Around the web – January 23rd, 2013

By Razib Khan | January 23, 2013 12:05 pm

Well, I don’t have as much time for these anymore…but here it goes….

Haldane’s Sieve. A must if you are interested in evolutionary/population genetics/genomics (not that you can keep up with it all, but interesting for a taste). Since it only posts on pre-prints you don’t need academic access to get into the academic literature.

Human Varieties. A blog which discusses relatively taboo topics such as psychometrics (well, OK, topics which are taboo so long as you don’t have children who are entering elementary school, at which point you examine average test scores with the same acuity as Alfred Binet).

Reaction Norm. He’s been hibernating for a few weeks. Perhaps he’s found a job?

America’s Real Criminal Element: Lead: New research finds Pb is the hidden villain behind violent crime, lower IQs, and even the ADHD epidemic. And fixing the problem is a lot cheaper than doing nothing. Obvious why it’s important.

Lead and Crime. Jim Manzi’s response.

My Mom Was Too Old: She had me at 42. She got frail before I was ready. There seems to be a trend of such stories. If you read it in detail you observe that delaying child-bearing has positive results in some ways (e.g., more financially stable). But as your own children grow up and mature their own freedom and self-actualization is hampered by the fact that they have to tend to their parents. I think one major strand of inter-generational tension which is going to become more prominent is the resentment of the children of the baby boomers who delayed parenthood. Because the boomer’s own parents had them relatively young they did not pay the cost of delayed parenthood which they are incurring upon their own offspring.

Did the Pro-Life Movement Lead to More Single Moms? This reminds me of Eric Cartmenez.

GQ’s Hottest Women List Separates Out the Indian and Asian Chicks. One of the weird things as the 21st century progresses is that the public discourse holds that race blindness in attractiveness in normative, but in their personal lives people tend to go with their inner Bull Connor. In fact I’m 99% sure that my friends who admit privately that they are only attracted to race X (usually their own race) would express public outrage at this sort of thing.

How academia betrayed and continues to betray Aaron Swartz. In your heart you know Michael Eisen’s right, even if you do go ahead and publish in Nature!

Harvard professor blasts Neanderthal clone baby rumor on Web. The whole George Church story is a weird fiasco. On the other hand a journalist friend told me a few months ago that Church was floating this idea of recreating Neandertals, at least in a speculative sense, so I’m not surprised that things got lost in translation.

Rump Faker: Is imitation calamari made from pig rectum? A charming urban legend gets its start. No comment.

Web Tell-All on an Affair Brings Down a Chinese Official. With greater transparency due to technology hypocrisy is going to get much more difficult in some domains.

Mathematicians aim to take publishers out of publishing. Now my question is why many humanities don’t follow suit.

War was central to Europe’s first civilization, contrary to popular belief. The Minoans were not peace loving goddess worshipers. I’d already assumed this, but I’ve encountered people who keep telling me that Minoans were matriarchal.

Comments Suck Right? So Why Do You Have Them. The comments of many opinion journals are a cesspool. So what’s the point?

Is the Neurodiversity Movement Misrepresenting Autism? For some reason we have a difficult time calling a pathology a pathology. I know people who have Asperger who have “trained” themselves to be functional. It can be done, but you need to acknowledge the problem in the first place. The issues for low functioning autistic individuals are far different of course.

Scientiam Consecemus!! The Ronin Institute is a cool idea.

Consider public archiving for your dissertation. This seems like an obvious thing to do. Unless Monsanto is funding your whole project.

Study: The New Less-Social Psychology of China’s Generation Without Siblings. One of the biggest social engineering experiments out there in the world today is the trend toward smaller families. China is the logical extreme of this. Why is this social engineering? Societies dependent upon nepotism and familial networks are going to find in the near future that the “circle of cousins” is going to be much smaller and more fragmented.

Germs Are Us: Bacteria make us sick. Do they also keep us alive? Microbiomes are going to be the “next big thing.” So you might as well start reading about it.

Let’s face it: New arrivals are draining the economy. No comment.

Vandana Shiva: Brahmin in Shudra clothing. This post is probably too harsh, but Ron Bailey years ago pointed out that Vandana Shiva is a rather plump woman. This matters because anti-GMO activism is often an a lifestyle choice of the affluent post-materialist set. In developed nations this is one thing, but in nations like India where a significant proportion of the population is malnourished it’s rather galling that the well fed are attempting to constrain the choices of the ill fed.

How a quarter of the cow genome came from snakes. This is one reason GMO does not scare me too much.

Apple Killed the Netbook. I came close to getting a Netbook, but balked at the feature set for the price.

Derailed: The Rise and Fall of Diederik Stapel. I doubt there are that many Stapel’s in science, but even a few can ruin the whole enterprise.

Egg-Laying Mammal: Scientists Discover That for Australia the Long-Beaked Echidna May Not Be a Thing of the Past. The sort of thing that gives cryptozoologists hope.

Maybe “The Big Sort” Never Happened. Reanalyzing social science truisms is important.

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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


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