book hack

The World Until Yesterday

Jared Diamond

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

The World Until Yesterday identifies some of the most valuable lessons we can learn from traditional societies, including how to better resolve conflicts, effectively raise children, and live longer — and healthier.


The World Until Yesterday

The World Until Yesterday

by Jared Diamond


Around 11,000 years ago, our human ancestors shifted from their hunter-gatherer lifestyle to an agricultural one. With this change came a dramatic increase in food availability and technology, both of which contributed to a population explosion. Life became easier but people started facing new kinds of problems. These days, when things go wrong in society, we tend to look for new ideas or technologies to solve our problems. But how often do we look to the past? Jared Diamond is a geographer, ornithologist, historian, and bestselling author whose work focuses on debunking complex topics for wide audiences.

In The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies, Diamond peeks into the wisdom ancient societies have to teach us.

Favorite quote

Factual knowledge is not always sufficient by itself to motivate an adaptive behavior. At times a symbolic belief system that departs from factual reality fares better.

- Jared Diamond

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