Re: poly: The Handicap Principle

From: Robin Hanson <>
Date: Mon Jun 08 1998 - 15:04:28 PDT

Hal writes:
>I've only read the first 20 or so pages, but the book is well written
>and has many provocative examples. The authors don't shrink from applying
>their principles to human interactions, which adds interest but also makes
>it easier to question their explanations.
>It seems to me that they are overreaching in some cases, applying their
>principle in ways which don't seem completely convincing.

They are definitely overreaching in many cases. But perhaps that is part
of the charm of their approach; rather than limit themselves to what
they can prove in narrow areas, they speculate more wildly about wide areas,
in order to give flesh to a grand vision. I sure wish I could get away
with that in my academic publications :-).

>If bluffing is possible, it is necessary to call the bluff occasionally
>or else it will become common. Perhaps the authors will discuss this
>further in the rest of the book.

I haven't seem them discuss it yet, and I doubt they will.

Robin Hanson
RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-2627
Received on Mon Jun 8 22:28:52 1998

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