Daily Data Dump

By Razib Khan | April 15, 2010 12:29 pm

The Secret of the Banks’ Success. 35% of the domestic American profits are now in finance. This much “intermediation” in our economy is like having to service the the enormous parasitic noble class of the Ancien Régime.

Bad mutations are good for you. It’s about fitness landscapes. In Narrow Roads of Gene Land W. D. Hamilton admits that his turn away from top-down eugenic policies had to do with this sort of issue. What’s good is bad and what’s bad is good, and so forth.

Retail Sales increase sharply in March. The author of the Calculated Risk blog usually presents positive data by offering some skeptical pessimistic commentary. In this case it seems he left the charts to speak for themselves, which I take as a sign of optimism in this area. Though we’re still a nation in personal debt, so I don’t see where the $ for the consumption is coming from.

Starting from the Beginning: Evolutionary and Developmental Origins of Human Knowledge. ScienceBlogs is adding some serious heft.

APCDD1 is a novel Wnt inhibitor mutated in hereditary hypotrichosis simplex. Hair loss gene.

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  • ChH

    The Secret of the Banks’ Success: They can take on much more risk – which is profitable in good times – than would normally be wise because they know the government will bail them out if things go badly.

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

    agreed.

  • http://scienceblogs.com/thoughtfulanimal Jason

    Thanks for the links, and the compliment!

    Heft is something to strive for, I suppose, but only sometimes. Don’t want to overwhelm the reader (yet) :-)

  • bioIgnoramus

    “This much “intermediation” in our economy is like having to service the the enormous parasitic noble class of the Ancien Régime.” It’s worse – at least some of the nobility contributed to high culture.

  • Afterthought

    Average idiot: How does the Casino keep on winning?!?

  • Eric Johnson

    The Ancien Regime created not only high and universalistic culture, but also, not-unrelatedly, large-scale systems of military self-defense. That was no small achievement, considering that they had little to build on: in the north of Europe there was no pre-existing High Civilization that could minimize the profuse petty local squabbles of its native tribalism. Those nobles built that High Civ themselves, with their own hands.

    Which is not so say that the majority benefited. The suppression of profuse petty conflicts saved lives from Mars, but fed those savings to Starvation. It was a wash, on net for the peasants though certainly not for culture.

    Our high-finance aristocrats may have built something too, nurturing hothouse orchids of complex economic production with their complex credit regimes. Some of what they pampered under glass has probably gone on to survive “in nature,” to the benefit of everyone. But some hasn’t. And they took much from the profits, to add fine appointments to baroque mansions. And now the universal credit junkiedom is too much to sustain, much like the over-prescription of ritalin that developed in parallel. Hoi polloi like myself have probably been “mildly plundered” on net. A simpler and more conservative way of economic life would have been somewhat better for us peasants. After all we are much less insulated from the intermittent vertigos of the roller coaster that “the Wise” have erected: and pain, not joy, is the “ground of existence.” The transient pains that happen in the fluctuations are more imminent than the delights of those same fluctuations: more pure, more effective, more awake, and more real. As pain has always been, so far, compared to pleasure.

  • http://entitledtoanopinion.wordpress.com TGGP

    “like having to service the the enormous parasitic noble class of the Ancien Régime”
    I don’t think they actually took up that much portion of GDP. It’s just that GDP was so small back then to begin with, there wasn’t a lot of margin to take.

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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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