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Random stuff now October 23, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in assorted, geo-politics, intellectual, science, statistics.
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Why very soon you will be seeing an influx of more and more Romanians into India. (Clue: Not Yana Gupta’s fortunes, Ba-llywood’s affair with east Europeans and all that)

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Arnold Kling’s very quoteworthy (and hence unquotable – I don’t know what part to quote) article about Masonomics.

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And Op-ed in the NYTimes about why Iraq might have to be broken to keep it united. This paragraph sums up the trilema of a united Iraq.

Iraq’s minimalist Constitution is a reflection of a country without a common identity. The Shiites believe their majority entitles them to rule, and a vast majority of them support religious parties that would define Iraq as a Shiite state. Iraq’s Sunni Arabs cannot accept their country being defined by a rival branch of Islam and ruled by parties they see as aligned with Iran. And the Kurdish vision of Iraq is of a country that does not include them.

Truly, for the countries that were supposedly carved out from the British Empire with a stick on beach sand as Winston Churchill was sunbathing one evening on a Southern beach, perilous future awaits.

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On the emerging evidence for the effects of birth order.

Yeah, I know that environmental  factors matter and all that. I also know that just yesterday I promised not to link to empirical social science studies whose conclusions are either contradicted the next day or entirely discredited or are suspect because they are not reproducible independently. And know too that for most people which study one trusts depends so much on one’s prior belief about how things ought to be. And certainly bet that there is at least one person who has time to read the article.

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