The Risks of the Everyday

With Jared Diamond

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Insights from other cultures

How dangerous is taking a shower? Jared Diamond shares what he learnt about risk from the tribes of Papua New Guinea. This audio is taken from a 2013 conversation, ‘The world until yesterday’. Watch the full discussion here:

Pullitzer Prize-winner Jared Diamond discusses how insights from the lifestyles of far-removed cultures can impact the way we think about our own lives. Is it worth worrying about the risk of everyday actions like falling in the shower or tripping on the street? Each time you do these things, the risk of mishap is low, but we do them every single day. Over time, does that mean these tiny risks accumulate to become almost inevitable?

This animation is based on audio from a 2013 event at the Royal Institution with Jared Diamond. You can watch the full discussion on how tribal societies offer an extraordinary window into how our ancestors lived here:


This animation was produced by Andrew Khosravani, thanks to generous support from the Sfumato Foundation.


Natural World, Being Human, Maths, Talking Science


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cc_by-nc-sa License: Creative Commons

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