Dating your Ancestors is Complicated: The Strange Case of Homo Naledi

Photo: John Hawks. Homo naledi has much in common with early forms of the genus Homo

On this episode, Adam and Ryan dive into the complexities of our ever evolving human family. How we understand our ancient ancestors, cousins, and ape family has the potential to impact our understanding of what it means to be human and how we are still changing. The new and exciting data we dive into this episode is all about Homo Naledi, perhaps the most recent addition to our family. As of the day we recorded this episode, April 25th, the first concrete date range for the species was publicized (but stay tuned for further developments). Rather than being very early (that is more ancient) and dating to the time of the earliest Homo Erectus specimens as originally hypothesized (some 2 million years ago), it now appears that Naledi was potentially a contemporary of the earliest Homo Sapiens (that’s us) ranging from 200 to 300 thousand years ago. This means we need to re-evaluate our genus once again and think about the complexities of dating our ancestors.

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FreeThink 5: Finding Balance in the Midst of Burnout

Freethink #5: Finding Balance in the midst of Burnout

In this week’s free think Ryan and Adam talk burning out and finding balance. They reflect on their travels to conferences for the Society for Applied Anthropology and the Society for American Archaeology and why conferences are inspirational and invigorating. Also the AMAZING fact that TAL now has over 11,000 subscribers!! Thank you so much to everyone for helping us build the tribe, let’s keep taking this to the top! Social Consciousness FTW.

 

Links to Learn More:

Sapiens and Fuente’s essay on Nature’s Most Creative Copulators

Max Weber The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

George Carlin’s American Dream “you have to be asleep to believe it

Anna Tsing (not about Cyborgs, but a good book about companion species)

Donna Haraway – Cyborg Manifesto

Agustin Fuentes’ new book The Creative Spark: How Imagination Made Humans Exceptional

Ben Gebo Photography

Boston Hassle Fest

Sleep Cycle app

Quantifiable self

Post work world? – The Atlantic

Mary Douglas Purity, Danger, and Boundaries

Douglas – Leviticus as Literature

SFAA meeting Santa Fe

SAA meeting in Vancouver

SFAA Podcast Team – record sessions every year at the sessions of the conference


FreeThink #4: On Art, Creativity, and Bringing Awe back to Anthropology

As you may have noticed, TAL has been on a bit of a break from releasing new episodes. But, the good news is that we have not been idle. The other night when Ryan and Adam were out and about they got to talking about TAL and their perspectives on public anthropology. What does the future hold? What inspires change? Realizing they were on to something good, they pulled out a phone and hit record. This episode is what came out. We hope you’ll enjoy! This episode was recorded live and near a kitchen so please forgive the extra noise :). In this FreeThink Ryan and Adam get a little personal, shedding light on their own stories, views on art, religion, creative writing, literature, and what it is that drives the team to do anthropology. Continue reading


Investigating the Untethered Journey between Psychedelic Science, Medicine, and Drug Scheduling with Hamilton Morris

Psychedelia is the culture and experiences of psychedelic substances. Where did all the research on psychedelic drugs go? Could psychedelics be used in psychotherapy? How are hallucinogenic drugs used cross-culturally? In this episode of This Anthro Life Adam and Ryan explore the world of psychedelic drugs with Hamilton Morris of Vice’s Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia. We discuss his fieldwork in the Amazon where he hunted for a locally important frog, the potential diagnostic, medicinal, and therapeutic uses of psychedelics, as well as the obstacles in the way of studying human consciousness. Special thanks to Alice Kelikian and the Brandeis Program in Film, Television and Interactive Media for sponsoring the interview!

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D+A #2: What Makes a Protest Successful and How do I get involved?

Today’s D+A minisode follows last week’s powerful conversation with Jara Connell on protests and people-powered forms of resistance. In this minisode Jara offers us a nugget of wisdom to be cautious about thinking all protests are the same or that we can even evaluate them with the same criteria.

TAL D+A Minisodes are short, actionable steps you can take in your everyday life to become more socially savvy, culturally competent and holistic in your actions. If you have any suggestions for D+A minisodes or longer Conversations, drop us a line! We’re always looking for new ideas.


Protesting the Powers that Be and Being the Power that Protests w/ Jara Connell

 

What does mass-protesting accomplish? Does no arrests equate success? Why is protesting disruptive? And more! In this action packed episode of This Anthropological Life, Aneil, Adam, and Ryan talk to Jara Connell about mass protesting and the strategies behind social movements.

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D+A Minisode 1: How to Deal with Change w/ Dr. Andi Simon

Minisodes are finally here! If this is your first TAL Podcast experience, welcome! We recommend you start off with our regular Conversation series – 25ish minute dialogues about everything and anything human – one topic at a time.

Design + Application (DnA, get it??) Minisodes are bite-sized actionable insights and social building blocks to help you become more socially savvy, culturally competent, and holistic in thinking and action. With D+A we move from anthropological thinking to anthropological doing. These are 5-10 minute nuggets from our guests on Conversations or inspiring tidbits we come across that you can use in your daily lives. We release these weekly on Monday mornings to give you a boost for the week.

To kick things off, Dr. Andi Simon discusses with the TAL team how to deal with change. Our brains may not like change, but it is perhaps the one constant we have in life. Dr. Simon teaches us a few hacks to get your mind in the right state to deal with change. If you like minisodes and want to hear more, let us know! Tweet us or shoot us a review on iTunes!