Episode 53. Parsa Daneshmand: Consensus decision-making in divination: Transcript

0:13  JT

Hello, and welcome to the Thin End of the Wedge, the podcast where experts from around the world share new and interesting stories about life in the ancient Middle East. My name is Jon. Each episode I talk to friends and colleagues, and get them to explain their work in a way we can all understand.

0:32  JT

The most prestigious branch of scholarship in ancient Iraq, and one of the things for which the region was famous in antiquity, was divination: predicting the future via a variety of means. A common method was examining the entrails of sheep.

0:49  JT

The gods would reveal their intentions, and their favour or disfavour, via signs in the sheep’s organs. We often think about how meaning was found in those signs, but we don’t usually think about how the gods made their decisions revealed by those signs in the first place. Which gods were involved and what was the process? 

1:14  JT

Our guest has been researching exactly these decision-making processes behind divination. How did the diviners believe the system worked? 

1:25  JT

So get yourself a cup of tea, make yourself comfortable, and let’s meet today’s guest.

1:38  JT

Hello, and welcome to Thin End of the Wedge. Thank you for joining us.

1:42  PD

Thank you very much for having me in this interview.

1:46  JT

Could you tell us please: who are you, and what do you do?

1:50  PD

My name is Parsa Daneshmand. I’m an assyriologist and at present I work as Research Fellow at the Nahrein Network project at the University College London and create an English-Arabic-Farsi text edition on the Oracc website of cuneiform tablets from the ancient city, Kish, based on the CDLI catalogue of more than 2000 documented inscribed artifacts. For this project, I’m focusing on tablets that are now housed in the Ashmolean Museum. But my research interests focus on divination as a method of decision making in the ancient Near East, councils and assemblies of Mesopotamian cities, and the role of consensus decision making in ancient societies.

2:35  JT

All right, so we’re going to discuss. Let’s start with the basics: what was extispicy?

2:44  PD

Well, extispicy is a term driving from a Latin word, meaning inspecting the exta or entrails, and it was the act of observing the entrails of a sacrificed animal, including sheep and birds. Extispicy was the most expensive Mesopotamian divinatory method, comparing to cheaper ones including oil and smoke divination. As far as our documents show, extispicy was practiced from the third millennium BC onward. And by the second millennium BC, it had become a high prestige divinatory method for decision making. In a divinatory consultation, such as extispicy, the human was the one who had a question, request, or decision, and the assembly of the gods were in charge of discussing that decision and deciding and issuing a verdict in favour or against that decision.

3:40  PD

The first step in divinatory consultation was to offer a sacrifice as a gift to the gods. We know that in ancient Mesopotamia a divine meeting was usually accompanied by a banquet, and this was common in sessions of collective decision making in the ancient Near East. For example, Herodotus speaks of the Persian custom of decision making while eating and drinking. I quote part of his text: “They–the Persians–are accustomed to deliberating on the most serious business while there are drunk and whatever decisions they reach in these sessions, it is proposed to them again the next day by the hosts in whose house they had deliberated the night before. Then, if the decision still pleases them when they are sober, they act on it.” End of quote

4:35  PD

David Graeber, the renowned anthropologist, who unexpectedly died three years ago, also noted that in traditional societies that have been practicing consensus for centuries, they used to make a meeting fun by introducing humour, music, poetry, drinks, foods, and so on and so forth. Anyway, the brief description of the procedure is like this: the query of the questioner was written on a clay tablet. Later, the tablet was placed before the god during the divination ritual. After the animal was slaughtered by the diviner, the assembly of the gods would consult the issue and send its final decision in forms of signs written on the liver and other organs of the sacrificed animal.

5:25  PD

Then, diviners would observe the omens and calculate an aggregate sum of the number of positive and negative signs. If the positive signs were much more than negative signs, the answer was positive. If the positive and negative signs cancel each other out, the result was uncertain and a checkup was required. And there were also two types of signs–including one called pitrushtu in Akkadian, probably referring to dark spots and splits on the organ, and the other one niphu in Akkadian, probably referring to some deformations–that could change the whole result, even if unfavourable signs were heavily outnumbered by favourable signs. In such a case, the diviner would usually recommend a follow-up consultation. I argue that these methods with these characteristics follows the model of consensus decision making that was practiced in many ancient societies.

6:25  JT

Okay, this is a really expensive thing to do, isn’t it? You have to sacrifice an animal. And if it doesn’t give a clear answer, you have to do it again. So who used this practice? And why?

6:39  PD

Yeah, as to who used this practice, I can say all people of society, including kings, officials, merchants, almost everybody. Probably except for slaves. And diviners were obliged to provide firm answers to a broad range of questions from a general desire of wellbeing, happiness, prosperity, to political and military decisions, including officials’ appointments and warfare, to natural disasters, as well as the family problems, such as women’s plotting against their husbands. But it is quite possible, I argue, that divination and especially extispicy was originally reserved for kings.

7:19  PD

Let me elaborate a bit on this. Textual materials from ancient Mesopotamia showed that the institution of kingship was formed gradually at least 2000 years after the emergence of cities such as Uruk and Eridu. All archaeological evidence suggests that the city of Uruk in the fifth and fourth millennium BC was managed without an autocratic ruler. So it is imaginable that in the absence of a central power, assemblies and councils were in charge of decision making on certain day-to-day urban issues. Jason Ur in his paper that has been recently published on three mega-sites–Khirbat al-Fakhar, Tell Brak and Tell Chuera in northern Mesopotamia in fourth millennium BC–demonstrates that the archaeological data set of site and landscape suggests that bottom-up processes were dominant.

8:12  PD

But after the emergence of the institution of kingship, the king was eligible to make social and economic decisions, including cancelling agrarian debts, liberating bondservants, and returning the land that debtors had pledged to creditors. The king had also the authority to issue commands for military purposes. In theory, the king could have a rule arbitrary in all these cases, but in practice, this never happened. All texts that we have showed that the kings were always asking their advisors and diviners a question like this: “what should I do?” Because, if you think about it, decision making brings an undeniable responsibility for the decision maker. So, as Karen Radner has very well discussed in her paper on decision making in the Neo-Assyrian court, we see that kingly commands were always the outcome of a collective process through consulting advisors and divisional decision makers, and divination was a ritualistic manifestation of decisions. On the contrary, in reports of assemblies and courts, we usually do not see that they ever resorted to divination, because they had already been using the method of collective decision making.

9:27  PD

So I think that the tendency of Mesopotamian kings to use divination for their decision was in fact a return or rather an escape back to the method of collective decision making. The king always discusses decisions and ask for the opinions of advisors, and divination was a ritual to accomplish this purpose. But to answer your question that why they use extispicy–in my DPhil dissertation at Oxford, I have suggested a theoretical framework for this issue based on works of existentialist thinkers, especially John Paul Sartre about the role of and effect of freedom of choice in decision making. This idea is very insistent in Sartre’s work that freedom of choice is source of anxiety for most people, because it comes with very heavy burdens of responsibility. And most of us spend most of our time trying to evade that sense of responsibility.

10:28  PD

Omar Khayyam Moore, an American anthropologist in his paper on divination among the Naskapi, an Indian tribe, indigenous people in northern Quebec, Canada, proposed that divination for them is a means to base a decision on the outcome of an impersonal and relatively uncontrolled process. In the same vein, Pascal Boyer, an anthropology is an expert in religious studies, has recently coined the term “ostensive detachment” by which he refers to the tendency of decision makers to disable responsibility when they are at the point of decision making. So all in all, I can say that divination and extispicy worked to save the decision maker from the direct responsibility.

11:17  JT

One of the features about extispicy that always struck me as interesting was this idea of a period of time, during which the answer would be valid. And it’s quite a limited period of time. Do you have any ideas why that would be? I mean, if you imagine a question like, “will this official be loyal to me?” why might the answer to that question change so quickly?

11:43  PD

Yeah, this limitation that in the Neo-Assyrian divinatory texts is called adannu, indicates, again, the relevance of the nature of divinatory consultation with decision making. Because it is quite obvious that no situation could be unchanged forever. And no diviner or advisor could guarantee the correctness of an advice for an unlimited and unspecified period of time. In addition, there were situations requiring an immediate and urgent action. It is quite expectable that there is an inverse relationship between high-risk situations and the time period for taking action. The length of the validity therefore varies according to the topic of consultation and the urgency of action.

12:29  PD

For example, in an urgent situation of the attack of Benjaminites, an Amorite tribe, to the value of Terqa in northern Mesopotamia in the early second millennium BC, an agent of the king of Mari, who was under the threat of Benjaminites made a divinatory consultation for collecting grain before the Benjaminites could launch their attack. In a letter to the king of Mari, he writes, I quote, “Concerning the harvest of the valley of Terqa, I ordered to perform an extispicy, and it was valid only for three days.” End of quote. In another letter, the same period of validity was assigned for seizing a city. An agent of the king of Mari writes to him, “I performed an extispicy for seizing the city and it was valid only for three days” As another example, in response to a divinatory consultation request sent by the king for the sending and the return of a group of soldiers, a certain Sumhu-rabi, a diviner, assigns the time allowed for the action. I read from {unclear}’s letter, “I ordered to perform extispicy for the going out and the return of the troops. The extispicy is valid only for five days.”

13:51  PD

But in case of low-risk situation, where there was not a direct or actual threat, the time period was longer than that of hectic circumstances. For example, if cities were in relative safety and tranquility, and were not threatened by foreign and domestic enemies, the length of the validity of the extispicy for the safety of the city was normally a month. However, in case the situation was suspicious, the standard validity of the 30 days could decrease such as in a report from the governor of the city of Qattunan to the king. I read from part of his letter: “I ordered to perform extispicy for developing of this district and the city of Qattunan for the period of a month. And they were unfavourable. So as a result, he ordered to perform another extispicy. The text says, “I made another divination. I ordered to perform it for 15 days. They were favourable.” So the district and the city of Qattunan are safe only for 15 days. So we can say that the validation period is a characteristic of all kinds of predictions. And once again, we see that all features of divination and extispicy are compatible and in accordance with the purpose of decision making.

15:15  JT

You stress the idea of divination questions being answered by the gods through consensus decision making. I must admit that it never really occurred to me. I always imagined that the animal would be sacrificed to Shamash and Adad maybe. It hadn’t occurred to me that there might be a group of gods sitting around sharing a meal and discussing something. Given that situation, then, how does consensus decision making actually work?

15:46  PD

The consensus process is one in which people work together, or in this case, of course, the gods, work together to reach as much of an agreement as possible. In consensus decision making all group members express their opinion, discuss the issue and then choose an alternative they all can agree, at least in part. In this method of decision making, every member has the power of veto, or can choose to stand aside rather than to block a group decision.

16:17  PD

Let me continue with the classic story of going to a restaurant. Imagine that you and a group of your friends wants to go out to dinner. If one of the participants says that she or he decides where to go, what possible reaction might be seen from others? It is very unlikely that all of you have the same choice by pure chance. It is also very unlikely that you vote for this. So in all possibilities, you and your friends will talk about it, discuss it and reach a consensus. It is possible that one of the participants uses their right to veto, saying something like “you know, that place brings me back bad memories. Once I broke up with my partner there.” So if the group wants to go on with a consensus decision, they should reconsider that option. It is also possible that someone says, “I’m not a big fan of that restaurant, but I can live with it.” So she or he while not very happy, does not use her or his right to veto.

17:16  PD

As for extispicy, although our documents lack enough information to elaborate on every detail of the divine assemblies, here we can see a consensus decision making model in ancient Mesopotamian divine assemblies. As Thorkild Jacobsen points out, the term shitulu, to ask one another, is very well attested in Akkadian texts, with references to the divine assemblies, denoting discussions and negotiations among the gods in the assembly. This characteristic of the divine assemblies is aligned with the general rule of extispicy, in which a high and absolute majority of signs determines the final answer. This is indicated in a passage of an extispicy manual called Multabiltu, which says, “If you made an extispicy, and it’s favourable signs are many. And it’s unfavourable signs few, that extispicy is favourable,” and vice versa, of course.

18:16  PD

But as I mentioned before, in a consensus-based culture, no decisions can be made against the view of the minority, and anyone can block a proposal. In the same vein, if they exist, we see futures correspond to the divine opinions, which I argue that this is the case. One expects to find features representing opposite fields, which could alter the final outcome. As I said earlier, there were two types of signs, called niphu and pitrushtu, that could change the whole result, even in the case that favourable signs were heavily outnumbered by unfavourable signs, or vice versa. In a passage in the same text Multabiltu, we read, “If you made extispicy, it’s favourable signs are many and its unfavourable signs few, so up to this point, you expect to get a positive answer, but there is a niphu sign, return it to your hand. Repeat it. So despite all positive signs, the accuracy of a veto sign like niphu blocks the decision and this is compatible with the characteristic of consensus decision making.

19:28  JT

If extispicy channels these kinds of consensus decisions made by some kind of divine assembly, does that imply that in such contexts, all gods were equal? So Marduk’s opinion wouldn’t carry more weight than Nergal’s, say?

19:46  PD

That is interesting. The Mesopotamian gods, although functioned in sort of hierarchy, this model didn’t affect the value of their voices and their votes. So when we look at the Mesopotamian myths and epics, we see that there was always a group discussion and collective decision making going on among the gods, regardless of their hierarchy. To explain this phenomenon, I borrow the term heterarchy from Carole Crumley, an anthropologist who works in the area of historical ecology. Crumley based her theory on the result of the work of Warren McCulloch, an American neurophysiologist, who demonstrated that the human brain, while reasonably orderly, does not necessarily function hierarchically. As Carole Crumley points out, power can be counterpoised rather than ranked. Therefore, for example, a military chief might have a reputation in warfare, but without intelligence in the temple.

20:47  PD

I think that ancient Mesopotamia is a perfect example of societies where the relations of elements were on ranks or they have the potential to be ranked in different ways. I should say that there is no doubt that hierarchy conditioned political power to some degree, but assemblies, councils and other types of counterpoint power existed. As a matter of fact, the king was never all powerful, but hierarchical and non-hierarchical structures possess temporal flexibility. To give a textual example, there is an incantation from the Old Babylonian period, a text that was supposed to be recited by the diviner before an extispicy. The text clearly gives a picture of the assembly of the gods while discussing a request or decisions as to extispicy. I read part of this text: “Enter Shamash, lord of judgment”–as I said, it was supposed to be recited by the diviner–“enter Shamash, lord of judgment, enter Adad, lord of prayer and divination. Enter Sin, king of crown, and Ishara, lady of divination.” And its goes through Nergal, lord of battle.

22:01  PD

“In the session of the great gods, in the tablet of the gods, may a firm decision be placed. May Nisaba, the scribe of the gods, write the case. May Nusku bring close the lamb for the assembly of the gods for the wellbeing of the case. May the judges, the great gods who sit on the golden thrones, who eat at the offering table of lapis lazuli in front of you, judge the case in righteousness and judgment.” So we see that there’s a kind of a hierarchy. We have Shamash, we have Adad, we have Sin, Ishara and Nergal. But again, the text asserts that in this session of these great gods, on the tablet of the gods–the liver of a sacrificed animal is the manifestation of that–their decision will be placed, and Nisaba the scribe would write it. And again, the text asserts that the judges, the great gods, are authorities who sit on the golden thrones and judge the case. All in all we can say that all participants in the assembly of the gods had equal voices.

23:07  JT

You mentioned that the answer to the question was found by counting up the positive and negative features. And these in some way must reflect the votes of the gods participating in the divine assembly. So my question is, how do the votes of the individual gods relate to the features? Is it the case that the gods are each associated with a particular feature or organ, and they cast their individual vote via that particular feature? How does it work?

23:39  PD

In general, the whole ritual of extispicy is very schematic. Our texts do not have all details, but the logic behind the procedure is straightforward. Someone has a decision, but he’s not sure about the consequences of the decision. She or he asks the gods, and they hold a meeting where they discuss that decision. In other words, the future in the system should be decided by the gods. The gods finally send their decisions in forms of positive and negative signs.

24:13  PD

Mesopotamian texts on extispicy, including the texts that I just mentioned, clearly show that the features appearing on the internal organs of the sacrificed animal were considered to be messages resulting from the meeting of the gods in the divine assembly, which was held to discuss a decision or question. These texts assert that what appears on the organs of sacrificial animal is written by the gods. That is, they are not accidental messages. As Stefan Maul notes, Mesopotamians did not believe that the signs had already existed in the body of the sacrificed animal. Rather, they would appear only when the diviners summoned the gods and invited them to the banquet. This is the general picture we have.

25:03  PD

But there is no text indicating that there was an association between a certain god with a particular feature or organ or a certain vote. Having seen that, we can compare this procedure with what we know of the reports of Mesopotamian courts. There are lots of common features between the court procedure in civic issues and the extispicy ritual. Although in many cases, we have the names of judges and decision makers in the court reports from the Old Babylonian and the Neo-Babylonian period, for example, in the final verdict, it’s not specified who voted what, but only the final decision is asserted.

25:49  PD

The questions are always very specific. The answer has to be either yes or no. How does extispicy come to rely on consensus decision making, rather than people petitioning the most relevant god for the question at hand? You might imagine that the more people you ask, the more nuanced the answer you might ultimately get. Why would you ask a whole group of gods instead of just the one responsible for the aspect of life your question was about?

26:19  PD

Yes, this is true that unlike fortune tellers, who use a non-specific, non-precise, and multi-purposeful language as a means of decision making, ancient Mesopotamian divination required clear and explicit question and answer. In this language, there is no space for ambiguous expressions, but the only clear and explicit answer, either yes or no. The firmness of the answer had a direct relevance to the nature of decision making, as every decision leads to an action and the action needs to be associated with an imperative advice, such as, “if you would like this, you should do that”.

26:59  PD

It is also true that there are decisions often called “go” or “no go” decisions, for which the decision maker encounters two options: to take action or not. Just like a doctor who could not decide that the patient both should and should not go under surgery. The decision maker could not expect simultaneous yes and no answer in the same way. So in the terminology of ancient Mesopotamian divination, the result of divinity consultation was promised by the gods through their firm “Yes,” (anna kinu), to the oracle. That is, the questioner could expect a clear outcome to acting on the advice he received.

27:39  PD

Having said all this, what can we do when we get a negative answer? Once again, we have a rule of collective decision making. We are not passive listeners in this process. We are not necessarily obliged to obey the outcome of extispicy. The procedure of repeating the act of extispicy was a way to alter the undesired results. The first round of extispicy was called in Akkadian qatu, means “hand”. Sometimes the enquirer or questioner asserts to receive only a one hand extispicy. But if the result was not favourable, the diviner might suggest or to be asked to make a second extispicy.

28:23  PD

For example, from a Neo-Assyrian query, it can be gathered that Esarhaddon, a Neo-Assyrian king, and probably his court, were keen on giving his daughter in marriage to a Scythian king for political reasons. In the first extispicy, despite a very good set of favourable signs, a niphu sign was observed, that was a veto of the divine decision. So now there was a contradiction between the two decisions. On the one hand, the decision taken by Esarhaddon and his court as their political priorities were forcing them to accept the marriage proposal of the Scythian king, and the unfavourable answer given by the gods on the other. So the diviners repeated the extispicy. And the repetition of the question indicates that even though the god disagreed with the daughter’s marriage in the first place, Esarhaddon and his advisors didn’t completely give up their primary decision. As a result, the diviners repeated the extispicy and reached a favourable result for the second time. So all in all we can say collective decision making in general, and extispicy in particular, were more directive than imperative. It was absolutely the choice of the decision maker to act or not to act upon the result of extispicy.

29:49  JT

I’d like to explore things a little further. Do we know whether someone would follow the result of an extispicy request? You know, you’ve asked the gods; you have to take their answer seriously. But in this scenario, in effect, someone else just decides for you. Would the result of extispicy itself be just one voice in a discussion? You have the king, you have the council of elders, advisors. Should we think of the traditional idea of a bicameral assembly, where you would have the gods in an upper chamber and the humans in the lower chamber? How seriously did you have to take these answers?

30:33  PD

That’s very interesting. There is good evidence showing the ultimate action of the officials based on divinatory consultations. For example, in response to a query asked by the king of Mari as to whether a group of female singers and two other people who were with them should travel, a certain Ishu-Addu, a diviner, responded that extispicy of the female singers were unfavourable, so he did not send them. But the extispicy of the two other people were sound. As a result, he dispatched them.

31:10  PD

But we also have examples where officials did not follow the instructions given by extispicy. For example, a certain person writes to the king that he is constantly asking the god about marching the troops, but the omen gives no answer. Despite the silence, he decides to dispatch the troops in the hope that the god of his lord makes him succeed. I read from part of his letter: “That extispicy has been done. I am constantly planning concerning the campaign of the troops and the battle, but the omen is not answering. And now according to what I’m seeing, and what I’m asking, and also hoping that the god of my lord conduct our expedition, I will dispatch the troops.” So this is again a good example that the outcome of extispicy was not imperative.

32:05  PD

Another letter from the city of Mari also provides an example of a military campaign without divinatory consultation. As is written in this document, the commander conducted an unsuccessful military attack, and a certain Zimri-Addu, the governor of the city of Qattunan blames the commander for not doing a divinatory consultation before the campaign. I read from his letter: “I have told you thus”–this is Zimri-Addu criticising that commander–“I have told you thus: go out from the city only if the extispicy were favourable. Now I have sent lambs to you. Give an order to perform extispicy the extispicy should be favourable, and nothing should be wrong.” So our documents clearly show that decision makers used extispicy as a method in conjunction with other types of final decision rule.

33:04  JT

This way of making decisions sounds quite useful. I was wondering if you thought we could benefit from making more decisions this way. I was trying to think of contexts where we use this method in our daily life. It seems to be concentrated in limited areas. You mentioned a group of friends deciding where to go and eat together. The one that came to my mind was where someone has ended up in a conflict with a family member or friend. They go onto social media and share a description of the situation, then ask, you know, “Am I the asshole?” It demands a yes or no answer, right? Beyond that, in modern life, is there a role for group decision making?

33:48  PD

Yeah, yeah, yes. And even beyond that, I think we can benefit from the process of consensus decision making more broadly in political and social issues. As I said, consensus decision making promotes direct democracy. That was common in many ancient societies. Because you know, we are living in a world where electoral politics and voting systems seem to be more dividing people than uniting them. So in this situation, consensus decision making gives opportunity to all people to participate in decisions that affect them. As a concrete example, just a few years ago in a Brazilian city called Porto Alegre, public assemblies were formed across the city to enable residents to discuss how they would like to give priorities to their city budget. According to the World Foodbank report, the process was broadly successful. Women, ethnic minorities, low income and low education participants were over represented comparing with the city’s population. And consequently, funding shifted to the poorest parts of the city where it was most needed.

35:03  JT

I think this is fascinating. Can you tell us where we can read more about your work on this topic, please?

35:09  PD

Yeah, I have published two articles, both in the journal Dabir. One is an analysis of the query of Esarhaddon that I just mentioned. And the other one is entitled, “Consensus decision making in ancient Mesopotamia”. That was published in 2021, I think. And I’m working on my DPhil dissertation, that is a sort of comprehensive study of divinatory consultations of what we have from the archive of Mari. And as I said, I based the theoretical framework that I tried to analyse and understand this text better in terms of their relevance to the problem of decision making. I am trying to publish that DPhil dissertation in the near future, hopefully.

35:59  JT

Thank you very much.

36:00  PD

Thank you. Thank you very much.

36:03  JT

I’d also like to thank our patrons: Tyler Russell, Enrique Jimenez, Jana Matuszak, Nancy Highcock, Jay C, Rune Rattenborg, Woodthrush, Elisa Rossberger, Mark Weeden, Jordi Mon Companys, Thomas Bolin, Joan Porter MacIver, John MacGinnis, Andrew George, Yelena Rakic, Mend Mariwany, Zach Rubin, Sabina Franke, Shai Gordin, Aaron Macks, Maarja Seire, Jaafar Jotheri, Morgan Hite, Chikako Watanabe, Mark McElwaine, Heather Baker, Jonathan Blanchard Smith, Kliment Ohr, Christina Tsouparopoulou, TT, Melanie Gross, Claire Weir, Marc Veldman, Bruno Biermann, Faimon Roberts, Jason Moser, Pavla Rosenstein, Müge Durusu-Tanrıöver, as well as those who prefer to remain anonymous.

37:10  JT

I really appreciate your support. It makes a big difference. Every penny received has contributed towards translations. Thanks of course to the lovely people who have worked on the translations on a voluntary basis or for well below the market rate. For Arabic, thanks in particular to Zainab Mizyidawi, as well as Lina Meerchyad and May Al-Aseel. For Turkish, thank you to Pinar Durgun and Nesrin Akan. TEW is still young, but I want to reach a sustainable level, where translators are given proper compensation for their hard work.

37:48  JT

And thank you for listening to Thin End of the Wedge. If you enjoy what we do, and you would like to help make these podcasts available in Middle Eastern languages, please consider joining our Patreon family. You can find us at patreon.com/wedgepod. You can also support us in other ways: simply subscribe to the podcast; leave us a five star review on Apple Music or your favourite podcatcher; recommend us to your friends; follow us on Twitter: @wedge_pod. If you want the latest podcast news, you can sign up for our newsletter. You can find all the links in the show notes and on our website at wedgepod.org. Thanks, and I hope you’ll join us next time.