Humor: If Dogs Worked in Offices


I didn’t come up with this, but I found it so enjoyable (and anthropologically-apt, if you know what I mean) that I decided to re-post it here.  I don’t know who the original author is, but if somebody does, I’ll be happy to attribute.

If Dogs Worked in Offices

 

Secretary


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The Effects of Sociability Genetics on Nations


I recently read an article linked on slashdot.org about a sociability gene discovered in fireants–the first such gene to be found.  I’ve long suspected that such genes exist (or more precisely, huge bundles of related genes, as the article states), and seeing the inklings of my suspicions confirmed with modern science has given me cause to voice some of the things I’ve been considering relative to why various nations and peoples behave as they do–and why other nations and peoples have difficulty understanding why.  These, below, are my thoughts.  Please read the linked article for a better understanding of how I use the term, “sociability.”

http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2013/01/first-known-social-chromosome-fo.html?ref=hp

If, indeed, other creatures than fireants–such as humans–inherit personality traits (such as sociability or the lack thereof) genetically–in addition to learning skills in these matters (through experience and “nurture”)–then this leads to a potentially very fairly impactful syllogism:

1. The sociability (or lack thereof) of a human being is largely determined by genetics.
2. The social structure of a society is largely determined by the values and traits of its comprising members.
3. Those who are highly-sociable tend to thrive in societies where social interaction is closely related to power structure.
4. Highly-sociable individuals who live in societies where the power structure is traditionally more monolithic (such a theocracy, monarchy, dictatorship, fanatical regime, harsh regime, etc.) tend to become marginalized because they’re seen as a potential threat to the traditional power structure (by way of gathering followers, potentially questioning authority, etc.).  This occurs both on the governmental level and in business, etc.
5. Sexual selection (that is, natural selection by way of how mates are chosen) is highly sensitive to how a society sees a given individual’s value and long-term viability (that is, perceived “potential” and “success”).
6. Sexual selection leads to genetic traits being favored or not favored, such that desirable ones (including those chosen by societal “momentum,” as above) are emphasized, and undesirable ones are made less common.
7. Because of #6, the genes for high sociability will be largely “bred out” of societies wherein such a trait is not valued.
8. Populations tend to reject and marginalize those who are of a minority genetic makeup (i.e. foreigners, “ethnics,” etc.)

Conclusion: Sexual selection among humans–largely driven by societal determinations–will cause, and has caused certain parts of the world to become genetically predisposed AGAINST all societal structures and customs that require a high degree of sociability and a distributed power structure in order to function properly. This included democratic government (in its various forms), free religion (i.e. not strictly governed by monolithic or oligarchic authority), freedom to demonstrate, freedom of speech, and so forth. This hereby calls into question whether it’s valid to impress or force such structures and customs upon a given population unless/until these populations see themselves as being ready for, and desirous of these things.

Notably, what a society desires changes dramatically over time. “Public consciousness” shifts, and thereby changes what is seen as “desirable” in mates (as well as what is a survivable/unsurvivable genetic trait). Therefore, it’s not only possible but likely that societies which are not ready for such social structures/customs now will be ready in the future–and likewise, that those which were unready for them only a few years ago are ready for them now. I believe we’re seeing this in what has been dubbed the “Arab Spring.” Likewise, much of the world seems to be “awakening” from the state of accepting monolithic authority/power structures, and bucking long-standing traditions which prevent individuals from flourishing independent of such structures. Could it be that for the last generation or two (or several), those who were more willing to freely join with one another, and to question authority and customs became more desirable as mates than they were previously? The “hippy”/”baby boomer” generation of the United States certainly seems to support this theory. (Sadly, our cultural apathy is yet extremely powerful.)  Perhaps in yet another generation–if things continue to go this way–the world will be largely or wholly unrecognizable–on a social, economic, and political level–from the one that those born around the 1920s knew.  I, for one, greatly look forward to this change, and have high hopes for the generation born just a couple of decades after me!  (I was born in 1982.)

I don’t know if my theories are correct, but I think the syllogism is good (in the logical sense). If my conclusion truly follows from the premises, perhaps it’s worth asking whether those premises are, indeed, as correct as I suspect they are.  If so, then does the world gasp in anticipation for the great change that’s, perhaps, shortly to come?

Facepalm: Some Truly Wonderful Puns


I got these in an email, and thought they were sufficiently “cringe-worthy” to post here.

1.  King Ozymandias of Assyria was running low on cash after years of war with the Hittites.  His last great possession was the Star of the Euphrates, the most valuable diamond in the ancient world.  Desperate, he went to Croesus, the pawnbroker, to ask for a loan.  Croesus said, “I’ll give you 100,000 dinars for it.”  

“But I paid a million dinars for it,” the King protested.  “Don’t you know who I am?  I am the king!”

Croesus replied, “When you wish to pawn a Star, makes no difference who you are.”

 

2.  Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid bowlers.  Unfortunately, all the Swiss league records were destroyed in a fire, …and so we’ll never know for whom the Tells bowled.

 

3.  A man rushed into a busy doctor’s office and shouted, “Doctor!  I think I’m shrinking!”  The doctor calmly responded, “Now, settle down.  You’ll just have to be a little patient.”

 

 4.  A marine biologist developed a race of genetically engineered dolphins that could live forever if they were fed a steady diet of seagulls.  One day, his supply of the birds ran out so he had to go out and trap some more.  On the way back, he spied two lions asleep on the road.  Afraid to wake them, he gingerly stepped over them.  Immediately, he was arrested and charged with– transporting gulls across sedate lions for immortal porpoises.

 

 5.  Back in the 1800’s the Tate’s Watch Company of Massachusetts wanted to produce other products, and since they already made the cases for watches, they used them to produce compasses.  The new compasses were so bad that people often ended up in Canada or Mexico rather than California .  This, of course, is the origin of the expression — “He who has a Tate’s is lost!”

 

 6.  A thief broke into the local police station and stole all the toilets and urinals, leaving no clues.  A spokesperson was quoted as saying, “We have absolutely nothing to go on.”

 

 7.  An Indian chief was feeling very sick, so he summoned the medicine man. After a brief examination, the medicine man took out a long, thin strip of elk rawhide and gave it to the chief, telling him to bite off, chew, and swallow one inch of the leather every day.  After a month, the medicine man returned to see how the chief was feeling.  The chief shrugged and said, “The thong is ended, but the malady lingers on.”

 

 8.  A famous Viking explorer returned home from a voyage and found his name missing from the town register.  His wife insisted on complaining to the local civic official who apologized profusely saying, “I must have taken Leif off my census.”

 

 9.  There were three Indian squaws.  One slept on a deer skin, one slept on an elk skin, and the third slept on a hippopotamus skin.  All three became pregnant.  The first two each had a baby boy.  The one who slept on the hippopotamus skin had twin boys.  This just goes to prove that… the squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides.  (Some of you may need help with this one).

 

 10.  A skeptical anthropologist was cataloging South American folk remedies with the assistance of a tribal Brujo who indicated that the leaves of a particular fern were a sure cure for any case of constipation.  When the anthropologist expressed his doubts, the Brujo looked him in the eye and said, “Let me tell you, with fronds like these, you don’t need enemas.”