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Diamond argues that there are things we can learn from small-scale societies like those found in Papua New Guinea. Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images

Chances are they already speak more languages than you: children from Papua New Guinea's Andai tribe of hunter-gatherers wait for their parents to vote in the village of Kaiam. Over 800 languages are spoken in PNG, a country of about six million people. Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images

Lessons For The Modern World From The Societies Of 'Yesterday'

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A growing number of colleges are assigning all incoming freshman a common book to read and so they can discuss it when they arrive on campus. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Understanding History With 'Guns, Germs, And Steel'

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Rex Grignon, Reading Between the 'Toons

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Pulitzer Prize Winner Chronicles Failed Civilizations

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