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First the link to this week's complete list as HTML and as PDF.
I remain unconvinced by Rösel. Granted, structurally the two columns of Amherst 63 represent hymns and their writing may well have been modeled on Biblical psalms. But there it ends. The main parallel is the tetragram of the divine name, but that interpretation of the extremely uncertain reading was suggested by the form — a classic circularity.
Columns 12 and psalm 20 are somewhat similar in exactly six distinct places and differ everywhere else. The first,
“hear us/you in our/your trouble” is commonplace and differs in the speaker. The same goes for
“he sends/may he send help from somewhere”,
“may g"d grant your/our wishes”,
“others rely on themselves, we trust in g"d”, and
“(some epithet of Lord) may/will hear you/us”. All this is far too generic to be called a variant of the same text.
With column 13 and psalm 75 the similarity is even slimmer. Wine and cups are rather common images and they differ both in who holds it and who drinks.
Modeling social interchange Hilbe et al. elucidate the weaknesses of simpler models assuming perfect knowledge in all participants. They find that indirect reciprocity – public cooperation – critically depends on gossip and thus on small local group sizes with limited numbers of joint acquaintances. This has obvious consequences for our mobile, anonymous and digital societies.
Roberts & Bricher provide another example of infinitely tuneable models with many parameters, that can be made to yield any desired outcome. Only in their case they not only say so openly but make it the main result of their study before looking closely at what models can and can't do. Required reading for any aspiring modeler.
I’m not quite convinced by Mirazón Lahr and Beier et al.'s result. Cranial trauma is typical for interpersonal violence but much less so for hunting accidents. Thus I see no contradiction between their result and earlier interpretations.
The yellow press unanimously quoted Bialy & Loeb as claiming
“Oumuamua” to have been an artifact of an extraterrestrial intelligence. Of course they claim no such thing. All they do is discuss the possible and probable shape and other properties necessary to explain its observed and measured acceleration. These turn out to look rather strange and unexpected.
Davis introduces a brilliant new way of analysing the language of even relatively short undeciphered epigraphic texts. His first result surprises me. I had been convinced the Phaistos Disk had to be a forgery, but he demonstrates a high probability for it being a valid text in the – as yet unknown – language of and related to Linear A.
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