The Smartphone Trap

January 11, 2020

As regular readers will be aware, neither the Everloving nor I have ever had a mobile phone.  We are a disappearing breed, it seems, but we seem to manage our daily lives quite efficiently without being tracked by corporations and governments all day.

The fact that we are a vanishing demographic is shown by recent figures from Visual Capitalist indicating that smart phone ownership has reached saturation point:


Moreover, the latest numbers show clearly that the point of mobile phones is not (if ever it was) to enhance people-to-people communication but is rather to encourage you to buy more things:


I am sure that having a smart phone could add a degree of convenience to our lives, but the cost, for me, is just too high.

Mesolithic Cooking

January 11, 2020

New research in South Africa has indicated that early homo were cooking carbohydrate-rich rhizomes about 170,000 years ago:

“[C]ircumstantial evidence for cooking is compelling. The spatial context of the rhizomes in ash rather than adjacent sediment is significant. Further support for cooking comes from amylase gene analysis results, which indicate that a high starch diet, possibly involving processing and/or cooking of carbohydrate-rich geophytes by early humans, was already in place by the Middle Pleistocene. Cooking enables dietary diversity, and transporting geophytes to a home base like Border Cave facilitates both food processing and sharing …

“The Border Cave discovery is early evidence of cooked starchy plant food. The wide distribution of Hypoxis, particularly the small, palatable Hypoxis angustifolia rhizome that grows gregariously in many habitats, implies that it could have provided a reliable, familiar staple food source for early humans moving within or out of Africa.”

This is additional evidence for the hypothesis that cooking made us human (or at least played a significant role in our societal development).

Image: Screen Door

January 11, 2020