The Jordan Harbinger Show

494: Rutger Bregman | Humankind: A Hopeful History

Rutger Bregman (@rcbregman) is a historian and author who has published five books on history, philosophy, and economics. His latest is New York Times bestseller Humankind: A Hopeful History.

What We Discuss with Rutger Bregman:

  • How crises like the London Blitz during WWII and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina tend to bring out the best in people rather than the worst.
  • Why a crisis that forces us to isolate rather than connect with each other as a way to cope (like the COVID-19 pandemic) may make some of us behave counter to this tendency, but not most.
  • The evidence that prevails against veneer theory -- the idea that humanity is only buffered from acting on its vilest and most selfish instincts by the thin veneer of civilization (perpetrated by those in power throughout human history).
  • The negativity bias vs. contact theory: how we can counter the effects of past bad experiences with others by increasing our exposure to diversity.
  • How a real-life Lord of the Flies incident disproved the thesis of William Golding's fictional counterpart and showed how six shipwrecked schoolkids cooperated to thrive on a remote island for more than a year.
  • And much more...

Full show notes and resources can be found here:

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