23 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Morphological Diversity of Random Town

Tally spent the day walking around the city, marveling at how different it was from her own. She saw new pretties and uglies hanging out together, friends that the operation hadn't separated. And littlies clinging to their ugly older brothers and sisters instead of being stuck in Crumblyville with their parents. Those small changes were almost as surprising as the wild facial structures, skin textures, and body mods she encountered. Almost. It might take a while to get used to coats of downy...
Folksonomies: science fiction
Folksonomies: science fiction
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11 DEC 2013 by TGAW

 Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma) on Compassion

Not long ago, a young boy handed me an envelope containing 300 euros. He said he wanted it to be used to help the orphans at our ashram. I asked him to keep the money, which he had won in a music competition, but he refused. Two weeks later, his little sister came to me with an envelope containing her ice-cream pocket money. She told her parents: “I eat ice cream all the time. This time I want to give to the orphans, like my brother.” The sister’s compassion was awoken by her brother...

I really responded to this excerpt of Amma's response to the New York Times on who our moral leaders are.

Two sentences in particular stuck out: “The sister’s compassion was awoken by her brother’s moral integrity” (on the girl who donated her ice cream money after seeing her brother donate his music competition winnings) and “The universe is like a vast net; if one corner is shaken, the vibration pervades the whole.” (on the man who mowed the Lincoln Memorial).

She really illustrated how generosity and compassion can spread.

23 JUN 2013 by ideonexus

 Hamilton's Model

Hamilton's rule is rb - c > 0. Here c is the cost to the giver's fitness (c fewer offspring because of helping), and b is the benefit to the recipient's fitness (offspring gained by the recipient from the help). Here again, "r" is a measure of the relatedness between giver and the receiver [...] Hamilton’s rule says that for unrelated individuals (r = 0) no benefit can overcome the cost of loss of the altruist's fitness (0 - c can't be greater than 0) and aid giving is selected against...
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Explains why members of a species will sacrifice themselves for offspring that are not their own.

03 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 The Tangled Bank Theory

Michael Ghiselin developed this idea further in 1974 and made some telling analogies with economic trends. As Ghiselin put it, "In a saturated economy, it pays to diversify." Ghiselin suggested that most creatures compete with their brothers and sisters, so if everybody is a little different from their brothers and sisters, then more can survive. The fact that your parents thrived doing one thing means that it will probably pay to do something else because the local habitat might well be full...
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"In a saturated economy, it pays to diversify."