Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tone down the material arms race

If all male elk could decide to, say, halve the size of their antlers it would benefit the species as a whole. Those with the largest antlers would still maintain their advantage in fighting for mates, but the species as a whole would be less vulnerable to predators. Of course, Frank realises that elk are not in a position to make such decisions, but he believes humans can learn from the paradox. For instance, Americans often feel obliged to organise expensive and lavish wedding celebrations as a result of social pressure. If everyone agreed to scale down their weddings then the whole


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