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Harnessed: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man by Mark Changizi

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CHAPTER 1

Nature-Harnessing

DEEP SECRETS

It isn’t nice to tell secrets in front of others. I recently had to teach this rule to my six-year-old daughter, who, in the presence of other people, would demand that I bend down and hear a whispered message. To my surprise, she was genuinely perplexed about why communicating a message only to me, in the presence of others, could possibly be a bad thing.

Upon thinking about it, I began wondering: What exactly is so bad about telling secrets? There are circumstances in which telling secrets would appear to be the appropriate thing to do. For example, if Dick and Jane are over for a formal dinner at my ...

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