how are some more certain of everything than i am of anything?….

busy day, another windy one.

Posted by richard on March 5th, 2012

about 9 hours to catchup on my online reading today. 84 outside, i should at least open the door.

All of these challenges suggest that a second depression or some prolonged period of economic disappointment and hardship is no longer implausible, as it seemed for most of the past half-century. The mastery of economic activity we thought we had achieved—not in the sense that we could eliminate all business cycles or financial panics, but in the more limited way that we could avoid pervasive instability—can no longer be taken for granted. The mistake, popularized largely by economists, was to believe that regulation of the economy could be derived from theory and converted into practical precepts for policy. The reality is that economic life is not solely described or dictated by rhythms suggested by economic models. It moves in response to institutions, technologies, beliefs, and cultures that follow their own logic, sometimes with completely unexpected, mystifying, and terrifying consequences.


it’s a bit tangential, but this is such a well written essay, part of a book i suspect people will want to read. i’ve already asked my library to order a copy.

here’s what i’d like to understand. there are a number of mutations in the essay, take just the main character, BRCA1 185delAG, how could such a serious mutation reach 1% of the Ashkenazi Jewish population? or put another way, why isn’t natural selection eliminating it?

part of the answer:
genetic drift in small homogeneous populations.
the cancer strikes after peak fertility.

yet that doesn’t seem to really get to the heart of the issue, if NS doesn’t eliminate such a serious mutation from small populations where it is disastrous, what does it eliminate, is genetic drift really in control? additionally, what support does this offer YECists and their position that the human genome is “running down”, accumulating lots of deleterious mutations? we no longer visualize ET as the great chain of being, but we do think it is sufficient as a force to make populations more fit to their current environment, BRCA seems to contradict this.


what a mess


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