Thursday, 22 February 2018

The Temperature Is Too Damn Low

It's too cold. I came home this afternoon and snuggled up on the couch with Neil Gaiman's American Gods until it was time to cook supper.

Discovered this guy on Tidal.

You know where heaven is? It's a bar you walk into, and the band sound like this, everyone's friendly, and you get relaxed but not drunk, and when they stop playing, it's way past midnight.

Monday, 19 February 2018

What I Got Out of the Basquiat Exhibition, Boom For Real

Anonymous asked me what I got out of the Basquiat exhibition, Boom For Real, at the Barbican. And when I started this, I had read a bit of the latest Art Monthly, and that contained a review of the exhibition.

Artworld reviews have a number of rules, and one is: the greater the reputation of the artist, the higher their auction prices, the less it’s considered au fait to ascribe political motives and meaning to their work, or to judge it against the political requirements of the bien penseurs’ bien pensants. Bringing issues of Jewish identity to reviews of Mark Rothko would be simply crass, and the reviewer that did it might never be invited back. An artist starting on their career is going to get the full treatment, in which the slightest brushstroke will ‘challenge notions of (insert identity politics straw man here)’.

Basquiat has made the auction prices. He will never be in the Great Museums, but every serious and fabulously rich collector has their Basquiat. He is one of the few artists who is a success in the market without needing the validation of being exhibited in the temples of contemporary art. People who know visual imagery like his work and buy it. I was surprised to learn that Patrick Demarchelier has one, because his glossy, well-lit, kind and gentle style is the antithesis of Basquiat’s. So he should be hors de merde politique, but Art Monthly seems to think not.

Art Monthly is wrong. Basquiat does not need politics to contextualise his work. If you want to do that, watch Downtown 82 and Julien Schnabel’s movie. If you want to understand how his work made the hit it did, you will need to know about the 1980’s New York art market, and there’s enough about that in Basquiat: A Quick Killing In Art. The exhibition covered as much as a visitor needed to know, leaving them to wonder who 'Boone’ was that they should be so nastily portrayed.

There is a group of creative people who stand as a judge of their audience, rather than the audience standing in judgement of them. J S Bach, Ravel, Debussy, John Coltrane, Raymond Chandler, Henry James, Leonardo da Vinci... you get the idea. You can like or dislike their work, but if you think it’s bad that just proves you don’t know squat about music, or painting, or literature, or whatever. And yes, it is possible to not like a body of work, while accepting that it is important and good work. For a long-ish time, that was my position on Basquiat. I could see he had the touch. Look at one of his paintings and it won’t “go away”, it won’t fade in your visual field. The damn thing stays there and keeps bringing your eye back to it.

Others have borrowed the style, but they don’t quite get the sublime confidence that comes out of every one of Basquiat’s jagged marks.

It’s that sense of sheer confidence that I get from his work, and it’s like having a glass of cold Coca-Cola on a hot day. Papa Hemingway said that “the first draft of anything is shit”, and that’s the curse of literary production. Basquiat found a way of making a first draft - and one I’m sure he thought about and planned before starting - that was good enough. Hip-hop is not about polish but the spontenaity of performance, after a lot of practice out of the public eye. Inspired by that, Basquiat started somewhere and added bits here and there until the painting was enough. His paintings feel as if painted in one session with no going back - much as the best early hip-hop feels it was recorded in one take. Thought about and with bits prepared, but put together once and once done, over, never to be repeated.

There’s a scene between Rene Ricard and JMB in the movie goes like this:

RR: “It’s Benny, he wants to know why you’re not at band practice.”
JMB: “Oh man I forgot”
RR: “You’re a musician, you paint in your spare time. Like Tony Bennett?”
JMB: “I didn’t know Tony Bennett painted.”
RR: “My point exactly.”

Were those Ricard’s feelings or Schnabel’s? That the music and other work was a distraction from his painting? Schnabel’s movie talks a lot about ‘painting’ and ‘painters’, but not so much about artists. It misses the point, which is that Basquiat had, for a few brief years, the touch, in whatever he did. There’s a subtle distinction between a musician who also paints - think Miles Davis or Joni Mitchell - and an artist who paints and makes music, and puts together a garden and designs plates. An artist works in many media, as Schnabel himself turned to making movies and writing a book. Basquiat was an artist who happened to major in painting, and made music and social-critcism graffiti as well.

So to the paintings on show. My main reservation about the pictures in the exhibition as that there were too many with white backgrounds. Like Yves Klein, who is better in blue, Basquiat is at his best when he uses colours as a base for the painting. His sense of colour is unique and striking, and in the end, it’s why I’d want one on the wall. Right opposite a Cranach the Elder and a Hals group portrait.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Push and Pull Immigration

There’s a joke about California. One day someone tilted the Earth to the West, and everybody who couldn’t hang on fell into California. The Americans who don’t live in California think it’s funny.

Except maybe it’s not a joke? Maybe between 1880 and 1920 someone tilted the world to the West, and everyone in Europe who couldn’t hold on fell into America. How did that work? Europe had some hard times at the end of the nineteenth century. Maybe the capable people in small towns and villages got together and asked: which of the men are we going to be carrying next time it gets bad? Which of the women are bitching and moaning instead of being pleasant and useful? Okay guys, pony up for their fares: we’re going to send them to the USA. Really. Pieter in the next village tells me they did it last year, and look how well they’d doing now.

In the same way Castro loaded his boats with criminals and social undesirables, tossed in a few grandmothers and babies as seasoning, and shipped the lot off to Miami. Twice, in two different decades.

In the same way the English for a few decades packed their criminals off to Australia and America before that.

In the same way the NGOs toured round the Middle East and Mid-Africa in the second half of 2015 and for much of 2016, telling the village leaders that a lorry would be coming through in a couple of weeks to take anyone who wanted to go to Europe. No charge. All paid for by some charity. Older people won’t make the journey. The elders did a double-take, and rounded up every man who couldn’t keep his hands off twelve year-olds or other men’s wives, every useless jerk and petty criminal, tossed them into the lorry with the worst of their whining women, and waved them bye-bye. Send money, the elders said, and don’t even think about coming back.

That’s Push Immigration. When the home country puts the people it doesn’t want on the bus to anywhere and waves goodbye. I suspect it happens at rare periods in history. This being one of them.

Pull Immigration is the English bringing over the Irish to build the railways in the mid-nineteenth century, or the Jamaicans to drive the buses and underground trains in the 1950’s, or the Americans bringing in the Chinese to build the railways, or the Germans bringing in Turks as Gastarbieters in the 1950’s. It’s universities and businesses sponsoring people from other countries to work, or employment agencies bringing over EU workers to the UK to work in construction, and it’s immigration campaigns such as the Australians ran in the 1950’s and 1960’s. And there’s a small amount of talented, hard-working people who are attracted by the greater opportunities in another country and move there legally to take their chance.

Then there are illegal immigrants, drawn to a neighbouring economy because they think they can make better money there, but who don’t have sponsors to bring them in legally. Are these Push or Pull? The test is fairly simple: if they bring their families with them, it’s Pull. If the family is back home, either expecting to be remitted cash or to be called when the family member has managed to work themselves into a legal position to bring the rest of their family over, that’s Push.

Pull immigration solves a short-term problem, but nobody asks what the immigrants are going to do once their task is done. When economies are growing, there will be other work for them. When economies are stagnant, or growing without adding employment, Pull immigrants become a problem, however, one that the Pulling country created itself. You’d’ve thought Governments would have learned by now.

Push immigration is almost always a problem from the start. After all, there’s no obvious need for the people, and no obvious jobs for them to take. Except low-paid unskilled jobs. There are no career paths, and little chance of each successive generation doing better than its parents. And their method of arrival is usually illegal, so they are criminals the moment they cross the border.

The only way out for either is economic assimilation. Social, cultural or religious assimilation is irrelevant: nobody cares about how other people worship, or their views on diet or dress, and if they only want to marry within their own. Economic assimilation is what matters. And Western economies - because that’s what we’re talking about here - pose a serious challenge. Western jobs require years of education to get, and a very specific set of behaviours to keep and do well in. Men must be prepared to work with, and even be managed by, women. Women must be prepared to work in the rougher, results-oriented and focussed manner of men. At work the newcomers must think in a thoroughly Western manner about commercial institutions, contracts, agreements, honesty, systems, materials and processes. Those who can’t - European or not - don’t do well and will eventually get the feeling that they are tolerated rather than respected by the productive core of the employees. At that point the sensible ones leave, the cynical ones carry on taking the money until they are eased out, and the insecure and unstable start with the SJW stuff.

In other words, for immigrants to do well in a Western economy, they have to be Westernised from 8 A.M. to 6 P.M. Some cultures can work that trick, but those that can’t or won’t do it get more, not less, alienated from their host economy with each succeeding generation. It’s worth noticing that this last point applies as much to people who were born in the country, as to those who enter it. Assimilation is something each native-born child has to do, and while most of them succeed, some do fail.

Monday, 12 February 2018


(It’s Objectives time at work. Thousands of people are filling in online forms with no more than five objectives and two measures each, to be spread across five areas of the business. It takes a least two iterations to get used to it. I take a day to work at home to do the darn thing as it takes that long to get into the right mind-set and jargon. This was me blowing off steam.)

Every year a Bro must set out his Brojectives. To help you do this, we’ve developed a structured framework around the Six Key Values of a Bro. These are:

1. Bench Press
2. Deadlifts
3. Squats
4. Diet
5. Work
6. Social Life

Your objective for the first three should be to do more than you did last year. More weight and more reps. Unless you have grey hair, when simply doing as much as you did last year will be enough. But then, no Bro has grey hair.

The goal for your Diet should be: eat more chicken, and cut down on the salad. One lettuce leaf is enough for a salad. Eating too much salad takes away valuable space from chicken. If you’re a vegetarian, remember that chicken is a vegetable.

Work. You need a goal for work. Get a job, for instance. Or one that pays enough for your gym fees, chicken, protein shakes, and somewhere to sleep when you’re not in the gym or at work.

Social Life. Hanging with your Bros doesn’t count, since you will be training when you do that. Social life is when your girlfriend insists you go with her to a movie about vampires, or take her out for a meal where you have to watch her eat unnatural food groups like cheesecake. Since you could be training or making overtime during this social life, your objective should be to reduce it. By at least twenty per cent. Try to convince her that eating Dominos while watching you do pull-ups is a dinner-date. Let me know how that works out.

So there you are. Brojectives made easy. Please submit your Brojectives for sign-off by the end of the month.

(With props to Dom Mazetti)

Thursday, 8 February 2018

January 2018 Diary

As if 2018 is a real year, and not something that was in a Dan Dare comic.

Somewhere towards the end of 2017 I started to slow down and started to rush home. I cut short my gym routine to make sure I caught a certain train from Waterloo. But once I got home, I had no energy to focus on doing anything useful.

So I started 2018 with the intention of hitting the gym Tuesdays and Thursdays, going to a Meeting Wednesdays, and working five days except when I need to be home for workmen, or perhaps just need a break from commuting. To make myself do that, I decided I’d have something to eat after the gym as a reward and an incentive, to help build the habit. Also to dodge the 18:00 - 19:00 trains and to lose that hour at home when I’d just mooch around. So when I get home, it’s around 20:00, and I set up for the next morning and climb into bed by about 20:45. All those meals may sound expensive, but, I’m not going to the movies at £16 a shot, nor do I drink, smoke or go out. And I’m just having a main and coffee. Okay. A dessert when I try somewhere new. So frankly I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

I’ve been busy on a project, and the long think-piece posts I’ve done recently. Those take way more time to write than it takes to read. What takes the time is setting down all the junk thoughts, the easy thoughts and the confused thoughts, and then getting rid of them.

I’m almost at the end of S2 of House, which I’m enjoying. Movies - phut! Haven’t been in the mood for novels, but I have been scanning through a book on p-adic numbers now and again. And reading three or four pages of Hegel’s Aesthetics at bedtime. I’ll be done by the end of February.

It’s too damn cold or wet at the weekends, so I’m doing very little. The advantage of going to the gym on Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon is that it gives me the sense that I’ve done something active both days. Which of course I have.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Bad Behaviour is Morally Bad Behaviour, Not Evolved Bad Behaviour

My disagreement with the Red Pill is not over the facts of women’s behaviour. Lord knows it was a relief all those years ago to find out I Wasn't The Only One who saw what I saw.

The Red Pill view is that solipsism, selective hypo-agency and hypergamy are evolutionary hard-wired behaviours and that women are no more responsible for acting that way than beavers are for building dams. What I see as reprehensible opportunism, it sees as, well, sneezing. The problem with this is that evolution, which is concerned with DNA modifications, does not affect cultural behaviours, which are not only not determined by DNA but are almost completely independent of it. I’ve discussed this in a previous post, and to summarise the conclusion
Because sexual selection has no correlation with evolutionary advantage, contemporary human behaviour is not the result of thousands of years of evolutionary fine-tuning. There is no evolutionary rationale for your neighbour’s cockolding wife: she has no idea whether the Bad Boy impregnating her has more dominant genes than her faithful provider Beta husband. That’s just evo-porn for the masses. Hypergamy, cuckolding, testing for social dominance and all the rest may help determine present advantage, but have no evolutionary efficacy beyond chance. DNA doesn’t work like that.
So let’s de-theorise some of this. ‘Solipsism’ in this context means two things: first, that seeing other people’s actions as if they acted for the same reasons one would if one were in that situation; second, only giving weight to one's own reasons and purposes, while the needs and purposes of other people are irrelevant. The solipsist is the only person who matters in their world. In plain English, this is a mixture of selfishness, projection and lack of experience and understanding.

‘Selective hypo-agency’ is simply a rationalisation tactic. They did something bad or ill-judged? They ‘made a mistake’, someone else was to blame, they were distracted, they didn’t have all the information they needed, sometimes good people do bad things, and so on. But only when it’s to their advantage.

‘Hypergamy’ is the chronic feeling that one could have done better and still could. In marketing-speak, it’s buyer’s regret. If only they had waited, they might have had a chance at someone better. Buyer’s regret is caused by a continuing review of what’s on the market. The only way to avoid it is to stop looking once one has made one's choice. But the hypergamist can’t. Because they doesn’t trust their decision, and that’s because they doesn’t trust themsleves to make a good judgement about partners, or probably anything else. Hypergamy comes from a chronic insecurity.

Selfishness, rationalisation, chronic insecurity: these sound like personality flaws and moral failings, and are especially linked to Cluster B’s. It’s a mistake is to look for an explanation for these flaws and failings. That would play right into the hypoagency trap. They can’t help it because reasons and you should accept the results. Whether Cluster B traits have a basis in genetics is morally irrelevant: the actor has legal agency, and gets moral agency as a consequence.

My view that these are moral failings rather than evolved universal behaviours leads me to commend men to step away from the crazy, and also to the view that a majority of women will not consistently show these behaviours. That would seem to contradict the Red Pill position, which holds that All Women Are Like That, but it doesn’t quite.

It’s one thing to say that Not All Women Have Personality Disorders, and another to say that a lot of women will start acting out if their partner fails to meet some basic standards of attention-provision, security-provision, and immediate, direct feedback.

That acting out is not evolved behaviour, it’s immaturity. An adult has the self-awareness and honesty to explain what is wrong, and the tact to do so in a manner that avoids shaming and blaming. At least that's what the relationship counsellors hold up as the ideal.

Adult behaviour is a lot easier when there’s little or no neurotic emotional investment in the relationship. If you don’t have any, or only very low-level, neuroses, all your relationships will be adult, transactional, and risk-managed, and you won’t be married, as marriage fails the risk-management test. To be married at all means there’s a neurosis there somewhere just waiting to turn her into a facsimile of a Cluster B in full effect, and him into a passable imitation of a sulking kid.

In practical terms, there’s no difference between how I and the Red Pill see life for a married man. He needs to keep up the attention-provision, teasing, dread, security-provision and feedback, informed by telepathy as to what is needed at what time.

Sounds like a ton of work for very little reward to me. That has to do with my history as an ACoA / Alcoholic / Addict and what it means for my hormone soup. I don’t get the good hormones, and I get way more of the bad hormones, than other people get from those complicated interactions. It’s all push away and no pull towards. I’m guessing at what other men feel and how it works for them, but whatever it is, from my point of view, it must be one hell of a powerful drug.

That's why I feel the way I do about it all. Doesn't affect the fact that Bad Behaviour isn't explained by evolution. It's explained by present, imminent, neuroses, and a decision to behave badly.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Why Sexual Selection Doesn't Select and That's Bad News for the Evo-Psychos

‘Evolution’ is not the name of a specific process, as for example ‘fermentation’ is, nor is it an abstract process that has realisations in a number of different contexts, as for example ‘compilation’ (of machine code) is. It’s a place-holder for a process or event: when the DNA of a species changes - without at the same time changing it into a different species - ‘evolution’ tell us to look for a change in the circumstances of that species that caused or facilitated that change. It tells us to look for a natural cause rather than magic. It does allow limited magic, in the form of DNA damage, combination or random mutation.

‘Evolution’ does not ‘cause’ anything to happen. Rather, ‘something’ causes a species’ DNA to change and that ‘something’ is gathered with all the other ‘somethings’ under the heading of ‘evolution’. This is why the only people who argue with ‘evolution’ have world-views that depend on creationism. They want us to look for God(s) as an explanation of the natural world, and Darwin wanted us to look for the natural world to explain the natural world.

When Darwin proposed looking for natural rather than magical explanations, he had no idea about DNA and its attendant chemistry and engineering. Mendel suggested genes about forty years later, and Crick and Watson discovered the structure of DNA almost a hundred years later, and it would take them a further decade to work out the roles of RNA, mRNA and how the gene makes chemicals in the cell. It was about forty years later, that a number of people suggested that genes could undergo short-term localised changes that do not affect the DNA sequence, in response to the environment of their carrier phenotype, which we now know as epigentics.

We can’t blame Darwin and his successors for putting forward some fairly ropey suggestions about how species change. We can blame their pop-culture successors for continuing to promote those ropey ideas. Anyone in academe still talking about sexual selection as an evolutionary mechanism is looking for book sales, not answers. Why?

Evolutionary ‘fitness’ is measured by the proportion of future generations that carry the animal’s genes. It follows from this that the evolutionary fitness of an individual cannot be known at the time of mating, but only by some future biologist. This is as it should be: nobody knows if the environment might change sometime in the future to favour traits currently hanging on by the skin of their teeth. Predicting evolutionary fitness means predicting the future. However, we can make some limit-case observations. Individuals who die without offspring have an evolutionary fitness of zero. In a settlement of N people, an individual’s evolutionary fitness is approximately n/N where n is the number of children they have. It’s fairly easy to see where that goes: if the settlement is the planet, the evolutionary fitness of an individual is vanishingly small. We can measure the fitness of a trait or gene in the same way, and that will achieve higher measures.

Because evolutionary fitness cannot be known at the time of reproduction, and is anyway vanishingly small for individuals, means that the pop-culture idea of the female somehow choosing a ‘fit’ mate is more or less nonsense. There are no ‘fit mates’. There are ‘fit traits’, but for reasons that defy understanding, looking like Ryan Gosling or Eva Mendes don’t seem to be amongst them. Culture and evolution are orthogonal (sigh).

I’m going to need to spend more time on sexual selection than it really deserves, because it’s one of those ideas that really appeals to people, and it sticks in the mind like a burr.

Sexual selection is not females somehow divining the quality of their mate’s genes and his willingness to hang around post-coitus to provide for the offspring. She can’t do that because she can’t predict the future. At the very most she can choose by analogy with other couples who seem to be successful at the moment, but the she doesn’t know if they are going to continue to be successful. Partnerships are like any other investment: past performance is no guarantee of future results. Sexual selection is the selection of any other trait that hitch-hikes with traits that make the male attractive to the female. She chooses on the basis of the man’s attractiveness, and takes her chances about what else follows. The idea that attractiveness is itself a fitness trait, because attractive people have more surviving children, has only gained popularity since the mid 1960’s, which by no coincidence, is when the so-called Sexual Revolution started. It’s retro-fitting the ideas to women’s contemporary sexual behaviour. Previous descriptions were there to valorise the social role women were supposed to be playing.

First, smart, pretty people tend to have fewer or no children or to stay single: they have the options, and they have the intellectual resources to enjoy the culture of their time. Second, most women think, according to the surveys, that only twenty per cent of men are ‘above average’ in looks. So how is it that far more than twenty per cent of men have children? Clearly there’s a disconnect between inter-subjectively-agreed attractiveness and who a woman is prepared to get pregnant by. Third, the only way to save the hypothesis is to make the idea of ‘attractive’ hopelessly subjective, contextual and contingent, and therefore so obviously un-linked with actual evolutionary fitness, that the whole thing falls apart.

If ‘spreading success by selection’ does not work, what does? ‘Restricting failure’. As an example, by now the syphilis bacteria should by now have evolved to deal with penicillin, since many other bacteria have turned into ‘superbugs’ in a much shorter time, but it hasn’t. Superbugs arise because some had anti-biotic resistance and some did not. The ones that didn’t were wiped out, leaving the ones with the resistance to breed. Syphilis bacteria seem not to have any variants in its population which are resistant to penicillin.

Eagles who didn’t build their nests in inaccessible places and spent most of the day soaring would have lost their young more or less immediately. The only eagles left after a few years of that would be the ones whose genetics disposed them to build their nests half-way up a cliff. In another example, the birds of a given species don’t develop harder beaks when the supply of softer seeds runs out: instead, there was intra-species variation for beak shape and hardness. The birds with soft beaks starved, as did their offspring, and the birds with harder beaks don’t starve, and their offspring live. The birds don’t need to kill anybody, or deny them access to resources. Nature did that all by itself.

In people, a characteristic lasts because someone is willing to breed with a carrier. Socially dysfunctional behaviour can survive, passed down the generations by example, genes, and culture, as long as someone can be found to breed with the person behaving like that. Otherwise the human race would have bred out drunks, shrews, addicts, borderlines, anti-socials, and all sorts of other problem-people, well before the Greeks developed psychology to name the problems. But no. All those dodgy traits were kept going by men who just couldn’t keep their dicks out of crazy, and by women who just couldn’t say no to Bad Boys. The human race has not wiped out one dysfunctional psychological trait, or one physical malformation or dysmorphism, by breeding it out. What it did do was develop an understanding of diet and medicine. That’s why the WHO eliminated smallpox in a generation. Cluster B disorders, which are defined by specific behaviours and show a high heritability could be bred out in a couple of generations, if men knew how to identify the behaviours and refused to mate with anyone who showed the behaviour. Hasn’t happened yet.

Cultural skills are mostly learned, and at a high cost of time and effort, and there is very little correlation between genetics and, say, virtuoso tenor saxophone playing, the thousands of hours of playing needed to achieve those levels of virtuosity, and the personal characteristics needed to put in that effort. There is of course a genetic influence on being a virtuoso tenor sax player. Playing a musical instrument often is a mood-altering activity and the ability of the player’s body (the brain is part of the body) to enter one of the moods needed to play for extended periods of time will be dependent on the release and re-uptake of one or more hormones: that is genetic in the first instance and then a result of use. Not being tone-deaf, and to be able to sense rhythm, these are to some extent genetic, though given the basics, a lot can be learned.

Because cultural features are not linked to DNA, evolutionary processes cannot remove tenor saxophonists from the world. Violence could remove the saxophonists, and legislation could prohibit the manufacture, ownership or playing of a tenor sax, but that’s not evolution because there’s no gene being changed or eliminated. Oddly, if there was a tenor-sax-playing gene, and the human race decided to kill its present carriers, that would be evolution. It would be genocide and a crime as well, and it would count as a sorry moment in human evolution. Evolution is not progress, it’s simply change.

There was a brief period when people thought there would a gene for everything, but that search has been fruitless, except for a handful of rare diseases. It seems that many features of the phenotype can be produced by a number of different combinations of genes, or that external stimulus is needed as well as the presence of genes. Making a male, after all, requires X and Y chromosomes, an SRY gene to trigger the production of testes, the testes to produce testosterone and other androgens, and an androgen receptor. Any of that goes wrong, you don’t get a boy, you get a girl with maybe some bits missing. Genes are not one-one mapped to human behaviours. Mostly there’s no mapping at all.

All this is bad news for the evo-psycho crowd. Because genes don’t produce the details of a given culture, it turns out that almost nothing about human culture has anything to do with evolution. Because sexual selection has no correlation with evolutionary advantage, contemporary human behaviour is not the result of thousands of years of evolutionary fine-tuning. There is no evolutionary rationale for your neighbour’s cockolding wife: she has no idea whether the Bad Boy impregnating her has more dominant genes than her faithful provider Beta husband. That’s just evo-porn for the masses. ‘Strategies’ such as hypergamy, cuckolding, testing for social dominance and all the rest may be good strategies for determining present advantage, but have no evolutionary efficacy beyond chance. DNA doesn’t work like that.