Monday, November 30, 2009

Life in Auschwitz

The man who smuggled himself into Auschwitz :
"He describes Auschwitz as "hell on earth" and says he would lie awake at night listening to the ramblings and screams of prisoners.

"It was pretty ghastly at night, you got this terrible stench," he says.

He talked to Jewish prisoners but says they rarely spoke of their previous life, instead they were focused on the hell they were living and the work they were forced to do in factories outside the camp.
"There were nearly three million human beings worked to death in different factories," says Mr Avey. "They knew at that rate they'd last about five months.

"They very seldom talk about their civil life. They only talked about the situation, the punishments they were getting, the work they were made to do."

He says he would ask where people he'd met previously had gone and he would be told they'd "gone up the chimney".

"It was so impersonal. Auschwitz was evil, everything about it was wrong." "
P.S. Frontline Vol. 26 :: No. 24 Nov 21 - Dec 04, 2009 has several articles on Dalit life in India.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Problems for pedestrians in India

by Madhav Badami in The Hindu:Where the pedestrian is a third class citizen .
In Hyderabad I have seen people who drove long distances to Brahamanda Reddi Park for safe walking exercise in the mornings.

Two links to Indian writers

Amitava Kumar on Suketu Mehta Suketu Mehta One Story High
Review of Roadrunner: An Indian Quest in America by Dilip D'Souza

Tadepalli about the influence of Sanskrit on Telugu

From [తెలుగుపదం] తెలుగులో క్తాంతాలు - చరిత్ర, కల్పన:
"అచ్చతెలుగులో కూడా ఇలాంటి నిర్మాణాలు చెయ్యడానికి అవకాశం ఉందని కొన్ని పదాల ద్వారా తెలుస్తోంది. కానీ అలాంటి నిర్మాణాల సూత్రీకరణకి సాంప్రదాయిక తెలుగు వ్యాకరణాల్లో స్థానమివ్వడం జఱగలేదు. కారణం - ఒకటి, ఈ అవకాశం ఉన్నట్లు మన పూర్వీకులు గ్రహించక పోవడం. గ్రహించక పోవడానికి కారణం - ఆ పదాల మార్గంలో నూతనపదాల కల్పన అప్పటికే స్తంభించిపోయి ఉండడం. సంస్కృతం నుంచి అన్ని పదాల్నీ యథాతథంగా దిగుమతి చేసుకోవడానికి అలవాటుపడి ఉండడం. రెండోది, మన పూర్వుల్లో అధికసంఖ్యాకులు వల్లమాలిన సంస్కృతాభిమానం చేత అంధీకృతులు. ఈ పిచ్చి అభిమానం మాతృభాషని ఇతోఽధికంగా పరిశోధించడానికి అప్పట్లో ఒక పెద్ద మానసిక ఆటంకం (mental barrier) గా మారింది. ఆ శోధించిన కొద్దిపాటి భాషని కూడా సంస్కృత పద్ధతుల్లోనే శోధించడానికి మొగ్గుచూపారు. తెలుగుని ఒక ప్రత్యేక వ్యక్తిత్వం ఉన్న భాషగా వారు పరిగణించలేదు. తెలుగుభాషకే సొంతమైన, విలక్షణమైన అనేక విషయాలు సంస్కృత వైయాకరణ పరిభాషతో వివరించడానికి సాధ్యం కాకపోవడంతో అవి అపరిష్కృతంగా, అసూత్రీకృతంగా మిగిలిపోయాయి. తత్‌ఫలితంగా ఆంధ్రభాషాభూషణం ఒక్కటి మినహాయిస్తే అహోబలపండితీయము మొ||న మన ప్రాచీన వ్యాకరణాలు సైతం సంస్కృతంలోనే సంస్కృత పద్ధతుల్లో వ్రాయబడ్డాయి."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Science books for kids (and grownups)

"As times have changed, so has the science - and so should science books. Just in time for holiday giving, here's a selection of books for kids (and grownups) that incorporate recent developments on the scientific frontiers". Here is a selection by Alan Boyle Science by the book (via 3quarksdaily).

John Stallings reminiscences

at Notices of AMS Remembering John Stallings.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sharing information with colleagues

Do academic scientists share information with their colleagues? Not necessarily from a survey of bio=scientists:
"“Every scientist knows that science advances only if knowledge is shared,” (Warnick and Wojick 2009). Science is a cumulative process, so its progress and benefits to society hinge critically on multiple scientists testing and building on each others’ work. However, the contribution to the “scientific commons” (Merton 1973) is challenged by individual scientists’ self-interest. While a scientist who shares her results during the research process provides the stepping stones for discovery by others, they may not acknowledge her contribution. Indeed, misappropriation of scientific research and increased reluctance to share information and materials is considered a major problem in science (Cohen and Walsh 2008, Couzin-Frankel and Grom 2009).................
the higher is the reward for solving the problem, the less willing are scientists to share information through conferences and working papers.
Our models emphasise very different aspects of sharing – with the sole exception of the competitive environment. This is important because it means that the important policy question is not “whether open science” is practiced, but rather is “how open science can be supported in different environments.” We find that in both models the competitive environments reduce the practice of open science. Note that competition increases with value of the returns, or prize, for scientific solutions. This means that introducing valuable prizes may induce scientists to increase their research efforts, but it also is likely to stifle their willingness to openly share – one-on-one or with everyone. It also supports recommendations such as that of Rennie et al. (1997) that papers should acknowledge the work that is done by all contributors, where a contributor is a person who "has added usefully to the work", because such acknowledgement would, to some extent, mitigate competition.

It is also important to realise that both the commercial and intellectual value of prizes may stifle the practice of open science. While concerns over open science have escalated as scientists recognise the commercial potential of their work, the dampening effect of competition on sharing need not depend on commercial value. Prizes that enhance scientific reputation also dampen the incentive to share. Indeed, for the bio-scientists in our sample, intellectual prizes, rather than patents or engagement with industry through consulting (which we would expect to be related to commercial potential), reduce the likelihood of one-to-one sharing. In contrast, patents and consulting both decrease the likelihood of general sharing by the bio-scientists in our sample. Similarly, scientists who consider their research to be applied are less likely to generally share.

These results suggest that increased government research funding is likely to promote information sharing. However, our analysis shows that this is only true to the extent that increased research funding relaxes competition. Increased funding makes it more likely that individual scientists working on a problem will receive funding, but it is also likely to draw more scientists to work on the problem."

In areas like mathematics where data sharing is not so significant, there re other problems. There is a tendency to pre-empt others by putting out sketchy papers and then trying for years to prove them.

Private college fiasco in Australia

From The Age Private college system a fiasco in need of a fix by Sushi Das:
"Even as the rot in international education is laid bare, the Victorian Brumby Government would like us to believe the problems with private colleges are restricted to a handful of small, fly-by-night operators. Rubbish.

The recent closure of nine colleges in Melbourne and Sydney left nearly 3000 stranded foreign students clinging on to nothing more than hope.

Known collectively as the Meridian colleges, some had been operating since 2006, and one since 1999. All were owned by Global Campus Management, which is in turn owned by the big Cayman Islands-based SinoEd Group.

These colleges were neither small, nor fly-by-night. They closed because Global Campus Management went into voluntary administration after investors lost confidence in the colleges' survival on projected student numbers. Undoubtedly, a business decision that not only put profit before the quality of education, but also showed callous disregard for students, some of whom were just weeks away from finishing their courses.

Nobody is saying the bigger private colleges are taking under-the-counter payments for certificates or issuing fake work-experience documents, as some smaller colleges are accused of doing. But the fact remains that students have as many complaints about the big colleges as they do about the small ones.

And many of these complaints arise from college operators putting profits ahead of education and welfare - something federal and state governments have condemned.

Despite the business-led closures, the Victorian Government, which only months ago refused to acknowledge there was a looming crisis, now wants us to believe the mess is being cleaned up by an official crackdown. The truth is the Meridian colleges were not even targets of the Government's current emergency audit of 41 "high-risk" colleges.

So far this year, a total of nine private colleges for domestic and foreign students have closed in Victoria alone: eight prompted by financial concerns and one forced by the education regulator because of failure to comply with course and teaching regulations.

Belatedly, the Government is trying to bring about changes to boost the power of the regulator to close colleges sooner. These measures, while welcome, should have been taken years ago - when industry insiders were screaming about major systemic problems in vocational education; when students were lodging complaints; and when news reports were regularly exposing rorts and scams.

Skills Minister Jacinta Allan has presided over a $5.4 billion export industry that has allowed private college operators to grow rich on the back of exploitation of students from developing countries. And up until about a week ago, she did not lift a finger to improve the workings of the regulator, the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority.

The regulator's limp-wristed approach has allowed people to open colleges without rigorous scrutiny. Operating at the moment are colleges whose chief executives know nothing about education, colleges managed by people still in their 20s, colleges that teach automotive training from the ninth floor of a building, colleges that do not keep proper records and colleges that threaten to have students deported unless they pay fees in advance of the due date.

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard has blamed state regulators for the crisis. But the Brumby Government has yet to acknowledge its part in the fiasco that now undermines Victoria's biggest export earner.

As colleges collapse, and more are predicted to close, increasing numbers of displaced students must be provided with alternative colleges or be given a refund. It is their legal entitlement.

Many are being absorbed by bigger private colleges. But could these colleges collapse too? There is certainly no shortage of students complaining about being ripped off, mistreated and generally messed about by them.

Two of the bigger colleges taking on displaced students are Cambridge International College and Carrick Institute. They have their own problems. In August, The Age revealed that Cambridge, run by Roger Ferrett, was struggling to deal with a crisis in its welfare course. There were allegations that hundreds of students were being shunted through sub-standard workplace training.

Carrick Institute is also dealing with unhappy students, including one who is seeking $90,000 damages in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal after his student visa was revoked and then returned by the Department of Immigration. The visa fiasco resulted from the college's alleged failure to keep proper attendance records.

And, in an unbelievably audacious twist, owner Catherine Carrick wants taxpayers to help bail out private colleges because they are burdened by displaced students.

Turmoil, uncertainty and fear plague the international education industry. Three things are now urgently needed: an industry-wide solution to the crisis; a complete rethink on whether private colleges in a deregulated environment are the way forward for vocational education; and an education regulator that has the power and the will to do its job properly."

Monday, November 23, 2009

What Makes a Nation Rich?

What Makes a Nation Rich? One Economist's Big Answer (via Greg Mankiw):
"Say you're a world leader and you want your country's economy to prosper. According to this Clark Medal winner from MIT, there's a simple solution: start with free elections."
Related: Elections in developing countries: do they improve economic policy? .

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Kannabiran on Balagopal

Kannabiran in A One in a Century Rights Activist briefly discusses a point that I have been wondering about:
"In an interview published in Prajatantra in March 2001 on the Telugu novel Rago,
Balagopal expressed the view that the Marxist world view is deficient in certain
respects and that his philosophical investigations had reached a certain satisfactory stage. However, having said that, he never completed the task of elaborating upon his philosophical position."
I remember reading a telugu article which suggested that Balagopal might have been thinking about the work of Raymond Williams and Theodor Adorno .

The sister has crossed the line

Video and transcript of an interview with Malalai Joya.

An excerpt from her book A Woman Among Warlords (links from Pavaman).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rajib reviews

The Faith Instinct by Nicholas Wade. The review has also a number of links and in one of the comments Rajib says "...every nation i've seen in the WVS has religious people either matching, or more often surpassing, the non-religious in total fertility. i won't hypothesize the mechanism, but it's a robust finding."
In an From population genetics to linguistics Rajib has quick preview of the studies of the relationship between language families and gene families and discusses a recent paper on the linguistic diversity of Sahul using population genetics.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Many online Telugu books and pdf files available at తెలుగుపరిశోధన . For dictionaries check here . For some other dictionaries see the earlier post .

Universe in our own backyards

MindHacks discusses some recent papers on The illusion of a universe in our own back yard: . Among them:
"Science News covers a revealing new study on the Hadza people of Tanzania that has the potential shake up some of the rusty thinking in evolutionary psychology.

A common line of argument in this field is to suggest that sexual preferences for certain body types exist because we've evolved these desires to maximise our chances of mating with the most fertile or healthiest partner.

For example, studies have interpreted the fact that taller men are more likely to attract mates and reproduce in terms of evolutionary pressures on sexual desire. But most of these and similar studies have been completed on Western samples, while the authors draw conclusions about the 'universal' nature of these 'evolutionary' pressures.

To test how universal these body preferences really are, anthropologists Rebecca Sear and Frank Marlowe looked at whether similar preferences existed in the Hadza people, a hunter-gather tribe from Tanzania.

It turns out, these supposedly 'universal preferences' don't exist in the Hadza."
"The problems with relying on Western college students as participants in psychology studies is also addressed by a new paper just released by Behavioural and Brain Sciences which you can read online as a pdf.

The article reviews data from psychology experiments and argues that not only are college students a very restricted subset of society, but they are actually wildly atypical in comparison to the rest of the world's population.

In fact, the authors state that "The findings suggest that members of WEIRD [Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic] societies, including young children, are among the least representative populations one could find for generalizing about humans"."
Links in the MindHacks article.

The marketplace of ideas

A must read article says Abi at Nanopolitan: The Ph.D. Problem by Louis Menand. From the editors' introduction:
"His new book, The Marketplace of Ideas, to be published in December by W.W. Norton, is informed in part by his recent service as faculty co-leader in the development of Harvard College’s new General Education curriculum, introduced this fall (the book is dedicated to his colleagues in that protracted task).

In this work, Menand examines general education, the state of the humanities, the tensions between disciplinary and interdisciplinary work, and, in chapter four, “Why Do Professors All Think Alike?” The following excerpts, from the third and fourth chapters and his conclusion, probe the professionalization of a research-oriented professoriate and the practice and consequences of contemporary doctoral education, and the resulting implications for liberal-arts colleges, universities, and the wider society."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Books about India

After reading the recent controvery about GM brinjal , I tried to look the history of brinjal in India and found this list: Ten Best Book List:KC recommends good Indian readings for expats . The link is K.T. Acharya. Here are some articles about his contributions:

Monday, November 09, 2009

Ambedkar Sanskrit Fellowship

In Next Generations Manan Ahmad points to some new scholarships for graduate studies about South Asia and among them:
"Applications are sought for the Ambedkar Sanskrit Fellowship at Columbia University in the City of New York. This is a five-year award covering tuition and stipend. One fellowship will be awarded for the academic year 2010-11 (deadline for application to the Department of Middle East, South Asia, and African Studies is January 4, 2010), and, it is anticipated, two more in each of the following two years. Applicants are expected to have completed work at the Master’s level prior to admission. Preliminary inquiries, including a brief statement of purpose explaining what the applicant intends to study and why that course of study, may be directed to Sheldon Pollock,"
P.S. From google search, I see that Ambedkar not only learnt Sanskrit in his later years (apparently his teachers refused to teach him in school and he studied Persian instead) but also advocated Sanskrit as a national language for India. I have been off and on looking at science writing in Telugu and technical dictionaries in a few Indian languages. Finding systematic terminology for science writing seems to be a problem and it seems easier to borrow from Sanskrit. I wonder whether Sanskrit can play a role similar to Latin for unifying scientific terminology for Indian languages.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Some reviews

Soutik Biswas discusses Dalrymple's 'Nine Lives' in Faith and Pelf and Dilip D'Souza points to some of the lapses in the book India Untold . Dilip's comment:
"Nine Lives is proof that Dalrymple knows this country better than most Indians, but it also displays a creeping complacency in writing about it."
Amitava Kumar and V.V. Ganeshananthan discuss South Asian diaspora literature, war, and conflict—and their fiction selections for Guernica in I Don’t Want To Fight:
"Amitava Kumar: You are asking what is South Asian writing. It is fiction which has at least three of the following: a large family or two, arranged marriage, misery, some violence, Bollywood, the interior design of nostalgia which uses the furniture of loss. You can choose the stylistic beverage-to-go: verbal exuberance or hushed poetry.

This is a caricature. But only partly. Give me an example of a novel you’ve read recently by a South Asian or about South Asia that departs from this model."

Thursday, November 05, 2009


front page has been updated మొదటి పేజీ. Some of the tools are in మార్గదర్శకాలు and check(from the list on the left) to see what is available like ప్రత్యేక పేజీలు. It has been a problem to find Telugu equivalents of many English words used everyday and there is a paucity of online dictionaries (See the discussion in తెలుగు నిఘంటువు గురించి…) in Telugu. The site seems to be an effort by many bloggers, particularly Veeven, to find suitable Telugu equivalents of frequently used English words. It is not clear to me how this is to going to fulfil the need for terminology in writing science books in Telugu but the governmental efforts in this direction seem fragmentary and taking a long time. In view of this, the brave effort by Veeven and other bloggers fills a gap and is worth supporting; I hope that more people will participate.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Claude Levi-Strauss RIP

news via 3quarksdaily. One of the posts from a new blog about his work On the Anthropology of Levi-Strauss.
Here is a downloadable version of Tristes tropiques which has several passages about India.
P.S. A very readable article about philosophy and Claude Levi-Strauss in 3quarksdaily.

One day at a time for the glacier man

Chewang Norphel's work which was mentioned in 'Glacier man' Chewang Norphel seems to be getting more attention. There is a long article in Science (requires ubscription)Profile: Chewang Norphel: Glacier Man and a report in Hindustan Times A lonely struggle for the Iceman. From the Hindustan Times report:
"Earlier this year, Norphel finally received Rs 13 lakh from the Department of Science & Technology to build and maintain two glaciers for the next two years.

Another Rs 10 lakh for three more glaciers will come from the Indian Army in Jammu & Kashmir, under its people-friendly project Operation Sadbhavana (Good Intentions), which funds small-scale projects supported by local populations.

“It’s a simple concept that can be managed with local manpower and materials,” says Dr V.C. Goyal, a senior scientist and hydrologist with the Department of Science and Technology. “If it works, then it could be applied across various regions in the Himalayan belt, since there’s a tremendous water shortage across all these hilly regions due to the receding glaciers.”

The Department has now involved the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council and respective village heads.

All small steps, but about time.

According to a United Nations Environment Programme report released in March 2008, trends in glacial melt suggest that the Ganga, Indus and Brahmaputra — which contribute more than 60 per cent of the water for all the rivers of India — may become seasonal as a consequence of climate change.

For Norphel, the solution is in taking it one day at a time.

“I am now building five more glaciers with the money I have received from the government,” he says, as he takes hurried steps across the brown mountains at a project site. “I’m also planning to train villagers with instruction CDs that I have made, so that I can pass on the knowledge before I die.” "
From the Science magazine article:
"A new climate threat
Norphel's glaciers are site specific—they require a certain altitude, water flow, and surface area temperature, so they are not suitable for every location, notes Andreas Schild, head of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in Kathmandu. "Nevertheless, we are going to have to do some serious out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to sustainable water storage and investigate the efficiency of artificial-glacier technology," Schild says.

Norphel notes that he has already had interest in his glaciers from nongovernmental organizations working in Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. "In some areas, reservoirs are a much more practical solution," he says. "But in terms of water storage and release at the irrigation season, you can't beat artificial glaciers."

Despite his success, there has been little attention from the academic world. "I could do with some scientific help from specialists," Norphel says. "I am trying to collect data on how and where the glacier forms best, and which parts precipitate first and why, so that I can improve on them and people can use the technique elsewhere.

This September day, Norphel and his glaciers receive their first scientific visitor. Adina Racoviteanu, a geography graduate student at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research and the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder, is passing through Stakmo en route to her glacier field stations farther east. When she offers to make Norphel a topographic map of the artificial glacier site using her hand-held GPS monitor, a $3000 device, his eyes light up. The pair spend the next several hours taking readings across the site, achieving what would take Norphel weeks to do with his tape measure and plumb line.

Later that day, as Norphel leaps nimbly across the boulders above Stakmo village, he points out his latest design tweaks. In 2006, when it rained for a week and the Zanskar River, which freezes over each winter, melted ahead of time, flash floods and landslides devastated his glacier here. "Blocking walls and canals were damaged by floods," recalls Norphel. "I'm still at the experimental stage, but I've been able to completely redesign this glacier site to make it withstand floods better.

The Stakmo site will soon have three artificial glaciers at increasing altitudes, so by the time the lowest one is spent, the one above it will have begun melting, and then the highest before the natural one at the top starts to liquidize. Norphel points out his latest seepage-avoidance technology: a 200-meter cement chamber that will be connected to the artificial glacier with 2- to 3-meter-long pipe. This will help distribute and freeze sheets of water evenly in the artificial glacier as well as providing a water reservoir for later in the year. "Creating the first such chamber is difficult in terms of design and funding," he says. "The rest will still be expensive but easy to replicate."

Money remains a huge problem. Norphel says that 75 other nearby villages are in suitable locations for his artificial-glacier technique, but he lacks funds, and what funds are promised do not typically arrive in full. The watershed development program allots $50,000 per project per village, but so far, only $12,000 has been released in two installments over the past 6 years.

And there's another problem: continued climate change. There is less and less snowfall during wintertime, when it is needed to contribute to Norphel's artificial glaciers. Instead, rain is arriving in September, ruining the harvests. It's a worrying trend. "These glaciers are not magic formations. They need that water over winter," says Norphel.

As the "retired" engineer makes his way up the mountain to his glacial work site, singing drifts up the valley from the villagers in the fields below, who are harvesting the last of this year's barley with simple scythes. It's a scene that must have played out for centuries. Without the Glacier Man, this village might well have fallen silent a decade ago."

Development challenges in extremist areas

Excerpts from Planning Commission Expert Groups Report "Development Challenges in Extremist Areas"are in Madhukar Shukla's post "The "Greatest Threat to India's Internal Security" !!?? .
Arundhati Roy The heart of India is under attack and Rohit Copra's post and possibly The Long March.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Wealth transmission in small-scale socities

From ScienceDaily reportInequality, 'Silver Spoon' Effect Found In Ancient Societies:
"The researchers also showed that levels of inequality are influenced both by the types of wealth important to a society and the governing rules and regulations. Hunter-gatherers rely on their wits, social connections and strength to make a living. In these economies, wealth inheritance is modest because wits and social connections can be transferred only to a certain degree. The level of economic inequality in hunter-gatherer societies is on a par with the most egalitarian modern democratic economies."
Despite the ScienceDaily title, the study is based on 21 contemporary and recent populations. The populations studied are of four types hunter-gatherer, horticultural, pastoral, and agricultural populations (the main difference between hoticultural and agricultural seems to be the use of plough).

The paper (needs access)Intergenerational Wealth Transmission and the Dynamics of Inequality in Small-Scale Societies with supporting supplement online material is free access are in Science magazine. Rajib Khan has long post which has much material from the paper To crush your enemies, and steal their cattle for your sons! . The three of wealth transferred is categorized "embodied (body weight, grip strength, practical skills, and, in predemographic transition populations, reproductive success); material (land, livestock, and household goods); and relational (social ties in food-sharing networks and other forms of assistance)."
They do not consider other forms "heritable determinants of well-being such as ritual knowledge, an important source of institutionalized inequality in some populations." and it is not clear how much it applies to societies like Indian.
From the paper:
"Our principal conclusion is that there exist substantial differences among economic systems in the intergenerational transmission of wealth and that these arise because material wealth is more important in agricultural and pastoral societies and because, in these systems, material wealth is substantially more heritable than embodied and relational wealth. By way of comparison, the degree of intergenerational transmission of wealth in hunter-gatherer and horticultural populations is comparable to the intergenerational transmission of earnings in the Nordic social democratic countries (5)—the average β for earnings in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway is 0.18—whereas the agricultural and pastoral societies in our data set are comparable to economies in which inequalities are inherited most strongly across generations, the United States and Italy, where the average β for earnings is 0.43. Concerning wealth inequality, the Gini measure in the hunter-gatherer and horticultural populations is almost exactly the average of the Gini measure of disposable income for Denmark, Norway, and Finland (0.24); the pastoral and agricultural populations are substantially more unequal than the most unequal of the high-income nations, the United States, whose Gini coefficient is 0.37 (21). "
In the same issue, Acegmolu and Robinson explain their take on the paper Foundations of Societal Inequality:
"...results of Borgerhoff Mulder et al., which show substantial differences in inheritability of assets and inequality not only between, but also within hunter-gather, horticultural, pastoral, and agricultural societies."
They attribute to this to the difference in institutions "What makes the findings important for social science is the link between inequality and institutions that regulate the inheritability of assets."
P.S. A summary of the results is available in the papers section of:
(New Data on the Roots of Inequality Reveal Key Role of Wealth Inheritance)