Dawn of Everything reviews

Flesh and Blood by Harper is a review centering on familiy, violence and torture, parallel France and Wendat, and the play of domination and care in human relations, how we are stauvck in a world that confuses the two

Human History gets a Rewrite this is the review with the iconic upside down pyramid that got shared in the days taking to the launch. If I well remember, mostly about how Wendat inspired Illuminism and the revision of Rousseau myth

David Graeber Knew Ordinary People Could Remake the World yet to read, I already read some Ongaro’s article in Italian on Graeber and I liked it, he has been a student of his at LSE

The Dawn of Everything by David Graeber and David Wengrow review – inequality is not the price of civilisation graeber vs. harari, fukuyama and the stages of human history

Early Civilizations Had It All Figured Out DoE versus Hebbesian Pinker and Rousseauian Harari. ““The Dawn of Everything” is a lively, and often very funny, anarchist project that aspires to enlarge our political imagination by revitalizing the possibilities of the distant past.” A funny bit “Graeber and Wengrow neglect to mention their strongest rivals: the science fictions of writers such as Kim Stanley Robinson”

The Radical Promise of Human History Boston Review

Elite ideologies and ground realities

Greta Thunberg to politicians “Iask you to listen to science and act”

Great cartoon summing up Greta’s thinking in darkish mood https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2axbxYbWLmk

Policy Tensor, great read how elite ideologies ignoring ground realities have led to countless disasters from WWI all the way to the great monetarist austerity, and carbon pricing, as we comes to climate change again https://policytensor.substack.com/p/esg-and-carbon-pricing-la-la-lands

Graeber & Wengrow on Rousseau’s question


Rousseau wisdom “‘All ran headlong for their chains in the belief that they were securing their liberty; for although they had enough reason to see the advantages of political institutions, they did not have enough experience to foresee the dangers’”

on revolutions, forget the story how it was told to us far “It’s probably no coincidence that today, the most vital and creative revolutionary movements at the dawn of this new millennium – the Zapatistas of Chiapas, and Kurds of Rojava being only the most obvious examples – are those that simultaneously root themselves in a deep traditional past. Instead of imagining some primordial utopia, they can draw on a more mixed and complicated narrative. Indeed, there seems to be a growing recognition, in revolutionary circles, that freedom, tradition, and the imagination have always, and will always be entangled, in ways we do not completely understand. It’s about time the rest of us catch up, and start to consider what a non-Biblical version of human history might be like.”

“A hundred years ago, most anthropologists understood that those who live mainly from wild resources were not, normally, restricted to tiny ‘bands.’ That idea is really a product of the 1960s, when Kalahari Bushmen and Mbuti Pygmies became the preferred image of primordial humanity for TV audiences and researchers alike”

“40,000 years is a very, very long period of time. It seems inherently likely, and the evidence confirms, that those same pioneering humans who colonised much of the planet also experimented with an enormous variety of social arrangements. As Claude Lévi-Strauss often pointed out, early Homo sapiens were not just physically the same as modern humans, they were our intellectual peers as well. In fact, most were probably more conscious of society’s potential than people generally are today, switching back and forth between different forms of organization every year”

There be (sumerian) dragons

Tricia verver, archeoplogist, tells the story of the Hazaras, Shia Muslims who have myths about dragons (and a very peculiar lake in their valley) Precarious Life: the fate of the Hazara people in Afghanistan.

A couple of weeks ago much riting on Afghanistan, a few explainer of the ethnic composition. In one I found this

some Pashtun Afghans officers who told me a story of a militant fighter they had captured right after the 2001 invasion who came from an isolated valley along the Pak-Afghan border.  This man, along with his tribe, believed the sun is a jewel vomited by a dragon each morning and then swallowed by that same dragon again on the other side of the world each night after the dragon has rushed under the (presumably flat) earth all day to catch it

Among Afghans: jewel of the dragon by Razib Kahn, reccomended

Dragons are sumerian, I understand. religions with pre-Islam myths still survive in the middle east, Dragons be one of those myths. You know the Mando and Mandalorians? Be aware that in the delta of the tigri and euphrtae there is a people called Mandeans with a peculiar iniziatic religion. There’s a book to tell their story, plus some other surviving Babilonian religions in the area.

A book: Heirs to the Forgotten Kingdoms by Gerard Russel – Goodreads

Another book, this time on Dragons and generally the depiction of monstrous creatures in history, or better, The fortune of dragons from the bronze age on 🙂

The Origins of Monsters: Image and Cognition in the First Age of Mechanical Reproduction by David Wengrow

When Standard decided to poison the world, a tragicomic beginning

Why did we use leaded petrol for so long?

“Facing sceptical reporters at a press conference in October 1924, Thomas Midgley dramatically produced a container of tetraethyl lead – the additive in question – and washed his hands in it.

“I’m not taking any chance whatever,” Midgley declared. “Nor would I… doing that every day.”

Midgley was – perhaps – being a little disingenuous. He had recently spent several months in Florida, recuperating from lead poisoning.”

Rejoice, the world just stopped using lead in petrol https://www.thepigeonexpress.com/toxic-leaded-petrol-now-eradicated-from-the-world-un-says/

though lead poisoning is still a problem https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead_poisoning

poisoning epidemics happen for example connected to mining https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zamfara_State_lead_poisoning_outbreak

Göbekli Tepe

rewriting history, aprticularly the idea that agriculture was the driver of urbanization, while at Göbekli Tepe we find monolithic temples without agriculture, but already wild cereals and beer

“That fishing, hunting, or gathering could sustain complex societies means that social technology, rather than the discovery of farming, is the key bottleneck of civilization” the thesis here https://palladiummag.com/2021/05/17/why-civilization-is-older-than-we-thought/

Göbekli Tepe article on italian newspaper, long and well written https://www.ilpost.it/2021/06/24/gobekli-tepe/?fbclid=IwAR062sHHpr5s_Rn0r1UZenKSF1hsbQaUq5e__56-cBGHL1Qkf38xYDoo_98

Plagues and people

30 years before Guns, Germs and Steel, The Fates of Human Societies studied based on agriculture, geography and germs, I was saying 30 years before there was another attempt at a grand narration based on Germs, Plagues and People by William H. McNeill in 1976.

Here the destiny of mankind is seen trapped between microparasites like bugs, viruses etc and the macroparasitism of states and political power. And the 2 things are related in the sense that where you get less bugs you also get more central government, proof is, once we got Covid the government started giving us money for nothing

Anyway I got to know it reading this book review on ACX, go there if you are curious and want to know more, great review https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/your-book-review-plagues-and-peoples

Cultural Brain

start from here http://www.arnoldkling.com/blog/cultural-brain-hypothesis/

Innovation and the Collettive Brain, co-authored by Heinrich https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rstb.2015.0192

Heinrich of WEIRDest people, here’s the paper “The Origin of WEIRD psychology” https://psyarxiv.com/d6qhu/

in other words, How the Church gave birth to WEIRD people https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/11/how-early-christian-church-gave-birth-today-s-weird-europeans

and here somme historian dissenting https://twitter.com/prof_gabriele/status/1192655774029406209