July 2011 Blog Posts (6)

WERE NEOLITHIC LINEAGES SEEDBEDS OF EXPLOITATION?

I am writing a book on the history of political domination and one of my main points is that when a storable-stealable-surplus came about in the early Neolithic kin groups formed that had more structural solidarity than Paleolithic bands of hunter-gatherers i.e., members were more rule-bound and formal cross-generation leaders emerged e.g., the office of lineage elder that was passed on through the generations.  I claim that all human populations have a small percentage of individuals who…

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Added by Eugene L. Mendonsa on July 28, 2011 at 3:06pm — No Comments

Does Biology Explain Political Domination?

I claim that in every human group a small percentage of individuals are aggrandizers or those who have the drive to dominate others.  But domination was not possible until a material base allowed the production of a storable-stealable-surplus.  Only then did society begin to evolve complex structures that allowed a few to dominate the many.  Such domination was the result of social construction, not biology.  Presumably the biological drive was always there in primates, hominids and the…

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Added by Eugene L. Mendonsa on July 25, 2011 at 9:14pm — 4 Comments

Beyond Inequality

In our discussions my use of the term “inequality” has come up.  My book is entitled: The Creation of Political Domination: From the Paleolithic to the Present (which exists in manuscript and which I am slowly putting on Anthropology Forum).  It could be called "the rise of inequality," but that would be too narrow because inequality has always existed, but political domination has not.  It did not exist in the non-storing peoples of the Paleolithic, though they had minimal inequality…

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Added by Eugene L. Mendonsa on July 25, 2011 at 8:45pm — No Comments

PHOTO-ESSAY: Funerary Folk art in Ecuador (Photographer Birte Pedersen)

 

PHOTO-ESSAY: Funerary Folk art in Ecuador (Photographer Birte Pedersen)



FOTO-ENSAYO: Arte Funerario Popular de Ecuador (Fotografa Birte Pedersen)



Con motivo de la convocatoria del especial “Relaciones entre…

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Added by Ander Gondra on July 15, 2011 at 10:30am — No Comments

Poor people's IP: the case of Fiji water

 

A while ago I wrote about Fiji Water and how it came to be. After arguing with friends over whether all these bottles truly originate in Fiji I did a bit of research and here is what I came up with

 

I hope to start a discussion thread at OAC with a follow up I…

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Added by Boris Popovic on July 6, 2011 at 6:07pm — 8 Comments

Practical Thoughts About Mathematics, Causal Analysis, and Anthropological/Historical Research

The following is cross-posted from Dead Voles. It originated in a message to participants in the Socnet and Pajek email lists. It speaks to the issue raised by Michael Alexeevich Popov in his blog post Two Anthropologies, but suggests a less apocalyptic view of our current predicament.

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There are, it seems to me, three distinct approaches to social network analysis.

1.…

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Added by John McCreery on July 1, 2011 at 7:30pm — 2 Comments

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