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 [...]

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, [...]

Putin’s Constitutional Tsarism | by Anastasia Edel | The New York Review of Books

... if history offers any lessons, this attempt at greatness will last no longer than the false covenants and official statues every autocracy erects, for they fail in their fundamental goal: improving the lives of the people. The legacy of Stalin and Lenin is not a socialist empire but the graves of millions, murdered and [...]