There was a rush of “manly” websites fifteen years ago, and this is the only one that has remained interesting after all that time. Content like this is why.
Charles Haywood expounds at length on the interaction of insurance and society, using colonial maritime shipping as an example. This kind of analysis of the value of intermediary institutions would have done John J. Reilly proud. It also calls to mind the Niven and Pournelle book Burning Tower, which educated the reader not only in the Soultrean hypothesis, but had a section of the book devoted to a “gambling house” that took bets against the return of ship.
These picture stones remind me of a certain style of book cover.
I first became aware of this topic from the now defunct Anthropogene blog, which had a post called The Land of Black Earth. The Terra Preta of the Amazon basin has been known for a long time, but archaeology changes very slowly. Orellana of course was telling the truth.
Alexandru Constantin uses the ideas of Mircea Eliade to explore sacred space and the divisions in our lives between the sacred and the profane.
An economic look at the petrodollar system. I’m not sure that I agree with the argument presented here, but I also recognize I’ve said similar things myself, so I’m also not sure it’s wrong.
Here is another look at the same phenomenon explored in the Tree of Woe substack, the neoliberal solution to 1970s stagflation and moving the US Dollar off the gold standard. You can see a family resemblance in the arguments.
In my opinion, few authors better grasp the concepts of sacred and mundane space better than Tim Powers.