Nonzero: the logic of human destiny

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At the beginning ofNonzero, Robert Wright sets out to "define the arrow of the history of life, from the primordial soup to the World Wide Web." Twenty-two chapters later, after a sweeping and vivid narrative of the human past, he has succeeded -- and has mounted a powerful challenge to the conventional view that evolution and human history are aimless. Ingeniously employing game theory -- the logic of "zero-sum" and "non-zero-sum" games -- Wright isolates the impetus behind life's basic direction: the impetus that, via biological evolution, created complex, intelligent animals and then, via cultural evolution, pushed the human species toward deeper and vaster social complexity. In this view, the coming of today's interdependent global society was "in the cards" -- not quite inevitable, perhaps, but, as Wright puts it, "so probable as to inspire wonder." So probable, indeed, as to invite speculation about higher purpose, especially in light of "the phase of history that seems to lie immediately ahead: a social, political, and even moral culmination of sorts." In a work of vast erudition and pungent wit, Wright takes on some of the past century's most prominent thinkers, including Isaiah Berlin, Karl Popper, Stephen Jay Gould, and Richard Dawkins. He finds evidence for his position in unexpected corners, from native American hunter-gatherer societies and Polynesian chiefdoms to medieval Islamic commerce and precocious Chinese technology; from conflicts of interest among a cell's genes to discord at the World Trade Organization. Wright argues that a coolly scientific appraisal of humanity's three-billion-year past can give new spiritual meaning to the present and even offer political guidance for the future.Nonzerowill change the way people think about the human prospect.
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ISBN:
9780679758945
9780679442523
9780375727818
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 191e9021-4377-4ab8-04b2-1612153871be
Grouping Title nonzero the logic of human destiny
Grouping Author wright robert
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-09-22 23:50:37PM
Last Indexed 2018-09-23 00:58:49AM

Solr Details

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author Wright, Robert, 1957-
author_display Wright, Robert
available_at_catalog Main Kids, Main Library
collection_catalog Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Main Library - Adult Non-Fiction
display_description

In his bestselling The Moral Animal, Robert Wright applied the principles of evolutionary biology to the study of the human mind. Now Wright attempts something even more ambitious: explaining the direction of evolution and human history--and discerning where history will lead us next.

In Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, Wright asserts that, ever since the primordial ooze, life has followed a basic pattern. Organisms and human societies alike have grown more complex by mastering the challenges of internal cooperation. Wright's narrative ranges from fossilized bacteria to vampire bats, from stone-age villages to the World Trade Organization, uncovering such surprises as the benefits of barbarian hordes and the useful stability of feudalism. Here is history endowed with moral significance--a way of looking at our biological and cultural evolution that suggests, refreshingly, that human morality has improved over time, and that our instinct to discover meaning may itself serve a higher purpose. Insightful, witty, profound, Nonzero offers breathtaking implications for what we believe and how we adapt to technology's ongoing transformation of the world.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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id 191e9021-4377-4ab8-04b2-1612153871be
isbn 9780375727818, 9780679442523, 9780679758945
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literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog 303.4 W9528n
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Main Kids, Main Library
primary_isbn 9780679758945
publishDate 2000, 2001
record_details ils:CARL0000128426|Book|Books|1st ed.|English|Pantheon Books,|c2000.|x, 435 p. ; 25 cm., overdrive:0dea15ca-6875-4ee0-963b-bc8debcc9170|eBook|eBook||English|Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|2001|
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Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
overdrive:0dea15ca-6875-4ee0-963b-bc8debcc9170 -1 Available Online Available Online false true true false false false
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subject_facet History, Human evolution, Social evolution
title_display Nonzero : the logic of human destiny
title_full Nonzero : the logic of human destiny / Robert Wright, Nonzero The Logic of Human Destiny
title_short Nonzero :
title_sub the logic of human destiny
topic_facet History, Human evolution, Nonfiction, Science, Social evolution, Sociology