Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

Easter Island’s End

One of my favorite essays by Jared Diamond on societal collapse on Easter Island.  From Discover magazine, August 1, 1995:

Easter’s End

In just a few centuries, the people of Easter Island wiped out their forest, drove their plants and animals to extinction, and saw their complex society spiral into chaos and cannibalism. Are we about to follow their lead?

by Jared Diamond

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September 30, 2009 Posted by | anthropology, environment, history | , , , | Leave a comment

Jared Diamond on the environment

An essay by Jared Diamond, from Time magazine, August 26, 2oo2:

Lessons from Lost Worlds

By Jared Diamond

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September 30, 2009 Posted by | anthropology, environment, history, sociology | , , | Leave a comment

Be a better negotiator

Bottom line: get inside your opponent’s head and skip on the empathy.

From The Economist, May 1st, 2008:

Inside a deal

It pays to get inside your opponents’ heads rather than their hearts

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September 30, 2009 Posted by | behaviour, psychology | , , , | Leave a comment

Nature or nurture?

Which is stronger, nature or nurture? According to the article below, both your genes and your environment  interact for your whole life.  From Time magazine, June 2, 2003:

What Makes You Who You Are

By Matt Ridley

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September 30, 2009 Posted by | behaviour, genes | , | 1 Comment

Price paid for big muscles

Sounds like there are some disadvantages to having a highly muscled body.  Good reminder that there are trade-offs for everything.

From The Economist, August 27, 2009:

Sexual selection in humans

Mr Muscle

The price and privilege of beefcake
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September 30, 2009 Posted by | evolution, health | , , | Leave a comment

The Oily Americans

Oldie, but a gives a good idea of how the United States meddled in the Middle East.  Things haven’t changed, have they?

From Time magazine, Monday, May. 19, 2003:

The Oily Americans

By Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele

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September 30, 2009 Posted by | history, politics, terrorism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eat your way to a better brain

From the July 17th, 2008 edition of The Economist:

Cognition nutrition

Food for thought

Eat your way to a better brain

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September 30, 2009 Posted by | brain, diet, nutrition | | Leave a comment