Don’t Play Poker With…
This not so much science as natural history. Observe the behavior of the fauna in the wild.
Or perhaps this is science, or at least an illustration of the kind of observation on which scientific ideas rest. Consider this quote:
I should premise that I use the term Struggle for Existence in a large and metaphorical sense, including dependence of one being on another, and including (which is more important) not only the life of the individual, but success in leaving progeny. Two canine animals in a time of dearth, may be truly said to struggle with each other which shall get food and live.
That Charles Darwin fella kinda had a thought or two in his head.
One Bear goes extinct, and a more lupine creature feasts on its carcase.
File this one variously: The Struggle for Existence (the title of the chapter of The Origin from which the quote above was taken); Homo hominis lupus est, (with a nod to my man Tommy Hobbes); or perhaps in the Gordon Gecko file, under the subhead, “The Rich Get Richer (
even the ones that fail).”
And yes, this all pretty much an excuse to link to the ur-Darwin text one more time. It’s never a bad moment to read a little of what the Devil’s chaplain had to say.
Update: I’d temper my snark about wealth immune to risk because while it is certainly true that people like Bear Stearns chairman “Ace” Greenberg have done OK over the years, but there are a lot of folks out there less well cushioned to the blow. They’re grownups, risk is risk, and Wall Street is not for the faint of heart…but still, it’s a very bad day for a lot of folks, and I do not want too dance to hard to other folks’ dirges. (h/t Atrios)
Update 2 (March 24, 2008): Maybe you can play poker w. JP after all. Perhaps there was a reason Bear Stearns managed to maintain the third highest average compensation average of the big players on Wall Street as recently as 2006. (h/t Atrios)
Image: Alfred Wierusz-Kowalski, “Wilki podczas zamieci” [AKA -- your guess is as good as mine, unless you have some Polish competence handy], 1910. Source: Wikimedia CommonsExplore posts in the same categories: Arithmetic, Darwin, Economic follies, Nature red in tooth and claw, Schadenfreude comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.