Getting there

Clearly the meme is sinking in. And all it takes in those circles is for one elite to grasp it sufficiently, because they all attend dinner parties. So when Jack Ma begins talking about r/K and explaining it to a party, everybody stops and listens in rapt attention. In retrospect, it is not surprising it is spreading like this. Understanding r/K is actually a sign of intellect, and a way to social signal, even as it improves your competitive ability.

As this article shows, many leave such discussions at social events and immediately begin implementing it at their companies. And all of them will, when they want rapt attention at the next dinner party, begin relating the idea themselves to social signal their wolf status, show their cutting edge early adoption of an idea that will eventually be known everywhere. It even makes them into the center of attention of their peers so their social status and name recognition will grow as well.

r/K is perfect for such conversational domination, because it is so interlinked intellectually in so many diverse fields, and it comports so readily with so many things people have always known were connected, even if they never saw how. You can talk for hours, as your listeners are regaled again and again with the simple explanations for things they have always known, but never understood.

I will say this isn’t how I saw this working though. Back in my supremely ignorant days, I imagined the leaders of Conservatism Inc in America would want the rapt attention of their readers, so they would serve to them the interesting utility of r/K Theory, both to reward them for their loyal readership or listening, and to make sure their fans knew they gained value for their fanship, and thus would remain loyal to each Conservatism, Inc outlet. Or maybe they would just want to be the most interesting conservative in the public sphere, who shared the idea first, and to whom others would then look for more cutting edge ideas. From there, I saw it spreading like wildfire, and altering American culture to make us more competitive and more aggressive, so America would dominate.

Anonymous Conservative
The Elites Know About r/K Theory

For some reason this reminds me of that time my flashlight wasn’t working. I tried taking the batteries out and rubbing them in my hands to warm them up, hoping to get a little extra life out of them and presto, the light comes on bright as day. I looked at the batteries to see if there was anything wrong with them and it turns out I’d accidentally put them in backward, with the plus and minus switched. Funny how things work out different than you expect sometimes.

About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
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15 Responses to Getting there

  1. Aeoli Pera says:

    They already know. See my post on Chrono Trigger.

    • Flights of Fancy says:

      Yep. Though I wonder how much is them actually knowing vs tapping into genetic archetypes.

        • Flights of Fancy says:

          Well not necessarily. I remember when I first found Koanic and I realized all the characters in a Novella I was writing fit all his archetypes perfectly. Almost like some hidden force had constructed them in my mind.

          Another example is when Saps gets nuts when a Thal is operating a peak capacity. Ive had a few blurt out “You’re just a Thal” before and they have no idea what a Neanderthal even is.

  2. Allyn71 says:

    R-K Selection is pseudo-science. It is obvious why the author is ‘Anonymous’, this is a pure and simple restatement of Social Darwinism. Psychology is a science; this is anti science propaganda written solely to support the author’s political agenda. The author’s lack of understanding of the basic principles of behavioral and brain sciences, and inability to think outside the box of his/her obvious biases, is apparent within the first few pages. Although the author lists many references, the titles appear to have been selected purely to provide an air of legitimacy, not based on an understanding (at any level) of their content. I am sure this must be a favorite of Fox “News” fans as it is at much the same level. As someone who has taught Evolutionary Psychology, and considers this an area of expertise, I shudder at the impression this creates. I am unsure what to do with this ‘book’ now that I have it since it is too insubstantial to function effectively as a paperweight.
    A footnote: The simplest way to debunk the notion that Anonymous is presenting a scientifically valid evolutionary theory, without using too much science, is to examine chimpanzees, our closest living relative. Both species of chimpanzee (the common chimp and the Bonobo) carry about 99% of the same genes we do, and both (based on number of offspring and investment in them) must be classified as K selected. Common chimps are often violent and maintain a strict dominance hierarchy, even to the extent of warring with (and even killing) their neighbors; whereas the Bonobo is peace loving and promiscuous, generally settling disagreements by having sex. The authors total lack of understanding of basic differences between r and K selected species is apparent in his designation of K selected species as predators and r selected species as prey. The concepts of r and K selection are based on differences in parental investment and are applied at a species or population level; r selected species tend to be short lived and produce large batches of offspring all at once, K selected species tend to be longer lived and produce smaller numbers of offspring over a longer period of time. The author wants instead to apply r and K designations to different individuals within the same populations of the same species, and often appears to conflate numbers of offspring produced by members of a species with the total number of members of a species observed (more = prey), although this appears to be a deliberate distortion it is possible that Anonymous is simply ignorant of the established use of r and K selection. So many species violate Anonymous’ approach to classification,however, that it is difficult to understand how the author could have come to this conclusion.. Applying this principle would mean that elephants, giraffes, gorillas, many antelopes and other herbivores … etc etc etc which are K selected should be classified as predators. The author’s total lack of understanding of evolution is apparent in their use of the term de-evolution … there is no such thing, Evolution occurs when some genes become more prevalent because animals with those genes survive and reproduce better than others … it is a response to the environment organisms are exposed to, Whales lost their legs and gained flippers because it was advantageous for them to do so … if the oceans began to dry up legs could be selected for again! This is NOT de-evolution … simply an evolutionary response to a changing environment. The term de-evolution assumes there is a hierarchy of evolution with some species being ‘more evolved’ than others, and assumes that more complex is some how better. This is absurd. Sharks are more ‘primitive’ in their design than whales because their design was successful, once it evolved it did not require change. Are there any terms in the title I missed? … this is not a book about science. Science uses rules for collecting and presenting data to ensure that the information presented is valid. When you redefine the terms being used (e.g. r and K selection, evolution, etc) to fit your agenda you can no longer claim to be presenting science. ONE final comment. The author appears to be fond of attacking negative reviews by stating the reviewers are not using science …. but does not ONCE support ANY specific statement in their own book by directing the reader to a specific scientific reference that could be used to check the accuracy of the absurd conjectures presented. The author instead uses smoke and mirrors by listing a number of apparently relevant references to mask their ignorance (or deliberate misrepresentation) of the content of these references.

    • Thud says:

      Psychology is not a science.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      You’ve made a couple of useful criticisms, but also much of this is empty deconstructionism. We’re agreed that K-selection refers not to postion in the food chain, but to reproduction patterns.

      Your criticism that there is no such thing as de-evolution is absurd, which you ought to know from IQ research. An amoeba is more primitive than a human, the rest is details.

      Whether the model is scientific or not is literally immaterial. The salient questions are whether it is useful, true, and supported by evidence. I say yes on all three counts, with the provision that he’s got a lot of details backwards to support his weird combination of Nietzschean morality and conservative pandering.

  3. Sockem then Rockem says:

    Now all we need is Gamma to enter the lexicon.

  4. Post Alley Crackpot says:

    A funny thing happens on the way to mass acceptance of a “useful model” …

    At some point a model that might have once been considered “academic” reaches enough critical awareness in certain circles that it slips into everyday discourse.

    That’s where we are with r/K theory.

    While it’s clear that from an archetypal point-of-view that r/K theory has some holes in it, what makes it especially compelling for conversation is that everyday anecdotal evidence shows that it works well enough as a stereotypical point-of-view.

    People are using it in a way that says, “OK, I know this is a flawed model, but it actually does a decent job of mapping to the world I can observe around me, and so in lieu of a better model that has clean archetypes and universality, I can still use this to get what I need to know” …

    And so instead of taking the stance that the model can be rejected because it isn’t abstract, archetypal, or universal enough, the reasonable approach many are taking is that it’s “good enough” and will perhaps help get us to a better working model.

    In the meantime, in terms of stereotypes, the mapping of this particular map to potential territories offers plenty of very damning real-world examples.

    Yes, SI Hayakawa said “the map is not the territory”, but that doesn’t prevent the map from being reasonably accurate about what to expect within the territory itself …

    That is why stereotypes are difficult to defeat in the first place.

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