ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In The Sixth Extinction, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino. Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
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A book about SURVIVING Some of the Deadliest Plagues Known to Humanity... (& An Antidote to Corona Virus/COVID-19?) “…the more you know about the past, the better you are prepared for the future.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt ~ The direct quotes given throughout this study - augmented by original mortality data compiled and edited by A. Parent, reveals a lesser-known history of the dramatic decline in deaths from a whole plethora of pathogens that once plagued our developing nations and its probable cause. I.e., a natural universal biological phenomenon of ancestrally acquired robust resilience to dying from once deadlier contagions throughout the generations. The significance of this being that, whilst our health officials are expecting the plagues of old to return at any moment and are poised nervously armed with whatever vaccines they can throw at them, it would appear that our immune systems having very long-term ancestral memory have not forgotten how to battle against such opportunistic invaders of the past and it now looks highly likely that almost all of us would survive even if some of the deadliest contagions returned today to plague us in their original colours. This, therefore, also has implications for our more modern and firmly entrenched belief that we eradicated at least some of these bugs and, obviously, with our current mass vaccination strategies that are so firmly entrenched and becoming near-universal, we are not currently following nature's schedule of childhood natural immunization as a result. Thus, we assess the consequences of this situation in the context of the above. In essence, after reviewing all the relevant evidence for when, how and to what degree we have attempted to protect against infectious diseases at a population level versus nature's method of full exposure, this study reaches the inescapable conclusion that Nature has done a significantly better job of natural mass immunization down through the generations and across the entire world in line with our respective levels of development, a whole lot better than us. The moral of this story is that it looks like our ancestors were counting more of their descendent children (that's us) because they had the (actual) Pox and just about everything else going in the way of infectious diseases and we were healthier as a result. That was until we began to intervene in the natural generational immunity cycle - but, the protection afforded by our mass vaccination efforts being so short-lived - ironically, maybe helping to restore this remarkable immunization cycle once again. All in all, it is hoped that this study will go some way to alleviating our unnatural phobia regarding the germ or pathogens of old returning, and go some way to restoring our faith in Nature so that this may inform a more natural health focused future.
Relatively little is known about Africa's endangered languages. Unlike indigenous languages in Australia, North Asia, and the Americas, which are predominantly threatened by colonizers, African languages are threatened most immediately by other local languages. As a result, the threat of language extinction is perceived as lower in Africa than in other parts of the globe, and a disproportionate amount of research is devoted to the study of endangered African languages when compared to any other linguistically threatened region in the world. There are approximately 308 highly endangered languages spoken in Africa (roughly 12% of all African languages) and at least 201 extinct African languages. This volume hopes to illuminate and challenge this trend. Chapters offer both documentary and theoretical perspectives, emphasizing the symbiotic relationship between the two approaches and its implications for the preservation of endangered languages, both in the African context and more broadly. Documentary-oriented chapters deal with key issues in African language documentation including language preservation and revitalization, community activism, and data collection and dissemination methodologies, among others. Theoretically-oriented chapters provide detailed descriptions and analyses of phonetic, phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic phenomena, and connect these to current theoretical issues and debates. Africa's Endangered Languages provides thorough coverage of a continent's neglected languages that will spur linguists and Africanists alike to work to protect them.
Accessible and up-to-date, the Seventh Edition of SOCIOLOGY IN OUR TIMES: THE ESSENTIALS, Seventh Edition, builds on the best of previous editions while offering new insights, learning tools, and opportunities to apply the content of each chapter to relevant sociological issues of the twenty-first century. Acclaimed in the field for being first to integrate race, class, and gender issues, Kendall continues her focus on diversity and inequality, emphasizing social consciousness and active participation in bettering the world around us. Compelling examples, a vivid writing style, and chapter themes grounded in timely social issues already familiar to students get students involved in sociology by showing them how they can make a difference in their own communities. Among its other changes, the Seventh Edition includes a new Sociology Works! feature; new assignable Reflect & Analyze questions that conclude selected features; two new photo essays, each with new assignable video activities; a vibrant new interior design; improved concept review tables; and more photos and illustrations, making this text the most up-to-date, applications-oriented introduction to sociology available. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.
The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. Other animals have stronger muscles or sharper claws, but we have cleverer brains. If machine brains one day come to surpass human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become very powerful. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on us humans than on the gorillas themselves, so the fate of our species then would come to depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence. But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed AI or otherwise to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation? To get closer to an answer to this question, we must make our way through a fascinating landscape of topics and considerations. Read the book and learn about oracles, genies, singletons; about boxing methods, tripwires, and mind crime; about humanity's cosmic endowment and differential technological development; indirect normativity, instrumental convergence, whole brain emulation and technology couplings; Malthusian economics and dystopian evolution; artificial intelligence, and biological cognitive enhancement, and collective intelligence. This profoundly ambitious and original book picks its way carefully through a vast tract of forbiddingly difficult intellectual terrain. Yet the writing is so lucid that it somehow makes it all seem easy. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Nick Bostrom's work nothing less than a reconceptualization of the essential task of our time.
LEARNING AND BEHAVIOR: ACTIVE LEARNING EDITION, Sixth Edition, looks at learning as an evolutionary mechanism. Chance’s book is stimulating, interactive, and filled with high-interest queries and examples. Based on the theme that learning is a biological mechanism that aids survival, this book embraces a scientific approach to behavior but is written in a lucid, clear language. The reconceived built-in workbook, which is included at the back of every text, has been pared down to be more approachable and less time-consuming for students, with a greater focus on the core concepts and vocabulary presented in the text. Probing essay questions and examples encourage students to draw connections between topics and apply the material to their own lives. Perforated pages allow professors to collect completed workbook assignments easily. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.
Vols. 1-49 are Proceedings of the 1st-57th annual meetings.
The Global Casino is an introduction to environmental issues which deals both with the workings of the physical environment and the political, economic and social frameworks in which the issues occur. Using examples from all over the world, the book highlights the underlying causes behind environmental problems, the human actions which have made them issues, and the hopes for solutions. It is a book about the human impact on the environment and the ways in which the natural environment impacts human society. The fifth edition has been fully revised and updated throughout, with new case studies, figures, and online resources such as downloadable figures and tables from the text and multiple choice questions for students, accessible at: www.routledge.com/cw/middleton. New topics covered in extended boxed case studies include payment for environmental services, ocean acidification, biofuels in Brazil, waste reduction through industrial symbiosis, and the long-term impact of natural disasters on vulnerable groups. Other approaches and concepts covered for the first time in this new edition include traditional ecological knowledge, environmental justice, the ‘resource curse’, and urban biodiversity. Eighteen chapters on key issues follow three initial chapters which outline the background contexts of the physical and human environments and the concept of sustainable development. Each chapter provides historical context for key issues, outlines why they have arisen, and highlights areas of controversy and uncertainty to appraise how issues can be resolved both technically and in political and economic frameworks. Each chapter also contains an updated critical guide to further reading and websites, as well as discussion points and essay questions. The text can be read in its entirety or individual chapters adopted as standalone reading. The Global Casino is an essential resource for students of the environment, geography, earth sciences and development studies. It provides comprehensive and inspirational coverage of all the major global environmental issues of the day in a style that is clear and critical.
This majors-level text approaches ecology as a series of problems that are best understood by evaluating empirical evidence through data analysis and application of quantitative reasoning.