Links 7/10/12

Links for you. Science:

The Good Fight (must-read on group selection, though long)
Monster-eyed bugs
What visitors to London’s Science Museum don’t see: The wonders held in storage
Job search
Subtleties of the Crappy Job Market for Scientists

Other:

Why Attacks on Contraception Meet Success In Such A Pro-Contraception Culture (must-read)
The Lethal Presidency of Barack Obama (must-read; Junod puts it in context)
Our betters, fretting in the Hamptons
Income Is Definitely Being Redistributed Upward, but Why Do We Think It’s Technology?
Alabama’s Airbus Subsidy Eerily Reminiscent of Auto “Transplants”
Why Americans and Europeans Give Directions Differently
The D.C. Blackouts and Global Warming
The Cake We’re Apparently Supposed To Be Eating Is A Lie
I Used to Love Her, But I Had to Flee Her: On Leaving New York
Math is hard
PA City Defies Court Order; Reduces Police Officers, Firefighters’ Pay To Minimum Wage (and this helps the economy how? FFS, just spend some federal money already)
The myth of the winning streak: why ‘momentum’ is meaningless in sports
Getting Creative Things Done: How To Fit Hard Thinking Into a Busy Schedule
The Great Capitalist Heist: How Paris Hilton’s Dogs Ended Up Better Off Than You. Elites say that we need inequality to encourage the rich to invest and the creative to invent. That’s working out well — for 1% pooches.

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2 Responses to Links 7/10/12

  1. Kiwiguy says:

    OT. I see you have cited Cosma Shalizi’s posts on g?

    As Steve Hsu has pointed out, anyone who understands factor analysis realises that you can have correlations and a single largest factor even if there are no underlying causal reasons (i.e., it is just an accident). Nonetheless, these models may still be useful.

    Prior to the availability of molecular studies the heritability of type II diabetes was estimated at 0.25 using all those methods. Now molecular studies have identified at least 9 loci involved in the disease. There are other examples in relation to height. So you can’t say that heritability studies, with all their seemingly ridiculous assumptions, are worthless.

    In fact, reading Shalizi closely, you’ll see that he doesn’t think they are either. For instance, he says:

    ***If you put a gun to my head and asked me to guess [whether there are genetic variants that contribute to IQ], and I couldn’t tell what answer you wanted to hear, I’d say that my suspicion is that there are, mostly on the strength of analogy to other areas of biology where we know much more. ***

    Also, in his article on g he seems to accept in the footnotes that intelligence or cognitive ability, as operationally defined by psychologists, is important for economic development.”

    Cheers,

    Kiwiguy

    • I don’t disagree about the heritability issue, but I think we’ve overestimated it for IQ due to conflating genotype-environment covariance. I don’t think heritability studies are worthless (I know my Falconer), but I have doubts about the magnitude of R2 and the validity of IQ normalized scores in light of the Flynn effect (the underlying variation at the high end doesn’t resemble the variation at the low end and changes over time)–the weakness of too many genetic correlation studies is the phenotype (and the environmental parameterization). Many IQ studies aren’t quite up to snuff there.

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