linkfest – 12/09/12

Reversal of Fortune – greg cochran on how to raise your population’s iq significantly in one or two generations.

Within one year Amish population grows by 12,000; experts expect trend to continue“Lancaster Amish, as well as in Pennsylvania and across the country, are doubling their population every 18-20 years.”

You Can Give a Boy a Doll, but You Can’t Make Him Play With It“Twenty years ago, Hasbro, a major American toy manufacturing company, tested a playhouse it hoped to market to both boys and girls. It soon emerged that girls and boys did not interact with the structure in the same way. The girls dressed the dolls, kissed them, and played house. The boys catapulted the toy baby carriage from the roof.” – (^_^)

Women may have the edge on men at detecting unfaithfulness“Facial masculinity was found to be correlated both with womens’ ratings of unfaithfulness and the extent to which the rated man had actually engaged in sexual cheating and poaching…. [A]ccurate judgements of unfaithfulness can be made from the face alone, in the absence of behavioural cues.”

Psychology Uncovers Sex Appeal of Dark Personalities“Why are narcissists more physically attractive…? [P]eople with dark personality traits are not seen as more physically attractive than others when you take away their freedom to wear their own clothes and makeup. People with dark personalities seem to be better at making themselves physically appealing.”

Monkey business: What howler monkeys can tell us about the role of interbreeding in human evolution“The researchers found that individuals of mixed ancestry who share most of their genome with one of the two species are physically indistinguishable from the pure individuals of that species. ‘The implications of these results are that physical features are not always reliable for identifying individuals of hybrid ancestry. Therefore, it is possible that hybridization has been underestimated in the human fossil record….'”

STEM beliefs – from the awesome epigone.

Can Familiarity Breed Desire? Science Explains Why Men Prefer Women Who Look Like Them“Familiarity does not breed contempt, a new study suggests after it revealed that men find women with whom they share certain facial features more attractive.”

Cavemen Were Much Better At Illustrating Animals Than Artists Today

‘Releasing’ people from Catholic guilt increases generosity towards church, research shows“People who recall being absolved of their sins, are more likely to donate money to the church, according to research published today in the journal Religion, Brain and Behavior.” – heh.

The End of Asperger’s Syndrome – hallelujah! i’m cured! (~_^)

The Plight of the Alpha Female“Women remain scarce in the most elite positions. And it’s by choice.”

bonus: Evolutionary psychology and the Fermi paradox – @mangan’s.

bonus bonus: Captured: the moment photosynthesis changed the world

bonus bonus bonus: How many Lego bricks can be stacked one on top of the other before one at the bottom breaks? – answer: a LOT!

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Palace of First Chinese Emperor Unearthed

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Killer Cave May Have Inspired Myth of Hades“A giant cave that might have helped serve as the inspiration for the mythic ancient Greek underworld Hades once housed hundreds of people, potentially making it one of the oldest and most important prehistoric villages in Europe before it collapsed and killed everyone inside….”

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: The most extraordinary feat of British scholarship ever“Professor Richard Sorabji, of King’s College London, has just completed the Herculean task of editing, translating and overseeing 100 volumes of translations of ancient commentaries on Aristotle, written from 200-600 AD.”

(note: comments do not require an email. howler monkeys howling.)

33 Comments

  1. About that women may have the edge on men at detecting unfaithfulness, one would imagine that men’s ability to detect unfaithful women would be at a premium in high-paternal investment societies, so that seems odd.

    Reply

  2. “‘Releasing’ people from Catholic guilt increases generosity towards church, research shows”

    It’s called an indulgence…very lucrative for the Church… ;)

    Reply

  3. “Palace of First Chinese Emperor Unearthed” – Ah, this reminds me of my trip to China last year. Check out this documentary if you’ve time to spare.

    I wonder if they’ve found more traces of mercury.

    Reply

  4. @ – “Within one year Amish population grows by 12,000; experts expect trend to continue”

    Chasidic Jews are doubling at a similar rate. Do the math and in a couple of hundred years these two groups will be the majority. (It’s happening even faster in Israel!)

    Query: Are Hasidic IQ’s on a par with the Ashkenazi average in America, or are they a self-selected minority of lesser intelligence? I’d be interested to know.

    Luke

    Reply

  5. @Luke:

    “Chasidic Jews are doubling at a similar rate. Do the math and in a couple of hundred years these two groups will be the majority. (It’s happening even faster in Israel!)”

    Left unchanged it would. However, it’s highly unlikely to remain at that high rate for too long (e.g., Amish live in a society that is essentially Malthusian; at some point it will catch up to them).

    Reply

  6. Amish are a strict branch of the Mennonites (see Anabaptists). The Mennonites extend from Pennsylvania across the Midwest to at least Iowa. They are noted for pacifism and quietism. They practice 18th/19th Century agriculture and trades. That means no electricity or phones or gasoline/diesel powered vehicles. Hydraulic machinery is fine. So are chemical wood stains and paints. Hunting guns are OK, too. Some are less strict than others.

    The Columbus Dispatch analyzed their economy some years ago and concluded it was highly profitable. They deal only in cash (or check) and do not borrow money:no interest payments. Their farms are organic: no chemicals, no tractors or fuel, horse-drawn everything. They might not use hybrid seeds–don’t know. Anyway, despite lower yields (80 bu corn/ac v. 140 bu/ac) they make more money per acre than modern farms. The families stick together. All farm labor is family. When children marry, the families help them buy land (cash only) and build barns and houses. Families are huge by today’s standards. The whole population from PA to IA is expanding rapidly both in numbers and area.

    The Mennonite family that operates my wife’s farm in Illinois use modern combines, fertilizers and seeds.

    I don’t know if they practice cousin marriage, but I wouldn’t be surprised. They are rather inbred like the Orthodox Jews, and there are several genetic disorders that are common among them.

    They make very good neighbors because they are peaceful and leave you alone to your own damnation. They are fine craftsman, and in Ohio they dominant wood-working trades like furniture and cabinetry. Holmes County is the Amish center in Ohio, but they spill over to neighboring counties. You see them all the time in our local Krogers and Walmart.

    It seems to me that they are a strong example or Darwinism in action. They are clearly superior to the rest of us in reproductive success, and that’s all that counts to Darwin. Of course, they do depend on us for medical care, steel, glass etc. But maybe when they become a majority they will keep some of us pagans around to make these things. Or maybe they will learn flint knapping and get rid of us.

    The Amish, the Orthodox Jews, Eastern Orthodox Christians and Muslims are all possible successors to our secular culture. History like evolution has no direction. The Roman and Chinese Emperors and the Caliphs and Khans and the Aztecs and Incas thought their rules would last forever.

    Sprechen zie deutsch?

    Reply

  7. Amish better drop those pussy non-violence rules if they want to inherit the future of anything, even what they have now.

    Reply

  8. About that Amish article, as I posted elsewhere, in response to the Amish custom of “Rumspringa“:

    “Rumspringa” is an ingenious Amish method of breeding true believers. You get to release the pigeons and see who returns home. Those that do seed future generations of Amish fully committed to the Amish lifestyle and community. A healthy level of inbreeding helps within-community bonds stay strong…

    Do not doubt, because of their simplistic life, that the Amish are likely quite clever. Because they shun modern technology, they don’t have comfy-cozy society to push along the dimwits, so their breeding is likely eugenic (that is, presuming that they don’t have an extended-kin welfare system that helps the losers along).

    I will add that Rumspringa has an additional advantage of allowing Amish genes to infiltrate the outside, further improving their fitness. If the Amish are crazy, they are crazy like foxes!

    Reply

  9. bleach:
    “Amish better drop those pussy non-violence rules if they want to inherit the future of anything, even what they have now.”

    We tend to assume that eventually the Amish will have to deal with an aggressive, white-hating future dystopia, like a continent-sized Zimbabwe or Haiti, and this will force them to behave differently.
    But if Rumspringa is casting off 10-20% per generation, and those Amish descendants have roughly replacement fertility, isn’t it possible that the Amish territories will effectively be protected by millions of Amish-descended, potentially-violent whites, and they will be able to stay pacifist?

    Anyway, they will only have doubled at most about 4 times in our lifetimes, that’s about 4 million Amish in 2070 – so we won’t live to see the final outcome.

    Reply

  10. @ “Women may have the edge on men at detecting unfaithfulness” ?

    I doubt that on a priori grounds (standard evolutionary psychology). Remember, “most published research reports are wrong” (see Google).

    Luke

    Reply

  11. @ “men find women with whom they share certain facial features more attractive”

    Hmmm. Then maybe Freud was on to something (when he suggested men wanted to marry their mothers)? I think complexion might be particularly important here.

    Luke

    Reply

  12. If there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe why haven’t we seen it?

    I think the most parsimonius explanation is relativity*: the distance to the nearest planet with intelligent life on it (measure in light years) exceeds the life-span of biological beings. Who would want to go on a trip they knew they would never come back from, or if they did come back everybody they knew would be long-gone.

    *relativity implies you can’t go faster than the speed of light, and as you get closer to the speed of light time (for you) slows down to a crawl. What might have seemed to you like a year aboard your spaceship could turn out to be a thousand years when you got back on earth. This is standard, text-book physics. As rock solid as it gets.

    Luke

    Reply

  13. Concerning the future of intelligent life, I just read G.H. Wells The Time Machine for the first time. He imagines a time 800,000 years into the future in which human intelligence so far from increasing has almost completely disappeared. Why? Once all of man’s material problems were solved intelligence was no longer needed and hence disappeared, just like a fish’s eye in a cave. I’m not a science fiction fan but this book was fun.

    Luke

    Reply

  14. @Luke:

    “If there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe why haven’t we seen it?

    I think the most parsimonius explanation is relativity*: the distance to the nearest planet with intelligent life on it (measure in light years) exceeds the life-span of biological beings. “

    Maybe. Our current understanding is that nothing exceeds the speed of light. But, do we know if that’s a true, hard-and-fast (so to speak) rule that can never be technologically overcome? I don’t think that we do.

    As well, assuming that other technological species have natural lifespans comparable to our own, how do we know that that can’t be vastly extended by technological means?

    Lots of real unknowns on this one. I am hope we may find out in my lifetime! :)

    Reply

  15. Of course, the Amish weren’t Always pacifist, and they could flip again, if they find it necessary to survive. The Radical Anabaptists (from whom the Amish are theologically descended) were known for almost insane levels of violence during the Reformation, and it could happen again. See

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%BCnster_Rebellion for details. An army of crusading Amish? Not as far fetched as one might think…

    Reply

  16. @ Jayman – “Maybe. Our current understanding is that nothing exceeds the speed of light. But, do we know if that’s a true, hard-and-fast (so to speak) rule that can never be technologically overcome?”

    I think the answer is yes. Not on my own authority (heaven forbid!) but Lubos Motl’s, who is my go-to guy on questions of this sort. He was a former Harvard Fellow and has a great blog. Richard Feynman also has some good stuff in layman’s language on the time travel aspect (twin paradox) of relativity in his famous lectures. If I recall correctly it is not just the speed that slows down time but also acceleration. Clocks run slower in strong gravitational fields, which are equivalent to acceleration (which equivalence principle is the fundamental postulate of general relativity). All this stuff has actually been tested in the lab.

    Fun fact: the principles of general relativity are put to practical use in our GPS global positioning systems. It turns out that time and space are distorted not only by velocity and gravitational bodies but also by spinning gravitational bodies even more. It’s called “frame shift” and if not corrected for would throw our GPS coordinates off something like 15 feet a day (or maybe it is 15 feet total, can’t remember which). I think this is the only practical application of General Relativity.

    To come back to why the speed of light is an absolute speed limit. It has to do with the fact that the mass of an object made out of ordinary matter (electrons, protons, neutrons) approaches infinity the closer you get to the speed of light. The amount of energy required to accelerate it to such velocities also approaches infinity. They are what set the limits (both physical and financial) of modern accelerators like the new one at CERN.

    As you can see I love physics. I get peaceful, awesome feelings when I contemplate its laws. For me they are like the face of God. Something few real physicists would agree with of course. But I think there might be symmetries in biological organisms to, the sentient ones especially, that correlate pleasure and pain and somehow produce a just final result. Just an unproven hunch.

    Reply

  17. @Luke:

    I do astrophysics in my other life, I’m familiar the science. My main point was not if relativity was indeed the rule in normal space (which it is), but whether or not we one day discover a work-around. Since the case with physics is clearly not closed, we can’t completely rule this possibility out, although it does at present seem like a remote prospect. If it is possible at all however, it is likely a sufficiently old civilization may discover how to accomplish it.

    Reply

  18. @jayman – “About that women may have the edge on men at detecting unfaithfulness, one would imagine that men’s ability to detect unfaithful women would be at a premium in high-paternal investment societies, so that seems odd.”

    hmmmm. from the interview:

    “For our new study, 68 self-reported heterosexual, adult Caucasians (34 males and 34 females) from the University of Western Australia participated in the study for course credit. The men were aged between 17 and 48, the women between 17 and 45….

    “Women were able to assess mens’ unfaithfulness with a modest degree of accuracy (incorrectly rating an ‘unfaithful’ face as ‘faithful’ on 38% of occasions). Facial masculinity was found to be correlated both with womens’ ratings of unfaithfulness and the extent to which the rated man had actually engaged in sexual cheating and poaching.

    “In contrast, men appeared unable to rate womens’ unfaithfulness with any validity (incorrectly rating an ‘unfaithful’ face as ‘faithful’ on 77% of occasions).”

    not the biggest study in the world — n=68. and the women’s success was “modest.” odd, though, like you say that the men didn’t do better. could there have been a sort-of arms race here? that unfaithful women who appeared faithful were selected for over time? ’cause they were able to secure patneral investment AND simultaneously were able to avoid putting all their eggs in the same basket?

    Reply

  19. @luke – “Query: Are Hasidic IQ’s on a par with the Ashkenazi average in America, or are they a self-selected minority of lesser intelligence? I’d be interested to know.”

    i dunno either. they seem less intelligent to me, as a group, but that could be a wrong impression.

    Reply

  20. @bob – “I don’t know if they practice cousin marriage, but I wouldn’t be surprised.”

    they don’t — not first cousin marriage anyway — but in effect they sorta do since they only marry each other and started off from a small sized population (founder effect stuff). from wikipedia:

    “Even in the absence of preferential consanguinity, alleles that are rare in large populations can randomly increase to high frequency in small groups within a few generations due to the founder effect and accelerated genetic drift in a breeding pool of restricted size. For example because the entire Amish population is descended from only a few hundred 18th century German-Swiss settlers, the average coefficient of inbreeding between two random Amish is higher than between two non-Amish second cousins. First-cousin marriage is taboo among Amish but they still suffer from several rare genetic disorders.”

    Reply

  21. @simon – “…so we won’t live to see the final outcome.”

    i’m gonna opt for cryopreservation. i hate not knowing the end of a story! (~_^)

    Reply

  22. @luke – “Who would want to go on a trip they knew they would never come back from, or if they did come back everybody they knew would be long-gone.”

    well, you could take your friends and family with you. i would be up for that! (^_^)

    Reply

  23. @luke – “Concerning the future of intelligent life, I just read G.H. Wells The Time Machine for the first time.”

    hmmm. sounds like one for my christmas reading list. i haven’t read it, either!

    Reply

  24. @hbd – “not the biggest study in the world — n=68. and the women’s success was “modest.”

    This is precisely why most published research results are wrong. Only the most surprising results are published (man bites dog) because the other kinds are boring. Add that to small sample size, poor sample selection, and the chances of random error and viola! So, yes, this particular study is wrong. Like to bet? :)

    Luke

    Reply

  25. “end of Asperger’s syndrome…” Hah! I have a box of pills right here, which are guaranteed to cure Asperger’s, or any other form of autism, or even cure one of being normal.

    Here, let me read you the label on the box of pills:

    Winchester Super-X. 20 centerfire pistol-revolver cartridges.

    .45 Colt. 225 grain Silvertip hollow point

    . Comes out of my piece at about 1000 feet per second. Calculating kinetic energy and momentum is left as an exercise for the student, or you could look it up at Winchester’s Web site.

    We are what we are.

    Reply

  26. Die Amish sprechen ein Art von niederdeutsch, dass als “Plattdeutsch” sogennant ist. Es is unterschiedlich von hochdeutsch or standarddeutsch, den die Mehrheit der Deutsche sprechen. Es is ähnlicher wie hollandisch, aber noch ein bisschen unterschiedlich.

    Reply

  27. The women weren’t really rating men’s desire to be unfaithful. They were largely rating their ability to be unfaithful. Women can predict which men are attractive enough to have affairs/ a piece on the side. Most women can cheat fairly easily, so men were actually trying to guess personality characteristics.

    Reply

Leave a Reply to Luke Lea Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s