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Inspiring One Another

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We inspire each other with our everyday actions and attitudes–monkey see, monkey do. On The Frontal Cortex, Jonah Lehrer describes an experiment in which individuals who observed their peers choosing carrots over cookies were more likely to make the same thoughtful choice themselves. Jonah explains that self-control “contains a large social component” and plays a very important role in our development. But what can you do when everyone beats their heads against the same wall? On Aardvarchaeology, Martin Rundkvist recounts the “tragicomical” history of bog reclamation, which has continued over the past three centuries despite peat proving uncompetitive and reclaimed bog infertile. Dried-out parcels would simply “sink back down into the lowered water table,” leaving nothing but destroying “the environment and the archaeological record.” Finally, on The Primate Diaries, Eric Michael Johnson honors the legacy of Howard Zinn, who died this week at 87. Zinn challenged the historical status quo with his view that history is driven by “a network of dedicated individuals,” and not merely the “Big Men” whose names are printed and remembered.

Links below the fold.