Why do Humans Cooperate?

Many of the Stage’s readers will be familiar with the work of “Pseudoerasmus,” currently the internet’s best blogger working on both economic development and macro-history. His most recent post is titled “Where do Pro-Social Institutions Comes From?“  I strongly urge you read it. In essence, Pseudoerasmus’s post tries to answer two questions:  Why do humans cooperate? […]

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A Civilization Is at Stake Here

Perhaps the most predictable fall-out of Graeme Wood’s influential cover article for The Atlantic,  “What the Islamic State Really Wants,” is another round of debate over whether or not the atrocities committed by ISIS and other armed fundamentalist terrorist outfits are sanctioned by the Qur’an, Hadith, and other Islamic texts, and if not, whether these […]

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The Nomadic Survival Strategy: Salzman’s 20 Observations

  A Taureg nomad in the Sahara.  Photograph by Carsten Peter, National Geographic. Β© “The nomadic strategy is one means by which people adapt to thinly spread resources and to the variability of the resources across space and over time. It is also a strategy for avoiding other deleterious environmental conditions, such as extreme heat […]

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The World, As Seen Through Contested Wikipedia Pages

The ten most controversial (i.e. most prone to edit wars) articles in the English, German, French, Spanish Czech,   Hungarian, Romanian, Arabic, Farsi, and Hebrew language Wikipedias: Source: Taha Yasseri1, Anselm Spoerri, Mark Graham1, and JΓ‘nos KertΓ©sz. “The most controversial topics in Wikipedia: A multilingual and geographical analysis” Upcoming chapter in Global Wikipedia: International and cross-cultural […]

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Do The Great Books Have a Place in the 21st Century?

A selection of the 60 volume Great Books of the Western World.Image source. A “proper education” changes with its times. In the days of America’s founding a true education was a classical education. An educated man was not simply expected to be familiar with the great works of Greek and Roman civilization; the study of […]

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West and East and How We Think

What impact does culture have on cognition? Psychologist Richard Nisbett has conducted dozens of studies to find out the answer to this question. Presented in The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently, the results of his study are fascinating – and their implications far reaching. “Perception: How Germans and Chinese See Each Other” from […]

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Notes on the Dynamics of Human Civilization: The Growth Revolution, Part I

The following series is an attempt to make some sense of that most peculiar of subjects: human civilization. My interest lies in the dynamics of civilized societies: their material needs and limitations, the recurring patterns of geography, social organization, and cultural complexity upon which they are built, and the type of interactions that define their […]

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