Open Thread, 1/31/2016

51Y1vJLRcLL._SX362_BO1,204,203,200_When I was younger I used to follow politics somewhat closely. Every year I would read The Almanac of American Politics. With sites like Politico and Wikipedia there’s really no point. Additionally, I gave up my interest in closely following politics at around the same time (or a little later) I stopped closely following professional sports. To a great extent it was a matter of the opportunity cost, and the fact that I find most of the major camps rather uncongenial to me (e.g., I dislike the multiculturalism which seems embedded within the Democratic party today, and, the militarism which is reflexive for modern Republicans). But I do have one observation to make: the intensity of support for Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are things I’ve noticed. I’d still bet that neither will win their parties’ nominations, but it definitely makes you wonder.

I’ve been very busy, so no time to really read many books. But I did do some preliminary analysis of 1000 Genomes’ data. Judging from the samples I wouldn’t be surprised if there is more evidence of inbreeding from genetics in the British Bangladeshi community than in the samples from Dhaka. The Gujarati Patel community exhibits somewhat more elevated rates of runs of homozygosity in comparison to Europeans or Bengalis, but the range and median in Pakistani populations is pretty extreme (while South Indian groups do evidence of consanguinity as you’d expect). Also, the ethno-linguistic identity of Pakistani populations is pretty obviously fluid. More on that later….

Daniel Falush is going to draft up a write-up on how to/not to use ADMIXTURE analyses….

debtI’m pretty skeptical of reparations on prior grounds, and have long been so. I read The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks, 15 years ago, and recall it being more substantive that what’s on offer in our day. But, it has crossed my mind recently that cash has been shown to be very effective in development aid contexts. So why not in this situation? Yes, there are plenty of reasons to object, but it strikes me many of the same reasons apply in developed economies as well. It seems that the key for reparations to work and have some “buy-in” is it to be linked to a rollback of positive discrimination in public life. So it’s probably a nonstarter.

The schizophrenia paper. People have asked. Yes, this is a very big deal.

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