Selection Against Minorities

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ShamelessGit
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17 Jun 2013, 9:32 pm

Maybe this isn't very profound, but I've thought of it recently and I thought I'd share it. I think in most situations when there are multiple ways of communicating, it is advantageous to pick the most popular option, even if that option isn't inherently better. Whatever you want, you'll be able to advertise yourself better, and have more options to choose from. This goes for any sort of thing, like spoken languages, programming languages, and maybe even nonverbal languages. For instance, everybody speaks English all around the world now, even though it isn't particularly easy to learn or efficient, because the British empire provided a historical basis for it, and it has stuck around ever since. Probably English will become even more predominant in the future, even as English-speaking countries lose power. Another example is that everybody at my workplace uses fortran and macs because my professor has been studying the same thing for 40 years and doesn't want to change how he does things. Also, female birds tend to be attracted only to males who sing the song of their species, even if males that sung different songs were perfectly healthy and similar enough to reproduce.

So this applies broadly, but I first thought about this in relation to dating. It seems to make sense that in order to achieve the greatest chance of success, a person should try to appeal to the general audience. So appealing to the general audience should in itself be attractive in the dating world, because people should be attracted to people who are more likely to be successful. So it may have been that our facial expressions, and how we flirt, and things like that which seem arbitrary but are fundamental to our nature, developed randomly, and initially had no benefit, but were carried along by other genes which were beneficial. After a sufficiently large portion of the population had acquired the arbitrary and neither beneficial nor unbeneficial nonverbal language, it would have been beneficial to have it, because it would have made communication easier. The behavior, which may have been subtle and widely varying at first, would have been selected for until it became deeply ingrained and homogeneous throughout the species. And it may even be that it would have become beneficial to actively dislike people who were different, so as not to waste reproductive potential on otherwise healthy people with a lesser capacity to communicate. So I'm thinking (again, maybe this isn't very profound) that maybe the majority of people actively dislike strange people, rather than just not being attracted to them, and this is part of what makes things so difficult for autistic people. Maybe what people think unconsciously when they see a strange person is, “This person is strange, so I can't tell what he's thinking, and therefore he can't be trusted.”

Words like, “weird” seem to be synonymous with “bad” or “unhealthy,” and when people talk about making social connections, they talk about sharing similarities, and being able to bond unconsciously, so everyday language seems to fit with this.

My own personal experience shows me that there is only one correct mating ritual, and any deviation from it is seen as very unattractive. I think humans are an awful lot like those birds who don't care about anything other than the songs that other birds sing, and their shiny feathers.



Thelibrarian
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17 Jun 2013, 9:39 pm

"Maybe this isn't very profound, but I've thought of it recently and I thought I'd share it. I think in most situations when there are multiple ways of communicating, it is advantageous to pick the most popular option, even if that option isn't inherently better."

I would agree. After all, language is convention that allows for communication with other people. We must use what they use. A language was developed years ago called Esperanto, which was suppose to be a superior language. Even if that were objectively true, Esperanto suffered from one major defect: nobody spoke it.

"So this applies broadly, but I first thought about this in relation to dating. It seems to make sense that in order to achieve the greatest chance of success, a person should try to appeal to the general audience. "

Actually, the latest thing in scientific studies seems to be genetic similarity theory, which posits that we are most attracted to, and tend to have the best relationships, with people who are very similar to us genetically--in terms of our health, intelligence, looks, etc., except, of course, for close relatives.

Of course, those who are genetically distant can have good relationships too, but it seems to be easier with those with whom we share close genetic affinities.



auntblabby
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17 Jun 2013, 10:37 pm

survival [of god's creation] or bust.