Blog

The New York Times publishes a lot of strange op-eds today. Yesterday I saw one titled “The Spectacle of Latinx Colorism”. The use of the term “Latinx” is a cue […]

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Patrick Wyman’s The Verge is out. I quite like it. And that’s pretty clear in my review for National Review, Europe on the Verge of a Revolutionary Breakthrough. I assume […]

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A new paper on Italian Bronze Age and Iron Age genomics, Ancient genomes reveal structural shifts after the arrival of Steppe-related ancestry in the Italian Peninsula. The abstract: Across Europe, […]

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Carole Hooven has a new book, T: The Story of Testosterone, the Hormone that Dominates and Divides Us. I’ll be honest and admit I was only vaguely aware of the […]

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a sampler of recent paid posts (with follow-up notes)

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BP-emeritus Zach posted this piece on Twitter, ‘I’m Bengali, my boyfriend was black – and my mum freaked out’. The piece highlights the reality that anti-black prejudice, in particular, is pervasive among South Asians (Indians, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, etc.). I’m not super invested in the idea that this is due to colonialism, as I doubt it …

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Patrick Wyman’s book is a compelling historical narrative of Europe from 1490 to 1530, shot through with colorful stories about people and politics.

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Listen now (63 min) | A biologist who studies the genomics and ecology of brown rats

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A review of Facing Reality: Two Truths about Race in America by Charles Murray. Encounter Books, 168 pages. (June, 2021) I’ve known about Charles Murray since 1994, when I was a voracious and unsupervised teen reader in rural Oregon grabbing the library’s latest issue of the New Republic the instant it was shelved. It was here that I stumbled upon the shocking views Murray and Richard J. Herrnstein expressed in The Bell Curve about race, class, and inequality in America. I didn’t give those views much deep thought at the time, and so my perception of Murray and his ideas hewed more or less to the dismissive conventional wisdom. It wasn’t until I read a 1998 essay in Commentary magazine by Christopher Chabris that I began to reconsider. Chabris argued that the media furor around The Bell Curve obscured more than it illuminated, and that the consensus among psychologists on the importance of intelligence to life outcomes was indeed close to what Murray and Herrnstein had asserted. To my surprise, in the 21st century, my relationship …

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First, I want to mention that readers of Unsupervised Learning may hear the doorbell from Duke (from “Duke Tales”) mid-recording. While he usually visits me evenings, Duke made a special afternoon stop, perhaps thanks to the appearance of a Tesla in th…

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Both conservatives and liberals are ignoring the realities of biology

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It looks like Nebula Genomics has a 12-hour sale (as of this posting). This means you can get medical-grade 30x sequencing for $299. I do not recommend 100x because that […]

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In this conversation, I discuss “cultural evolution” with Alex Mesoudi. The very term can be confusing and perplexing to some. After all, it seems intuitive that culture evolves and changes. But here Mesoudi and I discuss the science of cultural evolut…

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Over at my Substack, I have a six-part series that dropped relating to the people and history of Finland. Part one: Duke Tales: shades of Finnish cultural weirdness in my […]

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Listen now (60 min) | A Bloomberg columnist and economist helps us navigate the data stream

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Recently The New Yorker had a long feature on the German social experiment from the 1970’s to early 2000’s which placed homeless boys in foster care with pedophiles. The whole […]

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Today on this bonus episode of Unsupervised Learning I’m excited to talk to Patrick Wyman about his new book, The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World. Full disclosure, I enjoyed The Verge, and a review will be posted f…

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Listen now (75 min) | We talk about the new book, The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World

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An ancestral recombination graph of human, Neanderthal, and Denisovan genomes: We note that our estimated TMRCA to Neanderthal within Neanderthal-introgressed segments in all non-African populations is recent, ~74 ka ago, […]

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A history of Finnish genes and culture: part 6 of 6

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Razib Khan