Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id NAA00398 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Thu, 19 Jul 2001 13:05:09 +0100 Message-ID: <3B56CC08.2B5A280A@bioinf.man.ac.uk> Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 13:01:12 +0100 From: Chris Taylor <Christopher.Taylor@man.ac.uk> Organization: University of Manchester X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.77 [en] (Windows NT 5.0; U) X-Accept-Language: en To: email@example.com Subject: Re: Memetic vulnerability: was: Faking It References: <2D1C159B783DD211808A006008062D3101745FB2@inchna.stir.ac.uk> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
> [is that what they call convergent evolution?]
Yup. Bang on.
> "flightless" memes
What a great phrase - lol as they say.
The point of resident's advantage is that you are in an environment you
know, and have fine-tuned to (become ensconced as Lawrence succinctly
put it), in a way that a new invader cannot have done (for an animal,
knowing your environment well, for any organism, being closely adapted
to local conditions etc.). So that gives the resident the advantage when
all other things are equal. If the invader is a lot better it will win
usually (NZ with cats etc. is a bad example because there was no
equivalent resident predator before, just an 'empty' niche).
I have to tell this story now, just to show that whenever you think
you've found a rule, in biology anyway, you'll almost always find an
exception. The rule is 'resident always wins' (implicitly - all other
things being more or less equal). In Mexico (I think) there is a species
of spider where the resident *always* loses. These little guys live in
clusters of small single-spider burrows, and if one gets displaced for
whatever reason, it runs into a neighbour's burrow, the neighbour is
displaced and runs into another neighbour's burrow, who is displaced,
and so on until someone finally goes into the burrow of the spider who
started it all. Bizarre and apparently totally maladaptive - I have no
idea why they do it.
In truth, residents usually win because if you assume the system to be
in equilibrium, the biggest will already have acquired the good stuff,
and, being the biggest, will tend to keep it. Resident's advantage is
only really significant when the protagonists are otherwise well
Chris Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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