Complex societies precede moralizing gods throughout world history. "Contrary to previous predictions, powerful moralizing ‘big gods’ and prosocial supernatural punishment tend to appear only after the emergence of ‘megasocieties’ with populations of more than around one million people. Moralizing gods are not a prerequisite for the evolution of social complexity, but they may help to sustain and expand complex multi-ethnic empires after they have become established."

Walking helps us think. I'm an avid hiker myself and I couldn't agree more.

Weekend recovery sleep fails to prevent metabolic dysregulation during a repeating pattern of insufficient sleep and weekend recovery sleep. Good to know, but I'd already sort of come to the same conclusion based on personal experience.

The hipster effect: Why anti-conformists always end up looking the same. Complexity science explains why efforts to reject the mainstream merely result in a new conformity. And then the story took an interesting twist, confirming the theory. The French philosopher and sociologist Jean Baudrillard made the same point in the late 80s arguing that people who seek to set themselves apart from the capitalist system buy the symbols that define the counterculture to which they seek to belong, thereby perpetuating the logic of the culture that they seek to separate themselves from.

The freedom of the novel. An interview with Javier Cercas.

Alexander von Humboldt: the graphic novel. I greatly enjoyed Andrea Wulf's biography of Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) The Invention of Nature. To celebrate the 250th anniversary of Humboldt’s birth this year, Wulf has teamed up with artist Lillian Melcher to create The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, a graphic work of non-fiction depicting Humboldt’s five-year exploration of Latin America as a young man.

I also eat the same lunch everyday, with some minor variations. For example, one day I may eat rye bread, the next day spelt or whole wheat, all sourdough by the way, but always with cheese. I also eat more or less the same breakfast every morning and I rotate the vegetables I have for dinner.

“Is this really the best and highest use of the Silicon Valley innovation ecosystem?”

Eine Eurozentrische Geschichte des Kapitalismus. Gefangen in der Kritik der Kapitalismuskritik.

Ancient switch to soft food gave us an overbite and the ability to pronounce ‘f’s and ‘v’s.

Men who lived in Spain 4500 years ago left almost no male genetic legacy today.

A Blizzard of Prescriptions. Review of Dopesick by Beth May; American Overdose. The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts by Chris McGreal and Dreamland. The The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones.

Our mysterious cousins—the Denisovans—may have mated with modern humans as recently as 15,000 years ago.

This fungus has wiped out more species than any other disease. The infectious disease that has devastated the most biodiversity is a fungal killer of amphibians