Enjoy a life of crime, or scientific achievement, whichever.
December 23, 2011 14 Comments
Satoshi Kanazawa, author of Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters brings up some interesting points. These points are particularly interesting, because they point out that men in particular would not be getting a lot done if they weren’t trying to impress people in order to have sex with them.
Let’s take the age-crime curve for example, widely accepted by criminologists describes the relationship between age and crime. In every society, the tendency to perform risk-taking behavior, such as committing a crime, peaks in late adolescence/early adulthood, decreases in the 20s and 30s, then levels off during middle age. Kanazawa points out that this phenomena is not limited to crime, but extends to “every quantifiable human behavior that is public (i.e., perceived by many potential mates) and costly (i.e., not affordable by all sexual competitors).” The relationship between age and productivity among male jazz musicians, painters, scientists, writers is essentially the same as the age-crime curve.
According to this theory, “both crime and genius are expressions of men’s competitive desires, whose ultimate function in the ancestral environment would have been to increase reproductive success.”
Let’s look at one of the major accomplishments of the past century, the home computer. This device has changed the way we communicate, shop, work, and look at porn. If Bill Gates didn’t need some grand scheme to seduce women, he would never have put that computer together in his garage. Of course, he probably didn’t know why he was doing it. No one ever bothers to think these things out. One day you are putting a computer together in your basement, then the next you have little reproductions of yourself populating the earth and asking why you are out of milk.
In fairness, I should bring up a counter-argument, which supports Andreas Heinakroon’s view of creativity for its own sake. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes true happiness as being in a state of ‘flow’. Flow is when you are fully immersed in what you are doing. You become completely involved your activity so that the ego falls aside. You get caught up in the challenges of the moment so much so that time speeds by and you forget to eat. However, most of us keep getting interrupted from flow by the kids we had, or the sudden urge to seduce people for sex. Plus, no one can pronounce this guy’s name, so I still win.