HUMOR: Evolutionary explanations

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Fri, 18 Dec 1998 15:19:56 -0600 wrote:
> 4th RUNNER-UP (Subject: Probability Theory)
> If an infinite number of rednecks riding in an infinite number of pickup
> trucks fire an infinite number of shotgun rounds at an infinite number
> of highway signs, they will eventually produce all the world's great
> literary works in Braille.

"If an infinite number of monkeys sat at an infinite number of typewriters, they would eventually produce the complete works of Shakespeare. Do the same with humans, and you get USENET. Score: Monkeys 1, humans 0."

> 3rd RUNNER-UP (Subject: Bio-Mechanics)
> Why Yawning Is Contagious: You yawn to equalize the pressure on your
> eardrums. This pressure change outside your eardrums unbalances other
> people's ear pressures, so they then yawn to even it out.

Personal theory: Synchronizes tribal sleep cycles so that everyone is up and moving at the same time.

More evolutionary psychology:

Why do men stand staring into the refrigerator, while women move things around to look behind? The men are acting out "hunter" instincts; they freeze motionless so that the ketchup will eventually venture out and get caught. The women are acting out "gatherer" instincts, searching under rocks for ketchup packets or just remembering where the ketchup plant was last time.

(And don't tell me anything about "Man mighty hunter, woman mere gatherer" stereotypes. If this bothers you, you've fallen for male propaganda. If women were hunters and men were gatherers, gathering would be a big macho deal and hunting would be women's work.)

--         Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.