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I was thinking about this some more and I think the clearest example of non-WEIRD society in the US are cults. Did you know that even when folks escaped the grip of Jim Jones, they remained mostly loyal? People put up with horrid abuse out of loyalty to the "clan."

WEIRD folks call it brainwashing, but is that to simplistic? It might instead be a moving from WEIRD to non-WEIRD.

There are lots of examples from a multitude of cults and the answer will be complex, but I think that there might be more here than just sunk cost: "If I leave, I have to admit I wasted all my relationships, family, friends and wealth for years." These folks seem to operate more on non-WEIRD principles than I had originally thought.

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Interesting review as always! Have you considered reading/reviewing Dominion by Tom Holland? I'm gradually coming around to his belief that Christianity was a far more radical social movement than most westerners recognize, and I'd be curious to have your take.

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That is definitely a thing I already believe, though Holland's book got pretty universal "meh" responses from people whose take on these things I trust. You might check out Sarah Ruden's "Paul Among the People," which is a classicist trying to put the Epistles in historical context -- it has a very "no really Christianity isn't mean and scary!" subtext to it, but she does a really good job of emphasizing how very, very different our post-Christian world is than the world of classical antiquity, largely in ways we can't even wrap our heads around because we're so immersed in values like mercy, humility, and compassion.

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Thanks for the recommendation, I'll check it out. I'm a big fan of Holland's podcast, but its definitely lighter intellectual fare than most of the books you review here.

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deletedMar 28, 2023·edited Mar 28, 2023
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If you’re interested in how Henrich approaches the question of the Great Divergence, I encourage you to check out the book.

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Exactly zero people were massacred by plutonium tipped rounds in Fallujah. There's no such thing.

There are depleted uranium anti tank rounds, but the Iraqis in Fallujah had no armour, so none were deployed in that engagement.

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