Razib Khan One-stop-shopping for all of my content

July 10, 2020

Open Thread – Brown Pundits – 7/11/2020

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 4:27 pm

The usual. I’m rather liberal for open threads, but let’s try to diminish the vitriol.

Also, I am appreciating the links some of you are putting out there. I’m actually learning a lot.

July 5, 2020

Open Thread – July 5th, 2020

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 11:18 pm

After I posted The Myth Of Arabian Paganism, And The Jewish-Christian Origins Of The Umayyads, several people suggested I read Muhammad and the Empires of Faith: The Making of the Prophet of Islam as somewhat of a corrective toward my views. I am now over halfway through Muhammad and the Empires of Faith. I went and re-read my post after being 60% through…and I would hardly change anything I wrote. Perhaps the last 40% will have some revelation, I don’t know.

To review: I think Islam as a distinct post-Christian/Jewish religion really has two phases. First, the one after 690, when the Umayyads recovering from an intense civil war seem to intensified adherence and specificity of the royal cult. The inchoate and unformed nature is evident even in Muhammad and the Empires of Faith, as there was an initial coinage which depicted the physical form of the Caliph, in sharp contravention of the later Sunni Muslim norm against depictions of humans. Second, the period after 750, when the Abbassids shifted the focus of Islamic culture and politics to the east resulted in a massive expansion of the religion from one for the Arabs to a universal faith.

Some people seemed to have thought I rejected that the Prophet Muhammad existed. I did not. Rather, I think he was a different figure than the one depicted in the form of Islam that firmed into coherency after 800 AD ( Muhammad and the Empires of Faith confirm this).

Jerry Coyne has the best round-up of the attempted defenestration of Steven Pinker. As Matthew Yglesias observed on Twitter: this isn’t about Pinker, he will stay rich and prominent. It’s about younger academics. It seems clear that this battle is going to be lost for the anti-Pinker camp, but I think they will win the war. Academia will transform itself in the next few years and purify itself. It’s up to the American public whether they want to fund the sinecures of people who believe their job is to engage in an eternal struggle session (or, more accurately, look the other way as a minority of their colleagues go hunting for heretics).

Elk Return to Kentucky. Kind of a feel good story. Nature healing?

As Coronavirus Slams Houston Hospitals, It’s Like New York ‘All Over Again’. I’m hearing bad things from a friend who is an E.R. doc in Texas.

The 17-member family that lived together, ate together and got coronavirus together. Indian “joint-families”.

A North Korean Defector’s Tale Shows Rotting Military. It’s interesting (sad) that this regime can survive, because it’s internal policing is so good, even though the society is literally starving to death.

Fine-scale Population Structure and Demographic History of Han Chinese Inferred from Haplotype Network of 111,000 Genomes. Hard to follow this paper. No great surprises.

Genetic ancestry changes in Stone to Bronze Age transition in the East European plain. I blogged this at Brown Pundits, The Arctic home of the Aryans.

Peopling of Tibet Plateau and multiple waves of admixture of Tibetans inferred from both modern and ancient genome-wide data. Pretty unsurprising. Note the ancient “Onge-related” layer. This is probably where the Denisovan haplotype comes from.

Family Analysis with Mendelian Imputations. This is a good preprint! King Kong!

Deep ancestral introgression shapes evolutionary history of dragonflies and damselflies.

Checked out Amazon Kindle deals for July. Here are some I thought looked good:

The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street. Read this 10 years ago. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The Four Chinese Classics: Tao Te Ching, Analects, Chuang Tzu, Mencius. I can never get through the middle two. Everyone should read Analects. It’s very short.

Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness. I don’t read science books often anymore. Mostly I read papers in fields that are professionally interesting/of note to me. Perhaps should change (I do read a fair amount of cognitive neuroscience still).

Has China Won?: The Chinese Challenge to American Primacy. The author is of Indian background, so I suppose somewhat neutral?

July 3, 2020

Open Thread – Brown Pundits

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 4:01 pm

How are things in India right now? As many Indians now read this weblog as Americans (33% each). Mostly curious about the post-coronavirus world.

New podcast with Abhinav Prakash. More suggestions for podcast guests welcome.

One thing I had a mild disagreement with is the use of the term “genocide” in relation to what the Turkic Muslims did in the subcontinent to the Hindus. I agree that killings occurred, some of great brutality. But I am more and more convinced that the true obliteration was the cultural evisceration of public monuments and the repression of history. Perhaps a more accurate or precise term would be “cultural genocide.”

My wife suggested that we rename the Browncast the “Browncaste.” I nixed that.

Happy Birthday America!

June 28, 2020

Open Thread, June 28th 2020

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 3:10 pm

Reading The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous and thinking about how perhaps America may not be so “WEIRD” in the near future…. The plan write now is to review the book somewhere, and interview the author for The Insight. I may write something earlier about WEIRD though less specifically about the book.

I have set up an account on Book Shop. Right now I put up a few history books. This is a better deal for me in regards to referrals than Amazon, though these are physical books only.

I haven’t been posting “Open Threads” as much because I’ve been busy. Sorry-not-sorry. Life happens. Though blogs are dead, my Brown Pundits blog is pulling in more than 200+ comments for each open thread. I wonder if people are tired of “discussing” on Twitter.

Ricky Gervais vs. Woke Comedy ‘Dogma’. He’s rich and he doesn’t care.

A Total-Group Phylogenetic Metatree for Cetacea and the Importance of Fossil Data in Diversification Analyses.

How does the strength of selection influence genetic correlations?

The germline mutational process in rhesus macaque and its implications for phylogenetic dating.

Things Were Going to Be So Much Better.

The genomics of trait combinations and their influence on adaptive divergence.

Natural Selection Shapes Codon Usage in the Human Genome.

Evidence of Polygenic Adaptation in Sardinia at Height-Associated Loci Ascertained from the Biobank Japan.

The Gaps Between White and Black America, in Charts.

Demographic history, cold adaptation, and recent NRAP recurrent convergent evolution at amino acid residue 100 in the world northernmost cattle from Russia.

June 26, 2020

Open Thread – Brown Pundits

Filed under: Open Thread — Razib Khan @ 6:33 pm

I did an episode on Big Brown Army a few days ago. The conversation revolved around being Christian (evangelical) and Indian, as well as what wokeness is doing to Christianity and Indians. The host of BBA, Decruz, is someone who I’ve known on and off for 15 years. We’ve both changed a lot, but stayed fundamentally similar.

Please remember to subscribe to ABCD Politics, the new podcast that I am doing with Surya Yalamanchilli.

I’m surprised how much you guys can be invested in Kashmir! That being said, the blow-up of the comments every week indicates perhaps Twitter is no longer so fun? I mean, 300+ comments on open threads are some serious discussion. Are blogs coming back?

What’s the best history of India you guys have read? I know some people will get mad, but Romilla Thapar’s stuff is some of the most accessible and well-written in English. Tell me what’s better.

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!