Seasonal Stanley Cup Playoffs post: Culture change, and… when did everyone start wearing merch to the games, anyway?

As an archaeologist, I am interested in culture change, and that includes changes in conventions, expectations and practices. Sometimes, these can happen over amazingly short time-spans (archaeologically speaking). One change that I’ve noticed over the past few decades, which is a short time for an archaeologist, is that especially at playoff games, almost the entirety…

Understanding the visceral reaction to Laura’s Spinney’s History as a giant data set

This week, Laura Spinney covers recent developments in the use of big data in history, the potential it has for illuminating the present, and for helping us prepare for the future. The online reaction from at least some of the history, archaeology, and social science community, has been visceral. Spinney simply ran headlong into the…

The jury is still out on moralizing gods, but the initial response by Whitehouse and Francois is not encouraging

The latest salvo in the saga of the moralizing gods comes from Whitehouse and Francois. Following two critiques of their recent Nature paper on the role of moralizing gods in the evolution of large, complex societies, one by Beheim et al. and one by Slingerland et al., they have posted a preliminary response on co-author…