The Company of Strangers

A Natural History of Economic Life

Author: Paul Seabright

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400834785

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 400

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The Company of Strangers shows us the remarkable strangeness, and fragility, of our everyday lives. This completely revised and updated edition includes a new chapter analyzing how the rise and fall of social trust explain the unsustainable boom in the global economy over the past decade and the financial crisis that succeeded it. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, history, psychology, and literature, Paul Seabright explores how our evolved ability of abstract reasoning has allowed institutions like money, markets, cities, and the banking system to provide the foundations of social trust that we need in our everyday lives. Even the simple acts of buying food and clothing depend on an astonishing web of interaction that spans the globe. How did humans develop the ability to trust total strangers with providing our most basic needs?

The Company of Strangers

A Natural History of Economic Life

Author: Paul Seabright

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691124520

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 304

View: 4234

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Explores how humans' evolved ability of abstract reasoning has allowed such institutions as money, markets, cities and the banking system to provide a foundation of social trust, in a revised edition that has a new chapter explaining how the rise and fall of social trust resulted in the financial crisis. Original.

The Company of Strangers

A Natural History of Economic Life

Author: Paul Seabright

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691118215

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 304

View: 2468

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Explores how humans' evolved ability of abstract reasoning has allowed such institutions as money, markets, cities and the banking system to provide a foundation of social trust, in a revised edition that has a new chapter explaining how the rise and fall of social trust resulted in the financial crisis. Original.

The War of the Sexes

How Conflict and Cooperation Have Shaped Men and Women from Prehistory to the Present

Author: Paul Seabright

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691133018

Category: Science

Page: 241

View: 533

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Drawing on biology, sociology, anthropology and economics the author argues that humans have a deep-seated propensity for both conflict and cooperation between the sexes, and that we must understand how these have shaped the modern world to achieve greater harmony.

A Farewell to Alms

A Brief Economic History of the World

Author: Gregory Clark

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400827817

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 432

View: 7647

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Why are some parts of the world so rich and others so poor? Why did the Industrial Revolution--and the unprecedented economic growth that came with it--occur in eighteenth-century England, and not at some other time, or in some other place? Why didn't industrialization make the whole world rich--and why did it make large parts of the world even poorer? In A Farewell to Alms, Gregory Clark tackles these profound questions and suggests a new and provocative way in which culture--not exploitation, geography, or resources--explains the wealth, and the poverty, of nations. Countering the prevailing theory that the Industrial Revolution was sparked by the sudden development of stable political, legal, and economic institutions in seventeenth-century Europe, Clark shows that such institutions existed long before industrialization. He argues instead that these institutions gradually led to deep cultural changes by encouraging people to abandon hunter-gatherer instincts-violence, impatience, and economy of effort-and adopt economic habits-hard work, rationality, and education. The problem, Clark says, is that only societies that have long histories of settlement and security seem to develop the cultural characteristics and effective workforces that enable economic growth. For the many societies that have not enjoyed long periods of stability, industrialization has not been a blessing. Clark also dissects the notion, championed by Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel, that natural endowments such as geography account for differences in the wealth of nations. A brilliant and sobering challenge to the idea that poor societies can be economically developed through outside intervention, A Farewell to Alms may change the way global economic history is understood.

Identity Economics

How Our Identities Shape Our Work, Wages, and Well-Being

Author: George A. Akerlof,Rachel E. Kranton

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400834181

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 200

View: 3526

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Identity Economics provides an important and compelling new way to understand human behavior, revealing how our identities--and not just economic incentives--influence our decisions. In 1995, economist Rachel Kranton wrote future Nobel Prize-winner George Akerlof a letter insisting that his most recent paper was wrong. Identity, she argued, was the missing element that would help to explain why people--facing the same economic circumstances--would make different choices. This was the beginning of a fourteen-year collaboration--and of Identity Economics. The authors explain how our conception of who we are and who we want to be may shape our economic lives more than any other factor, affecting how hard we work, and how we learn, spend, and save. Identity economics is a new way to understand people's decisions--at work, at school, and at home. With it, we can better appreciate why incentives like stock options work or don't; why some schools succeed and others don't; why some cities and towns don't invest in their futures--and much, much more. Identity Economics bridges a critical gap in the social sciences. It brings identity and norms to economics. People's notions of what is proper, and what is forbidden, and for whom, are fundamental to how hard they work, and how they learn, spend, and save. Thus people's identity--their conception of who they are, and of who they choose to be--may be the most important factor affecting their economic lives. And the limits placed by society on people's identity can also be crucial determinants of their economic well-being.

Morals and Markets

The Dangerous Balance

Author: D. Friedman,D. McNeill

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137331526

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 287

View: 8628

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Friedman and McNeill draw on recent research in evolutionary game theory and behavioral economics to explore the relationship between our moral codes and our market systems. They show how imbalance between morals and markets is at the root of the recent corporate scandals in the US as well as the global financial crisis the world continues to face.

Strangers and Sojourners

A History of Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula

Author: Arthur W. Thurner

Publisher: Wayne State University Press

ISBN: 9780814323960

Category: History

Page: 404

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Arthur Thurner tells of the enormous struggle of the diverse immigrants who built and sustained energetic towns and communities, creating a lively civilization in what was essentially a forest wilderness. Their story is one of incredible economic success and grim tragedy in which mine workers daily risked their lives. By highlighting the roles women, African Americans, and Native Americans played in the growth of the Keweenaw community, Thurner details a neglected and ignored past. The history of Keweenaw Peninsula for the past one hundred and fifty years reflects contemporary American culture—a multicultural, pluralistic, democratic welfare state still undergoing evolution. Strangers and Sojourners, with its integration of social and economic history, for the first time tells the complete story of the people from the Keweenaw Peninsula's Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw, and Ontonagon counties.

Braintrust

What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality

Author: Patricia S. Churchland

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400889383

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

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What is morality? Where does it come from? And why do most of us heed its call most of the time? In Braintrust, neurophilosophy pioneer Patricia Churchland argues that morality originates in the biology of the brain. She describes the "neurobiological platform of bonding" that, modified by evolutionary pressures and cultural values, has led to human styles of moral behavior. The result is a provocative genealogy of morals that asks us to reevaluate the priority given to religion, absolute rules, and pure reason in accounting for the basis of morality. Moral values, Churchland argues, are rooted in a behavior common to all mammals--the caring for offspring. The evolved structure, processes, and chemistry of the brain incline humans to strive not only for self-preservation but for the well-being of allied selves--first offspring, then mates, kin, and so on, in wider and wider "caring" circles. Separation and exclusion cause pain, and the company of loved ones causes pleasure; responding to feelings of social pain and pleasure, brains adjust their circuitry to local customs. In this way, caring is apportioned, conscience molded, and moral intuitions instilled. A key part of the story is oxytocin, an ancient body-and-brain molecule that, by decreasing the stress response, allows humans to develop the trust in one another necessary for the development of close-knit ties, social institutions, and morality. A major new account of what really makes us moral, Braintrust challenges us to reconsider the origins of some of our most cherished values.

The Fairness Instinct

The Robin Hood Mentality and Our Biological Nature

Author: L. Sun

Publisher: Prometheus Books

ISBN: 1616148489

Category: Science

Page: 346

View: 7521

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Combining research from the social sciences, hard sciences, and the humanities, this accessible cross-disciplinary book offers fascinating insights into a key component of human nature and society. What do the Arab Spring, the Robin Hood legend, Occupy Wall Street, and the American taxpayer reaction to the $182 billion bailout of AIG have in common? All are rooted in a deeply ingrained sense of fairness. But where does this universal instinct come from? This is the driving question at the heart of L. Sun’s The Fairness Instinct. Thinkers from Aristotle to Kant, from Augustine to John Rawls, and religions from Christianity to Confucianism, have offered great insight into the nature and origins of this basic human desire for fairness. Based on the most recent scientific discoveries in behavioral genetics, neuroscience, psychology, anthropology, economics, and evolution, Sun argues that the origins of the fairness instinct cannot be found exclusively in the philosophical, social, and political perspectives to which we so often turn; rather, they can be traced to something much deeper in our biological makeup. Taking as his starting point Frans De Waal’s seminal study showing that Capuchin monkeys revolt when they are shortchanged by receiving a less valuable reward than their peers receive for the same task, Sun synthesizes a wide range of research to explore the biological roots of the fairness instinct. He shows that fairness is much more than a moral value or ideological construct; fairness is in our DNA. Combining scientific rigor with accessible and reader-friendly language to relate fascinating stories of animal and human behavior, The Fairness Instinct lays out an evolutionary roadmap for how fairness emerges and thrives under natural selection and how two powerful engines—social living and social hierarchy—have fueled the evolution of this intricate and potent instinct in all of us. Probing into the motives that underlie such phenomena as envy, consumerism, anti-intellectualism, revenge, revolution, terrorism, marriage, democracy, and religion, Sun showcases the power of the fairness instinct to make our history, shape our society, and rule our social lives. From the Hardcover edition.

The Needs of Strangers

Author: Michael Ignatieff

Publisher: Picador

ISBN: 1466889063

Category: Social Science

Page: 168

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This thought provoking book uncovers a crisis in the political imagination, a wide-spread failure to provide the passionate sense of community "in which our need for belonging can be met." Seeking the answers to fundamental questions, Michael Ignatieff writes vividly both about ideas and about the people who tried to live by them-from Augustine to Bosch, from Rousseau to Simone Weil. Incisive and moving, The Needs of Strangers returns philosophy to its proper place, as a guide to the art of being human.

Business Models

Investing in Companies and Sectors with Strong Competitive Advantage

Author: David Watson

Publisher: Harriman House Limited

ISBN: 1897597584

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 316

View: 8051

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Different Business Models is different from other investment books because it breaks new ground. It deploys 129 business models to empower an outside investor to analyse the internal competitive advantage of companies and sectors. Competitive advantage Strong competitive advantage is only achieved by having low costs and/or doing something different from the competition. This must add value to the customer, who then pays a premium price. He is glued to the company, which will earn dependable revenue streams and be in the profit zone. Key features . 64 company business models are scored for competitive advantage. They include moats, recurring revenues, product differentiation, bolt-on acquisitions and bargaining power. . 65 sector business models are scored for competitive advantage. They include recession resistance, must-have products, sticky customers, toll bridges and megatrends. . The economic cycle is the ultimate arbiter of investment success or failure. . Other important tools are growth at a reasonable price, technical analysis, scuttlebutting, accounting for growth and investment axioms. Conclusion Business Models unearths the best companies to outperform in a bull or bear market, giving investors a real advantage. They can correctly evaluate a company or sector in 15 minutes and emulate Warren Buffett, who uses business models to invest in companies with strong competitive advantage.

Wired for Culture: Origins of the Human Social Mind

Author: Mark Pagel

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393065871

Category: Science

Page: 416

View: 4393

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An evolutionary biologist explores the concept of culture and how it influenced our collective human behaviors from the beginning of evolution through modern times and offers new insights on how art, morality and altruism and self-interest define being human. 20,000 first printing.

World on Fire

How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability

Author: Amy Chua

Publisher: Anchor

ISBN: 1400076374

Category: Political Science

Page: 368

View: 7094

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The reigning consensus holds that the combination of free markets and democracy would transform the third world and sweep away the ethnic hatred and religious zealotry associated with underdevelopment. In this revelatory investigation of the true impact of globalization, Yale Law School professor Amy Chua explains why many developing countries are in fact consumed by ethnic violence after adopting free market democracy. Chua shows how in non-Western countries around the globe, free markets have concentrated starkly disproportionate wealth in the hands of a resented ethnic minority. These “market-dominant minorities” – Chinese in Southeast Asia, Croatians in the former Yugoslavia, whites in Latin America and South Africa, Indians in East Africa, Lebanese in West Africa, Jews in post-communist Russia – become objects of violent hatred. At the same time, democracy empowers the impoverished majority, unleashing ethnic demagoguery, confiscation, and sometimes genocidal revenge. She also argues that the United States has become the world’s most visible market-dominant minority, a fact that helps explain the rising tide of anti-Americanism around the world. Chua is a friend of globalization, but she urges us to find ways to spread its benefits and curb its most destructive aspects.

Strangers in Their Own Land

Anger and Mourning on the American Right

Author: Arlie Russell Hochschild

Publisher: The New Press

ISBN: 1620973987

Category: Political Science

Page: 395

View: 5152

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2016 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST FOR NONFICTION A 2016 NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A NEWSDAY TOP 10 BOOK OF THE YEAR A KIRKUS BEST BOOK OF 2016 One of "6 Books to Understand Trump's Win" according to the New York Times the day after the election The National Book Award Finalist and New York Times bestseller that became a guide and balm for a country struggling to understand the election of Donald Trump When Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, a bewildered nation turned to Strangers in Their Own Land to understand what Trump voters were thinking when they cast their ballots. Arlie Hochschild, one of the most influential sociologists of her generation, had spent the preceding five years immersed in the community around Lake Charles, Louisiana, a Tea Party stronghold. As Jedediah Purdy put it in the New Republic, “Hochschild is fascinated by how people make sense of their lives. . . . [Her] attentive, detailed portraits . . . reveal a gulf between Hochchild’s ‘strangers in their own land’ and a new elite.” Already a favorite common read book in communities and on campuses across the country and called “humble and important” by David Brooks and “masterly” by Atul Gawande, Hochschild’s book has been lauded by Noam Chomsky, New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu, and countless others. The paperback edition features a new afterword by the author reflecting on the election of Donald Trump and the other events that have unfolded both in Louisiana and around the country since the hardcover edition was published, and also includes a readers’ group guide at the back of the book.

Ravens in Winter

Author: Bernd Heinrich

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476794561

Category: Nature

Page: 400

View: 6879

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Presents a detailed investigation into the feeding behavior of ravens during four winters in Maine and comes up with several unexpected conclusions.

Glass House

The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town

Author: Brian Alexander

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1250085810

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 2569

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For readers of Hillbilly Elegy and Strangers in Their Own Land **A New York Post Must-Read Book, a Newsweek Best New Book, one of The Week's 20 Books to Read in 2017, one of Bustle's 16 Best Nonfiction Books Coming in February 2017, Best Non-Fiction/2017 Books by the Banks** "A devastating portrait...For anyone wondering why swing-state America voted against the establishment in 2016, Mr. Alexander supplies plenty of answers." —The Wall Street Journal "This book hunts bigger game." —Laura Miller, Slate In 1947, Forbes magazine declared Lancaster, Ohio the epitome of the all-American town. Today it is damaged, discouraged, and fighting for its future. In Glass House, journalist Brian Alexander uses the story of one town to show how seeds sown 35 years ago have sprouted to give us Trumpism, inequality, and an eroding national cohesion. The Anchor Hocking Glass Company, once the world’s largest maker of glass tableware, was the base on which Lancaster’s society was built. As Glass House unfolds, bankruptcy looms. With access to the company and its leaders, and Lancaster’s citizens, Alexander shows how financial engineering took hold in the 1980s, accelerated in the 21st Century, and wrecked the company. We follow CEO Sam Solomon, an African-American leading the nearly all-white town’s biggest private employer, as he tries to rescue the company from the New York private equity firm that hired him. Meanwhile, Alexander goes behind the scenes, entwined with the lives of residents as they wrestle with heroin, politics, high-interest lenders, low wage jobs, technology, and the new demands of American life: people like Brian Gossett, the fourth generation to work at Anchor Hocking; Joe Piccolo, first-time director of the annual music festival who discovers the town relies on him, and it, for salvation; Jason Roach, who police believed may have been Lancaster’s biggest drug dealer; and Eric Brown, a local football hero-turned-cop who comes to realize that he can never arrest Lancaster’s real problems.

The Darwin Economy

Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good

Author: Robert H. Frank

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691156689

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 246

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Argues that ecologist Charles Darwin's understanding of competition describes economic reality far more accurately than economist Adam Smith's theories ever did.

The Best of Us

A Memoir

Author: Joyce Maynard

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1635570360

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 448

View: 2425

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The San Francisco Chronicle's Best of the Year List Indie Next Pick "For Reading Groups" From New York Times bestselling author Joyce Maynard, a memoir about discovering strength in the midst of great loss--"heart wrenching, inspiring, full of joy and tears and life." (Anne Lamott) In 2011, when she was in her late fifties, beloved author and journalist Joyce Maynard met the first true partner she had ever known. Jim wore a rakish hat over a good head of hair; he asked real questions and gave real answers; he loved to see Joyce shine, both in and out of the spotlight; and he didn't mind the mess she made in the kitchen. He was not the husband Joyce imagined, but he quickly became the partner she had always dreamed of. Before they met, both had believed they were done with marriage, and even after they married, Joyce resolved that no one could alter her course of determined independence. Then, just after their one-year wedding anniversary, her new husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. During the nineteen months that followed, as they battled his illness together, she discovered for the first time what it really meant to be a couple--to be a true partner and to have one. This is their story. Charting the course through their whirlwind romance, a marriage cut short by tragedy, and Joyce's return to singleness on new terms, The Best of Us is a heart-wrenching, ultimately life-affirming reflection on coming to understand true love through the experience of great loss.

Sapiens

A Brief History of Humankind

Author: Yuval Noah Harari

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062316109

Category: Science

Page: 464

View: 1396

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New York Times Bestseller A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas. Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become? Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.