Friday, May 30, 2014

Reader survey

Every now and then I look at the statistics for this blog. My rough estimate is that there is a core group of at least several thousand who read it regularly (i.e., a few times per week or more), and typical posts are eventually read by ~ 10 thousand people or more.

I know very little about my readers, hence this survey. Answer whichever parts you like and paste into the comments. Many thanks!
1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?

3. What do you like best about this blog?

4. What do you like least about this blog?

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?

6. Have we met in real life? Should we?

7. What should I do with my life?   :-)
I can guess that there are several overlapping subgroups of readers: physicists, genomicists, financiers, tech / startup types, professors, ... But I'd really like to know more!

81 comments:

Brett Olsen said...

1. I'm a 32 year old white male American.

2. B.S. in chemistry from Caltech (I first found your blog linked from an alumni forum), PhD in cell biology/biophysics. I'm now a postdoc doing (mostly) computational biophysics. Mostly (classical) molecular simulations, with some experimental biophysics (NMR, X-ray scattering, SPR) and an increasing amount of bioinformatics.

3. It's a great way to keep up on new developments in human genetics (I heard about CRISPR here first, for example). I have a fairly narrow focus on my normal journal reading, so it's nice to have someone focus on just the interesting bits. Silver medal to the BGI cognitive genomics study, which I'm still hoping for some interesting results from - last time I emailed Chris Chang, it sounded like you're having some data cleaning difficulties.

4. Not that I dislike them as such, but the MMA posts are fairly orthogonal to my interests. :)

5. The QM/hard core physics posts are sadly now outside my realm of expertise. I like to think I still have a basic grasp of quantum mechanics from sophomore physics, but... it's been a while. The genetics/bioinformatics posts are reasonably close to my core work.

6. Not to my knowledge! I emailed you once about some simulations I had done with the basic additive model of cognitive genomics you had discussed, though. If you ever have a conference down in St. Louis, let me know and I'll take you out for dinner and discussion with some other folks down here.

7. Finish the cognitive genomics study, and keep going! I want to know more about the basis of human intelligence!

bg2b said...

1. 49 y.o. white male American
2. BS in E&AS from Caltech, PhD in CS from CMU, co-owner of a small software company. I take photos and play the recorder to annoy my wife.
3. I mostly read for the genetic and physics stuff, most of the other commentary is also interesting.
4. MMA turns me off.
5. Depends on the subject, but pretty rarely.

6. We were in Page together (started the same year, though I graduated in the usual 4 years).
7. Whatever makes you happy.

Thomas Themel said...

1. 33 y.o. white male Austrian.
2. MS in physics, software engineer by trade.
3. Mostly interested in the intelligence research.
4. MMA, and the ads do not fit the content very well.
5. I do not endeavour to understand every post's details since I mostly read this blog for entertainment.

Erik Sieven said...

1) age 25, male, german (both ethnicity and nationality)
2) i have two bachelor degrees in social sciences and mathematics and I am currently enrolled in a master course in economics. Hobbies: judo, hiking, literature, piano.
3) i like best everything about human biological diversity
4) i cannot relate to those posts about the current us-president
5) in most cases i don't understand much when the subject is theoretical physics, but it is not my field of interest anyway.
6) i have never been in the usa, but when i will be once and you are having a conference about hbd at that time i would like to listen to it
7) have success with the beijing institute of genomics, get famous in china, meet president xi jinping and persuade him to abandon the one-child policy at once, instead implement pro-natalist policies.

rz said...

1. 31, male, white, bolivian
2. physics phd dropout, startup dude
3. high-level, sophisticated thought, concise, mathematical inclination
4. nothing comes to mind, really
5. ~1/6
6. yes, i was a student in a class you taught at UO and we've chatted re:startups a couple of times
7. risky research, both in bioinformatics/genomics and theoretical physics. mentor students.

Jordan Fisher said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?
28, male, "white" (Ashkenazi), USA

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?
PhD math; run a small software company after leaving a post-doc; climbing, health, reading

3. What do you like best about this blog?
Genomics, startups/finance, occasional physics commentary on stuff accessible to non-physicists (more pleasant than reading Lubos Motl).

4. What do you like least about this blog?
Bat shit crazy comments. Normally bat-shit is entertaining, but here it makes me feel dirty by association. Not sure why.

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?
I scratch my head at about 50% of the graphs before coaxing out the meaning. There's usually little context to explain them.

6. Have we met in real life? Should we?
No. Sure!

7. What should I do with my life? :-)

Save the world. The next 40 years are going to be interesting and potentially very dangerous, most of all because of emerging technologies. The only sane move is to stay ahead of the curve, get there first, and try and wrestle the avalanche into a safe direction. Money seems like a nice tool, which is why I dove into startup-land, but I'm not completely convinced it's the right first step to win this game. I read your blog because it covers a lot of pertinent topics to the long game, so I should rather be asking you what a good strategy is.

Pat Boyle said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, Nationality?
(71, male, Caucasian, American.)
2. MPA, retired software development executive, opera singer
3. Real science
4. Not much so far.
5. Maybe 10%
6. No. You're welcome to drop in but I don't get out much since the accident.
7. I should write a book. You should write a book.

Peter Connor said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality? 67, M, Caucasion, US

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)? B.A. Harvard, J.D.Northwestern Law, chess master once, all games

3. What do you like best about this blog? Cutting edge science, mainly physics and genetics

4. What do you like least about this blog? Anything political

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand? not often, but happens

6. Have we met in real life? Should we? No, but happy to buy dinner for you sometime!

7. What should I do with my life? :-) Help get us back into space.

David Stern said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality? 49, male, Jewish, Australian

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)? PhD geography Boston U., professor at ANU in economics/environmental management

3. What do you like best about this blog? Posts about start-ups, genomics research

4. What do you like least about this blog?

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand? Quite often! Especially posts about physics, of course but the genetics ones aren't that easy either.

6. Have we met in real life? Should we? No, ?

Anonymous said...

1. 44, white, American

2. 22 years AF. Retired. Now travel the world inspecting power plants, education... literally 10s of thousands of hours of reading any and everything. Had a 2.2 GPA in HS. Spend the rest of my time playing with my jeep.

3. It's regularly updated

4. Survey questions of readers.

5. Never. If I don't understand, I just research background.

6. No. Only if you have a jeep and like to rock crawl.

7. Get a jeep.

FAW said...

1. 18, male, Caucasian, Dane.


2. I am a high-school student. I have fairly eclectic interests, but I focus mainly on mathematics, physics, philosophy, and AI, dabbling in (some) psychology.


3. I like best the coverage of physics, cognitive science/AI, psychometrics, genetics, and intellectual history, I suppose. Since I consider moving to the US in the future, I am also curious to learn about American culture in general.


In the main the subset of your interests that you display on your blog aligns well with my own interests.


4. I hardly ever read the MMA posts. Insofar as they shine light on the scope of human potential, however, I pay attention.


5. Rarely. If I do experience difficulty, I think harder or draw upon the powers of the Internet. That does not always suffice to garner full appreciation, but I can accept that. If challenge is accompanied by the thrill of abstraction, then I am satisfied.


6. No. Presently, any enjoyment caused by our interaction would probably be too densely concentrated on my side. Looking forward, I hope to perturb the gradient of your hypothetical enjoyment as a function of our hypothetical interaction in the positive direction. If this materializes adequately, then it might just be a swell idea!


7. Given the magnitude of the risks involved, you might want to revisit the topic of the technological singularity (“intelligence explosion”). Even if after close examination you still do not think it is on the immediate time horizon, it does not diminish its importance, if you lend moral value to the well-being of future generations. See: http://intelligence.org/mirix/ (and generally the work by the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI) and
the Future of Humanity Institute (FHI)).


Any significant contributor to friendly AI will likely acquire a prominent position in human history.

M. Möhling said...

1. 51, m, white, German



2. history dropout, programmer, DIY, eg making bikes



3. forays into data centered politics and history á la Razib



4. short posts merely linking to videos I'm often to lazy to watch, but that's just me, maybe



5. almost any time it's math centered, dang!

5371 said...

Earth not overcrowded enough for you yet?

5371 said...

More physics, please.

ALD said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?
33, M, White, American

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?

BS Physics, PhD Biophysics, quant finance, my kids

3. What do you like best about this blog?

breadth of discussion, focus on genomics, the occasional math-y arguments, finance talk

4. What do you like least about this blog?

too light a touch on comment moderation

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?

rarely

6. Have we met in real life? Should we?

no, but i was in the same lab at berkeley as one of your former UofO colleagues when he was a postdoc

7. What should I do with my life? :-)
start an advice column

Jump said...

1. 21, Male, Caucasian/South Asian, American

2. Economics B.A. (work in progress), no profession, basket ball, reading (many of the topics covered here), art (sub-par), gamer

3. The data driven approach being applied to such a wide variety of topics, updates on genetics/physics research, it's always fun to read above my weight class

4. Most of my problems have to do with the comments not the blog posts, that damn winky face

5. Often, but I doubt you are writting for an audience of my level

6. Not that I know of, I don't see any reason to

7. I tell you after I figure out what to do with my own

Cornelius said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?
30, male, Hispanic, approx. 1/2 European (mostly Iberian but great-great-great-grandfather was English) 3/8 Native American, 1/8 West African, American



2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?
PhD Theoretical and Computational Biophysics, Businessman/entrepreneur formerly strategy consultant, fitness, reading and pretty much anything nerdy



3. What do you like best about this blog?
The diversity of nerdy topics.



4. What do you like least about this blog?
The MMA posts.



5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?
Rarely.



6. Have we met in real life? Should we?
No. Maybe. I'd probably go see you lecture if I were in the same city when you visited.



7. What should I do with my life?
Start another company.

lptoperator said...

1. 19, M, Han Chinese.

2. Working toward a (pure) math PhD in analysis.

3. Genomics and intelligence.

4. Posts could be more lengthy and mathematical.

5. Seldom.

6. No, but I'd be happy to meet.

7. What is your answer if I ask you the question?

Erik Sieven said...

Right now there is a dramatic change of the composition of mankind going on (just take a look at international comparisons of fertility rates) maybe things should simply get a bit more balanced again

Erin Keenan said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?

32.5 old white guy from the US of A

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?

BS in physics from UO; coding now at SF startup.

3. What do you like best about this blog?

I like it all.

4. What do you like least about this blog?

No complaints. :) Actually, I'd love to hear your thoughts on nutrition, just 'cuz it's such an unresolved and contentious topic.

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?

Sadly, the physics posts tend to go over my head. :(

6. Have we met in real life? Should we?

Weirdly enough, no. No compelling reason to do so, though it'd be fun to chat.

7. What should I do with my life? :-)

Tough question :)

Karen J said...

1. 23, female, mix asian/ white, USA

2. Bachelor's degrees in physics and computer engineering. Just got a job in electromagnetics research at a big aerospace firm

3. Some of the more accessible posts about physics, historical tidbits about physicists. Posts about discrimination against Asians in (US) college admissions interest me.

4. Comment threads full of thinly disguised misogyny and racism, usually justified by "science". Don't believe me? See the comments on the Ariel Levy post as an example.

5. In general, the more technical posts (especially about finance or genomics) are beyond me.

6. No. Wouldn't mind, though!

7. I think you are a far better judge of that then a random person on the internet! :)

5371 said...

That is true. So the problem is stopping certain others breeding, not getting the Chinese to breed,

Joe Jewell said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?
32, male, mixed German/British, American

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?
Engineering PhD (and double Caltech alum--Go Beavers). I'm a postdoc at an Air Force lab currently and my hobbies include music (playing and listening--primarily classical/symphonic), rowing (picked that up during the three years in England that I spent recovering from Caltech before re-upping!), board games, wine, and cooking experiments with my wife.

3. What do you like best about this blog?
I came across this blog, if I recall correctly, through the BGI study. (Still waiting for results on that!) So I'm always interested to read more about progress there and related topics.
I thought a bit about what, precisely, I appreciate about the blog as a blog, and I'd have to say that I appreciate that it's updated frequently. I certainly don't check it every day, but when I do visit there are usually several new, topical, and interesting things to read, which I appreciate.

4. What do you like least about this blog?
The MMA posts aren't particularly meaningful to me (I do give them a skim), but I certainly don't begrudge you writing about an avocation and it is pretty refreshing, actually, that you don't feel the blog needs to be laser-focused on any particular topic. Easy enough to scroll down. :)

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?
I will happily admit that much of the "meat" of the hardcore physics is beyond me, although I appreciate that you usually take the time to write a gloss to make it more accessible to us mere engineers--and it's probably good for me to exercise some of those mental muscles, too. On the other hand, I have found that your descriptions of genetics are in general very accessible and suspect that this might come from the the fact that you've come to it from a different specialty first.

6. Have we met in real life? Should we?
We haven't. I think it would probably be interesting to chat, though, and I'd be pleased if that happened someday. I'm a Michigan native, btw (though a Wolverine, not a Spartan!) and I hope you're enjoying the state so far.

7. What should I do with my life? :-)
Finish the Cog Genomics study!
You seem to have take a very interesting path so far, and one that I wouldn't mind mirroring in the broad strokes: academia and then an administrative role that still allows for a meaningful connection to research, with a possible side of startups--and you have a family too! I'll bet you'd make an excellent provost or university president, although you'd probably want to find a place where the latter role isn't ONLY fundraising.

Ricky said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?
33, male, Italian, Canada

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?
Bachelor's in Math and Physics. Masters in Physics. Currently studying Applied Math. I love reading physics, and history of physics!

3. What do you like best about this blog?
Physics posts, especially posts about Feynman. :)

4. What do you like least about this blog?
Very technical genetics discussions. Economics/Finance stuff.

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?
Sometimes.

6. Have we met in real life? Should we?
No, but I did send you an email several years ago about a question I had. You answered it to my satisfaction. :)

7. What should I do with my life? :-)

Turn those kids of yours into the next Feynmans. :-) Just kidding. I have no idea.

Titus Anderson said...

I think #2 is lying.

Dragon Fly said...

1. 25, male, Chinese, People's Republic of China

2. current PhD student in physics

3. Everything that I have not known before.

4. So far so good

5. Not at all, although, being a physics PhD student, lacking some background in biology or genomics probably leads me to overlook at some posts in your blog.

6. No, sure when I have some great ideas for startup or string theory :-).

7. Being from the same Asian background, I think your success in both business and science career could motivate a lot of Asian youngsters to overcome the so called bamboo ceiling and adding values to the society.

McThag said...

1. 45, male, scots/italian, 'Mercan.
2. Army vet, machine designer, draftsman, business admin bachelor, stay at home dad, gamer.
3. Just found it, dunno yet.
4. See previous response.
5. Again...
6. We have. In Hundred Town. You killed me.
7. Why should you do anything with it? Someone will surely waste the effort and sacrifice you've put into it and leave it worse than when you started.

mchouza said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?
30, M, mixed Spanish/German, Argentine

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?
Computer Engineer (roughly MS-level); programmer; trying to understand physics better (QFT is hard for me), wasting too much time reading blogs :)

3. What do you like best about this blog?
The mix of different topics I find interesting, some of the comments.

4. What do you like least about this blog?
The other comments :)

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?
I don't understand some of the physics posts and my biology knowledge is a bit thin.

6. Have we met in real life? Should we?
No. I think it would be interesting.

disqus_HQcqcakNRl said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality? 30, M, Asian American (Taiwan), US

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)? Bachelor, Masters in CS; structured finance; board games, working out

3. What do you like best about this blog? On the science side - biology and technology posts. On the non-science side - athletes and posts on raising kids.

4. What do you like least about this blog? Intelligence-related posts are interesting, but the conclusion gets tiring - feels too much like a circle-jerk.

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand? some of the physics related posts, though they're frequently packaged together with a friendly, accessible explanation which is nice.

6. Have we met in real life? Should we? We've never met, though would be happy to meet.

7. What should I do with my life? Beats me, maybe.. start a privately-funded BGI in the US so that the conclusions from the intelligence studies would be easier to disseminate here? Alternatively - create hub for quantified self hobbyists to post data and researchers to share tools for data crunching and basic analytics. As you pointed out, genome sequencing prices are coming down dramatically so it's a matter of time before a bunch of data is available - why not set up something akin to Folding@home for error detection in sequences, inferring gene networks, etc. - getting beyond an approximation based on a gene additivity model.

Just thinking out loud here.

sarkoboros said...

22, male, Korean, USA
evolutionary bio / genomics & human population history / wilderness, learning languages, roaming Central Asia
appreciate the eclectic range but indifferent to the personal life, startup, and finance posts
sure, I'd meet

Tom Bird said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?
26, Male, White, American

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?
B.Sc in Mathematics, B.Sc in Engineering Physics, M.Sc in Nuclear Engineering, just finishing up a Ph.D in theoretical plasma physics (magnetic confinement fusion stuff) at one of the Max Planck Institutes.

3. What do you like best about this blog?
The content mostly, oftentimes I find things here that I don't see anywhere else (and I've spent far too much time optimising my RSS subscriptions and looking for new blogs/websites/etc). Since I don't work in the 'sexy' areas of physics (HEP, Cosmology, etc...) it's always interesting for me to read the thoughts of those who do. The genomics stuff is also quite interesting and I probably wouldn't be reading about it much if I didn't follow this blog.

4. What do you like least about this blog?
No real complaints.

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?
Sometimes the genomics stuff, but that's unavoidable, and I think if I really wanted to understand it better it would be pretty easy to just read up a bit more.

6. Have we met in real life? Should we?
No. Would probably be worthwhile.

7. What should I do with my life? :-)

I don't know, but my self-serving answer is that you should use your position of power to convince Universities/Governments to spend more money on fusion energy research and also energy storage research.

Anonymous said...

1. 55, m, English/French/scots Irish, American born citizen.

2. JD univ of Kentucky, attorney and real estate/private equity investor, pumping iron and politics/political and neoreactionary philosophy and hbd.

3. High level thought and intellectual honesty

4. No real dislikes.

5. Not too often but I don't have extensive IT or genomics background.

6. No and yes if you are ever in Lexington ky.

7. Seems like you have that figured out pretty well.

panjoomby said...

1. mid 50s, white, US
2. PhD psychology/statistics/psychometrics, Masters Biology, former prof. now consultant/private practice
3. love your well informed writing about intelligence/assessment
4. least like well meaning PC commenters who don't understand psychometrics but understand physics
also don't care about MMA, but everyone's allowed their idiosyncrasies - we all have to humor our brain - & let it do what it's compelled to do.
5. i don't understand hard core physics - only grasp general physics. i understand hard core porn, though.
6. haven't met. be glad to. perhaps discuss how tests have equal predictive validity for different groups.
7. see last part of response to #4 :)

ThrowAway79 said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?
34, male, white guy in the USA.
2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?
PhD in physics, drone in the national lab salt mines, rock & alpine climbing.
3. What do you like best about this blog?
The combination of finance, physics, intelligence research, genomics, and history. You're an interesting dude.
4. What do you like least about this blog?
The MMA stuff I can't get excited about, some of the commentators.
5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?
I think you post at a good level.
6. Have we met in real life? Should we?
No, but if you have an east bay meet up I might drop by.

JayMan said...

1. Old enough to know better but soon no longer young enough to care; male; well: Black, English, Chinese, (Asian) Indian; Jamaican-American (2nd generation).


3. Steve Hsu! You're one of the more knowledgeable bloggers who presents topics simply and you keep things in perspective. Plus Disqus.


5. Not often at all. See question 3. :)



6. No. Absolutely, if you're ever in the Northeast U.S.



7. Keep on truckin'...

Odoacer said...

1) White Male American


2) PhD student in Genetics,


3) Posts on your take on genetics and the BGI projects.


7) Enjoy what is best in life.

Odoacer said...

1) White Male American

2) PhD student in Genetics,

3) Posts on your take on genetics and the BGI projects.

7) Enjoy what is best in life.

James D Miller said...

1. 48, Male, White, U.S.
2. Phd Economics
3. IQ research
6. No but talked on phone.
7. Tell us the truth subject to the constraint of not getting fired. Sign up for cryonics. Help genetically engineer super-high IQ babies.

Unknown said...

1. 31, m, Finnish
2. game design, psychology
3. presentations
4. conference photos
5. physics is beyond my sad +2 sd brain
6. nope
7. have lots of kids, teach them math and bjj

melonhead said...

1. Late 40s, M, white (mostly English probably), USA

2. MS CS, BS PH, MA - programmer. Running, thinking about + coding stuff to sell

3. The intelligence investigations, the physics speculations and, the historical bits on Von Neumann and other luminaries

4. MMA + lifestream photos - but really, it's your blog, I don't care

5. Maybe 50% of the time

Shishir Prasad said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality? 44, Male, Indian, Indian

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)? engineer, journalist, playing squash, music, reading

3. What do you like best about this blog? your ablity to comment on a variety of topics in a very numerate and precise way.

4. What do you like least about this blog? you could post more often!!!

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand? the really detailed ones of genetics, inherited traits etc etc

6. Have we met in real life? Should we? No, we haven't. Yeah it would be nice to have a conversation with you

7. What should I do with my life? :-) Develop research that allows us to learn, heal and run faster! and also do a youtube video explaining some hard stuff on genetics and stats every once in a while. May be do a few guest videos for Sal Khan.

botti said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?

35, male, white (Irish/English ancestry), New Zealand

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?

BCom/LLB. Lawyer. Indoor cricket, reading non-fiction, whatever my 2 yr old daughter is into.

3. What do you like best about this blog?

Genomics, psychology, economics & finance, essays/book excerpts about old geniuses/intellectual history, parenting, occasional forays into literature, MMA.

4. What do you like least about this blog?

Comment threads occasionally hijacked.

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?

Surprisingly rarely :)

6. Have we met in real life? Should we?

If you visit NZ I could introduce you to some reasonable local craft beers.

7. What should I do with my life? :-)

Use your genomics experience for other projects to benefit humanity?
Become an MMA trainer?

AG said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality? Middle aged naturalized Chinese American

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)? MD, PhD, geeky hobbies and outdoor sports with mountain man taste. Investor. Traveler.

3. What do you like best about this blog? Almost every thing

4. What do you like least about this blog? Not enough. More please.

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand? Some time

6. Have we met in real life? Should we? Not yet. Would love to meet.

7. What should I do with my life? :-) Create new type prize which is more credible than nobel prize, which is what I am working on too.

ktistec said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?

27, Male, White (half Jewish), American

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?

PhD Math; about to start a postdoc; volleyball, modern dance, cooking, way too much internet

3. What do you like best about this blog?

I really like when academics blog about what they are interested. In aggregate, your blog and others serve as a role model to me; it's a reminder not to focus too narrowly and to delve deeper outside your research. That said, I'm particularly interested in your discussion of genetics and like getting your take on financial issues. Also, some of the anecdotes about physics and intellectual life are fascinating. I'd love to hear more about what you think the role of the academy in the future development of the world is (and how it might change).

4. What do you like least about this blog?

I don't personally engage with the MMA stuff. Some of the physics blogging goes over my head, as it should. Also, while the commentariat seems to have improved, the discussion on issues of race occasionally crosses the line from interesting to appalling.

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?

Some of the physics posts go over my head. Also, when you link to a video I seldom watch.

6. Have we met in real life? Should we?

I'd enjoy meeting, but give me a couple of years so I can bring more to the table :)

7. What should I do with my life? :-)

You seem to be doing a pretty good job of it. Keep focused on the places and people where you can have the most impact. As a casual reader, that seems to be the genomics work and your family.

Nobie Redmon said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?
24, male, caucasian, USA
2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?
Education/Profession: PhD candidate in applied physics
Hobbies: thinking about tech, finance, handbalancing, and cows grazing on grass

3. What do you like best about this blog?
The breadth of posts and links to quality/interesting articles.
Finding out about and reading papers from people like Prof Chow and Prof Lo

4. What do you like least about this blog?
nothing really. the ads?

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?
I get most of them. Some of the specifics in the theory papers you post go over my head.

6. Have we met in real life? Should we?
Yeah, I stopped by your office once when I was meandering the halls of UO. We talked about crossfit. It'd be cool to meet again and chat about Physics and Tech.

7. What should I do with my life? :-)
Write some posts on how you begin to think about and understand new things.
I'll echo #7 from Jordan below. Things seem highly uncertain and volatile. I'm not sure what you should or would do about it though.

jm said...

1. 22, male, white-hispanic [Spanish/French] , Bolivia
2. Studying CS. My hobbies are coding, delving into history & political philosophy, climbing, trekking, and writing,
3. Genomics, intelligence, history, finance/econ and technology.
4. The UI, not a biggie though.
5. Every once in a while.
6. Nope, Of course.
7. You should mostly focus on genomics. Specifically, you should found a BGI-type institution in the U.S. :D

Emil Kirkegaard said...

Don't do it like this. Use Google Surveys. I have made one for you here with your questions: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/18JTO18v5GCkuRGEBJO0rRIEXDnzGoyA_sard99G0Uu4/viewform?usp=send_form

I will transfer ownership to you if you tell me your Google account. :)

Results are public: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/18JTO18v5GCkuRGEBJO0rRIEXDnzGoyA_sard99G0Uu4/viewanalytics

Paolo said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?
50 / Male / Anglo-Italian / Australian

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?
Post-grad / Educational Psychologist / Reading, Scotch

3. What do you like best about this blog?
Interesting to see a physicist discussing psychometrics. Provocative material.

4. What do you like least about this blog?
Comments get too vituperative, too quickly. Maybe my distaste is an age thing?

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?
Don't read them all too closely - if I don't get it first time, probably don't understand - some of the physics and genetics stuff is tricky.

6. Have we met in real life? Should we?
No. Sure, but it is a big world.

7. What should I do with my life? :-)

Love your family, work hard.
Read Nietzsche, to keep an awareness of what can go wrong when human beings too coldly think on human difference. While science is good and truth is important, remember that the world is full of people who are vastly less clever (and much less calm) than you are - ideas have consequences. As someone who is very familiar with the human face of cognition (I test IQ very regularly), I am often reminded of how smart people (and, by extension, policy makers) think that everyone is like them. This is a mistake, with very bad public policy outcomes.

Matt S. said...

1. 38, Male, White, US

2. PhD in business, postdoc

3. I particularly like you posts on history of science, economics, article reactions and analysis, MMA.

4. The comment treads on many of your posts are a disaster. Start moderating to get rid of the trolls so that you can have discussions, not foodfights.

5. Most of the physics and some of the biology is over my head, but that's not a bad thing.

6. No, but we've spent time at many of the same schools, and I think that are wives got PhDs from the same department, so perhaps we should.

7. Try to move back to the bay area.

WernerErhard said...

Half Jewish founder of EST.


Read Bring and Time.

WernerErhard said...

You're assuming psychologists understand psychometrics better than physicists. Very very unlikely.

David Piehler said...

1) 51, M, white, USA
2) PhD, physics!, Berkeley!
3) anything about von Neumann, etc.
4) NA
5) Rarely, if ever
6) Not sure - I was an LBL cafeteria regular from 86-90.
7) I keep wondering if your *controversial* views will get you fired, making this question (more) relevant.

exparticlephysicist said...

1. 43, M, Asian Indian, Canadian

2. Ph.d. particle theory (phenomenology), government R&D scientist;
Hobbies: history, math, theoretical physics/physics-inspired math, programming languages, applied mathematics, philosophy

3. Astonishing diversity of topics; pretty much unique in my view. Unlike others, I do like the comments...

4. Sometimes appears to be a bit one-dimensional/simplistic, such as on genetics/cognitive ability vs success etc. (very differnt skills for success in most (even high-paying, and R&D) jobs than proving Riemann's hypothesis).
Also, it has a strong US-born perspective of the world (nicely tempered by Chinese posts, but missing non-Anglo Western European perspective).

These are VERY MINOR criticisms...

5. All posts fairly straightforward

6. We have said "hi" at a Joint Theory seminar a long time ago (when Harvard Fellow or Yale prof.), although you definitely do not remember the encounter :)

I would be delighted/honored to meet you some day, if you ever have the time...

7. Continue sharing your wisdom via exceptional blogging. And more posts on China please!

Brian said...

1. 59.M.British-American



2. pharmacist/poison specialist (also a masters in psych, great for deep insights into customers while pumping their gas)



3. It's all good! Especially the more numbers/graphics rich technical genetics posts, but I enjoy it all.



4. I was going to say MMA, but you have gotten enough about that. But I say, keep MMA coming, and even the pix of houses/other buildings in Starship Traditional (not my fave), because it obviously means a lot to you. All part of the SH package. Besides, I figure that the more you post the things you really like, the more you will post in general, and in the long run I will see more of the stuff I like the best. Comment section does become quite the fetid fever swamp, but that's just the blogosphere. There are no good solutions that I know of, so best just to deal.

5. Fairly often, and that's a good thing. *Impossible* to understand would not be good, but so far nothing even close. Please don't dumb anything down, you're hitting a nice note.



6. No. Damn, I'd retire to your neighborhood (but I can't afford it).



7. Quit your day job (the admin one, not the BGI stuff) and spend the time posting more.

Martin Morgan said...

1-2: 50 y.o. standard issue white guy, Alsace-Lorraine and Wales, lawyer, paddling.

3-4: Love the lack of prolixity. Been reading quite awhile. No complaints.

5. Physics and genomics posts are challenging, but I like having a vague awareness of the latest findings.

6. Negative. If I ever again get a grand canyon private trip permit , I'll invite you. I'm superfluous, but the experience is awesome.

7. Can't beat Siduri's advice to Gilgamesh.

gehrig said...

1. 29, male, white, USA
2. High school education, was a professional poker player for 6 years, made some lucky investments, now I'm retired/a house wife
3. To me, your perspective is accessible, alien and fascinating.
5. Maybe a fifth I do not eventually make any sense of

ewong79 said...

1. 35, M, Chinese, American.
2. J.D., M.P.H., undergrad in Genetics and Philosophy. MMA/BJJ, classical piano, guitar, designing hi-fi using vacuum tubes.
3. Quantitative everything, rigor. I can't read blogs/articles by people who don't have quantitative training. This blog cuts through the crap.
4. Nothing that I can think of.
5. I don't have the background for the hardcore Physics stuff, but there's not much of that. Most things I get or look up.
6. We've never met, but we did go to the same High School!
7. Navy SEAL or similar.

David Brahm said...

1) 51, male, Italian/German, American
2) Physics Ph.D., now in quant finance. Recently obtained pilot's license.
3) Physics and Cognitive Genomics.
4) MMA posts.
5) Your posts are always clear and understandable.
6) We were grad students at Berkeley together.
7) You already have about 6 exciting lives going on at once, something I very much admire about you.

adsjfk said...

1. 25; male; white (mostly European ancestry); American

2. B.S. in electrical engineering; employed as a software engineer

3. your posts on genetics, though I enjoy all your content

4. Disqus

5. I don't understand your physics work. Introductory QM was as far as I got, though I intend to teach myself more some day.

6. no; yes, for a fight to the death (your jiu-jitsu vs my Muay Thai)

7. Create an army of Chinese genius babies and conquer the US.

Eric said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?
18, male, white, Canadian

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?
Studying engineering; business process analysis intern

3. What do you like best about this blog?
Cool links about stats, big data, finance

4. What do you like least about this blog?
The website layout makes it difficult to skim. I would prefer clearer demarcation between articles.

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?
As one of the youngest readers (probably): quite often.

6. Have we met in real life? Should we?
Nope. Get in touch if you're ever in Toronto.

7. What should I do with my life? :-)

What should /I/ do with /my/ life?

dwbudd said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?


44; Male; anglo-saxon (mix of English, Scottish, Scotch-Irish, so perhaps a touch of Celtic in there somewhere). Naturalised American, but living in France

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?

MS in mathematics; make disease simulation and outcomes models for medical research; married with an 8 year old son, so any free time I have is with him and the wife.

3. What do you like best about this blog?

It's incredibly diverse in its offerings, and aside from the theoretical physics (not my particular interest) or the stuff about big guys beating the tar out of each other, touches on several topics I find interesting (maths, modelling, genetics, politics, sport, history).

4. What do you like least about this blog?


There is a couple of people just obsessed with arguing the superiority/deficiencies of Asia (they mean China) vs. The West (they mean the US). Each has a point, but it's become a bit like the "Itchy and Scratchy Show" - repetitive beating over the head with the same club/mallet over and over again. Lather, Rinse, Repeat may have been Brooke Shields's senior thesis at Princeton, but it gets boring.


5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?

Not very. Sometimes they touch on personal anecdotes of people I know nothing about, and I guess /that/ can be a bit hard to "understand" in a way.

6. Have we met in real life? Should we?


No. I doubt it would have a profound effect on your life. Or mine. Would be interested to talk, but whether we "should" meet is not a question I am too qualified to answer, and in any case, to extend your post about "Strategic War" (the card game), I believe that the deck has been shuffled in such a way that it is not going to occur.

7. What should I do with my life? :-)



Is it too late to join the circus? No; it is never too late.

Richard Seiter said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?
48/Male/German-Anglo/American

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?
EECS/Software Engineer/Reading and bicycling

3. What do you like best about this blog?
Diversity of interesting topics. Depth/perceptiveness of discussion (along with some good comment threads).

4. What do you like least about this blog?
Poor SNR in some of the comment threads. More posts always welcome (though reading the archives is a decent substitute). Regarding the MMA posts, perhaps try capturing more why you like it so much?

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?
Other than the hard core physics posts seldom (though I usually get accessible value from those posts I don't claim to "understand"). A number of posts have details that require close reading/thought (a good thing IMHO).

6. Have we met in real life? Should we?
No, though as we discussed in email I know some of your Berkeley contemporaries. I would enjoy meeting you. If you are ever in the SF Bay Area and want to meet let me know.

7. What should I do with my life? :-)

Finish the BGI study ;-)
You have such a surfeit of talents I imagine it is hard to choose. Finding something personally fulfilling where your talents offer high leverage for doing something positive in the world seems like a good start.

Yavor Stefanov said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?

33, Male, Eastern European, Bulgarian

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?

MBA, started a PhD in Poli Sci but abandoned it .... read non-fiction, work out, cook

3. What do you like best about this blog?

Not too much verbosity, little political correctness, enlightenment, and a good source for other links, blogs, books etc.

4. What do you like least about this blog?

Cant's think of anything ...

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?

1 in roughly every 9

6. Have we met in real life? Should we?

No. No.

7. What should I do with my life? :-)

Extend it ....

Be more engaged, provocative and outspoken in the public sphere, do more of the whole punditry/talking head thing. We can use more people with your philosophy and intellectual courage.

TBD said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?
61, male, white (western European), USA
2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?
{Math, software, biophysics, optics, sales/marketing, etc.}, CTO, {reading/learning physics/history/technology/economics/business/etc.}
3. What do you like best about this blog?
Insights/news relating to successful/applied genius. Also physics and math stuff. Also various other random interesting items.
4. What do you like least about this blog?
Nothing especially noteworthy.
5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?
Not too often. But I don't mind hard to understand for sufficiently interesting/informative items.
6. Have we met in real life? Should we?
No. That would be great.
7. What should I do with my life? :-)
Continue pursuing your Promethean projects!! And keep doing this wonderful educational/mind-stretching blog!

Endre Bakken Stovner said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality? 29, Norwegian(?), Norway

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)? Bsc maths, working on PhD comp sci.

3. What do you like best about this blog? Psychometrics is endlessly fascinating. Loving the genetics posts too.

4. What do you like least about this blog? MMA.

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand? The physics ones. Dunno what their ratio is. One tenth?

6. Have we met in real life? Should we? No - you'd be bored to tears.

7. What should I do with my life? Blog more about genetics and psychometrics.

RTC said...

1. 54, I am not a noun and my sex is male, mixed, USA

2. PhD Chemistry, energy, reading and long-distance shooting

3. Posts are never irrelevant and rarely opinion based

4. Nothing to mention

5. I sometimes do not understand the posts because I am not familiar with the background. To me, this is a feature and not a bug.

6. No. If the occasion arises, yes.

7. It is your life, not mine. Maybe you should have asked what you could do with you life to elicit opportunities instead of uninformed opinion.

Vasanth said...

1. Male, 31, Indian.

2. PhD, Computer Engineering, work for a large software firm. Reading, movies, and tennis.

3. The breadth of your posts. I like your outsider (non mainstream) take on financial matters, your insider view of the academic market. I learn a fair bit from your posts on intellectual history of scientists as well.

4. Not a fan of your obsession with, lets call it, elitism. As I get older, the "scary smart" people I once knew, seem to matter less and less as far as impact goes. So, tend to skip over those posts.

5. I don't try to understand most of your physics posts. Partly lack of interest. Partly its difficult to understand.

6. Nope. Why not? :)

7. Wrong person. I barely know what to do with my own! :) Keep blogging.

Jake Arluck said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?


26, M, white (English/Celtic/Ashkenazi mix), American

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?
Ivy, studied history, through with a good math background too. I split my time between private tutoring and start-upping.

3. What do you like best about this blog?
Really thought-provoking content.

4. What do you like least about this blog?
Infrequent posting.


5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?
The UFC ones are pretty impenetrable to me.

6. Have we met in real life? Should we?
No. Maybe!

7. What should I do with my life?

Get BGI to send me my damn genome! I sent in my sample over a year ago and haven't heard back.

Christy2012 said...

> 1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?

~40, Male, WASP/German, American

> 2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?

Engineering+B-school,software engineer & entrepreneur, family+work+sites like these mainly these days (sailing, water sports, outdoor, racket sports when I have more time).

> 3. What do you like best about this blog?

Pretty much everything especially quantitive genetics, economics/finance, cognitive research, etc

> 4. What do you like least about this blog?

I am least interested in MMA, but I wouldn't say that I actively dislike it either.

> 5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?

Not usually. Genetics isn't my area, but I can grok your posts usually.

> 6. Have we met in real life? Should we?

Nope. Sure, why not?

> 7. What should I do with my life? :-)

More science journalism/coverage? :P

Glenn Sullivan said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?
Just another White American guy in his 40s.

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. College professor and private practice.

3. What do you like best about this blog?

Intelligence and genetics, also history of science.

4. What do you like least about this blog?
Your sadly misguided views on income inequality. In fact, most anything you say about economics.

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?
Hey, we're all Ph.D.s here, aren't we?

6. Have we met in real life? Should we?
No and nah, I have enough friends.

7. What should I do with my life? :-)
Whatever it is that you fear doing now.

millermp1 said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?
39.
Male.
Caucasoid.
European (mostly, see attached). Personally I was disappointed with my low Ashkenazim content. I had hoped at least low single digits :(

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?

Serial drop out (high school, college), although I was a couple of credits away from a biochemical engineering degree.

Software engineer.

Pretty standard white male middle age stuff: windsurfing, tennis, hockey, welding, cycling, raising children.

3. What do you like best about this blog?

Hard to find, no frills quantitative treatment of a fascinating and eminently useful topic (general intelligence). Great springboard to other equally interesting references. I find some of the comments about MMA being "orthogonal" a bit odd. It seems like a misplaced sense of pride in the asymmetries that intelligence seems to confer upon eggheads. What happened to being well-rounded? My son loves chess and MMA equally, and I don't see the need to create artificial distinctions. So keep it up!

4. What do you like least about this blog?

The progress on the BGI study of elevated cognition seems hard to come by. Is it really "dirty data" or more of a "dirty secret?" Inquiring minds want to know!

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?
I haven't used applied math in my professional career so about half the time when the analysis is especially heavy I need to either brush-up or take a crash course. Obviously that doesn't apply to reviews of Lana Del Ray.

6. Have we met in real life? Should we?

No, hopefully one day when you're holding court or something in the Bay Area (esp Berkeley).

7. What should I do with my life? :-)

Funny you should ask! There's a lot of people starting to seriously open their minds (and wallets) to healthy life extension. Regrettably the government has found it necessary to shutdown some of the GWAS-lite efforts of sites like 23andme. On the other hand, Google has Calico going, so hopefully that breathes more life into bioinformatics. Personally, I consider De Gray's seminal talk at TED 10 years ago the clarion call for the anti-aging movement. If you haven't seen it, you should!

http://www.ted.com/talks/aubrey_de_grey_says_we_can_avoid_aging

Steinn Sigurdsson said...

1. 40s, male, white, Icelandic.


2. Caltech Physics PhD. Professor.


3. Interesting, provocative, informative, quantitative.


4. Digression on racial issues.



5. Never.



6. Yes. Aspen - shared apartment at workshop.



7. Live well.

llimllib said...

1. 32, male, American (too many different genetic nationalities to mention), USA
2. BS in CS, programmer
3. When it provides interesting research and unique views in comprehensible bites
4. Travel reports, wrestling videos
5. 10%, maybe? My physics education is weak, so when you get into that I'm often lost
6. no, and you'd probably find me boring?
7. mu

Philip Marshall said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?

38; white male; mixed Irish-English-Polish ancestry; dual citizen of the US and Ireland.



2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?

BS from Cornell, PhD from Yale; recovering former academic; interested in botany. horticulture, history, hiking, sailing, collecting antiques and rare books.



3. What do you like best about this blog?

I'm interested in questions of human biodiversity, particularly differences in cognitive ability across populations, so the subject matter is inherently appealing. Also, it challenges my own intelligence.



4. What do you like least about this blog?

I'm frequently reminded that I should have taken more math and physics as a student.



5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?

Occasionally, but that's not a bad thing. :)



6. Have we met in real life? Should we?

No, but I'm sure it would be entertaining.



7. What should I do with my life? :-)

Enjoy it.

Luke Nguyen said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality? 27, Male, Vietnamese, American



2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)? B.A. Biol Science no concentration in particular, was system phys. before, did some biotech internships, reading



3. What do you like best about this blog? Lots of ideas/things to learn about



4. What do you like least about this blog? I don't have access some of the subscription base academic journals when you link to them at times, but other than that nothing.



5. How often do you find posts hard to understand? Not often, mostly with Math and Physics concepts that I'm unfamiliar with.



6. Have we met in real life? Should we? Nope, not sure



7. What should I do with my life? :-) Have another kid? Keep posting blogs in the mean time.

Luke Nguyen said...

As Per Question 7. I think if you're ever done with your work at BGI. You might want to try your hands in helping design an Artificial Intelligence system. I think the technology available today has advanced far enough to make this possible within our lifetime. The system itself will probably not be completely autonomous, requiring some degree of human input to keep it going until it can be able to learn on it's own, but it can get very close to mimicking and synthesizing some elements of our neurocircuitry. Tackling this will also give valuable insight into the code that allows us the ability to learn. A side benefit of AI is that you would avoid a lot of the political and moral hazard of human genetics in general, the field would be wide open for you to apply your full energy and intelligence where it would be most useful.

Scott Wolhart said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity,
nationality?

39, M, White, Minnesotan:)

2.What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?

4 yr Information Systems Degree. Technical Project Management.

3.What do you like best about this blog?

Broad topics from a bright person; rare to read someone that can intelligently
communicate about IQ, VC, MMA, and can apparently consume a book and prepare a
report in the time it takes to drink a coffee.

4.What do you like least about this blog?

Can get a little off-putting with the abundance of Ivey League back-patting

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?

I gloss over deeper statistics

6.Have we met in real life? Should we?

No. I’d certainly like to see you give a talk in person.

7.What should I do with my life? :-)

Cure cancer

JaneWalerud said...

1. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality?
52/ female/ Scottish-Montenegran/ Swedish

2. What's your background (education, profession, hobbies)?
Stanford bachelors in neuroscience/ serial high tech entrepreneur (IT, life science) / family, wilderness, dogs, economics, psychometrics

3. What do you like best about this blog?
research based opinions in several subjects that interest me, and thought spent on what will happen in the next decades. You're a father, you understand why that's important.

4. What do you like least about this blog?
arrogance & offensive comments.

5. How often do you find posts hard to understand?
Sometimes; I don't always want to plow through the equations to understand the point of the post. A teaser "As these equations demonstrate,..." would be motivational.

6. Have we met in real life? Should we?
nope/sure, I'll buy you dinner in Stockholm or Zurich

7. What should I do with my life? :-)
Enjoy! Make a dent in the world :)

Virtue said...

1. 29 years old, male, ashkenazi jewish, American.
2. BA in history, but now a software engineer doing seismic imaging.
3. I think the links to cutting edge research talks and papers.
4. Caltech preening. (But I understand.)
5. There are many levels of understanding, but I usually get the main thrust.
6. I would love to meet you.
7. Have a bunch of kids and get them onto a space station before the start of World War 3.

Pablo Sarmiento said...

1. 27, M, Peruvian (Spanish, Italian, Quechua, and Japanese ancestry), American.
2. BA in Literature and Linguistics. Translation services. Most of my interests are artistic & literary (novels, film, music, etc.), but I also like to keep abreast of developments in genetic research.
3. Eclectic and quantitative approach to many important issues. You're also humane and fair, which brings me to...
4. Handful of conspicuous right-wing extremists and supremacists in the comments section.
5. Rarely.
6. No. Sure, if you're in NYC.
7. Use your knowledge and intellectual gifts to uplift and improve the lives of others.

Yan Heng said...

lol chinese babies

Blog Archive

Labels