All posts by Contributor

Triumph for Angela Merkel in Germany’s most populous state

EARLY last month, Martin Schulz addressed a rally of his Social Democratic Party (SPD) at the Zollverein, a coal-mining complex in the Ruhr Valley in western Germany. To this pumped-up crowd in the party’s industrial heartland he proclaimed that if…

“This View of History”

A conversation about how Cultural Evolution helps us understand the rise of complex societies in human history A week ago I gave an Evolution Institute webinar about how our “ultrasocieties”—huge cooperative groups numbering in hundreds of millions of people and…

Forcing consensus is bad for science and society

The March for Science that took place in cities around the world on April 22 was intended to “speak for science”, defending evidence-based policies, the strength of peer-reviewed facts and government-funded research. The marches reflect a growing trend. In February…

Weaponised research: how to keep you and your sources safe in the age of surveillance

Surveillance has become so ubiquitous that it appears likely that Russia was caught in the act conspiring to fix the 2016 United States presidential election, and at least one of his staffers was basically overheard conspiring with them. Politicians aren’t…

Angela Merkel should seize this chance to remake Europe

GERMAN celebrations of Emmanuel Macron’s victory had barely begun last night when the first arguments about it broke out. The French president-elect’s longstanding calls for a “new deal” between his country and Germany were the impetus. In return for French…
C

Can Marine Le Pen Become French President?

Today is the second and final round of presidential elections in France. The two contenders are Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. Macron is the candidate of the established elites. You cannot get more elite in France: he earned a…

On the “hipster election” in Schleswig-Holstein

ON SUNDAY France goes to the polls. Emmanuel Macron will win and the far-right Front National will do better than in any presidential election to date. So all eyes will be on Paris. Yet far to the north another, less…

Can blockchain, a swiftly evolving technology, be controlled?

The headlong pace of technological change produces giant leaps forward in knowledge, innovation, new possibilities and, almost inevitably, legal problems. That’s now the case with blockchain, today’s buzziest new tech tool. Introduced in 2008 as the technology underpinning Bitcoin, a…

Japanese space agency’s mission aims to uncover how moons of Mars formed

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has announced a mission to visit the two moons of Mars and return a rock sample to Earth. It’s a plan to uncover both the mystery of the moons’ creation and, perhaps, how life…

Beyond Macau: Manila, Korea, Bahamas Openings Highlight Key Asia Gaming Trends

Runway Manila connects the airport to Resorts World Manila for pedestrians, in response to the airport expressway to Entertainment City. For the past two years, the Philippines has been Asia’s fastest growing casino market, thanks in part to new investment.…

Facebook’s new anti-fake news strategy is not going to work – but something else might

Have you seen some “tips to spot fake news” on your Facebook newsfeed recently? Over the past year, the social media company has been scrutinized for influencing the US presidential election by spreading fake news (propaganda). Obviously, the ability to…

The triumph of Alexander Gauland

SOME political parties have a habit of airing their dirty linen in public. The right-wing Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) is one of them. At its conference in Cologne this weekend the total marginalisation of Frauke Petry, its co-chair and until…

What France’s election means for Germany

IN MAY 2012 a freshly elected François Hollande took off for Germany on his first foreign visit as president, determined to forge a close alliance with Angela Merkel. His plane was hit by lightning and had to turn back to…

The First Batch of Seshat Data

It’s been a long haul. Six years ago we launched the project that we eventually named Seshat: Global History Databank. Three years ago, following a series of workshops that designed the overall structure of the databank, we started collecting data.…