Friday, December 31, 2010

Book notes

Sex at dawn

If prehistoric man lived such a stressful life, why does modern man react so poorly to stress. Should have been culled by natural selection

Life expectancy v life span

Low sexual dimorphism doesn't necessarily indicate monogamy. It could be low competition for females, as in chimps & bonobos

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

books notes

Why the West Rules -- For Now by Ian Morris

Global cooling in 3800 BCE may have been the birth of the city -- monsoon rains in Mesopotamia dried up, forcing villages to centralize and specialize in orider to survive.

High end vs. low end state (taxes, bureaucracy, standing army)

1279-- Mongols break China just at the point where it was about to break into a an industrial revolution.

China at center + size of pacific discourage discovery of NA. Europe more desperate and closer

Perfection of gun with infantry breaks the nomads of Asian steppe in 17th, allowing old world to break out of old ceiling of social development -- no more raids and sackings.

Roanake founded as a pirates' lair for raiding Spanish gold shipments

P603 - h1n1 killed more people 50m than black death in a century Or aids in last 30 yrs

fatal dose to effective dose