June Heat Edition
I wrote a short post (1,000 words) on the Peak-End Rule, the memory bias we share in evaluating experiences primarily based on peak intensity and the end. I looked at the rule applied to experiences of any length, including close relationships and financial markets.
I'd be interested to read your application of an evolutionary lens on this bias, which I think is underrated as to influence.
Razib.... I much enjoy your writings. Archaeo- genetics has come a long way since I devoured Cavalli -Sforza's work.
One area that I do not think you have discussed: native North America, particularly that past 3000 years. The rise and fall of Mississippian/ Cahokian culture seems to cry out for good genetic analysis, if that can be done given current social strictures.
It is fascinating how the "American Bottom", base for Cahokia, became depopulated after the societal collapse, almost seen as cursed. Tribal groupings like the Osage seem to be offshoots of Cahokia, but I have not found much more analysis. Of course this study is very politically fraught these days.
Hope you can write about this or direct me to what buas been written. Glad to be a subscriber... Randy Foote
Instructions unclear. I read the first sentence of this and deleted the email.
Can you recommend any other fiction set in European prehistory ?
While acknowledging I haven't yet read the recent out-of-africa stuff, can I ask what this implies about the evolution of language? Don't all humans still share whatever genetic basis there is for language (given how easy it is for children from everywhere to learn whatever language they are exposed to)? And isn't it still wildly implausible that it arose multiple times independently?
Razib, I concur with your analysis of the writings of Marc Morris, particularly that Anglo-Saxon Britain was a brutal, essentially barbarian society that, in spite of its supposed Christian sensibilities, was not brought into the cultural norms of early European medieval society until the Norman invasion. That fact was not lost on me and many readers who enjoy factual history in an entertaining, readable style. I have several of Morris' books and have enjoyed them all.
"We need to build. It’s not rocket science. We have the technology. I 100% agree with Freddie deBoer’s piece"
You can live in a rodent warren if you want to, just stop trying to force the rest of us to join you.
Currently listening to this one, I think RK definitely would like it.
New study seems to AASI being 70% Autochthonous South Asian and 30% SE Asians fleeing Sea level rise 9k years ago.
“not of the first humans, but the last”
Extinct lineages of , the causative agent of the plague, have been identified in several individuals from Eurasia between 5000 and 2500 years before present (BP). One of these, termed the ‘LNBA lineage’ (Late Neolithic and Bronze Age), has been suggested to have spread into Europe with human groups expanding from the Eurasian steppe. Here, we show that the LNBA plague was spread to Europe’s northwestern periphery by sequencing three genomes from Britain, all dating to ~4000 cal BP. Two individuals were from an unusual mass burial context in Charterhouse Warren, Somerset, and one individual was from a single burial under a ring cairn monument in Levens, Cumbria. To our knowledge, this represents the earliest evidence of LNBA plague in Britain documented to date. All three British genomes belong to a sublineage previously observed in Bronze Age individuals from Central Europe that had lost the putative virulence factor . This sublineage is later found in Eastern Asia ~3200 cal BP. While the severity of the disease is currently unclear, the wide geographic distribution within a few centuries suggests substantial transmissibility."
"If our origins were weakly structured, and the whole of Africa was the playground for our lineage for millions of years, there was never a first human population. Homo was human from the beginning, and our Neanderthal and Denisovan cousins were human as well. There was simply becoming Homo sapiens, a long and gradual process, the evolution, not of the first humans, but the last."
If recall correctly, Milford Wolpoff in his book, Paleoanthropology, regarded Homo erectus (in the broad sense) as early Homo sapiens. This was because he regarded the entire array of Homo populations throughout the Old World - not just Africa - as connected by gene flow and that modern humans emerged precisely out of that gene flow and not due to speciation in one area.
"Since the 2008 financial crisis, the UK has become a seemingly stagnant society [economy?], with The Economist comparing the British economy to that of Italy."
I don't think this is just a british phenomenon. All big western European countries, with the exception of Germany, seem to have had mostly stagnant economies in the years since 2007-2008 and the UK doesn't seem to have done particularly badly in that group:
Very astute and humble/confident tone. Tx