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Gurgaon India
Evolutionary Psychology
Mar 25, 2006 09:27 PM 1935 Views
(Updated Mar 25, 2006 09:27 PM)

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I love my iPod Nano.


It's a beautiful machine. It's insanely expensive. Is it unique? No. Can I blow more than 10K just for looks? NO. But I have it and I love it.


Logic has got nothing to do with it. It's evolutionary psychology - how can fight my own genes??


I mean, there is no reason why should it become a cult in India. If you're living in the west (western nation, that is, not aamchi Mumbai!), you have an iTunes store handing out songs at dirt cheap rate, iPod stores everywhere, laser-etching, home delivery...the works. Form combined with functionality aided by ease of purchase and use. You had a hit, snow-balling into, in the mysterious manner that they do, a cult.


Take India - you have nothing such. No iTunes store selling Euphoria, a belated sales attempt, and perhaps the only company that ignores India completely. You have competitors like Sony, iRiver that not only come cheaper, but have more features. And seriously nobody can make out the difference in sound quality - audiophiles be damned!


And yet I shell out 15K and get a sleek black one. Why?


Evolutionary psychology silly! Basically what is says that at some base-level how you behave can be traced back to how your species behaved to evolve and come up trumps in survival game. The strongest male got everything - best food, best care, all the females in the clan. All that the weaker male could hope to get was a spear stuck up theirs. I may be simplifying, but I hope you get the point.


But it was mostly about females - they make your genes live as your kids. Now you could not always keep on spearing other males down to show you were the alpha - besides being silly, it would be tiring. And wasteful. So material possession symbolized that. You had the best animal skins to wear (PETA was not yet form) and the best spear (iPod had not been invented. imagine, for those chumps, spear was height of technical innovation!). The best spear-holder got the best females (I know what you are thinking - its not only not original, its blatantly obvious).


Fast-forward a couple or more millennia, and you get a world where fur is looked down upon and spearing other males is illegal. How, in the world are you supposed to catch attention of all the females and make sure you genes continue to wreck havoc for some time to come?


Symbolism comes to your rescue again - you go ahead and buy the latest gizmo, never mind its actual use to you. Anything for the propagation of genes. That's how evolution has wired us. I LOVE MY iPOD.


P.S. The only problem is, I turn around quite frequently, but I have yet to see a horde of females, or even a single one, with a hungry look in her eyes.


P.P.S. The reason I am walking alone is that I tried using the evolutionary psychology bit to my (ex)girlfriend as to why males are naturally polygamous. The lump in head that she gave me still hurts.


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