Open Thread, 10/23/2016

2016-10-23 08.40.37Bought Marie Sharpe’s green habanero sauce at Granville Market. The spice level is nothing to sneeze at, and it’s got a nice flavor. But the salt is out of control.

danboThere is a lot of good Asian food in Vancouver. A pretty good meal at the downtown Kirin, but I want to highlight Ramen Danbo. The servers were all young women from Japan, so the ambience and food exhibited an authenticity that’s not typical.

Annexation_Bill_of_1866_mapAfter four days in Canada I really don’t see why at minimum we don’t have a customs union and open borders so we can dispense with these sorts of friction to travel. Canadians are easier to understand in terms of their English for most people who speak General American than some of our fellow citizens. Vancouver in particular reminds me a lot of Seattle, a city I know decently well since I’m from the Pacific Northwest originally and still go back to visit family.

Pandora was blocked in Canada for some reason. And I had to call to make special provisions to maintain data on my phone. Really is there a reason for this?

I am struck by the colonialism described by Colin Woodard in American Nations when it comes to Reconstruction. In his telling Yankees swarmed to the South believing that they could recreate New England in the post-war societies. Eerily familiar in light of what happened after the Iraq War.

51y9UBanyFL._SX386_BO1,204,203,200_Someone in a comment below asked what population genetics they should read. Start with Principles of Population Genetics. It’s the gold standard. Some people would suggest starting with Population Genetics: A Concise Guide, but I didn’t start with that and I’m fine.

Joe Felsenstein and Graham Coop have some good notes online.

Spent some time with “reiver” online. He seemed curious as to my ability to read a lot and read fast. There’s nothing very impressive or amazing about it actually. I’ve been reading a lot in several areas since I was an early elementary school student, and so I can read and process new information fast because I already have a lot of preexistent structure.

416NQwBS-+L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_But you can lose things. For example I read books on cognitive neuroscience more slowly than I used to because I stopped reading in this topic when I went to grad school. I’m a big fan of Stanislas Dehaene’s work, but I get less out of it than I used to. That’s unfortunate.

Overall I do worry that I’ve focused too narrowly in my interests as my brain has aged and I’ve matured. My knowledge of specific areas is deeper, but I am not as broad in my curiosity as I used to be.

ASHG was good. I’ll say more later, but the popgen was a little thinner than in previous years.

It was interesting that many seemed to know about the company I work for. The fact is that our canine genomic test is the most comprehensive and robust out there. That’s not marketing fluff, and geneticists can discern bullshit from reality pretty easily. So the discussions were more brass-tacks about the value customers. I had a pretty good case for why a purchase is justified or feasible, so easy discussions.

417otmYuMcL._SX303_BO1,204,203,200_Reading about Poststructuralism, and having a hard time understanding how people take this stuff seriously. That’s a problem, because people do. Perhaps a validation of its weirdly grand take on the power of language to shape the structure of reality.

It will be nice to read about something different. In particular, functional programming. Need to get my NumPy skills up, as I spend so much time struggling with data-types.

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