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July 08, 2004

Tip of my tongue....

For those who think that the blog isn't concerned with emotions, beauty and all that jazz....





I'll be camping in the Bend area Friday to Sunday, and internet access will be spotty for those who might respond to some of my more recent tenditious posts and find that I don't meet the challenge with anything but silence. But, I will be reading the following:

Game Theory and Animal Behavior (half-way through, pretty good)
Basic Economics, by Thomas Sowell, so I have to read it....

On the picture above, like some, I prefer Maria Sharapova to Anna Kournikova, though I know this is a minority viewpoint. Re-reading The Red Queen, it was hilarious to watch Ridley stumble around and try to explain some of the weird beauty fads (tall and super-skinny vs. fatter, etc.). In Survival of the Prettiest, the author notes that in 1959 half of women surveyed wanted to be shorter and in the 1940s women were given hormone treatment to stunt their growth. Today, tall leggy women don't seem to have a problem getting looks.

Speaking of looks, I had the most intense aesthetic turn-around elicited by the female form recently. My girlfriend was going down the main drag of our town, and I was on the passenger side. There was a young woman running on the side-walk ahead of me. You know the general picture, silky blonde hair dancing around her delicate neck while her long muscular tanned legs pumped up and down. My girlfriend noted that she seemed to have a good figure, and gave me explicit instructions to rubber-neck.

The pock-marked face that I saw shocked me. It was as if the girl had had a bout of small-pox, and her proboscis-like nose didn't help. In 15 seconds I had run the gambit of emotion, from leering lust to revulsion. One thing for sure, that girl could stop traffic and cause psychological distress. The horror!

Finally, Michael Farris suggested that the tendency for Chinese and Indians to abort/kill females might be a tragedy of a commons issue. I thought that was kind of strange, since if women were communal property, free and open for use, we would be walking around with rather heavy balls. Let me elaborate: chimpanzee females are promiscuous, they are communal sperm receptacles when they are in estrous, so male chimps engage in "sperm competition", and so have to have large testicles to store their enormous loads. I know that's not what Michael was thinking of when he brought in the term "tragedy of the commons" in the context of male:female sex ratio....

Posted by razib at 05:26 PM