Covfefe Time


Story of the Day
Other than "Covfefe," several items of interest caught my attention on Twitter today. The first, new genetic research from Egyptian mummies, that reveals what some historians had already guessed but others prefer to ignore; namely that the mix of ancient peoples don't always closely reflect populations today.

Egypt has always been a tough one as it's frequently demonstrated an unfortunate collision between those that wanted the pharaohs to be black African and those who wished for the polar opposite. The scientific reality of their genetics, as you’ll read, lies vaguely in between and settles a long-running and completely meaningless argument.

What we do appear to know very clearly now is that ancient migrations from both Africa and the near-east and Europe made populations quite different from modern times; you only have to look at the depictions of the battles with both Sea Peoples and Libyans on the mortuary temple of Ramses III.

So, in the Berber people of North Africa, you can see the echoes of blonde and blue eyed Libyan tribesman of the Pharaoh's reign and the latest genetic work being carried-out on a treasure trove of Philistine skeletons reveals an interesting antecedence for the people of ancient Palestine.

However, in the end, as the excellent book, 'A Brief History of Everyone who Ever Lived’ by Professor Alan Rutherford points out, it doesn’t matter a jot, because each and everyone of us is related to anyone who lived in 3,000 BC and passed down their genes. In fact, if you happen to be white and European, then you are related to the Emperor Charles the Great. so there!


The second part of the story is from The Guardian, where I see Cory Doctorow has a piece in support of his new novel, ‘Walkaway,’ which I’m three-quarters through now.
Doctorow, as always, is taking an energetic and rather jaded and dystopic view of our society; a kind of 21st century William Gibson and I’m struggling with this book, more than his others, which are invariably thought provoking, like ‘For the Win,’ which I recently finished.
Whether Doctorow is right in such a deeply pessimistic agenda, sketching-out the fall of capitalism; he’s somewhat left of Jeremy Corbyn in his politics,I can’t say, However he’s infected my imagination enough with the apocalypse, for me to download ‘A Canticle for Leibowitz’ on my Kindle and I haven’t read that in forty years. Perhaps it’s where we are all heading after all, with a little helpful push from President Trump?
Whether Jeremy Corbyn offers all the answers to society’s many ills, Doctorow appears to believe so but I’m rather more of a cynic. Introducing a Venezuelan style of ‘democracy’ will most like stimulate a Venezuelan-style economy, which certainly isn’t a good place to be at present?
I think I’ll publish this online before the BBC ‘Leader’s Debate’ starts. I’m guessing it’s best viewed with a double whiskey but somehow, I doubt any politician will spend a moment on the ‘Real’ problems facing our society outside of the more familiar sound bites that fight the same old battles of the past.
To quote another science fiction novelist, Ray Bradbury: “I’m not here to predict the future, I’m here to prevent it.”

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