Friday, June 12, 2009

23AndMe Global Similarity Graph

"Europe's prehistory was shaped by the advancement and retreat of ice sheets during the Last Ice Age, which reached its peak 18,000 years ago. Humans had entered Europe about 20,000 years earlier, but the advancing ice sheets meant that only the southern fringes of Europe were inhabitable. Places like the Iberian and Italian Peninsulas, as well as parts of the Balkans, served as refugia, where humans survived for thousands of years, weathering the storm. But when the ice began to retreat about 15,000 years ago, the ancestors of many present-day northern Europeans moved northward. A few thousand years later, humans from the Near East began to expand into Europe as well, some of them bringing new languages and new lifestyles, including agriculture.

We consider Europe to be bounded to the west and north by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Mediterranean Sea, and to the east by the Caucasus Mountains of western Russia. Our database reflects some of the genetic diversity of northern Europe prior to the era of intercontinental travel that began roughly 500 years ago." - 23andme

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Google I/O (Good things are happening)

Revolution is coming to the browser space. See for yourself! At least watch the intro...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Monday, December 08, 2008

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Culture of Short Attention Spans

Poorly transcribed; excuse the mistakes: 'Several thousand years ago, during an era pretty similar to what we're living in now, all of the literate, rational people were rounded up and hoarded into a system of monastic communities; these are coed monasteries. But they're not allowed to reproduce. The only way to get new people into this new system is by a process called "collecting" - if you're living on the outside and you're one of those kids who's frequently seen curled up into a corner reading a book, you'll be picked up and dropped off at the nearest monastery.

The people on the inside own nothing, except a piece of cloth that they wrap around their body as a garment. They sit around and read and write books and think about philosophy and mathematics and science, and they do other kinds of scholarly activities. The landscape on the outside is - coast to coast, oceans to oceans - walmarts, casinos, big box retail stores. Over the Millenia, dark ages, renaissance, world wars, have come and gone and so on, but it doesn't affect the people in the inside. It turns out that the two cultures have found out to get along pretty happily.

The people on the outside have pretty darn short attention spans. They can't tear themselves away from their cell phone-like devices. The people on the inside look upon them with a certain amount of horror, and simply can't understand how anybody could live that way. If you're interested in these topics, you could do worse than picking up this book as maybe an entry point for thinking about those kinds of issues, and carrying that conversation forward.'

- Neal Stephenson, @ Google on September 12th 2008, Mountain View, CA