January Pieces Of My Mind #2

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My new desk decoration ♥️
  • It’s almost 15:30 and it’s still light out and the sky is blue!!!
  • The sex/torture device that Barbarella wears out is called the Excessive Machine, not the Orgasmatron.
  • Reading an insightful new paper by an academic about metal detector use. Details demonstrate however that the author has barely tried using a metal detector themselves. Well-known technical traits of these machines are reported as surprising insights gleaned from conversation with detectorists.
  • Sweet old neighbour lady suffers from dementia, has called me 13 times today. /-:
  • My castles book got panned by a reviewer in Fornvännen. But so far it’s gotten good reviews in Populär Arkeologi, Scandia and Medieval Archaeology, so I’m good. The Swedish edition will appear a few weeks from now.
  • Seriously, Polish nation. “You hear a dog” is Słyszysz psa?

Author: Martin R

Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, skeptic, atheist, lefty liberal, bookworm, boardgamer, geocacher and father of two.

16 thoughts on “January Pieces Of My Mind #2”

    1. No! It started falling out when I was 22 and I’ve been buzz-cutting it since I was 25. Mrs. Rundkvist has never seen me with a serious head of hair and she considers me quite a pleasing sight anyway. (-;

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    1. I had considered that a possibility, too, along with the possibility ofit being your daughter and a boyfriend. The guy does look a bit like a younger you with hai, but I wasn’t sure of that.t

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      1. To my eyes, Jrette is clearly mixed, but my eyes are particularly sensitized and calibrated in that regard – many whiteys would just see her as ‘Asian’, as they do with my daughter. But people’s perception can change somewhat as soon as they open their mouths, e.g. when Jrette speaks and it comes out as fluent, unaccented Swedish, people’s visual perception of her would likely immediately shift somewhat. That happens with my daughter all the time – Chinese people see her as ‘European’, but as soon as she speaks in fluent Cantonese or Mandarin, they stop seeing her as ‘foreign’. They’re obviously still aware, they haven’t forgotten their initial perception, but they undergo some kind of psychological shift towards her, from regarding her as ‘the other’ to ‘one of my tribe’. It happens with Chinese border guards all the time whenever she goes to the Mainland.

        It’s strange that aural signals can affect visual perception in that way, but I have seen it happen far too often to think that I am just imagining things.

        IOW, Jrette and my daughter are ‘shape shifters’.

        It didn’t happen to my daughter in Australia; despite her speaking flawless English, people still saw her as ‘Asian’ until she suddenly twigged why it wasn’t happening – she spoke like an upper class English public school girl, which Australians generally find particularly annoying. So she deliberately adopted a quite strong Australian accent and idioms, and then it happened. She had to work on losing it again when she got back to HK, and still occasionally lapses into ‘Strine.

        She generally gets on a lot better with English people than Americans, and I’m pretty confident that is strongly influenced by accent and manner of speech.

        It’s weird, but it’s what happens.

        Humorously enough, I have even had a few local Chinese people ask me if I am Chinese, when even Blind Freddy could see that I am 0% Chinese. It’s a result of confusion – their eyes and ears are telling them two different things, plus the fact that I behave culturally like a local Chinese reinforces the confusion.

        Then there’s the sense of humour of Mainlanders – I was once with a group of Chinese government officials and was introduced to a guy from Shandong Province, and the person introducing me told him, a bit more enthusiastically than was warranted, that my wife’s family are also from Shandong. Completely deadpan, the guy said: “Oh, we must be related.”

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      2. My ability to detect mixed European/Asian ancestry is not as well calibrated as John’s. Sometimes I can tell, but not always, depending on how the various genes are expressed. Fluency in English is not a reliable marker, either, because I do routinely encounter ABCs, or ethnic Chinese who were adopted as infants and therefore learned to speak English with a standard American accent.

        Then there are the couple of people who I know have Chinese ancestry only because of their surnames. By the time you get three generations in, with one Asian great-grandparent along with seven Europeans (or vice versa), there are few or no visible features remaining, but when the Chinese ancestor happens to be your father’s father’s father, you usually keep the surname.

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      3. Having only one Chinese grandparent is enough to make that ancestry disappear in terms of visible phenotype. Or vice versa. The facial differences, although highly visible to humans who are very sensitised to such differences, are superficial and quickly disappear. Ethnic Europeans and Chinese both descend very largely from a small group of anatomically modern humans who migrated out of Africa less than 65,000 years ago before splitting and separating only about 45,000 years ago, so it should not be surprising that the visible differences are superficial and quickly disappear. The evolved differences ‘under the skin’ as it were, such as differences in susceptibility to different types of cancer, are somewhat more marked, because those two initially small groups have both grown into large populations effectively geographically isolated from one another. And the cultural evolution has been strongly divergent, as you would expect, with China’s long lasting civilisation largely isolated and developed independently from Europe, but that crack is being pretty rapidly papered over in the modern world with mass communication and travel. Xi Jinping wears a Western style suit and tie, and talks to foreign leaders in commendably good English, is a self-admitted fan of reading English literature and watching Western films, and he gets on well with foreign leaders on a personal level. Mao and Deng didn’t. Margaret Thatcher described Deng Xiaoping as the cruelest man she had ever met, and she was no bleeding heart liberal herself.

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      4. There are some people who look vaguely east Asian (e.g. China, Japan, not India, Iran) who probably have no more Asian ancestry (i.e. very little) than the people around them. Helmut Schmidt’s wife Loki was one. (She used to joke that she was a descendant of Genghis Khan, who does have many descendants.) I used to have a girlfriend with such facial features. I’ve seen a few others (including one who looked so much like my former girlfriend that at first I thought it must be her; she has three brothers but no sisters and no children).

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