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Evolutionary psych and Schwarzenegger

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  • Chris Phoenix
    While talking about the recent California election compared with South American politics, I made a joke about how we d elected a strongman. Then I wondered
    Message 1 of 36 , Oct 8, 2003
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      While talking about the recent California election compared with South
      American politics, I made a joke about how we'd elected a strongman.

      Then I wondered whether it was really a joke. After all, we've evolved
      to expect the strongest people to be leaders. And in recent years,
      we've elected not only Schwarzenegger but Jesse "The Body" Ventura to
      the position of state governor.

      Well, I'd rather see a Hollywood strongman come to power than the real
      thing. I wonder whether this is, in a weird way, a hopeful sign for our
      society: we don't need real violence anymore...

      BTW, I'm halfway through a book that I highly recommend: _Discovering_
      by Robert Scott Root-Bernstein. It may or may not be a coincidence that
      I just read a section about serious theorizing being prompted by
      punning. I recommend the book to anyone who's interested in how
      invention and discovery work, and especially to anyone who's interested
      in improving their own skills.

      Chris

      --
      Chris Phoenix cphoenix@... http://xenophilia.org
      Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (co-founder) http://CRNano.org
    • J. Andrew Rogers
      ... The alpha male behaviors are pervasive in the species. I would swear that the majority of everything the average male does is directly or indirectly
      Message 36 of 36 , Dec 2, 2003
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        On 12/2/03 11:14 PM, "Bill Rowan" <whrowan@...> wrote:
        > Very few men
        > have as much of an opportunity as he does to try to be an "alpha
        > male." But lots of men, with less opportunity than he has, have put a lot
        > of energy into doing so.


        The "alpha male" behaviors are pervasive in the species. I would swear that
        the majority of everything the average male does is directly or indirectly
        aimed at increasing their status in this respect. Of course, I've also
        noticed that a phenomenal quantity of resources are routinely burned on this
        pursuit.

        That kind of behavior comes so naturally that it actually takes quite a bit
        of effort and discipline to make rational decisions about resource
        allocation. It has some utility, but that is insignificant compared to the
        extent that people put effort and resources into it. I wonder what the
        world would be like if we could harness all those resources for other
        purposes -- any purpose.

        Admittedly, I was exactly like that when I was younger, but I like to think
        I make more rational decisions these days and am a lot more cognizant of
        this effect on resource allocation. Or at least that's my story. :-)


        --
        J. Andrew Rogers (andrew@...)
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