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Monkeyluv: And Other Essays on Our Lives as Animals Paperback – September 15, 2005
"Holly Banks Full of Angst" by Julie Valerie
A laugh-out-loud debut novel for anyone who’s tried to live the perfect life—and learned the hard way there’s no such thing. | Learn more
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"A hit. . . . Sapolsky lets his obsessive curiosity wander amiably . . . Chases after answers to such puzzles with jovial abandon." ― New York Times Book Review
"The prose is perfectly pitched: Sapolsky writes in a jocular, entertaining style without ever pandering to the presumed ignorance of his readers. " ― The Guardian (London)
"Sapolsky ranges wherever his formidable curiosity leads . . . Each essay brings its own unexpected delight . . ." ― Publisher's Weekly (starred review)
About the Author
- Item Weight : 7.2 ounces
- Paperback : 224 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0743260169
- ISBN-10 : 0743260163
- Publisher : Scribner (September 15, 2005)
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.44 inches
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #520,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Sapolsky writes that genes do not fully define who we are but that environment greatly shapes who we are. Genes produce proteins vital for the brain to function properly. They do not produce behavior but rather tendencies to respond to the environment in certain ways. He explains to us that there isn't a battle between nature and nurture, but that they both work together to make us unique.
Sapolsky explains to us that particular genes will produce a particular protein in different environments. Cold temperatures can make animals activate a gene to produce proteins to act differently. It will make some animals such as bears hibernate when winter is upon them and others might fly south for the winter or react in different ways. The smallest thing in life can affect us a lot.
"Antlers of Clay" is a short passage of Monkey Love where Sapolsky explains what animals look for in mates. He explains that women are more likely to look for a man who is economically established then struggling financial. Women want a bread winner. Sapolsky did not create this theory. David Buss of the University of Texas at Austin surveyed more than ten thousand people from thirty-seven different countries. In every society that Buss examined he noticed that women were interested particularly in men that could support them financially. When women are happy with their mates, they tend to have healthier offspring. Sapolsky states that looks can sometimes mean good genes but what makes the difference is the effort that a female puts into the well-being of her offspring. When women think that they found the perfect mate, their bodies synthesizes more growth hormones and will go the extra mile to take care of their offspring.
Sapolsky throughout his book repeatedly emphasis that environment has a big influence on all living organisms. Environment consists of the surroundings or conditions an animal lives in. Culture is also a large part of our environment and how we live. It determines the type of medical attention we receive, the food we eat, how we earn our bread, and essentially who we are. Not everybody is affected by environment the same way. A person's socioeconomic status is determined by a person's income education and occupation. In our modern world it can determine if you live or die. The poor have the lowest socioeconomic status with very little income and education. Their health tends to be worse than people who are in a higher socioeconomic class. Having money does not make you immune to disease; this just means you have the ability to buy prevention and treatments for illness. The poor tend to have poor health because of their ignorance; people with very little education might not know the horrible effects of smoking.
Sapolsky is really fascinated with the effect that parents have on their children's development. Parents can help their children grow, but when dose helping become a hindrance. Sapolsky feels that parents should have control over their children, but should also let them branch out into the world. There are parents who take there parental control to an extreme. There are parents that belong to cretin religions that reject the use of medicine for healing and use a prayer instead. Sapolsky also feels that the Amish indirectly hurt their children by not allowing them to go to high school with non-Amish classmates in fear that they might want change. Parents can no longer let a child die because they refuse medical care, but the Amish can leave their children unprepared and uneducated. What is the difference? According to Sapolsky Amish children are sheltered from the real world being forced into the same style of life as their parents. What a parent can and can't do with his child is a huge debate today in our country.
Bugs in the brain is my favorite passage of Monkey Luv Sapolsky say that he attends neuroscience conventions from time to time and its quite easy for him to become overwhelmed. "There are thousands of exhibits and posters but, at the end of the day we still don't know much about the brain". Sapolsky tries to explain that viruses and bacteria's can alter our brain functions. Rabies for example is a type of virus that can get into the brain and make its host aggressive. Rabies can drive a subject to bite someone, passing the virus on threw saliva. Sapolsky also presented us with Toxoplasma which is secreted by cats. When rodents ingest it, their fear of cats disappears and they become attracted to cats. Toxoplasma only attracts a rodent too cats but doesn't affect anything else in their daily life. Toxoplasma blows Sapolsky mind and runs circles around neuroscientist.
I really enjoyed Monkey Luv by Robert M. Sapolsky; his book was really fun to read. Sapolsky is such a witty character and the tone in which he tells the story simply captivates me. I personally like how he puts his and other researcher's thoughts together without confusing the reader. Sapolsky kept me hooked with all the small stories throughout the book. It felt like he knew that I have a short attention span. I thought his writing style was innovative. Sapolsky is a very intelligent man yet really down to earth, using words the average Joe can understand. Monkey luv is a must read, if you what to know how our minds works and changes every day.
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Dr Anil Yadav