Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Media and Negative Sum Games

Ideally we assume that conflicts are zero sum games, that is, if two parties A and B are in conflict then one of them has to be a bad guy and other one has to be the good guy. This belief is very much reflected in popular media these days. Most movies and books have sharp characters, either all good or all bad, to make easy for the viewer or the reader to understand the plot. But real life is different.

Although the average smart human may not exactly confuse a greyish situation for a black-white one, but as time progresses the minor details of the conflict gets eroded from collective memory of humanity and eventually what remains is very close to a black and white situation and the gradient is lost somewhere in either the lack of content or abundance of it.

How come when you write on a page and the pen stops working it won'twork again on that spot after fixing it

The ball-point of the pen requires friction to roll it and make it apply ink. Once you try to use it(showing it's already getting gummed up inside and requires even more friction than usual) and drag the dry ball over the paper, you're basically smoothing the fibers in the paper down (picture running a steamroller over a field of hay, but on a microscopic level) and greatly reducing the friction.

Long strokes to get the ink going help with this a lot.

Why do Desert Tortoises release all bodily fluids when they're nervous/scared when Water is scarce in the desert?

Many animals defecate when scared as part of a predator defense mechanism. Often this is especially bad smelling, sticky, forceful, or slippery. You see this is reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. It could easily be due to this, or as part of a relic behavior.

A note on all the conversation about mutations on this page. Mutations do not have to be beneficial to persist, they have to not be harmful. This is a really important point in evolution that's often phrased incorrectly. It's not really, " Survival of the fittests," as it is, "*Death of the least fit*."

It's really more "on average death of the contextually less fit and reproduction of the contextually more fit."