one woman, a tall redhead, stopped and looked dispassionately at the display, I asked her if she thought they were. “They’re real all right,” she said, surprised that I would be working at the exhibition but did not seem to know the difference. She then explained how you could tell. It had to do with how the light refracted from the diamonds. I thanked her for the easy lesson, and I asked her what she was doing at the show. She was from Dallas, Texas, but worked primarily out of Africa. Her business had her joining safaris there, and she sought out a particular kind of high-end adventure, one that put her in the company of big-game hunters who were spectacularly wealthy. On these hunting trips, she wore jewelry she had designed herself. Looking at just the necklace she wore, I could imagine her decked out in a safari outfit with jewels dangling about her neck, ears, and wrists, while holding an elephant gun.


Culture Shock! Costa Rica 30th Anniversary Edition by Claire Wallerstein

anti-communist, bilateral investment treaty, call centre, card file, fixed income, Kickstarter, liberal capitalism, out of africa, Silicon Valley, sustainable-tourism, trade route, urban sprawl

THE COUNTRY For its size, Costa Rica is one of the most physically diverse countries imaginable. Local newspaper advertisements announce houses for sale just 15 minutes outside San José and boast of their ‘great climate’. It’s not a joke, as within the space of just a few miles, the topography, vegetation and temperature can go from being strongly reminiscent of rolling Devon hills to something more like Out of Africa. 38 CultureShock! Costa Rica One of the country’s most distinctive features is its volcanoes. Seven of them are active and straddle the meeting place of two tectonic plates along the Pacific Rim of Fire. These also give rise to frequent earth tremors, occasional quakes and have helped build the three mountain ranges that run through the country. Costa Rica’s spine is the continental divide, rising to 3,820 m (12,533 ft) at Mount Chirripó in the Talamanca range, the second highest peak in Central America.


pages: 411 words: 80,925

What's Mine Is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption Is Changing the Way We Live by Rachel Botsman, Roo Rogers

Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bike sharing scheme, Buckminster Fuller, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, commoditize, Community Supported Agriculture, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, George Akerlof, global village, hedonic treadmill, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, information retrieval, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, out of africa, Parkinson's law, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer rental, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Simon Kuznets, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, South of Market, San Francisco, Stewart Brand, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Victor Gruen, web of trust, women in the workforce, Zipcar

Jeffrey Taylor, “The History of Leasing,” http://fbibusiness.com/history_of_leasing.htm. 8. Statistics taken from the American Rental Association. Retrieved August 2009, www.ararental.org. 9. R. Meijkamp, Changing Consumer Behavior Through Eco-Efficient Services: An Empirical Study of Car Sharing in the Netherlands,” Design for Sustainability Research Programme, Delft University of Technology (2000), 296. 10. Reed Hastings quoted in Amy Zipkin, “Out of Africa, onto the Web,” New York Times (December 17, 2006), www.nytimes.com/2006/12/17/jobs/17boss.html?_r=2. 11. Joan O’C. Hamilton, “Home Movies,” Stanford Magazine, www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/2006/janfeb/features/netflix.html. 12. Statistics retrieved from Netflix.com, September 2009, www.netflix.com/MediaCenter?id=5379&hnjr=8#facts. 13. Ibid. 14. Quote taken from interview with Zilok CEO on NBC (June, 3 2008).


pages: 299 words: 89,342

The Places in Between by Rory Stewart

Ayatollah Khomeini, clean water, Khyber Pass, out of africa, trade route, upwardly mobile

I was thinking in phrases that resembled the names of motor rallies: "Isfahan—Herat," "Kabul—Multan," "Istanbul—Hanoi." I designed a journey around the world that would finish where I began in Turkey. I thought about evolutionary historians who argued that walking was a central part of what it meant to be human. Our two-legged motion was what first differentiated us from the apes. It freed our hands for tools and carried us on the long marches out of Africa. As a species, we colonized the world on foot. Most of human history was created through contacts conducted at walking pace, even when some rode horses. I thought of the pilgrimages to Compostela in Spain; to Mecca; to the source of the Ganges; and of wandering dervishes, sadhus, and friars who approached God on foot. The Buddha meditated by walking and Wordsworth composed sonnets while striding beside the lakes.


pages: 280 words: 83,299

Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline by Darrell Bricker, John Ibbitson

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, gender pay gap, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, global reserve currency, Gunnar Myrdal, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, Kibera, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, off grid, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Potemkin village, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban planning, working-age population, young professional, zero-sum game

Toba “is considered by some scientists to be the most catastrophic event the human species has ever endured.” 6Homo sapiens was already in trouble; although we had mastered tools and fire during our 130,000-year history to that point, the earth was in a cooling cycle that had wiped out much of the food supply. Now Toba made things much, much worse. We foraged for tubers and harvested shellfish in the last inhabitable African enclaves. One more bit of bad news, and that might have been the end of us. This, at least, is one theory held by anthropologists and archeologists; there are others who suggest humans had already migrated out of Africa by this time and that the impact of Toba is exaggerated.7 But it’s hard to abandon the thought of a bedraggled humanity on the cusp of extinction struggling to nourish its few remaining young in a hardscrabble world, before the skies cleared, the earth wobbled, and the sun once again warmed the land. But we moved slowly. The bravest humans in history might have crossed the straits between Southeast Asia and Australia some fifty thousand years ago.


pages: 310 words: 85,995

The Future of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties by Paul Collier

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, assortative mating, bank run, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Bob Geldof, bonus culture, business cycle, call centre, central bank independence, centre right, Commodity Super-Cycle, computerized trading, corporate governance, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deskilling, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, full employment, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, greed is good, income inequality, industrial cluster, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, late capitalism, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, negative equity, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, principal–agent problem, race to the bottom, rent control, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, sovereign wealth fund, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, too big to fail, trade liberalization, urban planning, web of trust, zero-sum game

Africa loses $200 billion of capital flight each year; Haiti loses 85 per cent of its young educated workers. Framing these behaviours as a ‘human right’ belittles the obligations that they breach. Most people are not saints: while they recognize their obligations, if they are presented with enticing temptations, they take them. When this happens, the moral responsibility is on those who tempt. For decades, much of the capital flight out of Africa was facilitated by lawyers in London and banks in Switzerland. Similarly, the human capital exodus from Africa is an understandable response to public policies that create opportunities. To illustrate with an extreme example: Norway has accumulated a sovereign wealth fund worth $200,000 per person. If a family of five leaves its poor homeland and settles there, it gains an entitlement to a pro rata share of assets worth $1 million, over and above any income that the family members earn.


pages: 324 words: 80,217

The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success by Ross Douthat

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, charter city, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, ghettoisation, gig economy, Haight Ashbury, helicopter parent, hive mind, Hyperloop, immigration reform, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Islamic Golden Age, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, megacity, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Oculus Rift, open borders, out of africa, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, QAnon, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, women in the workforce, Y2K

Different from the stereotypes of African backwardness that it was invented to rebuke, obviously, but also strikingly different from the modern liberal order as we know it, with technologies that exceed our own but a politics and culture that are proudly illiberal—indeed, monarchical and theocratic. So it isn’t just that Black Panther—in, yes, the inevitably superficial way of a blockbuster, with the inevitably play-it-safe conclusion—taps into a yearning for an out-of-Africa renaissance, for an African-shaped future that’s dynamic rather than dystopian: Make Africa Great, and then Make the World Great Again As Well. The different facets of Wakandan exceptionalism also suggest the different ways in which a renaissance might ultimately come about, the different trajectory-altering transformations—technological, political, and religious—that might lead our civilization or its inheritors up from decadence.


pages: 286 words: 87,168

Less Is More: How Degrowth Will Save the World by Jason Hickel

air freight, Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, cognitive dissonance, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate personhood, COVID-19, David Graeber, decarbonisation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, energy transition, Fellow of the Royal Society, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gender pay gap, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, land reform, liberal capitalism, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, passive income, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, quantitative easing, rent control, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Simon Kuznets, structural adjustment programs, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, universal basic income

Lessons from the ancestors One of the real pleasures I’ve discovered in my career as an anthropologist has been the process of piecing together a much deeper sense of the human story than I used to have. I remember, as a postgraduate student, walking out of classes sometimes feeling almost overwhelmed with a sense of new perspective, as if I had just stepped out of a prosaic little cottage only to find myself on the lip of a vast escarpment, with landscapes of time rolling out before me. The story of humanity plays out like a journey, with our ancestors venturing out of Africa and migrating across the planet, over tens of thousands of years. Along the way they encountered a vast array of different ecosystems – from savannah to deserts, jungles to steppes, wetlands to tundra. With each new zone they entered, they had to learn how these ecosystems worked so that they could live within them sustainably, in reciprocity with the other species they depended on for nourishment and sustenance.


pages: 807 words: 225,326

Werner Herzog - a Guide for the Perplexed: Conversations With Paul Cronin by Paul Cronin

Albert Einstein, Atahualpa, Berlin Wall, Francisco Pizarro, Kickstarter, land reform, MITM: man-in-the-middle, out of africa

The South American sequences of Cobra Verde always felt heavy to me; the African part of the story is much more interesting. What audiences see of the continent are things they aren’t used to, like court rituals and flag signals along the coast, and the wonderfully anarchic and chaotic crowd scenes have real life to them. In most films set in Africa the place is portrayed either as a crumbling, primitive and dangerous place full of savages, or with a kind of Out of Africa nostalgia. Cobra Verde deviates from all that. I set out to show things that had been ignored, like the continent’s sophisticated and complex social structures, its kingdoms, tribes and hierarchies. I even managed to get His Royal Highness Nana Agyefi Kwame II, the real king of Nsein, to play the king of Dahomey. He was a wonderful and dignified man who brought three hundred members of his court with him to the set.

., 1, 2, 3, 4 Music Room, The (Ray), 1, 2 My Best Fiend: filming, 1, 2, 3; Fitzcarraldo material, 1, 2; Golder’s role, 1, 2, 3n; material and stories, 1, 2, 3; opening, 1; relationship between Herzog and Kinski, 1; responses to, 1 My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5n Nain et géant (Méliès), 1 Nana Agyefi Kwame II, 1 Nanga Parbat, 1, 2 NASA, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 National Enquirer, 1 Nazarin (Buñuel), 1 Nazism: Aguirre question, 1; attitudes to, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; capital punishment, 1; Eisner’s career, 1, 2; German cinema, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; Jewish survivors, 1; Nosferatu rats, 1; occupation of Greece, 1; origins, 1; rise, 1, 2; threat, 1, 2 New German Cinema, 1, 2 New York Film Festival, 1, 2, 3 Newton, Isaac, 1, 2 Nicaragua, 1, 2, 3, 4 Nicholson, Jack, 1 Nietzsche, Friedrich, 1, 2 Nigger of the Narcissus, The (Conrad), 1 No One Will Play with Me, 1 Nosferatu: cameraman, 1; casting, 1; character of Nosferatu, 1; filming, 1, 2; image of Renfield, 1; importance to Herzog, 1; Kinski in, 1, 2; landscapes, 1, 2; language, 1; light and darkness in, 1; material in Aguirre, 1; mummies in, 1; Murnau’s film, 1, 2, 3; music, 1, 2; place in Herzog’s career, 1, 2; rats in, 1, 2; rejected by Cannes, 1; Renfield role, 1; responses to, 1, 2; script, 1, 2; Twentieth Century Fox, 1, 2, 3, 4; vampire myth, 1 Oberhausen Film Festival, 1, 2, 3, 4 Oberhausen Manifesto, 1, 2n, 3, 4 O’Connor, Flannery, 1 Ode to the Dawn of Man, 1 Of Walking in Ice, 1, 2 Okello, John, 1 On the Black Hill (Chatwin), 1 On Death Row, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Ondaatje, Michael, 1 Ophüls, Marcel, 1 Oppenheimer, Joshua, 1 Oresteia (Aeschylus), 1, 2 Orwell, George, 1 Out of Africa (Pollack), 1 Oxford English Dictionary, 1, 2 Pabst, Georg Wilhelm, 1 Pacheco, David, 1 Pachelbel, 1 Pacific Film Archive, 1, 2 Padre Padrone (Taviani brothers), 1, 2 Paganini, Niccolò, 1, 2 Palovak, Jewel, 1 Parsifal (Wagner), 1, 2 Pascal, Blaise, 1 Pashov, Stefan, 1 Pasolini, Pier Paolo, 1, 2 Passion of the Christ (Gibson), 1 Passion of Joan of Arc, The (Dreyer), 1, 2 Penn, Zak, 1, 2 Pepin the Short, 1 Peregrine, The (Baker), 1 Perry, Michael, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Perth Film Festival, 1 Peters, Jon, 1 Petit, Philippe, 1 Petrarch, 1 Physics of Star Trek, The (Krauss), 1, 2n Picasso, Pablo, 1, 2 Pilgrimage, 1, 2 Pinochet, Augusto, 1 Pitt, Brad, 1 Pittsburgh, 1, 2, 3 Plage, Dieter, 1 Plainfield, Wisconsin, 1 Planète sauvage, La (Laloux), 1 Plateau, Joseph, 1 Poetic Edda, 1, 2 Pohle, Rolf, 1 Popol Vuh, 1 Popol Vuh (band), 1, 2 Prawer, S.


pages: 284 words: 91,505

West With the Night by Beryl Markham

Louis Blériot, out of africa

Ostrich and civet cat have contributed more to the requirements of civilized society, but I think it not unjust to say that the zebra clan, in spite of it all, is unaffected by its failure to join in the march of time. I base this conclusion on a very warm friendship that developed, not too long ago to remember, between myself and a young zebra. My father, who has raised and trained some of the best Thoroughbreds to come out of Africa, once had a filly named Balmy. He chose all of the names for his horses with painstaking care, sometimes spending many evenings at his desk on our farm at Njoro jotting down possibilities by the light of a kerosene lamp. Balmy was selected for this particular filly because no other name suited her so precisely. She was neither vicious nor stubborn, she was very fast on the track, and she responded intelligently to training.


pages: 383 words: 92,837

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman

Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Columbine, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, endowment effect, facts on the ground, impulse control, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, out of africa, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Saturday Night Live, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Steven Pinker, Thales of Miletus

The machinery is utterly alien to us, and yet, somehow, it is us. THE TREMENDOUS MAGIC In 1949, Arthur Alberts traveled from his home in Yonkers, New York, to villages between the Gold Coast and Timbuktu in West Africa. He brought his wife, a camera, a jeep, and—because of his love of music—a jeep-powered tape recorder. Wanting to open the ears of the western world, he recorded some of the most important music ever to come out of Africa.1 But Alberts ran into social troubles while using the tape recorder. One West African native heard his voice played back and accused Alberts of “stealing his tongue.” Alberts only narrowly averted being pummeled by taking out a mirror and convincing the man that his tongue was still intact. It’s not difficult to see why the natives found the tape recorder so counterintuitive. A vocalization seems ephemeral and ineffable: it is like opening a bag of feathers which scatter on the breeze and can never be retrieved.


pages: 293 words: 90,714

Copenhagenize: The Definitive Guide to Global Bicycle Urbanism by Mikael Colville-Andersen

active transport: walking or cycling, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, business cycle, car-free, congestion charging, corporate social responsibility, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Enrique Peñalosa, functional fixedness, if you build it, they will come, Induced demand, intermodal, Jane Jacobs, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, neurotypical, out of africa, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, self-driving car, sharing economy, smart cities, starchitect, transcontinental railway, urban planning, urban sprawl, Yogi Berra

The Skywalk system and other concepts like it are simply attempts to put streetlife—and people—on a shelf, out of the way. Remember Norman Foster’s SkyCycle? Let’s agree from now on that anything with the word Sky in it is probably not conducive to city life. A conference like Winter Cities Shake-up is the unwitting offspring of society’s climaphobia. Its goal is to get people to enjoy outdoor life—even in the winter. Something homo sapiens have been doing since we wandered northward out of Africa. Don’t get me wrong—the Shake-up was a great conference with brilliant speakers from 60 cities around the world. I’m just trying to wrap my brain around the societal developments leading up to it. Is it enough to merely try and communicate the fact that “Hey! Winter’s okay!” and work to inspire citizens to “rediscover outdoor winter pleasures”—especially when their perception has been warped by a generation of vacuum-packing?


pages: 606 words: 87,358

The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization by Richard Baldwin

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, air freight, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, Branko Milanovic, buy low sell high, call centre, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, Commodity Super-Cycle, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, domestication of the camel, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial intermediation, George Gilder, global supply chain, global value chain, Henri Poincaré, imperial preference, industrial cluster, industrial robot, intangible asset, invention of agriculture, invention of the telegraph, investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Dyson, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lao Tzu, low skilled workers, market fragmentation, mass immigration, Metcalfe’s law, New Economic Geography, out of africa, paper trading, Paul Samuelson, Pax Mongolica, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, Simon Kuznets, Skype, Snapchat, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, trade route, Washington Consensus

., “Orbital and Millennial Antarctic Climate Variability over the Past 800,000 Years,” Science 317, no. 5839 (2007): 793–797; based on Arctic Dome C ice cores. The DNA and archaeological data suggest that about forty millennia ago, humans were continuously present in Africa, Asia, and Australia (Figure 5). Northern Europe was settled somewhat later, say, 35,000 years ago. Around fifteen millennia ago, people entered the Americas; by 12,000 years ago they had reached Patagonia. This phase of globalization—within Africa and then out of Africa—lasted about 185 millennia. FIGURE 5: Globalization of the human race. The human race dispersed across the Middle East, Asia, and Australia over a span of tens of thousands of years. Europe, which was much less hospitable to human life, was populated tens of thousands of years later, sometime after 30,000 years ago. Much later, modern humans reached the Americas by crossing over an ice bridge that connected Asia to North America.


pages: 342 words: 88,736

The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis by Ruth Defries

agricultural Revolution, Columbian Exchange, demographic transition, double helix, European colonialism, food miles, Francisco Pizarro, Haber-Bosch Process, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, John Snow's cholera map, out of africa, planetary scale, premature optimization, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, social intelligence, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade

Smithsonian Institution. N.d. What does it mean to be human? http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-evolution-timeline-interactive. Sol, D., R. Duncan, T. Blackburn, P. Cassey, and L. Lefebvre. 2005. Big brains, enhanced cognition, and response of birds to novel environments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102:5460–5465. Stewart, J., and C. Stringer. 2012. Human evolution out of Africa: The role of refugia and climate change. Science 335:1317–1321. Strimling, P., M. Enquist, and K. Eriksson. 2009. Repeated learning makes cultural evolution unique. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106:13870–13874. Sweeney, M., and S. McCouch. 2007. The complex history of the domestication of rice. Annals of Botany 100:951–957. Tanno, K., and G. Willcox. 2006. How fast was wild wheat domesticated?


pages: 267 words: 91,984

Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder

airport security, clean water, colonial rule, out of africa

It lingered in my mind, the secondhand memory of someone else’s memories, as strange and unresolved as the memory of a dream. Three years later, I saw Deo again. I had arranged to meet him at a coffee shop in Hanover, New Hampshire, and I asked him for the story of his escape. He told it briefly at first. His six months on the run, with all their horrors, went by in only minutes. But then, once he was safely out of Africa and had arrived at JFK, his accounting grew detailed. As he went on, telling me how he had stood alone in line at Immigration, I began to sense he was no longer in the coffee shop with me. He was describing the moment when he understood that the Russian journalist wasn’t going to help him. His voice was steady. He didn’t seem to realize that tears were rolling down his cheeks. Deo told me details of his story gradually, over the next two years.


Are We Getting Smarter?: Rising IQ in the Twenty-First Century by James R. Flynn

Flynn Effect, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, popular electronics, twin studies

The correlations are preceded by a minus because there was a negative correlation between untreated parasitic conditions and mean IQ. The correlation was −0.82 for both the set of 113 nations and the set of 192. They also found correlations of similar size within the world’s six major geographic regions with the exception, oddly, of South America. Eppig et al. controlled for temperature and distance from Africa to test an evolutionary scenario called “out of Africa.” Lynn (1987) and Rushton (1995) posit that extreme cold creates a more challenging environment, one that maximizes selection for genes for intelligence. During the Ice Ages, the ancestors of East Asians are supposed to have been north of the Himalayas where the cold was most intense, the ancestors of whites north of the Alps where the cold was next worst, and the ancestors of blacks still in Africa where it was relatively warm.


pages: 344 words: 93,858

The Post-American World: Release 2.0 by Fareed Zakaria

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, airport security, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, global reserve currency, global supply chain, illegal immigration, interest rate derivative, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge economy, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, mutually assured destruction, new economy, oil shock, open economy, out of africa, Parag Khanna, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Washington Consensus, working-age population, young professional, zero-sum game

The familiar theme of imperial decline is playing itself out one more time. History is happening again. But whatever the apparent similarities, the circumstances are not really the same. Britain was a strange superpower. Historians have written hundreds of books explaining how London could have adopted certain foreign policies to change its fortunes. If only it had avoided the Boer War, say some. If only it had stayed out of Africa, say others. Niall Ferguson provocatively suggests that, had Britain stayed out of World War I (and there might not have been a world war without British participation), it might have managed to preserve its great-power position. There is some truth to this line of reasoning (World War I did bankrupt Britain), but to put things properly in historical context, it is worth looking at this history from another angle.


pages: 350 words: 96,803

Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution by Francis Fukuyama

Albert Einstein, Asilomar, assortative mating, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Columbine, demographic transition, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, impulse control, life extension, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, presumed consent, Ray Kurzweil, Scientific racism, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sexual politics, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Turing test, twin studies

We know, for example, that different population groups around the world have different distributions of blood types; roughly 40 percent of Europeans have type O blood, while Native Americans have almost exclusively type O.12 The alleles that are linked to sickle-cell anemia are more common among African-Americans than among whites. The population geneticist Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza has mapped out a speculative history of past migrations of early humans as they wandered out of Africa to different parts of the globe, based on distributions of mitochondrial DNA (that is, DNA that is contained within the mitochondria, outside the cell nucleus, which is inherited from the mother’s side).13 He has gone further, linking these populations to the development of languages, and has provided a history of early language evolution in the absence of written records. This kind of scientific knowledge, even in the absence of a technology that makes use of it, has important political implications.


pages: 347 words: 91,318

Netflixed: The Epic Battle for America's Eyeballs by Gina Keating

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, barriers to entry, business intelligence, collaborative consumption, corporate raider, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, Netflix Prize, new economy, out of africa, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, price stability, recommendation engine, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Superbowl ad, telemarketer, X Prize

“Jim Keyes, 7-Eleven Both Poised for Change.” Dallas Business Journal, Jan. 1, 2006. Zeidler, Sue. “Blockbuster buys movie download service Movielink.” Reuters, Aug. 8, 2007. ———. “Netflix scrambles future of TV and films.” Reuters, Dec. 1, 2010. Zeidler, Sue, and Keating, Gina. “Blockbuster takes on Netflix with new set-top box.” Reuters, Nov. 25, 2008. Zipkin, Amy. “The Boss: Out of Africa, Onto the Web.” New York Times, Dec. 17, 2006. INDEX The page numbers in this index refer to the printed version of this book. To find the corresponding locations in the text of this digital version, please use the “search” function on your e-reader. Note that not all terms may be searchable. A ABC Media Player, 166 Accenture, 92, 95–96, 104, 107 Adams, Tom, 113 Aintitcool.com, 38 Allmovie.com, 31 Amazon Blockbuster alliance attempts, 95–96, 126 cross-promotion with Netflix, 47, 50 DVD rental service, 103, 125–26, 162 visitors, number of, 103 Ansari X Prize, 187 Antioco, John.


pages: 299 words: 87,059

The Burning Land by George Alagiah

fear of failure, land reform, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, pre–internet, urban decay, white flight, éminence grise

It seemed what was true in physics was truer still in the world of politics and money-making. Of course they were going to hit back. Of course blood would be spilled. How naive he’d been. Back in her Greenside guesthouse, Lindi called Anton in London. ‘Hey! How’s it feel to be back home?’ ‘The weird thing is that it does sort of feel like home – even after, what, twenty years.’ ‘You know what they say. You can take the girl out of Africa, but you can’t take Africa out of the girl. How are you getting on?’ ‘Did you tell anyone I was coming down here? Did the High Commission call back or anything?’ ‘No – and yes. I mean, yes, the High Commission did call back. And, no, all I said was that at some stage we might want to get involved. No great secret, it’s what we do.’ ‘When was that?’ ‘It must have been some time on the day you left.


pages: 317 words: 89,825

No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Reed Hastings, Erin Meyer

Airbnb, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, global village, hiring and firing, job-hopping, late fees, loose coupling, loss aversion, out of africa, performance metric, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, subscription business

I was working on the Chelsea Handler talk show. Usually we post an entire season of a Netflix show at once. But Chelsea ran three times a week and we had twenty-four hours after each filming to get it translated in a bunch of languages and have it posted online. My job was to manage all of that. Then one day, my boss Aaron put a meeting on my calendar, which he titled, “The Future.” We were sitting in the Out of Africa conference room. That room is all yellow—yellow walls, rug, carpet, and chairs. Aaron pulled up a chair right in front of me and said: “Nothing’s been decided. But it’s fifty-fifty the program management role you play will be eliminated. We are discussing a reorg and your job might go away, but I won’t know for six to twelve months.” My head started to spin. The yellow rug turned into the yellow ceiling and I had difficulty focusing on his face.


pages: 1,280 words: 384,105

The Best of Best New SF by Gardner R. Dozois

back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, Columbine, congestion charging, dark matter, Doomsday Book, double helix, Extropian, gravity well, lateral thinking, Mason jar, offshore financial centre, out of africa, pattern recognition, phenotype, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, Turing machine, Turing test, Winter of Discontent, Y2K, zero-sum game

“I can assure you that the Byzantines do no such thing.” “Really?” said Bagayoko. “Well, our Christians do.” “That’s just the doctor’s little joke,” said Manimenesh. “Sometimes strange rumors spread about us, because we raid our slaves from the Nyam-Nyam cannibal tribes on the coast. But we watch their diet closely, I assure you.” Watunan smiled uncomfortably. “There is always something new out of Africa. One hears the oddest stories. Hairy men, for instance.” “Ah,” said Manimenesh. “You mean gorillas, from the jungles to the south. I’m sorry to spoil the story for you, but they are nothing better than beasts.” “I see,” said Watunan. “That’s a pity.” “My grandfather owned a gorilla once,” Manimenesh said. “Even after ten years, it could barely speak Arabic.” They finished the appetizers.

Gaby thought it must be like this on one of the UNECTA mobile bases; minimal, monastic. She did something to her face and went up to the party on the roof. It had been running for three days. It would only end when the hotel did. The party at the edge of the end of the world. In one glance she saw thirty newsworthy faces and peeked into her bag to check the charge level on her disc recorder. She talked to it as she moved between the faces to the bar. The Out of Africa look was the thing among the newsworthy this year: riding breeches, leather, with the necessary twist of twenty-first-century knowing with the addition of animal-skin prints. Gaby ordered a piña colada from the Kenyan barman and wondered as he shook it what incentive the management had offered him – all the staff – to stay. Family relocation to other hotels, on the Coast, down in Zanzibar, she reckoned.

Even the animals are fake; they bulldozed a water hole so Americans would have elephants to photograph. Irony is: Now the tourists are gone, there’ve never been so many bloody animals, all headed in. Counted forty-five elephant in one day; no one gives a stuff anymore. Tell me, how can it be alien if the animals are going in there? How could gas know how to build something like that? Feels to me like it’s something very old, that animals knew once and have never forgotten, that’s come out of Africa itself. Everything starts here, in East Africa; the land is very old, and has a long memory. And strong: Maybe Africa has had enough of what people are doing to it – enough thinking – and has decided to claim itself back. That’s why the animals aren’t afraid. It’s giving it back to them.” “But taking yours away,” Gaby said. “Not my Africa.” Prenderleith glanced around at the famous and beautiful people.


pages: 1,194 words: 371,889

The scramble for Africa, 1876-1912 by Thomas Pakenham

active measures, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, centre right, clean water, colonial rule, Etonian, European colonialism, God and Mammon, imperial preference, Khartoum Gordon, land reform, out of africa, Scramble for Africa, spice trade, spinning jenny, trade route, transatlantic slave trade

We must turn back three years, to 27 June 1890, when Cecil Rhodes’s pioneer column splashed across the Motlousi river and set out to occupy and develop his vast new empire in the territory to which he would give his name. CECIL JOHN RHODES CHAPTER 21 A New Rand? Mashonaland and Matabeleland (Rhodesia), Cape Colony, the Transvaal and England 27 June 1890-December 1892 and before ‘I am tired of this mapping out of Africa at Berlin; without occupation, without development… the gist of the South African Question lies in the extension of the Cape Colony to the Zambesi.’ Cecil Rhodes in the Cape House of Assembly, 1888 It was just over fifty years since the voortrekkers, the Boer pioneers of the Great Trek, had shaken the dust of Cape Colony off their feet. In their canvas-covered wagons, followed by their cattle, sheep and African servants, they had splashed across the drifts of the Orange and Vaal rivers to carve out an empire in the ‘empty’ veld to the north.

But Mugabe was not the Chinese-Red Marxist he had been painted. His creed was pragmatic African nationalism. On 18 April he told the new nation that the ‘wrongs of the past must be forgiven and forgotten’. Mugabe was a statesman in the making. And Zimbabwe had one all-important advantage over most of its predecessors on the road to independence. Its new African rulers were quite as well educated as the men they replaced. * * * The Scramble out of Africa in the eleven years from 1957 to 1968 was pursued at the same undignified pace, taking the world as much by surprise, as the Scramble into Africa more than half a century earlier. Torschlusspanik (the ‘door-closing-panic’ of Bismarck’s day) seized France, Belgium and even Britain. Of course imperial perspectives were now very different from those of the 1880s. For one thing, these countries perceived that the race was to get out through the door before they were kicked through it.

When the Belgians scuttled out of the Congo in July 1960, they had left the country well prepared for civil war and anarchy. The prospect of their departure from Ruanda-Urundi, though delayed for two years, had the same disastrous effect. By 1968 the British had set free the last impoverished scraps of their empire south of the Zambezi: Basutoland (Lesotho), Bechuanaland (Botswana) and Swaziland. The Scramble out of Africa was complete, except for Portugal, the first European nation to go in. Portugal was now trapped up to the neck in Angola, Mozambique and Guiné. It was her policy, she claimed, to assimilate these ancient possessions. She had certainly exploited them systematically. After the Belgian Congo collapsed, Angola caught the prevailing fever, and soon ferocious guerrilla wars broke out in all three territories.


pages: 809 words: 237,921

The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty by Daron Acemoglu, James A. Robinson

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, AltaVista, Andrei Shleifer, bank run, Berlin Wall, British Empire, California gold rush, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, colonial rule, Computer Numeric Control, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, Dava Sobel, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Kula ring, labor-force participation, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, Maui Hawaii, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, openstreetmap, out of africa, PageRank, pattern recognition, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Skype, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, the market place, transcontinental railway, War on Poverty, WikiLeaks

Lagos shows why Robert Kaplan’s prediction of coming anarchy isn’t right everywhere. Obviously it is not heading toward a digital dictatorship. History hasn’t ended in Lagos either. All the same, the city shows that even starting from desperate situations a move toward the corridor is possible. The Roman soldier and scholar Pliny the Elder remarked, “There is always something new out of Africa.” He was right. Today there is much local experimentation out of Africa, for people are finding a way to improve their crumbling state capacity and liberty. A huge mass of people still live in poverty in Lagos, and compared to those of us residing in the United States, their lives are short. However, they are a lot less short than they were in 1999 and there are far fewer poor people. Life for most of them is also quite a bit less brutish and nasty than it was in 1999.


pages: 469 words: 97,582

QI: The Second Book of General Ignorance by Lloyd, John, Mitchinson, John

Ada Lovelace, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, double helix, Etonian, George Santayana, ghettoisation, Isaac Newton, Lao Tzu, Louis Pasteur, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, out of africa, the built environment, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, traveling salesman, US Airways Flight 1549

Neanderthals had barrel-shaped chests and broad, projecting noses – traits some palaeoanthropologists believe helped them breathe better when chasing prey in cold environments. They had bigger brains than modern humans, but they couldn’t run as fast and were shorter and less adept at using tools. What they lacked in height they made up for in strength: Neanderthal females had bigger biceps than the average male human does today. Humans and Neanderthals diverged into separate species somewhere between 440,000 and 270,000 years ago. Early Neanderthals moved out of Africa into the Middle East and northern Europe much sooner than Homo sapiens did, and lived there for four times as long. They became extinct 30,000 years ago (the last recorded Neanderthal community was on Gibraltar), which means that humans and Neanderthals coexisted for at least 12,000 years. No one knows why the Neanderthals died out. Were they out-competed by humans or did they (for some unknown reason) fail to adapt to the last Ice Age, when Europe became a frozen, sparsely vegetated semi-desert?


pages: 537 words: 99,778

Dreaming in Public: Building the Occupy Movement by Amy Lang, Daniel Lang/levitsky

activist lawyer, Bay Area Rapid Transit, bonus culture, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deindustrialization, different worldview, facts on the ground, glass ceiling, housing crisis, Kibera, late capitalism, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Port of Oakland, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Slavoj Žižek, structural adjustment programs, the medium is the message, too big to fail, trade liberalization, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, white flight, working poor

When I was invented I was told I was less because I am Nigerian, that I did not have certain opportunities. I will not go to a good school. I will live with the fact of darkness, without electricity. Etc etc. Now I am reinventing my own dialogue, I am taking apart my absence-and-hole-shaped existence. I am filling up the blank spaces. I am writing my story, my essence, my self. I am a young Nigerian. ‘Out of Africa always comes something new,’ some ancient Roman historian is supposed to have said. Because I am young I am burdened by the New. I know of the past injustices, the failed sunsets. I know of being labeled, being called a money-monger because I am Ibo, a fraudster because I am Nigerian, futureless because I am African. Yet, I am willing to look to the New, I am willing to constructively forget, to walk through the past and leave the past in the past.


pages: 364 words: 102,528

An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies by Tyler Cowen

agricultural Revolution, big-box store, business climate, carbon footprint, cognitive bias, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, food miles, guest worker program, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, informal economy, iterative process, mass immigration, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, price discrimination, refrigerator car, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce

You Decide (Los Angeles: Keats Publishing, 1998), p. 45. On ecoterrorism in Spain, see http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/uprooting-ecoterrorism-syngenta-gm-crops-sabotaged-in-spain/. On the Amish and GMOs, see for instance http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7745726.stm. On GMOs in Africa, and also on European regulations, see Robert Paarlberg, Starved for Science: How Biotechnology Is Being Kept Out of Africa (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009). 8. Eating Your Way to a Greener Planet On Ed Begley, see for instance http://www.johnnyjet.com/folder/archive/I-Flew-with-Ed-Begley-Jr-Possibly-the-Greenest-Person-Alive.html, http://www.edbegley.com/environment/tipsandfaq.html. On Mathias Gelber, see http://greenmanplanet.blogspot.com/. For one article on Mike Duke and Wal-Mart, see Tom Rooney, “The greenest man alive is… Mike Duke of Wal-Mart!”


pages: 344 words: 100,046

The Hidden Family by Charles Stross

correlation does not imply causation, germ theory of disease, illegal immigration, out of africa, Silicon Valley, trade route

“Old masters,” Paulette said promptly. “Huh?” “Old masters.” She put her mug down. “Listen, they haven’t had a world war, have they?” “Nope, I’m afraid they have,” Miriam said, checking her watch to see if she could take another pain killer yet. “In fact, they’ve had two. One in the eighteen-nineties that cost them India. The second in the nineteen-fifties that, well, basically New Britain got kicked out of Africa. Africa is a mess of French and Spanish colonies. But they got a strong alliance with Japan and the Netherlands, which also rule most of northwest Germany. And they rule South America and Australia and most of East Asia.” “No tanks? No H-bombs? No strategic bombers?” “No.” Miriam paused. “Are you saying—” “Museum catalogues!” Paulie said excitedly. “I’ve been thinking about this a lot while you’ve been gone.


pages: 301 words: 100,599

The Hot Zone by Richard Preston

British Empire, Louis Pasteur, out of africa, white picket fence

If the strains come from different continents, they should be quite different from each other. One possibility is that the Reston strain originated in Africa and flew to the Philippines on an airplane not long ago. In other words, Ebola has already entered the net and has been traveling lately. The experts do not doubt that a virus can hop around the world in a matter of days. Perhaps Ebola came out of Africa and landed in Asia a few years back. Perhaps—this is only a guess—Ebola traveled to Asia inside wild African animals. There have been rumors that wealthy people in the Philippines who own private estates in the rain forest have been importing African animals illegally, releasing them into the Philippine jungle, and hunting them. If Ebola lives in African game animals—in leopards or lions or in Cape buffalo—it might have traveled to the Philippines that way.


pages: 301 words: 100,597

My Life as a Goddess: A Memoir Through (Un)Popular Culture by Guy Branum

bitcoin, different worldview, G4S, Google Glasses, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, pets.com, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Rosa Parks, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, telemarketer

To understand why, we must go to the 1987 Danish film Babette’s Feast. Babette’s Feast is one of those well-reputed foreign films from before your time that you’ve never seen but people have told you to watch. It sounds vaguely boring and inoffensive, and while you’re not sure, there may be Nazis involved. Everything but that last part is true. It is, in actuality, an adaptation of a short story by Karen Blixen, the lady Meryl Streep played in Out of Africa. That’s how deep the 1980s prestige movie cred of Babette’s Feast goes: It was written by a Meryl Streep character. The story seems insanely dry. Two old sisters live in a community of Lutheran ascetics founded by their dad. Each has a chance at romance, one with a dashing army officer, the other with a French opera star. They both turn down this secular glamour to assist in their father’s work.


Cataloging the World: Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age by Alex Wright

1960s counterculture, Ada Lovelace, barriers to entry, British Empire, business climate, business intelligence, Cape to Cairo, card file, centralized clearinghouse, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, European colonialism, Frederick Winslow Taylor, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Law of Accelerating Returns, linked data, Livingstone, I presume, lone genius, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norman Mailer, out of africa, packet switching, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, semantic web, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

At the first Congress in Paris, the delegates had further affirmed their belief in the “absolute equality of races” and in “denying the Godappointed existence of super-races, or of races, naturally and inevitably and eternally inferior.” Such sentiments raised hackles among the Belgians. Some news outlets began to conflate the efforts of the organizers with the more radical agenda of the Marcus Garvey–led Universal Negro Improvement Association—which actively sought 170 H ope , L ost and Fo u nd to push Europe and the United States out of Africa—while others saw the Congress as a communist plot to stir up the Congolese natives against their occupiers. A correspondent for the Antwerp newspaper Neptune noted that it was reported in the United States that the organizers had received “remuneration from Moscow (Bolsheviki).” “The association has already organized its propaganda in the lower Congo, and we must not be astonished if some day it causes grave difficulties in the Negro village of Kinshasa, composed of all the ne’er-do-wells of the various tribes of the Colony, aside from some hundreds of labourers.”48 The flurry of public outrage spurred attendance at the event, so much so that white Europeans outnumbered the black participants by a wide margin.


pages: 349 words: 95,972

Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford

affirmative action, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, assortative mating, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Basel III, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, crowdsourcing, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Erdős number, experimental subject, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Frank Gehry, game design, global supply chain, Googley, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, Inbox Zero, income inequality, industrial cluster, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, microbiome, out of africa, Paul Erdős, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Turing test, urban decay, William Langewiesche

• • • Come the Second World War, the Italians were the Germans’ allies, but they seemed as prone as ever to losing battles. At the end of 1940 and beginning of 1941, a small British army under General Richard O’Connor had destroyed a vastly larger Italian force in North Africa, taking 130,000 prisoners and pushing the Italians back from the borders of Egypt to the middle of Libya. It seemed likely that the British would soon advance to Tripoli itself, driving the Italians out of Africa entirely. Faced with this alarming prospect, the Italians accepted Hitler’s offer of assistance—a small, defensive detachment, just one division of tanks and one division of mechanized infantry. It was led by General Rommel.16 Rommel was flushed with success after the Blitzkrieg* invasion of France, when his panzer tanks had surged far ahead of their own troops, roaming freely behind French lines and taking 97,000 prisoners.


pages: 391 words: 99,963

The Weather of the Future by Heidi Cullen

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, air freight, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, availability heuristic, back-to-the-land, bank run, California gold rush, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, energy security, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, mass immigration, megacity, millennium bug, out of africa, Silicon Valley, smart cities, trade route, urban planning, Y2K

The dessication is considered by many scientists to be one of the most striking examples of climate variability the world has seen. A looming question now facing climate scientists is: when will another drought of this magnitude occur? Another question is: if and when such a drought recurs, who will emerge as the winner—the people or the sand? During the 1970s, striking images of this crisis made their way out of Africa and reached television screens and magazine covers all over the world. The pictures of barren landscapes and children with haunting eyes and distended bellies led to coordinated international humanitarian efforts to help reduce the suffering. The crisis also revived a long-standing debate within the scientific community over the fundamental causes of drought. The debate centered on the concept of desertification, a process whereby productive land is transformed into desert as a result of human mismanagement.9 The issue of desertification dates back to the 1930s, during colonial rule in west Africa.


pages: 790 words: 253,035

Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood's Creative Artists Agency by James Andrew Miller

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bonfire of the Vanities, business process, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Donald Trump, family office, interchangeable parts, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, obamacare, out of africa, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, traveling salesman, union organizing

TOM POLLOCK: The deal closed in the fall, and that Christmas, Universal came out with the biggest failure I had at the studio—a movie called Havana, put together by Mike Ovitz with Sydney Pollack, his client, and Robert Redford, his client. It cost $60 million, which was a huge amount of money, and we took a huge hit to earnings within a month after they bought us. And by the way, Michael didn’t force me to make it; anyone would have made it. The last film Sydney Pollack had made was Out of Africa starring Robert Redford, which was wonderful. I liked the script for Havana. What none of us realized is between Out of Africa and Havana Bob had gotten older and the movie opened with a big close-up of his face on the screen, and while he was still incredibly good looking, he was an older person in a business that is still about younger people. We had great years, we had bad years—that’s the way the movie business works. Eighty-nine was a great year and so part of the price that they paid in 1990 was probably based on “Oh, it’s just going to continue like that.”


pages: 321 words: 85,893

The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability by Lierre Keith

British Empire, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, Drosophila, dumpster diving, en.wikipedia.org, Gary Taubes, Haber-Bosch Process, longitudinal study, McMansion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, peak oil, placebo effect, Rosa Parks, the built environment

He corresponded with doctors in Africa who witnessed the increase in cancer in populations that had been cancer-free, concomitant with their acculturation to European foods. My favorite Tanchou quote: “Cancer, like insanity, seems to increase with the progress of civilization.” Doctors across Africa submitted reports detailing essentially the same observations to publications like the British Medical Journal and The Lancet. And not just out of Africa. Articles and indeed entire books on the health of Native Americans from across North America appeared during the beginning of the twentieth century, drawing the same conclusions. Farther afield, British doctors reported from distant Fiji, where, among 120,000 Aborigines, there were exactly two reported cancer deaths.171 This continued on into the mid-twentieth century. As late as 1952, an article out of Queen’s University in Ontario opened with, “It is commonly stated that cancer does not occur in Eskimos, and to our knowledge no case has so far been reported.”172 Remember, those people were eating a diet that was 80 percent animal fat.


pages: 460 words: 107,712

A Devil's Chaplain: Selected Writings by Richard Dawkins

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Buckminster Fuller, butterfly effect, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, Desert Island Discs, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, epigenetics, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, gravity well, Necker cube, out of africa, phenotype, placebo effect, random walk, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method

I have always dreamed of returning to the site of this unwitting baptism, not because there was anything remarkable about the place, but because my memory is void before it. That garden with the two whitewashed huts was my infant Eden and the Mbagathi my personal river. But on a larger timescale Africa is Eden to us all, the ancestral garden whose Darwinian memories have been carved into our DNA over millions of years until our recent worldwide ‘Out of Africa’ diaspora. It was at least partly the search for roots, our species’ ancestors and my own childhood garden, that took me back to Kenya in December 1994. My wife Lalla happened to sit next to Richard Leakey at a lunch to launch his The Origin of Humankind 141 and by the end of the meal he had invited her (and me) to spend Christmas with his family in Kenya. Could there be a better beginning to a search for roots than a visit to the Leakey family on their home ground?


Discover Kaua'i Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

carbon footprint, G4S, haute couture, land reform, Maui Hawaii, out of africa, polynesian navigation, profit motive, union organizing, white picket fence

Over the years we have seen hundreds of visitors miss their tour because they waited until the last minute and there was a weather cancellation. Biplane TROPICAL BIPLANES Biplane ( 246-9123; Lihu'e Airport; tropicalbiplanes.com; 30/45/60min flight per couple $210/310/410) When it comes to fixed-wing aircraft, there is nothing like an open-cockpit biplane. It is the convertible of the sky. So if you want to have that Out of Africa moment, do consider this unique outfit, which flies a beautiful red replica Waco that can seat two people up front. Visibility is not the same as a helicopter, but the roar of the engine and the wind in your hair makes for an entirely different experience, and the route is customized. The company also offers cheaper flights in a Cessna 182, but a helo is preferable in this case. Island Insights There are two Wilcox family homes that you can visit today, both situated on roughly 100 acre estates.


pages: 311 words: 17,232

Living in a Material World: The Commodity Connection by Kevin Morrison

addicted to oil, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, clean water, commoditize, commodity trading advisor, computerized trading, diversified portfolio, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, energy security, European colonialism, flex fuel, food miles, Hernando de Soto, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, Long Term Capital Management, new economy, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, price mechanism, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, young professional

This cartel also appeared to have the blessing of Western governments and the US called for an international agreement to coordinate production and marketing of copper (Walters, 1944). But even government agreements lost their meaning upon the outbreak of the Second World War, which terminated the cartel. The 1930s saw the emergence of copper supplies from more countries. The American grip on the copper market loosened, and African copper production started to take hold. 202 | LIVING IN A MATERIAL WORLD Out of Africa From 1870 to 1939 global copper production rose twenty-fold, far greater than the increases in lead, tin and zinc (Fetter, 1999), with the higher output coming from Chile, Canada, Northern Rhodesia and Belgian Congo. Just as in the battles of antiquity, copper was again used in warfare, but on a bigger scale during the Second World War: ‘Copper played a fundamental part in the slaughter that took place during the war with hundreds of thousands of pounds worth devoured by the assembly lines that made brass cartridges and cannon shells.


pages: 459 words: 109,490

Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible by Stephen Braun, Douglas Farah

air freight, airport security, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, out of africa, plutocrats, Plutocrats, private military company

It’s up to the individual member states to act.”25 By 1993, Bout had turned to South Africa as a base of operations on the continent. Although many of his aircraft were already operating out of Sharjah in the UAE, Bout began using Pietersburg Airport, 180 miles northeast of Johannesburg, as a hub from which he could ply his assorted trades. Bout was already flying gladiolas and other flower species out of Africa to the UAE, at a considerable profit. He began flying beef and poultry from South Africa to other African nations. On a continent with little transportation infrastructure, air freight was the only way to move perishable goods any distance, and Bout’s companies soon grew from the original three to several dozen. Aircraft that Bout could acquire for $30,000 would pay for themselves after just two or three flights.


pages: 372 words: 109,536

The Panama Papers: Breaking the Story of How the Rich and Powerful Hide Their Money by Frederik Obermaier

banking crisis, blood diamonds, credit crunch, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Snowden, family office, high net worth, income inequality, Kickstarter, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, mega-rich, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, out of africa, race to the bottom, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks

Half the world’s diamond deposits are found on African territory, along with a quarter of the world’s gold reserves, 10 per cent of oil reserves and 9 per cent of gas reserves. And then there’s uranium, mineral ores, and much more. The population gets virtually nothing from it: the money simply disappears, into the accounts of large multinational companies or the safes of the elite. Experts estimate that more than $50 billion flows out of Africa every year. $50 billion! On top of that, the African states avoid paying about $38 billion in taxes, because companies operating there divert their profits to tax havens, as revealed in 2013 by a group of experts led by Kofi Annan. After the meeting in Johannesburg, we and our colleagues continue to find links to Africa on an almost daily basis. We find a company founded by Mossfon that the government of Gabon accuses of having evaded taxes worth $85 million, then we find the wife of a former president of Ghana in the data, and then a former Nigerian president of OPEC.


pages: 480 words: 112,463

The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History by Kassia St Clair

barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, butterfly effect, Dmitri Mendeleev, Elon Musk, Francisco Pizarro, gender pay gap, ghettoisation, gravity well, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kickstarter, out of africa, Rana Plaza, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, spinning jenny, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, Works Progress Administration

To potential mates, bare, smooth and bug-free skin would have been the equivalent of the mandrill’s multicoloured rump or peacock’s showy plumage: irresistible.10 Parasites, funnily enough, have also been exploited by scientists to work out when we began wearing clothes. Body lice feed, unsurprisingly, on human bodies, but live exclusively in clothing. Finding out when these lice evolved from their forebears, head lice, would indicate when humans began habitually wearing clothing. Going by this method, evidence suggests we only donned clothes sometime between 42,000 and 72,000 years ago, or around the time that humans began migrating out of Africa, implying that we remained naked for around a million years.11 Not all clothing has to be made of woven materials, of course. It’s likely that for a very long time people made do with draped animal pelts and then began roughly sewing these together (although they would perhaps have used fibrous thread to do so). Ultimately, though, the advantages of using woven fabric for clothing would have become obvious.


pages: 416 words: 108,370

Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, always be closing, augmented reality, Clayton Christensen, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, full employment, game design, Gordon Gekko, hindsight bias, indoor plumbing, industrial cluster, information trail, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, Kodak vs Instagram, linear programming, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, subscription business, telemarketer, the medium is the message, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Vilfredo Pareto, Vincenzo Peruggia: Mona Lisa, women in the workforce

Paul Hekkert, a professor of industrial design and psychology, received a grant several years ago to develop a grand theory for why people like what they like, a Unified Model of Aesthetics. Hekkert’s grand theory begins with two competing pressures. On the one hand, humans seek familiarity, because it makes them feel safe. On the other hand, people are charged by the thrill of a challenge, powered by a pioneer lust. Our ancestors didn’t just walk out of Africa; they also walked out of the Middle East, and out of the Balkans, and out of Asia, and out of North America. Humans have climbed the peak of Mount Everest and descended to the nadir of the Mariana Trench. They have radical curiosity crossed with conservative minds. This battle between discovery and familiarity affects us “on every level,” Hekkert said—not just our preferences for pictures and songs, but also for ideas and even people.


pages: 332 words: 106,197

The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and Its Solutions by Jason Hickel

Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Atahualpa, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Sanders, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, David Attenborough, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, dematerialisation, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, European colonialism, falling living standards, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, Howard Zinn, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, James Watt: steam engine, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, land value tax, liberal capitalism, Live Aid, Mahatma Gandhi, Monroe Doctrine, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, plutocrats, Plutocrats, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration

Already the world’s poorest region, sub-Saharan Africa suffers total illicit outflows that amount to 6.1 per cent of its GDP.20 In fact, Africa loses so much through illicit flows that it is effectively a net creditor to the rest of the world. If we tally up all types of legal and illegal financial flows, including investment, remittances, debt forgiveness and natural resource exports, we see that Africa sends more money to the rest of the world than it receives. The provocative graph on the following page illustrates the sheer scale of the capital that is dripping out of Africa’s open veins. In total, developing countries may have lost as much as $2 trillion in 2013 through hot money and trade mispricing, or a mind-boggling $14.3 trillion over the past decade.21 And in case these numbers aren’t staggering enough, keep in mind that the misinvoicing figures only reflect trade in goods, not trade in services. GFI is not able to capture misinvoicing for services. We have no idea what the scale of illicit flows might look like in the service sector, but since trade in services counts for 25 per cent of global trade, we can probably bump the figures up by the same proportion.


pages: 412 words: 115,266

The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values by Sam Harris

Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Bayesian statistics, cognitive bias, end world poverty, endowment effect, energy security, experimental subject, framing effect, hindsight bias, impulse control, John Nash: game theory, longitudinal study, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, pattern recognition, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, scientific worldview, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, ultimatum game, World Values Survey

These were the first members of our species to exhibit the technical and social innovations made possible by language.3 Genetic evidence indicates that a band of perhaps 150 of these people left Africa and gradually populated the rest of the earth. Their migration would not have been without its hardships, however, as they were not alone: Homo neanderthalensis laid claim to Europe and the Middle East, and Homo erectus occupied Asia. Both were species of archaic humans that had developed along separate evolutionary paths after one or more prior migrations out of Africa. Both possessed large brains, fashioned stone tools similar to those of Homo sapiens, and were well armed. And yet over the next twenty thousand years, our ancestors gradually displaced, and may have physically eradicated, all rivals.4 Given the larger brains and sturdier build of the Neanderthals, it seems reasonable to suppose that only our species had the advantage of fully symbolic, complex speech.5 While there is still controversy over the biological origins of human language, as well as over its likely precursors in the communicative behavior of other animals,6 there is no question that syntactic language lies at the root of our ability to understand the universe, to communicate ideas, to cooperate with one another in complex societies, and to build (one hopes) a sustainable, global civilization.7 But why has language made such a difference?


pages: 391 words: 117,984

The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World by Jacqueline Novogratz

access to a mobile phone, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, business process, business process outsourcing, clean water, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, Hernando de Soto, Kibera, Lao Tzu, market design, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, Ronald Reagan, sensible shoes, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, transaction costs, zero-sum game

Of course, I kept my guitar and a boxful of poetry books, both of which I deemed essential for saving the world. Though I was supposed to go to Côte d’Ivoire, my new boss informed me that I was to first fly to Nairobi to attend a women’s conference, where I would meet a lot of African women in the network and get a better sense of the organization itself. I could imagine Kenya much more easily than Côte d’Ivoire, especially since the film Out of Africa had recently been released (I didn’t have a clue about how little Kenyans cared for it at the time). Starting in Nairobi might be a gentler introduction to the continent. I remember making my way through the streets of Nairobi for the first time, stunned by the gentle shower of purple jacaranda flowers floating around me in Uhuru Park. Nairobi looked much more modern than I’d imagined, with its tall buildings and wide streets.


pages: 379 words: 114,807

The Land Grabbers: The New Fight Over Who Owns the Earth by Fred Pearce

activist lawyer, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, big-box store, blood diamonds, British Empire, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, Cape to Cairo, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate raider, credit crunch, Deng Xiaoping, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, farmers can use mobile phones to check market prices, index fund, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, megacity, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nelson Mandela, Nikolai Kondratiev, offshore financial centre, out of africa, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, smart cities, structural adjustment programs, too big to fail, undersea cable, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks

Under glass roofs, he has created the world’s largest rose-growing business, selling 650 million stems a year. This is a stunning 10 percent of the global market. He employs ten thousand people in Africa alone. But Karuturi reckons he cannot sell any more roses. The market is sated. So he is moving into mainstream agriculture. “I want to be among the top four or five integrated agri-product companies in the world. And I will implement this vision out of Africa,” he says. He plans on having two and a half million acres of land under his plows in Africa—a third of them in Ethiopia and, he suggested in late 2011, another third in Tanzania. Karuturi promises to invest a billion dollars in the virgin fields of Gambella alone. Flash floods from the River Baro obliterated thousands of acres of the first corn harvest in late 2011, but his response was to bring in Dutch consultants to prevent a repetition.


pages: 403 words: 111,119

Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Asian financial crisis, bank run, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, disruptive innovation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, global supply chain, global village, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, land reform, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, loss aversion, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, Myron Scholes, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, Occupy movement, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, price mechanism, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, smart meter, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, the market place, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Torches of Freedom, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, wikimedia commons

‘In a single lifetime humanity has become a planetary-scale geological force … This is a new phenomenon and indicates that humanity has a new responsibility at a global level for the planet.’25 This Great Acceleration in human activity has clearly put our planet under pressure. But just how much pressure can it take before the very life-giving systems that sustain us start to break down? In other words, what determines the Doughnut’s ecological ceiling? To answer that question, we have to look back over the past 100,000 years of life on Earth. For almost all of that time – as early humans trekked out of Africa and blazed a trail across continents – Earth’s average temperature spiked up and down. But during just the last 12,000 years or so, it has been warmer, and far more stable too. This recent period of Earth’s history is known as the Holocene. And it is a word well worth knowing because it has given us the best home we’ve ever had. Home sweet home in the Holocene. The graph shows Earth’s changing temperature over the past 100,000 years, based on data from the Greenland ice core.


pages: 429 words: 120,332

Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens by Nicholas Shaxson

Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, call centre, capital controls, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, failed state, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, high net worth, income inequality, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, land value tax, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, Martin Wolf, money market fund, New Journalism, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, old-boy network, out of africa, passive income, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, transfer pricing, Washington Consensus

Britain did it with the modern offshore system, its financial replacement for empire. Citizens of the United States are paying the price. “It has taken me a long time to understand,” explains Joly, “that the expansion in the use of these jurisdictions [tax havens] has a link to decolonization. It is a modern form of colonialism.”11 Long before my first visit to Libreville I had noticed how money was pouring out of Africa, often into tax havens, but the secrecy surrounding this financial trade made it impossible to trace the connections. Financial institutions, and occasionally their accountants and lawyers, would surface in particular stories, then slip back into an offshore murk of commercial confidentiality and professional discretion. Every time a scandal broke, these intermediaries’ crucial roles escaped serious scrutiny.


Chasing the Moon: The People, the Politics, and the Promise That Launched America Into the Space Age by Robert Stone, Alan Andres

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Charles Lindbergh, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, feminist movement, invention of the telephone, low earth orbit, more computing power than Apollo, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, operation paperclip, out of africa, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, the scientific method, traveling salesman, Works Progress Administration

The violent controlled combustion needed to lift 6.5 million pounds away from the force of the Earth’s gravity was an unequaled engineering achievement—and remains unequaled half a century later. The Saturn V was the physical creation of the mind and hand of the human species, a work of imagination conceived by beings composed of living cells, beings who evolved from aquatic life on a small planet orbiting a minor star. The launch of Apollo 11 followed in the tradition of the early explorers who expanded out of Africa’s Great Rift Valley and extended their presence to nearly every part in the world. Like Stonehenge, the Pyramids, the great cathedrals, and the statues on Easter Island, Apollo was an enterprise guided by the human genetic code, which over the course of hundreds of thousands of years had favored those who could dream, reason, persist, and create. A technological marvel, a manifestation of political will, or, perhaps, a work of cosmic conceptual art, Apollo 11 defined what it was to be human.


pages: 515 words: 117,501

Miracle Cure by William Rosen

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, availability heuristic, biofilm, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, creative destruction, demographic transition, discovery of penicillin, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, functional fixedness, germ theory of disease, global supply chain, Haber-Bosch Process, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Louis Pasteur, medical malpractice, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, New Journalism, obamacare, out of africa, pattern recognition, Pepto Bismol, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, stem cell, transcontinental railway, working poor

Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1949. Coghill, R., et al. Method for Increased Yields of Pencillin. U.S. Patent No. 2423873 A, June 17, 1944. Colebrook, L. “Almroth Edward Wright: 1861–1947.” Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society 6, no. 17 (November 1948): 297–314. Colebrook, L. “Gerhard Domagk.” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 10 (November 1964): 39. Comas, I., et al. “Out-of-Africa Migration and Neolithic Co-Expansion of Mycobacterium tuberculosis with Modern Humans. Nature: Genetics 45, no. 10 (October 2013): 1176–82. Committee on Statistics. Steel Statistical Yearbook. Brussels: International Iron & Steel Institute, 1981. Congressional Quarterly. “Subcommittee Investigates Drug Prices.” CQ Almanac 1960, 16th ed. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 1960, 11-743–49.


pages: 437 words: 115,594

The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World by Steven Radelet

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, business climate, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, colonial rule, creative destruction, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, global supply chain, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, off grid, oil shock, out of africa, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, special economic zone, standardized shipping container, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, women in the workforce, working poor

Economists Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson, and James Robinson argued that where European colonizers faced serious health threats from disease (think the Belgian Congo in the late nineteenth century), they set up repressive institutions to extract resources through violence, and that these tactics and institutions established hundreds of years ago are central to understanding institutions in developing countries today.5 Other researchers suggest that differences in income today date back to inventions from three thousand years ago, or even further to the timing of the migration of different groups out of Africa to form new societies around the world. These hotly debated studies are helpful in understanding the historical origins of the large differences between rich and poor countries today. But their conclusions provide little help for people in today’s developing countries, as they suggest that their fate is tied to decisions and actions taken centuries ago or factors outside their control. They do not help us understand the recent acceleration of development progress or the reasons why so many developing countries began to turn at roughly the same time in the 1990s.


pages: 395 words: 116,675

The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge by Matt Ridley

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, AltaVista, altcoin, anthropic principle, anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Columbian Exchange, computer age, Corn Laws, cosmological constant, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Snowden, endogenous growth, epigenetics, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, George Santayana, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, hydraulic fracturing, imperial preference, income per capita, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, land reform, Lao Tzu, long peace, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Necker cube, obamacare, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, price mechanism, profit motive, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, smart contracts, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, twin studies, uber lyft, women in the workforce

After more than a million years of making simple stone tools to just a few designs, these Africans began making lots of different types of tool. At first the change was local, gradual and ephemeral, so the word revolution is misleading. But then the tool changes began to appear more frequently, more strongly and more persistently. By 65,000 years ago the people with the new tool sets had begun to spill out of Africa, most probably across the narrow strait at the southern end of the Red Sea, and had begun a comparatively rapid colonisation of the Eurasian continent, displacing – and very occasionally mating with – the native hominids that were already there, such as the Neanderthals in Europe and the Denisovans in Asia. These new people had something special: they were not prisoners of their ecological niche, but could change their habits quite easily if prey disappeared, or better opportunities arose.


pages: 385 words: 119,859

This Is London: Life and Death in the World City by Ben Judah

British Empire, deindustrialization, eurozone crisis, high net worth, illegal immigration, mass immigration, multicultural london english, out of africa, period drama, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Skype, white flight, young professional

They own the cash-and-carry houses, filled with yams and the bags of fufu. They run the import–export. And they are the slum landlords. There are tensions here. ‘They don’t have, you know . . . the entrepreneurial spirit . . .’ I am talking to Arif as he jangles his car keys. Arif is a slum landlord. This afternoon he has been out collecting rent. The cramped little shops along the parade are right out of Africa. Bric-a-brac: piles of plastic plates, stick-free pans, palm oil, stacks of rice flour and crates of pounded yellow yam. Everything that you can haul out of a cash and carry. Mothers guard the shops. They are playing Yoruba songs on YouTube to their children, who answer them back in English. ‘The thing is you see with us Asians . . . We came here, we snapped up all this property, right . . .


pages: 389 words: 112,319

Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Wiles, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Arthur Eddington, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, dark matter, delayed gratification, different worldview, discovery of DNA, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, functional fixedness, Gary Taubes, George Santayana, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Inbox Zero, index fund, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, late fees, lateral thinking, lone genius, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, obamacare, Occam's razor, out of africa, Peter Thiel, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra

Ryan Holiday, Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work That Lasts (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2017), 35; Tim Ferriss, “Rick Rubin on Cultivating World-Class Artists (Jay Z, Johnny Cash, etc.), Losing 100+ Pounds, and Breaking Down the Complex,” episode 76 (podcast), The Tim Ferriss Show, https://tim.blog/2015/05/15/rick-rubin. 70. Matthew Braga, “The Verbasizer Was David Bowie’s 1995 Lyric-Writing Mac App,” Motherboard, January 11, 2016, https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/xygxpn/the-verbasizer-was-david-bowies-1995-lyric-writing-mac-app. 71. Amy Zipkin, “Out of Africa, Onto the Web,” New York Times, December 17, 2006, www.nytimes.com/2006/12/17/jobs/17boss.html. 72. The discussion on the Nike Waffle Trainer is based on the following sources: Knight, Shoe Dog; Chris Danforth, “A Brief History of Nike’s Revolutionary Waffle Trainer,” Highsnobiety, March 30, 2017, www.highsnobiety.com/2017/03/30/nike-waffle-trainer-history; Matt Blitz, “How a Dirty Old Waffle Iron Became Nike’s Holy Grail,” Popular Mechanics, July 15, 2016, www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/a21841/nike-waffle-iron. 73.


pages: 396 words: 123,619

Hope for Animals and Their World by Jane Goodall, Thane Maynard, Gail Hudson

carbon footprint, clean water, David Attenborough, Google Earth, Maui Hawaii, Nelson Mandela, new economy, out of africa

But thanks to both captive breeding in zoos and leadership by Mongolian wildlife officials, I was able to gaze upon a restored wild herd in the summer of 2007. My adventures in Mongolia have been in the company of a most amazing PhD wildlife biologist named Munkhtsog. Today he is one of the nation’s leading scientists. It is through him that I have been able to get a glimpse of the effort it has taken to save them. When humans first walked out of Africa fifty to seventy thousand years ago to spread across Asia and Europe, they viewed the huge herds of wild horses as prey. Eventually, of course, humans domesticated horses from wild stock, selectively breeding them for everything from transportation to work to simple beauty. However, along the way, domestication and spreading human settlements led to the extinction of the word’s wild herds. Then, to everyone’s great surprise, European explorers reported seeing herds of ancestral wild horses in Central Asia.


pages: 452 words: 126,310

The Case for Space: How the Revolution in Spaceflight Opens Up a Future of Limitless Possibility by Robert Zubrin

Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, battle of ideas, Charles Lindbergh, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, cosmic microwave background, cosmological principle, discovery of DNA, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, flex fuel, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gravity well, if you build it, they will come, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kuiper Belt, low earth orbit, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, more computing power than Apollo, Naomi Klein, nuclear winter, off grid, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, place-making, Pluto: dwarf planet, private space industry, rising living standards, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, telerobotics, Thomas Malthus, transcontinental railway, uranium enrichment

There, in our natural habitat, we remained for the following 150,000 years, under conditions of near-complete technological stagnation. But then, for some reason, 50,000 years ago, some of our ancestors ventured forth, to take on the more challenging environments of Ice Age Europe and Asia, diversifying and inventing new ways of doing things as they went, to ultimately settle the entire Earth. The trek out of Africa was humanity's key step in setting itself on the path toward achieving the mature Type I status that the human race now approaches. The challenge today is to move on to Type II. Indeed, the establishment of a true spacefaring civilization represents a change in human status fully as profound—both as formidable and as pregnant with promise—as humanity's move from the rift valley to its current global society.


pages: 309 words: 122,748

Out of Africa by Karen Blixen

animal electricity, out of africa, place-making

Out Of Africa by Isak Dinesen (1938) (Version 1.0) * * * Table of Contents BOOK ONE: KAMANTE AND LULU Chapter 1 THE NGONG FARM Chapter 2 A NATIVE CHILD Chapter 3 THE SAVAGE IN THE IMMIGRANT'S HOUSE Chapter 4 A GAZELLE BOOK TWO: A SHOOTING ACCIDENT ON THE FARM Chapter 1 THE SHOOTING ACCIDENT Chapter 2 RIDING IN THE RESERVE Chapter 3 WAMAI Chapter 4 WANYANGERRI Chapter 5 A KIKUYU CHIEF BOOK THREE: VISITORS TO THE FARM Chapter 1 BIG DANCES Chapter 2 A VISITOR FROM ASIA Chapter 3 THE SOMALI WOMEN Chapter 4 OLD KNUDSEN Chapter 5 A FUGITIVE RESTS ON THE FARM Chapter 6 VISITS OF FRIENDS Chapter 7 THE NOBLE PIONEER Chapter 8 WINGS BOOK FOUR: FROM AN IMMIGRANT'S NOTEBOOK Chapter 1 THE WILD CAME TO THE AID OF THE WILD BOOK FIVE: FAREWELL TO THE FARM Chapter 1 HARD TIMES Chapter 2 THE DEATH OF KINANJUI Chapter 3 THE GRAVE IN THE HILLS Chapter 4 FARAH AND I SELL OUT Chapter 5 FAREWELL * * * BOOK ONE KAMANTE AND LULU From the Forests and Highlands we come, we come.


pages: 407 words: 121,458

Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff by Fred Pearce

additive manufacturing, air freight, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, demographic transition, Fall of the Berlin Wall, food miles, ghettoisation, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Kibera, Kickstarter, mass immigration, megacity, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, profit motive, race to the bottom, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, the built environment, urban planning, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

There was Homo erectus, who had left Africa and walked the plains of Asia almost 2 million years before. He had seen out more than a dozen ice ages. There were the hunched and hairy Neanderthals, in caves from Europe to Siberia. And Homo floresiensis, the tiny people dubbed hobbits, on the Indonesian island of Flores, just east of Toba. And there was Homo sapiens, the newest and nakedest species, who had emerged out of Africa about 70,000 years before Toba. On the day Toba blew, these tribes of hominid hunters and gatherers would have been confronted by a world in which temperatures plunged, hot volcanic ash rained down, the plants were dead and animals were dying all around. The first hours were the worst. As Michael Rampino, an earth scientist at New York University, puts it: ‘Breathing in volcanic ash is like breathing in tiny needles.


pages: 651 words: 135,818

China into Africa: trade, aid, and influence by Robert I. Rotberg

barriers to entry, BRICs, colonial rule, corporate governance, Deng Xiaoping, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, global supply chain, global value chain, income inequality, Khartoum Gordon, land reform, megacity, microcredit, offshore financial centre, one-China policy, out of africa, Pearl River Delta, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, trade route, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

The United States needs Chinese cooperation geostrategically and economically. Therefore, Washington may be prepared (within limits) to observe and remain untroubled by an Africa more dependent than ever upon ramped up Chinese trade and aid, major military assistance, and Chinese labor. Indeed, Chin-Hao Huang suggests that as of 2008, Washington was largely ill-prepared to assess what the Chinese really want out of Africa, and how Chinese policies are formulated and executed. Likewise, Washington has little knowledge of African opinion regarding China’s new thrust into their continent. Chin-Hao Huang urges Washington to “be sensitive to the many and long-standing, positive legacies and images of the Chinese in various parts of Africa,” particularly in sharp contrast to Western colonial practices.46 Throughout the Bush administration, top officials from Washington and Beijing talked regularly about their mutual interests in Africa.


pages: 436 words: 140,256

The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond

agricultural Revolution, assortative mating, Atahualpa, Columbian Exchange, correlation coefficient, double helix, Drosophila, European colonialism, invention of gunpowder, invention of the wheel, invention of writing, longitudinal study, out of africa, phenotype, Scientific racism, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, the scientific method, trade route

Chapter Eighteen looks more closely at the biggest, most dramatic, and most controversial of these 'Golden Age mass extinctions'. Around 11,000 years ago most of the large mammals of two entire continents, North America and South America, became extinct. Around the same time appears the first unequivocal evidence for human occupation of the Americas, by the ancestors of American Indians. It was the biggest expansion of human territory since Homo erectus spread out of Africa to colonize Europe and Asia a million years ago. The temporal coincidence between the first Americans and the last big American mammals, the lack of mass extinctions elsewhere in the world at that same time, and proofs that some of the now-extinct beasts were hunted have suggested what is termed the New World blitzkrieg hypothesis. According to this interpretation, as the first wave of human hunters multiplied and spread from Canada to Patagonia, they encountered big animals that had never seen humans before, and they exterminated as they marched.


pages: 447 words: 141,811

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Atahualpa, British Empire, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, David Graeber, Edmond Halley, European colonialism, Francisco Pizarro, glass ceiling, global village, greed is good, income per capita, invention of gunpowder, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, liberal capitalism, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, out of africa, personalized medicine, Ponzi scheme, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, urban planning, zero-sum game

Beginning of biology. 6 million Last common grandmother of humans and chimpanzees. 2.5 million Evolution of the genus Homo in Africa. First stone tools. 2 million Humans spread from Africa to Eurasia. Evolution of different human species. 500,000 Neanderthals evolve in Europe and the Middle East. 300,000 Daily usage of fire. 200,000 Homo sapiens evolves in East Africa. 70,000 The Cognitive Revolution. Emergence of fictive language. Beginning of history. Sapiens spread out of Africa. 45,000 Sapiens settle Australia. Extinction of Australian megafauna. 30,000 Extinction of Neanderthals. 16,000 Sapiens settle America. Extinction of American megafauna. 13,000 Extinction of Homo floresiensis. Homo sapiens the only surviving human species. 12,000 The Agricultural Revolution. Domestication of plants and animals. Permanent settlements. 5,000 First kingdoms, script and money.


pages: 502 words: 128,126

Rule Britannia: Brexit and the End of Empire by Danny Dorling, Sally Tomlinson

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, anti-globalists, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, colonial rule, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Etonian, falling living standards, Flynn Effect, housing crisis, illegal immigration, imperial preference, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, knowledge economy, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, megacity, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, University of East Anglia, We are the 99%, wealth creators

By the early twentieth century, abuse was rife among those who believed in biological determinism and the dangers of a defective population. Winston Churchill, Home Secretary in 1911, believed that a system of labour camps, sterilisation and even euthanasia were ways of dealing with the ‘feeble-minded’.10 By 1924, a ‘Racial Integrity Act’ was being passed in the state of Virginia that defined someone as ‘coloured’ if they had one non-white ancestor. This was despite us all coming out of Africa! The Act was accompanied by a Sterilization Act based on the ‘Model Eugenical Sterilization Law’.11 Around the globe, statutes were passed forbidding relationships between white women and non-white men (and, less often, the opposite). Artificial races, almost all newly imagined and ranked in a supposed order of racial fitness, were defined as realities in much of Africa, in the rest of the Americas, across Europe, Asia, Australasia – all around the world.


pages: 489 words: 136,195

Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert Macfarlane

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, demand response, Google Earth, megacity, Minecraft, oil rush, out of africa, planetary scale, precariat, sovereign wealth fund, supervolcano, the built environment, The Spirit Level, uranium enrichment

The tomb is intended to outlast not only the people who designed it, but also the species that designed it. It is intended to maintain its integrity without future maintenance for 100,000 years, able to endure a future Ice Age. One hundred thousand years ago three major river systems flowed across the Sahara. One hundred thousand years ago anatomically modern humans were beginning their journey out of Africa. The oldest pyramid is around 4,600 years old; the oldest surviving church building is fewer than 2,000 years old. This Finnish tomb has some of the most secure containment protocols ever devised: more secure than the crypts of the Pharaohs, more secure than any supermax prison. It is hoped that what is placed within this tomb will never leave it by means of any agency other than the geological.


pages: 539 words: 139,378

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

affirmative action, Black Swan, cognitive bias, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, index card, invisible hand, lateral thinking, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Necker cube, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, social intelligence, social web, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Spirit Level, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, ultimatum game

Like bees, our ancestors were (1) territorial creatures with a fondness for defensible nests (such as caves) who (2) gave birth to needy offspring that required enormous amounts of care, which had to be given while (3) the group was under threat from neighboring groups. For hundreds of thousands of years, therefore, conditions were in place that pulled for the evolution of ultrasociality, and as a result, we are the only ultrasocial primate. The human lineage may have started off acting very much like chimps,48 but by the time our ancestors started walking out of Africa, they had become at least a little bit like bees. And much later, when some groups began planting crops and orchards, and then building granaries, storage sheds, fenced pastures, and permanent homes, they had an even steadier food supply that had to be defended even more vigorously. Like bees, humans began building ever more elaborate nests, and in just a few thousand years, a new kind of vehicle appeared on Earth—the city-state, able to raise walls and armies.49 City-states and, later, empires spread rapidly across Eurasia, North Africa, and Mesoamerica, changing many of the Earth’s ecosystems and allowing the total tonnage of human beings to shoot up from insignificance at the start of the Holocene (around twelve thousand years ago) to world domination today.50 As the colonial insects did to the other insects, we have pushed all other mammals to the margins, to extinction, or to servitude.


pages: 457 words: 143,967

The Bank That Lived a Little: Barclays in the Age of the Very Free Market by Philip Augar

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, break the buck, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, family office, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, high net worth, hiring and firing, index card, index fund, interest rate derivative, light touch regulation, loadsamoney, Long Term Capital Management, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, out of africa, prediction markets, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Sloane Ranger, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, sovereign wealth fund, too big to fail, wikimedia commons, yield curve

Ahead of the UK’s ringfencing regulations, which would come into effect on 1 January 2019, the business was divided into Barclays UK, the consumer bank, and Barclays International, the corporate and investment bank, within a holding company, Barclays PLC. According to early indications from the credit ratings agencies, both the operating companies would be given the coveted status of ‘investment grade’. OUT OF AFRICA At half-past five in the afternoon of Monday 18 April 2016, Jes Staley knocked on the door of a first floor suite at Claridge’s hotel in Brook Street, London. A fellow American, about the same age, opened the door and beckoned him in. Bob Diamond was in town and they had business to discuss. After his brutal expulsion from Barclays, Diamond had spent the summer of 2012 at his family home on Nantucket.


pages: 385 words: 128,358

Inside the House of Money: Top Hedge Fund Traders on Profiting in a Global Market by Steven Drobny

Albert Einstein, asset allocation, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, buy low sell high, capital controls, central bank independence, commoditize, commodity trading advisor, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, Credit Default Swap, diversification, diversified portfolio, family office, fixed income, glass ceiling, high batting average, implied volatility, index fund, inflation targeting, interest rate derivative, inventory management, John Meriwether, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, Maui Hawaii, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, new economy, Nick Leeson, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, out of africa, paper trading, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, price anchoring, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, rolodex, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, yield curve, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

So there are several reasons why I like Africa.There are plenty of great stories, but the major theme of Africa is that they have a lot of natural resources and I’m bullish on raw materials.They do not have an automobile industry, they do not make a lot of laptops, but they have a lot of raw materials. If I am right, the raw material bull market will last another 15 years or so, so there are going to be some great fortunes coming out of Africa.A lot of those stories are going to be spectacular but will not last because the bull market in Africa will not last.When the bear market in commodities comes again,Africa will suffer. It is interesting that you brought up the KGB.The investment community seems worried that Putin is taking Russia back to its KGB roots.Also, you say they do not have any money, but the recent oil move is making Russia a lot of money.


pages: 435 words: 136,906

The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius(tm) by Mary-Elaine Jacobsen

Albert Einstein, fear of failure, impulse control, Isaac Newton, Mahatma Gandhi, out of africa, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, urban sprawl, Walter Mischel

., and Mourning Dove, who possessed the spirit to chronicle her people’s honored traditions both as a folklorist and novelist Intrapersonal intelligence: A sharp understanding of one’s inner landscape, motivations, emotions, needs, and goals, as with Herman Hesse, Sigmund Freud, Mahatma Gandhi, Thomas Merton, and Ingmar Bergman Naturalist intelligence: A special ability to grasp the intricate workings and relationships within nature; an instinctive reverence for a connection with animals, plants, minerals, ocean, sky, desert, and mountain, as in Henry David Thoreau; John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, who at age sixty-eight began a campaign to preserve the Yosemite Valley; and Isak Dinesen, whose years as a farmer on an East African highlands coffee plantation inspired her to write her celebrated memoir Out of Africa From this standpoint, hip-hop kids might be perceived as masters of musical, linguistic, and kinesthetic intelligences. The effective TV interviewer could be said to excel in linguistic and interpersonal intelligences. Members of Greenpeace who successfully activate their conscience and persuade the powers that be to pay attention to environmental problems by allocating funds and changing laws probably have unusual strengths in naturalist, interpersonal, and linguistic intelligence.


pages: 511 words: 132,682

Competition Overdose: How Free Market Mythology Transformed Us From Citizen Kings to Market Servants by Maurice E. Stucke, Ariel Ezrachi

affirmative action, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cloud computing, commoditize, corporate governance, Corrections Corporation of America, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, George Akerlof, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Chrome, greed is good, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, income per capita, information asymmetry, invisible hand, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, late fees, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, mandatory minimum, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, mortgage debt, Network effects, out of africa, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, precariat, price anchoring, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Stanford prison experiment, Stephen Hawking, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, ultimatum game, Vanguard fund, winner-take-all economy

Add it all up and users spend about 950 million hours on Facebook each day.15 We also spend a lot of time on Google’s platform.16 As Google noted in 2017, “people around the world are now watching a billion hours of YouTube’s incredible content every single day!”17 To put that in perspective, Google calculated that if you were to sit and watch a billion hours of YouTube, it would take you back over 100,000 years, to the time when “our ancestors were crafting stone tools and migrating out of Africa while mammoths and mastodons roamed the Earth.”18 Google’s core products, such as Android, Chrome, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Maps, Google Play, Search, and YouTube, each have over one billion active users per month.19 YouTube, on mobile phones alone, reaches more eighteen- to thirty-four-year-olds in the United States than any TV network.20 According to one 2017 study, 80 percent of US children between six and twelve years old used YouTube daily.21 Increasingly we are mesmerized by our mobile phone apps—well over four hours per day, on average, in 2017.22 So much so that psychologists have coined a word for the fear of being without one’s phone, nomophobia (no mobile phone phobia), and some have called for it to be included in the American Psychiatric Association’s taxonomic and diagnostic tool, the DSM-5.23 Symptoms include “regular and time-consuming use, feelings of anxiety when the phone is not available, ‘ringxiety’ (i.e., repeatedly checking one’s phone for messages, sometimes leading to phantom ring tones), constant availability, preference for mobile communication over face to face communication, and financial problems as a consequence of use.”24 Psychologists have defined as disorders “social network site addiction” and “Facebook addiction,”25 in which users are “overly concerned about social media, driven by an uncontrollable motivation to log on to or use social media, and devoting so much time and effort to [social network sites] that it impairs other important life areas.”26 Whether we are addicted or not in the medical sense of that word, the time we spend on social media clearly eats into other activities—like sleeping, studying, and actually doing things with other people.27 The situation has gotten so bad that in January 2018, a hedge fund joined a California pension fund to demand that Apple do more to address the effects of its devices on children.


pages: 473 words: 130,141

The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution by Richard Wrangham

agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, Defenestration of Prague, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, impulse control, income inequality, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, phenotype, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Steven Pinker, twin studies, ultimatum game

“Severe aggression among female Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii at Gombe National Park, Tanzania.” International Journal of Primatology 29: 949–73. ———, and Craig Packer. 1994. “Infanticide in lions: Consequences and counterstrategies.” In Infanticide and Parental Care, edited by S. Parmigiani and F. von Saal (London: Harwood Academic Publishers), pp. 277–330. Rabett, Ryan J. 2018. “The success of failed Homo sapiens dispersals out of Africa and into Asia.” Nature Ecology and Evolution 2: 212–19. Radcliffe-Brown, A. 1922. The Andaman Islanders: A Study in Social Anthropology. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. Raia, Pasquale, Fabio M. Guarino, Mimmo Turano, Gianluca Polese, Daniela Rippa, Francesco Carotenuto, Daria M. Monti, Manuela Cardi, and Domenico Fulgione. 2010. “The blue lizard spandrel and the island syndrome.”


pages: 470 words: 137,882

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, clean water, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, desegregation, Donald Trump, global pandemic, Gunnar Myrdal, mass incarceration, Milgram experiment, obamacare, out of africa, Peter Eisenman, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, strikebreaker, transatlantic slave trade, zero-sum game

It is a fiction told by modern humans for so long that it has come to be seen as a sacred truth. Two decades ago, analysis of the human genome established that all human beings are 99.9 percent the same. “Race is a social concept, not a scientific one,” said J. Craig Venter, the geneticist who ran Celera Genomics when the mapping was completed in 2000. “We all evolved in the last 100,000 years from the small number of tribes that migrated out of Africa and colonized the world.” Which means that an entire racial caste system, the catalyst of hatreds and civil war, was built on what the anthropologist Ashley Montagu called “an arbitrary and superficial selection of traits,” derived from a few of the thousands of genes that make up a human being. “The idea of race,” Montagu wrote, “was, in fact, the deliberate creation of an exploiting class seeking to maintain and defend its privileges against what was profitably regarded as an inferior caste.”


pages: 1,020 words: 339,564

The confusion by Neal Stephenson

correlation does not imply causation, dark matter, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filipino sailors, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, out of africa, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, spice trade, urban planning, web of trust

He gestured to the aloe-plant, or rather the stump of it, as Jack had just snapped off the last remaining branch. It was growing in a pot of damp dirt, which was carried on its own wee palanquin: a plank supported at each end by a boy. “The Portuguese brought it out of Africa,” Jack explained. “Truly you are thinking like an Alchemist, then,” muttered van Hoek, staring morosely at his rotting digits. “Everyone knows that the only treatment for burns is butter. It is proof of how far gone you are in outlandish ways, that you would rather use some occult potion out of Africa!” “When do you think you’ll amputate?” Jack inquired. “This evening,” said van Hoek. “That way I shall have twenty-four hours to recuperate before the battle.” He looked to Surendranath for confirmation. “If our objective were to make time, and to cross the Narmada by day, we could do it tomorrow,” said Surendranath.


pages: 1,169 words: 342,959

New York by Edward Rutherfurd

Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, illegal immigration, margin call, millennium bug, out of africa, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, rent control, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, the market place, urban renewal, white picket fence, Y2K, young professional

For I have learned that in Africa, from where my people come, a child is often named for the day on which it is born. In Africa, I have been told, my name would be Kwasi. If I had been born on a Friday, it would be Kofi, which in English is Cuffe. Monday’s child is Kojo, which in English they say Cudjo; and there are other similar names. I believe I was born around the year of Our Lord 1650. My father and my mother were both sold out of Africa as slaves, to work in the Barbadoes. When I was about five years old, my mother and I were taken from my father to be sold again. In the market, my mother and I were separated. From that moment, I have never known what became of her; but I was bought by a Dutch sea captain; and this was fortunate for me, because the Dutch captain brought me to New Amsterdam, as it was then called; whereas if I had remained where I was, it is not likely I should be alive today.

The men would often be passing in the street, and especially in the evening, you would see them talking to the slave women over the fences as the dusk fell. As you might imagine, children were sometimes the result of this conversing. But although it was against their religion, the owners did not seem to mind that these children were born. And I believe the reason for this was plain enough. For the trade in slaves is very profitable. A slave bought fresh out of Africa in those days might fetch more than ten times his purchase price if he was brought to the wharf at Manhattan, and in other places even more. So that even if a good part of the cargo was lost upon the way, a merchant might do uncommonly well in the selling of slaves. It was surely for this reason that both old Governor Stuyvesant and our new ruler, the Duke of York, had had such hopes of making Manhattan a big slave market.


pages: 509 words: 147,998

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School by Alexandra Robbins

airport security, Albert Einstein, Columbine, game design, hive mind, out of africa, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Skype, Slavoj Žižek, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics

She hadn’t read the YA books since middle school, but she couldn’t bring herself to get rid of them. The other large bookshelf was her literary shelf: Tolstoy, Orwell, Rand, Dickens, Hardy, Lessing, Faulkner, Proust, Shakespeare, Austen, Saramago, García Márquez, both Brontës. She kept her favorite books on a shelf attached to her headboard. There she could find Gone with the Wind, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Out of Africa, and Into the Wild. Danielle treated her books like museum treasures, cringing if a book cover so much as creased. When a classmate borrowed her Les Misérables paperback and told her the cover fell off, she gave him the book permanently and bought herself a new, unblemished hardback. Books were so sacred to Danielle that she wouldn’t check them out from the library. She wasn’t “some creepy book worshipper,” as she phrased it; she just didn’t like the idea of touching things with unknown histories.


pages: 736 words: 147,021

Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety by Marion Nestle

Asilomar, biofilm, butterfly effect, clean water, double helix, Fellow of the Royal Society, illegal immigration, out of africa, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, software patent, Upton Sinclair

Garrett L. Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health. New York: Hyperion, 2000. Quotation: 558. EPILOGUE 1. Nestle M. Writing the food studies movement. Food, Culture, and Society 2010;13(2):162–70. Martin A. Is a food revolution now in season? NYT, March 21, 2009:BU1. 2. Monsanto is at www.monsanto.com. Paarlberg R. Starved for Science: How Biotechnology Is Being Kept Out of Africa. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009. Lotter D. The genetic engineering of food and the failure of science—Part 1: The development of a flawed enterprise. International J Sociology of Agriculture and Food 2009;16:31–49. Gurian-Sherman D, Robinson E. Failure to Yield: Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops. Union of Concerned Scientists, April 2009. Online: www.ucsusa.org.


pages: 647 words: 161,908

Into That Silent Sea: Trailblazers of the Space Era, 1961-1965 by Francis O. French, Colin Burgess, Paul Haney

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Berlin Wall, card file, Charles Lindbergh, out of africa

One of the most beautiful postflight parades was Gordo's. He and his first wife, Trudy, had met at the University of Honolulu, so we had a parade through that city, whose locals have a custom of throwing rose petals. It was beautiful, but he probably didn't make any friends in his native Oklahoma. Deke Slayton was your basic good ol' midwestern boy from Sparta, Wisconsin. He had done the "milk run" in the late stages of World War II, flying out of Africa and later Italy to bomb the Polesti oil fields. Sadly for Deke he brought along some unknown baggage—he had a slight heart murmur, and concerned doctors grounded him a few weeks before he was due to fly his Delta 7 mission. Losing his flight status really burned Deke, but he overcame this to become head of the astronaut office and the guy who selected all the early crews. He shouldered a lot of executive responsibility, and the younger pilots would cringe when they were called into his office.


pages: 482 words: 149,351

The Finance Curse: How Global Finance Is Making Us All Poorer by Nicholas Shaxson

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, airline deregulation, anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Blythe Masters, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cross-subsidies, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Donald Trump, Etonian, failed state, falling living standards, family office, financial deregulation, financial innovation, forensic accounting, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, high net worth, income inequality, index fund, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, land value tax, late capitalism, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, pushing on a string, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, wealth creators, white picket fence, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

New Labour politicians were bored by old-school ‘smokestack’ industries, stood back from the hard graft of regional industrial development and watched benignly as British manufacturing retreated faster than in other industrialised nations. Instead they courted glamorous Irish musicians like U2 who posed for photos in African villages, urging taxpayers to fund more foreign aid while dodging their own taxes and all but ignoring the rising rivers of wealth looted and sucked out of Africa through Britain’s tax haven rackets. Blair sugar-coated his financial medicine with the restorative of his personal-responsibility agenda and the feel-good tonics of U2, Oasis, the Spice Girls, Cool Britannia and the Mayfair hedge fund set. Even Margaret Thatcher, who had crushed the unions and built on the Eurodollar mayhem with the Big Bang of financial deregulation in the City, was no longer the Labour Party’s sworn enemy, but a moderniser, to be treated with grudging respect.20 The new attitudes were captured in a spoof letter circulating in the UK tax authorities’ Large Business Office, whose job was to tax multinational companies.


A Voyage Long and Strange: On the Trail of Vikings, Conquistadors, Lost Colonists, and Other Adventurers in Early America by Tony Horwitz

airport security, Atahualpa, back-to-the-land, Bartolomé de las Casas, Colonization of Mars, Columbian Exchange, dematerialisation, diversified portfolio, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, joint-stock company, out of africa, Ralph Waldo Emerson, trade route, urban renewal

The sagas devote only a few lines to this epochal moment: the first recorded encounter between Europeans and Native Americans, two branches of humanity that had been separated so long they barely recognized each other as kin. When and how the first people reached America is a subject of keen debate, roiled by recent archaeological finds and new genetic and linguistic evidence. It’s generally believed that early humans migrated out of Africa some fifty thousand years ago, with one stream eventually reaching northeast Asia, at about the same time and latitude as others settled the northwest corner of Europe. Near the end of the last Ice Age, roughly twelve thousand years ago, hunters crossed from Asia to today’s Alaska before spreading across the Americas. Then another eleven thousand years passed before the family of man reunited—or, rather, collided—on a beach in eastern Canada.


pages: 498 words: 153,927

The River at the Centre of the World by Simon Winchester

British Empire, Deng Xiaoping, Khartoum Gordon, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, out of africa, placebo effect, South China Sea, trade route

There was an inescapable conclusion to be drawn from what, to the world of anthropology, was a spectacular set of discoveries. The hominid found in the Yangtze valley was of a far more primitive kind than had been found either at Peking or in Java, and in the absence of any other discovery it was reasonable to suspect that it was the original Asian hominid, the ancestor of all Asian mankind. The little stone-bearing beasts had evidently limped out of Africa, travelled across the southern part of what is now the Arabian peninsula and spread, slowly and steadily, all the way to Asia. The first evidence of their having arrived in the East was thus to be found here at Longgupo, in a half-collapsed and newly discovered cave a few miles south of the Yangtze – a river that now, if still not able to claim a role as the cradle of any specifically Chinese civilization, can at least in all certainty lay claim to being the cradle of all the world's Asians.


pages: 641 words: 147,719

The Rough Guide to Cape Town, Winelands & Garden Route by Rough Guides, James Bembridge, Barbara McCrea

affirmative action, Airbnb, blood diamonds, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, carbon footprint, colonial rule, F. W. de Klerk, ghettoisation, haute cuisine, Maui Hawaii, Murano, Venice glass, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Skype, sustainable-tourism, trade route, transfer pricing, young professional

Day-visitors can arrange to be collected from Port Elizabeth or anywhere in the Addo vicinity; full-day safaris 9am–9.30pm (R2500/person) involve a game drive through Addo and an evening game drive with lunch and dinner thrown in. They will collect you from PE or Addo. If you’re pushed for time or money you can opt for the afternoon game drive at 2.30pm (R1500/person). An overnight stay here is the cheapest among the private reserves; packages always include a room rate plus game drives, and there’s also a tented camp for the “Out of Africa” romance. R6000 Shamwari Game Reserve 65km north of Port Elizabeth on the N2 041 509 3000, shamwari.com. The largest and best known of the private reserves, Shamwari has cultivated a jetsetter fan base, hosting such celebrities as Tiger Woods and John Travolta, and consistently winning world travel accolades. The accolades are justified in the reserve’s diverse landscapes, requisite animals and high standards of wildlife-viewing.


pages: 579 words: 164,339

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

air freight, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, David Attenborough, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, El Camino Real, epigenetics, Filipino sailors, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute couture, housing crisis, ice-free Arctic, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, liberation theology, load shedding, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

Since it took nearly two hundred thousand years since Homo sapiens first appeared for our population to reach 1 billion, around 1815, and now we suddenly have seven times that many—how the hell did that happen? How did we get here? CHAPTER 3 Body Counts and the Paradox of Food i. Bodies Genetic evidence suggests that at some point between fifty thousand to one hundred thousand years ago, our Homo sapiens ancestors possibly numbered as few as ten thousand. Then they began to wander out of Africa, following the species corridor north through present-day Israel and Palestine and branching into Europe, Asia, and beyond. Discovering more sustenance as they spread, they began to increase, but almost imperceptibly. As the Worldwatch Institute’s Robert Engelman notes in his book More, had they multiplied at modern growth rates (currently 1.1 percent annually worldwide, which means doubling every sixty-three years), within a few millennia, not just Earth but the entire solar system couldn’t have contained us.


Lotharingia: A Personal History of Europe's Lost Country by Simon Winder

British Empire, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Mikhail Gorbachev, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia

De Gaulle appointed him ruler of French Cameroon. De Gaulle announced this with no authority whatsoever – but it was one of those acts, effectively pretending Pétain’s France did not exist, that began the process of France’s political and intellectual rescue. Leclerc (he adopted this name rather than calling himself de Hautecloque to protect his family from reprisals by the Germans) then set about pushing pro-Vichy forces out of Africa and securing the Central African colonies for the Free French. With an extraordinarily mixed bag of lightly armed flotsam and jetsam, Leclerc in early 1941 set out to invade Axis territory – the remote Italian Libyan oasis of Kufra. The battle was a tiny one (300 to 400 men on either side) but won by the French. Leclerc then set out to redeem his country. At a time when the Germans seemed universally triumphant and their handful of surviving opponents struggled to imagine how they could be defeated, Leclerc simply announced to his ragtag group in the far depths of the Sahara that they would not stop fighting until the tricolour flew again on Strasbourg Cathedral.


pages: 692 words: 189,065

The Human Swarm: How Our Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall by Mark W. Moffett

affirmative action, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, California gold rush, delayed gratification, demographic transition, eurozone crisis, George Santayana, glass ceiling, Howard Rheingold, invention of agriculture, invention of writing, Kevin Kelly, labour mobility, land tenure, long peace, Milgram experiment, out of africa, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, shared worldview, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, World Values Survey

They lived across a swath of southern Africa—in the same general area and a similar sort of desert and savanna habitat where humans evolved—with genetic evidence suggesting they split from other human populations in our deep past.6 Nevertheless they were influenced by centuries of interactions with Bantu herdsmen who came from the north long before Europeans arrived. Before Europeans made contact, Australia was one of the few major locations on Earth where local hunter-gatherers had few encounters with agriculturalists. Aborigines occupied the continent for 50,000 years following an early diaspora out of Africa. Arguably that makes Aborigines a reliable source of insight into the past, yet the northernmost Aborigines traded and intermarried with tribes from the Torres Strait Islands, who raised crops of taro and banana. Additionally, for a period starting in 1720, a fleet of Indonesian fishermen came to northern Australia to hunt sea cucumbers. The Indonesians took some Aborigines to visit their home city, Makassar.


Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society by Nicholas A. Christakis

agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, assortative mating, Cass Sunstein, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, different worldview, disruptive innovation, double helix, epigenetics, experimental economics, experimental subject, invention of agriculture, invention of gunpowder, invention of writing, iterative process, job satisfaction, Joi Ito, joint-stock company, land tenure, Laplace demon, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, means of production, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, out of africa, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, replication crisis, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, social web, stem cell, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, twin studies, ultimatum game, zero-sum game

Causes of possible intergroup variation include adaptation to environment, neutral drift, reproductive isolation of human populations, and founder effects. There are also broader genetic differences in populations of humans that, generally, track the continents of origin. See L. B. Jorde and S. P. Wooding, “Genetic Variation, Classification, and ‘Race,’” Nature Genetics 36 (2004): 528–533. 34. A. Quamrul and O. Galor, “The Out-of-Africa Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Development,” American Economic Review 103 (2013): 1–46. Chapter 2: Unintentional Communities 1. Castaway 2000, produced by C. Kelley, BBC One, 2000. In 2016, Eden, a similar reality survival show, focused on a failed community in an isolated area of Scotland. See Sam Knight, “Reality TV’s Wildest Disaster: ‘Eden’ Aspired to Remake Society Altogether.


The Life and Death of Ancient Cities: A Natural History by Greg Woolf

agricultural Revolution, capital controls, Columbian Exchange, demographic transition, endogenous growth, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, global village, invention of agriculture, invention of writing, joint-stock company, mass immigration, megacity, New Urbanism, out of africa, Scramble for Africa, social intelligence, social web, trade route, urban planning, urban sprawl

Timeline A World Without Cities 2.5 million years b.p. (Before Present) to 12,000 b.p. , the Pleistocene Era: Genus homo appears near the start and various species of early humans move around Africa and Eurasia, expanding their range in interglacial periods, retreating into warmer places whenever the glaciers expanded. About 300, 000 b.p.: First evidence for homo sapiens (modern humans). 70,000–20,000 b.p.: Modern humans move out of Africa and rapidly spread east into Asia and Australia and west to the Atlantic, keeping south of the ice sheets, encountering and replacing other groups of early humans en route. About 27,000 b.p.: The last glacial maximum. About 15,000 b.p.: The first humans enter the Americas and settle most of North and South America in a few thousand years. Before 12,000 b.p.: Modern humans occupy most land masses except the most remote Pacific and Atlantic islands and Antarctica.


pages: 733 words: 179,391

Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought by Andrew W. Lo

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, algorithmic trading, Andrei Shleifer, Arthur Eddington, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, backtesting, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, break the buck, Brownian motion, business cycle, business process, butterfly effect, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Carmen Reinhart, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computerized trading, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Diane Coyle, diversification, diversified portfolio, double helix, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Ernest Rutherford, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, framing effect, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, housing crisis, incomplete markets, index fund, interest rate derivative, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, martingale, merger arbitrage, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, money market fund, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, old-boy network, out of africa, p-value, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Lévy, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, predatory finance, prediction markets, price discovery process, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, RAND corporation, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sam Peltzman, Shai Danziger, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, statistical arbitrage, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, Thales and the olive presses, The Great Moderation, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, US Airways Flight 1549, Walter Mischel, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Anatomically modern humans—our human species, Homo sapiens, “Man the wise”—appear in the fossil record in Ethiopia only 200,000 years ago, the blink of an eye compared to the passage of time we’ve already explored.13 For tens of thousands of years, Homo sapiens coexisted on the planet with other types of human, including the famous Neandertals (anthropologists have recently changed the traditional spelling of “Neanderthals”), as well as other varieties less well known to science, now extinct. Until recently, the general scientific consensus was that Homo sapiens came out of Africa and somehow outcompeted these other types of human, either due to our greater intellect and adaptability, or for more violent reasons.14 But in 2010, this scientific consensus was overturned with the sequencing of the Neandertal genome by the Swedish molecular evolutionary geneticist Svante Pääbo. This showed something very surprising: most modern humans had 1 to 4 percent Neandertal ancestry.15 Even more unbelievably, DNA from a finger bone of a previously unknown type of human, only recently discovered in a cave deep in the heart of Siberia, showed that this newly discovered human shared 4 to 6 percent of its DNA with modern Melanesians, even though the islands of Melanesia 152 • Chapter 5 are thousands of miles from the Siberian cave where this bone was discovered.16 Homo sapiens may have outcompeted these other humans— certainly Neandertals no longer exist as a distinct group—but it also incorporated them genetically into modern human populations.


pages: 752 words: 201,334

Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation by Yossi Klein Halevi

back-to-the-land, Boycotts of Israel, Burning Man, facts on the ground, friendly fire, ghettoisation, illegal immigration, mass immigration, New Journalism, out of africa, Ronald Reagan, Transnistria, Yom Kippur War

The system that I was sure was foolproof has failed in every way. We can’t depend on anyone but ourselves.” THE NEXT DAY, February 21, 1974, the men of the 55th Brigade gathered along the Egyptian shore of the Suez Canal, near the spot where the paratroopers had first crossed. The farewell ceremony had almost been canceled: a tank brigade had been given the honor of being the last Israeli unit out of Africa, and the paratroopers revolted. We were the first ones into Africa, Danny Matt insisted, and we won’t leave unless we are the last ones out. The IDF relented. In June 1967 the paratroopers had ended their war by lining up, parade style, on the Temple Mount. Now they simply gathered around as Danny addressed them. “We, the paratroopers’ brigade,” he said, “were entrusted with being the lead unit in the force that brought about the turning point in the war and returned the initiative to the IDF. . . .


pages: 588 words: 193,087

And Here's the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on Their Craft by Mike Sacks

Albert Einstein, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, Donald Trump, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, game design, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, Joan Didion, Norman Mailer, out of africa, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, upwardly mobile

I knew which character was running away from which character; I knew which character stabbed which character. The audience might not have known that, but they really should have known or else the point is gone. It's one of the most beautiful comedies I think I've ever seen. It's gorgeous to look at. It is great to look at. David Watkin was the cinematographer, and I love the Watkin look. He also did Chariots of Fire and Out of Africa. It's very beautiful and very moving in its own way. But maybe it was moving in the wrong way for a comedy. I don't think you can do laugh-out-loud comedy that is beautifully backlit. That's an interesting point — early comedies aren't necessarily beautiful. Not at all. No one gives a shit. If you look at those early films, such as Laurel and Hardy or Chaplin movies, you can see shadows where there shouldn't be shadows.


pages: 789 words: 213,716

The uplift war by David Brin

mass immigration, mutually assured destruction, out of africa, trade route

He bowed low, hands crossed in front of him, and got his first close look at the invaders. They did not seem all that impressive up close. True, the sharp yellow beak and razorlike talons looked formidable. But the stick-legged creatures were hardly much taller than Fiben, and their bones looked hollow and thin. No matter. These were starfarers—senior patrons-class beings whose Library-derived culture and technology were all but omnipotent long, long before humans rose -up out of Africa’s savannah, blinking with the dawnlight of fearful curiosity. By the time man’s lumbering slowships stumbled upon Galactic civilization, the Gubru and their clients had wrested aposition of some eminence among the powerful interstellar clans. Fierce conservatism and facile use of the Great Library had taken them far since their own patrons had found them on the Gubru homeworld and given them the gift of completed minds.


pages: 740 words: 217,139

The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution by Francis Fukuyama

Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, California gold rush, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, currency manipulation / currency intervention, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, endogenous growth, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, invention of agriculture, invention of the printing press, Khyber Pass, land reform, land tenure, means of production, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, principal–agent problem, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Right to Buy, Scramble for Africa, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), spice trade, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

EVOLUTION AND MIGRATION Paleoanthropologists have been able to trace the descent of man from primate forebears to what are labeled “behaviorally modern human beings,” while population geneticists have done a remarkable job tracing the movements of human populations as they migrated through the different regions of the planet. There is broad agreement that the transition from ape to human being took place in Africa, but the exit out of Africa that led to the populating of the rest of the world happened in two separate waves. What are labeled archaic human beings—species like Homo erectus and Homo ergaster—left that continent as much as 1.6–2 million years ago and found their way to northern Asia. An ergaster descendant, Homo heidelbergensis, may have left Africa and reached Europe around 300,000–400,000 years ago, and was the progenitor of later species like the famous Neanderthals who inhabited much of Europe.37 Anatomically modern human beings—that is, humans who had the same rough size and physical characteristics as contemporary humans—appeared on the scene approximately two hundred thousand years ago.


The Rough Guide to Norway by Phil Lee

banking crisis, bike sharing scheme, car-free, centre right, glass ceiling, Nelson Mandela, North Sea oil, out of africa, place-making, sensible shoes, sustainable-tourism, trade route, walkable city, white picket fence

Neither is the exterior betrayed by what’s inside, for every room is crammed with period antiques seemingly hunted down from every corner of the globe. Each of the 27 bedrooms is individually decorated in elaborate, period style and most celebrate the famous people who have stayed here, like King Hakon VII and Kaiser Wilhelm II, not to mention the Danish author Karen “Out Of Africa” Blixen. It’s a great place to spend the night and the food is first-rate, too. None of the rooms have telephones or TVs, which is inducement enough to sit on the terrace and watch the weather fronts sweeping in off the Norangsfjord, or have a day’s fishing – the hotel sells licences and dispenses advice; they also offer bike rental and will arrange guided mountain walks.


pages: 879 words: 233,093

The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis by Jeremy Rifkin

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, animal electricity, back-to-the-land, British Empire, carbon footprint, collaborative economy, death of newspapers, delayed gratification, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, feminist movement, global village, hedonic treadmill, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, off grid, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, scientific worldview, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social intelligence, supply-chain management, surplus humans, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, working poor, World Values Survey

Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center. “Magnitude 9.1—Off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra.” http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/eqinthenews/2004/usslav/#summary 12 Musil, Steven. “Tech Community Joins Tsunami Relief Effort.” cnet news.com. January 3, 2005. 13 MacMillan, Robert. “Tsunami Prompts Online Outpouring.” Washington Post. January 3, 2005. 14 Owen, James. “Modern Humans Came out of Africa, ‘Definitive’ Study Says.” National Geographic News. July 18, 2007. www.nationalgeographic.com/news; “Effects of Ecology and Climate on Human Physical Variations.” CultureChange.org. www.culturechange.org 15 Steele, James, and Stephen Shennan. The Archaeology of Human Ancestry: Power, Sex, and Tradition. New York: Routledge, 1996. p. 385. 16 Gimbutas, Marija. The Civilization of the Goddess: The World of Old Europe.


pages: 828 words: 232,188

Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy by Francis Fukuyama

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Atahualpa, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, British Empire, centre right, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, information asymmetry, invention of the printing press, iterative process, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labour management system, land reform, land tenure, life extension, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, means of production, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, new economy, open economy, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, Port of Oakland, post-industrial society, post-materialism, price discrimination, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, stem cell, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vilfredo Pareto, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

This produces speciation; Charles Darwin’s famous finches were the result of the birds’ adaptation to a host of microenvironments. In the process of general evolution, disparate species evolve similar characteristics because they have to solve similar problems: thus sensory organs like eyes evolved independently across different species. So too with human beings. When the first small group of behaviorally modern humans walked out of Africa into the Middle East about fifty thousand years ago, they began to diverge, to some extent genetically but more dramatically in terms of culture. There was a real precedent for the story of the Tower of Babel in the Bible: as humans spread to Europe, Asia, South Asia, Oceana, and eventually to the Americas, their languages and cultural practices began to differentiate as they settled into a wide variety of ecological niches.


pages: 1,014 words: 237,531

Escape From Rome: The Failure of Empire and the Road to Prosperity by Walter Scheidel

agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, British Empire, colonial rule, conceptual framework, creative destruction, currency manipulation / currency intervention, dark matter, disruptive innovation, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, mandelbrot fractal, means of production, Network effects, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, peer-to-peer lending, plutocrats, Plutocrats, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, Republic of Letters, secular stagnation, South China Sea, spinning jenny, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, zero-sum game

Meanwhile, Ifriqiya itself was run by the Aghlabid family throughout the ninth century, nominally under Abbasid suzerainty but in practice highly autonomous: governors were no longer appointed by the caliph as family members inherited the position, and there is no sign of tax remittances to the east. Even that lip service came to an end when the Fatimid (rival) caliphate took over in 909. The Fatimids in turn were the first regional force to advance eastward, reversing three centuries of westward expansion of major Middle Eastern powers from the Sasanians to the Umayyads and Abbasids. Their capture of Egypt in 969 meant that Asian powers were shut out of Africa until the Ottomans appeared in the sixteenth century and established indirect and soon diminishing nominal control as far west as Algeria. In Spain and North Africa, the power of Arab and Berber states waxed and waned throughout the Middle Ages, but hegemonic empire did not return. At no time after the mid-eighth century was the original caliphate in a position to launch attacks against Europe.


Fodor's Hawaii 2012 by Fodor's Travel Publications

big-box store, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, global village, Maui Hawaii, new economy, out of africa, place-making, polynesian navigation, urban sprawl

Dole Park: Hang out in the shade of the Cook pines in Lāna‘i City and talk story with the locals for a taste of old-time Hawai‘i. Hit the water at Hulopo‘e Beach: This beach may have it all: good swimming, a shady park for perfect picnicking, great reefs for snorkeling, and sometimes plenty of spinner dolphins. Getting Oriented Unlike the other Hawaiian Islands with their tropical splendors, Lāna‘i looks like a desert: kiawe trees right out of Africa, red-dirt roads, and a deep blue sea. Lāna‘ihale (house of Lāna‘i), the mountain that bisects the island, is carved into deep canyons by rain and wind on the windward side, and the drier leeward side slopes gently to the sea, where waves pound against surf-carved cliffs. The town of Lāna‘i City is in the center of the island, Upcountry. Mānele Bay, on the south side of the island, is popular for swimming and boating.


Fodor's Hawaii 2013 by Fodor's

big-box store, carbon footprint, global village, Maui Hawaii, new economy, out of africa, polynesian navigation, urban sprawl

Dole Park: Hang out in the shade of the Cook pines in Lanai City and talk story with the locals for a taste of old-time Hawaii. Hit the water at Hulopoe Beach: This beach may have it all: good swimming, a shady park for perfect picnicking, great reefs for snorkeling, and sometimes plenty of spinner dolphins. Getting Oriented Unlike the other Hawaiian Islands with their tropical splendors, Lanai looks like a desert: kiawe trees right out of Africa, red-dirt roads, and a deep blue sea. Lanaihale (house of Lanai), the mountain that bisects the island, is carved into deep canyons by rain and wind on the windward side, and the drier leeward side slopes gently to the sea, where waves pound against surf-carved cliffs. The town of Lanai City is in the center of the island, Upcountry. Manele Bay, on the south side of the island, is popular for swimming and boating.


Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities by Vaclav Smil

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, agricultural Revolution, air freight, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, colonial rule, complexity theory, coronavirus, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, endogenous growth, energy transition, epigenetics, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, Law of Accelerating Returns, longitudinal study, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, megastructure, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, old age dependency ratio, optical character recognition, out of africa, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Republic of Letters, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, technoutopianism, the market place, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, urban sprawl, Vilfredo Pareto, yield curve

But as is the case with many grand generalizations, both the intensity and the unprecedented nature of the Neolithic demographic transition are arguable (as is the revolutionary description of a process that was clearly evolutionary, extending across millennia). A recent sequencing of 36 diverse Y chromosomes from Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas indicates a previously unknown period of relatively rapid population expansion that took place 40,000 to 50,000 years ago, that is between the migration out of Africa and the later Neolithic growth (Wei et al. 2013). This extreme population increase is seen as the result of an eventual adaptation to new mountainous and forested environments of the inner continents. And after analyzing 910 random samples of mitochondrial DNA (collected by the 1000 Genome Project) from 11 populations in Africa, Europe, and the Americas, Zheng et al. (2012) found that in all cases most major lineage expansions (11 out of 15 in Africa, all autochthonous lineages in Europe and the Americas) coalesced before the first appearance of agriculture and that major population expansions took place after the Last Glacial Maximum but before the Neolithic era; they suggested that the rising temperatures and growing populations actually provided the stimulus for the introduction of agriculture.


Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and The... by Sally Fallon, Pat Connolly, Mary G. Enig, Phd.

British Empire, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, germ theory of disease, Louis Pasteur, Mason jar, out of africa, profit motive, the market place, the scientific method

They stood around the lions and talked about them. . .. Pooran Singh himself appeared. . .his melliferous Indian smile shone in the midst of his thick black beard, he stuttered with delight when he spoke. He was anxious to procure for himself the fat of the lions, that with his people is held in high esteem as a medicine—from the pantomime by which he expressed himself to me, I believe against rheumatism and impotence. Isak Dinesen Out of Africa DUCK CURRY Serves 8-12 3 wild ducks 3 tablespoons duck fat (Duck Fat and Cracklings) 2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped 2 cups finely chopped celery 4-5 tablespoons curry powder or curry paste 1 teaspoon ground cardamom 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 4 cups duck stock 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger 4 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed 1 cup piima cream or creme fraiche sea salt and pepper Remove the skin and excess fat from the ducks and make duck stock from the whole birds, including the feet and heads (Turkey stock and duck stock).


Scandinavia by Andy Symington

call centre, carbon footprint, centre right, clean water, connected car, edge city, full employment, glass ceiling, Kickstarter, low cost airline, low cost carrier, mass immigration, New Urbanism, North Sea oil, out of africa, period drama, Skype, the built environment, trade route, urban sprawl, walkable city, young professional

The vast majority of Danes are members of the National Church of Denmark, an Evangelical Lutheran denomination (a proportion of each Dane’s income tax goes directly to the church), but less than 5% of the population are regular churchgoers. Arts Famous Danish Authors By far the most famous Danish author is Hans Christian Andersen. Other prominent Danish writers include religious philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, whose writings were a forerunner of existentialism, and Karen Blixen, who under the name Isak Dinesen penned Out of Africa and Babette’s Feast, both made into acclaimed movies in the 1980s. One of Denmark’s foremost contemporary authors is Ib Michael, a magic realist who has seen many of his novels and poems translated into English. Architecture & Design For a small country Denmark has had a massive global impact in the fields of architecture and design. Arne Jacobsen, Verner Panton, the late Jørn Utzon and Hans J Wegner are now considered among the foremost designers of the 20th century, and the tradition of great furniture and interior design remains strong in the country’s design schools, museums and independent artisanal workshops.


Arabs: A 3,000 Year History of Peoples, Tribes and Empires by Tim Mackintosh-Smith

Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, colonial rule, domestication of the camel, Donald Trump, European colonialism, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, invention of movable type, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, liberation theology, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, New Urbanism, out of africa, Pax Mongolica, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Scramble for Africa, trade route

At its heel and toe are two water-straits: Bab al-Mandab, at 26 kilometres wide only little more than the crossing from Dover to Calais, and the Strait of Hormuz, at 54 kilometres roughly the distance from Cape Cod to Nantucket. The third point of separation, the dry 200-kilometre ‘strait’ of Sinai, is broader, but easily navigable. And that is the point: all three straits separate, but also join. They invite crossings. Crossing them seems to be what early hominids and humans did, on their journey out of Africa – both Homo erectus, nearly two million years ago, and Homo sapiens at various possible times between 45,000 and 125,000 years ago; perhaps even earlier (much research remains to be done). One route of exodus led them through Sinai and across the top of the Arabian Peninsula; the other route took them over Bab al-Mandab, when sea-levels were much lower and the strait even narrower, then through the south of the peninsula and on across the equally diminished Strait of Hormuz.


pages: 913 words: 265,787

How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, Buckminster Fuller, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, double helix, experimental subject, feminist movement, four colour theorem, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hedonic treadmill, Henri Poincaré, income per capita, information retrieval, invention of agriculture, invention of the wheel, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, lake wobegon effect, lateral thinking, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Necker cube, out of africa, pattern recognition, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, random walk, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, scientific worldview, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, sexual politics, social intelligence, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, Turing machine, urban decay, Yogi Berra

In Hirschfeld & Gelman, 1994a. Gelman, S. A., & Markman, E. 1987. Young children’s inductions from natural kinds: The role of categories and appearances. Child Development, 58, 1532–1540. Gergely, G., Nádasdy, Z., Csibra, G., & Bíró, S. 1995. Taking the intentional stance at 12 months of age. Cognition, 56, 165–193. Gibbons, A. 1994. African origins theory goes nuclear. Science, 264, 350–351. Gibbons, A. 1995a. Out of Africa—at last? Science, 267, 1272–1273. Gibbons, A. 1995b. The mystery of humanity’s missing mutations. Science, 267, 35–36. Gibbons, A. 1995c. Pleistocene population explosions. Science, 267, 27–28. Gibson, J. J. 1950. The perception of the visual world. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Gibson, J. J. 1952. The visual field and the visual world: A reply to Professor Boring. Psychological Review, 59, 149–151.


pages: 1,002 words: 276,865

The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean by David Abulafia

agricultural Revolution, British Empire, colonial rule, David Attenborough, Eratosthenes, ghettoisation, joint-stock company, long peace, mass immigration, out of africa, spice trade, trade route, wikimedia commons, Yom Kippur War

Unfortunately for the Byzantines, the Muslims decided that they wanted more from Sicily than slaves and booty, launching an invasion in 827 which slowly brought the entire island under the rule of the Aghlabid emirs of North Africa. They renewed their raids on Sardinia and Corsica, to which the Franks responded with an ambitious naval attack on the African coast. The problem was that the Frankish navy had no permanent base, and, even after winning a succession of engagements, a single defeat at Sousse was enough to force the Franks out of Africa. In any case, the Frankish empire had passed its peak with the death of Charlemagne in 814, and his successor Louis the Pious was distracted from the western Mediterranean by internal rivalries. In the 840s, the Arabs were free to raid Marseilles, Arles and Rome. To the extreme embarrassment of both the Byzantines and the Franks, who each claimed dominion over southern Italy, a Muslim navy captured the seaport of Bari in 847, establishing an emirate that lasted until 871, when finally the Franks and the Byzantines learned to work together long enough to expel the Muslims.21 After tentative moves in the ninth century, Arab pirate bases were established in the tenth century along the coast of Provence, and a little way inland at Fraxinetum (La Garde-Freinet).


pages: 872 words: 259,208

A History of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr

air freight, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, battle of ideas, Beeching cuts, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brixton riot, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, congestion charging, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Etonian, falling living standards, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, floating exchange rates, full employment, housing crisis, illegal immigration, Kickstarter, liberal capitalism, Live Aid, loadsamoney, market design, mass immigration, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open borders, out of africa, Parkinson's law, Piper Alpha, Red Clydeside, reserve currency, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, working poor, Yom Kippur War

He told his startled audience; ‘the wind of change is blowing through this continent’ and like it or not, this was simply a fact. Hendrik Verwoerd, the South African Prime Minister retorted that the Englishman was appeasing the black man, adding that they had enough problems in Africa without his coming to add to them. Why had London lost its nerve? Partly, it was the mere experience of looking about. The French were getting out of Africa. So too were the Belgians, leaving behind an appalling and very bloody civil war in the Congo. Private correspondence of Macmillan’s suggests that he also thought the two world wars had made a fundamental change in the position of the whites around the world: ‘What we have really seen since the war is the revolt of the yellows and blacks from the automatic leadership and control of the whites.’37 It need not, however, be a bloody revolt.


pages: 1,261 words: 294,715

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky

autonomous vehicles, Bernie Madoff, biofilm, blood diamonds, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Brownian motion, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate personhood, corporate social responsibility, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, desegregation, different worldview, double helix, Drosophila, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, framing effect, fudge factor, George Santayana, global pandemic, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, John von Neumann, Loma Prieta earthquake, long peace, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, mouse model, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, out of africa, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, placebo effect, publication bias, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, twin studies, ultimatum game, Walter Mischel, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

And in East Asians? 1 percent. Y. Ding et al., “Evidence of Positive Selection Acting at the Human Dopamine Receptor D4 Gene Locus,” PNAS 99 (2002): 309. Visit bit.ly/2nsuHz9 for a larger version of this graph. So which came first, 7R frequency or cultural style? The 4R and 7R variants, along with the 2R, occur worldwide, implying they already existed when humans radiated out of Africa 60,000 to 130,000 years ago. Classic work by Kenneth Kidd of Yale, examining the distribution of 7R, shows something remarkable. Starting at the left of the figure above, there’s roughly a 10 to 25 percent incidence of 7R in various African, European, and Middle Eastern populations. Jumping to the right side of the figure, there’s a slightly higher incidence among the descendants of those who started island-hopping from mainland Asia to Malaysia and New Guinea.


Melody Beattie 4 Title Bundle: Codependent No More and 3 Other Best Sellers by Melody Beattie: A Collection of Four Melody Beattie Best Sellers by Melody Beattie

Albert Einstein, call centre, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, fear of failure, out of africa, Own Your Own Home, Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sadness: May 20 Ultimately, to grieve our losses means to surrender to our feelings. So many of us have lost so much, have said so many good-byes, have been through so many changes. We may want to hold back the tides of change, not because the change isn’t good, but because we have had so much change, so much loss. Sometimes, when we are in the midst of pain and grief, we become shortsighted, like members of a tribe described in the movie Out of Africa. “If you put them in prison,” one character said, describing this tribe, “they die.” “Why?” asked another character. “Because they can’t grasp the idea that they’ll be let out one day. They think it’s permanent, so they die.” Many of us have so much grief to get through. Sometimes we begin to believe grief, or pain, is a permanent condition. The pain will stop. Once felt and released, our feelings will bring us to a better place than where we started.


pages: 1,178 words: 388,227

Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson

Danny Hillis, dark matter, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, retrograde motion, short selling, the scientific method, trade route, urban planning

“I mean the Restoration coinage,” the Israelite said, “or perhaps your professors have neglected to inform you that Cromwell is dead, and Interregnum coins demonetized these last three years.” “Why, I believe I have heard that the King is beginning to mint new coins,” Isaac said, looking to Daniel for confirmation. “My half-brother in London knows someone who saw a gold carolus ii dei gratia coin once, displayed in a crystal case on a silken pillow,” Daniel said. “People have begun to call them Guineas, because they are made of gold that the Duke of York’s company is taking out of Africa.” “I say, Daniel, is it true what they say, that those coins are perfectly circular?” “They are, Isaac—not like the good old English hammered coins that you and I carry in such abundance in our pockets and purses.” “Furthermore,” said the Ashkenazi, “the King brought with him a French savant, Monsieur Blondeau, on loan from King Louis, and that fellow built a machine that mills delicate ridges and inscriptions into the edges of the coins.”


Frommer's Mexico 2008 by David Baird, Juan Cristiano, Lynne Bairstow, Emily Hughey Quinn

airport security, AltaVista, Bartolomé de las Casas, centre right, colonial rule, East Village, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Maui Hawaii, out of africa, Pepto Bismol, place-making, Skype, sustainable-tourism, the market place, urban planning

A few buses travel this route, but they stop only at the towns that line the highway; many of them are several kilometers inland from the resorts along the coast. ALONG COSTA ALEGRE (NORTH TO SOUTH) C R U Z D E L O R E T O ’ S L U X U R Y E C O - R E T R E AT Moments The fact that the Hotelito Desconocido Hotelito Desconocido (“little unknown hotel”) is ecologically minded is a bonus, but it’s not the principal appeal. A cross between Out of Africa and Blue Lagoon, it is among my favorite places in Mexico. Think camping out with luxury linens, romantic candles everywhere, and a symphony performed by cicadas, birds, and frogs. The rustic, open-air rooms, called palafitos, are in cottages perched on stilts over a lagoon. A grouping of suites is on the ample sand bar that separates the tranquil estuary from the Pacific Ocean. However, these are the least desirable units, and are often damp from the ocean air.


England by David Else

active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, colonial rule, Columbine, congestion charging, David Attenborough, David Brooks, Etonian, food miles, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, out of africa, period drama, place-making, sceptred isle, Skype, Sloane Ranger, South of Market, San Francisco, Stephen Hawking, the market place, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, unbiased observer, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Winter of Discontent

The Townhouse is set on a quiet street just out of the centre, but the spacious rooms and sparkling bathrooms make it worth the trip. Beaumont House (01242-223311; www.bhhotel.co.uk; 56 Shurdington Rd; s £63-184, d £86-201; ) Set in a large garden just a short way from the centre of town, this boutique gues thouse is a memorable place with a range of carefully designed rooms with opulent decor. Go for the full-on safari look in Out of Africa, sultry boudoir in Out of Asia or more subtle design in the Prestbury Suite. Hotel Kandinsky (01242-527788; www.aliashotels.com; Bayshill Rd; s £95, d £125-155; ) Gloriously quirky, keenly priced and extravagantly decked out, this is a ‘funkier than average’ hotel, with lots of eclectic modern art, exotic furniture, designer style and an extremely efficient but laid-back attitude. The slick, modern Cafe Paradiso (mains £14 to £19) serves an ambitious modern British menu.


Wealth and Poverty of Nations by David S. Landes

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Atahualpa, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, business cycle, Cape to Cairo, clean water, colonial rule, Columbian Exchange, computer age, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, European colonialism, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial intermediation, Francisco Pizarro, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, income inequality, Index librorum prohibitorum, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Arrow, land tenure, lateral thinking, mass immigration, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, Murano, Venice glass, new economy, New Urbanism, North Sea oil, out of africa, passive investing, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, rent-seeking, Right to Buy, Scramble for Africa, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, spice trade, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, Vilfredo Pareto, zero-sum game

Economic Structure and Change 1822-1947. L o n d o n : Allen & U n w i n . , and K a z u o Sato. 1 9 9 3 . " H o m o g e n e o u s Preferences and H e t e r o g e n e o u s G r o w t h P e r f o r m a n c e : I n t e r n a t i o n a l D i f f e r e n c e s in S a v i n g a n d I n v e s t m e n t B e h a v i o u r , " Kyklos, 4 6 , 2 : 2 0 3 - 2 3 . L e f k o w i t z , M a r y . 1 9 9 6 . Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Became an Excuse to Teach Myth as History. N e w Y o r k : B a s i c B o o k s . L e h m a n n , H a r t m u t , a n d G u e n t h e r R o t h , e d s . 1 9 9 5 . Weber's Protestant Ethic: Origins, Evidence, Contexts. C a m b r i d g e : U n i v . P r e s s . L e i b e n s t e i n , H a r v e y . 1 9 7 6 . Beyond Economic Man: A New Foundation for Microeconomics. C a m b r i d g e , M A : H a r v a r d U n i v .


pages: 803 words: 415,953

Frommer's Mexico 2009 by David Baird, Lynne Bairstow, Joy Hepp, Juan Christiano

airport security, AltaVista, Bartolomé de las Casas, centre right, colonial rule, East Village, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, low cost airline, low cost carrier, out of africa, Pepto Bismol, place-making, Skype, sustainable-tourism, the market place, urban planning, young professional

A few buses travel this route, but they stop only at the towns that line the highway; many of them are several kilometers inland from the resorts along the coast. ALONG COSTA ALEGRE (NORTH TO SOUTH) C R U Z D E L O R E T O ’ S L U X U R Y E C O - R E T R E AT Moments The fact that the Hotelito Desconocido Hotelito Desconocido (“little unknown hotel”) is ecologically minded is a bonus, but it’s not the principal appeal. A cross between Out of Africa and Blue Lagoon, it is among my favorite places 14 285619-ch10.qxp 360 7/22/08 11:13 AM Page 360 C H A P T E R 1 0 . P U E R T O V A L L A R TA & T H E C E N T R A L PA C I F I C C O A S T in Mexico. Think camping out with luxury linens, romantic candles everywhere, and a symphony performed by cicadas, birds, and frogs. The rustic, open-air rooms, called palafitos, are in cottages perched on stilts over a lagoon.


Executive Orders by Tom Clancy

affirmative action, Ayatollah Khomeini, card file, defense in depth, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, experimental subject, financial independence, friendly fire, lateral thinking, Monroe Doctrine, one-China policy, out of africa, Own Your Own Home, plutocrats, Plutocrats, rolodex, South China Sea, trade route

He grunted. Yeah, that was about right. First stop was the embassy, where they changed clothes. American military uniforms weren't all that welcome here. In fact, the station chief warned, few things American were. Chavez noted that a car followed them in from the airport. “Don't sweat it. We'll lose him at the embassy. You know, sometimes I wonder if it wasn't a good deal when my folks got kidnapped out of Africa. Don't tell anybody I said that, okay? South Alabama is like heaven on earth compared to this shithole.” He parked the car in the embassy's back lot and took them inside. A minute later one of his people walked out, started the Chevy, and headed right back out. The tail car went with him. “Shirts,” the CIA resident officer said, handing them over. “I suppose you can leave the pants on.” “Have you talked to MacGregor?


pages: 2,323 words: 550,739

1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die, Updated Ed. by Patricia Schultz

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bretton Woods, Burning Man, California gold rush, car-free, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, Donald Trump, East Village, El Camino Real, estate planning, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Mars Rover, Mason jar, Maui Hawaii, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, out of africa, Pepto Bismol, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, sexual politics, South of Market, San Francisco, The Chicago School, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, wage slave, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, éminence grise

Celebrity chef Dean Fearing recently left after 20 illustrious years to start his own restaurant in the new nearby Ritz-Carlton Dallas, which opened in 2007. A few blocks away, Uptown got a dose of chic with the recent arrival of the exceptionally popular Hotel ZaZa. The darling of young and glamorous celebrities, from Jessica Simpson to Lance Armstrong, the Mediterranean-style boutique hotel offers 154 rooms and 23 suites, a number of them named to reflect their design theme, like “Out of Africa” and “Shaga-Delic.” The on-site ZaSpa is spectacular (with treatments like the Rock Star Massage), and the Dragonfly restaurant and poolside Urban Oasis retreat shine with an eclectic but gratifying menu. THE ADOLPHUS: Tel 800-221-9083 or 214-742-8200; www.hoteladolphus.com. Cost: from $179 (off-peak), from $299 (peak). MANSION ON TURTLE CREEK: Tel 888-767-3966 or 214-559-2100; www.mansiononturtle creek.com.


pages: 1,799 words: 532,462