Help build Seshat: PhD opportunity at Trinity College Dublin

Seshat: Global History Databank and Trinity College Dublin seek applicants for a PhD studentship. Closing Date: 12 Noon on 4th March 2016 or until filled Post Status: 4 year PhD Studentship Department: ADAPT Centre, School of Computer Science and Statistics, Trinity College Dublin Benefits: Payment of  tax – free stipend and full academic fees for EU students and partial […]

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How we created an ultrasociety—six big questions answered

Author: Daniel Mullins Professor Turchin’s Ultrasociety constructs a new theory to produce an explanatory account of human history. He explains why historical events (e.g., the fall of the Roman Empire) make sense given what we know about how and why humans cooperate and compete in groups. Ultrasociety tells us not only what occurred, but why these things happened in the first place, not […]

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Book Review: “Ultrasociety: How 10,000 Years of War Made Humans the Greatest Cooperators on Earth.”

Author: Cameron K. Murray Professor Turchin’s new book Ultrasociety identifies the causal mechanisms hidden in the twists and turns of human civilisation by quantifying the rise and fall of empires. The book translates some of Turchin’s academic work on cliodynamics, making it accessible to the interested lay reader. What is cliodynamics? My best translation is […]

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From pristine state to mega-empire to People’s Republic: accounting for North China’s deep history through collaborate effort

North China Workshop, Tampa, Florida. January 15-17, 2016 Northern China stands one of the most important regions in world history. The fertile loess lands of the Middle Yellow River valley were among the world’s first regions to witness the Neolithic Revolution and the rise of complex societies; the Yangshao and Longshan cultures developed in the heart […]

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Gary Feinman reflects on Seshat’s North China Workshop

Author: Gary M. Feinman The North China Workshop held by Seshat was a great pleasure to attend. It was well organized and thoughtfully run. It afforded me a chance to avoid a few days of Chicago’s winter. Yet most importantly, it was a valued opportunity to meet and deepen acquaintances with a number of highly […]

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Seshat predictions featured in Cliodynamics journal

As humans, we are limited in the amount of knowledge that we can accumulate, access, and share. This is why we need Seshat: Global History Databank—a massive collection of information based on the collective work of thousands of scholars of human history. University of Oxford’s Dr. Harvey Whitehouse, University of Connecticut’s Dr. Peter Turchin, and […]

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How to predict a revolution using the center-periphery dissonance factor

Author: Jill Levine From Ukraine to Egypt to Venezuela, images of protest and revolution filled our streets and our screens in 2013 and 2014. The revolutionary wave was in the end quite weak, but the protests were similar in nature despite having no concrete links. Protests in Cairo, Kiev, and Bangkok led to the collapse […]

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Digital ethnography is needed to study our digital societies

Author: Daniel Mullins The way that people behave is being radically changed by recent technological advances, and the way that we study how people behave now has to work to catch up, according to ethnographers Alan Howard and Alexander Mawyer. Their ambitious and forward-looking chapter in Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (2015) […]

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10,000 years of war increased the size of human groups from hundreds to millions of people

How did human groups grow from a few hundred people to large societies like the USA with more than 318 million people? Seshat overall coordinator Peter Turchin explains how warfare and intense competition between groups over millennia resulted in this tremendous evolutionary transition. Larger groups typically beat smaller groups, he explains, resulting in an evolutionary pressure for […]

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Seshat bridges the gap between history and prehistory

Archaeologist Peter Peregrine recently sat down with me at the beautiful Santa Fe Institute. He explained how Seshat incorporates a wide variety of source material to accomplish a feat that has eluded scholars for decades–bridging the gap between history and prehistory. The resulting databank provides researchers and policy makers with powerful new tools to explore long-term […]

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