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Sunday, 03 July 2022, 04:26 (04:26 AM) CDT, day 184 of 2022

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  Semester Readings Summary
  General Textbook Information 
 John H. Bodley, Anthropology and Contemporary Human Problems, Sixth Edition
 Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman
 Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman
to see details (below) click on text image(s)

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John H. Bodley, Anthropology and Contemporary Human Problems, Sixth Edition


 John H. Bodley

 John H. Bodley
Washington State University

"We live in a time of global mega-problems of unsustainable growth and consumption, resource depletion, ecosystem degradation, global warming, escalating energy costs, poverty, and conflict. Cultural anthropologist John H. Bodley trenchantly critiques these most pressing issues and shows how anthropology makes it possible to find solutions. The focus on culture scale suggests that many solutions may be found by developing local communities supported by regional markets and ecosystems, rather than by making the continuous accumulation of financial capital the dominant cultural process throughout the world."

"Now in its sixth edition, this classic textbook continues to have tremendous relevance and is more timely than ever in light of the recent global economic crisis. It exposes readers to the problems of a world out of balance with misdirected growth by the elite. Bodley offers examples from prehistoric and modern tribal societies along side of ancient imperial and contemporary commercial societies. Students will find this to be the trusted source to build a world view. Anthropology and Contemporary Human Problems is ideal for adoption in anthropology and sociology courses on globalization, cultural ecology, social class and inequality, the environment, sustainability, and development." -- Altimira Press

Anthropology and Contemporary Human Problems, Sixth Edition

by John H. Bodley

(Lanham, MD: Altamira Press, 2012)

ISBN-10: 0759121583
ISBN-13: 978-0759121584

Currently available online new for $45.06 ppbk., or used from $8.94

(+ s/h, but currently with "free" shipping from on orders over #25)

(3 January 2018)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1.


Anthropological Perspectives on Contemporary Human Problems

Nature and Scope of the Problems
World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity, 1992
UN Millennium Goals
Crisis Awareness and Response
Significance of Culture Scale
Uniqueness of Tribal Societies and Cultures
“Original Affluent Society”
Elite-Directed Growth: The Human Problem
Distribution of Wealth and Power
The World’s Elite-Directors: View from the Top
Elite-Direction and the Global Media: Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation
Too Big and Failing: Elite-Direction and the Global Financial Crisis

Ch. 2.

Scale, Adaptation, and the Environmental Crisis

Cultural Transmission and Maladaptation
Scale and Cultural Evolution
Cultural Evolution and Adaptation
Nature and Scope of the Environmental Crisis
Biodiversity and the Death of the Tropical Rain Forests
Ecocide, Soviet Style
Environmental Crisis and Cultural Change
Beyond “The Limits to Growth”
Environmental Commissions: Global 2000 and Our Common Future
Roots of the Environmental Crisis
Capitalism and Ideological Roots
Unregulated Self-Interest and the Tragedy of the Commons
Land Degradation in the Mediterranean Region
Planetary Boundaries: Beyond the Earth’s Limits in the Anthropocene
Extinctions and Biodiversity: Human Nature or Culture Scale Crisis?
Tribal and Small-Scale Domestic Economies
Wealth in Tribal and Commercial Worlds
Biological Potential and Cultural Demand in the Pacific Northwest
Sociocultural Scale and the Environment
Ecological Footprints

Ch. 3.

Natural Resources and the Culture of Consumption

Energy and Culture: Basic Considerations
Elite-Directors of the Energy Sector: The Power and Influence of Big Oil
Capitalism and the Culture of Consumption
History of Capitalism
European Origins of Capitalism
Culture of Overconsumption
Resource Consumption in America
Taking Stock
America’s Forests as Resources
Economics of Resource Depletion
Sustainable Development and the Steady-State Economy
Consumption Culture’s Environmental Cost: Western Coal
Elite Decision Makers and the Consumption Culture

Ch. 4.

Malnutrition and the Evolution of Food Systems

Malthusian Dilemma
Evolution of Food Systems
Foraging and Subsistence Security
Shift to Farms and Gardens
Domestic Mode of Food Production
Technological Advances in Food Production
Politically Directed Food Systems
Commercialization of Grain: England, 1500–1700
Famine in the Modern World
Global Malnutrition
Persistence of Food Insecurity
Global Food Price Crisis of 2007–2008: Hunger and Land Grabs
Food Overconsumption
Political Economy of Hunger: Bangladesh

Ch. 5.

Commercial Factory-Food Systems

Factory-Food Production
Factory Potatoes versus Swidden Sweet Potatoes
Commercialization of the American Food System, 1850–1890
Social Costs of the Food-Production System
Energy Costs of the Distribution System
Food Marketing
Food Quality and Market Scale
Factory-Processed Potato Chips versus Manioc Cakes
Fishing, Global Trade, and “Ghost Acres”
Limits of Food Production
Food Chain Clusters: ABCD Four and the Great Turkey Recall

Ch. 6.

Population Problem

Maximum Global Population Estimates
Great Waves of Population Growth
Population Pressure, Carrying Capacity, and Optimum Population
Population Control among Foragers
Population Equilibrium in Aboriginal Australia
Neolithic Population Explosion
Population Control among Tribal Village Farmers
Island Population Problems
Case of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) “Collapse”
State Intervention and Population-Control Mechanisms
Policy Implications

Ch. 7.

Poverty and Conflict

Violence and Insecurity in America
Social Order in the Tribal World
Importance of Social Equality
Conflict and Conflict Resolution
Internal Order in Politically Centralized Societies
Cross-Cultural Perspectives on War
Scale of War and Violence in the Imperial and Commercial Worlds
Fiscal-Military State and Military-Industrial Complexes
Deadly Arsenals: The Nuclear Weapons Threat
Failing States and Social Disorder
Roots of the Security Crisis: Culture, Overpopulation, or Inequality?
Financialization Process and the Debt Crisis
Export Sugar, Starvation, and Infant Mortality in Brazil
State Terrorism and Investment Risk in Guatemala
Opulence and Deindustrialization in America
Los Angeles’s Informal Economy: The Costs of American Poverty and Homelessness

Ch. 8.

The Future

Dilemma of Scale
Imagining the Global Future
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Emissions Scenarios
American Intelligence Community Futures
Global Trends 2025: An American View of a Transformed World
Shell Oil’s Perspective on the Future
Shell Oil’s 2050 Scenario: Emissions-Trading Blueprints
Zero Carbon Britain 2030
Bolivia: A Plurinational Communitary State Solving Human Problems
Sustainable Global Futures
TERRA-2000 and Information Society
UN Global Environment Outlook 3 Global Futures
The Great Transition Initiative
Transforming the Corporation
Mondragón Cooperatives
Bhutan’s Middle Path
Toward a Sustainable Planetary Society
Scaling Down: The Small Nations Alternative
The United States, Happy Planets, and Billionaires
Transforming America





 Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman


 John H. Bodley

Daniel Kahneman

"Daniel Kahneman is Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton University and a professor of public affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He received the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his pioneering work with Amos Tversky on decision-making."

"In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation—each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.

Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives—and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and selected by The New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011, Thinking, Fast and Slow is destined to be a classic." -- Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Thinking, Fast and Slow

by Daniel Kahneman

(NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013)

ISBN-13: 9780374533557

is currently available on-line new for $9.69 (ppbk), or used from $5.03, or Kindle for $9.99, and audio from $23.52.
(+ p/h, where applicable, at & eligible for Amazon Prime).

 (3 January 2018)

Reading Guide

Table of Contents




  1. The characters of the story

  2. Attention and effort

  3. The lazy controller

  4. The associative machine

  5. Cognitive ease

  6. Norms, surprises, and causes

  7. A machine for jumping to conclusions

  8. How judgments happen

  9. Answering an easier question


  1. The law of small numbers

  2. Anchors

  3. The science of availability

  4. Availability, emotion, and risk

  5. Tom W's specialty

  6. Linda: less is more

  7. Causes trump statistics

  8. Regression to the mean

  9. Taming intuitive predictions


  1. The illusion of understanding

  2. The illusion of validity

  3. Intuitions vs. formulas

  4. Expert intuition: when can we trust it?

  5. The outside view

  6. The engine of capitalism


  1. Bernoulli's errors

  2. Prospect theory

  3. The endowment effect

  4. Bad events

  5. The fourfold pattern

  6. Rare events

  7. Risk policies

  8. Keeping score

  9. Reversals

  10. Frames and reality


  1. Two selves

  2. Life as a story

  3. Experienced well-being

  4. Thinking about life








Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman

Nudge -- Wikipedia

Richard H. Thaler

Sky News

Richard H. Thaler

 Nobel prize in economics awarded to Richard Thaler
-- , TheGuardian (9 October 2017)

Richard H. Thaler is the Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics and the director of the Center for Decision Research at the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business.


Cass R. Sunstein


Cass R. Sunstein

Cass R. Sunstein  is Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor of Jurisprudence, University of Chicago Law School and Departent of Political Science.




Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, Revised and Expanded Edition

by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein

(NY: Penguin, 2009)
ISBN-13: 978-0143115267

is currently available on-line new for $11.55 (ppbk), used from $7.16, Kindle $13.99, and audible $5.99
(+ p/h, where applicable, at & eligible for Amazon Prime).

(3 January 2018)

Reading Guide


Table of Contents




  1. Biases and Blunder

  2. Resisting Temptation

  3. Following the Herd

  4. When Do We Need a Nudge

  5. Choice Architecture


  1. Save More Tomorrow

  2. Naïve Investing

  3. Credit Markets

  4. Privatizing Social Security: Smorgasbord Style


  1. Prescription Drugs: Part D for Daunting

  2. How to Increase Organ Donation

  3. Saving the Planet


  1. Improving School Choices

  2. Should Patients Be Forced to Buy Lottery Tickets

  3. Privatizing Marriage


  1. A Dozen Nudge

  2. Objections

  3. The Real Third Way

  4. Bonus Chapter: Twenty More Nudges

    Postscript: November 2008




s2018 Week 7: The Senior Seminar Midterm Exam is scheduled for Week 8 Day 13, Monday, 26 February 2018, 4:00-5:15 p.m., in Cina 214

REM: Bring your Laptop

Exams will be open-book essays constructed from a list of study questions that you help create, so it would be a good idea for you to have your own copy of the text, and it is a good idea that you take your reading notes right in your copy of the text itself.

Midterm exam information is at <>, and the final exam information is at <>.

One thing that you should keep in mind when approaching these readings, which I will talk more about as the seminar progresses, is that, as mentioned above, the exams are open-book. You should read the texts carefully and be able to discuss the materials therein intelligently. That is, you should read the texts as if you had picked them up at an airport or neighborhood bookshop on the way to Austria or the South Seas because you were interested in the subjects and wanted to know more about them, like literally millions of people are doing in everyday life.

PLEASE NOTE: Some students are used to principally memorizing facts in classes. This class is not one where that is the focus.It is about investigating and discussing new topics, reading, listening, synthesizing ideas, thinking, exploring, and becoming familiar enough with the various subjects, peoples and places to carry on an intelligent conversation in modern-day society.

In short, this class aims to give you practice in critical thinking, and even creativity, avoiding rote memorization if possible. Please keep that in mind when thinking about, and getting ready for, the exams.

Critical thinking, involving evaluation and synthesis, has long been regarded as essential for success in the modern-day world. In recent years, actually for two decades, creativity has also become central to success, and "process skills" have become vital to creativity. Process skills involve "strategies to reframe challenges and extrapolate and transform information, and to accept and deal with ambiguity" (Pappano, "Learning to Think Outside the Box," The New York Times EducationLife, 9 February 2014, 8). Laura Pappano, writer in residence at Wellesley Center for Women at Wellesley College, points out that "In 2010 'creativity' was the factor mos crucial for success found in an I.B.M. survey of 1,500 chief executives in 33 industries. These days 'creative' is the most used buzzword in LinkedIn profiles two years running" (2014, 8).

One of the four main characteristics of American Anthropology is fieldwork, "a primary research technique, involving “participant observation," which usually means living among the people one is interested in learning from and about. It would be wonderful if for anthropology classes we could just charter a plane or rent a coach and take off for a year or more to learn first-hand from the people themselves. Money, time, and practicality prohibit that, so the next best things—when it comes to studying anthropology—is going to places and viewing subjects by video. So we’ll do that occasionally. More information on Visual Anthropology is available online at <>.

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