Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Intellectual Dark Web - Death of the Blue God

People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. ― C.G. Jung, Psychology and Alchemy

This post summarizes some of the main points covered in this excellent article and documentary by David Fuller at Rebel Wisdom:

Medium.com - A Glitch in the Matrix” — Jordan Peterson, the Intellectual Dark Web & the Mainstream Media

A Watershed Moment

We have reached cultural watershed moment where people have started walking away from the script being force fed to us by the mainstream media. New voices are arising that glaringly point to the falseness of the mass messaging and the limitations of old formats to express an intellectual revolution that has been gathering in the shadows.

Mainstream, narrow broadcast technologies need to force stories into five minute chunks that present a false, scripted version of reality. These official scripts view reality via a warped hard left lens that praises the feminine and condemns the masculine. In this reality, no deviation from the official script is allowed.

Here is the enlightening Channel 4 interview with Jordan Peterson that highlights the failings of the old media when presented with a new script:

Cognitive Dissonance

Many accounts of the interview decried the interview as simply one where the interviewer merely went astray in the face of a interviewee with controversial views:

The Atlantic - Why Can't People Hear What Jordan Peterson Is Saying?

Last week, Peterson was pressed by the British journalist Cathy Newman to explain several of his controversial views. But what struck me, far more than any position he took, was the method his interviewer employed. It was the most prominent, striking example I’ve seen yet of an unfortunate trend in modern communication.

First, a person says something. Then, another person restates what they purportedly said so as to make it seem as if their view is as offensive, hostile, or absurd.

What if this isn't what happened at all? What if it was the interviewer's mainstream script that was flawed and that the mass media format did not have the tools required to process information not in the official script however true it might be. Such situations typically induce Cognitive Dissonance within individuals and this appears to be what mass media is suffering under on an institutional scale:

The above video points out that cognitive dissonance most often occurs when a person is presented with information that conflicts with a strongly held notion that there is little justification for holding. Often, people will come up with false justifications or rational to overcome the discomfort caused by this conflict rather than change their minds.

This mischaracterization of the others points of view are tells of delusional thinking brought on by cognitive dissonance. Even more telling were the attempts to recover from the disastrous interview with claims of harassment by internet trolls as if they were the first people every attacked by trolls on the internet. Rather than taking the opportunity to try to start an honest dialogue, they fell back to their scripted cries of victim hood. This inability to respond effectively further highlight their distorted framework. They rely on fallback positions that are neither thoughtful or strategic.

The World is a Funny Place

The world is a funny place, one where great fun can be had poking at the official script and where two different personality types can even have a fascinating conversation with each other that coaxes truth out from the shadows.

Archetypes and Mytholo

To understand what is happening requires a deep dive into theories of fundamental human psychology developed by Carl Jung:

Soul Craft - The 12 Common Archetypes

The term "archetype" has its origins in ancient Greek. The root words are archein, which means "original or old"; and typos, which means "pattern, model or type". The combined meaning is an "original pattern" of which all other similar persons, objects, or concepts are derived, copied, modeled, or emulated. 

The psychologist, Carl Gustav Jung, used the concept of archetype in his theory of the human psyche. He believed that universal, mythic characters—archetypes—reside within the collective unconscious of people the world over. Archetypes represent fundamental human motifs of our experience as we evolved; consequentially, they evoke deep emotions. 

Jung posited that there were several core archetypes that are key to this story:


The shadow is an archetype that consists of the sex and life instincts. The shadow exists as part of the unconscious mind and is composed of repressed ideas, weaknesses, desires, instincts, and shortcomings.

The shadow forms out of our attempts to adapt to cultural norms and expectations. It is this archetype that contains all of the things that are unacceptable not only to society, but also to one's own personal morals and values. It might include things such as envy, greed, prejudice, hate, and aggression.

This archetype is often described as the darker side of the psyche, representing wildness, chaos, and the unknown. These latent dispositions are present in all of us, Jung believed, although people sometimes deny this element of their own psyche and instead project it on to others.


The anima is a feminine image in the male psyche, and the animus is a male image in the female psyche. The anima/animus represents the "true self" rather than the image we present to others and serves as the primary source of communication with the collective unconscious.

Jung believed that physiological changes as well as social influences contributed to the development of sex roles and gender identities. Jung suggested the influence of the animus and anima archetypes were also involved in this process. According to Jung, the animus represents the masculine aspect in women while the anima represented the feminine aspect in men.

Rage at the Moon

The dark web intellectual posits that the post modern world has become hostile to masculinity. Modern mass media tends to stress image of a benevolent femininity juxtaposed against toxic masculinity. This unhealthy balance of images creates polarization within a society gone astray.

Women who fall under the spell of this Social Justice Warrior philosophy rage at masculinity when it is they that have the problem. They focus on unrealistic goals like a mystical total equality in a world where each individual has their own strengths and weaknesses. They also ignore evolutionary & biological differences between the sexes. In Jungian terminology, women stewing in this environment develop and unhealthy animus (internal male image in their psyche) and avoid the shadows (internal issues that they need to work out. Instead of working on straightening out their inner turmoil they project their problems as a rage against men.

Males under this same spell develop an unhealthy anima (internal female image in their psyche). Instead of working out these issues, they become moody and bitchy. Evolution has conditioned women to seek masculine men just as men seek feminine women so the growing set of men adopting unhealthy female traits further adds to this feminine rage.

Dangerous Conversations

The old media is dying as its faults become ever more evident. In large part, this is due to  a new breed of thinkers that have sprung up in this alternative media. With this death, the elites are losing their stranglehold on information.

This new breed of thinkers is not afraid to have the dangerous yet important conversations needed to move society forward that are ignored by the mainstream media. The whole social justice warrior theology that has dominated western media for the last couple decades is being questioned and is breaking down under this harsh light.

Cross Wired 

People are hardwired to see the world differently. One one end of the spectrum there are more liberal personality types characterized by openness, interest, abstract interests and low orderliness. On the other end, their are more conservative types. It takes both types working in a balanced manner to keep the world running in a healthy manner.

Collapse of the Blue Church

Medium.com - Situational Assessment 2017: Trump Edition
Medium.com - Understanding the Blue Church

“The Blue Church is panicking because they’ve just witnessed the birth of a new Red Religion. Not the tired old Christian cliches they defeated back in the ’60s, but a new faith based on cultural identity and outright rejection of the Blue Faith.” — /u/notjfao

A number of folks noted that they were not familiar with the concept of the Blue Church and wondered what was meant by it. The Democratic Party? Liberalism? Progressivism? As I mentioned in SA:2017, I had originally lifted the idea wholesale from that Reddit post with only an intuitive sense that it (and its juxtaposition with a Red Religion) was useful and pointed at something real.

The deep state and its mass media organ have grown complacent due to having a stranglehold over ideas for the last couple decades. During this time conservatives have had time to contemplate and restore their strength. This renewed strength and intellectual firepower has been unleashed on a mass media that cannot keep up and is losing ground. The blue church is unable to respond beyond tired cliches and worn out scripts.

Hopefully, this will lead to a more healthy balance between these two forces.

A New Counterculture

The establishment media is tired. It does not have time for deep thought or conversations. Everything is forced in sound bites.  They suffer from an institutional blindness and are unable to effectively respond to the new media. Even worse for them, the conservatives have flipped the script by becoming the in your face counter culture leaving the left looking like the angry grandparents.

Here one of the court jesters for the right mocks the left's penchant for bad taste in performance art:

The set of values promoted by this blue church in the guise of helping the oppressed are actually a narrow set of values favored by white upper middle class intellectual that are at odds with many values of the people they claim to support:

quillette.com - Jordan B Peterson, Critical Theory, and the New Bourgeoisie

The identity of the group providing the intellectual foundation for both critical theory and the social justice movement are mostly white middle-and-upper-class intellectuals from the political left in advanced Western economies. It may be more illuminating to see this group’s interests as the driving force of societal change, rather than those of the ever-changing group of the powerless. In effect, the intellectuals of the political left are creating the type of society they personally want to live in. ‘The powerless’ are temporary allies on this journey.

A Red Pill Philosophy

If the blue church has its social justice warrior philosophy, the red tribe are stoics. Stoicism has often been likened to a Western Buddhism. It was founded by the Greeks and later adopted by the Romans. Its most famous adherent was the Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius It is well suited for helping people faced with rapid change. It emphasizing individual responsibility or ones thoughts and emotions.

Reddit, The Red Pill - Stoicism 101 How to be

Growing Up 

Much of the intellectual dark webs energy is focused on helping young men, who are under served in today's world grow up to be healthy adults. They do this emphasizing ones responsibilities not rights as the source of true happiness.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Competition -vs- Cooperation

Today's post features the Art of Manliness, #376, When to Compete, When to Cooperate

Friend and Foe

The podcast features an interview with Adam Galinski discussing his book Friend and Foe:

What does it take to succeed? This question has fueled a long-running debate. Some have argued that humans are fundamentally competitive, and that pursuing self-interest is the best way to get ahead. Others claim that humans are born to cooperate and that we are most successful when we collaborate with others.

In FRIEND AND FOE, researchers Galinsky and Schweitzer explain why this debate misses the mark. Rather than being hardwired to compete or cooperate, we have evolved to do both. In every relationship, from co-workers to friends to spouses to siblings we are both friends and foes. It is only by learning how to strike the right balance between these two forces that we can improve our long-term relationships and get more of what we want.

In the podcast Adam makes several points:

  • Most relationships are both cooperative and competitive
  • Social comparisons natural to primates
  • Comparisons are never absolute but relative to others
  • We tend compare ourselves to those we are most connected to
  • On the plus side, they drive us and motivate us
  • On the minus side, they create anxiety and resentment
  • To be motivating, a goal must be attainable.
Professor Galinsky also recommends several tactic when trying to work with teams:

  • Do not be afraid to expose vulnerability to connect with team. rather than trying to constantly project perfection.
  • The best strategy is to project perfection first then show vulnerability later.
  • Avoid humble bragging.

Power Corrupts

Power and bad behavior go hand in hand. Power tends to corrupt. People do not feel same moral constraints with power. They become unfettered by morals. People need perspective to gain power but tend to lose perspective once power is attained. We need to have way to hold powerful accountable to connect them with us.

The Talent Trap

Teams with too much talent suffer from problems with coordination, no discernible alpha. With teamwork that requires a lot of coordination among member like basketball too much talent causes issues. Baseball is more specialized so talent causes less issues.

Making the Most of Hierarchies 

Hierarchy are needed for coordination. They make clear who makes decision, who needs to be approached for approvals.

One needs take lower level people into account. Some strategies to allow this are to:

  • Let low power people speak first in meetings.
  • Create rules that allow bottom up ideas to surface such a no criticizing during initial idea generation.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Fat America, Part I: Snack-O-Rama

Gluttony is the source of all our infirmities and the fountain of all our diseases. As a lamp is choked by a superabundance of oil, and a fire extinguished by excess of fuel, so is the natural health of the body destroyed by intempe diet. -Marion LeRoy Burton

In March 2000, Greg Critser published a ground breaking article in Harpers Magazine covering the reasons for the American obesity epidemic:

Harpers, March 2000 - Let Them Eat Fat

Greg later expanded the article into a full length book on the subject:

Fat Land by Greg Critser

Fat America

Fat America is a multi-post series on how American went from thin to fat in a couple short decades. This is the first post in this series. This book is base on Fat Land on article by Greg Critser that was later expanded into a book on the subject.

In this post, we focus on how several factors combined to pack on the weight of the average American:

  • Corn production soared in the 1970's providing the cheap starch required for snacks.
  • Industrial science also figured out how to turn corn starch into a rocket fueled sweetener, High Fructose Corn Syrup.
  • Palm oil started flooding into America from overseas providing a cheap, highly saturated fat used to increase the palitability of cheap snacks.
  • Grazing was pushed on American's a good form of dieting when it is actually the way animals are fattened up.

Corn From Fence Row to Fence Row

In the early 70's US agricultural output soared. This was the deliberate result of Earl Butz, Agriculture Secretary under Nixon, scrapping New Deal programs that had previously paid farmers not to grow. Instead discouraging production, Farmers were encouraged to expand output of staple crops like corn and soybeans. This was meant to curb soaring food prices that were caused by inflationary pressures during the time.

The ultimate result of this policy was an abundance of calories available to US consumers at bargain prices.


At roughly the same time corn production expanded exponentially, a process using enzymes to transform corn starch into a sweetener was developed called High Fructose Corn Syrup. HFCS was initially produced in the United States by Richard O. Marshall and Earl R. Kooi in 1957 but it was not until  1966 that is became economically viable to produce when Dr. Yoshiyuki Takasaki at the Japan’s Agency of Industrial Science and Technology perfected the process.

Unlike sugar which is comes from refined sugar cane juice, HFCS is produced by an enzymatic process that rearranges corn starch molecules in a manner that it not found in nature, one that acts much differently within our bodies than sugar:

The sugars are extracted through a chemical enzymatic process resulting in a chemically and biologically novel compound called HFCS. Some basic biochemistry will help you understand this. Regular cane sugar (sucrose) is made of two-sugar molecules bound tightly together– glucose and fructose in equal amounts.The enzymes in your digestive tract must break down the sucrose into glucose and fructose, which are then absorbed into the body. HFCS also consists of glucose and fructose, not in a 50-50 ratio, but a 55-45 fructose to glucose ratio in an unbound form.

Since there is there is no chemical bond between them, no digestion is required so they are more rapidly absorbed into your blood stream. Fructose goes right to the liver and triggers lipogenesis (the production of fats like triglycerides and cholesterol) this is why it is the major cause of liver damage in this country and causes a condition called “fatty liver” which affects 70 million people.The rapidly absorbed glucose triggers big spikes in insulin–our body’s major fat storage hormone. Both these features of HFCS lead to increased metabolic disturbances that drive increases in appetite, weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, and more.

Source: 5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You - Mark Hyman MD

Palm Oil Worse Than Pig Oil

Hand in hand with the expansion of crop growth in the United State was the growing agricultural trade between countries. Earl Butz realized that the United States needed to open its markets to foreign countries if it wanted to export its corn and soy beans to them. One product that started to flood into the United States was cheap palm oil from Malaysia.

While technically a vegetable oil, it contained more saturated fat than pork fat and is likely worse for your health. Palm oil is attractive to food manufacturers for many reasons like the fact that is cheap, provides foods with a smooth creamy texture and has a long shelf life. It is so popular with manufactures that is it found in roughly half of packaged food products.

Despite being in a lot of foods, one may not know it as it is often labeled under a variety of confusing names such as

Vegetable Oil, Vegetable Fat, Palm Kernel, Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Fruit Oil, Palmate, Palmitate, Palmolein, Glyceryl, Stearate, Stearic Acid, Elaeis Guineensis, Palmitic Acid, Palm Stearine, Palmitoyl Oxostearamide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Kernelate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Lauryl Lactylate/Sulphate, Hyrated Palm Glycerides, Etyl Palmitate, Octyl Palmitate, Palmityl Alcohol

Source: World Wildlife Federation


Despite all the hype about grazing, it is actually better to eat fewer meals a day and to avoid snacking due to a myriad of reasons:

  • Humans are horrible judges of satiety and calorie intake so snacking encourages overeating.
  • Convenient foods for snacking tend to be junk foods.
  • Grazing conditions your body to be hungry all the time.
  • Historically, humans evolved to eat one or two communal meals a day of a day and these meals less energy dense, they consisted of foods that took time to digest.
It is better for adults to eat a light breakfast, medium lunch and healthy dinner with twelve hours between breakfast and lunch.


Time - You Asked: Should I Eat 3 Big Meals Or Lots of Small Ones?

Snack Food Revolution

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Look Like Tarzan. Play like Jane.

Today's post reviews common mistakes that athletes make when training and other sports topics. It is a summation of advice given by Dan John, a coach and holder of several records in the discus. He gave this advice on the excellent Art Of Manliness Podcast #354, Brains & Brawn:

The Common Mistakes

Here are common mistakes athletes make when training per Dan John:

Problem #1: Looks like Tarzan plays like Jane.

Stack Exchange - Origin of the phrase “Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane”?

Scouts, coaches, and fans use the phrase “Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane” to describe a player that appears physically imposing, but plays at a level not consistent with their apparent physical gifts.

Many athletes today are focused on hypertrophied weight training, focused on building large muscles. These athletes are part of the post Arnold Schwarzenegger generation that thinks athletes to look the part require out sized muscles. They are lifting to gain muscle mass without lifting appropriately to the particular requirements of the athletic task at hand.

Problem #2:  Over Conditioning


One of the poorest trends in strength and conditioning for team sports is an over-emphasis on cardiovascular conditioning.  Speaking from experience, this mindset is most prevalent in ice-hockey and swimming, where “dry land training” is synonymous with “let’s kick the crap out of our athletes”. However, this is also beginning to make its way into other major sports like basketball and football, where speed and power should be the main emphasis once an adequate cardiovascular base has been developed.

In terms of conditioning, coaches have lost the sense to know when enough is enough. Much of the supposed conditioning is, in fact, garbage conditioning. situational preparation beats over conditioning when it oess to sports.

Problem #3:  Early Specialization

NBCI - Sports Specialization in Young Athletes, Evidence-Based Recommendations

For most sports, there is no evidence that intense training and specialization before puberty are necessary to achieve elite status. Risks of early sports specialization include higher rates of injury, increased psychological stress, and quitting sports at a young age. 

Sport specialization leads to burn out and increased likelihood of injury. Despite evidence that specialization at an early age is counter productive, it is becoming increasingly common that children are pushed to excel in specialized athletics at an early age. Kids just want to play and parents need to learn when enough is enough.

Nature VS Nurture

Two books in recent years have opened up the debate on nature versus nurture when it comes to talent in activities such as sports. Dan Johns cautions athletes that progress comes in increments. One can only do little in a day, that adds up to a lot in a year, progress comes bit by bit. Humans are impatient for visible progress and often give up when this does not occur. 

The Six Foundational Strength Patterns

When it comes to strength training, we often focus only on a few aspects to the neglect of the others. There are six basic foundational patterns:

T Nation - 6 Foundational Movement Patterns

As a human, your body moves in pretty much the same way as other humans. In fact, there are six basic movement patterns. Naturally, if you want to be a strong, athletic, healthy human, you train all of these foundational patterns. 

But there's a problem. Not all the exercises that mimic these patterns are right for every body, at least not right away. For example, if you start with the wrong squat variation for your body type, skill level, injury history or goal, you'll wind up with a banged-up body.



Hinge - Hinge exercises involve the bend in you hips that brings your back/belly closer to your thighs. Hinge exercises which focus on the posterior muscles like the hamstrings and glutes are often neglected in favor of lifting that focuses on the thighs. The bend is focused more at the hips than at the knees.

Breaking Muscle - The Physics Of Lifting: Don’t Forget To Hinge

The Single Leg Romanian Dead Lift is an excellent way to get started with hinge exercises:

Squat - xx

Load and Carry - Loads and carries amps up ones work capacity and does what Dan Johns calls building the stone.

Anaconda Strength

Besides the foundational strength movements, there are other important c
Hammer (Hit or Strike) - Your striking force.
Stone - Your ability to take a strike without wobbling.
Anaconda - You ability to generate internal pressure.
Armor - Your exterior callousing required for collision sports.
Bow - Same as hammer described above.
Arrow - Some as stone described above.

T Nation - How to Build Anaconda Strength

"We humans are like bicycle inner tubes. Our performance depends on our inner pressure. Sadly, most of us ride around on underinflated tires. True, the world looks at our treads first, but what really counts is the pressure."


Back Fit Pro - Okinawan strength: Developing the “Iron Body”

Recovery, the Forgotten Art

In the interview, Dan Johns mentions recovery as one of the areas that most athletes need to pay more attention to.

Lack of sleep is probably the biggest problem. He mentions developing good sleep hygiene and associated sleep rituals.  He specifically recommends:

  • Blue blockers on electronic devices.
  • Heat like a hot tub followed by an ice shower
  • Darkened rooms
  • Using book relax and win
He also mention hydration as being a huge issue. Not all drinks are created equal and modern society often make poor choices like cokes, coffees and energy drinks. He recommends simply drinking more water

He is also a fan of the migun bed.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Word of the Day: Anthropocene

adjective: Anthropocene
relating to or denoting the current geological age, viewed
as the period during which human activity has been the
dominant influence on climate and the environment.

Against the Grain
Today's post explores the new book by James C. Scott, Against the Grain

In it, Scott questions the long prevailing theory that sedentism, towns, and agriculture were great leaps forward in human well being. He attacks the myth that the early city states attracted people to them by offering better nutrition and leisure opportunities.

He contrasts this with newer theories that indicate quite the opposite. That early city states had to capture and hold large populations in bondage. That life as a barbarian was easier, healthier and freer.

One reason for this bias for the long prevailing view that city states and agriculture were good for humans is that these states kept written histories and the barbarians did not. These written histories were put down by the upper classes to emphasize their greatness.

The Noble Savage Redux

Scott points to a new genre of books questioning this establishment view of city states like ones by Charles Mann and Elizabeth Kolbert.

The Atlantic.com - 1491 by Charles Mann

Before it became the New World, the Western Hemisphere was vastly more populous and sophisticated than has been thought—an altogether more salubrious place to live at the time than, say, Europe. New evidence of both the extent of the population and its agricultural advancement leads to a remarkable conjecture: the Amazon rain forest may be largely a human artifact

www.nytimes.com - Without a Trace, The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

Since the origin of life on earth 3.8 billion years ago, our planet has experienced five mass extinction events. The last of these events occurred some 66 million years ago when a six-mile-wide asteroid is thought to have collided with earth, wiping out the dinosaurs. The Cretaceous extinction event dramatically changed the composition of biodiversity on the planet: Marine ecosystems essentially collapsed, and about 75 percent of all plant and animal species disappeared. Today, Kolbert writes, we are witnessing a similar mass extinction event happening in the geologic blink of an eye. According to E. O. Wilson, the present extinction rate in the tropics is “on the order of 10,000 times greater than the naturally occurring background extinction rate” and will reduce biological diversity to its lowest level since the last great extinction.

Writing, A Tool for Exploitation not Enlightenment

We often think of writing as a tool of creative expression but what if it was originally one of the main tools used to oppress and enslave man.

Levi-Strauss on the Functions of Writing from His 1955 book, Tristes Tropiques

Claude Levi-Strauss, the famous French anthropologist, speaks about how the development of writing invariably accompanies cities and empires. It is used to further the integration into a political system a considerable number of individuals into castes and classes. It is more often used seems as a tool for exploitation rather then enlightenment.

Grains and the Rise of Taxation

The taxability of cereal grains was what allowed for the rise of the state:


Other early staple crops were not suitable for taxation. Tubers (root vegetables) are too easy to hide (buried underground). Legumes (beans) are indeterminate, meaning there is not definite harvest time.

Domesticated Humans

Early states domesticated not only animals but humans too. These states needed enormous amounts of save labor to survive. Even then, these city states were fragile and often collapsed due to disease.

An example of this is the Great Wall of China. While many people know that it was built to keep invaders out, it also served the purpose of keeping a large slave population trapped inside.

China Travelers - Who built the Great Wall, when and why?

Why was the Great Wall of China built?The Great Wall of China was built to protect China from its enemies and invaders from the North, especially the Mongols. The Mongols were a tribal group that would regularly conduct raids into China. Despite the wall, the Mongols eventually conquered China. The Wall also kept Chinese citizens from leaving China.

Rise of the Narcissist

Scott argues that early states dominate archaeological and historical records beyond their true weight.and that there is an institutional, narcissistic bias toward funding city state research

Hunter gatherer nomads, while comprising the majority of human populations historically, left thin archaeological records

Further, written, cuneiform records exacerbate this bias because they are state centric records of taxes, tributes, royal genealogies and foundation myths.

When Hunter Gatherers Dominated

Scott argues that our state centric view of human history overlooks the fact that, until fairly recently, the vast majority of humans did not live in city states. For example, when the first major city states were founded in Mesopotamia in around 2,000 BC, there were roughly 25 million human inhabiting the planet and only several thousand lived in cities. It was only around the year 1600 when the human population living in city states overtook nomadic peoples.

The natural mode of living for most humans until recently has been nomadic since only small portions of the globe were naturally suited to agriculture.

Missing the Point

By focusing on state, we miss the fact that most humans throughout history did not live within confines of it. These historical states were also relatively weak compared to the fierce nomadic bands that surrounded them but this too is often overlooked since historians most often focus on the classical ages of these states.

The peaks of city states were often short and state rule more often resembled what we all the dark ages when rule was fragmented and ineffective.


domestication of fire, plants, animals
concentration of food and population

fire rendered previously inedible plant digestible,
nutritious and palatable
large brain and small gut attributable to this

domesticated grains provided reliable calorie source

domesticated animals can eat things we find indigestible
this making these calories available to us

Rise of the Weak

domestication changed genetics of domesticated plants and
they became less robust requiring constant attention less
did domestication also not effect human
word of the day domus
compared to hunter gatherers agriculture was confined,
crowded, linked to calendar
burden #1 more onerous
burden #2 epidemiological diseases due to concentration
burden #3 taxes


why states collapse
often chain of events
rarely recorded in written record
3 main fault lines
urbanism leading to deforestation floods and siltation
intensive agriculture lead to salinization of soil

barbarians raiding states
spending on defense
spending on tributes (protection money)

became trading hubs for nomadic peoples
main commodity traded was slaves
state replenished work force via wars of capture


south africa case excavation shows
earliest layer cats eating hominids
later layers humans eating cats with fire
decisive factor in transforming fortunes of mankind
hominids used fire 400k years before modern humans

much of world's fauna fire adapted (pyrophyte) due to human
used it to clear old vegatation
and replace with grasses and desirable shrubs
that created desirable hunting grounds
***niche construction***

fire externalizes the digestive process
gelatinizes starch, denatures protein
chimpanzees require a gut three times as big as ours
humans eat far less food and expend a lot less energy
extracting nutrition from it
allowed us to eat a much greater range of foods
allowed neanderthals to colonize northern europe

Smaller Guts, Larger Brains

efficiency led to changes
guts less than have size
smaller teeth
brain three times larger than other mammals