Tom Abel

The Asian Miracles: Free Renewables Made it all Possible

Traditionally, extended families were the unit of reproduction, and thus the unit that requires inputs and maintenance. In rural communities, a large proportion of those inputs were from free renewables.

August 7, 2017

Sociocultural Boundaries

As an anthropologist, I see planetary problems from a cultural and evolutionary perspective that could offer a different take on the subject.

October 5, 2015


When cow love meets car love

For an anthropologist like myself raised on stories of the Nuer and Dinka (and the other tribes in the region), the latest news from the Sudan is jarring.

December 31, 2013


Culture in cycles

There’s an often-told story that the Earth rests on the back of a turtle, and that turtle rests on the back of another, and that on another.

November 6, 2013

Goodbye faculty: What’s the point of a University anyway?

Education has a remarkably inelastic demand curve and even in a contracting economy people will spend their last dollars to educate their children. Along with healthcare, high-tech weaponry, food, water, drugs, and internal ‘security’, Americans will pay almost any price for education, which is why the Right has furiously worked to privatize it and as well the rest of these. In a time when economies around the globe are stagnating (due to flattening or declining net emergies) they are the last growth industries of the capitalist growth economy.

May 21, 2012

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