First proper nonfiction I read in a while (as in not a memoir or biography, something more scientific). Listened to the audiobook: it was available on Libby and the title caught my eye.

It's not bad I guess? The tl;dr is that if Nietzsche were a narwhal, he might have suffered less, and that more broadly us humans might not be as great as we think we are with our big brains that can lie and manipulate, understand we'll die, justify atrocities using morals, and so on.

In passing we learn facts about animal intelligence and what sets us humans apart from other animals with a wealth of examples told in a storytelly kind of way at the beginning of each chapter, you know the pattern.

But down the line I'm not sure I learned anything beyond random facts and some jargon (episodic foresight! collective intentionality!). I wasn't really expecting anything from the book so I guess I can't complain, but it feels like it's missing some kind of grounding (what are we talking about exactly? What questions are we trying to answer?), because a conclusion like "so yeah we'd be better off if we were narwals" is kind of a downer.

The one point that Gregg does drive home is that human intelligence might not be beneficial to our species (and others) because of its product in the long run, cf. climate change etc. But that's not really news is it?