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Old 01-31-2013, 10:54 AM  
tooge tooge is offline
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The Science of being nice

Saw on on the Science Channel last night a very interesting episode about benevolence and how it has been mathmatically proven that people are "kind" and will sacrifice their own needs, including their own lives, not for the act of being a good person, but because it is increases the likelihood that they will pass their genetic profile on.

It involved a Scientist named Price, that got into Genetics and Evolution, but was, by nature, a mathematician.

He looked at natural selection and the evolution of "kind" behavior, and found that it is genetially beneficial to be kind.

The glaring example was a mother that would throw herself in front of the moving bus in order to save her children. The act, of course, improves the odds that her prodigy carry on and pass her genetic material on. Everyone with the "kind" gene, would have the same advantage.

So, Price applies mathmatics to the whole idea, gets published, and becomes somewhat famous. Problem is, he can't fathom that we cant simply be "kind" and selfless because we want to, and that bothers him. So, he spends the rest of his life trying to debunk his own theorem by giving away all possessions to others and taking in homeless people and letting them steal from him, all in the attempt to show that he was being nice by choice. He ultimately goes insane when he realizes that his being nice "by choice" was only a way he could have been disprove his own theorem, which was what he was trying to do anyway, which proves his theorem. Weird, but anyhow, the guy ends up offing himself.

His theory is still one of the backbones of behavioral evolution taught today.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:31 PM   #16
Cephalic Trauma Cephalic Trauma is offline
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Actually, it's being altruistic, rather than just "nice". Like the honeybees. They off themselves while protecting the hive, but in the long run, they are passing on "like" genetics.
Yeah, it's the Kin selection hypothesis of evolutionary biology.

I had a long response typed out on why I don't think it holds much weight in humans, but decided against posting it because it's not that big of a deal.

Suffice it to say that our ability to make complex decisions and our cognitive malleability at an early age can add some seemingly unanswerable questions for the theory.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:35 PM   #17
Bump Bump is offline
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I dont think those genes were ever passed on to anybody in Boston.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:37 PM   #18
Bump Bump is offline
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But people in Boston are smarter than Kansans for sure though. So, it's a trade off.

In Kansas, people are generally nicer, but dumber.

In Boston people are assholes, but smarter.

After living here for a few years, I can say with confidence that the dumb people here are still smarter than the average people of Kansas.

But I was happier in Kansas for sure. I felt like a genius, but here I'm just significantly above average.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:41 PM   #19
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This is the nicest thread ever.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:47 PM   #20
WhiteWhale WhiteWhale is offline
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By dick, you mean confident. Correct, unconfident guys get laid less.
That's because confidence allows you to try more often. It really doesn't do shit to your success rate.

The reason women don't like the 'nice guy' is because they're pussies in bed. Guys who are assholes tend to be more dominant in the sack and that's what women love.

You don't have to be 'a dick'. You have to be assertive, or as I like to say... a man. It's easy to be assertive and still polite and friendly.

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Old 01-31-2013, 04:51 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Bump View Post
But people in Boston are smarter than Kansans for sure though. So, it's a trade off.

In Kansas, people are generally nicer, but dumber.

In Boston people are assholes, but smarter.

After living here for a few years, I can say with confidence that the dumb people here are still smarter than the average people of Kansas.

But I was happier in Kansas for sure. I felt like a genius, but here I'm just significantly above average.
People who are smart don't tell other people how smart they are. Other people tell THEM how smart they are.
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:00 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bump View Post
But people in Boston are smarter than Kansans for sure though. So, it's a trade off.

In Kansas, people are generally nicer, but dumber.

In Boston people are assholes, but smarter.

After living here for a few years, I can say with confidence that the dumb people here are still smarter than the average people of Kansas.

But I was happier in Kansas for sure. I felt like a genius, but here I'm just significantly above average.
.... you bet you were Champ!
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:00 PM   #23
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this is the basis of sociobiology. it has its roots in game theory... it makes sense on a fundamental level, but there are certain human behaviors and situations where it breaks down. it's not an all-encompassing theory by any means, but it's downright intriguing the implications of it.

if this interests you, go read 'the selfish gene,' 'the red queen' (richard dawkins and matt ridley are the authors, respectively). both are great and go into a bit of depth if you have any prior knowledge. both are written for those who have a BIT of knowledge, but the layman can understand them with a bit of effort.
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:03 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bump View Post
But people in Boston are smarter than Kansans for sure though. So, it's a trade off.

In Kansas, people are generally nicer, but dumber.

In Boston people are assholes, but smarter.

After living here for a few years, I can say with confidence that the dumb people here are still smarter than the average people of Kansas.

But I was happier in Kansas for sure. I felt like a genius, but here I'm just significantly above average.
Nobody on this board thinks you're intelligent besides you.
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:04 PM   #25
Stewie Stewie is offline
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It's interesting that this is posted now with the passing of Adele Hall in KC recently. She a benevolent giver... using all her husband's money.
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:05 PM   #26
Ebolapox Ebolapox is offline
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Originally Posted by notorious View Post
Yet some women go for the selfish jerkoff.


Sounds about right.
there are other factors at play here... let me know if you want me to explain, or if a simple HAR HAR HAR would suffice.
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:05 PM   #27
Ebolapox Ebolapox is offline
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Dominance = ability to pass on genes = biological/psychological reason...
not that simple, but you're part of the way there.
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:07 PM   #28
KChiefer KChiefer is offline
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I missed that. Will have to look for a rerun. I recently downloaded a bbc program called "Dangerous Knowledge" that looked at four mathematicians that went mad and killed themselves.

http://www.dnatube.com/video/6065/Da...e-BBC-Part-110

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Old 01-31-2013, 05:12 PM   #29
KChiefer KChiefer is offline
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In Boston people are assholes, but smatah.
FYP
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:50 PM   #30
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Link to download an NPR Radiolab episode that includes a segment on George Price ("The Price of Altruism"):

http://www.radiolab.org/2010/dec/14/

If you don't listen to Radiolab, you're missing some of the best work that's ever been done in that medium, IMHO.
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