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Главная arrow СМИ о клиодинамике arrow Social Evolution Forum
Social Evolution Forum Версия в формате PDF 
Написал AK   
20.08.2012

Cliodynamics: Can Science Decode the Laws of History? (My article on the Conversation)

August 17, 2012
by 

1

“When the French Assembly of Notables frustrated attempts by the royal government to fix the state fiscal crisis in 1788, because they did not want to pay taxes, these aristocrats did not intend to trigger the French Revolution, during which many of them ended up guillotined or exiled. Yet this is precisely what happened. When… [Read more…]

Posted in: Blogs

Who Were the First People to Make Mummies?

August 15, 2012
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0

Not Egyptians, as one might think. The first mummy makers were Chinchorros, hunter-gatherers who lived about 7,000 years ago in Atacama Desert near the border between modern-day Chile and Peru. The SEF editor Michael Hochberg is a co-author of a multidisciplinary article that explains how this cultural practice may have evolved. The study (whose first… [Read more…]

Posted in: Blogs

Cliodynamics vs. the Mayan Calendar: Who Wins?

August 11, 2012
by 

18

The publication of the Feature Article in Nature about my research on American political violence elicited a wave of comments on the Web. The expression ‘feeding frenzy’ comes to mind. I’ve had a lot of fun reading those comments that I came across (and thanks to various people who sent me links). Partly its sheer… [Read more…]

Posted in: Blogs

The Social Evolutionary Roles of Internal versus External Wars

August 9, 2012
by 

7

Joe Anoatubby raises a number of good points, with many of which I find myself in complete agreement. However, one thing I cannot emphasize too much is that generic violence is not a good conceptual category. We need to look at different sides of it separately, for reasons that actually have a lot to do… [Read more…]

Posted in: Blogs

Joe Anoatubby: Cycles of violence in the United States

August 8, 2012
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1

I’ve always made argument with my colleagues and students that there are indeed cyclical patterns in US History.  I also believe that part of that phenomenon is related to the reality that younger generations lose touch with the implications of violence and political upheaval as witnessed by those generations that did experience them and who… [Read more…]

Posted in: Guest Blogs

A Feature Article in Nature on Cliodynamics

August 3, 2012
by 

2

Today’s issue of Nature has a Feature Article by Laura Spinney on cliodynamics. Laura interviewed me when we both attended the Frankfurt Forum on Cultural Evolution (about which I wrote in an earlier blog). I think she did a great job capturing the excitement of our new fledgling discipline and explaining in easy-to-understand language some… [Read more…]

Posted in: Blogs

History’s Lessons

July 31, 2012
by 

9

Those of you who’ve read my books know that in addition to my research on the evolution of large-scale human societies and the rise of centralized states and empires, I am also interested in the reverse process by which an empire loses cohesion and gradually crumbles into a ‘failed state’ (these two directions in my… [Read more…]

Posted in: Blogs

The Western Way of War II

July 28, 2012
by 

8

My previous blog discussed the problems associated with the idea of the Western Way of War. I was very skeptical of two claims: (1) the supremacy of infantry over cavalry and (2) the supremacy of shock (close-quarters) combat over ranged weapons. Historical evidence does not support  either of these claims. There is another serious problem… [Read more…]

Posted in: Blogs

The Western Way of War?

July 25, 2012
by 

3

In a blog posted some months ago (Why Social Scientists Need to Study War) I argued that warfare is one of the most important forces in social evolution and that it deserves a careful study. In this and following blogs I’d like to continue this line of reasoning. The main question I am interested in… [Read more…]

Posted in: Blogs

Cultural Evolution of the Fork

July 20, 2012
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2

After I wrote the blog, the Inertia of Culture, a reader pointed me to this excellent post by Chad Ward: The Uncommon History of the Common Fork This cultural history of the fork provides more details about its initial adoption as an eating utensil in the Middle East and Byzantium in the 7th century, its… [Read more…]

Posted in: Blogs

Michael Hochberg. Pinker redux: We need data

July 18, 2012
by 

5

The Pinker essay has generated a lot of commentary on different websites. This can only be a good thing, insofar as channels for reactions remain open.  The Social Evolution Forum is committed to this. Needless to say, there is a tinge of hegemony in various essays on the Edge website.  How can two individuals, who are… [Read more…]

Posted in: Commentaries

The Inertia of Culture

July 18, 2012
by 

6

Norbert Elias discusses an interesting case of cultural evolution in his opus magnum, The Civilizing Process. As we know, during the Middle Ages Europeans did not use forks. During meals they simply grabbed greasy pieces of meat from the serving dish with their fingers (or, at best, speared them with belt knives). The first known… [Read more…]

Tagged: 
Posted in: Blogs

Douglas M. Jones: History and Group Consciousness

July 16, 2012
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1

I teach a course every year or two called “The Anthropology of Violence and Non-Violence.” I’ve used Peter Turchin’s “War and Peace and War” as one of the assigned books the last several times; the next time I’ll be adding Steven Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Natures” to the reading list. Pinker’s book reflects… [Read more…]

Posted in: Commentaries

Antony Harper: Response to Pinker

July 15, 2012
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6

Professor Pinker’s critique of group selection rests broadly on three points. First, he suggests that the concept is inexplicit as “it refers to too many things”. Second, if group selection is used to explain cultural traits, it contributes nothing new, i.e. nothing that cannot be explained by anthropologists, historians, social scientists, and the like without… [Read more…]

Posted in: Commentaries


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