Sunday, May 31, 2015

The decline of fitness

Back to the gym this morning for the first time in twelve days. Weak as a kitten: my mother could have done better.

A television reviewer compared the current BBC production of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell unfavourably (nothing much happens) to the 'scintillating' novel by Susanna Clarke.

As someone who tried to read that lethargic, pedestrian work and died of boredom halfway through, I can confirm that the BBC have got this exactly right. (I am told it improves).

It's now been more than 18 hours and the recycled laptop upstairs is still downloading my entire DropBox dataset (54 GB) ... . At least Vista seems to have ceased its endless appetite for updates. Now if I could only get Chrome to install rather than hanging and dying ... .

Are you interested in the following thoughts?
"Reproduction has two parts, mating and parenting. This allocation is the stuff of life history theory. The allocation problem is complicated by the presence of two sexes that are designed differently. This is especially so in mammals: internal gestation, mammary glands, and prolonged immaturity indicate of the commitment of females to bear the brunt of reproductive effort. Fish, for example, are not engineered in this way. In fish species where males mouth brood, mama fish is free to shed some eggs and abandon dad and the kids to continue her partying unimpeded.

"Humans exhibit a diversity of strategy “choices” that are solutions to the allocation problem between mating and parenting. Males can devote most of their effort to mating effort, usually involving competition with other males. Male commitment to parenting effort is not common in mammals but there are familiar examples like beavers, coyotes, gibbons, and some humans. In the jargon the polar strategies of male mammals are called “cad” and “dad” strategies.

"Females have a more restricted set of strategy choices because of their engineered commitment to parenting. At one extreme a human female can seek a dadly male who provides resources like food and protection to their joint offspring. At the other extreme, a human female can pay little or no attention to her mate choice, instead letting the guys work things out. In the jargon these female alternatives are called “coy” and “fast”."
If so, you can read more here. West Hunter seems to be doing the heavy lifting for sociobiology these days.

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