John Hawks posts an exchange with Rasmus Nielsen, who did a lot of the statistical analysis on the recent Tibet & altitude papers. Read the whole thing, but this part was funny: “I certainly now understand why politicians keep giving the same 2-line reply over and over again to journalists asking them questions. If a journalist talks sufficiently long with an interviewee – it will be possible for them to find some sentences that they can put together in some way to make the interviewee look foolish – if that’s what they want to do.” Nielsen’s post that Tibetans and Chinese seem genetically too similar to be separated for much longer than 3,000 years seems plausible to me. 10,000 years sounds too long certainly.
Why E-books Will Never Replace Real Books. One of the most retarded pieces in this genre that I’ve ever encountered. Someone dig up “why the codex will never replace the scroll.”
Dubitable Darwin? Why Some Smart, Nonreligious People Doubt the Theory of Evolution. A classic in this genre is Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity, and Other Fables of Evolution. Back in 2005 a reader suggested that this book has some incredible rock-solid arguments which convinced him. I took the time to read the book, and concluded that my reader was an absolute moron and banned him from commenting. Sometimes intelligence doesn’t mean you have good judgement. It’s not just the power of the hardware, sometimes it’s the configuration of the software, and how you run the apps. Someone with a good chip who insists on running MS-DOS because they want to keep using WordStar isn’t worth your time.
Outrage World: How feminist blogs like Jezebel gin up page views by exploiting women’s worst tendencies. I can’t speak to feminist weblogs, and I’m certainly no expert on traffic, but some of the insights are generalizable. This isn’t something new to the internet. Controversy and giving your audience red meat sells. To maximize traffic you need to align with your team, not call fouls on your own side, and strike the correct balance between novelty, predictability and shock.
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