Are Humans Fundamentally Good? (with Rutger Bregman)

The Ezra Klein Show | 1 June 2020 | 1h 39m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Rutger Bregman about his book Humankind: A Hopeful History. Argues that human nature is kinder, friendlier, and more decent than generally thought and that a new world could be built atop that understanding. Discusses the deeply social, egalitarian lives of hunter-gatherers; whether the advent of human civilization was a huge mistake; whether humans have a common nature; the implications of the Holocaust; whether we can build a society without CEOs, politicians, and bureaucrats; and more.

Easter Island – Where Giants Walked

Fall of Civilizations Podcast | 29 June 2019 | 1h 43m | Listen Later | iTunes
Works through the evidence that rats, slavers and disease were the downfall of Easter Island – not thoughtless deforestation to erect moai (stone monuments), with consequent civil war.

What Can We Learn from the San People?

Talking Books | 12 September 2017 | 0h 52m | Listen Later
Interview with James Suzman about his book Affluence Without Abundance: What We Can Learn from the World’s Most Successful Civilisation. Applies an anthropologist’s perspective both to the Bushmen of the Kalahari, and the lessons for modern civilisation.

The Cave Punan

Origin Stories | 8 April 2020 | 0h 34m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with anthropologist Steve Lansing about his work mapping the genetic and language diversity of the Indonesian archipelago. Includes his work from 2018 with the Cave Punan, the last surviving hunter-gathers living in Borneo, with a unique song language thought to predate the arrival of modern humans in Indonesia.

The Evolution Of Human Violence

KERA’s Think | 12 February 2019 | 0h 48m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with anthropologist Richard Wrangham about the ideas in The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution. Draws on evolutionary evidence to suggest that as we domesticated ourselves, we reduced our tendency to reactive violence, whilst simultaneously retaining our capacity for organised violence.

The Origins of Civilisation

History Extra | 18 December 2017 | 0h 46m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with political scientist James C Scott about his book Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States. Explores the evidence for the forces and processes involved in early agriculture and state-building. Includes some delicious asides about the necessity of grains to raising taxes.

Did Cooking Make Us Human?

Origin Stories | 29 December 2015 | 0h 18m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Did cooking make us human? Richard Wrangham, author of Catching Fire: How Cooking Made us Human and Rachel Carmody discuss the impact that cooked food had on human evolution.

Joseph Henrich on Cultural Evolution, WEIRD Societies, and Life Among Two Strange Tribes

Conversations with Tyler | 14 December 2016 | 1h 25m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with anthropologist Joseph Henrich, author of The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter. Argues that intelligence is overrated and that social learning, and its ability to influence biological evolution over time, is what really sets our species apart. Discusses his work on cultural evolution, his life among different tribes (academic and otherwise), China’s missing industrial revolution, and the Flynn effect.