How Life Could Continue to Evolve – Issue 88: Love & Sex – Nautilus

... the ultimate currency of life in the universe may be life itself: The marvelous genetic surprises that biological and technological Darwinian experimentation can come up with given enough diversity of circumstances and time. Perhaps, in the end, our galaxy, and even our universe, is simply the test tube for a vast chemical computation exploring [...]

For the wanderers who became the Aztecs history was a chorus of voices | Aeon Essays

The Aztec historians, creators of a genre called the xiuhpohualli (SHOO-po-WA-lee), developed a highly effective way of keeping satisfying memories alive. The pictographic texts that Itzcoatl burned were only a part of the Aztec way of keeping history. The glyphs served as mnemonic devices designed to elicit volumes of speech. The image of smoke billowing [...]

How global value chains will evolve in the post-COVID-19 economy | East Asia Forum

COVID-19 will likely accelerate the move toward ‘peer value chains’ among countries with similar institutional arrangements. In addition to traditional production factors, the quality of domestic institutions may become an important determinant of a country’s comparative advantage. Nathan Nunn conceptualises ‘contract-intensive’ products, which have complex supply chains that involve multiple transactions at various stages of [...]

National Security Podcast: Great power competition with Ali Wyne – Policy Forum

In this episode of the National Security Podcast, Katherine Mansted speaks to Ali Wyne about why great powers compete, how China, Russia, and the United States are shaping the global system, and whether their behaviour is making the post-COVID-19 world more dangerous. Is competition between great powers destined to be fraught with the risk of [...]

How the geometry of ancient habitats may have influenced human brain evolution | Ars Technica

There's a pivotal scene in the 2012 film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey when Gandalf, Bilbo Baggins, and a company of dwarves are chased by orcs through a classic New Zealand landscape. For Northwestern University neuroscientist and engineer Malcolm MacIver, the scene is an excellent example of the kind of patchy landscape—dotted with trees, bushes, [...]

Armenian-Azerbaijani Border Clashes: The Russian Dimension and Beyond – Jamestown

Following the outbreak of deadly Armenian-Azerbaijani border clashes on July 12 (see EDM, July 14, 16, 20 [1][2]), Russia’s state energy giant Gazprom reported that its local natural gas pipelines in Armenia were damaged, due to the shelling (TASS, RBC, July 14). Furthermore, the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) announced a meeting, at the [...]