unbound how eight technologies made us human transformed society and brought our world to the brink

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Unbound

Author : Richard L Currier
ISBN : 9781628727760
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 69. 53 MB
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Like Guns, Germs, and Steel, a work of breathtaking sweep and originality that reinterprets the human story. Although we usually think of technology as something unique to modern times, our ancestors began to create the first technologies millions of years ago in the form of prehistoric tools and weapons. Over time, eight key technologies gradually freed us from the limitations of our animal origins. The fabrication of weapons, the mastery of fire, and the technologies of clothing and shelter radically restructured the human body, enabling us to walk upright, shed our body hair, and migrate out of tropical Africa. Symbolic communication transformed human evolution from a slow biological process into a fast cultural process. The invention of agriculture revolutionized the relationship between humanity and the environment, and the technologies of interaction led to the birth of civilization. Precision machinery spawned the industrial revolution and the rise of nation-states; and in the next metamorphosis, digital technologies may well unite all of humanity for the benefit of future generations. Synthesizing the findings of primatology, paleontology, archeology, history, and anthropology, Richard Currier reinterprets and retells the modern narrative of human evolution that began with the discovery of Lucy and other Australopithecus fossils. But the same forces that allowed us to integrate technology into every aspect of our daily lives have also brought us to the brink of planetary catastrophe. Unbound explains both how we got here and how human society must be transformed again to achieve a sustainable future. Technology: “The deliberate modification of any natural object or substance with forethought to achieve a specific end or to serve a specific purpose.”

The Neolithic Revolution

Author : Susan Meyer
ISBN : 9781499463255
Genre : Juvenile Nonfiction
File Size : 70. 51 MB
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The dawn of the Neolithic Era ushered in major changes in the way people lived. In fact, these changes were so sweeping that the transition from the Mesolithic Era to the Neolithic Era is referred to as the Neolithic Revolution. The beginnings of agriculture and the domestication of animals both date from this period. These changes to the food supply led people to settle in permanent communities, which, in turn, led to organized societies and social hierarchy. This book examines the factors that could have led to this revolution and the archaeological evidence of which changes happened where and when.

Reflections On Fundamental Matters Not For The Satisfied Mind

Author : John H.T. Francis
ISBN : 9781483402345
Genre : Self-Help
File Size : 75. 56 MB
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Addressing important questions that have been discussed across many times and cultures, this essay, written in a simple style, seeks to awaken you from the slumber of intellectual complacency. Author John H.T. Francis presents a multi-disciplinary look at prevalent interpretations and fundamental questions of human interest. He tackles many of humanity’s most important and difficult topics, drawing on many fields of knowledge and action, including science, philosophy, sociology, economics, politics, anthropology, and psychology. This study explores history, knowledge, the human mind and psyche, the nature of existence, the phenomenon of life, socio-economic and political dynamics, ethics, religions, and several current, pressing individual and collective challenges. It provides elements of answers and attempts to position subjects of general importance under a new light. Universal in his approach, Francis reaches out to those who are interested in delving deeper into the human understanding.

Nature S Metropolis Chicago And The Great West

Author : William Cronon
ISBN : 9780393072457
Genre : History
File Size : 88. 84 MB
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A Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and Winner of the Bancroft Prize. "No one has written a better book about a city…Nature's Metropolis is elegant testimony to the proposition that economic, urban, environmental, and business history can be as graceful, powerful, and fascinating as a novel." —Kenneth T. Jackson, Boston Globe In this groundbreaking work, William Cronon gives us an environmental perspective on the history of nineteenth-century America. By exploring the ecological and economic changes that made Chicago America's most dynamic city and the Great West its hinterland, Mr. Cronon opens a new window onto our national past. This is the story of city and country becoming ever more tightly bound in a system so powerful that it reshaped the American landscape and transformed American culture. The world that emerged is our own. Winner of the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize

Dirt The Ecstatic Skin Of The Earth

Author : William Bryant Logan
ISBN : 9780393351606
Genre : Nature
File Size : 87. 48 MB
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"A gleeful, poetic book…Like the best natural histories, Dirt is a kind of prayer." —Los Angeles Times Book Review "You are about to read a lot about dirt, which no one knows very much about." So begins the cult classic that brings mystery and magic to "that stuff that won't come off your collar." John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Saint Phocas, Darwin, and Virgil parade through this thought-provoking work, taking their place next to the dung beetle, the compost heap, dowsing, historical farming, and the microscopic biota that till the soil. Whether William Bryant Logan is traversing the far reaches of the cosmos or plowing through our planet’s crust, his delightful, elegant, and surprisingly soulful meditations greatly enrich our concept of "dirt," that substance from which we all arise and to which we all must return.

Accidental Medical Discoveries

Author : Robert W. Winters
ISBN : 9781510712478
Genre : Science
File Size : 53. 85 MB
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Many of the world’s most important and life-saving devices and techniques were often discovered purely by accident. Serendipity, timing, and luck played a part in the discovery of unintentional cures and breakthroughs: A plastic shard in an RAF pilot’s eye leads to the use of plastic for contact lenses. The inability to remove a titanium chamber from rabbit’s bone leads to dental implants. Viagra was discovered by a group of chemists, working in the lab to find a new drug to alleviate the pain of angina pectoris. A stretch of five weeks of unusually warm weather in 1928 played a role in assisting Dr. Alexander Fleming in his analysis of bacterial growth and the discovery of penicillin. After studying the effects of the venom injected by the bite of a deadly pit viper snake, chemists developed a groundbreaking drug that works to control blood pressure. Accidental Medical Discoveries is an entertaining and enlightening look at the creation of 25 medical inventions that have changed the world – unintentionally. The book is presented in a lively and engaging way, and will appeal to a wide variety of readers, from history buffs to trivia fanatics to those in the medical profession.

The Invaders

Author : Pat Shipman
ISBN : 9780674736764
Genre : Science
File Size : 60. 62 MB
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Humans domesticated dogs soon after Neanderthals began to disappear. This alliance between two predator species, Pat Shipman hypothesizes, made possible unprecedented success in hunting large Ice Age mammals—a distinct and ultimately decisive advantage for human invaders at a time when climate change made both humans and Neanderthals vulnerable.

Close Encounters With Humankind A Paleoanthropologist Investigates Our Evolving Species

Author : Sang-Hee Lee
ISBN : 9780393634839
Genre : Science
File Size : 21. 3 MB
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In this captivating bestseller, Korea’s first paleoanthropologist offers fresh insights into humanity’s dawn and evolution. What can fossilized teeth tell us about the life expectancy of our ancient ancestors? How did farming play a problematic role in the history of human evolution? How can simple geometric comparisons of skull and pelvic fossils suggest a possible origin to our social nature? And what do we truly have in common with the Neanderthals? In this captivating international bestseller, Close Encounters with Humankind, Korea’s first paleoanthropologist, Sang-Hee Lee, explores some of our greatest evolutionary questions from new and unexpected angles. Through a series of entertaining, bite-sized chapters, we gain fresh perspectives into our first hominin ancestors and ways to challenge perceptions about the traditional progression of evolution. By combining anthropological insight with exciting, cutting-edge research, Lee’s surprising conclusions shed new light on our beginnings and connect us to a faraway past. For example, our big brains may have served to set our species apart and spur our societal development, but perhaps not in the ways we have often assumed. And it’s possible that the Neanderthals, our infamous ancestors, were not the primitive beings portrayed by twentieth-century science. With Lee as our guide, we discover that from our first steps on two feet to our first forays into toolmaking and early formations of community, we have always been a species of continuous change. Close Encounters with Humankind is the perfect read for anyone curious about where we came from and what it took to get us here. As we mine the evolutionary path to the present, Lee helps us to determine where we are heading and tackles one of our most pressing scientific questions—does humanity continue to evolve?

We Are All Stardust

Author : Stefan Klein
ISBN : 9781615191536
Genre : Science
File Size : 88. 76 MB
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“What distinguishes scientists, in your eyes?”—Stefan Klein “First and foremost, curiosity.”—Roald Hoffmann, Nobel Prize–winning chemist When Stefan Klein, an acclaimed journalist, sits down to talk with 18 of the world’s leading scientists, he finds they’re driven by, above all, curiosity. When they talk about their work, they turn to what’s next, to what they still hope to discover. And they see inspiration everywhere: From the sports car that physicist Steven Weinberg says helped him on his quest for “the theory of everything” to the jazz musicians who gave psychologist Alison Gopnik new insight into raising children, they reveal how their paradigm-changing work entwines with their lives outside the lab. We hear from extraordinary natural and social scientists, including: Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins on ego and selflessness Primatologist Jane Goodall on chimpanzee behavior Neuroscientist V. S. Ramachandran on consciousness Geographer Jared Diamond on chance in history Anthropologist Sarah Hrdy on motherhood And cosmologist Martin Rees on how “ultimately we ourselves are stardust.”

Charm Offensive

Author : Joshua Kurlantzick
ISBN : 9780300137910
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 41. 96 MB
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At the beginning of the twenty-first century, China is poised to become a major global power. And though much has been written of China's rise, a crucial aspect of this transformation has gone largely unnoticed: the way that China is using soft power to appeal to its neighbours and to distant countries alike. This original book is the first to examine the significance of China's recent focus on soft power, that is, diplomacy, trade incentives, cultural and educational exchange opportunities, and other techniques, to project a benign national image, pose as a model of social and economic success, and develop stronger international alliances. Drawing on years of experience tracking China's policies in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa, Joshua Kurlantzick reveals how China has wooed the world with a charm offensive that has largely escaped the attention of American policymakers. Beijing's new diplomacy has altered the political landscape in Southeast Asia and far beyond, changing the dynamics of China's relationships with other countries. China also has worked to take advantage of American policy mistakes, the author contends. In a provocative conclusion, he considers a future in which China may be the first nation since the Soviet Union to rival the U.S. in international influence.

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