Against the Grain

Written on January 13, 2020. Written by .

Somewhat dry but really interesting thesis that grain agriculture was uniquely suited to taxation which enabled the formation of early states. Emphasized that early states may have been worse places to live than the surrounding areas outside of state control and how states were effectively farms for domesticating, breeding, and enslaving humans. ★★★★★

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Civilized to Death

Written on November 17, 2019. Written by .

One of the best books I’ve ever read. Actually I had planned on writing a book on this topic but now I think I can just recommend this one. It summarizes ideas and facts from many other books and studies to show the reader how the effects of civilization are not as good as many […]

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Sapiens

Written on June 27, 2016. Written by .

This book talked about the human ability to collectively believe in ideas that are not necessarily true, but have important implications for society. For example, believing that fiat money has value is only true because so many other people believe it, but it is not objectively true because it would not have value under other […]

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Guns, Germs, and Steel

Written on April 18, 2015. Written by .

This is a truly amazing book about why some societies are more successful than others at developing technology and conquering the world. The author explains how geographical and environmental factors are highly determinant, which implies that genetic and cultural factors are much less significant. The most important factor in the early stages of civilization was access […]

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