The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
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In the comments below it seems that most people don't know about the existence of Eurostat, and the NUTS2 and NUTS3 maps which they generate. They're really great, insofar as they give you a fine-grained picture of variation within Europe. Sometimes you see how national boundaries matter a great deal...and in other ways how they... Read More
The guy who runs the Pop vs. Soda page has really improved it. You can look at county level metrics just by hovering over the county. You can see counts, to get a good sense of the confidence in the representation of the underlying demographics. One thing that must be amended is that it's not... Read More
The above map accompanies an article titled Imagining a Remapped Middle East. Do you notice something off? I do. Here's a list of the provinces of Iraq. Do you notice any that end in -stans? No. Here's why, -stan: The suffix -stan (Persian: ـستان‎ -stān) is Persian for "place of"[1] or "country".[2] The suffix also... Read More
I've been thinking about how best to visualize PCA/MDS type of results, which allow for the two dimensional representation of genetic variation. Below are a few of my efforts with a data set I have. You can see the individuals in gray, but also ellipses which cover ~95% of the distribution of a given population.... Read More
Obviously the news over the past week has been filled with the events in the Middle East, and the broader Muslim world, in reaction to an anti-Muslim film. I think the most eloquent commentary is from The Onion (NSFW!!!), No One Murdered Because Of This Image. That being said, there are some serious broader issues... Read More
Planet Money recently did a report on the difficulty of maintaining high economic productivity in southern Italy. I won't rehash the specifics of the story, but, I think it is important to get a visual sense of just how large the contrast between the south and north of Italy is. Too often we speak of... Read More
I was alerted to Samuel's Arbesman's new paper, The Life-Spans of Empires, by the fact that he pointed to his research on his weblog. Interestingly I'm not the only one who was interested, as after I pointed to it on my link round up a few people asked if they could get a copy of... Read More
The image above is adapted from the 2010 paper A Predominantly Neolithic Origin for European Paternal Lineages, and it shows the frequencies of Y chromosomal haplogroup R1b1b2 across Europe. As you can see as you approach the Atlantic the frequency converges upon ~100%. Interestingly the fraction of R1b1b2 is highest among populations such as the... Read More
Since most international migration is apparently between "developing nations", I thought the Iran-Iraq-Turkey-Syria border would be interesting to look at in terms of differences in economic and social indices.
The Pith: Over the past 10,000 years a small coterie of farming populations expanded rapidly and replaced hunter-gatherer groups which were once dominant across the landscape. So, the vast majority of the ancestry of modern Europeans can be traced back to farming cultures of the eastern Mediterranean which swept over the west of Eurasia between... Read More
One of the major issues in our world today is that we're a people of specialties. This means that we don't have basic interpretative frameworks in which to place novel facts. Because of the abstruse and formal nature of the discipline, this is probably starkest in the domain of science, but it is not restricted... Read More
Credit: David Shankbone The more and more I see fine-scale genomic analyses of population structure across the world the more and more I believe that the "stylized" models which were in vogue in the early 2000s which explained how the world was re-populated after the last Ice Age (and before) were wrong in deep ways.... Read More
Since I know plenty of friends are getting, or just got, their V3 results, I thought I'd pass this on, Open-ended submission opportunity for 23andMe data (#2): Also, Zack has more than 30 individuals in HAP. The "cow belt" is still way underrepresented. The only Bengalis in the data set are my parents.
A comment below inquired about "good books" on American history. Unfortunately I don't know as much about American history as I do about Roman or Chinese history. But over the years there have been several books which I find to have been very value-add in terms of understanding where we are now. In other words,... Read More
Guelta d'Archei, Chad. Credit: Dario Menasce. Everyone who is literate knows that the Sahara desert is the largest of its kind in the world. The chasm in cultural, biological, and physical geography is very noticeable. Northern Africa is part of the Palearctic zone, while the peoples north of the Sahara have long been part of... Read More
I decided to take the Dodecad ADMIXTURE results at K = 10, and redo some of the bar plots, as well as some scatter plots relating the different ancestral components by population. Don't try to pick out fine-grained details, see what jumps out in a gestalt fashion. I removed most of the non-European populations to... Read More
When I was in college I would sometimes have late night conversations with the guys in my dorm, and the discussion would random-walk in very strange directions. During one of these quasi-salons a friend whose parents were from Korea expressed some surprise and disgust at the idea of wet earwax. It turns out he had... Read More
There's a lot of stuff you stumble upon via Google Public Data Explorer which you kind of knew, but is made all the more stark through quantitative display. For example, consider Saudi Arabia and Yemen. In gross national income per capita the difference between these two nations is one order of magnitude (PPP and nominal).... Read More
To the left you see a map of the distribution of languages and language families in Europe. Language is arguably the most salient cultural feature of our species, as well as one of the most obviously biologically embedded. The trait of language is a human universal, to the point where even those without hearing can... Read More
It's easy to find maps of American ancestries, but I wanted to play around with the data, and in particularly the visualization myself. So I went to the Census and got the county level numbers. The first thing I wanted to do was look at non-Hispanic white ethnicities as a proportion of non-Hispanic whites. That... Read More
Since Afghanistan is in the news a lot, I keep hearing about it. I decided to double check some numbers, and here's some weird stuff:Afghanistan, 11 million Pashtuns, Pakistan, 27 million PashtunsAzerbaijan, 8.1 million Azeris, Iran, 17.75 million AzerisMongolia, 2.3 million Mongols, China, 5 million Mongols
Razib Khan
About Razib Khan

"I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com"