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UnDisciplined: Should we all trash talk a little bit more?

Rafi Kohan
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Trash Talk: The Only Book About Destroying Your Rivals That Isn't Total Garbage

As ubiquitous as the term now is, the words “trash talk” don’t have a long history. The phrase seems to go back to the early 1980s. But the behaviors those words describe go back a heck of a lot farther than that — and Rafi Kohan’s latest book tells the story of that history, and explains why the practice of leveling vicious insults at our rivals might not be all that bad.

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Matthew LaPlante has reported on ritual infanticide in Northern Africa, insurgent warfare in the Middle East, the legacy of genocide in Southeast Asia, and gang violence in Central America. But a few years back, something donned on him: Maybe the news doesn't have to be brutally depressing all the time. Today, he balances his continuing work on more heartbreaking subjects by writing books about the intersection of science, human health and society, including the New York Times best-selling <i>Lifespan</i> with geneticist David Sinclair and the Nautilus Award-winning <i>Longevity Plan</i> with cardiologist John Day. His first solo book, <i>Superlative</i>, looks at what scientists are learning by studying organisms that have evolved in record-setting ways, and his is currently at work on another book about embracing the inevitability of human-caused climate change with an optimistic outlook on the future.<br/>