linkfest – 02/18/13

A Genetic Code for Genius? – more on the bgi project.

Genetic components of political preference“[I]ndividuals tend to have a broad, evolution-based orientation toward being more conservative or liberal about various elements, such as protecting their in-group. That in-group orientation can translate into preferences on political issues such as reproductive rights, immigration, and war, as well as political behaviors such as voting behavior and political participation.”

Baby-making among non-whites by political orientation over time – from the awesome epigone.

Higher Levels of Neanderthal Ancestry in East Asians Than in Europeans (Wall et al. 2013) – @dienekes’.

Gildea (1992): A lost IQ study of transracially adopted Koreans – from jason malloy.

Unchanging Essence“Shea says that no anthropologist in his right mind would think that existing cultural variation among humans had anything to do with genetic differences between existing populations. It will be interesting to discover the alleles that made him say that.” – heh. – from greg cochran.

Obama Seeking to Boost Study of Human Brain“The Obama administration is planning a decade-long scientific effort to examine the workings of the human brain and build a comprehensive map of its activity, seeking to do for the brain what the Human Genome Project did for genetics.” – via steve sailer.

Peter Turchin on the Big Picture – (on “cycles of inequality”) – from steve sailer.

Memory of chimps ‘far better than human’

Why Almost Everyone in Russia Has a Dash Cam“The sheer size of the country, combined with lax — and often corrupt — law enforcement, and a legal system that rarely favors first-hand accounts of traffic collisions has made dash cams all but a requirement for motorists. ‘You can get into your car without your pants on, but never get into a car without a dash cam,’ Aleksei Dozorov, a motorists’ rights activist in Russia told Radio Free Europe last year.”

Why Children Must Inherit Their Last Names from Their Father, Not Their Mother – from kanazawa.

Bacteria boost fixes symptoms of autism in mice“[I]nfecting pregnant mice with molecules from a flu virus caused autism-like symptoms in their offspring. The pups were less social, squeaked less and displayed repetitive behaviours. They also had a ‘leaky’ gastrointestinal tract that allowed bacteria to move in and out of the lining. In addition, the bacteria present in their gut were significantly different from that found in mice without autism-like behaviour. Studies in humans have also identified links between gut bacteria and autism. For example, a 2011 study identified a significant lack of Bacteroides in children with autism.”

How Napoleon Chagnon Became Our Most Controversial Anthropologist“He spent much of the past decade working on a memoir instead’ ‘Noble Savages: My Life Among Two Dangerous Tribes — the Yanomamö and the Anthropologists,’ which comes out this month.” – heh.

The Weird Irony at the Heart of the Napoleon Chagnon Affair – definitely all very weird.

bonus: The Pilgrims as Illegal Aliens“Letting in immigrants means letting in your future rulers.”

bonus bonus: Illegal Immigrations and Black Unemployment“It’s peculiar … that those who can usually be counted on to highlight any disparity between blacks and whites — whatever the reason and no matter how slight the disparity – have said not a word about the effect of illegal immigration on blacks.”

bonus bonus bonus: Sea slug loses penis after sex but grows another the next day“Invertebrate may discard organ like a dirty needle to avoid carrying competitors’ sperm.” – ouch!

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Bronze Age beads that are worth their weight in gold: 4,000-year-old burial chest unearthed on Dartmoor ‘one of most significant historical finds in a century’

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Could the sea be conscious? Research reveals how tiny plankton behave like a marine ‘megamind’

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Debate Continues: Did Your Seafood Feel Pain?“Scientists disagree on whether your seafood suffered.”

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Norway jails Rwandan for 21 years over role in 1994 genocide“Similar cases against Rwandans have been brought in neighbouring Sweden, Finland and Denmark.” — nordic countries’ jurisdictions extend globally (perhaps even throughout the entire solar system?) — just thought you should know.

(note: comments do not require an email. two sea slugs, two penises … say no more!)

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28 Comments

  1. re: genetic code for genius

    Slightly off topic, perhaps, but something I’ve been wondering about: it appears different population groups have different average intelligences even when we allow for regression to the mean (I think). Part of the reason might be that certain alleles that increase (or decrease) intelligence have gone to fixity in some population groups but not in others. Supposing that to be the case, here is a question: if the different population groups miscegenate completely, and assuming identical fertility rates for all and a stable population size, will the total number of geniuses produced by the new homogenized population be the same, less than, or greater than before? My guess is the same.

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  2. The illegal alieans description for the Puritans is fun for its ability to show us events through new eyes, but it still falls short for accuracy. The Indians did have that idea about Europeans in some times and places, but not coastal New England. As with many other places, (European) diseases had just wiped out many natives, and there was increased warfare among tribes because of that. Puritan settlers brought goods to trade, and were seen as potential allies against other tribes. The first fifty years were remarkably peaceful – more peaceful than England or the surrounding native areas, in fact. It didn’t last, and the New Englander’s treatment of Indians was often shoddy and sometimes worse. But “illegal alien” is just an attempt to make political hay in the current era.

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  3. That high volumes of low-skilled immigrants hurt the wages of low-skilled Americans is Econ. 101: supply and demand in the labor market. That blacks are disproportionately represented among the low-skilled is common knowledige. That immigration proponents, including our nation’s highest leaders, ignore these two facts proves what?

    a) they don’t give a fuck about working-class blacks (yes, that includes you, too, Obama)

    b) they care, but they care more about the money required to finance their careers, and “those people” don’t give a fuck

    c) they can’t quite remember how the laws of supply and demand are supposed to work and besides, sophists assure them, the latest econometric models show the laws of supply and demand are a myth like the law of gravity

    d) all of the above

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  4. Could the sea be conscious? Research reveals how tiny plankton behave like a marine ‘megamind’

    Its the pattern jugglers. Try not to be “swallowed” next time you go swimming in the ocean.

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  5. @ “Shea says that no anthropologist in his right mind would think that existing cultural variation…

    and another classic:
    “contributions to this issue invite us to revise our conceptual and methodological tools, in order to capture the cultural dynamics of transnational social spaces and to envisage appropriate public policies”

    yes well, if you can’t shovel sand with a stick, maybe it’s worth trying a fork??!!!

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  6. I calculated the correlation of unemployment by state and the amount of illegals by state. They correlate 0.5. I can’t see any other explanation than that they take jobs from Americans, especially from Black people.

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  7. BTW, I have just read about the peaceful, harmless !Kung people…

    A hundred years ago, German–speaking anthropologists described the !Kung as very warlike, with frequent raids and battles. A 1916 report states that the !Kung warred frequently with neighboring peoples until the European colonialists arrived, only then becoming more peaceful. The report recounts a !Kung raid early in the century: “Women frantically seized their children and tried to flee, but were slaughtered without compunction. Here a mother nearly managed to escape with her baby, but…a few blows with a kiri smashed the child’s skull and finished off the mother too. Only a few lucky ones managed to get away… The victors…started looting. Everything useful was taken away. Clay pots were smashed and the huts set on fire.”

    Their contemporary peacefullness may be the result of the pacification by the colonizers.

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  8. > The evidence they cite comes not from impartial evaluations of Darkness but from partisan attacks…

    Oh! Nevermind then.

    The “I am going to give you a piece of advice!” from Pinker et al is not exactly — appealing — but as they say, this animal is very wicked ; when it is attacked, it defends itself.

    I don’t think Chagnon’s ironic position is very ironic — just case #914b of 95-100% “all-the-way” hereditarianism being held by no one under the sun, while 95-100% environmentalism is espoused by some prominent individuals. Granted, what he’s saying is a little extreme, at least if we construe it in a commonplace way.

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  9. I wouldn’t rule out without study the possibility that Yanomami got mistreated by someone — conceivably, even negligently mistreated by Chagnon, though I greatly doubt he would do anything with malice.

    Anyway I’m not going to study it because it’s basically irrelevant to science-content proper, and I’m (putatively) sympathetic but definitely not interested.

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  10. @szopeno – “BTW, I have just read about the peaceful, harmless !Kung people…. Their contemporary peacefullness may be the result of the pacification by the colonizers.”

    yes, i’ve read something along the same lines somewhere, too. i need to learn more about the !kung — which is why i haven’t really posted about them yet. (^_^)

    what i want to know about the !kung is:

    1) what were their mating patterns (of course — i want to know that about everybody!) and,

    2) what was the violence between the !kung like? i mean, was it regular violence like between the yanomami? or was it just the occasional battle?

    i guess i’d also want to know if they had a blood feud system.

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  11. “Their contemporary peacefullness may be the result of the pacification by the colonizers.”

    Did the colonialists stop the !kung raiding or the neighboring cattle-herder tribes encroaching?

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  12. @g.w. – “Did the colonialists stop the !kung raiding or the neighboring cattle-herder tribes encroaching?”

    not sure what the story was. szopeno’s quote comes from this book — War and Gender: How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa (hmmm…) — pg. 28 (i think it’s the same thing i read before):

    “Even if human did not experience a peaceful phase, *individual* peaceful societies might still exist at various times in history, or at present. Again, by peaceful society I mean one where war is truly absent rather than merely latent. However, there appear to be virtually no such peaceful societies. Some societies are far more (or less) warlike than others, in terms of the frequency of war, its effect on mortality rates, and its place in the culture. But these are all differences of degree. In virtually no society is war unknown.

    “Several present-day societies in which war is relatively infrequent have been described as ‘peaceful’ by various writers. One favorite is the !Kung San (the ‘!’ indicates a clicking sound). They are southwest African bush people who were widely studied in the 1950s and 1960s by English-speaking anthropologists. They were observed to behave very peacefully, and with relative egalitarianism and gender equality — ‘the harmless people’ as one observer called them. They seemed to enjoy abundant resources relative to their population, and to go to war rarely. However, ‘[f]ierce competition and warfare characterized much of San relations with their Bantu-speaking neighbors prior to the arrival of the Dutch in South Africa in 1652.’ The Dutch carried out a ‘near-total extermination’ of 200,000 San (bush people) in nearby South Africa.

    “A hundred years ago, German-speaking anthropologists described the !Kung as very warlike, with frequent raids and battles. A 1916 report states that the !Kung warred frequently with neighboring peoples until the European colonialists arrived, only then becoming more peaceful. The report recounts a !Kung raid early in the century: ‘Women frantically seized their children and tried to flee, but were slaughtered without compunction. Here a mother nearly managed to escape with her baby, but … a few blows with a kiri smashed the child’s skull and finished off the mother too. Only a few lucky ones managed to get away … The victors … started looting. Everything useful was taken away. Clay pots were smashed and the huts set on fire.'”

    who are these people that the !kung were fighting in the 1916 report? sounds like some bantu peoples to me — i mean, clay pots and huts? that sounds like the possessions of a settled, agricultural people to me, but i don’t know. just guessing.

    the quotes in the passage above come from eibl-eibesfeldt 1979: Human ethology: concepts and implications for the sciences of man.

    the german sources are:

    – wilhelm 1953: Die !Kung-Buschleute
    – weule 1916: Der Krieg In Den Tiefen Der Menschheit

    Reply

  13. “who are these people that the !kung were fighting in the 1916 report? sounds like some bantu peoples to me”

    That would be my guess with conflict over water-holes on the edge of the !Kung range – with the Bantu wanting them for their cattle and the !Kung wanting them as hunting honey-spots for wild animals.

    The point i was making was even *if* the !kung were *relatively* peaceable internally that wouldn’t necessarily apply to external intruders – especially if it was over something life or death like a watering hole.

    Reply

  14. @g.w. – “The point i was making was even *if* the !kung were *relatively* peaceable internally that wouldn’t necessarily apply to external intruders….”

    yup! absolutely. further research is req’d. (^_^)

    Reply

  15. I have just read “The psychology of kin recognition”. I have found it following links from your links, then following links etc. Do you know this paper, hdb chick? In one paragraph it has interesting theories about over- and under- recognition of kin in the presence of high frequencey of kin/or non-kin, predictions sometimes contrary to your data, but nevertheless interesting.

    You can easily found this paper via google.

    Reply

  16. @szopeno – “Do you know this paper, hdb chick?”

    hmmmm, no. is it “The psychology of human kin recognition” by j.h. park, et al.? i’ll take a look.

    Reply

  17. “nordic countries’ jurisdictions extend globally (perhaps even throughout the entire solar system?)”

    You’ve got that right!
    If someone goes to Ganymedes or Charon and commits a horrible act of crime, I won’t be surprised if he ends up in a Norwegian court. After all, as our politicians keep telling us proudly, we are a “humanitarian superpower”.

    By the way, I think it is funny how often my tiny country is mentioned in this blog. It happens a lot, doesn’t it? We Norwegians just love to be mentioned!

    Reply

  18. I actually hadn’t heard about this till now. I don’t think it has been sent yet. This guy, Lars Mytting, however, mentioned in the article, became famous after writing a book about firewood. It was a huge seller.

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  19. @hbd chick
    Yes. Most of it would be of no interest to you, except the part of what would be the effect on behaviour in societies with high probability of meeting kin (inbred?) vs those, where the probability of kin is low (outbred). His predictions (that in the first kind you should be oversensitive, and treat more people as kin and in second you can be more loose, and you can treat more people as non-kin, since the probability of an error is low) seems to contradict the empirical results you have found, if I reason correctly. Treating people more often as kin even if they are not in fact kin – doesn’t that would mean more altruism?

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  20. The Nordic countries are actually obliged not to abandon international law or agreements that we have signed.

    Also take note that a prosecutor in the Nordic countries have no choice but to prosecute someone who has committed genocide.

    It is not like in the US were you can buy yourself freedom, sorry.

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  21. @oskar – “Also take note that a prosecutor in the Nordic countries have no choice but to prosecute someone who has committed genocide.”

    only because, bizarrely, you guys have decided that what happens in other countries falls under your legal jurisdiction.

    we may all agree that genocide should be prevented at all costs, but surely any international punishments should fall under international law.

    what’s next? if i happen to find myself in saudi arabia one day, are they to be allowed to arrest and prosecute me for all the times i never wore a hijab in the united states (of course i must cover myself according to their laws when i’m in their country)?

    seriously. what are you guys thinking? next thing you’ll be prosecuting your own nationals for breaking your national laws while they’re on vacation in another country….

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  22. It does, according to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, for instance, we have agreed on prosecuting anyone that has committed genocide.

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  23. @oskar – “It does, according to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, for instance, we have agreed on prosecuting anyone that has committed genocide.”

    yes, you (your nation) has agreed to this. i’m glad that my nation has not (not fully anyway — we’ve signed, but not ratified the treaty).

    this is a very slippery slope — to allow nations to have legal jurisdictions over citizens of other nations. can you not see that?

    i mean, what will be next? that the arab countries sign a treaty amongst themselves to arrest and prosecute anyone from anywhere who drinks alcohol? or that the nordic countries will sign a treaty amongst themselves to arrest and prosecute anyone from anywhere who sells/buys alcohol on a sunday? or how about all the nations where the dealth penalty is currently in use arresting and prosecuting anyone from anywhere for murder?

    this icc treaty is messed up (well, international law generally is). those individuals accused of genocide should be extradited back to their own country for trial. if their own country doesn’t want to cooperate, then they should be extradited to the hague — maybe (i could possibly be argued out of that position, actually).

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  24. @szopen – “Most of it would be of no interest to you, except the part of what would be the effect on behaviour in societies with high probability of meeting kin (inbred?) vs those, where the probability of kin is low (outbred). His predictions (that in the first kind you should be oversensitive, and treat more people as kin and in second you can be more loose, and you can treat more people as non-kin, since the probability of an error is low) seems to contradict the empirical results you have found, if I reason correctly. Treating people more often as kin even if they are not in fact kin – doesn’t that would mean more altruism?”

    hmmm. interesting. i shall have to take a look at it.

    Reply

  25. @crassus – “This guy, Lars Mytting, however, mentioned in the article, became famous after writing a book about firewood. It was a huge seller.”

    you are an interesting, albeit silly, people you norsemen. on the one hand, you give us books and television programs about firewood, and on the other, you gave us ibsen, one of the greatest authors. ever. (thanks for that, btw! (^_^) ) he’s definitely in my top five anyway!

    Reply

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