Wednesday Round Up #9

Tit-for-Tat, Game Theory and the Like

Michael Shermer, The Doping Dilemma
The rationality of doping—through game theory

Jim Rilling et al., The Neural Correlates of the Affective Response to Unreciprocated Cooperation
Anterior insula, left hippocampus, and left lingual gyrus light up when you are getting screwed (pdf)

Jim Rilling et al., A Neural Basis for Social Cooperation
Cooperating in the Prisoner’s Dilemma game lights up the reward centers! (pdf)

Jake Young, The Ruthlessness ‘Gene’ –or- Four Caveats in Interpreting Behavioral Genetics Studies
The Dictator Game, genes and mechanism, and media sensationalism

Ken Binmore, Review of Axelrod’s The Complexity of Cooperation
The tit-for-tat strategy is over-rated

Wendy Grossman, New Tack Win’s Prisoner’s Dilemma
Social recognition and team play wins hands-down…

Tully, Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem
Social choice theory, ranked preferences, and the failure of individual-based theories

Research Digest Blog, How Group Cooperation Varies Between Cultures
“students from less democratic countries like Saudi Arabia, Oman and Belarus tended to punish not only free-loaders, but also cooperative players, with the result that cooperation in their groups plummeted”

Joseph Henrich et al., Costly Punishment Across Human Societies
Pdf of the 2006 Science paper on the cross-cultural propensity to punish cheaters based on ultimatum and third-party punishment games

Mark Gimein, The Eligible-Bachelor Paradox
“How economics and game theory explain the shortage of available, appealing men”—grab hold of a good one and don’t let go…

Aging: Evolution and More

Neuroscientifically Challenged, Trying to Make Evolutionary Sense of Menopause
Good summary of previous debates, plus coverage of a new theory: avoiding female reproductive competition

Nicholas Wade, Why We Die, Why We Live: A New Theory on Aging
Reproduction and parenting combine in setting the lifecourse

Shripad Tuljapurkar et al., Why Men Matter: Mating Patterns Drive Evolution of Human Lifespan
Patterns of male fertility shape lifespan as well: “old-age male fertility provides a selective force against autosomal deleterious mutations at ages far past female menopause” (PLoS article)

Atul Gawande, The Way We Age Now
Medicine, aging, and understanding—a long piece from the New Yorker

Michael Kinsley, Mine Is Longer Than Yours: The Last Boomer Game
Selfish people, not genes—baby boomers compete at the aging game

Michelle Slatalla, How To Live Longer Without Even Trying
“Eat less. Make family a priority. Banish stress.” Very funny discussion of staying in the “blue zone” and our obsession with healthy lifestyles


Dienekes’ Anthropology Blog, Skin Color Evolution in Europeans and Social Skin Color vs. Disease in Puerto Ricans
Pale skin color as possibly a very late evolutionary phenomenon, 6000-12000 years ago; yet socially it still makes a difference in stress and disease (social classification matters, not actual skin color)

Marilyn Marchione, Risk of Depression Dims Hopes for Anti-addiction Pills
Drugs to block pleasure and desire lead to some obvious outcomes—life becomes dimmer and less engaging…

Randolph Schmid, Study says near extinction threatened people 70,000 years ago
Mitochondrial DNA studies indicates a severe bottleneck, perhaps as low as 2,000 individuals

Roger Highfield, Brands Names ‘As Old As Civilisation Itself’
Mesopotamians and their Nikes…

Adam Benforado and Jon Hanson, Naïve Cynicism in Election 2008: Dispositionism v. Situationism?
Situational thinking more accurate, less respected… Or, why Obama gets grief while McCain is a maverick (and for something funny, see Dr. X)

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