Tuesday, October 7








At October 08, 2008 11:56 PM, Blogger Minyu said...


Don't you think being easily spotted by potential mate means being equally easily spotted by potential predator?

Remember most of our traits are the results of natural selection in the jungle, not in the subway platform.

Even if being spotted by potential predators is worth risking for the prospects of spreading more of your seeds, that's only true for women's preference for tall men (like the peacock's tail). Human's pregnancy is quite long and human infants are very dependent on their mothers (actually for most of us, both parents) for a long time, it would be very disadvantage to be spotted by a predator (during your pregnancy or with your infant) easily simply for increasing your chance to get laid marginally. It's enough for a man to get turn off by tall women (if your easy-to-be-spot is true).

And I have the impression that height is only a marginal "beauty factor" (compared to those signaling "fertility" such as the breast size and waist-hip ratio etc for women, and square jaw and hairy hands etc for men). I guess this slight preference simply because human being is slightly polygamous (but mainly monogamous until the arrival of agricultural civilization). In a slightly polygamous setting, a bigger man would have a bigger chance to win in fights with others, hence get a couple more extra wives. If you find a tall mate, you is likely to have a tall son or your daughter is likely to have a tall son or your daughter's daughter is likely to have a tall son...then you might have marginal advantage of spreading your seed. But because the polygamy is not prevalent (because human infants are difficult to raise and monogamous men have their own evolutionary advantage) and a bigger son would not dramatically increase his descendants, we don't have to be engaged in the endless "arm race" for height.

That article you referred was kind of sick. But too tired to write a note. Maybe come back later.

At October 09, 2008 12:12 AM, Blogger Minyu said...

Just across my mind: Your "一毛不拔" below might not be an example of rationality--the rationality in the point of view of "selfish gene". We share (statistically) lots of genes with "天下": half with our parents, half with our siblings, half with our kids, a quarter with cousins...etc...I am not so sure the "weighted average" of genes shared by me and "天下" would be? 1/1000000? 1/100000000000000? (Need to think out some estimates for it)

We have around 100,000 hairs on our heads (didn't count body hair). And hairs are renewable. How are we gonna value those 100,000 hairs as a "fair" proportion of us? Still perplexed.

No conclusion yet, but the statement is definitely not something without controversy.

At October 09, 2008 12:17 AM, Blogger Minyu said...

But I guess the way to start at getting a reasonable "Auntie Mo" would be to check out the time we splitted from our ancestors, and genetic difference between us and some cousins lost contacts for long long time (maybe that remote island in Australia? Can't spell it).

At October 09, 2008 12:19 AM, Blogger Minyu said...

O He Whose Name Is Forbidden, please save me from this damned land of reckless nerdiness and may me rest in peace.

At October 09, 2008 12:34 AM, Blogger Minyu said...

No. Shouldn't be "weighted average". Should be aggregate--because one hair can benefit the whole world. But need to quantify the degree of "benefit" (or just make it the variable to check out the break even point?).

When aggregate, we need to exclude those too old to procreate. After all, the sole purpose of gene is to replicate itself.

At October 09, 2008 7:04 AM, Blogger Ben said...

There is such a spammer whose name is minyu...

At October 09, 2008 2:19 PM, Blogger Minyu said...

indeed. //blush


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