i wish i could sit on a green grassy hill with my best friend and eat ice cream and watch the sun set and feel like everything was going to be okay.
"We’ve been friends for 43 years. Every few years, we meet for a few hours, and pick right back up."
[The modern Western economist] is used to measuring the “standard of living” by the amount of annual consumption, assuming all the time that a man who consumes more is “better off” than a man who consumes less. A Buddhist economist would consider this approach excessively irrational: since consumption is merely a means to human well-being, the aim should be to obtain the maximum of well-being with the minimum of consumption.
There were boxes everywhere she could see. She felt she was packing bits and pieces of her heart, rather than scattered objects from 28 years at 135 Sunset Lane. Not too recently ago, her life had become a constant stream of leavings. People leaving, her leaving, family leaving—it was all too much. She demanded a cease-fire. But life was deaf to cries it likely could not heed.
It turns out that cultures with a history of dairy farming and milk drinking have a much higher frequency of lactose tolerance – and its associated gene – than those who don’t. Drinking milk is just one of example of the way that traditions and cultural practices can influence the path of our evolution. Culture and genetics are traditionally thought of as two separate processes, but researchers are increasingly realizing that they are intimately connected, each influencing the natural progression of the other. Scientists call it “gene-culture co-evolution.” Why does it matter? If we can pin down how culture influences our genetic makeup – and how the same processes apply to other creatures too – then we can be better understand how the way we act as a society today could influence our future.
If you have trouble resisting the impulse to check your smartphone while you’re out with friends or having dinner on a date, this table might help: By literally strapping two people together for the duration of the meal, it forces them to pay attention to each other.
WHAT IS HAPPENING TO HUMANITY.