Here is an extract of the Table of Contents with brief comments by the author.

 

Preface –

Why you want to read this book.

 

0. Introduction –

An engineer's point of view and why you need to cultivate your tolerance for ambiguity.

 

1. Earth History –

A brief summary of the geologic history of our planet.

 

2. 100,000 Years Ago –

What was life on Earth like before mankind joined the struggle?

 

3. The Meaning of Life –

Is there some underlying reason why we are here?

 

4. Societies –

Why animals and people form into groups.

 

5. Man –

Humanity joins the struggle for domination of the environment.

 

6. Religion –

Rituals take on cultural importance.

 

7. Civilization –

Tribal organization begins to rule over animal anarchism.

 

8. Feedback –

We introduce some basic engineering concepts to help us understand some of life's questions.

 

9. Commandments –

The Bible tells us the two rules that define civilization.

 

10. Good and Evil –

Virtue and vice compete for your attention.

 

11. Fairness, Summary, Government –

Why fairness matters. A summary of major points we have covered so far. What types of government have been tried by humanity?

 

12. Social Organization –

Feudalism, socialism, and the family unit.

 

13. Capitalism –

A brief summary of this largely misunderstood concept.

 

14. Motivation –

Why you do the things you do.

 

15. Choices –

How people select their behavior patterns and use of judgment.

 

16. Kill or be Killed –

Both animal and man need to distinguish friend from enemy.

 

17. Independence –

Oppressed peoples stumble towards freedom.

 

18. Lifestyle –

We can choose how we organize our lives.

 

19. Theme Park Fantasy Syndrome –

Many folks act as though they live in a cartoon world.

 

20. Anthropomorphism –

How we maintain our modern mythologies.

 

21. Hollywood Syndrome –

Find out if you live by a faulty belief system.

 

22. A. Hack –

A generic politician reveals his true thoughts.

 

23. Government –

The question of ethics in government.

 

24. Better Government –

What are the valid functions of governments.

 

25. Other Functions of Government –

Governments need to avoid competing with their citizens.

 

26. County Government –

Analyze government at the local level.

 

27. Recycle –

Sacred cows in our own modern society.

 

28. Population –

Are there too many people on our planet?

 

29. Stories –

Several points from this book are illustrated with a little creative nonfiction.

 

30. Recipe for Disaster –

Life on our planet may look like a hopeless cause, but is it really?

 

31. Balance of Power –

The secrets to the advance of civilization.

 

Afterword –

What to do if you disagree with this book.

 

Epilog

 

Bibliography

 

 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 August 2011 01:52 )