Re: Orthologs was RS

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Fri 05 May 2006 - 19:14:14 GMT

  • Next message: Chris Taylor: "Re: Orthologs was RS"

    At 10:33 AM 5/5/2006 +0100, Chris wrote:


    >Now despite that rant I'm split on this; as a memeticist of sorts I am
    >delighted to see all this novelty springing from this (linguistic)
    >innovation; just like bicycles or butterflies or brands -- innovate,
    >capitalise, make variations on the basic theme to create/discover/fill as
    >many niches as possible blah blah blah. And I do get a good laugh out of
    >some of them. It's all fun in the end, with that hat on.
    >However, I simultaneously see it as misleading nonsense that is deployed
    >in an attempt to smear kudos on otherwise mundane work. I don't claim that
    >the work being done is valueless, just that this stupid distraction of
    >delineating and rebranding what is fundamentally just a region of the
    >multidimensional bioscience continuum is confusing to some, wastes space
    >and time and generates ridiculous turf/ownership scraps where someone will
    >invent a new omics just because the one they would have gone for is
    >'controlled' by a big name they don't like, or simply didn't involve them
    >from the start.
    >This is as cringe-making as the physicists with that 'brane thing --
    >basically it's an attempt to be 'cool' in some weird way, to appear
    >cutting edge and savvy. Let's leave 'cool' to the teen magazines.

    I have over the last ten years or so added this big hammer, evolutionary psychology, to my tool box. Admitting that to a guy with a hammer everything looks like a nail, let me take a swat at it.

    "Cool," "big name," "turf/ownership scraps" all relate to primate status. It is easy to see how a psychological trait to seek attention
    (where the integral of attention is status) would arise--in males anyway, i.e., no status, no nooky, no nooky, no kids.

    Now speaking as the person who coined "memeoid" and "capture-bonding" (I took out the sorry numbers they show on Google) I must say that there is a flavor of status associated with having done so. The fact that the increased status has not resulted in a large number of extra wives, "extra pair" matings and dozens of children is *entirely* due to the mismatch between the EEA and the modern environment.

    Well, to be honest, it might also have something to do with spending my spare time staring at a tube rather than picking up chicks at singles bars. :-)

    But you get the drift, it's a feature, not a bug, and you will just have to deal with it.

    Best wishes,

    Keith Henson

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