Reading Imperial China 900–1800 it is interesting how the Khitan seem to have chosen to develop a written script that was not based on that of the Chinese, to resist the cultural assimilation that would have inevitably occurred. Through that choice they reduced their short-term efficiency, but probably enabled their long-term persistence as a people. Certainly the Khitan seem to have remained less Sinicized on the eve of Jurchen conquest than the Jurchen were on the eve of the Mongol conquest (though the Jurchen conquered North China, so they had a bigger demographic imbalance). That the Khitan continued their nomadic ways is clear as they managed to reassemble to the west and found the Qara-Khitai. The Manchu descendants of the Jurchen who conquered China seem to have been thoroughly Sinicized after a few centuries as well.
Last Friday for whatever reason I watched Mission Impossible: Fallout. I don’t really watch films except for Marvel and DCEU stuff (I need to keep up with the culture). But I was in the mood, and I hadn’t watched a Mission Impossible since the 1996 one. Apparently Tom Cruise is really into parkour. And though Cruise has aged really well, so has Michelle Monaghan. At least Ving Rhames is still around.
I used to listen to Chapo Trap House now and then. Still do now and then. There is some stuff I agree with, some stuff I don’t agree with that I think needs to be said, and, they are often kind of funny. But unless you are on the same political wavelength I think they do get a little stale, because they’ve got an agenda, and they need to keep revisiting the same themes. It’s a feature, not a bug.
But listen below where they contextualize the “supposed crimes” of Communism:
The issue isn’t that avowed socialists are engaging in whataboutism in relation to Communism. That’s kind of what I expect. It’s that Chapo Trap House is still part of the respectable broader Left to center-Left cultural Zeitgeist. And they’re contextualizing literal Communism.
This is the sort of stuff that pisses conservatives off whenever we point out double-standards of respectability of radical Left politics as opposed to the radical Right. If someone contextualized Nazism as a reaction to Versailles and hyper-inflation they’d be de-platformed in a second. Meanwhile, Chapo pulls in $100,000 per month on Patreon.
A special treat this week on The Insight (Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Google Play). We talked with James Lee, lead author of Gene discovery and polygenic prediction from a genome-wide association study of educational attainment in 1.1 million individuals. In the next few months, we have at least one more interview relating to behavior genomics work. This is a field where stuff is happening.
Though I hope ancient DNA will start popping back up in the fall. The rest of the world needs to be explored.
Out of Africa by spontaneous migration waves. Not sure if I buy this model, but we’re at more model-building stage.
Episode 856: Yes In My Backyard. I relate to the NIMBY activist. It’s a generational and local vs. migrant issue. Not a typical class one.
I’ve been asked to submit a chapter on a book on Indian genetics, primarily relating to the “Aryan question.” I’ve gotten most of it written, but it’s really annoying to have to wait until the Rakhigarhi preprint/paper is out. The general finding will be no surprise to a reader of this weblog. Don’t think it will be published in the USA. Perhaps I’ll post the draft at some point if the copyright allows.
Replicability of introgression under linked, polygenic selection. “Our work suggests that even highly replicable substitutions may be associated with a range of selective effects, which makes it challenging to fine map the causal loci that underlie polygenic adaptation.”