Sunday, April 27, 2008


I'd never thought about human evolution in a serious way before I read The Third Chimpanzee. I'd never thought about agriculture in a serious way before I read Guns, Germs, and Steel. I'd never thought about forest and fishery management in a serious way before I read Collapse.

And I'm just now, after reading this, starting to have serious thoughts about the psychology of state administered justice.

It's the story of Daniel, a man that took responsibility for and succeeded in exacting vengeance on the man that killed his uncle. And it's a quick and preliminary but terrifying and fascinating exploration of the psychology of revenge.

Whether or not you agree with Jared Diamond's conclusions, I think this article is evidence that he is truly one of the most culturally open-minded journalist-authors out there.


ONNO said...

Jared Diamond is a brilliant writer. Collapse made a huge impact on me as well. Revenge is a curious thing. To be able to let go of anger and embrace forgiveness is a skill not too many people possess. I say, even if you can't forgive, give someone you love a hug and spread some good energy around.

Dagny McKinley
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Jake de Grazia said...

Sounds like a good prescription.

Might be tough medicine to swallow for people craving retribution, however.

But I'm with you Dagny. Spreading the good around spreads it riht back into you.

And nothing wrong with believing that love and empathy and understanding can kill anger. Might not work every time, but it's worth a try for sure.