linkfest – 05/19/13

J.P. Rushton’s theory of ethnic nepotism [pdf] – “Ethnic nepotism due to similarity is a weak social force compared to social identity. However its pervasiveness makes it a potential driver of evolutionary and social change, a potential borne out by sociological studies of the impact of ethnic diversity on social cohesion and public altruism. Genomics confirms the theory for interactions within populations with sufficient genetic diversity, such as ethnically mixed societies. GST [genetic similarity theory] applied to ethnicity is promising for further research in evolutionary social science because it unifies evolutionary and behavioral mechanisms in a single theory.” – from salter and harpending. h/t hbd bibliography!

Tibet – looks like selection for adaptations to high-altitude living in tibetans started waaaay back. – from greg cochran. see also: The genome sequence of Tibetan antelope sheds new light on high-altitude adaptation.

The Connection Between Tipping and Corruption (and Tribalism)“[C]ountries in which tipping is common are more corrupt than others, according to the Corruptions Perceptions Index (CPI).” – from staffan – h/t jayman!

Corruption influences migration of skilled workers“Countries that have higher levels of corruption struggle to attract and retain skilled workers….”

A fascinating map of the world’s most and least racially tolerant countries“Anglo and Latin countries most tolerant…. India, Jordan and Hong Kong by far the least tolerant…. The Middle East not so tolerant…. Racial tolerance low in diverse Asian countries…. Pakistan, remarkably tolerant, also an outlier.” – h/t nelson!

The Call of the Clan“Why ancient kinship and tribal affiliation still matter in a world of global geopolitics.”mark weiner in foreign policy.

The Ancestral Logic of Politics: Upper-Body Strength Regulates Men’s Assertion of Self-Interest Over Economic Redistribution“In studies conducted in Argentina, Denmark, and the United States, men with greater upper-body strength more strongly endorsed the self-beneficial position: Among men of lower socioeconomic status (SES), strength predicted increased support for redistribution; among men of higher SES, strength predicted increased opposition to redistribution.”

High-Testosterone Competitors More Likely to Choose Red“[M]ales who chose red as their color in a competitive task had higher testosterone levels than other males who chose blue.”

Complex Societies before Agriculture: Göbekli Tepe – from peter turchin.

Why Humans Took Up Farming: They Like To Own Stuff – hmmmm.

New discovery of ancient diet shatters conventional ideas of how agriculture emerged“[P]eople living in Xincun [southern subtropical china] 5,000 years ago may have practised agriculture –before the arrival of domesticated rice in the region.”

“More Genomes From Denisova Cave Show Mixing of Early Human Groups” – @race/history/evolution notes.

Geoffrey Miller: ‘Why the seduction crowd picked up on my work’ – ’cause it works? (~_^)

The evolution of lying.

‘Overspending Has Become a Modern Form of Mating Deception’“Living beyond one’s means can make dating easier, but it leads to problems as a relationship gets more serious.” – h/t geoffrey miller.

“Nice guys finish last.” Really? What does the research say? – from barking up the wrong tree.

Company creates DNA test that reveals whether you carry the redhead gene – (^_^)

bonus: In Defense of Jason Richwine“His resignation is emblematic of a corruption that has spread throughout American intellectual discourse.” – charles murray is sick of it. me, too!

bonus bonus: Malaria Infected Mosquitoes Express Enhanced Attraction to Human Odor – more miiiind control!

bonus bonus bonus: Water bubbling deep in Canadian mine may be oldest on Earth“A reservoir deep underground in Canada holds water that may be 1 billion years old, possibly the oldest water on Earth, researchers say.”

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Unusual Offshore Octopods: The See-Through “Glass” Octopus [Video]

(note: comments do not require an email. glass octopus!)


  1. @ Complex Societies before Agriculture: Göbekli Tepe –

    Assuming the facts are right, Govekli Tepe is not only an outlier but an isolated example. For civilization to really “take off” as it did in Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt and China you need to begin with a fairly dense matrix of permanent horticultural settlements (aka villages) in close geographical proximity to each other. Once you have that — and population pressure insures that you eventually get there in most parts of the world — you have a highly unstable situation in which the ineluctable logic of Andrew Shmookler’s The Parable of the Tribes comes into play. I can’t recommend that book highly enough. Here is a preview:


  2. addendum – The Parable of the Tribes

    Here is the parable in Schmookler’s own words:

    Imagine a group of tribes living within reach of one another. If all choose the way of peace, then all may live in peace. But what if all but one choose peace, and that one is ambitious for expansion and conquest? What can happen to the others when confronted by an ambitious and potent neighbor? Perhaps one tribe is attacked and defeated, its people destroyed and its lands seized for the use of the victors. Another is defeated, but this one is not exterminated; rather, it is subjugated and transformed to serve the conqueror. A third seeking to avoid such disaster flees from the area into some inaccessible (and undesirable) place, and its former homeland becomes part of the growing empire of the power-seeking tribe. Let us suppose that others observing these developments decide to defend themselves in order to preserve themselves and their autonomy. But the irony is that successful defense against a power-maximizing aggressor requires a society to become more like the society that threatens it. Power can be stopped only by power, and if the threatening society has discovered ways to magnify its power through innovations in organization or technology (or whatever), the defensive society will have to transform itself into something more like its foe in order to resist the external force.

    I have just outlined four possible outcomes for the threatened tribes: destruction, absorption and transformation, withdrawal, and imitation. In every one of these outcomes the ways of power are spread throughout the system. This is the parable of the tribes.

    This parable is a theory of social evolution which shows that power is like a contaminant, a disease, which once introduced will gradually yet inexorably become universal in the system of competing societies. More important than the inevitability of the struggle for power is the profound social evolutionary consequence of that struggle once it begins. A selection for power among civilized societies is inevitable. If anarchy assured that power among civilized societies could not be governed, the selection for power signified that increasingly the ways of power would govern the destiny of mankind. This is the new evolutionary principle that came into the world with civilization. Here is the social evolutionary black hole that we have sought as an explanation of the harmful warp in the course of civilization’s development.

    For more see here:


  3. But where is the bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus?

    Also the mind control stuff freaks me out a bit. Not that I have some romantic notion of myself having free will or whatever. It’ just that I look at the world around me and frankly I think that America is an asylum where the inmates took over… but if that’s actually true? I mean what if it’s *literally* true that some kind of ToxoPlasmaFungisSiphiGonoHerpAIDStehGayZombieVirus really is driving a lot of the pathological behavior that is condemning the West to some serious asscocking?

    On the on hand it would be fascinating and explain a whole lot, but on the other it looks like a cthulhu-horror I really don’t want to know about.


  4. “Overspending Has Become a Modern Form of Mating Deception”

    Underclass cads spend all their money on cars, clothes and flashing the cash as people naturally assume they’re spending their *spare* loot rather than all of it.

    “Nice guys finish last.” Really? What does the research say? – from barking up the wrong tree”

    Niceness requires signalling and testing reciprocity to come out ahead. If you’re nice to everyone in a big way all the time then you’ll be taken advantage of. If you test for niceness first by being a little bit nice and then seeing if the other person reciprocates before escalating then both you and the other person can come out well ahead. I expect that will be part of the reason the research finds nice people can have better friendships etc. I’d also guess the signalling and testing behavior may have some correlation with IQ hence why the “nice guys” in the research ended up at both the top and the bottom with the brighter nice people doing well and the less bright nice people doing less well. The exception to that might be certain religious communities where lower IQ people get the benefits of collective niceness because the higher IQ people police the testing process.


  5. Puzzle Pirate
    “but if that’s actually true? I mean what if it’s *literally* true that some kind of ToxoPlasmaFungisSiphiGonoHerpAIDStehGayZombieVirus really is driving a lot of the pathological behavior that is condemning the West to some serious asscocking?”

    Yes i wonder that too – weird thought.


  6. hey, grey – what (and where — and when!) was that large town inhabited by hunter-gatherers (horticulturalists?) in europe that you told me about before? i forget (again). (*^_^*)


  7. what ya knocking that wall down for?

    he told me to



    who? there’s no-one there


  8. “pathological behavior that is condemning the West ”

    it’s not a germ, it’s a strategy and it’s explained all over the web


  9. Ironic that NRO would print a defense of intellectual freedom after what they did to John Derbyshire. Lowry must have been out when they published that…


  10. “Overspending Has Become a Modern Form of Mating Deception”

    It’s not just a modern thing. People have been doing that for centuries if not millennia. For instance all those Tidewater aristocrats ran up enormous debts with English merchants to keep up with their neighbors (and marry their cousins). To get out of those debts was one of the secret motives of the American Revolution — not that there is anything wrong with the American Revolution!


  11. “Jericho was another city that preceded civilization by thousands of years”

    Interesting. Another Gobekli?



    “The city may be the oldest continuously occupied city in the world”

    “Jericho is described in the Old Testament as the “City of Palm Trees.”


    “Jericho’s Arabic name, ʼArīḥā, means “fragrant” and derives from same Canaanite word Reaẖ, of the same meaning as in Hebrew”

    “an alternative theory holds that it is derived from the word meaning “moon” (Yareaẖ) in Canaanite, since the city was an early centre of worship for lunar deities



    “The edible fig is one of the first plants that was cultivated by humans. Nine subfossil figs of a parthenocarpic type dating to about 9400–9200 BC were found in the early Neolithic village Gilgal I (in the Jordan Valley, 13 km north of Jericho). The find predates the domestication of wheat, barley, and legumes, and may thus be the first known instance of agriculture. It is proposed that they may have been planted and cultivated intentionally, one thousand years before the next crops were domesticated (wheat and rye).”

    Doesn’t mention anything about fragrance but who knows.


  14. PP
    I wouldn’t say that. I think there is a set of linked traits that crosses group definitions but I do think we should be allowed to talk about representation because very often I watch current affairs programs and find my ethnic group is not represented and yet am being told only my ethnic group is represented. I think it makes a difference but I wouldn’t want to be judged by the behavior of some of the members of my ethnic group so I wouldn’t say ‘the’. But when I’m being told ‘ethnicity doesn’t matter’ re. grooming, I am thinking to myself ‘yeah but you would self-define as a different ethnic group than these girls so are you really feeling what I’m feeling and what I would be feeling if I was in charge of the report?’.


  15. “Yes i wonder that too – weird thought.”

    For me, the idea that a ToxoPlasmaZombiePox is driving weird behavior in the modern world is just the germ of an idea (pun intended). Do you have any kind of developed thoughts about this? Every once in a while I run across something like this from Peter Frost: which makes me think the ToxoPlasmaSiphiZombieGay idea isn’t as weird as it sounds in my head.


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