Reality Blind - Vol. 1

** Imagine no sexual selection

It’s easy if you dare

Just pick your own direction

What others think, who cares?

Imagine all the people

Ignoring all those genes...

The Bottom Line: The pressures of sexual selection from our past mold a lot of our current behavior.

Social Status: Keeping up with the Joneses

Summary: Closely related to sexual competition is the general striving for status and approval within highly social species. As such a species, we care greatly about how we compare to others on the cultural scorecard of the day. We (consciously or otherwise) make social statements with our clothes, our technology, our houses, our toys, our comments and even our friends. We buy things not only because they give us pleasure, but because they are social signals — a 21 st century human version of deer antlers or a peacock’s tail. Through this behavioral lens, we can understand the rationale and prevalence of Veblen goods 32 (named after the 19th-century economist who coined the term ‘conspicuous consumption’) — a group of artificially value-inflated products like shoes, watches, (houses!) that people


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