[Scpg] SAT JAN 12 3:00 PM SUCSB Jared Diamond/NEW BOOK The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?

Wesley Roe and Santa Barbara Permaculture Network lakinroe at silcom.com
Fri Dec 21 11:35:04 PST 2012

Jared Diamond/NEW BOOK
SAT, JAN 12 3:00 PM

The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?


"Extraordinary in erudition and originality.” The New York Times Book 

“Diamond’s most influential gift may be his ability to write… in ways 
that don’t just educate and provoke, but entertain.” The Seattle Times

In his new book, The World Until Yesterday, Jared Diamond, the Pulitzer 
Prize-winning and mega-best-selling author of Guns, Germs, and Steel and 
Collapse, takes us on a mesmerizing journey into our rapidly vanishing 
past. Drawing on his fieldwork in New Guinea as well as evidence from 
Inuit, Amazonian and other cultures, Diamond explores how traditional 
peoples approach universal problems – from child rearing and elder care 
to dispute resolution – and discovers that we have much to learn from 
these cultures.

The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?
by Jared Diamond
The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of the bestsellers Guns, Germs, and 
Steel and Collapse returns to our past in search of a better future.

Most of us take for granted the features of our modern society, from air 
travel and telecommunications to literacy and obesity. Yet for nearly 
all of its six million years of existence, human society had none of 
these things. While the gulf that divides us from our primitive 
ancestors may seem unbridgeably wide, we can glimpse much of our former 
lifestyle in those largely traditional societies still or recently in 
existence. Societies like those of the New Guinea Highlanders remind us 
that it was only yesterday—in evolutionary time—when everything changed 
and that we moderns still possess bodies and social practices often 
better adapted to traditional than to modern conditions.

The World Until Yesterday provides a mesmerizing firsthand picture of 
the human past as it had been for millions of years—a past that has 
mostly vanished—and considers what the differences between that past and 
our present mean for our lives today.

This is Jared Diamond's most personal book to date, as he draws 
extensively from his decades of field work in the Pacific islands, as 
well as evidence from Inuit, Amazonian Indians, Kalahari San people, and 
others. Diamond doesn't romanticize traditional societies—after all, we 
are shocked by some of their practices—but he finds that their solutions 
to universal human problems such as child rearing, elder care, dispute 
resolution, risk, and physical fitness have much to teach us. A 
characteristically provocative, enlightening, and entertaining book, The 
World Until Yesterday will be essential and delightful reading

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