Open thread – October 2nd, 2010

By Razib Khan | October 2, 2010 12:26 am

Won’t be too long until Halloween and a Republican Congress!

I thought that today I would outline some implicit rules-of-thumb for comments on this weblog. I don’t have an official comments policy, and won’t write one out explicitly, because I don’t want to give people a false sense of security.


- I’d appreciate it if you didn’t post a comment of the form: “Great post! That’s all.” The sentiment is obviously welcome, but, I’d rather have you retweet the post, share it on Facebook, Digg it, etc. Some of my denser reviews of the literature may not receive many comments, but they are often retweeted.

- The longer a comment, the more dense in fact/citations/link it should be. I’m not really interested in long rambling opinions in the comments section of this weblog, I can find plenty of that on other weblogs. If you keep it short and sweet you naturally have more latitude because I don’t perceive that you’re wasting my time.

- If there aren’t too many comments, don’t immediately switch the topic to something you’d rather talk about (not relevant for this post obviously, and to some extent I’m pretty lenient on link roundups). This isn’t your blog, and I’d appreciate it if the commenting was constructive on the points I was trying to make (or destructive of them, so long as they address them). Obviously once comment threads have gone on for a while the discussion will meander and branch out.

- Be respectful toward me, even if I’m wrong. I appreciate being corrected, being wrong is not the ideal state. But just because I’m rude to commenters sometimes doesn’t mean there’s symmetry here. I’m producing, you’re consuming, and therefore I demand some due deference. Think of it as a psychic subscription fee.

- Who you are matters a great deal in how strictly any implicit rules are enforced. Some people have put a lot of capital into the “bank,” and can withdraw some of that in suboptimal behavior (though you can overdraw!). For example, if you’ve been commenting constructively since 2003 (e.g., John Emerson). Or, if I blog a paper, and you’re one of the authors, obviously I would give you a lot of latitude. In fact, I’d make an exception on the previous guideline about respecting me if you were one of the authors because my production would be downstream of your production. Things such as going by your real name vs. being anonymous also are issues which I weight. I also give more latitude to people who have their own blogs, because they’re producers. You are judged much more strictly if you’re an anonymous commenter who I can’t trace in any way.

- Don’t beat around the bush or be allusive. Be clear and direct about what your’e trying to say. I hate it when commenters are obviously trying to draw me out.

- Understand that I don’t post about 5-10% of the comments submitted (I will remove comments from people who have automatic commenting privileges if I think they’re not appropriate). I probably ban at least one user a week. Sometimes people are flagrantly obnoxious and they’re immediately black-listed. But sometimes after a long sequence of comments I judge a commenter to lack intelligence and integrity.

- I make a distinction between “drive by” one-off comments (e.g., the Mormons who came in this week, or the Turks a few weeks ago) and people who comment multiple times. If you’re in the second category you have the potential of being part of the “community” here, so many of these assessments kick in. If you’re a one-off I naturally have less leverage over you, so I don’t generally judge the first comment too harshly.

- I judge commenters who are out to “win” arguments, or argue in a “lawyerly” fashion, rather negatively. The first issue is straightforward. Unfortunately people often don’t change their minds with new data or analysis, so usually trying to win an argument is futile anyway (of course some people do change their minds, or shift their models on the margins). The second phenomenon is more subtle, but some commenters are obviously used to dazzling stupid people with rhetorical flourish and specious reasoning. There just aren’t too many stupid people reading the comments here, and I don’t like to have my time wasted. If I perceive that you’re trying to win an argument, as if winning arguments against random and anonymous (operationally) people on the internet is of any importance, I’ll downgrade you to “child commenter” class in my mind. If you enter into lawyer-mode I’ll downgrade you to “spends too much time with stupid people” class.

- If you point to a book or paper you are going to go up in my estimation. If you do original data analysis you are going to go up in my estimation.

- Know your audience. If you are politically conservative understand that many of the readers of this weblog are not, even if in general I probably share your viewpoints. If you are politically liberal, understand that I am not, even though you have a rightful expectation that I should be since I am an atheist who blogs about science. There are some views I am intolerant of. Except for purposes of amusement or illustration I do not publish comments by Creationists who make a proactive case for their delusion. If you have strong tribal (ethnic, religious, racial, national) axes to grind tone it down. Though obviously I can’t but help express an Americo-centric viewpoint, so I it is often useful to for non-Americans to point out how my national identity biases my perspective.

I obviously am heavily involved in the comments of this weblog. I at least skim every single comment. I learn a lot from many commenters, but I also get frustrated with time wasted. I will give you an example of the sort of thing which I sometimes encounter that makes me somewhat impatient, and probably explains my short fuse with some commenters. Last spring I posted on Jewish genetics, and made a comment about the indigenous Syrian Jewish liturgy being extinct. A woman of Syrian Jewish background left this comment:

I think the HUGE population of Syrian Jews would be very surprised to find that “The native Syrian liturgical tradition apparently persisted down into the modern period before its recent extinction.” Their liturgical tradition is most certainly alive and well!

I responded like so:

michelle, please read this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_Jews#Liturgy

please clarify your comment with more detail as you may know more than this entry in wikipedia, or, if you don’t know more than this, never comment again because your comment had very little value-add.

Comments automatically close after two weeks. “michelle” saw my snippy response a few months later and emailed me to complain about my condescending tone and proceeded to again reiterate her point. We corresponded more as she tried to educate me, and I asked her a specific question about the date of the extinction of the non-Sephardic Syrian liturgy. She then forwarded my question to someone who was more well versed in these things than she, and that individual confirmed exactly what I had said. After another email michelle & I realized something: I had found the fact about the extinction of the non-Sephardic Syrian liturgy on a Wikipedia entry about Syrian Jews which had obviously been edited by the individual whom michelle consulted on the history of her people. In other words, the original comment I made which offended michelle was rooted in information that her intellectual mentor had inserted into Wikipedia.

So that was that. I probably wasted 60 minutes total on correspondence over a six hour period. At the end of it I did not learn anything new. Nor, did I receive an apology from michelle. She assumed I was more ignorant than I was, and, from what I can gather she was fuzzy about the whole issue of the existence of a non-Sephardic Syrian liturgy which went extinct, which I was aware of. Though I guess I can’t blame michelle, very few gentiles would know such details (by the way, multiple Jews over the years have admitted an initial suspicion that I knew too much about Judaism and Jewish history to not have some nefarious motive).

I recount this to you to make you more aware of the time investment which comments can become for me. I’m not irrational, I obviously feel it’s worth it..right now. But to keep comments valuable and of use I need to enforce standards. This does mean that I behave unpleasantly on occasion, and unfortunately probably results in “false positives” and “false negatives” which seem very unfair. But you need to look at it from my perspective. I really hate snarky & smart-ass comments, because very few commenters are better than Chris Rock or The Onion.

Now that I’ve published this, I don’t plan on saying anything about comments ever again in a post.

To a different issue, I much like this article in The Atlantic, I Am a Cyborg and I Want My Google Implant Already.

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  • Katharine

    Won’t be too long until Halloween
    :)

    and a Republican Congress!
    :(

  • Katharine

    Also, on this cyborg thing, I do find it kind of funny how amputees who have prosthetics, especially those permanently connected to their bodies, are considered cyborgs by the dictionary definition of the word ( http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cyborg ), and even eyeglasses can be seen as something that makes one a cyborg. I wear contact lenses – I’m sort of a cyborg. I’d argue that most people are in fact cyborgs.

    I nearly became one permanently myself three years ago (I nearly lost a leg due to compartment syndrome).

  • Sandgroper

    Well, as this is an open thread – I just walked out of my study and was confronted by the sight of my intense, serious, highly intelligent, studious, high achieving, bad tempered, anti-social, musically talented and scientifically obsessed daughter, who has zero tolerance of modern pop music of any genre aside from a couple of obscure indy artists, listening to her iPod and bopping animatedly all round the house. I stopped and stared at her uncomprehendingly. She ripped out her ear things and said:

    “What?”

    “What are you doing?”

    “Hokkien pop always makes me do this.”

    “What?”

    “Hokkien pop.”

    “Is this something I need to know about?”

    “No.”

    Google it yourself, I’m not going to be held responsible for this.

  • http://www.kinshipstudies.org German Dziebel

    I appreciate this post, Razib, as an example of “notes from the field.” It contains a few very keep observations on your readership behavior and some of the ways your market can be segmented (e.g., child commenters vs. lawyers).

    “Unfortunately people often don’t change their minds with new data or analysis, so usually trying to win an argument is futile anyway (of course some people do change their minds, or shift their models on the margins).”

    At some point I naively believed that the blogosphere is the place where people are more likely to change beliefs in response to facts and logic. I’m now getting much more skeptical about the possibility of new media to carry with it new behavior-changing capabilities. I also thought that the blogosphere is a place where people challenge the rigid paradigms generated by institutions. I’m now getting a feeling that the blogosphere in fact is much better at reinforcing them.

    “This isn’t your blog…”

    As I’m thinking about opening my own blog, I’m considering the policy of “I own the blog posts but the comments section is the territory that I sublet from the blogosphere to make my posts relevant.” I feel somewhat uneasy about controlling what people have to say about my blog posts and weeding out “trolls.” Another extreme is John Hawks’s practice of not allowing any comments whatsoever. Maybe you can create “tiers of service,” so that people like John Emerson will be inducted into a “Hall of Fame” comments section in which you’ll personally attend to every comment they make, while your annoying and disrespectful readers can still enjoy unlimited freedom in an agora kind of comments section.

  • Sandgroper

    Razib’s annoying commenters are not necessarily disrespectful – some of us hold him in very high regard.

  • Sandgroper

    Oh OK then, knock yourselves out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeqZpP3pHTk

    I can’t help feeling she’s being satyrical and deeply insulting, which she often is – but she does enjoy singing in Mandarin, so I can’t tell.

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

    i think hal varian underestimates the technical problems with brain-computer interfaces :-( hope i’m wrong.

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

    re: comment tiering. that sort of thing is possible. it’s already somewhat done. if i approve your comment once, you post automatically. otherwise you go into moderation queue. different ppl use comments for different purposes.

  • Denis Vluegt

    May I suggest placing a link to this post, in the form of a brightly colored small clickable graphic element, in a prominent place that people see when they load the Gene Expression page?

  • Denis Vluegt

    Also, a question to Razib: when we hit “Submit Comment”, is that when our posts are submitted to you for review, or only after the twelve-minute editing window has expired?

    In other words, do you see all the embarrassing misspellings etc. in the first draft or just our finished product?

  • daw

    this is just an example, but -
    Michelle and you were probably talking at cross purposes.
    Yes, the wikipedia says the “unique liturgy” is extinct,
    but what michelle knows, and you might not,
    is that the differences in the texts, and arrangements of the liturgy are quite minor.

    (see here :
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musta%27arabi_Jews#Old_Aleppo_ritual
    that’s minor – but how can you tell if you’re not familiar with the liturgy to begin with? )

    I would bet that Michelle thought that liturgy meant this:
    “The musical customs of Syrian communities are very distinctive”.

    Since all the liturgies have some variation of the same structure,
    with differences here and there -
    what makes them feel different are the musical traditions.

    You can hear the differences here:
    http://www.piyut.org.il/
    but you probably need to run it through google translator to get the lists of communities.

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

    daw, by the end of it she agreed that she’d misunderstood me. what i said was almost the *exact phrase* her intellectual mentor had placed into wikipedia. and i did know that the differences were minor. how many gentiles even know that there are differences in liturgy between the sephardim and ashkenazim? i don’t even see the point of your comment.

    In other words, do you see all the embarrassing misspellings etc. in the first draft or just our finished product?

    yes, i do see them if i happen to check it in that window. that’s why i usually wait to delete/approve. sometimes i even fix obvious errors which i think might confuse people (typos).

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

    May I suggest placing a link to this post, in the form of a brightly colored small clickable graphic element, in a prominent place that people see when they load the Gene Expression page?

    good idea. i can edit the sidebar, so i might do that.

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

    At some point I naively believed that the blogosphere is the place where people are more likely to change beliefs in response to facts and logic. I’m now getting much more skeptical about the possibility of new media to carry with it new behavior-changing capabilities. I also thought that the blogosphere is a place where people challenge the rigid paradigms generated by institutions. I’m now getting a feeling that the blogosphere in fact is much better at reinforcing them.

    minds change as an evolutionary process. not though one online discussion in a comment thread.

  • daw

    >how many gentiles even know that there are differences in liturgy between the sephardim and >ashkenazim? i don’t even see the point of your comment.

    I thought it was worth going into since you sometimes write about the difference between theology for the masses and formal theology. My take is that you and Michelle disagreed across a similar divide – in this case the divide between facts written in an encyclopedia about something and the actual experience of it.

    The differences between liturgies that one notices immediately, and feels immediately, are the musical ones, while the differences referred to in the wikipedia article are more … technical.. ones.

    One notices it, but it’s just the same things in a different order, or some such, and as such, has much less significance to a practitioner than the musical differences.

    Which means that you might have gotten Michelle to agree that you were right, but it misses the point, the same way that you argue that expecting the masses to know about formal theology is beside the point.

  • Katharine

    “Hokkien pop always makes me do this.”

    “What?”

    “Hokkien pop.”

    I think your daughter might potentially enjoy some good Romanian modern music. Send her some Phoenix (now known as Transylvania Phoenix), the Romanian Beatles who turned into a prog-rock band after Ceausescu gutted them:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AEpqyesn-A&feature=related – ‘Ar Vrea Un Eschimos’ (I think this translates to ‘I’d like an Eskimo’)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2NDVRp8OgM&feature=related – ‘Totusi Sunt Ca Voi’ (‘And Still I Am Like You’)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUukbjqhlBM&feature=related – ‘Culegatorul De Melci’ (‘The Snail Collector’ – I think this one is supposed to be very allegorical)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXtIubtuKDY&feature=related – ‘Canarul’ (‘The Canary’; one of their classics)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqecO8aoqwA – ‘Vremuri’ (‘The Times’; probably THE classic Phoenix song. I have been known to sing this in the car when I’m alone. It’s a song about being young and watching the various weird things going on in the culture around you)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFMgdB3-JGE&feature=related – an amusing cover of ‘Lady Madonna’

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Poynw-jIcxc&feature=related – ‘Andrii Popa’ (prog-rock era; about one of the Romanian legendary ‘haiducii’ – thieves who were perceived as doing things for the good of the people as opposed to against the people. This is also one of their classics.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXmm9g88E0k&feature=related – ‘Te Intreb Pe Tine, Soare’ (prog-rock era; translates to ‘I Ask You, Sun’)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKGxSBDZSPE&feature=related – ‘Mugur De Fluier’ (prog-rock era; ‘Flute Bud’)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hmf2lRUjp8c&feature=related – ‘In Umbra Marelui URSS’ (prog-rock era; ‘In The Shadow of the Great Bear / USSR’. This is a play on words – ‘urs’ means ‘bear’ in Romanian – and it refers to not only the band’s experiences under Communism in Romania but also to the general experience of Communism in Romania. As a sort of aside, I have a very good friend in Romania who was only four when the Revolution happened, but has a very clear memory of a bullet hole being made in his apartment’s window on that day.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwzb2lTsKMI – ‘Timisoara’ (prog-rock era; it’s a song about the band’s hometown in western Romania, a small city called Timisoara. Bit insipid, but kind of evocative of the fact that they kind of had to change their tune from Beatles-y rock to what I can only describe as traditional-folk-rock because Ceausescu hated modernism. Of course, they sort of subverted the crap out of it.)

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

    Which means that you might have gotten Michelle to agree that you were right, but it misses the point, the same way that you argue that expecting the masses to know about formal theology is beside the point.

    i guess i see your point. though michelle is a university instructor from what i recall, so she isn’t quite one of the “masses.”

  • miko

    Hokkien pop is ok, Hokkien chicken rice is frakking amazing.

    Your daughter should check out Khmer pop–impossible to stay angry with it on.

  • Zohar
  • Tom Bri

    I do prefer Razib’s comment system over John Hawks’ no-comments. But Hawks makes it very easy to contact him, and he has replied every single time I sent an e-mail. I would love to read the comments on Hawks’ blog, but I bet he simply doesn’t have the time to moderate them in a way that would make them useful, as Razib does. I can imagine the amount of crap that would appear in his comment section if he allowed one. Kudos to Razib.

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

    it is time intensive. worth it so far, but i expect my time supply will shrink soon, so we’ll see.

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

    i will be reviewing *shall the religious inherit the earth*. i hope katherine takes the review well…though i suspect it will drive her further to misanthropy.

  • http://johnhawks.net/weblog John Hawks

    But Hawks makes it very easy to contact him, and he has replied every single time I sent an e-mail.

    Don’t spread the rumor, my students will find out!

  • Sandgroper

    Thanks Katharine.

    miko, you mean like this?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXPMaoBEaQ0&feature=related

  • dave chamberlin

    Condensed version of rules;

    Babble on long enough and ye shall face the Wrath of Kahn or the Crush of Cochran.

    Forsooth
    Yea verily
    It is written

  • Katharine

    Babble on long enough and ye shall face the Wrath of Kahn (sic)

    I’m not totally sure what the Wrath of Khan actually was. Was it just Khan chasing Kirk across the universe trying to blow him up using a bomb that synthesized a living planet wherever it landed and yelling Moby Dick quotes?

  • Sandgroper

    You mean Razib is a genetically engineered tyrant?

  • Katharine

    This blog is written by Razib Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!

    (I HAD TO SAY THAT)

  • Katharine

    i will be reviewing *shall the religious inherit the earth*. i hope katherine takes the review well…though i suspect it will drive her further to misanthropy.

    I’ve read it. You’re not going to drive me that much further into misanthropy.

  • http://occludedsun.wordpress.com Caledonian

    - Be respectful toward me, even if I’m wrong. I appreciate being corrected, being wrong is not the ideal state. But just because I’m rude to commenters sometimes doesn’t mean there’s symmetry here. I’m producing, you’re consuming, and therefore I demand some due deference.

    People who are taking the trouble to correct you – or for that matter, to communicate with you – are due some deference, too. Especially when you’re wrong.

    People who are insistently stupid deserve rudeness. That’s true even when it’s the blog’s host who’s the one being stupid.

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

    People who are taking the trouble to correct you – or for that matter, to communicate with you – are due some deference, too. Especially when you’re wrong.

    no they aren’t. if you had a blog with more readers you’d know why. but keep on living in caledonian-land, where the bizarro-go-to-fantasize.


    I’ve read it. You’re not going to drive me that much further into misanthropy.

    i’ll be curious as to your assessment of some of the models within the book. i found kaufmann top be far less shoddy that most of the other treatments in this area (he’s more hedged).

  • Katharine

    i’ll be curious as to your assessment of some of the models within the book. i found kaufmann top be far less shoddy that most of the other treatments in this area (he’s more hedged).

    Well, to start off, there are two points among many the book makes, but two which are pretty big ones:

    1) religious fundamentalists crap out babies like fleshy cannons while the more secular, especially atheists, reproduce at a far saner rate, which I’m not surprised about but which makes me misanthropic (I already did the misanthropifying work myself, no need to do that for me)

    and

    2) secular democracies are a wee bit too comfortable with religious fundamentalism, which I also know happens and which also makes me misanthropic.

    I roundly despise the fact that these things are this way, but to deny that they are makes it less likely they’ll be dealt with in the right way.

  • Rimon

    razib, I know this is a little personal, but I’ve always been curious if having such a successful blog allows you to devote yourself to it entirely, or if you have another job, what field do you work in?

  • Katharine

    I don’t recall whether this topic is touched on in the book, but is there any treatment of why religions are batsh*t insane when it comes to women’s control of their own reproduction?

  • Katharine

    I was especially chilled by the fertility vs. Sharia law/other socially illiberal ideas graphs.

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

    rimon, i emailed you @ hotmail.

    but is there any treatment of why religions are batsh*t insane when it comes to women’s control of their own reproduction?

    i think you need to go to the cognitive anthropology of religion for that. i don’t think it has to do with religion as such, but religion’s co-option of intuitions about reproduction. note that materialist communist regimes in the 20th century “flipped” on women’s reproduction several times.

  • Katharine

    note that materialist communist regimes in the 20th century “flipped” on women’s reproduction several times.

    Good point. I seem to recall that communist Romania (although I don’t actually recall how secular they were, especially how secular Ceausescu was if he indeed was which I kind of doubt from what I know of the crazy old bastard) at one point banned abortion altogether and made women of childbearing age see gynecologists in order to attempt to exercise control over their reproduction.

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

    the ussr and china went through the same flips as well, though not as extreme as romania. the point about how secular romania really was is interesting, because it’s one of those post-communist states where atheist is really rare (in contrast to the czech republic). it seems that those states/societies where religion was weak prior to communist are still secular, and those where it was strong have now switched back to religion.

    but a bigger point with “secular” ideologies is that they often appeal to the same cognitive impulses as religion. these aren’t religious impulses per se, but quite often a necessary component of successful religions. stalinism was basically a religion in all forms, except baked into its materialist cake was that its god would die. the north korean regime is i think most properly analogized to ancient god-kingships. there are even supernatural claims made about the birth of kim jong il (flowers blooming in winter).

  • Katharine

    but a bigger point with “secular” ideologies is that they often appeal to the same cognitive impulses as religion. these aren’t religious impulses per se, but quite often a necessary component of successful religions. stalinism was basically a religion in all forms, except baked into its materialist cake was that its god would die. the north korean regime is i think most properly analogized to ancient god-kingships. there are even supernatural claims made about the birth of kim jong il (flowers blooming in winter).

    Which impulses, though?

    I ask this because I genuinely have no clue what compels people to do things that absurd.

  • Katharine

    Honestly, when I look at Wikipedia’s articles on what you’re describing, it strikes me as if it’s describing a species that I’m not in.

  • http://opiningonline.com Donna B.

    “If you are politically liberal, understand that I am not, even though you have a rightful expectation that I should be since I am an atheist who blogs about science.”

    Why does it follow that an atheist who blogs about science should be a liberal? I’m not arguing that it doesn’t — I know of far too many examples. But I really don’t understand WHY.

    btw – Great Post! :-)

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

    donna, don’t know why the correlation exists. i would guess it has to do with the association of religion and conservatism, and the association of irreligion and science. correlations are not necessarily transitive, but in this case i think they are.

  • http://occludedsun.wordpress.com Caledonian

    but keep on living in caledonian-land, where the bizarro-go-to-fantasize. Speaking of pointless speculation, I can’t help but notice that you’ve become a lot more contemptuous since I contradicted you on whether Islam and Christianity necessarily conflict. Coincidence?

    Donna B: It *doesn’t* follow, exactly. But there aren’t that many conservative atheists, and many scientists have a liberal bent, so the chance that an atheist who writes about science is liberal is sufficiently good that most people will see it as ‘obvious’.

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

    Speaking of pointless speculation, I can’t help but notice that you’ve become a lot more contemptuous since I contradicted you on whether Islam and Christianity necessarily conflict. Coincidence?

    probably coincidence. i tolerate you mostly because we’re only separated by one degree of separation.

  • http://occludedsun.wordpress.com Caledonian

    Hmmm. Vassar, or Schmiedekamp?

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

    mike.

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Gene Expression

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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