Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Wired For Culture
If this book were to have a cinematic equivalent, it would be Kubrick's "2001", covering the space between everything where the ape threw the bone into the air and the space station orbiting the planet. As a huge and weighty exploration of mankind, this book, divided into four areas, seeks to draw the heart of the matter which is when, how, why did humans begin to co-operate, to create a wider world, develop symbols, flags,meanings? What made mankind a cultural animal?
Covering almost all areas of social and cultural discourse, and the inherent contradictions within, in side a historical context - such as the point whereby the individual supercedes their inherently selfish side in favour of the greater good of all as working co-operatively - Pagel provides an expert/specialists view on the nature of our advanced civilisation. It is by no means an easy or quick read, but lays out, as much as one can, detail and knowledge about our world and how we all work together in a way that even the beginner can easily grasp the key threads and ideas easily and effectively. You cannot go wrong with this.