Sunday, November 01, 2009
Early (2002) reader of this weblog, William Gunn, is leaving a biotech company in San Diego and is looking for another job. Here's his Linkedin.
Monday, October 26, 2009
I'm really happy that Tomorrow's Table joined ScienceBlogs. 1) the blog has science, 2) its intersection with policy (food production) is pretty important.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
There are lots of weird search queries which come into this weblog. Or any website, period. But this month 3 times someone arrived via this query: "last december i passed a paper along to razib."
1) If you're the person who arrived in this way, could you tell me what's up? Was I supposed to blog on something? Did I not give you credit? I'm genuinely perplexed.
2) Especially over the past year the number of publicists contacting bloggers has increased. A lot. So my regular correspondence is getting drowned out, and I'm probably not as good about responding to people, crediting them appropriately, etc. (though often readers of this weblog know what I'd be interested in, and I get nearly simultaneous emails from several different people, so crediting is an issue). Some of these publicists are rather chatty and send emails which look to be personally targeted. Just so you know.
Note: People might be curious, but two of the top 10 searches relating to me coming into this weblog over the past 3 years (how long I've had Google Analytics installed) involve Matt Yglesias and Cosma Shalizi :-)
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The first is for science weblog posts. Nominations end the 1st of June. Steven Pinker is picking the winner out of 6 finalists.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I've received a few emails which suggest that not everyone is aware that I've turned "moderation" on. That means I have to approve your comment. It was going to be a temporary measure, but so far I rather like how it's working out, so I'll leave it on. If I'm going to be away from the computer for more than 24 hours I'll probably turn it off temporarily, but otherwise expect latency on when your comments show up after posting.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Medical Hypotheses, Figureheads, ghost-writers and quant bloggers:
The term 'quant blogger' (i.e. quantitative analysis blogger) was invented by Steve Sailer  who is the practicing 'blogfather' of an interconnected group of mostly pseudonymous bloggers that have been in some way inspired by Sailer's example and his (often distinctly 'non-PC') interests in issues such as IQ; immigration; evolution; education; politics and sports - often analyzed by sex, class and race. Sailer has blogged many interesting quantitative analyses, including an influential hypothesis of the relationship between 'affordable family formation' and politics in the USA.
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Yanked out of google analytics, below the fold....
10 - Why is porn legal but prostitution illegal?
9 - IQ comparison site.
8 - Converting between IQ and SAT scores .
7 - Genetics of Hair Color (again).
6 - German penises 'too small for EU condoms'.
5 - Porno Arabica (this is due to Assman over-utilizing our search boxes!)
4 - Pigmentation variation in Europe.
3 - James Watson Tells the Inconvenient Truth: Faces the Consequences.
2 - 10 Questions for Heather Mac Donald.
1 - Intercourse and Intelligence.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Two posts to check out over at Half Sigma. First, he suggests that John McCain's daughter is hot. I don't have a huge N, but that looks like a good picture, and it certainly benefits from any contrast effect, if you know what I mean. But you can't discount the photo, and her mother seems relatively well preserved. If you check out the video on this page you also note Meghan McCain has a feminine voice (apparently she thinks Barack Obama is cute). Second, in John Rawls, human biodiversity, and redistribution of wealth, Half Sigma is surprisingly sympathetic to a "liberal" position (I say surprisingly because anyone who reads the blog knows of his almost visceral dislike of liberals, though it is not without foundation from where he stands). I've been making the argument that liberals could make the case that Half Sigma suggests they should be making for a while now. Of course, my own values are not the same as John Rawls', so I can't deliver the redistributionist line with any sincerity. Because of my innate empathy deficit the "original position" thought experiment has always been a stretch cognitively, and I also don't accept the max-min rule as necesarily optimal (i.e., you accept lower total summed utility to maximize the minimum value across the distribution). But I do know that some readers of this blog of Leftish inclination have always held to this position implicitly, if not fully elucidated in a formal sense....
Friday, January 18, 2008
One of those generic de-lurking threads if you are in the mood.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Big Think is getting some press. Personally, seems a bit of weak tea next to Meaningoflife.tv and Beyond Belief. But I guess they're new, so we'll see....
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Manish sent me this story about the rise and fall (at least in substance) of Gawker. Long time readers will note that Liz Spiers, one of the original contributors to GNXP, looms large.
Sign Up, Subscribe to the Feed and Learn More!
We've got 30 people signed up so far. I know more will come on board, so I'm looking forward to getting drowned in pure science in ~3 weeks.
Also, if you have a science themed blog post the link in the comments. Thinking about refurbishing the blogroll....
Friday, January 04, 2008
So I read that Andrew Olmstead has died. I didn't read his blog and only vaguely knew of the name, though Gene Expression is on his blog roll.* 5 years ago when I started blogging it was a relatively new medium; people shouted at each other with disembodied voices. But slowly blogging and real life have become intercalated so it doesn't seem as much of an escape or release, it's just another part of life for many of us. I thought about that when I heard that triticale had died. He wasn't a frequent commenter on this weblog, or my other one, but I have a hard time remembering when he wasn't a commenter. I suspect he goes back to the blogspot days of the summer of 2002. It's all very strange and we grow up at some point I guess. I'm sure that the adults in the readership know what I'm talking about....
* Admission, I read very few blogs (on the order of a half a dozen) with any regularity.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Overcoming Bias has a post up about good comment boards. I think one's premises/ends matter on these sorts of things. What are comment boards about? What do you want to get out of them? We've run this weblog for quite a bit longer than Overcoming Bias has been in existence. I would say two specific issues crop up:
1) Stupid people. If you don't have a base of knowledge or the ability to think deeply then there is going to be a problem (a fair number of "elite" comment contributors came to this blog without much knowledge but their aptitude meant that they had no issues picking up the material over time).
2) People whose premises vary so sharply from your own that one can never have a fruitful conversation in regards to the primary issue at hand (that is, all debates devolve into explorations of alternative axioms and whether the axioms are valid or not).
A third general issue
3) The modal comment contributor (as opposed to the value added elite comment contributor) has little invested in the system. They don't police, they might never read their rant or check follow up responses. It's like someone shitting in a swimming pool for fun. It happens. And their happiness function is maximized at the expense of the health of other human beings.
I think the comment which praised ./ is spot on. I have considered implementing Slashcode, but I don't have the inclination to enter into that much work for a hobby like this. As it is, as long time readers know, I along with the other posters keep a very close eye on the comments. We prune those with little reputation on the slightest pretense and we allow those with more capital built up more freedom of expression (in substance and delivery).
Note: for those who wonder why have the crappy haloscan system, it is because it is off site. In previous years GNXP's comments were the primary reasons why we overtaxed our servers.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Heads up, Just Science 2008 is on. You can sign up to contribute now! Here are those who have signed on so far. The dates are February 4th-8th, 2008. More notifications soon!
Monday, December 10, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Paul asked for recent comments. Look to the right. Just one note: that's a Haloscan widget, I can't fiddle around with the parameters or anything. Also, there are apparently Greasemonkey extensions which can give you a lot more control over Haloscan if you want. Just google it.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Greg Mankiw on why he closed comments. What do people think of /.'s moderation system? I don't comment there much, but I remember people would complain that unpopular views would be moded down too much. Of course, a forced registration would probably filter out the drive-by-tards who can't be bothered....
Monday, September 24, 2007
A comment below asked about a notation in a particular passage in a book I referenced. As it turns out the book is fully searchable on Amazon. Myself, I do searches on google books, and if there isn't a "view" of the book I'm looking for (or that page isn't viewable), I will check for the book on Amazon. This covers a large proportion of the "fact checking" one might need to do. Also, google scholar is pretty well integrated with books, so you might just want to start out there. Here are the libraries who have signed on to google books, so you can imagine that the coverage is pretty good.
Monday, September 17, 2007
I didn't smoke out any interesting correlations in the GNXP Survey. For example, can you believe that those with more education tend to be of higher economic status? Assman was right, my questions were rather boring, so the analysis was going to yield boring as well. In any case, I've put the survey results up as a cross-tab text file in GNXP Forum Files if you want to play with it. N = 449. Long time readers will note relative stability in the profile of users on the site. The only thing I will offer is this:
How long have you been reading GNXP?
Male, N = 384
1 month to 1 year 28.65%
1 year to 3 years 42.45%
3 years to 5 years 22.66%
Since the beginning 6.25%
Female, N = 63
1 month to 1 year 36.51%
1 year to 3 years 42.86%
3 years to 5 years 20.63%
Since the beginning 0.00%
Some have suggested we have erosion of female readership because of the sexism. What do you think? I think the N's are small, and the blogosphere was much more male in 2002.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Note: For those who need no explanation: Survey here, enter 55004 in Take A Survey box. Current results here.
Every now and then I do a "survey" on this website. Usually we get on the order of 300-500 responses. Generally we don't learn anything new (i.e., a disproportionate number of the readers tend to be young atheist libertarian males). But I've decided to try out a new hosted survey which might give us some correlation structure across the responses. There are 9 questions, and they shouldn't require much thought. Go here and enter survey number 55004 in the Take A Survey box. The link should open in a new window/tab, so don't worry about writing down the number, just look for the box at the right of the screen. You should be able to see the responses up to the moment, but I'll post the data breakdown across each question next weekend (e.g., atheist conditional upon being a libertarian, etc.). Thanks ahead!
(This post will remain at the top of the page for several days)
Monday, September 10, 2007
Our local unicorn rider TGGP has a blog up. Check it out! (TGGP has 'evangelized' GNXP posts and views on a wide variety of blogs so he deserves a front page link for sure) He has good taste, using the same them as Chet Snicker (whose blog has gone dead it seems....).
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Over at 2 Blowhards there's an interview with Greg Cochran. Greg is of course a "friend of the blog," and you mostly know him because of his work in the area of evolution. But he does have strong opinions on other topics, as you might have noticed if you subscribe to The American Conservative. Part II is coming up tomorrow.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Check out this new interview with Steven Pinker. It ostensibly focuses on his new book, The Stuff of Thought, though it covers a lot of ground. My own feeling is that the interviewer should have let the focus be more on Pinker than his own pet theories, but there's a lot of good stuff in there.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Just a quick question for readers: does social networking software help out in your professional life? I'm a very tepid user of the various sites, I accept invites and so on, but it isn't something I invest a lot of time on in building a large of number of friends/contacts or fleshing out my profile. I know that some research has shown that a professional contacts are often found through your second-tier relationships, that is, not close friends but good acquaintances and what not. People who you know, but whose contacts don't overlap much with yours. So I suppose that's the point of something like linkedin. But does it really work? I've receive much better contacts through the blog, email, e-lists and so on.
(note, I am not disputing that social networking software helps your personal or social life. I know many people who've gotten action through friendster or myspace, but no one who has made professional gains via linkedin)
Most of you have probably already seen/heard about this, but check out true porn clerk stories.
When you've blogged for a while, and with some frequency, you wonder what this is all about. I don't generally get too caught up in that, there's more interesting stuff to contemplate. But, check out this from Google Analytics for the past 30 days of traffic for this website:
I've long known that most GNXP "readers" are "one off" events. I have no problem with that, if they find what they're looking for then you've done some good. That being said, I was a little shocked (and pleased, frankly) to see that over 8,000 visitors have arrived over 200 times in the past 30 days! I don't know, or care, about the details of how Google calculates this, rather, I'm interested in the gestalt sense of what's going on. Obviously the same people don't come everyday, but our unique visitor traffic has been in the 2,000-4,000 range for years, so these data together suggest that many people skip days (perhaps refreshing the site a lot on the weekend, or during one particular post where they participated in the thread?).
(click image for larger view)
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
People have bugged me about the "open thread" for a while, so by popular demand, it's back. It will be to the right indefinitely, though I'll purge it of old/tardish comments regularly. Please place interesting links/sites, etc. (this includes items of interest to young straight males, *hint*, *hint*).
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
The American Scene has just premiered as a new group blog with a fresh look & feel. Daniel Larison is a contributor. Now, keeping in mind that many of you use spiffy RSS readers with AJAX functionality which entails a non-trivial client side computational overhead be careful if you're on an older machine. Larison has a tendency to go "machine gun" in regards to post frequency and he might blow up your computer's CPU.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Every few months I check in on blogs which were around and active when GC & I first started back in 2002. Most of them remain inactive, but I just noticed that Bill Allison is back at Ideofact. If you didn't check him out the first time, swing by.
Monday, April 30, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Of late I have been leaving my laptop behind and taking my books to coffee shops to get my reading done. The reason is simple, I have a compulsive tendency to look up data on references made within the text of any book. For example, if there is an offhand reference to the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary, I have to look it up so I know more about it. I probably do this sort of thing around two times per page, and the discontinuity it generates is a real bother. When reading material on the internet, in particular Wikipedia entries, I have to make an effort not to click illuminating links precisely because I know that within a few minutes I'll have become snared in a whole new tangle of facts. I assume I'm not the only one....
Monday, April 23, 2007
An AEI event, Darwinism & Conservatism, May 3rd in Washington DC. John Derbyshire will be there.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
If I were to add 5 cognitive science journals and 5 history journals to my RSS/reading list, which ones would they be? The only cognitive science journal I'm familiar with is Cognition.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
There's a new gene related carnival, Gene Genie, currently at Neurophilosophy. Also, the next Mendel's Garden is at Epigenetics News.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I am interested in evolution. As you know, I have "evolution" and "genetics & evolution" queries on my RSS from google news. Over the past few weeks nearly every day The Conservative Voice has been peppering my feed with Creationist apologia, sometimes, it is the majority of new articles google is bringing back! Some idiot named Babu Ranganathan is especially prominent in the production of this garbage (sometimes I get his columns from both the The Conservative Voice and other publications where he is syndicated, how the hell do you get a syndicated column when your homepage is hosted on geocities for god's sake!). In any case, a few weeks ago (about a month ago) Google News picked up my ScienceBlogs blog. For a lot of the genetics and evolution related queries a cute little cat is now staring back at me! But today, after deleting another retarded Creationist comment, I realized that I can date a spike in the number of these operational spams (often clearly cut & pasted from Creationist websites) precisely from the time when Google News picked up my weblog. So it seems I'm not the only one searching for and retrieving queries on evolution all the time. Months ago "amnestic" offered that all the talk about evolution on blogs was about dinosaurs and Creationism, and I chided him by pointing out that there was a lot of discussion of evolution in a substantive manner. I encouraged him to read The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection. But today I'm wondering if I was too quick and harsh...it seems that most people care about evolution only as it relates to "Culture Wars," while the "scientific press" is content to show how 21st century genomics "refutes" 19th century hypotheses about orthogenesis or a chain of being....
Related: You might want to check out my review of Evolution for Everyone.
Update: Babu is not syndicated, rather, his columns get picked up now and then (e.g., he is a "special contributor." Yes, he is special)....
Saturday, April 07, 2007
I really messed up a lot of The New Testament....
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
For those of you into the whole statistics thing, Andrew Gelman (whose book Bayesian Data Analysis I just bought) and company have been churning out some interesting posts over at Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science. Check it out.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Sunday, April 01, 2007
If you haven't, you might be interested in checking out In the Pipeline. Derek Lowe has been "in transition" between jobs for a month or so and has been taking the down time to crank out good quality posts everyday. It's a joy. No doubt he'll have a job soon, so check it out while it's still happening....
Regular readers of this weblog know that I haven't had regular access to a television for several years. I haven't had cable since the middle of 2004. One thing that I've been struck by lately is how cultural waves are passing me by...I was having some wine at a local bar the other day and was dazzled by the crispness of the picture. I then realized, this was HDTV. It seems likely that while I will be without television, the rest of the society will switch to HDTV in the next few years. Strange days. The main problem I have with this is my enjoyment of South Park is being compromised by my lack of cultural fluency. YouTube helps...but it can't replace the importance of immersion in trash-TV. There will come a day that my South Park laughs may come from gutter humor which needs not support from common pop-culture currency.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Well, the poll has been running for a week. Nothing changes around these parts. 85-90% of regular readers are male. A plural majority identify as "libertarians," though there is a rough political balance along the normal Left-Right range with a slight Center-Right skew. One thing that I will comment on though is the fact that though we have many readers who have been around various periods of time, there is a definite dearth of those who say they've been reading for less than 6 months vs. 1 week. Only at 1-2 years do we surpass those who say they've been reading for less than a week. Do we have an influx of new blood? I doubt it. Rather, the half life of a GNXP reader is likely pretty low. The majority of those of you who count yourselves as "regular" readers, but have only sampled a few weeks worth of posts, will find us too boring, too offensive or too obnoxious, and take yourselves off to other parts. This is normal. It seems plausible many "short termers" stumbled upon this blog via a link from another blog when we talked about something you were interested it...but it turns out that's not the real focus of the blog. It happens. I read Stephen Bainbridge because he was a conservative who was against Intelligent Design. But, it turns out that most of the time I'm not really that into what Bainbridge is talking about, I just checked out his blog because one day he was talking about what I was interested in. Such is life.
Virginia Postrel was asking whether Blogginheads.TV was worth it. Most of your probably know that I'm a regular watcher. Some of you might wonder, "Why???" The reason is simple, I don't own a TV, nor do I read many political blogs or newspaper articles, so it is a cheap way for me to stay hook in to the Zeitgeist of what people who think politics matters think matters right now. Normally I listen to the "debate" in one tab while I'm browsing or doing work. Also, it gives me an opportunity to make fun of the way people look, and mock M. Yglesias, which I enjoy for purely childish reasons. But back to the main issue, is the format worth it? Postrel mentions technical issues, and it seems every other episode has problems with unrecorded diavlogs and what not. Well, check this out:
Jesus. I know ALEXA sucks, but not by an order of magnitude. Blogginheads.TV doesn't really beat gnxp.com, let alone someone like M. Yglesias. I am pretty shocked to be honest, but I guess only hardcore nerds are really interested in what other nerds have to say.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Every now and then I take polls of GNXP readers. Been a while, so here I go.... (please check it out only if you are a regular reader, etc.)
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
I know many of you are probably sick of chat updates, but please note.
1) The way the app works right now it autologs you on. But,
2) I've set up a filter so that your randomly assigned nickname ("zanon123...") won't show up. You can talk, but you aren't seen. If you want to be seen on the nick list, just change your nickname with the gray button where your "zanon" handle is, or, type "/nick theNameyouWant" in the command box (IRC-like). If you want to lurk, then keep it "zanon."
3) Also, your connection won't show. I'll figure out a way to fix the problem with the disconnects which show (but shouldn't).
OK, something for the elderings amongst us: nominations for the creepiest hair-band song. Post the link in the comments for YouTube. Mine is below....
Friday, March 16, 2007
As some of you have noticed I've added the chat feature to the right sidebar. If you click the pop up you'll get a bigger screen. I'll be making more changes soon. I decided to put it on site so people could see what was going on...the down side is that the app auto logs in everyone who visits the front of the site (I'm not outputting the chat window on individual entries and archives for those of you reading via RSS), though I gave them nicks of the form "zanon" so they'd be at the bottom of the list. I'll be tweaking/fixing as we go along time & inclination permitting.
P.S. My philosophy is to test on Firefox and fix on everything else, so warned....
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
I've installed a AJAX chat app, here
I don't know if it will last. A few ground rules:
1) Don't be too stupid...I'm interested in seeing if people have intelligent things to say ;-)
2) Please select distinctive nicknames (if you have a regular handle here, use it)
I've placed the chat as a link to the right (below the RSS icon). This is AJAX, so IE & Firefox are best, etc. etc.
The main reason I added this today is that some of the comment threads basically turn into 2-person chats back and forth. If something like that is going on, it might be good to have an option of "let's take this to chat." More productive for everyone.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
I noticed a post at Crooked Timber about something called The Academic Blog Portal. It's a wiki. Both Gene Expressions are listed in the biology section. It is interesting to compare the representation of different disciplines, there are, for example, more linguistics and philosophy blogs than biology blogs, but also, more history blogs. Not all fields are represented to their proportion in academia, for example, only 4 engineering blogs.