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

though lead poisoning is still a problem

poisoning epidemics happen for example connected to mining

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

Göbekli Tepe article on italian newspaper, long and well written

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

Cultural Brain

start from here

Innovation and the Collettive Brain, co-authored by Heinrich

Heinrich of WEIRDest people, here’s the paper “The Origin of WEIRD psychology”

in other words, How the Church gave birth to WEIRD people

and here somme historian dissenting

Greek (myths and) technology

greek myths speak of robot, prostetic, drugs and body augmenting technologies

she is the author of the book

La rivoluzione dimenticata di Lucio Russo

Incestuous god kings of 5,000 years ago

folk memory was recroded inAD 1,000, and today confrimed by genetic analysis on a 5,000 old tumb