Luck is very important, but just how insignificant is talent? A comment on Pluchino et al. (2018)

A tweet recently came across my feed about an article by Pluchino et al.  that generated some media interest last year, and that looks at the relative roles of luck and talent in people’s success. The paper gives some interesting empirical support to a contention that many, including me, intuitively feel is true: “The most…

Environmental instability and habitat choice in a simple agent-based foraging model: Agents prefer diversity in rates of environmental change

Note: This is a follow up to my SAA2018 paper Some very interesting recent work has focused on the role of environmental instability in human evolution (Potts 2013, Grove 2014) and the development of cultural complexity (Fogarty et al 2017). This work has tended to look at adapative responses of populations of learning agents in…

Preview of my SAA2018 paper : Environmental instability, habitat choice, and mobility : An agent-based simulation

The Problem The work my team and I did in James Bay, Northern Quebec, shows that archaeological sites in the region tend to be located in places that are relatively environmentally stable, but are surrounded by areas with relatively high degree of variability in rates of environmental change. The region is characterized by rapid land…