“Aside from the utter hegemony of the state form today, a great deal of and throughout the world is state-sponsored and often amounts to a narcissistic exercise in self-portraiture.”

Starting “Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States” by Yale professor James C. Scott.

Been reading this lately, and even if the story wasn’t thouroughly engrossing (it is), the book would be worth the read just for the way it situates the Nazi concentration camps in the world. History classes sort left me with a view of the camps as existing in a kind of Western European limbo, terrestrial but connected to the rest of life only by rail. Here, though, the plot hinges on the proximity of a camp to an otherwise mundane German village.


me, the moment i’ve determined that your punk band is not racist

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Back on my ancient Greeks BS. I’ve been tackling Thucydides a book at a time between other readings, trying to get a sense of the social turmoil of the Periclean age. I’m starting Bk. 4 now.

Taking a break from a big Greek philosophy project to read this.

I first came across Goulder’s reinterpretation of the liturgical purpose of the Synoptic Gospels in Spong’s Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy, and have been itching to see his arguments firsthand.


Topics for discussion include anthropology, archaeology, the arts, civics, ethnic and gender studies, history, linguistics, literature, philosophy, political science, religion, and so on.

Professionals, academics, students and amateurs welcome.