Archive for January, 2011

American history in broad strokes

A comment below inquired about “good books” on American history. Unfortunately I don’t know as much about American history as I do about Roman or Chinese history. But over the years there have been several books which I find to have been very value-add in terms of understanding where we are now. In other words, […]

The American historical “dark matter”

Walter Russell Mead has a fascinating blog post up, The Birth of the Blues. In it, he traces the roots of modern American “Blue-state” liberalism back to the Puritans, the Yankees of New England. This is a plausible argument. I believe that many social-political coalitions and configurations in contemporary America do have deep historical roots. […]

Notes on the future

If you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed some changes. Since I moved to Discover blogs I’ve been posting less and less here. Additionally, I’ve been putting some of my shorter less science oriented stuff at Brown Pundits and Secular Right. And I suspect twitter has cannibalized some of the link aggregation function of […]

Administrative notifications

Had to reinstall WordPress because of security problem over the last couple of days (iframe injection). I’ll slowly be getting the site back to normal look & feel wise.

Introducing the Harappa Ancestry Project

A few weeks ago I hinted at a South Asian equivalent to Dodecad & Eurogenes BGA. It is now public and in the data collection phase. You can read the whole thing here: This is the feed: If your ancestry is from these nations: Afghanistan Bangladesh Bhutan Burma India Iran Maldives Nepal Pakistan […]

Knowing without knowing: what tune deafness and face blindness have in common

I have a new post over on the Scientific American Mind Matters website. It describes new research which suggests that tune deafness and face blindness – two examples of conditions known as agnosias, both of which can be genetic – are caused not by a failure of the brain to recognise previously seen faces or […]

The Meaning of Group Selection

I am writing a series of posts on the work of George Price. For the most recent one, with links to the others, see here. I was planning next to cover Price’s treatment of group selection, but this raises side issues more conveniently dealt with separately. This post considers what is meant by ‘group selection’. […]

Hotheads by nature

If some guy spilt your beer by accident, would you punch him in the face? If he was unapologetic, you might at least consider it – you might in fact feel a pretty strong urge to do it. What stops you? Or, if you’re the type who acts on those urges, what doesn’t stop you? […]