Catalin Tenita

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Yuval Noah Harari
“Occasionally, bands wandered outside their turf and explored new lands, whether due to natural calamities, violent conflicts, demographic pressures or the initiative of a charismatic leader. These wanderings were the engine of human worldwide expansion. If a forager band split once every forty years and its splinter group migrated to a new territory sixty miles to the east, the distance from East Africa to China would have been covered in about 10,000 years.”
Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Robert Wright
“This isn’t to say that Navajos don’t seek power—only that they seek it subtly. Nor is it to say that status is severed from the goal of reproductive advantage. The expert corn grower and the expert singer probably make for attractive mates. And it’s easy to guess why; one has a knack for providing material resources and both show signs of intelligence. Still, these two Navajo didn’t gain their reproductive advantage by physically intimidating or otherwise controlling people; they simply found their calling and excelled.”
Robert Wright, The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology

“Somewhere I read Auden saying that all his life he felt that he was the youngest person in the room, which “has very seldom been the fact for the past forty years,” and I have felt kindly towards Auden ever since. I”
Alexandra Pierce, Letters to Tiptree

Robert Wright
“Here is one scholar’s description of life among the Navajo: “No one who actively seeks power is to be trusted. Leaders arise out of example and emulation. If someone is successful at growing corn, he is emulated and to that extent is a leader. If someone knows many verses to a curing chant, he is respected for that accomplishment and his status as a ‘singer’ is considerable. Politicking, handshaking … have no place in traditional Navajo society.”
Robert Wright, The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology

“This vignette reminds me of Maurice Maeterlinck’s dictum: “At every crossway on the road that leads to the future, tradition has placed, against each of us, ten thousand men to guard the past.”
Stanley B. Prusiner, Madness and Memory:The Discovery of Prions--A New Biological Principle of Disease

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