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Get a weekly roundup of the best Substack posts, by hacker news affinity:

Top posts of the year

By hacker news affinity
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stoneageherbalist 54 likes 05 Aug 22
When I started this Substack I never imagined it would attract much interest, but my first year of writing has been a pleasant shock. The feedback from all of you has been truly humbling and wonderful and I am forever grateful. I’ve written somewhere in the region of 90k words, and although I trust Substack to not start cancelling or banning writers, I would hate to see this much work essentially disappear. After asking my twitter followers and friends, I’ve decided to turn this year’s work into a book. A self-published paperback and ebook, split into different topics - anthropology, archaeology, history and so on, as well as some new articles that I haven’t published. My aim is to have it out in the autumn.
stoneageherbalist 24 likes 12 Apr 22
Originally published in Man’s World Edition 3 and reprinted with kind permission of the editor. You can read it, along with dozens of incredible articles here A core principle of Western liberal politics, at least from the French Revolution, is the insistence that everyone is equal when our social roles are stripped away. The inherently horizontal nature of humanity is now the hegemonic view across most of the world and it’s hard for someone born and raised in modernity to think anything else. However, this was not always the dominant view and it demands closer scrutiny in light of our increased knowledge of prehistory and genetics. There are lurking questions across the fields of hunter-gatherer and early farming studies - how did social stratification occur and when? How was it maintained and developed, and what do these inequalities mean for us today?
stoneageherbalist 14 likes 02 May 22
Welcome to the April edition of my monthly archaeology round-up, breaking down the most interesting papers of the month for you. Many were missed out unfortunately: Lapita Expansion, new Temple of Zeus, Neanderthal climate adaptations and so on. But hopefully this is a broad and illustrative set of papers. Any feedback on content very welcome, this is still a project in its infancy.
stoneageherbalist 9 likes 18 Feb 22
“Whales have been evolving for thirty million years. To our one million. A sperm whale’s brain is seven times the size of mine… The great size of his body has little to do with the great size of his brain, other than as a place to keep it. What if the catalyst or the key to understanding creation lay somewhere in the immense mind of the whale? … Some species go for months without eating anything. Just completely idle.. So they have this incredible mental apparatus and no one has the least notion what they do with it. The most logical supposition, based on physiological and ecological evidence, is that they contemplate the universe… Suppose God came back from wherever it is he’s been and asked us smilingly if we’d figured it out yet. Suppose he wanted to know if it had finally occurred to us to ask the whale. And then he sort of looked around and he said, “By the way, where are the whales?”
stoneageherbalist 0 likes 31 Oct 21
A harvest moon sits lazily between streaks of cloud, as machines separate chaff from grain, creaking pines mingle with fireworks and acrid gunpowder, until the midnight hour stalks the remaining fields and hurls curses at the muddy water’s edge. Gone are the times when the night’s figures, simian and laden with offerings and votives