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  • Where Are We Heading?

  • The Evolution of Humans and Things
  • Written by: Ian Hodder
  • Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
  • Length: 5 hrs and 12 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

In this engaging exploration, archaeologist Ian Hodder departs from the two prevailing modes of thought about human evolution: the older idea of constant advancement toward a civilized ideal and the newer one of a directionless process of natural selection. Instead, he proposes a theory of human evolution and history based on "entanglement," the ever-increasing mutual dependency between humans and things.

Not only do humans become dependent on things, Hodder asserts, but things become dependent on humans, requiring an endless succession of new innovations. It is this mutual dependency that creates the dominant trend in both cultural and genetic evolution. He selects a small number of cases, ranging in significance from the invention of the wheel down to Christmas tree lights, to show how entanglement has created webs of human-thing dependency that encircle the world and limit our responses to global crises.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2018 Ian Hodder (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Where Are We Heading?

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  • selma lauvland
  • 18-09-18

A must read

A long term perspective and clear thinking, absolutely amazing. By studying the past we can understand the now and perhaps also where we are headed. It's a crucial read.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Tom
  • 15-12-21

Interesting Journey through a Theory

This work takes off very slowly as he leads us through various theories held by philosophers and anthropologists that may scare off some readers, but if you can stick with it, it can lead to an appreciation of his approach.

Once you get past the tangle of names and competing theories, you are rewarded by his demonstration of the dependencies of humans on things. This “entanglement trap” takes the form of connected dots in agriculture, manufacturing, and our very Social Evolution, resulting in Inequality, contingency and determinism.

Hodder takes on a convoluted tour of the twists and turns of this entangled Reality leading to his conclusion that in order to confront the inevitable consequences of Climate Change we must not just come up with changes to the Things we Humans are dependent on, but rather change our dependence on those very things. Change us not them!

Something to think about, no?! Four stars. ****

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous
  • 05-02-21

Brilliant archeologist

Would love to have all of Ian Hodder's books on Audible. Highly recommend watching all his talks on YouTube

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lucio Vazquez
  • 16-09-22

The Ism of things and the entanglements.

This book talks about our entanglement with things, and why the things we create manifest a need for more things, which brings more entanglement. In pursuit of this creation, we trap others into a cycle of slavery because the conveniences we pursue are only brought about by the world market undercutting other individuals. With every technological advance, there will always be a group of people who will be underserved or cut out. There are references to the climate agenda, and its argument is that we are in a constant state of entropy, to which the energy needs of the things we create take our existence from a stable energy state to a more unstable energy state. There are mathematical references made to back up these arguments. Overall, it's a good audio book to listen to while you drive in the car or take care of tasks around the house. I don't see this book fundamentally changing your outlook on life, and you're not going to stop using less things because you listen to this book. The audio presenter has a good tone of voice to present this material. He doesn't drone or lull you to sleep. The tempo and intonation is nice. It's a terrific addition to the audible plus catalog.

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  • Utente anonimo
  • 22-05-22

very good book. in general as good as Sapiens.

very good, as good as Sapiens and Homo Deus, but unfortunately not with the same humor (he try sometimes, but he not fun. And sometimes a little "waken" culture). In regarding to information, it's a good book about how entanglement is the main drive of the world. very good analysis.

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  • Utente anonimo
  • 15-05-22

the most pseudo intellectual of books

he spends alot of time justifying that things are entangled, which is very obvious. He then give that as an explanation for how the world is which is true in a sense but it's again rather obvious. the smoke and mirrors put up by this book obscure actually questions that are interesting and say things that are wrong. he says evolution dosn’t proced in a direction of increased complexity when it obviously atleast in the big picture. bacteria evolved before eukaryotes which evolved before simple multicellular life which evolved before complex life.

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  • Stephanie B. Leen
  • 08-02-22

Poorly structured, couldn't finish

Book attempts to make the same point in every chapter without ever quite getting there. Became infuriating.

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  • wbiro
  • 08-02-22

Good Book for Polymaths

Goes deeply into various fields of science, and history, and culture and civilization dynamics that have bearing on the specific ultimate question of the book. Narration could use a little more excitement.

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  • J. Casey Bourgeois
  • 01-10-21

IMPORTANT book, but another one that ends insane.

The subject matter is very important, but like all of these books it ends with someone saying "oh we can't stop this this is just how humans are, modernity and things and inventions and civilization is all inevitable" or something? Hodder is wrong at the end. this way of life cannot be sustainable and it is only through the development of agricultural civilization that things became the monsters they are.

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  • RF
  • 18-07-21

Thoughtful view of progress and interdependencies

The approach and thesis of the author has been something I have thought about for years and appreciate the well-rounded and balanced perspective of our lives, its change and the "entanglements" with people, events, processes, and things.

For those who listen to the book, the narrator sounds a bit erudite - which gives a flavor that might have been better extinguished to ensure a bit more common place urgency to the thought for our future.

With that said, I wish the author discussed future challenges of food cultivation, animals, scientific research, unknown crises (viruses, climate change, shortage of fish, impact of changes in warfare and religion and economic alliances). Nonetheless, a thoughtful book.

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  • Peter
  • 17-05-22

interesting concept

The author of this book introduces an new way of looking at the world which can be very useful. This makes the book definitely worth reading. The final conclusion/solution the author comes to does seem very realistic to me however. This is not a bad thing in it self because it gives you food for thought.

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  • Richard Tol
  • 28-04-22

trivial

This is social science at its worst. You take a simple idea, cover it in long words and pseudo-formalism, add some anecdotes and in the end, after a reappearance of the noble savage, you have learned nothing.

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  • Richard Johnston-Bell
  • 11-02-22

good little book

a good little book covering human entanglement with things and the impact on sociocultural evolution and gene cultural evolution. A similar vein to Jared Diamond, Harari, Pascal Boyar and Joseph Henrich