The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life

The Company of Strangers A Natural History of Economic Life Human beings are the only species in nature to have developed an elaborate division of labor between strangers Even something as simple as buying a shirt depends on an astonishing web of interaction a

  • Title: The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life
  • Author: Paul Seabright
  • ISBN: 9780691124520
  • Page: 188
  • Format: Paperback
  • Human beings are the only species in nature to have developed an elaborate division of labor between strangers Even something as simple as buying a shirt depends on an astonishing web of interaction and organization that spans the world But unlike that other uniquely human attribute, language, our ability to cooperate with strangers did not evolve gradually through our pHuman beings are the only species in nature to have developed an elaborate division of labor between strangers Even something as simple as buying a shirt depends on an astonishing web of interaction and organization that spans the world But unlike that other uniquely human attribute, language, our ability to cooperate with strangers did not evolve gradually through our prehistory Only 10,000 years ago a blink of an eye in evolutionary time humans hunted in bands, were intensely suspicious of strangers, and fought those whom they could not flee Yet since the dawn of agriculture we have refined the division of labor to the point where, today, we live and work amid strangers and depend upon millions Every time we travel by rail or air we entrust our lives to individuals we do not know What institutions have made this possible In The Company of Strangers, Paul Seabright provides an original evolutionary and sociological account of the emergence of those economic institutions that manage not only markets but also the world s myriad other affairs.Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, history, psychology, and literature, Seabright explores how our evolved ability of abstract reasoning has allowed institutions like money, markets, and cities to provide the foundation of social trust But how long can the networks of modern life survive when we are exposed as never before to risks originating in distant parts of the globe This lively narrative shows us the remarkable strangeness, and fragility, of our everyday lives.

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    • Free Read [Fantasy Book] ✓ The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life - by Paul Seabright ↠
      188 Paul Seabright
    • thumbnail Title: Free Read [Fantasy Book] ✓ The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life - by Paul Seabright ↠
      Posted by:Paul Seabright
      Published :2018-09-08T04:10:44+00:00

    One thought on “The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life”

    1. Starts strong and peters out. I find this is the case with many books with grandiose goals. Sections 1 and 2 are far better than 3 and 4.

    2. An economist looks at evolutionary roots of human society and its structures. How does our evolutionary path shape current institutions and mutual trust?p53 Remarkably, trust in non-relatives has become an established fact of social life.p53 cites Carol Ember - myths about Hunter-Gatherersp65 Social Capital (World Bank 1999) Dasgupta and Serageldin www-wdsbank/externalp65 What all stable societies have in common is that the balance between reciprocity and self0-interest holds even when unscrupul [...]

    3. This book is a profound and impressive view of economics. Its broad sweep of history - from pre-agricultural man to the present - and examination of the fundamentals of human interaction leave you with a feeling of "wow, this is deep". And it is meant to: Seabright argues convincingly and enjoyably that we aren't awed enough by the economies that humans have developed. These economies require massive amounts of trust, and as a species we are just not evolved to trust people to whom we aren't rel [...]

    4. An excellent book!! it´s a must read for everyone interested in the dynamic of the relationship between our apparently simple life and the rest of society. As spicies, our success is completely due to our team work; but, at the same time, the biggest challenges for the continuity of the species are the outcomes of our team work. 100% recommended!!

    5. Seabright has achieved an engaging, solid book that couold easily serve as an introduction to economics.

    6. As with any 'history of ' book, there are moments of insight mired in gross generalizations, polarities and platitudes. For Seabright 'Economic Life' means uncritical 'free market' capitalism and an end-of-history political order based on the State. Where I think he has it correct is his misgivings around our ability to collectively navigate degradation of the natural enviroment.

    7. thesis is that in order to transition beyond tribal hunter gather societies, a system of trust needs to evolve - trust between strangers. Today's economy is all about systems of trustreward by D. Dennettrevised edition 2010 (address 2007-8 financial collapse, ie lost of trust)Notesp.1 Intro to Revised Edition; Post 2007-8 financ. crisis. Amercian loan losts = $9K per person2 trust is fundamental to our economy & life. When trust is broken, all hell breaks out. Past examples:belief in witchcr [...]

    8. "The predicament of unemployed steelworkers, coal miners, fishermen (not to mention the rich world's textile workers, secretaries, automobile assemblers - all those whose skills are less in demand than they used to be) is not at all new in history. But it has added to the risks with which our hunter-gatherer ancestors were more familiar, the risk of the natural world and its predators and the risk posed by human enemies, neither of which has disappeared. Our emotional reactions to risk are still [...]

    9. In this book, Paul Seabright (a professor of economics) discusses a wide range of topics including how we have tamed our violent instincts, how human social emotions evolved, and the rise (and sometimes fall) of institutions such as money, banks, cities, firms, states, and empires. He calls our evolution from family bands to industrial cities "the great experiment" and ends up discussing how fragile this experiment is. He asks many interesting questions along the way, but his treatment of these [...]

    10. This book elucidates the reasons for why society operates the way it does. It can be dense at times but this does not takeaway the overall impact of what the author wants to get across. Why do we trust people we do not know? What assumptions do we make on a day-to-day basis, sometimes unknowingly, that allow us to function socially? Why are we comfortable with these assumptions? Far from a simple individual perspective, the author starts with genetics and proceeds to a macro-level, peeling the o [...]

    11. This book takes a shot at one of the central questions of modern social science: how do social institutions, whether markets or political systems hold together when comprised mostly of anonymous strangers. Seabright explores the topic mostly through the lenses of evolutionary biology and game theory (skeptics of these fields on the left should pause to consider the positive reviews the book has received from Sam Bowles and Herb Gintis, among others). Unfortunately, while he offered scattered ins [...]

    12. The book is very interesting, however the writer is very far right wing thinker and very capitalist. The book gave a nice introduction of the evolution of the mankind economy.Although, it neglected many eras of the mankind history, such as the era of the Islamic domination from the 6th till the 12th centuries. It also didn't consider all the negatives of the increasing influence of the corporations over the world economy and the governments and obviously the free markets.

    13. This was a fascinating perspective on modern economic systems viewed through the lens of cultural anthropology and societal evolution. For anyone who wants to understand why humans have organized economic activity the way we have, this is a must-read. The evolution of trust between non-related members of the same species is fairly unique to humanity and I found the views presented in this book to be very interesting.

    14. Using anthropology and evolutionary biology, an economist analyzes the key feature that allowed us to settle down and farm in groups including people to whom we were not related--humans had to employ abstract thought to envision rituals and institutions that would allow us to contribute to works (central banking systems, armies, sewer projects) that cost us and benefit people in whim we have no genetic investment, but which may also be to our advantage.

    15. Pretty good book, interesting concepts. It was weird that he went into so many different disciplines.

    16. Fairly interesting book about how economies develop through humans' treatment of complete strangers as "honorary friends."

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