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tsuomela : ancient   28

Book review: ‘The World Until Yesterday’ by Jared Diamond - The Washington Post
"With “The World Until Yesterday,” polymath and best-selling writer Jared Diamond is back with a sweeping and potentially controversial new work that aims to show readers what is missing from modern life."
book  review  modern  modernity  anthropology  tradition  ancient  history 
january 2013 by tsuomela
Belated Debt Post: Ancient Efficient Markets Hypotheses — Crooked Timber
"And yet: human beings (not just economists), when called upon to explain how society works, have a strange tendency to reach first for efficient market hypotheses, and to hold on like grim death. Natural or even cosmic orders of orderly payback. That’s the ticket. We are ‘in debt’ to the gods, or our parents, or society. Graeber is quick to point out the inadequacies of these metaphors." Annotated link http://www.diigo.com/bookmark/http://crookedtimber.org/2012/03/03/belated-debt-post-ancient-efficient-markets-hypotheses
book  review  debt  metaphor  philosophy  ethics  anthropology  ancient  principles  sociology  society 
march 2012 by tsuomela
Contrary Brin: Roll over, Frank Miller: or why the Occupy Wall Street Kids are Better than the #$%! Spartans
Well, well. I've been fuming silently at Frank Miller for a years. The time's come, so get ready for steam! Because the screech that you just read - Miller's attack on young citizens, clumsily feeling their way ahead toward saving their country - is only the latest example of Frank's astonishing agenda. One that really needs exposure to light.

I'll do it by dissecting - calmly and devastatingly - his most famous and lucrative piece of modern propaganda. The comic book and movie tale about Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae.
comics  movie  history  greek  ancient  rant  criticism  freedom 
november 2011 by tsuomela
Ancient astronomy: Mechanical inspiration : Nature News
But his machine, dubbed the Antikythera mechanism, is by far the most technologically sophisticated artefact that survives from antiquity. Since a reconstruction of the device hit the headlines in 2006, it has revolutionized ideas about the technology of the ancient world, and has captured the public imagination as the apparent pinnacle of Greek scientific achievement.

Now, however, scientists delving into the astronomical theories encoded in this quintessentially Greek device have concluded that they are not Greek at all, but Babylonian — an empire predating this era by centuries. This finding is forcing historians to rethink a crucial period in the development of astronomy. It may well be that geared devices such as the Antikythera mechanism did not model the Greeks' geometric view of the cosmos after all. They inspired it.
science  astronomy  history  greek  ancient 
december 2010 by tsuomela
Ober, J.: Democracy and Knowledge: Innovation and Learning in Classical Athens.
When does democracy work well, and why? Is democracy the best form of government? These questions are of supreme importance today as the United States seeks to promote its democratic values abroad. Democracy and Knowledge is the first book to look to ancient Athens to explain how and why directly democratic government by the people produces wealth, power, and security.

Combining a history of Athens with contemporary theories of collective action and rational choice developed by economists and political scientists, Josiah Ober examines Athenian democracy's unique contribution to the ancient Greek city-state's remarkable success, and demonstrates the valuable lessons Athenian political practices hold for us today
book  publisher  politcal-science  ancient  history  collective-action  rational  choice 
november 2010 by tsuomela
Ordering Knowledge in the Roman Empire - Cambridge University Press
The Romans commanded the largest and most complex empire the world had ever seen, or would see until modern times. The challenges, however, were not just political, economic and military: Rome was also the hub of a vast information network, drawing in worldwide expertise and refashioning it for its own purposes. This groundbreaking collection of essays considers the dialogue between technical literature and imperial society, drawing on, developing and critiquing a range of modern cultural theories (including those of Michel Foucault and Edward Said). How was knowledge shaped into textual forms, and how did those forms encode relationships between emperor and subjects, theory and practice, Roman and Greek, centre and periphery? Ordering Knowledge in the Roman Empire will be required reading for those concerned with the intellectual and cultural history of the Roman Empire, and its lasting legacy in the medieval world and beyond.
book  publisher  history  roman  ancient  information  information-science  sts 
june 2010 by tsuomela
Turkey: Archeological Dig Reshaping Human History - Newsweek.com
Standing on the hill at dawn, overseeing a team of 40 Kurdish diggers, the German-born archeologist waves a hand over his discovery here, a revolution in the story of human origins. Schmidt has uncovered a vast and beautiful temple complex, a structure so ancient that it may be the very first thing human beings ever built. The site isn't just old, it redefines old: the temple was built 11,500 years ago—a staggering 7,000 years before the Great Pyramid, and more than 6,000 years before Stonehenge first took shape. The ruins are so early that they predate villages, pottery, domesticated animals, and even agriculture—the first embers of civilization. In fact, Schmidt thinks the temple itself, built after the end of the last Ice Age by hunter-gatherers, became that ember—the spark that launched mankind toward farming, urban life, and all that followed.
archaeology  history  humanities  religion  civilization  culture  evolution  anthropology  science  ancient  country(Turkey) 
february 2010 by tsuomela
Ancient Philosophies - University of California Press
Book series on ancient philosophy: stoics, epicureanism, ancient scepticism, neoplatonism.
book  series  publisher  philosophy  ancient  greek 
january 2010 by tsuomela
2012: Carnival of Bunkum | h+ Magazine
In his Reality Sandwich remarks, Davis wondered “what is gained by... believing that the wizards of a rather bloody jungle culture foretold our moment of rising C02 levels and suicide bombers.” Point taken. Premonitions of the End of Days and prophecies of a Space Odyssey-like leap in species consciousness, in 2012, are just the same old bedtime story -- a story we never seem to tire of hearing, about the moment (forever forestalled) when there will be “wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below,” as the Book of Acts has it -- when the sun will go dark and the moon will turn blood red and time shall be no more. The environmental crises and geopolitical pathologies of our times -- “rising C02 levels and suicide bombers” and the sufferings of the wretched of the Earth, like the Guatemalan Maya -- demand that we step up to our social responsibilities and engage passionately with the issues of our age.
newage  myth  film  movie(2012)  culture  appropriation  mayan  south-america  ancient  calendar 
november 2009 by tsuomela
Ancient Greek Skepticism [The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]
Although all skeptics in some way cast doubt on our ability to gain knowledge of the world, the term “skeptic” actually covers a wide range of attitudes and positions. There are skeptical elements in the views of many Greek philosophers, but the term “ancient skeptic” is generally applied either to a member of Plato’s Academy during its skeptical period (c. 273 B.C.E to 1st century B.C.E.) or to a follower of Pyrrho (c. 365 to 270 B.C.E.). Pyrrhonian skepticism flourished from Aenesidemus’ revival (1st century B.C.E.) to Sextus Empiricus, who lived sometime in the 2nd or 3rd centuries C.E. Thus the two main varieties of ancient skepticism: Academic and Pyrrhonian.
philosophy  skepticism  ancient  epistemology  knowledge  certainty  belief  history 
september 2009 by tsuomela
Late Pleistocene Demography and the Appearance of Modern Human Behavior -- Powell et al. 324 (5932): 1298 -- Science
The origins of modern human behavior are marked by increased symbolic and technological complexity in the archaeological record. In western Eurasia this transition, the Upper Paleolithic, occurred about 45,000 years ago, but many of its features appear transiently in southern Africa about 45,000 years earlier. We show that demography is a major determinant in the maintenance of cultural complexity and that variation in regional subpopulation density and/or migratory activity results in spatial structuring of cultural skill accumulation. Genetic estimates of regional population size over time show that densities in early Upper Paleolithic Europe were similar to those in sub-Saharan Africa when modern behavior first appeared. Demographic factors can thus explain geographic variation in the timing of the first appearance of modern behavior without invoking increased cognitive capacity.
anthropology  archaeology  human-activity  cultural-development  history  culture  behavior  human  demography  networks  pleistocene  ancient 
july 2009 by tsuomela
Population Density : The Frontal Cortex
What led to the birth of human civilization? - 1. biological change in brains or 2. a change in population density and interconnectedness.
anthropology  archaeology  human-activity  biology  networks  connection  population  density  ancient  civilization  art  cultural-development 
july 2009 by tsuomela
Epicurus.info : Epicurean Philosophy Online
Epicurus of Sámos (341-270 BCE), the Greek “garden philosopher,” was an ancient sage who left us an enduring message of optimism. His philosophy conveyed the ultimate conviction that individuals can live in serene happiness, fortified by the continual experience of modest pleasures.
philosophy  greek  ancient  epicureanism  reference  text  document 
march 2009 by tsuomela
Epicureanism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Epicurus regarded ataraxia (tranquility, freedom from fear) and aponia (absence of pain) as the height of happiness. He also considered prudence an important virtue and perceived excess and overindulgence to be contrary to the attainment of ataraxia and aponia.
philosophy  greek  ancient  epicureanism  reference  wikipedia 
march 2009 by tsuomela
Ancient Ethical Theory (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Human excellence can be conceived in ways that do not include the moral virtues. For instance, someone thought of as excellent for benefiting friends and harming enemies can be cruel, arbitrary, rapacious, and ravenous of appetite. Most ancient philosophers, however, argue that human excellence must include the moral virtues and that the excellent human will be, above all, courageous, moderate, and just. This argument depends on making a link between the moral virtues and happiness.
philosophy  encyclopedia  reference  excellence  perfectionism  ancient  greek 
december 2008 by tsuomela
Ancient income inequality | vox - Research-based policy analysis and commentary from Europe's leading economists
Some key aspects of inequality have been uncovered by this initial look at ancient societies.4 On the average, income inequality in today’s countries is not very different than it was in distant times. However, the extraction ratio – how much of poten
economics  history  inequality  justice  ancient 
december 2007 by tsuomela

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