...meandering thoughts and a reminder to myself that a mundane day can be just as beautiful as a spectacular one.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Social Animal, By: David Brooks

I'm a big fan of non-fiction, especially when the topic is socialogy
in one form or another.  The Social Animal by David Brooks was
a little different than the typical non-fiction books I read though because
it's written around a fictional couple, Harold and Erica.
  It works.  It makes it that much more enjoyable to read.  It was an intriguing 
journey that we can all relate to.

Here are the passages that I found most interesting:
"We all have a certain manner of scanning a sea of faces.  
For example, most people's gaze will linger on a 
redheaded person in any crowd because we are naturally
drawn to the unusual."  (p. 76)

"Anthropologists tell us that all cultures distinguish colors.
When they do, all cultures begin with words for white and black.
If the culture adds a word for a third color, it is always red." (p. 150)
"People in progress-prone cultures live to work... People in 
progress-resistant cultures work to live."  (p. 154)
"Many chicken farms employ professional chicken sexers.
They look at newly hatched chicks and tell whether the chicks
are male or female even though, to the untrained eye,
the chicks all look the same.  Experienced sexers can look at eight
hundred to one thousand chicks an hour and determine their gender
with 99 percent accuracy.  How do they figure it out?  They 
couldn't tell you.  There is just something different about the males
and females, and they know it when they see it."  (p. 241)

"Our perception of the world is a fantasy that coincides with reality."  
-Chris Frith, University College, London (p. 350)
"We work harder to avoid losses than to achieve gains."  (p. 378)


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