Norms, Heresthetics, and the End of the Cold War ..

When chimpanzees eat meat, they put large, tough leaves in their mouths. That helps them overachieve as meat eaters, as their teeth and jaws are poorly adapted for chewing meat. Mountain gorillas eat no meat at all. In the wild, great apes spend about half of their day chewing. Chimpanzees are the most carnivorous great ape, and although meat is the greatest treasure in chimpanzee societies, they often stop eating meat after chewing it for an hour or two and revert to fruit and other softer foods if they can get it. Chimpanzees when their staple, fruit, is scarce. Chimps have been seen killing monkeys, eating their organs, and then abandoning the carcasses to find more monkeys to kill. Organ meats and intestines are far easier to chew, and a poor meat chewer like a chimpanzee prefers soft meats. Just as chimpanzees prefer soft meats, predators will eat soft organs first and leave the tougher muscle for later, if they eat it at all. It depends on how plentiful the available flesh is, but the pattern across all predator groups is clear: eat the best, first, and leave the lesser quality foods to the end or let scavengers have them. It will always be a cost/benefit decision. All things being equal, the less time and energy needed to eat something, the sooner it will be eaten. If extra time and effort is needed to procure food, then the nutritional reward (primarily in energy) has to be exceptional to justify it. Evolutionary pressures have made animals into excellent accountants. The human sweet tooth is a relic of humanity’s fruit-eating ape heritage, and the desire for fatty foods reflects an adaptation to prefer that energy-richest of foods. Fat (made of hydrocarbons) is the ultimate energy windfall of all foods.

The end of the Cold War came about as a result of the economic collapse and ..

Important as these changes in China have been, however, it is developments in the Soviet Union - the original "homeland of the world proletariat" - that have put the final nail in the coffin of the Marxist-Leninist alternative to liberal democracy. It should be clear that in terms of formal institutions, not much has changed in the four years since Gorbachev has come to power: free markets and the cooperative movement represent only a small part of the Soviet economy, which remains centrally planned; the political system is still dominated by the Communist party, which has only begun to democratize internally and to share power with other groups; the regime continues to assert that it is seeking only to modernize socialism and that its ideological basis remains Marxism-Leninism; and, finally, Gorbachev faces a potentially powerful conservative opposition that could undo many of the changes that have taken place to date. Moreover, it is hard to be too sanguine about the chances for success of Gorbachev's proposed reforms, either in the sphere of economics or politics. But my purpose here is not to analyze events in the short-term, or to make predictions for policy purposes, but to look at underlying trends in the sphere of ideology and consciousness. And in that respect, it is clear that an astounding transformation has occurred.


evolution, and end of the Cold War.

Economic Incentives, Ideas, and the End of the Cold War: Gorbachev and German Unification

One enduring question about civilization is “Why?” Why would somebody leave a village for a shortened life expectancy in a city? Ever since the ancient Greeks and , that question has been asked. There are two basic theoretical camps: one is integration theory, and the other is conflict theory. Integration theories have people moving to civilization because of the attendant benefits, which are obviously many. , of which was a proponent, have elites exploiting civilizations in service of greedy and vain motivations. Academics have written that integration theories account best for providing life’s necessities for the masses, which is why they migrate to civilizations, and conflict theories best explain elite appropriation of economic surpluses.


Foreign Aid for Development Assistance — Global Issues

The of an ice age is only a few hundred years old, and was , who got his first ideas from and others. There had also been . By the 1860s, most geologists accepted the idea that there had been a cold period in Earth’s recent past, attended by advancing and retreating ice sheets, but nobody really knew why. Hypotheses began to proliferate, and in the 1870s, proposed the idea that variations in Earth’s orientation to the Sun caused the continental ice sheets. Because of problems in matching his hypothesis with dates adduced for ice age events, it fell out of favor and was considered dead by 1900. Croll’s work regained its relevance with the publication of a paper by (usually spelled Milankovitch in the West) in 1913, and by 1924, Milankovitch was widely known for explaining the timing of advancing and retreating ice sheets during the current ice age.

Energy and the Human Journey: Where We Have Been; …

Most plants produce seeds, which would have largely survived the catastrophe and began growing when conditions improved. Ferns came back first, in what is called a , as ferns are a . Crocodiles, modern birds (which included ), mammals, and amphibians also survived, and all could have found refuge in burrows, swamps, and shoreline havens, lived in tree holes and other crevices that they were small enough to hide in, and all could have eaten the catastrophe’s detritus. In general, freshwater species fared fairly well, especially those that could eat detritus. Also, the low-energy requirements of ectothermic crocodiles would have seen them survive when the mesothermic/ dinosaurs starved. The primary determinants seem to have been what could survive on detritus or energy reserves and what could not, and what could find refuge from the initial conflagration. While there may have been some evidence of dinosaur decline before the end-Cretaceous extinction (it was gradually growing colder), and the may have caused at least some local devastation, the complete extinction of non-avian dinosaurs, ammonites, marine reptiles, and others that would have been particularly vulnerable to the bolide event’s aftermath has convinced most dinosaur specialists that the bolide impact alone was sufficient to explain the extinction and no other hypothesis explains the pattern of extinction and survival that the bolide hypothesis does. In general, the key to surviving the end-Cretaceous extinction was being a marginal species, and all of those on center-stage paid the ultimate price. The end-Cretaceous extinction's toll was nearly 20% of all families, half of all genera, and about 75% of all species, and marked the end of an era; the Mesozoic ended and made way for the Age of Mammals, also called the , which used to have the .