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OtherWise by Dick Martin

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1Who Is “Other”?

When our primordial ancestors dropped from the trees and started walking across the African savanna on two legs, survival favored those with an innate ability to work in small groups, as well as a deep hostility toward anyone not of the group. That had the double-barreled benefit of making it easier both to acquire resources and to keep them. Those characteristics were so critical that, over a number of generations, they became the norm. And they survive to this day.

We may be born into a world of blooming, buzzing confusion, as William James thought, but we start sorting it out almost as soon as we let loose our first cry. Our brains are not blank slates, but learning engines that follow patterns set into our Stone Age ancestors’ ...

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