Open Thread, 6/24/2018

I recently read John Keay’s Midnight’s Descendants: A History of South Asia since Partition. No particular reason. But I’ve read earlier books on the history of India and China and I sort of wanted to fill a hole in my knowledge. I would recommend it if you don’t know much about this period and place. It’s probably somewhat important in the future.

Thanks to all the readers of this weblog who have given iTunes ratings to my podcast. We’re almost to 100 ratings, so you won’t be hearing me go on and on about it.

Though speaking of the podcast, we’re going to talk to Ian Morris, author of War! What Is It Good For?: Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots, soon. So subscribe now.

Erdogan’s Election Win Gives Him Vastly Expanded Powers in Turkey.

The Trailer for The Man Who Unlocked the Universe Is a Gorgeous Mixture of Science and Action. This looks like a good complement to Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane.

It’s curious how many Central Asian warlords were patrons of culture. Mahmud of Ghazni, for example, supported Ferdowsi.

Just found out that Reihan has a new book out this fall, Melting Pot or Civil War?: A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders.

Demographic inference in a spatially-explicit ecological model from genomic data: a proof of concept for the Mojave Desert Tortoise.

Bangladesh’s Secular Bloggers: Risking Their Lives for Freedom. A lot of atheist podcasts aren’t really “edgy” anymore. The Secular Jihadists is an exception.

Evolution of correlated complexity in the radically different courtship signals of birds-of-paradise.

The citizen scientist who finds killers from her couch.

Human demographic history has amplified the effects of background selection across the genome.


4 thoughts on “Open Thread, 6/24/2018

  1. It would be great to hear Ian Morris on your podcast, your guests are very interesting. War! What Is It Good For is one of the best books I’ve read about this theme, alongside War Before Civilization.

  2. Morris is a good get for the podcast. I haven’t read his latest, but the history parts of his “great divergence” book were interesting (didn’t agree with his argument why it happened).

    Just found out that Reihan has a new book out this fall, Melting Pot or Civil War?: A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders.

    The tricky thing is that having tighter borders can perversely make it more likely that you get major population changes from permanent immigration. Folks who might have cycled up for work and money (something which was common with a lot of turn-of-the-century immigrants as well, but which we forget) end up staying because it costs so much to get into the country.

    Then again, apparently people try crossing multiple times, so maybe that’s a looser connection.


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