Tag: Daily Data Dump

Daily Data Dump – October 25th, 2010

By Razib Khan | October 25, 2010 11:55 am

Detailed admixture analysis of West Eurasian populations (+ GenomesUnzipped individuals). Dienekes looks at the Genomes Unzipped guys in the context of Eurasian variation. He explains why he prefers bar plots of inferred ancestral quanta over PCA and MDS charts.

A World Upside Down for Greeks. “In Greece, small businesses — defined as stores or workshops employing fewer than 10 people, though many are one-person operations — account for 96 percent of all enterprises and employ around two million of Greece’s five million-strong work force.” Part of this is presumably familialism. Greeks don’t trust each other, so private sector activity is always on a small scale. And part of it is probably the constricted regulatory framework of the Greek economy which prevents the emergence of corporations with some economies of scale. But either way it seems that this is too strong of a bias to be an efficient allocation of labor.

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Daily Data Dump – October 21st, 2010

By Razib Khan | October 21, 2010 10:37 am

Bob Guccione, Penthouse Founder, Dies at 79. Playboy has been in decline too.

HUMAN GENE COUNT: MORE THAN A CHICKEN, LESS THAN A GRAPE. Going under 20,000. Hey, it’s just a number, not the measure of a man.

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Daily Data Dump – October 20th, 2010

By Razib Khan | October 20, 2010 11:43 am

My DonorsChoose page. Compared to previous years I’m kind of under-performing. I haven’t done any PBS-like incentives before, but perhaps I should. For example, anyone who gives $250 is owed a post from me on a topic of their choice of at least 2,000 words excluding quotations within the next 3 months. Those are just stray numbers thrown out there, but anyone interested? You’d have to rely on my good faith obviously, as I’m the final arbiter as to whether I’m gaming the metrics, but I’m an honest person about these sorts of things. It would probably be reasonable to do a graduated scale above a minimum threshold too.

Achievement gap achieved household status a decade ago. Seems like the rise of high-stakes testing means that “the gap” is now in widespread circulation as a meme…but I doubt most people know the quantitative details. According to the The Journal of Black Education in 2006 ~48,000 whites scored above a 700 on the Verbal SAT, while ~1,200 blacks did. For the math the figures were ~55,500 and ~1,100. A 700 is about at the 25th percentile of a Harvard undergraduate.

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Daily Data Dump – October 19th, 2010

By Razib Khan | October 19, 2010 11:09 am

Use Cash, Not Cards, To Buy Better Food? Another of the upsides of the “pain of paying.” I wonder if the effect will be transferred to debit cards as we move away from cash? Or, perhaps the effect is tied to the concreteness of a currency, and cash is just more concrete than debit cards. If you had gold ingots would there be more pain? And barter?

Intelligence Makes People Think Like Economists. The preprint has been around forever, I had forgotten that Bryan Caplan was going to publish it somewhere. Whether is redounds to the reputation of the intelligent or not is your call.

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Daily Data Dump – October 18th, 2010

By Razib Khan | October 18, 2010 10:41 am

Elitism in the Senate. Harvard Law School:Tokyo University::Congress:Diet. Perusing The Almanac of American Politics makes it pretty clear that Harvard Law is way overrepresented.

Barbara Billingsley Dies. All icons shall pass.

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Daily Data Dump – Thursday

By Razib Khan | October 14, 2010 2:55 pm

As you can see, I got the DonorsChoose widget to work. Here’s the Discover Blogs leader board. Sean Carroll et al. are “beating” me by an order of magnitude right now. Not that that’s the point….

It’s a Jersey Thing. New South Park episode. I noticed a bunch of references to The Lord of The Rings which don’t seem to have made it into the Wikipedia summary of the episode. The depiction of “Snooki” was very funny.

How Worrysome is Habitat Loss? In relation to bidoversity I’ve argued that biologists sometimes confuse their normative with their scientific concerns, and this muddles the message. Environmental activists don’t have this problem because they’re plainly engaging in activism.

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Daily Data Dump – Wednesday

By Razib Khan | October 13, 2010 12:36 pm

Gay Sex vs. Straight Sex. Is gay male sexual promiscuity a myth? “…in fact we found that just 2% of gay people have had 23% of the total reported gay sex, which is pretty crazy.”

Bloggers that deserve a wider readership. I second Andrew Gelman.

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Daily Data Dump – Tuesday

By Razib Khan | October 12, 2010 1:07 pm

Incumbents Polling Below 50 Percent Often Win Re-Election, Despite Conventional Wisdom. ‘By the way, the theory espoused by Mr. Kraushaar and others isn’t coming out of nowhere: there is solid evidence that it used to be true, 20 or 25 years ago. Back then, the undecideds in a race usually could be counted upon to break toward the challenger: the name given to this phenomenon was the “incumbent rule.”’ CW is a lagging indicator.

New Mongoose-Like Carnivorous Mammal Discovered in Madagascar. Crazy that we’re discovering mammals which are not the size of mice.

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Daily Data Dump – Monday

By Razib Khan | October 11, 2010 11:42 am

Good morning WWW.

Richard Dawkins publicized the “We Are All Africans” t-shirt on Bill Maher’s show, which resulted in a major backlog of orders. The shirt is factually true. But the “Out of Africa” model is not as clean or simple as it would have been 10 years ago. Ironically Dawkins himself tipped his hand as to the complexity of his own thinking in The Ancestor’s Tale by promoting Alan Templeton’s “Out of Africa again and again” hypothesis. Dawkins in the past has shown a keen skepticism of deriving ought from is, so I’m a touch confused by this current tack, though the maxim on the t-shirt is quite fashionable in our age.

Deep ancestors of human DNA compatible with structured African population. Dienekes reviews a paper which came out this summer. This is going to make me sound stupid, but did I review the paper? [confused it with another paper, no, this just came out] I’ll have to look. There have been models like this around for years, but the discovery that there’s non-trivial Neandertal admixture in non-African populations using the retrieved Neandertal genome should shift our priors a bit in terms of evaluating these papers.

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Daily Data Dump – Thursday

By Razib Khan | October 7, 2010 1:12 pm

Scientists and Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery. It looks to be a combination of a virus and fungus. The paper itself is open access at PLoS ONE.

The READ: Washed Up. A panning of the attempts of Jersey Shore “cast” members to cash in on their fame. I think the reason that JS was such an initial hit is that unlike MTV’s other reality television offerings they are taken as they are and there is no attempt is made to “reform” them by opening their minds. In fact they’re arguably becoming more extreme in their caricature of the working-class East Coast white ethnic ethos.

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Daily Data Dump – Wednesday

By Razib Khan | October 6, 2010 1:22 pm

Epigenome effort makes its mark. “This week, the Roadmap Epigenomics Project, a US$170-million effort to identify and map those marks — known collectively as the human epigenome — begins its first comprehensive data release.”

At Flagging Tribune, Tales of a Bankrupt Culture. The story of executives taking home millions while the ship goes down is very old-school. Mao ate well while millions starved and China as a nation-state was being economically eviscerated. The scale of the moral calamity differed by orders of magnitude, but I think the principal-agent problem is basically the same.

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Daily Data Dump – Tuesday

By Razib Khan | October 5, 2010 12:58 pm

Urban and rural differences in mortality and causes of death in historical Poland. Unfortunately good demographic data on urban vs. rural death rates only date from the early modern era, but here in this Polish data set from the 19th and early 20th century you see the large urban > small urban > rural rank order in death rates. If you dig through the literature you will find that London has older records, and a definite death over birth excess for much of the period right before and during the Industrial Revolution.

The Dingo – Australia’s Wildlife Watchdog. “Viewed from a historical perspective, the presence of dingoes was strongly associated with the persistence of native Australian animals.” Tell that to the thylacine! Though seriously, the dingo has been native to Australian for ~4,000 years, so I suppose this goes to show how ecosystems can equilibrate to the presence of invasive species over time.

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Daily Data Dump – Monday

By Razib Khan | October 4, 2010 4:18 pm

I don’t think I’ll post about Mormons this week. Alas, less traffic.

Y chromosomes of Vlax Roma. Is it a coincidence that all these Roma genetics papers are coming out at the same time that the Roma are at the center of E.U. politics? Probably.

Not So Hidden Influences. Christopher Hitchens asks “Is it so offensive to note the effectiveness of the Jewish lobby?” One could read the publications of Hadassah or J. J. Goldberg’s Jewish Power to get a good sense of the effectiveness and power of American Jews. And anyone who knows basic figures can see that Jews are well overrepresented in the Ivy League. Personally, I became aware of the overrepresentation of Jews among power elites by reading Norman Cantor’s The Sacred Chain as a teenager. This is an issue where obviously context matters, and it isn’t as much what you say as how you say it (I was curious as to why Hitchens didn’t mention his mother’s Jewish heritage to insulate him from charges of insensitivity, but it turns out that he’s only 1/32 Jewish by ancestry).

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Daily Data Dump – Thursday

By Razib Khan | September 30, 2010 11:21 am

Should you go to an Ivy League School? “Clearly, going to a top-ranked school seems to deliver far higher earnings at age 28 than poorer ranked schools. In fact, the relationship is highly non-linear. Contrary to what you may have heard (“All top-ranked schools are the same”); it in fact looks like the difference between top-ranked Harvard and 9th ranked Dartmouth is on the order of ~$4,000 a year (perhaps $100,000-$200,000 over the course of a lifetime?).”

The Other Social Network. Speaking of non-linearities: “And of course there’s the H-Factor. “I think the name had a lot to do with it,” says Ting. “When we go to a school and say this site is from Columbia, it doesn’t carry the same marketing punch as, This is from Harvard.”

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Daily Data Dump – Wednesday

By Razib Khan | September 29, 2010 2:04 pm

A Widespread Chromosomal Inversion Polymorphism Contributes to a Major Life-History Transition, Local Adaptation, and Reproductive Isolation. Edmund Yong has already written this paper up. Sheril Kirshenbaum offers up her thoughts, stimulated by personal communication with the first author.

Inferring the Dynamics of Diversification: A Coalescent Approach. The title is more forbidding than the topic: “Applying our approach to a diverse set of empirical phylogenies, we demonstrate that speciation rates have decayed over time, suggesting ecological constraints to diversification. Nonetheless, we find that diversity is still expanding at present, suggesting either that these ecological constraints do not impose an upper limit to diversity or that this upper limit has not yet been reached.”

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Daily Data Dump – Tuesday

By Razib Khan | September 28, 2010 10:52 am

Just a minor note: if you want an admin update on this weblog, go to my twitter account. You don’t need to subscribe, as you might not be interested in all my random interactions with other bloggers. But if I don’t post for a few days, please don’t email me or post a comment in the thread wondering if I’m well, just check the twitter account. Easier that way not to clutter up the content on this website. You can always find the link to twitter right under my head shot on the sidebar. You can’t miss it.

Getting even with the odds ratio. To some extent it’s “common sense,” context matters. But nice to be reminded. Especially when in some cases context doesn’t matter.

Complexity Not So Costly After All: Moderately Complex Plants and Animals Can Be Better Equipped to Adapt. “By incorporating a more realistic representation of pleiotropy, Zhang’s analysis found the reverse of Orr’s arguments to be true. Although Fisher’s observation still holds, reversing Orr’s assertions minimizes its impact, thus reducing the cost of complexity.” I plan on blogging this, so I won’t say more.

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Daily Data Dump – Monday

By Razib Khan | September 27, 2010 12:42 pm

Wow, it sure feels like summer!

No one cares about your blog (part 2). “The thing is – it’s just writing, isn’t it? Talking extensively about science blogging is like having intense discourses about what you can do with pen and paper. “Should we staple all our pieces of paper together, or only the ones on which we wrote about our work?…” This is a generalized issue. Talking about blogging is a major topic on blogs, and is bound to get discussion going. On the other hand, when I post data or reviews of paper there’s less engagement of the subject, though there are a fair number of tweets.

Dinesh D’Souza’s poison. Heather Mac Donald rips into Dinesh D’Souza. Many on the Right don’t pay much attention to D’Souza because of his penchant for provocation and sloppiness. I take Heather’s main point to be that operationally Barack Hussein Obama is a standard issue liberal Democratic politician. Quantum mechanics is’t necessary when Newtonian mechanics will do.

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Daily Data Dump – Thursday

By Razib Khan | September 23, 2010 11:40 am

Nobel-winning brain researcher retracts two papers. Looks like there’s the typical blame-it-on-the-Asian going on here, so perhaps this won’t blow up.

In Our Time is back. This week: Imaginary Numbers.

“200 genes potentially associated with academic performance in schoolchildren”. Most genes of small effect. We’ll see. Don’t get too excited yet, you might be disappointed.

Through the Language Glass (Part 2). Second part of a review of Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages.

Blogging out of Balance. Dave Munger did some serious legwork on analyzing the data sets available. For what it’s worth 75% of the readers of this weblog are male. 75% of at least some European descent. 60% are irreligious. 80% atheists and agnostics. 1/3 have graduate school degrees. 85% have completed calculus. I’ve done surveys regularly of the readership since 2004 or so, and they’re always 75-85% male, with the other figures about the same. The main difference is that the median reader is becoming more politically liberal.

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Daily Data Dump – Wednesday

By Razib Khan | September 22, 2010 11:35 am

Freshman Weight Gain: Women With Heavy Roommates Gain Less, Study Finds. I guess the model makes sense, but it really makes one wonder about the power of prior expectations about these sorts of things. There just so many plausible stories for any given set of data.

Why Does Spicy Food Taste Hot? The feeling of “heat” from the active ingredient in spicy food is an illusion due an accident of physiology. I obviously really love spicy food, even though the heat isn’t “real.” It makes me wonder about the idea that we shouldn’t just plug ourselves into sensation generation machines if we ever had the technology.

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Daily Data Dump – Tuesday

By Razib Khan | September 21, 2010 10:17 am

Price’s Second Equation. David B continues his technical review of the Price Equation.

Selective pressures for accurate altruism targeting: evidence from digital evolution for difficult-to-test aspects of inclusive fitness theory. “Our investigations also revealed that evolution did not increase the altruism level when all green beard altruists used the same phenotypic marker.” Read a university press release here.

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