A week of links


Jason Collins


January 19, 2014

Links this week:

  1. A cool idea - people who are genealogical ancestors of everyone alive but genetic ancestors of none (HT: Joe Pickrell).

  2. Philip Ball on how the apparently irrational can be rational.

  3. John Kay on the economic approach - there is no such thing.

  4. Genetically modified chickens.

  5. The annual Edge question is out, this time “What Scientific Idea is Ready for Retirement?” Of those answers written about areas I am familiar with or interested in, the question has effectively been “What Scientific Idea Don’t You Like?” As a result, we get the latest play in old debates on race, IQ, the limits to growth (Ridley, Hidalgo and  Obrist), inclusive fitness, gene-environment interactions (Pinker and Sapolsky among others ), epigenetics, rationality, homo economicus and culture (Betzig, Richerson and Tooby). Some are framed in interesting ways (I like Sapolsky’s approach), but there are few surprises. I found more value in the answers that addressed approaches to science (such as Richard Thaler, Nicholas Christakis and Samuel Arbesman).

  6. And finally, surfing the US-Mexico border fence (HT: Michael Clemens).