(Sings) Happy Monkey to You, Happy Monkey to You ...
It's Darwin Day! Old Charlie would have been two hundred years old today. One wonders what he'd be saying were he still alive today.
Possibly "Why is it so dark in here?" Or "Why am I in this box?"
I was directed to this item via Pharyngula. However, it looks better in its native environment, which is Seed. Make sure to watch it all. The beginning is wondrous, but all the really exciting stuff is packed into the last few parti-seconds.
However, Darwin's birthday is a time to reflect upon how far we've come; and how far we have yet to go. From the Wall Street Journal (which I hardly ever read since the Murdoch acquisition):
It would make sense to try to predict the actions of the multitudes by assuming that each individual would act in the interest of his (or her) own selfish genes.Um, just realized I have to finish a project that was due yesterday ... Seriously, go read that editorial.
In reality, we often don't. [. . .] At the micro-level, we'll drive across town to save $25 on a $100 microwave, but not to save the same $25 on a $1,000 flat-screen TV, showing both that we are blind to the cost of our own labor, and confused about the fact that money is an absolute rather than relative commodity.
The average American watches three to four hours of television a day, which does nothing for our "reproductive fitness" or even for our happiness [. . .] We procrastinate on important projects until we have too little time to complete them properly ...
Ah, just had to add. There's one glaring error in that editorial:
We allow consumers access to credit cards, for example, because we assume (despite ample evidence to the contrary) that they will be smart enough to balance their short-term needs as consumers with their long-term capacity to maintain a fiscally sensible reality.No. Credit-card companies push credit cards on consumers precisely because of the mountain of evidence to the contrary. It's one reason barter and lay-away are making comebacks.