Some random stuff that may be of interest

by veilwar

A couple interesting links from the world of paleohistory/evolutionary biology:

  • New evidence that stone-age Europeans came to the Americas 10,000 years before the Siberians. We got here first, nyah, nyah. Apparently, they found a stone tool in Virginia made of French flint, one that was 20,000 years old. Awesome.
  • Typos – interesting stuff from Greg Cochran: “The mutation rate for any particular locus is low: for a typical gene, something like 10-5. But over the genome as a whole, the total rate is on the order of 1 per generation, or maybe a bit larger than that. Suppose U is 1: then the average person has a fitness that is less than two-thirds that of a mutation-free individual, one with all typos corrected. Some estimates have U as high as 4.2 in humans: in that case, average fitness is only about 1% of a mutation-free individual. This big change occurs because U is up in the exponent.”

And Cat Valente’s last post at Charlie’s place, on the nature of publishing in these interesting times. Also along the publishing line, “How I Wrote 50,000 Words in Three Days (And You Can Too)” The key apparently is to start writing and then not stop. Interesting quote, though:

I know. It seems far-fetched a four-hundred-year-old book [Musashi’s Book of Five Rings] can assist, but this is where you would be wrong. I won’t bore you with every detail, I would suggest you get a copy and apply the ancient battle techniques to your writing, and you will see a drastic improvement. The most important clause I hold to be the truth is:

“Any man who wants to master the essence of my strategy must research diligently, training morning and evening. Thus can he polish his skill, become free from self, and realize extraordinary ability. He will come to possess miraculous power.”

Stratfor’s Glossary of Useful, Baffling and Strange Intelligence Terms. Amusing.

ATF: Alcohol Tobacco and Fire Arms. Rednecks with a license to kill. Never, ever, ever ask for their help on anything.

I know from experience that this is true.