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.







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