Browsing All posts tagged under »rituals«

Murals versus Flags: A Symbolically Dense Landscape, continued

July 21, 2014 by


As I said in my previous blog, the Catholic areas in Belfast tend to be symbolically demarcated primarily with murals, while the Protestant ones are festooned with flags. The distinction is not absolute, and you can see the Irish Tricolor (green-white-orange) in two photographs in the previous blog. Still, they are mostly found in the […]

Belfast: A Symbolically Dense Landscape

July 18, 2014 by


Two weeks ago, after we were done with various Cliodynamics activities in Dublin, we went on a field trip to study the post-conflict landscape in Belfast. Our guide on this trip was Kevin Feeney. Exploring Belfast is best done with someone who knows which neighborhoods are safe, and which are not. Even though it has […]

A Tour of Sacred Places in Moscow

June 19, 2014 by


As I more-or-less expected, my trip to Toulouse, Moscow, and St. Petersburg was too intense (and the internet connection too iffy) for me to be able to blog. Lots of new ideas, impressions, and topics to blog about, however. One of these is a walk I took in Moscow last week, next day after the […]

Scott Atran, Jeremy Ginges, and Rumen Iliev. Devoted Actors, Devoted Realism, and the Territorial Imperative. A Commentary on Johnson and Toft.

May 8, 2014 by


What is the other commonwealth that remains standing now that the mundane commonwealth, embodied in the Roman Empire, has fallen? ─ Saint Augustine, The City of God (De Civitae Dei), on what survived and thrived after the Visigoths sacked Rome in 410 AD Peter Turchin’s Devoted Realism proposal is a laudable attempt to incorporate the […]

Yule in Denmark

December 28, 2013 by


In my previous blog I speculated that the Danes use ritualistic feasting as a way of creating a shared sense of belonging, which is an important basis for social cooperation and trust. Last week I was able to make more detailed observations on one such collective ritual. During the period preceding Christmas there are a […]

The Joy of Cooperation

July 1, 2013 by


Both the Sci Foo Camp at the GooglePlex and the symposium at the Evolution meeting in Snowbird were extremely productive and enjoyable experiences. I’ll write about some of the sessions I went to at the Sci Foo later. BTW, my own session on the strange decline of cooperation in America went very well; other highlights […]

Harvey Whitehouse: More On Social Glue (a response to commentaries)

June 10, 2013 by


The discussions in this forum have raised some big issues, ranging from the implications of two types of social glue for the evolution of groups (e.g. Waring; Smith) to the practical and ethical challenges of seeking public policy interventions based on our scientific theories and findings (e.g. Lanman; Waring). I agree with most of the […]


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