Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Contemplating Cultural Boundaries

2013 July 18 Comments off

The Mesh of Civilizations and International Email Flows

Abstract: In The Clash of Civilizations, Samuel Huntington argued that the primary axis of global conflict was no longer ideological or economic but cultural and religious, and that this division would characterize the “battle lines of the future.” In contrast to the “top down” approach in previous research focused on the relations among nation states, we focused on the flows of interpersonal communication as a bottom-up view of international alignments. To that end, we mapped the locations of the world’s countries in global email networks to see if we could detect cultural fault lines. Using IP-geolocation on a worldwide anonymized dataset obtained from a large Internet company, we constructed a global email network. In computing email flows we employ a novel rescaling procedure to account for differences due to uneven adoption of a particular Internet service across the world. Our analysis shows that email flows are consistent with Huntington’s thesis. In addition to location in Huntington’s “civilizations,” our results also attest to the importance of both cultural and economic factors in the patterning of inter-country communication ties.


Changing Mass Priorities: The Link between Modernization and Democracy

(modified from original in cited paper)


Huntington: The Clash of Civilizations


I find it interesting that Huntington’s cultural boundaries are to some degree quantifiable.


See also Culturomics 2.0:


Witold Pilecki

2013 January 27 1 comment

Offered without comment: Witold Pilecki, Witold’s Report

Whiteboard WordPress Theme Change

2012 May 23 9 comments


Just exploring a new theme.

Climate: The classical period is 30 years

2012 May 15 2 comments

What is Climate?

Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the “average weather,” or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years. The classical period is 30 years, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). These quantities are most often surface variables such as temperature, precipitation, and wind. Climate in a wider sense is the state, including a statistical description, of the climate system.

— WMO / World Climate Programme / Commission for Climatology / FAQ

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NCDC DS-9640: Regional Temps First Look

2012 May 14 1 comment

The DS-9640 data set is divided into 50 states and 9 regions. I was curious about regional variation. So here is a quick look at the 9 regional and the conus annual temps.

I found the spaghetti colors pretty difficult to follow. So a grey chart is below.

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Conventional Oil Production: 8 year plateau

2012 March 24 Comments off

Conventional oil is defined as EIA Crude & Condensate minus the Canadian Oil Sands as defined by Canadian Syncrude plus Canadian Bitumen. 2011 Canadian production was estimated from the average of Jan – Sep 2011.

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Chen 2012: Qinghai spruce in middle Hexi Corridor, China

2012 February 9 Comments off

Abstract: Seven different tree-ring parameters (tree-ring width, earlywood width, latewood width, maximum density, minimum density, mean earlywood density, and mean latewood density) were obtained from Qinghai spruce (Picea crassifolia) at one chronology site in the Hexi Corridor, China. The chronologies were analyzed individually and then compared with each other. Growth–climate response analyses showed that the tree-ring width and maximum latewood density (MXD) are mainly influenced by warm season temperature variability. Based on the relationships derived from the climate response analysis, the MXD chronology was used to reconstruct the May–August maximum temperature for the period 1775–2008 A.D., and it explained the 38.1% of the total temperature variance. It shows cooling in the late 1700s to early 1800s and warming in the twentieth century. Spatial climate correlation analyses with gridded land surface data revealed that our warm season temperature reconstruction contains a strong large-scale temperature signal for north China. Comparison with regional and Northern Hemisphere reconstructions revealed similar low-frequency change to longer-term variability. Several cold years coincide with major volcanic eruptions.

Temperature reconstruction from tree-ring maximum latewood density of Qinghai spruce in middle Hexi Corridor, China
Feng Chen, Yu-jiang Yuan, Wen-shou Wei, Shu-long Yu and Zi-ang Fan, et al.
Volume 107, Numbers 3-4, 633-643, DOI: 10.1007/s00704-011-0512-y
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