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Margaret Judd, Jebel Sahaba Revisited. In: Karla Kroeper, Marek Chlodnicki & Michal Kobusiewicz (Hrsg.), Archaeology of Early Northeastern Africa, In memory of Lech Krzyzaniak. Studies in African Archaeology 9 (Poznan 2006), 153–166.
Carrie Arnold, The Anti-Poverty Experiment. nature 557 (2018), 626–628.
Several projects are testing the idea of doling out a ‘universal basic income’ that people can use however they want.
Welfare critics have long argued that the administrative costs are huge and provide limited positive results; in some cases, they discourage people from finding jobs. In response, leaders across the political spectrum have latched onto the idea of UBI — which has been promoted over the centuries by luminaries such as Thomas More (in his 1516 novel Utopia), philosopher Thomas Paine, the liberal US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and economist Milton Friedman, a favourite of conservatives including US President Ronald Reagan and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Progressive politicians and thinkers have seen the idea as a way to end poverty; conservatives have viewed it a streamlined welfare system that is easier and cheaper to run.
Simeon Floyd et al., Universals and cultural diversity in the expression of gratitude. Royal Society Open Science 5 (2018), 180391. <DOI:10.1098/rsos.180391>.
Simeon Floyd, Giovanni Rossi, Julija Baranova, Joe Blythe, Mark Dingemanse, Kobin H. Kendrick, Jörg Zinken & N. J. Enfield
Gratitude is argued to have evolved to motivate and maintain social reciprocity among people, and to be linked to a wide range of positive effects—social, psychological and even physical. But is socially reciprocal behaviour dependent on the expression of gratitude, for example by saying ‘thank you’ as in English? Current research has not included crosscultural elements, and has tended to conflate gratitude as an emotion with gratitude as a linguistic practice, as might appear to be the case in English. Here, we ask to what extent people express gratitude in different societies by focusing on episodes of everyday life where someone seeks and obtains a good, service or support from another, comparing these episodes across eight languages from five continents. We find that expressions of gratitude in these episodes are remarkably rare, suggesting that social reciprocity in everyday life relies on tacit understandings of rights and duties surrounding mutual assistance and collaboration. At the same time, we also find minor cross-cultural variation, with slightly higher rates in Western European languages English and Italian, showing that universal tendencies of social reciprocity should not be equated with more culturally variable practices of expressing gratitude. Our study complements previous experimental and culture-specific research on gratitude with a systematic comparison of audiovisual corpora of naturally occurring social interaction from different cultures from around the world.
Keywords: gratitude | reciprocity | assistance | collaboration | social interaction | cross-cultural
James K. Hoffmeier, Some Thoughts on Genesis 1 & 2 and Egyptian Cosmology. Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society 15 (1983), 39–49.
Egyptian literature has often been consulted by Old Testament scholars engaged in comparative studies. But this has not usually been the case in the area of cosmogony and cosmology. It is hoped that the foregoing pages will convince some of the relevance of Egyptian literature to the study of Genesis 1-2 and that Egyptian literature might begin to receive the consideration it rightly deserved along with other near eastern documents.
Arno Kropat, Die Syntax des Autors der Chronik verglichen mit der seiner Quellen Ein Beitrag zur historischen Syntax des Hebräischen. (London 2015).
Chunwu Zhu et al., Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels this century will alter the protein, micronutrients, and vitamin content of rice grains with potential health consequences for the poorest rice-dependent countries. Science Advances 4 (2018), eaaq1012. <DOI:10.1126/sciadv.aaq1012>.
Chunwu Zhu, Kazuhiko Kobayashi, Irakli Loladze, Jianguo Zhu, Qian Jiang, Xi Xu, Gang Liu, Saman Seneweera, Kristie L. Ebi, Adam Drewnowski, Naomi K. Fukagawa & Lewis H. Ziska
Declines of protein and minerals essential for humans, including iron and zinc, have been reported for crops in response to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, [CO2]. For the current century, estimates of the potential human health impact of these declines range from 138 million to 1.4 billion, depending on the nutrient. However, changes in plant-based vitamin content in response to [CO2] have not been elucidated. Inclusion of vitamin information would substantially improve estimates of health risks. Among crop species, rice is the primary food source formore than2billionpeople. Weusedmultiyear,multilocation in situFACE (free-airCO2 enrichment) experiments for 18 genetically diverse rice lines, including Japonica, Indica, and hybrids currently grown throughout Asia. Wereport for the first time the integrated nutritional impact of those changes (protein, micronutrients, and vitamins) for the 10 countries that consume themost rice as part of their daily caloric supply. Whereas our results confirmthe declines in protein, iron, and zinc, we also find consistent declines in vitamins B1, B2, B5, and B9 and, conversely, an increase in vitamin E. A strong correlation between the impacts of elevated [CO2] on vitamin content based on the molecular fraction of nitrogen within the vitamin was observed. Finally, potential health risks associated with anticipated CO2induced deficits of protein, minerals, and vitamins in rice were correlated to the lowest overall gross domestic product per capita for the highest rice-consuming countries, suggesting potential consequences for a global population of approximately 600 million.
Muhammad Asaf, Die Botschaft des Koran, Übersetzung und Kommentar. (Ostfildern 62018).
Hartmut Stegemann, Der Peser Psalm 37 aus Höhle 4 von Qumran (4QpPs37). Revue de Qumrân 4 (1963), 235–270.
Umfangmâssig dürften damit etwa zwei Drittel der ursprünglichen Handschrift textmàssig rekonstruiert sein, so daß 4QpPs37 nicht mehr wie bisher zu den weitgehend zerstôrten Handschriften aus Hohle 4Q zu rechnen ist, sondern zu den wenigen im wesentlichen erhaltenen.
Hartmut Stegemann, Weitere Stücke von 4Q p Psalm 37, von 4Q Patriarchal Blessings und Hinweis auf eine unedierte Handschrift aus Höhle 4Q mit Exzerpten aus dem Deuteronomium. Revue de Qumrân 6 (1967), ii, 193–227.
Das portionenweise Bekanntwerden des tatsachlich grosstenteils erhaltenen Textes der peser-Handschrift zu Psalm 37 aus Fundhöhle 4 von Qumran (= 4QpPs37) erinnert an die Stationen einer via dolorosa, deren vierte nunmehr erreicht 1st: Wieder einmal sind noch unedierte Stücke dieser Handschrift bekannt geworden, dieses Mai durch eine verkleinerte Abbildung in einem Museumsführer, die lediglich Reklamezwecken dienen sollte, nichtsdestoweniger aber die neuen Textteile deutlich lesbar zeigt. Da die vollständige Edition der pesarim aus Fundhöhle 4Q in der Reihe Discoveries in the Judaean Desert [of Jordan] voraussichtlich noch einige Jahre auf sich warten lassen wird, erscheint es als wünschenswert, diese neuen Stücke bereits jetzt schon allgemein zuganglich zu machen und sie dem bisher fixierbar gewordenen Befund der Handschrift einzugliedern.
Alison Abbott, Depression revisited. nature 557 (2018), 633–634.
Alison Abbott considers a persuasive case that inflammation is linked to the disorder.
The Inflamed Mind: A Radical New Approach to Depression. Edward Bullmore. Short (2018)
Bullmore holds that the emergence of SSRIs bypassed scientific logic. The serotonin theory, he writes, is as “unsatisfactory as the Freudian theory of unquantifiable libido or the Hippocratic theory of nonexistent black bile”. He notes that, after SSRIs failed to live up to the hype, time once again stood still for psychiatry.
It seems unfair that someone struck down by infection should have depression too. Is there a feasible evolutionary explanation? Bullmore hazards that depression would discourage ill individuals from socializing and spreading an infection that might otherwise wipe out a tribe. Other brain disorders might turn out to be prompted or promoted by inflammation. An exciting link with neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, is also being studied. But we need to learn from the rollercoaster history of brain research, and keep expectations in check. Beneath his bombastic enthusiasm, Bullmore acknowledges this, too.
Taik Hobson, Mirror, Reflected glory. nature 558 (2018), 154.
Barbara Kiser, Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now. nature 558 (2018), 29.
Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now. Jaron Lanier. (Henry Holt 2018).
Fiercely unequivocal and utterly timely, Jaron Lanier’s manifesto urges those still in thrall to social media to bin their accounts — now. The virtual-reality pioneer (see A. Faisal Nature 551, 298–299; 2017) lays out ten rationales, starting baldly with “You are losing your free will”. His argument, as an insider’s insider, is that these “social modification empires” undermine truth, destroy empathy, promote unhappiness and make a joke of politics through constant surveillance and manipulation. As he puts it, it’s better to be a cat, autonomous and in charge, than a subservient dog — or lab rat.
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