The Inca: The Highest Achievements of Andean Civilization

Continue reading “The Inca: The Highest Achievements of Andean Civilization”

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The Americas: A Free, Open Textbook in Progress

Continue reading “The Americas: A Free, Open Textbook in Progress”

Open Ended Social Studies has the chapters that your world history textbook is missing

What is the root cause of our world’s troubles?  

If you ask me, it’s not a trade imbalance or a terrorist threat.  If we’re talking about the problem that lies at the heart of everything, it’s got to be a severe, devastating lack of empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Continue reading “Open Ended Social Studies has the chapters that your world history textbook is missing”

Who made your smartphone? Globalization, raw materials, and slave labor from Potosi to Silicon Valley

Globalization is nothing new – the indigenous peoples slaving away in the Potosi mines 500 years ago could tell you all about it, while Europeans cracked the whip in order to buy Asian-made goods at affordable prices. Add in the fact that the mines were supplied with food and coca by African slaves laboring away in the low lands, and you have a template for the modern integrated global economy – exploitation, unequal rewards, and all. Continue reading “Who made your smartphone? Globalization, raw materials, and slave labor from Potosi to Silicon Valley”

Unrecognized Potential: Terra Preta, Ancient Orchards, and Life in the Amazon

Until relatively recently, it was widely believed that the Amazon Rainforest was incapable of sustaining large scale human development.  New findings have challenged this view, and evidence of ancient agriculture suggests that humans once developed this fragile region in ways so subtle that – in the form of carefully managed soils and prehistoric orchards – they have been hiding in plain sight all this time, challenging the basic tenants of “agriculture” as western eyes tend to recognize it. Continue reading “Unrecognized Potential: Terra Preta, Ancient Orchards, and Life in the Amazon”

Potosi and the Globalization of an Empire

Globalization is nothing new – the indigenous peoples slaving away in the Potosi mines 500 years ago could tell you all about it, while Europeans cracked the whip in order to buy Asian-made goods at affordable prices. Add in the fact that the mines were supplied with food and coca by African slaves laboring away in the low lands, and you have a template for the modern integrated global economy – exploitation, unequal rewards, and all. Continue reading “Potosi and the Globalization of an Empire”

July 26, 2016: Tiwanaku, Aliens in Ancient Bolivia, and the Ruins of an Old World

Author Charles C. Mann has called Tiwanaku a combination of the Vatican and Disney World, and he may be spot on in that description.  Just check out the stone megaphones for working the massive crowds of pilgrims that, in pre-Inca times, once trekked here to pay their dues, or the 25 foot tall megalithic being recovered from the ruins here, only to spend decades as a target for beer bottles in front of La Paz’s soccer stadium, rescued only when he achieved UNESCO statues along with the rest of Tiwanaku.  Now that is religious entertainment…. Continue reading “July 26, 2016: Tiwanaku, Aliens in Ancient Bolivia, and the Ruins of an Old World”