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Assorted links now September 6, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in assorted, geo-politics, policy, science.

Some really abstract thought today –

But rather than seeing culture as patriarchy, which is to say a conspiracy by men to exploit women, I think it’s more accurate to understand culture (e.g., a country, a religion) as an abstract system that competes against rival systems — and that uses both men and women, often in different ways, to advance its cause.”

Now, where do we go from here ?

What percent of our ancestors were women? It’s not a trick question, and it’s not 50%. True, about half the people who ever lived were women, but that’s not the question. We’re asking about all the people who ever lived who have a descendant living today. Or, put another way, yes, every baby has both a mother and a father, but some of those parents had multiple children.

Recent research using DNA analysis answered this question about two years ago. Today’s human population is descended from twice as many women as men.

So what, you ask ? How does this morph into a theory of gender differences ? Its fairly complicated to explain right away, so catch this piece for a summary. Better still, catch this entire speech transcript for more details.


Bill Clinton now has a new book Giving, “an inspiring look at how each of us can change the world.” More on that.

I was reading the description over at Amazon (above link) and found this piece interesting.

Heifer International, which gave twelve goats to a Ugandan village. Within a year, Beatrice Biira’s mother had earned enough money selling goat’s milk to pay Beatrice’s school fees and eventually to send all her children to school—and, as required, to pass on a baby goat to another family, thus multiplying the impact of the gift.

Thats a cool business philanthropy model there !


Some in the Chinese media has interesting (and amusing) things to say about India and its defence forces.

The Indian army is undoubtedly the most active armed force in Asia today, allegedly stationing forces in Tajikistan, establishing surveillance stations in Africa, sending aircraft carriers to Bay of Bengal for exercise, etc. Indian army makes it to the military news almost every day, yet the outside world knows so little about it

That was informative, if true. But where did this come from ?

It (the Indian Army) has top weaponry, but before a battle, its solders pray to their gods without exception; it has 1.3 million personnel in service, but you seldom run into one wearing military uniform in the cities; it is like a melting pot, but servicemen of different religious sects stare at each other when they meet.







1. ggop - September 8, 2007

The headlines from China are amusing 🙂

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