Daily Data Dump – Wednesday

By Razib Khan | August 11, 2010 10:47 am

Elite Isolation. This is a specific instance of a general problem. The rulers as a rule are not sampled randomly from the population. Operationally democracy often seems to turn into competitions between rival elites who are making the “best offer” to segments of the electorate.

Children and Stress. The article connects childhood stress with later life outcomes. In a novel turn the authors attempt to explore the possible biophysical processes which might lead to such a correlation. But the major problem for me is that it doesn’t give weight to the fact that the genetic correlation between parent and child will are probably accounts for much of the association between abuse and abuser.


A Dog’s Eye View of Morphological Diversity. PLoS commissioned an particle on the paper I reviewed as well.

Delayed Gratification = Success?. Perhaps. I am generally skeptical of the idea that the less intelligent can become more intelligent, but, it seems to me plausible that the impulsive can develop habits to dampen their tendencies.

From now on #5 every day will be something from Google public data explorer. Here are GDP per capita for selected Latin American nations + China since 1980.
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  • Moshe Rudner

    I’m pretty sure I learnt something new just now being as I kept reading the orange line as representing China. My assumptions about the rate of China’s growth appear to have been well over-estimated.

    Wait. I take that back. Mathematically, China DOES have the fastest exponential growth rate, it’s only that it’s present place in the world per capita isn’t all too impressive by (unimpressive) Latin American standards.

    Still, my assumption of Chile’s line having been China’s is telling.

  • bioIgnoramus

    “I am generally skeptical of the idea that the less intelligent can become more intelligent”: I dare say, but I wonder whether it wouldn’t be possible to indoctrinate the stupid with some of the more useful habits of the intelligent. Though if that’s what schools are attempting, it apparently isn’t easy.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp Razib Khan

    china has over twice the population of all of latin america, and has lots of internal variation in wealth. so the aggregate is somewhat deceptive in that way. but that being said, yeah, i think it’s a reality check to note that china as a whole may not be poor, but it’s on the low end of middle income, if that.

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  • Katharine

    Totally unrelated, but I just had a thought.

    WHY is it that fellas get uppity and violence rates go up the higher the ratio of men to women there is?

    I’ve seen plenty of papers that talk about the link but don’t explain.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp Razib Khan

    can you link to the paper katherine? i remember all the talk of ‘bare branches’ in china in the early 2000s, but later analysis didn’t seem to bear it out. the a priori model is that single men got nothing to lose and behave wildly to get female attention. if they fuck up who cares, they’re loser virgins anyhow. but like i said, i’d like to see some good data on this since my hunch is that it hasn’t been robustly supported empirically.

  • dan

    yes, everyone on reddit always cites the male/female disparity every time a guy goes through a kindergarten with a hammer or knife (this has happened a dozen or so times in china in the past year) but there’s so many other reasons this could be happening. china has a ton of problems besides just the lack of women.

  • Katharine

    http://ftp.iza.org/dp3214.pdf

    Hm. That’s the only one I can find that isn’t a repetition of another of some sort.

    Where’s the ‘later analysis’? I can’t find much on that either.

  • Jason Malloy

    Katherine,

    I discuss sex ratio and crime at length here and here. In the majority of studies more men = less violence. I argue that this is predicted by sociobiology. Plenty of citations are provided; war deaths, immigration, and college campuses all work as tests of abnormal sex ratios.

  • James

    Jason Malloy Says: “I discuss sex ratio and crime at length here”

    “polygynous men should be publicly identified. While polygyny itself would not be criminalized, the public would be free to discriminate against such men in employment and housing. Repeat offenders would be barred from most forms of social assistance. In this, the goal would be to return such men to the margins of society where they belong.”

    I appreciate the fact that you have trouble getting a date but don’t let it drive you to lunacy.

  • Jason Malloy

    James, you are quoting Peter Frost. I’m arguing against his position in the comments.

  • Yawnie

    Talk of ‘bare branches’ in China was indeed wrong because the excess single men exist as a side effect of the one child policy which means that young men are not a large group in proportion to the society as a whole.

    The sex ratio is not that important, it’s the age structure (ie youth bulge) that makes trouble inevitable or not. The leadership in China knew this and that’s why they had a one child policy. They prevented political revolution by making sure there was no youth bulge. And it worked.

  • Anthony

    I know Argentina has had some really awful economic policies, but did it’s GDP/capita really drop 60% over 4 years, or is that an artifact of exchange rate fluctuations?

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This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com

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