Culture & Technology Reading List
Here’s some works, primarily non-fiction, that I especially appreciate, related to the topics of cultural evolution, the cultural niche, technology from an anthropological perspective, design, and the birth of our current global monoculture, modernity.
- The Secret of Our Success: How Culture is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter, Joseph Henrich
- What Can A Body Do?: How We Meet The Built World, Sara Hendren
- Giving Up the Gun: Japan’s Reversion to the Sword, 1543-1879, Noel Perrin
- A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry, Bret Devereaux
- “A Rant About ‘Technology’, Ursula K. Le Guin
- “The Failed Globalization of Psychedelic Drugs in the Early Modern World”, Benjamin Breen
- “Large Language Models as a Cultural Technology”, Alison Gopnik
- “Is Cultural Change a Darwinian Process? No.”, W. David Marx
- Not really a take I agree with, especially since he is explicitly using a “culture studies” definition of culture instead of an anthropological definition. Still, an interesting contrarian take to The Secret of Our Success and Mesoudi’s Cultural Evolution.
- Economics of Money & Banking MOOC, Perry Merhling
- “A Brief History of Making Out”, Decoder Ring
- “Coordination Headwind: How Organizations Are Like Slime Molds”, Alex Komoroske + Venkatesh Rao’s commentary.
- Money Stuff, Matt Levine
- Bits About Money, Patrick McKenzie
- Restricted Data, Alex Wellerstein
- “Why’d I take speed for twenty years?”, Search Engine