Sep 12, 2021Liked by Razib Khan

I'm fascinated with the questions of cultural evolution, effective population size, etc. Wrestling with the Deffner, Kandler, Fogarty paper as we speak.

Also working on Benjamin Fortson's IE Language and Culture textbook.

There's no way to absorb all the new information so I try to pick my spots.

Thanks as always for "unsupervising"! It makes a big difference to us auto-didacts, hobbyists and dilettantes.

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"Thanks as always for "unsupervising"! It makes a big difference to us auto-didacts, hobbyists and dilettantes."

i'm one of you!

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Sep 12, 2021Liked by Razib Khan

I recently read _Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States_ by James C. Scott. Thought-provoking and fun. Pretty up to date on the archaeology.

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Sep 12, 2021Liked by Razib Khan

Made it through a lot of audio books recently...recommended:

The End of Gender by Debra Soh

"The Afghanistan Papers" (So depressing I could barely finish it. I couldn't even laugh at how dumb we are.)

"Irreversible Damage" By: Abigail Shrier (about the trans fad)

"The United States of War" By: David Vine (I guess I didn't realize that we're basically insane fascists until he totaled up our death tab for the past couple of Centuries and put in my face.)

"T" Carole Hooven

"The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden" (a biography. He made his kids and wife sleep in holes in the ground in the desert to toughen them up!)

"Burn: New Research Blows the Lid Off How We Really Burn Calories, Lose Weight, and Stay Healthy" (as good as "The Hungry Brain" if not better. Exercise will not lead to weight loss.)

"Cultish" by Amanda Montell (about cults and cult language...Is Crossfit a cult?? haha)

"Twilight of Democracy" by Anne Applebaum (short, but should be mandatory "polarization" reading. We're simply living through what already happened in Poland 30 years ago. She was there. Her cover story in the new issue of The Atlantic was also excellent.)

"Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe" (very long but thorough)

"The Lost History of Christianity" (we got our start in the East!)

"Major Transitions in Evolution" Great Courses (with 4 lectures by John Hawkes, an outstanding lecture series)

"When Men Behave Badly" by David Buss (all dating stereotypes are true!)

Netflix's new docu-series "Turning Point: 9/11 and the War on Terror" was actually really good.

pre-ordered Alina Chan and Matt Ridley's new one "Viral: The Search for the Origin of COVID-19"

and couldn't resist getting "The Nineties" by Chuck Klosterman:)

Thought Spencer Ackerman's "Reign of Terror: How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced Trump" and "Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump, and the White Nationalist Agenda" (including his past relationship with Larry Elder) were both true but didn't offer much we didn't already know.

Nice to see Great Khan mentioned in the New Yorker piece!

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Sep 13, 2021Liked by Razib Khan

The Enigma of Reason is very good, but I still love Cardinal Newman's articulation of the same insight:

"It is the concrete being that reasons; pass a number of years, and I find my mind in a new place; how? the whole man moves; paper logic is but the record of it."

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Sep 14, 2021Liked by Razib Khan

Mercier and Sperber's Enigma is largely responsible for the direction of the last 5 years of my self-education on cognitive biases, neuroscience, behavioral & evo psychology, and genetics. These subjects now seem inseparable. The idea that all reasoning is post-hoc is quite disruptive to the idea of self. I've since concluded that very few of my thoughts are actually my own. I'm okay with that. Being Homo Sapiens is wild.

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