Comments on: The curse of the bull elk antlers Sun, 28 Jul 2013 14:34:09 +0000 hourly 1 By: JL4 Wed, 14 Sep 2011 14:49:13 +0000 Foxxdrake:

That was the most logical, accurate and enjoyable post I’ve read in a month. I’m still grinning.

Here’s my take…

When the uber-rich are finished eating their young (the economically lower and middle classes, et al)they will have no one left to chew on but themselves. Sure would like to see that.

By: economicgps Mon, 12 Sep 2011 17:40:09 +0000 Current US Economic Condition: Natural selection gives way to selection bias when money is used to select winners from losers.

Weapons-Grade Stupidity: Intelligence that is so low it poses a severe hazard to those who come in contact with it.

Weapons Grade Selection Bias: Selection bias that poses a severe hazard to those that come in contact with it.

Example: US response to Honda Accord in 1980 = K-Car for Quality.

Data: US GDP on downward trend since Reagan Revolution. Opportunity cost $44 Trillion or 1.024% GDP decline for choosing Republican over Democratic President in economic comparison of policy over 30 and 50 year spans.

By: FoxxDrake Sun, 11 Sep 2011 01:20:06 +0000 @frogonahill

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

Yes, that is the essence of Natural Selection. That however, is NOT the case for man and perhaps has not been the case for a long-long-long time; and that’s the rub.

There was a time when man was subjected to nature; the wolf, the lion, the tiger, the next tribe over…all threats that would affect the whole clan equally.

A key element in Natural Selection is that it’s a “species thing” – it’s not concerned with “the individual.”

For example, if the world becomes more radio-active mankind might need to evolve a better thyroid gland to consume the more toxic, food, air and water.

The issue at hand is that “the ELK” represents UN-NATURAL selection. The “artificial” advantage given to the Uber-Rich.

Consider, Paris Hilton (a fictional example); what purpose does she serve? Except, perhaps, to put the species at risk. Here’s why.

If there is a threat to the “species” Paris Hilton (because of her money, family and connections) is better positioned to survive because the culture, society and system is designed that way. Thus advantaging her useless genome as she reproduces and more potentially useful people do not. That’s issue number one.

Simultaneously, she’s also better positioned to ruin the species over-all ability to produce a solution to the threat in the first place. That’s issue number two.

See, with money comes power. Power to have access to goods, services and thus resources that help Paris “artificially” survive the threat.

However, by over consuming now she’s preventing the investment in people that could be useful to solve present and future problems; “useful” insofar as possessing the ability to help “the species” adapt “artificially” to change.

Consider the case of a fiction girl (we’ll call her Alice) who has the talent to build a gene therapy that aids the thyroid with adapting to a more “radioactive planet” – thus giving the rich like Paris Hilton (and thus potentially the rest of the species) the ability to survive.

But this NEVER happens.

Why? Because Paris Hilton over consumes.

With her tax breaks, luxury purchases, general uselessness and the overall mis-direction of resources to her now ultimately prevents Alice (who comes from a working class family) from ever going to college, getting healthcare, or in this horrible economy … getting a job.

Alice dies of the flu in college while her unemployed Dad watches; meanwhile Paris Hilton makes another sex tape, blows more coke and buys more diamonds for her poodle.

Then a “world” tidal wave causes radioactive cesium (from poorly regulated nuclear plants) to spread all over the biosphere.

With Alice dead because resources for healthcare, college and jobs was re-directed from Alice to Paris; everyone else gets sick and dies too. Moreover, with a mortality rate of 98% the human species pretty much gets wiped out.

2% remain. Perhaps it’s the Uber-Rich 2% that survive (being able to afford the few remaining stock-piles of clean Air, Food and Water) but with the “intelligence” of Paris – making up the surviving population they are not long for this world either.

Which might be the “ultimate” justice. They (the 2%-ers) might get to live longer in their Mad-Max created world but after this “Collapse” – there will be a “reset.”

With the species called man (if he does survive) going BACK to nature – and thus the rules of Natural and not Artificial Selection.

And, if he evolves, again, to be smart and able – perhaps create another world where nature is subject to his artificial will; he will also evolve a mind that rationally puts the needs of the group, ahead of the needs (or gluttonous desires) of a the aggressive insane few.

By: GCN Sat, 10 Sep 2011 10:35:52 +0000 Dear lunar15, You completely missed the point of overly large racks on bull elks. The point is that elks live in forests, not in open fields, and if the racks become too large, the bull is unable to maneuver due to interference with the surrounding trees and limbs. This lack of maneuverability makes the bull more vulnerable to wolf pack attacks. So, essentially, one of two things must happen for elks to survive. One, the density of the forrest self-limits the maximum size of racks for a given community of elks or two, elks would have to re-adapt to habitation in grasslands. It could be argued that the latter would only put off the inevitable as there would be no limit to rack size due to tree interference but there would be a limit to the rack weight the bull could carry. And, moreover, the elk would catastrophically fall prey to innumerable predators on the plains for which they have no defenses. So, we’re back to option one. Bulls are stuck with growing bigger racks to get laid but the bigger racks lead to their demise.

Presently, it could be argued that our human bull politic has been thinning the woods – legislative and regulatory defoliation through tax breaks, etc., if you will. Thus, making it easier for our human bulls to grow bigger and get more of what they desire the most. But will this be a statically or dynamically stable condition? When will the human bulls grow too big? When will the thinning of the legislative and regulatory woods become too great? When and how will these human bulls fall prey? What will it look like? A slow corrective retreat in numbers in a still existent forrest or a large catastrophic demise on the plain?

By: MarciaofMadison Sat, 10 Sep 2011 09:36:49 +0000 For a more persuasive argument, and one based on humans, not bull elk, see “The Tragedy of the Commons” by Garrett Hardin. Science, December 1968. 59/1243.full

For the core argument skip down to heading, “The Tragedy of Freedom in the Commons”.

By: BSRK Sat, 10 Sep 2011 09:30:15 +0000 We have to go deeper into the reasons that divide the people in a society. They range from social, economical, emotional.

By: DrOffsuit Sat, 10 Sep 2011 09:24:30 +0000 Darwin’s theory recognizes 2 types of selection: ecological selection (survival of the “toughest”) and sexual selection (reproduction of the most “attractive”). Attractive doesn’t equate to toughest. Reproduction is more important for evolution than survival. If someone dies at 20, but manages to have 3 kids before, his evolutionary success is greater than of person who dies at 90, but has 1 kid, and his genes will dominate in future generations. I think many people misinterpret evolution by focusing on survival rather than reproduction.

By: hansrudolf Sat, 10 Sep 2011 07:31:07 +0000 “blame the divided constituencies that sent people there.” Is he suggesting that constituencies should first merge and then “send people there”? Wouldn’t that be a politicians job ? Who’s naive here ?

By: Shukla Sat, 10 Sep 2011 03:23:40 +0000 Rajan is a profound man, his theories on the economics of developing nations are noteworthy, met him in Chicago.

By: Bagwa Sat, 10 Sep 2011 02:57:09 +0000 Interesting article, but how about a little information about how John Maynard Keynes marred into the Darwin family and was an ardent fan of evolution and his theories and actions were based on that. Also – don’t you think it odd that economists who believe in the survival of the fittest can also claim that some corporations are too big to fail? It’s like saying the brontosaurus was too big to fail – kill all the little dinosaurs.