The Big Story: Can We Change Civilization by Changing Its Origin Story?

The “oil curse” refers to a long-studied phenomenon in which states that adopt petroleum as a significant foundation of their economy tend toward dictatorship. Of the top ten oil producing countries in the world, nine are oligarchies.

The Return of the Peasant: or the History of the World in 10½ Blog Posts. 2.

But how did we get from the Palaeolithic foraging of my last post to the very apogee of mixed agrarianism shown in the picture? I’m glad you asked. To answer it, I need to go to way back when and return to my main historical thread by looking at some of the tensions within…

The Cimmerian hypothesis (part 1): civilization and barbarism

People in civilizations tend to cut themselves off from the immediate experience of nature nature to a much greater extent than the uncivilized do. Does this help explain why civilizations crash and burn so reliably, leaving the barbarians to play drinking games with mead while sitting unsteadily on the smoldering ruins?