06-30-08 - 2

One thing I've learned from watching the poker community is that even the most retarded people can do the right thing when given good feedback (direct, quick rewards) and the opportunity for trial and error. Some of the top poker pros are very smart, insightful, hard working, intelligent players. But many are frat boy types that really don't understand the theory and just work hard at it because they want the money, they copy others, and while in most of their life decisions where they don't get direct feedback they continue to be retards, in poker they succeed.

It certainly seems that more gay men are fit (and thus attractive) than the general populace. I conjecture this is primarily because they get more direct rewards for physical improvements. Similarly I've been noticing this weekend with Pride that there are an awful lot of fat ugly lesbians. Surely part of that is because lesbian coupling is not as highly driven by appearance as heterosexual coupling is. People automatically respond to the conditions of reward, just like monkeys being given pieces of fruit when they pull the right lever.

Of course I also can't help wondering if there might be some population selection in the correlation. That is, are ugly girls more likely to become lesbians? Perhaps two girls might have the exact same genetic predisposition to homosexuality, which is presumably some chemical/neurological property of the brain. Whether or not that predisposition is acted upon depends on environmental factors; many people may be 25-75% predisposed to homosexuality and may or may not actually act on it. One of the girls is hot and is rewarded by society with status and attention and many male suitors. Another is ugly and is ostracized by normal heterosexual society. Presumably the ugly one is much more likely to seek an alternative social environment where she is more welcomed. (obviously this is just the same reason kids become "stoners" or "goths" or "skin-heads" or "gamers" or whatever fringe social group where they can be accepted and valued outside of the normal ranking attributes of physical appearance and social fitness).

BTW off topic a bit, but the lesson from paragraph 1 is that if you want to make the general populace do the right thing you need to give them immediate feedback they can understand. This is why people do things like destroy shared resources - if you ask people to actually make a reasonable decision based on thought, they won't. You have to flash a green light and make their score go up and ring a bell when they do the right thing. If you wonder about why people do things that are so awful for the earth - not recycling, driving big cars, littering, living way out in suburbs, voting republican - it's not really a mystery, you don't need to ponder their motives. They're just fucking retarded. If you want them to act in a reasonable way you need to give them direct & immediate feedback; any delay in feedback or any slight obfuscation on what causes the feedback will not work.

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old rants