Saturday, May 28, 2011

Alturism & Survival of the Fittest

Nice Guys Finish First -

David Brooks is not the first person to spot the fact that Homo Sapiens cooperate to a degree not observed in even our closest special relatives (Personally, I think this is largely a male, as opposed to female, quality), but he draws the different threads, supporting the thesis, together beautifully. However Matt Ridley got there earlier with his book about the survival of the virtuous species.

Ridleys book had a fascinating story about the stickleback fish (the one that you see swimming in thousands, in underwater documentaries). Seems these small fish, use scouts, in pairs, to look for danger. They take it in turns for one to swim ahead of the other. If the one ahead is eaten, the survivor heads back to warn the shoal. However, it seems in this miniature marine species has the opportunists, who try to 'skip' their turn as 'lead scout'. More remarkable is the reported fact that word spreads about these ocean opportunists, and the more righteous stickle backs eventually refuse to partner with them.

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