The World Until Yesterday, by Jared Diamond.

coverwuyPre-industrial societies are very different from ours. Some of them kill grandparents when they get to a certain age. Individuals are often fluent in ten or more languages. They feast when food is plentiful, but are happy to go without for several days if there is nothing to eat.

Until a few thousand years ago, all humans lived in this way. It is what we evolved to do. This book is a fascinating account of Jared Diamond’s lifetime of observation of pre-industrial people from around the world. It is long, but packed with packed with intriguing stories from tribal societies.

Not surprisingly, Jared Diamond thinks that we have a lot to learn from these people.


Snog, marry, avoid? by Mairi Mcleod.

Men like younger women, women like richer men, right? Yes, but the picture is more nuanced than that. This New Scientist article unpicks some recent research into the details of sexual attraction.

“Women who are grossed out by blood and faeces prefer more masculine faces.”

“As the gender pay gap decreases in the West, attitudes to promiscuity are relaxing.”

New Scientist, No. 3008, 14th February 2015, p.42-45.