18 JUL 2013 by ideonexus

 Art as an Evolutionary Fitness Indicator

To be reliable, fitness indicators must be difficult for low-fitness individuals to produce. Applied to human art, this suggests that beauty equals difficulty and high cost. We find attractive those things that could have been produced only by people with attractive, high-fitness qualities such as health, energy, endurance, hand-eye coordination, fine motor control, intelligence, creativity, access to rare materials, the ability to learn difficult skills, and lots of free time. Also, like bow...
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The artwork must connect to the potential mate and communicate the fitness of the artist, but it cannot be too errudite, or it becomes elite art and the communication becomes noise.

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."