Mean Genes Summary


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Originally published at: https://blog.12min.com/mean-genes-summary/

Mean Genes SummaryFrom Sex to Money to Food: Taming Our Primal Instincts


All of these elements are unquestionably intertwined and putting them into one basket is suitable.

We turn our attention to improving our way of life, by understanding the instincts that are making a difference.

About Terry Burnham and Jay Phelan

Terry BurnhamTerry Burnham is a school and an ex-professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School.

Jay Phelan is also a professor, teaching biology at UCLA.

"Mean Genes Summary"

Our genetic predispositions have literally evolved side by side with our physical appearance. The environment that we live in adjusted to our needs, following the steps of evolution and technological enhancement.

Terry Burnham and Jay Phelan argue that the society has reached a boiling point where self-destructive behavior portrayed through recklessness, greed, adultery, and addiction is tolerated.

For instance, in the midst of crisis and madness, people are living in fear of rapid change. Such movement forces them to become indispensable members of a “fast-food nation.” Americans are aware of the consequences but continue with their practice.

Mean Genes” teaches each and everyone how to overshadow the harmful genetic code by concealing surpluses. Retirement funds are filled with a financial portion deriving payroll deductions and other liquid assets.

The idea of hiding the money or putting at least 1/10 of the monthly earnings into a safe place, makes the consumption a lot harder. No one compels you to spend it right away unless some unforeseen situation prompts you to think otherwise.

The equity is equal to your spending habits, and if you don’t justify your actions, that financial surplus will quickly vanish. Just remember, money invested in equity securities or some low yield bonds, will not spoil, so you’ve got nothing to fear.

Let’s return to our “healthy” habits.

Whether we dare to admit it or not, there’s no a person in this world who isn’t enslaved by some unhealthy routine. It can be either expressed through words, drinks, or even drugs and alcohol. The brain embraces some extra adrenaline, which makes the outer reality more acceptable for a period of time.

Cocaine, for example, increases the level of the neurotransmitter dopamine and consequently stimulates a feeling of power, self-esteem, and pleasure.

One other situation worth analyzing is a lottery. People each day by lottery tickets without understanding that they have almost 0% of winning. What’s more hilarious – we are allowed to choose the numbers – which have equal chances of winning.

Key Lessons from “Mean Genes

1. What are we? 2. Our furry friends are also talented 3. Adultery at its finest

What are we?

In general, people can be both egoic and “altruistic” depending on the circumstances. Regarding our interests, we can evolve and shift from one place to another.

Such explanation challenges many theories and facts about human behavior.

Our furry friends are also talented

Many animals are excelling at some skills that humans find odd. For instance, the woodpecker has an impressive talent to calculate odds.

Other animals as well, distinguish from other species with some innate ability that others cannot carry out.

Adultery at its finest

One recently conducted study noted that at least 50% of the men from all around the world, and 25% of women indulge in extramarital affairs and sexual relationships.

Who is responsible for this lack of morality and knowledge about the sanctity of marriage? – The Mean Genes – of course.

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“Mean Genes” Quotes

[bctt tweet="As tough as our self-control battles are, we at least have a fighting chance." username="get12min"]

[bctt tweet=“Deep, long-term happiness does not come from material circumstances. Although acquiring money, TVs and cars make us happy, having them does not.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“From a gene’s perspective, even a minor nuisance like death needn’t be an impediment to looking out for your relatives.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“Beauty is as much in the gene of the beholder as in the eye.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“Our brain, for better or worse, is not an obedient servant. It has a mind of its own.” username=“get12min”]