OpinionNatural selection favors assholery
      – BorgClown, 2010-01-30 at 15:32:53   (10 comments)

On 2010-01-30 at 15:42:33, BorgClown wrote...
A couple of years ago I saw a documentary on Discovery Channel about a pack of oxes. They were sieged by a pack of lions, but the alpha ox was doing a remarkable job keeping them away. The ladies and kids were put on the center, shielded by the males, and the strongest males (leaded by the alpha ox) were actively fending off the lions. All nice and good until one of the oxes deeply stabbed the leader when he was distracted watching the lions. WTF? The traitor had been trying to be the alpha male for some time, but he never was able (or lacked the guts) to defeat the leader, basically he saw the opportunity to easily become leader and took it, damned be the pack and the ongoing lion siege.
On 2010-01-30 at 15:53:01, BorgClown wrote...
Asshole ox, right? As the leader was agonizing and the lions started to become bolder, the traitor copulated with the agonizing leader (that's beyond asshole), clearly for the pack to see who was boss now. The lions concentrated on the wounded ox, even as a few loyals tried to defend him, probably intending to give him time to recover. Sadly, the leader was gravely wounded and it was getting late, so the lions eventually got him. The pack was left alone with their new ├╝berasshole leader, and life went on. It struck me as a surprisingly complex political drama for a bunch of oxes, and it was also evident that even in animal politics, cowardice and assholery are evolutionary advantages. It's no surprise they're so common among us.
On 2010-01-31 at 08:36:39, DigitalBoss wrote...
Stab the boss in the back, f him in the a, and then take all his b's, sounds like a typical night in the big city. Being the boss is a tougher job than one might think, uh?
On 2010-01-31 at 09:53:23, Lee J Haywood wrote...
In your story the existing leader is an incidental character. I see things from a different viewpoint, where those people you find to be the most self-centred and inconsiderate are the same people that are most likely to become leaders in the first place. To some extent good/strong leaders are self-selected, yes, but they're also the ones that care the least what others think of them.
On 2010-01-31 at 17:47:11, DigitalBoss wrote...
The beta male was pretty smart to end the stand-off successfully. The lions got what they wanted, and the herd of oxen carried on. Evidently the alpha male position is one of change.
On 2010-02-03 at 04:39:28, BorgClown wrote...
@DigitalBoss: Beta male, herd of oxen... You see, that's why I know not to write long texts in English, my vocabulary is too limited.
On 2010-02-03 at 04:46:39, BorgClown wrote...
Regarding the beta male, he was clearly selfish, he killed the one organizing the defense and ran near the herd. The young oxen (or oxes, both are acceptable =) were the ones keeping the lions at bay, so they focused on the wounded male. Maybe the former leader got there by the same means, it's just that the whole issue looked more like human politics than animal politics. Are we that primitive after all?
On 2010-02-03 at 09:41:33, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Politics involves a group of humans acting together, and the outcomes aren't really individual choices. For example, a government might agree (by consensus?) to go ahead and attack/destroy something where a member of the general population would be able to see the immorality clearly. We are primitive when acting with a group mentality, but individuals are capable of being very moral. On the other hand, it's only possible to get to the moon by working as a group and pooling our intelligence. Individuals are generally too dumb to make something as simple as a radio, never mind a spaceship.
On 2010-02-04 at 06:29:33, BorgClown wrote...
At least we're geniuses compared to people 5000 years ago, maybe another 5,000 years will rise the median to our current genius level.
On 2010-02-04 at 11:12:55, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Or perhaps we'll simply become dumber because the majority has too much access to too much information, so no-one feels pressured to learn anything. The most intellectually demanding jobs are already in the hands of a tiny minority.