Monthly Archives: June 2013

Bad Health at the Origins of Agriculture

  Bad Health and Agricultural Origins A few weeks ago on Jason Collins’s Evolving Economics blog there was a discussion of changes in human height assessed from skeletal remains. A well-known finding is that when humans started farming they became … Continue reading

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APOL1 Variants

Apolipoprotein LI is a serum protein, a component of HDL, sometimes called ‘good cholesterol’.  It has another function: it protects people from trypanosomal infections – the kind of protozoa that cause sleeping sickness.  That is, it protects against most of … Continue reading

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Faces in the Clouds

Intelligence analysis is not so hard, if you have common sense, but then common sense is rare. One serious problem is that the enemy is seldom obliging enough to supply you with ground truth. If you had it, you could … Continue reading

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Godwin’s Law

Negative stereotypes are often substantially true, but the talking classes have no way of dealing with such cases.  At any rate, most don’t – but Peter Godwin does. Back in 2001, Godwin wrote a wonderful, wonderful article about Gypsies, an … Continue reading

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Jews in the Roman Empire

Everyone now and then you see someone say that Jews made up 10% of the population of the Roman Empire. If you dig deeper, you find that this is based upon the Claudian Census – or, more exactly, upon something … Continue reading

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The breeder’s equation

R = h2 S. R is the response to selection, S is the selection differential, and h2 is the narrow-sense heritability. This is the workhorse equation for quantitative genetics. The selective differential S, is the difference between the population mean … Continue reading

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Stereotype threat is defined as a reduction in performance somehow caused by a negative stereotype held by other people. They doubt that you can do it, and that makes you anxious and hinders your ability. At least that’s the theory. … Continue reading

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