Why do some societies make disastrous decisions? Jared Diamond has a road map, and Edge.org has a video of his lecture available online.

As a child, the Babu agreed with those who believed that the three most romantic words in the English were to be found on old maps as a warning that you were now entering the territory of the unknown: “Here be Dragons”. But why did dragons take such a firm and persistent hold on our imaginations? The New York Times has some answers.

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