Browsing Archives of Author »Peter Turchin«

The Circumscription Model of the Egyptian State

November 19, 2014

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In Evolution of the Egyptian State: the ‘Managerial Model’ I looked at one of the functionalist theories of the Egyptian state. The Managerial Model advanced by Fekri Hassan is actually not that different from the now discredited Hydraulic Model of Karl Wittfogel. Both theories posit that the state arises because there is a need to […]

Evolution of the Egyptian State: the ‘Managerial Model’

November 15, 2014

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The previous blog set the framework for a discussion of the evolution of the state in Egypt, and promised that I would next consider some of the theories proposed by Egyptologists. First, though, let’s put this theoretical discussion in a broader context. At a very broad level, most theories of the evolution of the state […]

Before the Pharaohs: Predynastic Egypt

November 11, 2014

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In my previous post I wrote about how the majority of Egyptologists (with a few important exceptions) have avoided using their knowledge to help us figure out how and why early states evolved. While eventually we will remedy this situation with the help of Seshat, and in a very rigorous way, in this blog I’d […]

“The Cursed Discipline”

November 7, 2014

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Lately I’ve been preoccupied with events that happened more than 5 thousand years ago, in a region far, far away. Following a workshop that we ran on coding Egypt for Seshat last September in Oxford (I wrote about these workshops in this blog) I have been reading up on Egyptian prehistory. Among other things, I […]

Ebola and Cooperation

October 29, 2014

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The current controversy about how to deal with Ebola in America tells us a lot about America, and very little about Ebola. In an excellent blog, Scott Alexander discusses how Ebola has become the latest battleground between the ‘red tribe’ and the ‘blue tribe.’ Source It’s very telling that the opinions on the need for […]

Ebola and the Elites

October 24, 2014

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Dr. Craig Spencer of New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center went to Guinea in September to help combat the Ebola epidemic. He returned to New York City on Oct. 17. He rode on the subway, went bowling, and basically led normal life until his temperature went up to 100.3⁰F. It turns out that he was infected […]

Cooperation: this time, between Man and Woman

October 20, 2014

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As I wrote in a previous blog, the first five weeks of this semester I spent away in Europe. During the first part of the trip I ran five Seshat workshops in Oxford, and then I went to Toulouse. What makes Toulouse and Oxford similar is that they are both homes to some of the […]

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