Friday, February 14, 2014

Feb 2014: Star Trek and Gender


I read the following Slashdot article:


It suggests that star-trek is a prototype of a extreme-productivity civilization.  Not a utopia, but closer than now - in theory.

I had the following as my response:

I read through about 75% of it.  It is not a great read.  It takes a lot of time to get to a little meat. 
It relies on "social pressure" to stop conspicuous spending.  Lets see that work for real in womens shoes and I might believe it possible.  Otherwise there is a substantial bit of anthropology that the author is hand-waving his way past. 
Reproductively speaking, the minimum cost of reproduction is much smaller for the male than the female.  For the female the time-cost is 40 weeks, while for the male it can be around 4 minutes.  That is a 100,000 to one ratio.    Although females have oestrus cycle times that are 9x less frequent than optimal cycle-times for males, this does not establish a reproductive cost equality.
This high asymmetry in cost drives different general normative behaviors.Game theory says that when the costs are so asymmetric, and so much larger, then you will see radically different optimal strategies.  For women they have a huge vested interest in maximizing the input the man gives - they are selective in partners, and selective in frequency.  This also drives a strange phenomena of "Costly but worthless gifts facilitating courtship".  (link:  
The most archaic, currently used, non-worthless gift that can be given is not gold, diamonds, cash, or camels - it is footwear.  
If your "social pressure" to stop "conspicuous spending" can actually apply to womens footwear, then it has substance.  Don't just stop sales, show that the desire has been resolved.  It has not been resolved in Europe - this means that the fundamental forces are still extensively at work in that culture.  It also means that the Star Trek economy, while worth considering, is still a work of fiction.
Best regards.
The pub-med article is worth reading. This approach can help you pick guys who are not players, when you are older.  I don't like dating, but there is a selectivity in courtship - be selective.  You are amazing.  You are worth being selective.

I love you kiddo. 

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