Re: poly: Why Oldies Stations?

From: Robin Hanson <>
Date: Fri Apr 03 1998 - 10:10:22 PST

Curt Adams writes:
>How about plain 'ol diminishing returns? After having evaluated
>dozens of food styles, hundreds of restaurants, and thousands of
>dishes, my expected gain from evaluating a new possibility is far
>less than it was when I was just starting out.

This is reasonable in principle, but I find it hard to see this
explaining why do people so dramatically front-load their exploration,
instead of spreading it out over their lives. Why don't kids just
listen to their parent's oldies station, to start out with already
filtered stuff?, and then slowly explore other options.

Maybe it helps to contrast music & food with other areas where kids
at first just do what their parents do, and then slowly change.
Consider styles of driving a car, of doing math, of mowing the law.
Here kids first styles seem pretty close to attempts to model
adults styles, rather than attempts to be as different as possible.

>To elaborate on 2), many activities, particularly fashion, play a
>role in sexual selection. If one has already made a mate choice,
>it may make sense to redirect efforts away from such fields.

I'm glad you mentioned this; I realized I forgot to add it on the way
home last night. But then the interesting question is what is it
exactly about being up one the latest food and music fashions that
makes a mate attractive? Does it signal that one is socially connected
and hence popular, and hence likely to have other attractive qualities?

Robin Hanson
RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-8614
Received on Fri Apr 3 18:15:55 1998

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