Thoughts on archaeology and complexity

(Note: This is a draft of the paper I gave today in Tübingen at CAA 2018, in a session organized by Iza Romanowska, Tom Brughmans, Benjamin Davies) I will discuss some of the main lessons that emerge from complexity theory and chaos, and how they apply to the study of the past. These ideas are not…

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The rapid spread of fake news on twitter might be a feature of cultural systems, not a bug

Two articles in the recent issue of Science examine the phenomenon of fake news on social media.  Vosugi et al (2018) demonstrate that false claims are retweeted faster, further, and for longer than true claims on twitter. Lazer et al (2018) discuss the spread of fake news online and mull over some means of controlling…

Neo-classical race theory

Two pieces this week lead me to reflect on the puzzling staying power of classical biological race theory and its reflection in an emerging current of neo-classical race theory. In The Guardian, Gavin Evans chronicles the “revival of race science”. His account is interesting and very much worth reading, but he overestimates to extent of…