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M. Copper (Yorkshire, England)

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Gap Var Ginnunga
Gap Var Ginnunga
Price: £11.35

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 2 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Gap Var Ginnunga (Audio CD)
It is impossible to pigeonhole Wardruna. They create a strange, dark soundscape which conjures up images of wild, mysterious landscapes, deep forests and untamed mountains. Do not expect metal - Wardruna use half-forgotten folk instruments and even natural materials. Some tracks are recorded out in the environment they invoke, and the associated sounds of nature are often clearly audible. It is a homage to the wild and the mysterious. You will either love this album or hate it. If you are a lover of the rain, the wind, icy crags and misty forests this may be for you. X-Factor it ain't! Highly recommended.

The Evolution of Culture: A Historical and Scientific Overview
The Evolution of Culture: A Historical and Scientific Overview
by Professor of Evolutionary Psychology Robin Dunbar
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to a fascinating field of study, 7 Dec. 2009
If you are looking for a clear overview of, or introduction to, Darwinian approaches to culture then this book would be an ideal choice. Twelve essays, divided into three sections, ('The Evolution of Society', 'The Evolution of Art and Religion' and 'The Evolution of Language') cover anthropological, psychological, archaeological and linguistic approaches to the evolution of culture, all within a broad Darwinian framework. The authors are all specialists within their fields, yet the topics are presented clearly and in a way which will not exclude readers new to these disciplines. References at the end of each essay allow the interested reader to take their study further if so desired. I would say that this book would be pitched at first-year undergraduate level for social scientists, or would suit the general reader with a specific interest in Darwinian approaches to understanding the development cultural world we all inhabit.

Pathfinder ( Ofelas ) [DVD]
Pathfinder ( Ofelas ) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Mikkel Gaup

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Forgotten Gem, 2 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Pathfinder ( Ofelas ) [DVD] (DVD)
Watching this starkly beautiful film is like catching a glimpse of our distant past. Forget big Hollywood blockbusters crammed with overpaid celebrity stars and crash-bang special effects, here you are confronted with a simple story from Sami mythology set in the stunningly beautiful landscape of northern Norway. All modernity is stripped away as we are faced with the traditional tale of the senseless murder of innocent tribespeople by the vicious 'Tjude'. Only the sharp mind of brave Aigin stands between the survivors and disaster. Watch this in the original Sami language (not 'Norwegian' as it is incorrectly called on the box) as it adds to the beautiful and exotic atmosphere of this half-forgotten classic. I first saw this film one rainy evening in London during the 1980s. The contrast with the noisy, complex, selfish materialism of the city could not have been more poignant. Here was life stripped bare - hard but beautiful. This is a wonderful film. You will not regret watching it.

Explaining Culture: A Naturalistic Approach
Explaining Culture: A Naturalistic Approach
by Dan Sperber
Edition: Paperback
Price: £32.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuine Social Science, 28 Jun. 2009
Sperber begins this excellent book by addressing the question of how it is possible to be a true materialist in anthropology. His answer to this is that we can best approach culture as an 'epidemiology of representations'. Representations here come in two forms: mental (such as perceptions, concepts, beliefs) and physical (utterances, actions, artifacts etc.). These representations form a causal chain; mental representations leading to (causing) physical representation which, in turn, lead to more mental representations. However, in contrast to other Darwinian approaches to culture (e.g. meme theories), Sperber stresses the transformative nature of this chain and underpins this with the findings of evolutionary psychology. In this way he addresses the tricky question of the ontological status of cultural concepts and, in so doing, develops a link between the natural sciences and the social sciences. It is uplifting to see such a genuinely naturalistic and unambiguous approach to culture and I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to better understand how and why we do what we do.

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