Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Evolution

I've lost weight, four pounds since I started working out a month or so ago.

Recently I bought a new computer, but it turned out to not be precisely what I wanted. This is Jay's fault, though I'm still working on the proof that demonstrates how. Regardless, I've got to return the device I'm presently typing on and it has nothing to do with me not being able to play certain video games on it.

I went a little nuts in Barnes and Noble today. Part of the haul was a couple of teach yourself calculus books, which is how I spent my evening. You might be tempted to ask why--but why ask why? It's not like our preferences are rational. You just take them as givens and go. You see, the human mind has slots available for exactly 256 preferences, i.e. things we want. Evolution managed to fill up about 150 of these slots with "sex", another 40 with "SEX!!!" and then a dozen or so with "sleep" "water" and, in my case, "Breyers Black Cherry Yogurt." That leaves 80 or so open slots that get filled completely at random (vacuum energy is involved). Often a new preference, unus desirus novus, will arise and knock out an old preference--which instantly attaches to the person nearest you. So chances are I got my math hankering from some geek in the bookstore today, and some poor lady probably ended up with my penchant for chasing squirrels around the park with a giant novelty spatula.

Now you're wondering why evolution didn't just fill up all the slots with "SEX," but you're assuming that every feature exhibits optimized fitness, when really a lot of our traits are just there because, way back when, one of our cavemen ancestors stood too close to the microwave. That's why some people like math. I know it's why I do. It's also why I made an appointment with my career counselor at 8:30 AM tomorrow. At least, I can't think of any other reason for it.

Actually, I need to relearn math because I need to learn advanced physics, and that's because that has serious philosophical implications, which all gets back to the whole meaning of life thing, which is what I like to think about instead of actually working. You know, in the rare microseconds of "SEX!!!" respite.

Two books done in the long list of Hugo Award winners. I'm unimpressed. Maybe I should switch to the Pulitzer.

[9:02:50 PM] Jay Goodman Tamboli says:
I miss calculus.

[9:03:47 PM] Scott says:
It is refreshingly perfect. Much better than law.

[9:03:59 PM] Scott says: Except for that fucking Goedel thing.

1 comment:

DeJa Vu said...

Lately, I've been craving hot sausages. Weird.