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Evolution and Devolution of Social Complexity: Why Do We Care?

What follows is my report on the workshop Evolution of Social Complexity that I organized at Complexity Science Hub-Vienna, October 2–3, 2017. An Agenda for Research on the Evolution (and Devolution) of Social Complexity Over the past 10,000 years human…

/ October 8, 2017
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The quest to revive extinct Aurochs to restore ancient lands

Rewilding and restoration of land often rely on the reintroduction of species. But what happens when what you want to reintroduce no longer exists? What if the animal in question is not only locally extinct, but gone for good? Yes,…

/ October 6, 2017
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The caste politics curse that India just can’t shake off

India is still not able to do away with its caste politics as demonstrated by recent attacks on members of lower caste in south-western state of Gujarat during a festival. Yet Narendra Modi’s ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is making…

/ October 6, 2017
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EU employment highest on record

Employment in the 28-nation European Union increased to the highest on record in the second quarter, the bloc’s executive arm has said. The number of people with jobs in the region increased 1.5% in the April through June period compared…

/ October 5, 2017
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Is Trump using ‘health attacks’ on US diplomats in Havana as an excuse to punish Cuba?

In a blow to diplomatic relations with Cuba, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Oct. 3 ejected 15 Cuban diplomats from the United States. The expulsion follows his withdrawal of most U.S. personnel from the embassy in Havana after…

/ October 5, 2017
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Agent Orange, exposed: How U.S. chemical warfare in Vietnam unleashed a slow-moving disaster

In the end, the military campaign was called Operation Ranch Hand, but it originally went by a more appropriately hellish appellation: Operation Hades. As part of this Vietnam War effort, from 1961 to 1971, the United States sprayed over 73…

/ October 4, 2017
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EU commits to better protect marine life

The European Union and its private sector will commit about 1 billion euros to better protect marine life during the global Our Ocean conference this week. EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella told the Associated Press that figure from the EU,…

/ October 2, 2017
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Catalonia Independence Drive: a Case-Study in Applied Cultural Evolution

Today Catalonians vote (or not) in an independence referendum. As a result of moves by the regional government in Barcelona and national government in Madrid, Catalonia became one of the potentially most dangerous flash points in Europe. The potential for…

/ October 1, 2017
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Maasai beads: the interplay between Europe and Africa

Maasai warriors wearing red and women wearing beads have come to be seen as symbols of “traditional” Africa. These colourful glass beads and red blankets play an important role in Maasai culture. For thousands of European tourists who travel to…

/ October 1, 2017
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Who are the real targets of Bogota’s crackdown on crime?

It was just before rush hour on Aug. 23, 2017, when the Bogota, Colombia, district police and SWAT squad came for the gangs of El Cartuchito, an area with a potent illicit drug trade and open consumption of bazuco, a…

/ September 29, 2017
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Why History and Cultural Evolution Are Natural Allies

This evening I am meeting with a group of historians, mostly specializing in the study of Byzantium. The topic of discussion is “Evolution of Large-Scale Societies”. The participants were sent a couple of my papers on the topic, and so…

/ September 28, 2017
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In Central Europe, militarised societies are on the march

Russia recently held one of the largest “war games” since the Cold War, on its Western borders. The drill exercised combat scenarios recently used in Ukraine and tested the compatibility of the Belarusian army with Russian forces. Politicians from Poland,…

/ September 28, 2017
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Taxes on sugary beverages are not enough on their own to halt march of obesity in Asia

Facing declining markets in Western countries, multinational food companies are targeting Africa, Asia, and Latin America as new consumers of packaged foods, in a move that may worsen the global epidemic of chronic illness related to diabetes. Governments are striking…

/ September 27, 2017
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Syrian refugees in Turkey: time to dispel some myths

Six years after the war in Syria started, Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees, who try to carve out their own opportunities for education, employment and survival. In this article I examine the latest migration report published in April…

/ September 26, 2017