Thoughts on: โ€œThe Better Angels of Our Natureโ€ by Steven Pinker

It’s an odyssey through the history of human violence. Pinkers thesis is that we have seen a great decline in violence both in the long term , as well as short term history of mankind and he sets out to find out why this is.

This is a dense book.

I listened to the audiobook which clocked in at 36 hours. But don’t be discouraged! It’s such a deep topic and you will have an expanded view on humanity after turning the last page.

One of my many takeaways from this book is not to base my world on images, but on facts. One can easily be fooled by the availability bias when the 24-hour news cycle portraits rare accidents, catastrophes and act of violence appear as common events by giving the disproportionate airtime.

This is essential reading if you’re in a quest for worldly knowledge.

5/5

Find other fascinating reads in my reading lists!

Thoughts on: Behave by Robert Sapolsky

What is long and hard, and filled with baboon references? Robert Sapolskys book Behave.


๐Ÿ“ โ€œThe frontal cortex makes you do the harder thing, when itโ€™s the right thing to do.โ€ The frontal cortex consumes a lot of energy which makes your willpower limited. Have you noticed how quick you are to judge and how hard it is to be a good person you are when depleted after a hard day at work?

๐Ÿ“ Initially demanding frontal tasks, like controlling your bladder as a child, becomes easier with time. Understand: repeated good behaviors and they will become automatic!

๐Ÿ“ We Habituate..

Understand: Artificial pleasures (designer food, drugs, VR porn etc..) throws our systems of the scale making us unable to appreciate the natural.

๐Ÿ“ Humans delays gratification for an extremely long time. No other animal restricts calories now to look good on the beach next year! ๐Ÿ˜†

๐Ÿ“ โ€œThe opposite of love is not hate, its indifferenceโ€

๐Ÿ“ Win-Win solutions rewards more dopamine than Win – Lose ones. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

๐Ÿ“ Alcohol = more aggressive behavior? No, alcoholic only evokes aggression in people prone to aggression AND people that BELIEVE that alcohol makes you more aggressive. Like testosterone only increase aggression in people prone to it in the first place. Testosterone will enhance any behavior that helps us maintain status.

โญ๏ธ TAKEAWAY: I was applying for days off at work. I was going to ask right before lunch, but caught myself and did it the proper way instead; Judges famously give harsher judgments when they are hungry. I upped my chances of getting an approved application quickly by waiting until after lunch.

This was not a matter of life or death situation, like the case with some trials, but I think this story points towards something worth thinking about.

What is the result of a lifetime of strategic moves based on the quirks of biology and human nature works compared to a life ignorant of these hidden influences?

โš–๏ธ VERDICT: A detailed and nuanced summary of where we are at with the study of human behavior! ๐Ÿ˜

โ€”โ€”

4/5

โ€”โ€”

Photo credit: @chriserzfeld

Get the book right here or find other amazing reads in my reading lists!