Daily Archives: Jul 3, 2021 at 07:40 am EDT

Book Bits: 3 July 2021

Why Trust Matters: An Economist’s Guide to the Ties That Bind Us
Benjamin Ho
Review via NPR
A new book by Benjamin Ho, Why Trust Matters: An Economist’s Guide to the Ties That Bind Us, argues the story of the economy — and all of human civilization, really — is the story of how we’ve evolved to trust larger and larger groups of strangers.
Human beings are social creatures. But our monkey brains are equipped to know and trust only a limited number of people. Around 150, according to the research of the British anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar. It’s known as Dunbar’s number. Dunbar argues it’s why we see 150 as a standard number for infantry units of militaries throughout history, and even the upper limit of people we regularly interact with on Facebook.

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