The Hypothesis

Annalee Newitz
How do science, history, and storytelling help us make sense of our lives?
Created 07 Sep 2020
  • Here's why Substack's scam worked so well
    18 Mar 2021 • 9 min read • 60 32
    I think of myself as having decent critical faculties, but somehow I got suckered again by a bog-standard publishing venture masquerading as a useful communications tool. I’m referring, of course, to ...
  • Taking a break
    08 Mar 2021 • 1 min read • 6 2
    My cat Time is always on break when the heater is on. Hello new subscribers and old pals! I’m taking a much-needed break this week after a month of book events and lots of writing — and general pandem...
  • The weirdness of the virtual book tour
    02 Mar 2021 • 2 min read • 7 0
    Of the many strange experiences I’ve had during the pandemic, perhaps the strangest was my socially distanced book tour in February. Four Lost Cities was one of many books that got delayed by the coro...
  • The internet as we know it is doomed
    22 Feb 2021 • 5 min read • 15 7
    There’s an odd piece of data about the late Neolithic in the Mediterranean region. Roughly 7500 years ago, during the last gasp of the stone age before we began working with metals, people abandoned t...
  • The moose in the swimming pool, and other urban futures
    16 Feb 2021 • 4 min read • 10 0
    Whenever I think about the future of urban life, there’s a YouTube video that pops into my mind. In it, a magnificent, very calm moose stands in a backyard swimming pool, occasionally wading deeper, w...
  • Last night a podcast saved my life
    07 Feb 2021 • 5 min read • 8 0
    The Berliner Gramophone Company record matrix room, where master recordings were stored, Montréal, 1910 My pandemic days are measured out in walks, and my walks are set to the soundtrack of podcasts. ...
  • Nine things to know before you visit an archaeological dig
    31 Jan 2021 • 7 min read • 8 0
    I’ve been writing about archaeology for several years, and that often means traveling to the places where researchers are excavating. Every site has different rules, and local environmental conditions...
  • Let's put that 45,000 year-old pig into context
    23 Jan 2021 • 3 min read • 6 0
    This picture of a warty pig is giving me life. It’s from a cave in Sulawesi, Indonesia, where people drew it roughly 45,000 years ago, along with several other pigs and some handprints. It’s not the f...
  • What lies beneath the world's oldest city
    15 Jan 2021 • 5 min read • 15 0
    I first became obsessed with Çatalhöyük about ten years ago, when I first read about the 9,000 year-old settlement in central Turkey that was among the world’s earliest urban places. I was fascinated ...
  • What ancient Roman hospitality workers can teach us about this moment in history
    09 Jan 2021 • 5 min read • 8 8
    The remains of a taberna, a type of bar or restaurant, which are found all over Pompeii. They would have been a cornerstone of the local economy. When I visited the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, I ha...
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