The best books to influence human society

The Books I Picked & Why

The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal

By Desmond Morris

Book cover of The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal

Why this book?

I believe an understanding of how human society evolved into its current state is a key ingredient in the search for ways to influence its future. Desmond Morris provides an insightful foundation for this by analyzing the human-animal from a Zoologist’s viewpoint. He traces our evolution from a small insect-eating forest dweller to a fruit and nut-eating ape to a predominantly carnivorous hunting ape.

This last major transition most interests me because it explains the significant biological and cultural changes needed to compete with established carnivores. This includes lengthened brain development, communication, male/female bonding, social organization, and territorial protection. While this transition introduced major differences between humans and other primates, the inertia of evolution over millions of years still impacts our behavior.


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Women After All: Sex, Evolution, and the End of Male Supremacy

By Melvin Konner

Book cover of Women After All: Sex, Evolution, and the End of Male Supremacy

Why this book?

Doctor Konner gives an intriguing anthropologist’s view of animal development, tracing the introduction of genders, illustrating examples of male and female dominance, and describing the impact of evolution on human behavior. While he gives many fascinating examples of normal and abnormal sex and gender behavior in the animal world, what interested me most was his coverage of the shift from millions of years as hunter/gatherers to today’s complex male-dominated society, with its attendant aggression.

One point made is that the very different male and female roles caused brain development variation which typically makes females more tuned to communication and cooperation. He suggests the salvation of human society ultimately requires a strong female role.


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Success Through Manipulation: Subconscious Reactions That Will Make Or Break You

By Colin Christopher, Chris Simon

Book cover of Success Through Manipulation: Subconscious Reactions That Will Make Or Break You

Why this book?

Our future is determined by us, and our actions are determined by our thought processes. In other words, the future of human society can be influenced by manipulating group thought. Colin applies years of training and experience as a hypnotist to give us a view of how the human brain functions and how it can be manipulated.

He views it as two computing systems. A subconscious mind performing 40 million tasks/second deals only in the present, ignoring abstract things like “yesterday,” “don’t,” etc. The second conscious mind uses 40 tasks/second to control and program the first. It doesn’t exist in babies and develops during childhood. How that growth is managed determines its adult thought process and ultimately group thought. Colin provides insights on how it can be manipulated for good or bad results.


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Mentalligence

By Dr. Kristen Lee PhD

Book cover of Mentalligence

Why this book?

Mentaligence takes conscious mind development one step further. It suggests that we are burdened with an indoctrination dictating how to behave and meet preordained goals pressed upon us by parents, teachers, religious leaders, and society in general. Its premise is that we must recognize these factors and any negative effect on our well-being; learn how to throw off their shackles; and develop a new attitude of thinking. In short, acquire what Dr. Lee calls mental agility.

Indoctrination, group-think, and social brain-washing are related terms for the negative force. While some indoctrination may be considered beneficial, few would disagree with the negative effect of Nazi group-think or that leading to mass suicides in Jamestown. They illustrate the need for objective thinking to all manifestations of indoctrination.


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Civilization Critical: Energy, Food, Nature, and the Future

By Darrin Qualman

Book cover of Civilization Critical: Energy, Food, Nature, and the Future

Why this book?

Despite the Covid pandemic, the two biggest threats to human society are political strife and degradation of its food supply through climate change and population explosion. Darren Qualman provides an easily understood discussion of the latter. He starts with the simple closed-loop plant/animal cycle powered by the sun’s energy, which existed up until about 300 years ago. Then, explains how the discovery of coal and oil, invention of the tractor, and development of a process to convert oil into fertilizer changed all that.

As a teenager, I was taught that the population explosion would cause mass starvation in the near future. Darren explains how force-feeding plants and domesticated animals, now using over 400 million tons of oil-based fertilizer each year, forestalled that. But combined with oil, gas, and coal burned today, human society is living with a time-bomb unless we learn to live with energy now available from the sun.


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