December 19th, 2007
|02:12 am - we create each other|
so i have been reading about all sorts of random shit tonight: the seduction community, crowd psychology, evolution, sexual selection, etc, and in my head it is all turning into memetics and free will. we all think we're wandering around doing as we wish to do, acting on our conscience or reason, but half of it is instinctual nonsense that we just do based on stimulus and rationalize afterwards. i can see that in general -- if x happens, the majority of people will react thusly -- but that is hard to relate to individuals, much less to myself. if i'm thinking about one person in a specific situation, i see it as them reacting based from their indidivuality and perception of what's up, rather than from a statistical spread of what most people are likely to do in similar situations.
 sexual selection as opposed to natural selection- evolution as spurred by mating preferences. for example, if everyone suddenly refused to have sex withi blondes, in a few generations there would be way fewer blondes. so, all else being equal, over the long haul humanity has been evolving itself to be more sexually appealing to itself. which doesn't mean we should all be alpha supermodels, because if people are more appealing then people can also be more selective. it doesn't matter if i'm better than a caveman -- am i better than the guy next to me? so theoretically, life is getting better and better by generations, but nobody can tell.
on a related note, i can't remember where i got this, but it's a point i've always been intrigued by -- the easiest way to cure hemophilia would be to let all the hemophiliacs bleed to death. species vs individuals. but who knows what that would cost us even if we were so cutthroat. in a sense, surviving natural selection means having a sufficient collection of useless attributes, for the next unexpected calamity. i wonder if anyone has ever tried to sue their parents for passing down bad genes.
in summary, whichever philosopher said he'd rather be an unhappy man than a happy pig was full of shit. the one thing i think brave new world reallyl got right was that succesful worlds along that line are only distopian to outsiders. you think ants are sad that they're ants?
state: probably also full of shit
np: Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American - 08 - Get It Faster
so, all else being equal, over the long haul humanity has been evolving itself to be more sexually appealing to itself. which doesn't mean we should all be alpha supermodels, because if people are more appealing then people can also be more selective. it doesn't matter if i'm better than a caveman -- am i better than the guy next to me? so theoretically, life is getting better and better by generations, but nobody can tell.
I don't know if we are becoming more appealing, because evolution doesn't always make something better per se, but something that works. Take our lungs, the lungs of a bird are much more efficient than our own, because air goes in through the nares, and out through air sacs, utilizing a one way flow of air, where we breathe in an out, mixing our air which is not as efficient. So, evolution is not always striving to be optimum, just what works. Sexual selection as a theory is interested to me, because it can be at odds with nautral selection on first glance. take birds of paradise with the long tails, makes it harder to fly...therefore more susceptible to predation, yet gives you increased reproductive fitness. In this case, females choose a male based on a secondary sex character.
I would never be an advocate of removing bad genes from the population, like hemophiliacs (some bad traits persist because you can have offspring before you die of the disease). Nature does this its own way without our meddling.