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How Media Is Hacking Our Brains

  It’s easy to forget the unique place human beings occupy in evolutionary history. A recent discovery published in the journal Nature dates the earliest Homo sapiens to be 300,000 years old. By comparison the scientific revolution is only 500 years old, the United States only 200 years old, and the iPhone just 10 years old. For hundreds of thousands of years, we have lived in small and atomized communities where technology only played a peripheral role and information technologies were virtually nonexistent. Information was transmitted primarily through speech limiting its spreading...

The Perspective Crisis

Since 1800, the population of the world has multiplied six times, yet average life expectancy has more than doubled and real income has risen more than nine times. Taking a shorter perspective, in 2005, compared with 1955, the average human being on Planet Earth earned nearly three times as much money (corrected for inflation), ate one-third more calories of food, buried one-third as many of her children and could expect to live one-third longer. She was less likely to die as a result of war, murder, childbirth, accidents, tornadoes, flooding, famine, whooping cough, tuberculosis, malaria...

When Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

For the first time in history, more people die today from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals combined.   Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (Harpercollins, 2017), 2. Read that again. Let it really sink in. Right now, as you live and breathe, more people are dying due to an influx of sustenance, not a deficit. More people are living out their lives to their body’s physical limit than are dying from infectious...

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