But it appears we have always lived in interesting times and that we have traditionally been pretty poor at recognising this. One has to wonder just how voluminous the evidence for a rewrite of the dominant narrative of civilisation has to be before we can drop the word “pseudo” off the front of “history”.
Of course, I bear the title of “pseudo” proudly.
Think of it like political reclamation in a similar -albeit much nerdier- vein to “queer” and the n-word. (I’m too white to even sing it. In the chorus to H*A*M I skip it a la Liz Lemon.)
So let’s start with some history news, move on to how weird our universe is turning out to be, then onto the apocalypse and close out with a potentially useful presentation given at Google’s London HQ the other week.
Quite a few of these come from Graham Hancock’s newsletter this time. If these stories float your boat in the same way it does mine then you should swing by his site and sign up.
1. A lost Roman legion in China. May have shared articles on this before. It’s a recipe for a fantastic graphic novel series in either the tradition of The 300 or even Asterix.
2. Stone Age human skulls on spikes. Those pre-Vikings were as hardcore as actual Vikings!
3. Is The Sphinx actually a jackal? If it is, guess a few initiations need to be rewritten.
4. Underwater archaeology porn. A neat little photo gallery of the dream job I will never have.
5. The Venerable Bede coming into view? For you Anglo-Saxon chronicle nerds out there.
6. Anyone else know that Socrates never wrote a word? Great Salon article.
7. A lost city found in Turkey. It annoys me that I’ve ended up with a career composed largely of cluttering up the internet when there are still lost cities to be found. Look, here’s another one. Ahh well. I’d say “maybe next lifetime” but surely the situation will be worse by then?
8. 25,000 Year Old Footprints Found In Mexico. You tend to need humans to make footprints. And 25,000 years ago the sea levels were much lower. Ergo, there is a sunken culture in Central America. (It’s unlikely that Atlantis is a real place as opposed to a shared global memory of a huge climate event but if it is a real place then the best candidate for it’s location is Central America. And about 10 years ago a team of archaeologists found a sunken city off the western tip of Cuba complete with pyramids and circular roads. That’s all you get without buying me some whisky.) More and more finds are pushing back the earliest date of American colonisation. We are well and truly in Atlantean timelines now. Especially as “traditional” archaeologists have finally, finally admitted that what was once pseudohistory -that our earliest ancestors were nautical (like Atlanteans)- turns out to be correct.
9. Our Ancestors Like Yoda Spoke. Oddly, this rings true to me. Anyone else experience subject/verb/object mix-ups when channelling or otherwise communicating with ostensibly “old” spirits?
Our weird universe
1. Sugar is a toxin. And probably should be regulated as such.
2. Non-communicable diseases now account for the majority of deaths worldwide. In a way this is good news because at least it means we’re no longer all dying from malaria and sabre-toothed tigers. Remember when we spoke about Chinese smoking rates? Bam.
3. Science and religion aren’t in conflict. Sure, unless your religion is some kind of Republican fruitstorm where Jesus presumably tells you that you should invade Mexico. (Please get on top of this, America. That’s one terrifying gallery for those outside the US and thus impacted by foreign ‘policy’ to read.)
4. Koko the talking gorilla. Amazing piece. The bit about the meat breaks my heart. It also problematises the belief that humans are somehow unique because we have conscious awareness or a moral code.
5. Amazon tribe has no language for time. Again, something to think about.
1. A quarter of the FTSE 100 use tax havens. That’s one in four. One. In. Four. Can’t wait for the imminent revolution. If anyone was somehow still on the fence about who the bad guys are in this fight then just have a read.
2. ‘Massive jobs shortfall’ predicted for the global economy. Seriously, the top 1% has stolen all the pies and broken the world. Twenty million jobs have disappeared since the 2008 financial crisis. (I can personally vouch for two of them.) This has implications for both macro political policy -don’t believe anyone who says they can just magic up some jobs- and it also has personal implications if you’re planning to magic yourself up a job. Don’t do it until you’ve read the next point.
3. The gig economy. There’s still work out there that needs doing. But there might not be “jobs” as we have historically considered them.
4. How high unemployment affects the wages of the employed. Some fascinating math here. Fascinating in a horrible way.
The dangers of process
Here’s a presentation that was given at Google HQ in London the other week. Obviously it’s about advertising but it makes some interesting points about the probabilistic implications of an overreliance on process.