I picked up Marvin Harris’ “Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches” because I recalled Razib referencing it a couple times and Azar Gat criticizing Harris over his theory of Yanomamo warfare. I’ve only read the preface so far, but it made me think of Robin Hanson. Some quotes:
“In an age eager to experience altered, nonordinary states of consciousness, we tend to overlook the extent to which our ordinary state of mind is already a profoundly mystified consciousness – a consciousness surprisingly isolated from the practical facts of life.”
“Ignorance, fear, and conflict are the basic elements of everyday consciousness. From these elements, art and politics fashion that collective dreamwork whose function it is to prevent people from understanding what their social life is all about. […] We don’t expect dreamers to explain their dreams; no more should we expect lifestyle participants to explain their lifestyles.”