Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Why Does A Rabbit Run Faster Than A Fox?..

The 1976 book The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawk...Image via Wikipedia Why does a rabbit run faster than a fox? Because while the fox is running for his dinner, the rabbit is running for his life.

I'm currently rereading Richard Dawkins's book The Selfish Gene. I don't think I'm exaggerating to say it redefined how we think about culture and business by thinking deeply about things like rabbits, foxes and cuckoo birds. (It was in this book that he coined the term, meme).

In simple terms, rabbits that are born slow are more likely to get eaten, enlarging the proportion of fast rabbits in the gene pool. Foxes who are fast enough to catch the slowest rabbits survive and continue to propagate, but only need to be fast enough to stay well fed. If foxes became too efficient or rabbits became to slow, neither would survive. All of rabbits would get eaten and the foxes would either starve or have to seriously change their business model.

The book it packed with mindful, illuminating examples and explores and explodes much woolly thinking. A landmark book and well worth the read.

One of my favourite quotes is this: there are so many insects in the world that to a good approximation all species are insects.

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