January 11, 2008
In his new book, The Mind of the Market: Compassionate Apes, Competitive Humans, and Other Tales from Evolutionary Economics, Michael Shermer examines such questions as: How did we evolve from ancient hunter-gatherers to modern consumer-traders? Why are people so irrational when it comes to money and business? He argues that the new science of evolutionary economics provides an answer to both of those questions. Shermer shows how evolution and economics are both examples of a larger phenomenon of complex adaptive systems. Along the way, he answers such provocative questions as, Do our tribal roots mean that we will always be a sucker for brands? How is the biochemical joy of sex similar to the rewards of business cooperation? How can nations increase trust within and between their borders? Finally, Shermer considers the consequences of globalization and why free trade promises to build alliances between nations. Michael Shermer is the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and the author of Why People Believe Weird Things and Why Darwin Matters.