The Sciences

Daily Data Dump - Monday

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanJul 5, 2010 8:20 PM

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Noting rejection rates for journals across disciplines (from 1967). A review of an old paper which shows that the natural sciences have higher acceptance rates of papers than softer fields. How does this align with the finding that softer fields have more "positive" results? I think part of the issue is that in more ideological domains the pressure to conform to the orthodox paradigm is stronger. I've always wondered why there are heterodox economics, as opposed to or including heteroprax economics. Illinois Stops Paying Its Bills, but Can’t Stop Digging Hole. I know that in the 19th century many frontier states defaulted on their debt payments, with two southern states repudiating their debts altogether, but are the current fiscal crises simply a recapitulation of a conventional pattern, or are they new? It seems a lot of these issues are driven by imprudent pension guarantees, which I presume are a relatively recent occurrence and track with the rise of public sector unions. Starbucks Thief Picks NYT Over WSJ. Pretty funny. Someone kept stealing The New York Times, but didn't bother with The Wall Street Journal. Of course one issue that I wondered about is that someone for whom the latter is "mission critical" probably wouldn't need to steal. Presumably The New York Times has a bigger range in the affluence of those who find it a necessary part of their daily reads (e.g., artistic types who need to bone up on the culture pages). Mountain Mice Show Adaptation to Altitude. Here's the important bit: "It is very possible that a similar strategy has also evolved in other mammals, including high-altitude native humans, the scientists say." The distribution of the adaptations to higher altitudes across the mammalian taxon would be interesting in illuminating the constraints upon the search space of natural selection over a finite period of time. If you've got great genes, it pays to be extrovert. The top line of this research is that heritable personality variation may simply be due a feedback loop due to the circumstances one finds oneself in due to other heritable traits. In particular it seems that physical strength and self assessments of attractiveness explain ~1/3 of the variation of extroversion, and since strength and attractiveness are heritable, if they correlate with a direction in personality (more extroversion), then variation in personality would also seem heritable.

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