How to Protect your Eggs from Kleptogamists

Some of you may be wondering what is up with Sneaky Fucker Week. The rest of you are most likely running away offended in the opposite direction. That is just as well. Things are not going to improve much going forward.

The Back Story behind the very sciency Sneaky Fucker Week:

Here is the premise, a posting by Andres Heinakroon to Amy’s Cat Urine Brain Cyst Blog:

‘Feline fatal attraction’ is a good one but it’s not the best. My favourite scientific term is the ‘Sneaky fucker strategy’, aka kleptogamy. It probably is rather self-explanatory but here goes: In species where males aim to gather a harem of females to mate with, there are two male strategies for successful mating.

The first one is to be as big and strong as possible in order to fight off the competition and win access to the females. This is however both costly and risky. You might spend more energy than you can replace, or you might get seriously injured.

The second strategy is to be a Sneaky fucker. This consists of avoiding any direct conflicts with the alpha males, and keep to the periphery of the harem of females. Then, when the leading male is busy fighting off any competing males, the Sneaky fucker male can sneak in and – well – fuck. And as long as he’s out of the way by the time the alpha male is back, he doesn’t risk getting into a fight.

It’s a brilliant strategy, and this is probably why it’s a very common strategy. So beware of the Sneaky fuckers.

The Challenge:

At this fateful moment, Ken, who knew EXACTLY what kind of chaos would ensue, tossed out THIS little remark:

This sneaky fucker business is seriously good enough to merit its own blogpost. Actually, I’d like to see each of you do something with this. Maybe we should declare sneaky fucker week and all write blogposts and make a festival of it.

I’ve always lived my life with the notion that if all the cool kids are doing it, there must be something worthwhile about the venture. So, when Andreas (@heinakroon), Ken (@lahikmajoe), and Amy (@lucysfootball ) started talking about Sneaky Fucker Week (#sneakyfuckerweek) on Twitter, I jumped on that bandwagon with no hesitation. However, now that I am on the band wagon, I am hesitating a bit.

Andreas (Heinakroon.com) published a very nice post focused mainly on moose erotica. I just call it moose porn because I like to trivialize great works of science. He is going to win the Nobel Prize, I bet, for his research. I hope he does, because then I will NEVER leave him alone about his moose porn prize.

Amy (Lucy’s Football) has already composed quite the riveting post on frat boys, mating frogs, and Justin Bieber’s red, moist lips.

Lisa, over at Random Thoughts of a Plum, with a “tendency to write blogs that are of a certain level innocence wise,” is a little concerned about venturing outside her comfort zone: “I have thought how I could possibly contribute to this sacred week when I can’t even bring myself to say the name of it in case Disney smacks me round the face for disgracing his hypothetical website.”

I fully agree. My blog is usually very tame and non-controversial. However, I am willing to venture forward in name of science. So, brace for impact….

Since Andreas apparently has all the moose porn covered, and Amy has covered frogs and Justin Bieber, I have decided to go with sneaky fish. And they are out there, don’t be fooled. I found this great research paper about the sex lives of fish. You can go read it here:

The sex lives of fishes by Stéphan G. Reebs

If you are short on time, or do not want to read it, I will summarize it for you. Just know that you are NOT in good hands.

Point 1. Sexiness is primary. Or primal. Either way

“Those individuals that did not care about reproduction died without transmitting their genes to the next generation, and their contempt for the reproductive enterprise died with them. In contrast, those individuals that had an innate taste for mating propagated that trait through the population.” Which explains all the porn on the Internet. Thanks, Stéphan, you have made it all so clear.

Point 2. Some fish are sexier than others. They can’t all be Brad Pitt, you know.

“Evolutionarily speaking, stakes are very high in the reproductive game. There is pressure on all individuals to leave as many viable descendants as possible in the next generation. One way of doing this is to choose a sexual partner of high quality.” Lisa (Random Thoughts of a Plum) describes this method as “luring the female of their species into bed with weight lifting and muscle flexing and eyebrow wiggling.”

“But for those individuals who score low in the mate choice game, there are other ways to pass on their genes, less flashy ways, tactics that are less straightforward, some might say less fair-play, but reasonably efficient nonetheless. Amy (Lucy’s Football) describes this as “the one who’s hanging out, willing to be your best friend, but always eyeing you a little too avidly” of fish.

This is where Stéphan introduces us to the “dirty little secrets of a fish’s sex life.” (I’ll bet you NEVER thought you would hear about dirty little sex life secrets of fish today.) “In almost all fishes, fertilisation is external. The male’s sperm and the female’s eggs are released from the body and they must meet in open water for fertilisation to occur. While they float in water, a female’s eggs are vulnerable to interception by the sperm of a male who may not be her chosen mate.”

Point 3. Sneaky fuckers have big balls. No, I mean LITERALLY.

“Sneakers make a special investment in their unconventional way of life. They develop huge gonads.”This is where I started cracking up, thinking about the sneaky fish with huge gonads. Feel free to take a break here and have a good laugh. We can wait.

Okay, stop laughing, there is some SERIOUS sciency stuff coming up here. Stéphan says, “The testes of sneakers can be up to seven times the size of the norm for the species. This is because sneakers practice sperm competition … the more sperm they release, the greater their chance of grabbing a good share of fertilisations. So, to produce more sperm, sneaker males invest into the development of big testes.” Grab it while you can little fishy with the big balls, grab it while you can.

Come to think of it, fish aren’t the only ones experiencing sperm competition. I read something once about how a gorilla has smaller penis in proportion to his body size because he essentially dominates a harem and has all the females to himself.  Chimpanzees, on the other hand, have larger penises in proportion to their bodies due to increased mating competition. So, if the sneaky fish have larger gonads, logically, the sneaking moose would have larger equipment as well. I will now test this hypothesis by searching for moose penis size on Google. Wait here….

…. okay, as you may have accurately predicted, googling ‘moose penis’ was very bad idea.  Due to my lack of primary resources, I will have to write the rest of this post based on what I already know about gonads. Now who around here would be investing in big testes? One group comes readily to mind.

How to Spot a Sneaky Fucker:

You may have read my post, “How to Improve your Karma,” in which I discuss the propensity of Texans to drive around in trucks hung with artificial ball sacs. You know… as if the truck has suddenly grown a pair of giant testicles. Since these guys, with their huge truck ball sacs, are the obviously the ones with increased capacity for mating competition, it follows that they are the sneaky fuckers. If you see a guy with balls attached to his truck, your eggs very well may be vulnerable to interception. So, watch yourself.

As a public service, I have included this t-shirt you can wear as a message to all the sneaky fuckers out there:

Another shirt that Zazzle will never let me sell. I don’t know why they hate me.

If you have a blog post for Sneaky Fucker Week, please alert me so I can include your link below. We need to make sure everyone is as informed on this situation as much as possible.

For Further Research:

The sex lives of fishes, Stéphan G. Reebs

Lucy’s Football: I’m a lover, not a fighter, and I’m really built for speed

Random Thoughts of a Plum: A project that I kind of accidentally fell into… an introduction to what will come and… Benjie: The story of a very sneaky little rascal.

Heinakroon.com: The art of kleptogamy

lahikmajoe: Duckie the quintessential sneaky fucker

Quantum Weirdness

Most people who write scientific documents start off by letting you know you are in good hands. They will tell you all about their experience, education, and expertise in order to explain why you can safely read whatever it is they have produced. I am going to start this off by letting you know that you are not in good hands. You are not safe, and it is highly likely I will carelessly drop you at any point during this process. Not only am I highly under-qualified, I am not even researching the subject matter properly. I am going to give you a bunch of half-facts I have running around in my brain from reading books written by quantum physicists and books written by hippies.

I have read the books with the math in them. Those are the practical ones, the ones with the strange looking numbers that don’t even look like numbers. I can put some of those numbers in here if it makes you feel better. In fact… here you go:

This is the uncertainty principle. Wear this, and everyone with think you are a genius. No, I don’t know what it means. Just make something up.

 

Even the practical books recognize something strange is going on here.  The very practical books tend to gloss over it and move on to something else. On the other side of the scale, you have people who say “quantum physics” then tell you to get a vision board because you can control things with your mind. Respected quantum physicists hold this side of the spectrum in extreme disregard. Even I have to admit that some of these people have certainly taken concepts and ran with them… really far. What the Bleep do We Know? and The Secret come to mind. I am automatically suspicious when information has to first be relayed in the form of a movie. There are also books, but those have too many pictures and too nice of a font. Everyone knows that all the real information is buried in tiny font next to obscure math that no one can understand.

If you slide even further down the scale, there is some woman who channels spirits. This is going way too far.  I want the world to be mystical, but not hippie-flake mystical. I will leave all of this up to you to decide. Here is the realm of quantum physics community as I see it. I have charted it for you and everything.

Now, onward to the whole quantum weirdness thing… I will present the concepts in the way I remember them. I don’t want to start looking up a lot of facts, because I will get distracted or bored and never finish this. That is what happened yesterday. You almost lost me today because I started looking at Richard Feynman quotes. Thus, the facts are secondary.  If you get confused or disoriented, go over to Heinakroon.com. Maybe Andreas can help you out.

The world is made up of all these tiny little particles called protons, electrons, and some other names. These particles are supposed to be solid but they are not. They are clouds of probability. The world is tricking you into believing it is really there. The minute you put your hand on something, the cloud solidifies beneath your fingertips, conveniently deciding to be there. The fact that these particles are little clouds of being everywhere at once is very disconcerting, mainly because I just got a new office chair. If this chair dissolves into a probably cloud, I am going to be pissed.

My new office chair

 

Also, these particles are really waves. You can shoot them out one at a time through this gadget in a double slit experiment. When you aren’t looking at them, they are waves, like light waves. When you look at them, they suddenly solidify. I imagine if they have faces they have a slightly guilty look as if they almost got caught being waves. “Oh, I was a solid thing all along,” they are probably saying.

Schrödinger tried to tell everyone that all this stuff doesn’t matter because it really doesn’t play out in real life. He made this thought experiment with a cat in a death trap and then got really pissed off because people got all fascinated by it. That is what you get Schrödinger, for bringing cats into it. This other guy put an actual person into the thought experiment, and no one even remembers him.

Einstein was upset about the probability clouds too. His whole goal of science was to study the universe to see the mind of God. When he found out God was playing dice with it, he was very dissatisfied. Personally, I knew God was messing with us the whole time. However, these particles that don’t even have the decency to really exist are admittedly a little hard to take. You can’t just be everywhere at once and then pop suddenly into place. It is highly irresponsible.

Some scientists think that all the particles pop into every possibility and that we are the irresponsible ones. They suggest that for every one of those possibilities, there is a parallel reality. When we see the particle pop into it, that becomes the reality one we are in. Therefore, it isn’t the particles that decide where to be, it is us. We are the ones dashing recklessly off into parallel universes.

Expanding this concept into everyday ordinary-sized world, just flip a coin. Did you flip it? Congratulations. You are in a new universe. The coin always lands on both sides, you see, following every possibility. It wasn’t the coin that moved: it was you. We split apart into a multitude of parallel universes every time there is more than one possible outcome. Multiple versions of yourself are looking at each outcome of the cloud of possibility you created by dropping that coin. So, if you want to stop splitting into infinite possibilities, quit flipping coins.

So, there you have it: quantum weirdness in a nutshell. Andreas is right, there are enough people holding reality together that we don’t really have to worry too much about it.** Besides, it isn’t as if the moon would cease to exist if there was no one looking at it. However, you should probably take the time to glance at it once in a while, just to be sure. I can’t because I’m too busy worrying about my office chair.

**Go to:  Save Schrödinger’s Cat  for actual facts about this topic or to save a cat… whichever.

Enjoy a life of crime, or scientific achievement, whichever.

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.

Thank you Charlie Sheen, because this phrase NEVER gets old!

Why Girls Rule and Boys Drool

Not too long ago, Andreas Heinakroon had a blog post contemplating the always-on aspect of human sexuality which has proven rare among mammals such as us.  The human animal is unusual in another aspect in that we are logically aware of the burden of reproduction: “the concept of reproducing and becoming responsible for a child for 15-20 years might cause us to hesitate to engage in any sexual activities. To counter this, our brain is flooded with sex hormones. They make us want to have sex no matter what – consequences be damned – and is essentially a logics override, making us single-track minded and focussed only on sex” (Sexy Monkey , http://heinakroon.com).

This blog post was similar to every other post this guy has on his blog in that I found the ideas behind it incredibly thought-provoking. So I responded with,” Was reading Steven Pinker, How the Mind Works. He said something about how men create great works, like scientific achievements and art, to increase their status and get the most desirable mate possible.” I think I also mentioned something about how it is ironic that home computers are used for porn. That is when @heinakroon said the words of war, “I don’t think I agree with that.” Granted, I read the book years ago and sometimes don’t remember stuff exactly right, but from that point forward, the battle was on. This was at 4am. At 4:10am, I was digging through bookshelves for that damn Steven Pinker book.

At 4:15am I was madly typing entire sections from the Steven Pinker book in order to prove to @heinakroon that every time anyone accomplishes anything of note, they are doing it for sex.

But, then I began questioning the root cause of my own intentions. What exactly is my motivation for typing from the Steven Pinker book at an odd hour?  Am I motivated by sex? Am I trying to sleep with Steven Pinker? He is very accomplished, and scientific, but I don’t even know what he looks like. Would I still want to mate with him if he has poor eyesight? Or really bad skin? Are these the types of genetic attributes I want to pass on to my next generation?

Checking the back of the book for a photo of Steven Pinker yielded no results. I contemplated a quick Internet search, but that would be sort of stalker-like activity at four in the morning. What if my husband comes in and wants to know why I am up in the dead of night looking at pictures of Steven Pinker? So, I decided that I was not typing from Steven Pinker’s book out of any kind of sexual motivation, thus putting @heinakroon ahead for the first round of debate. Then I went back to bed.

However, I would now like to revisit this scenario. Because look… Steven Pinker does not appear to have bad eyesight. Even better, he appears to have great hair, very similar to the long flowing locks of Fabio. He also has great looking skin for a Canadian.

So, the discussion is back on.

In order to prove my point, let’s allow Satoshi Kanazawa, author of Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters to propose a simple thought experiment: “Imagine a society where sex and mating were entirely a male choice; individuals have sex whenever and with whomever men want, not whenever and with whomever women want. There would be no civilization in such a society because people would not do anything beside have sex.” If Bill Gates was busy having sex with hot college girls, would he have still put together that computer?  It isn’t sex in and of itself that makes men create cool things, it is their need to impress the women they want to sleep with.

Kanazawa points out that the key consideration here is ‘female choice.’ In all species where the female makes the greater parental investment, the choice of whether or not to mate is up to the female. Women aren’t going to do it with just anybody, you at least have to have a cool car or a book out or something. Don’t take my word on this, there are plenty of people more qualified than me to support this theory, like comedian Bill Maher:

“For a man to walk into a bar and have his choice of any woman he wants, he would have to be the ruler of the world. For a woman to have the same power over men, she’d have to do her hair.”

According to Kanazawa, the power of female choice has shaped our civilization. ”Men throughout history have had to conquer foreign lands, win battles and wars, compose symphonies, author books, write sonnets, paint portraits and cathedral ceilings, make scientific discoveries, play in rock bands, and write new computer software in order to impress women so that they will agree to have sex with them.” Who wants to conquer land just to have it? It would be pretty boring in and of itself. You obviously need all that land to impress the girls that have all their teeth.

This is all good news in two very distinct and important ways.  Firstly, I was right and therefore win the argument on @heinakroon’s blog and possibly the entire Internet. Secondly, Steven Pinker wrote an entire book because he wants to get it on with me.

I wanted a shirt that said, ‘Steven Pinker thinks I’m hot,’ but he won’t answer my emails. I would feel bad making such a statement without confirmation.

So, now that we have established that I am right and everyone who does anything is probably motivated by sex, we can start making sense of the world. For example, the guy in the expensive sports car who cut me off in traffic today did so because he totally wants to have sex with me. He is showing off his assertive driving skills to gain my attention. Of course, I am not easily seduced with a fancy car and assertive driving. You will also need to have long flowing hair like Steven Pinker. Or, maybe if you are good at sports I will reconsider.

In my next posts on this topic, Satoshi Kanazawa will describe the similarities in criminals and geniuses. Also, Steven Pinker will explain how your brain is working against you. In the meantime, keep an eye on it.

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