Science

Why We May Think

When I was young, I thought the point of the body was to protect the brain. Now I realize it’s the other way around. The brain exists to protect the body. There are two kinds of animals – those who move and those who don’t. Animals who don’t move count on a stable and predictable environment and replicate like crazy to compete for scarce resources, and to outlast environmental changes. More
Jul 12 2006

Do Animals Laugh?

Almost everything that women like in men seems to have some reproductive fitness signaling value. What about humor? Note that it’s not enough to say that “humor is a stress reliever.” The question is, why would it relieve stress? The best guesses that I have: Humor signals contextual intelligence in quick, bite-size forms. More
Nov 29 2005

Natural Beauty

Looking out of an airplane window, it’s quite obvious what structures are natural and what structures are manmade. The natural structures are curvy, chaotic, yet recursive. They take very, very complex patterns and project them to us in a very simple way. The man-made structures are the opposite – they take simple underlying shapes (squares, straight lines, perfect circles) and combine them in haphazard, unpredictable, and hard-to-encode ways. More
Nov 29 2005