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The Primate Diaries

The Primate Diaries

Notes on science, politics, and history from a primate in the human zoo.


Sacrifice on the Serengeti: Life History, Genetic Relatedness, and the Evolution of Menopause

Author's Note: The following originally appeared at Carin Bondar's website (she now co-blogs at Scientific American 's PsiVid ). It was subsequently selected as a finalist in the Quark Science Writing Prize and appeared in the 2010 edition of   The Open Laboratory: The Best of Science Writing on the Web.Imagine you are on the Serengeti Plateau and your children are hungry...

October 13, 2011 — Eric Michael Johnson

Commodity Traitors: Financial Speculation on Commodities Fuels Global Insecurity

“Food is always more or less in demand,” wrote Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations . While the founder of modern capitalism pointed out that the wealthy consume no more food than their poor neighbors, because the "desire of food is limited in every man by the narrow capacity of the human stomach," the desire for material luxury "seems to have no limit or certain boundary." Hunger, therefore, is the foundation of wealth."The poor, in order to obtain food," Smith wrote, "exert themselves to gratify those fancies of the rich." The modern investor, epitomized by the insatiable appetite of Gordon Gekko from the movie Wall Street , has taken Smith's advice to heart...

September 22, 2011 — Eric Michael Johnson

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