Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Darwin Comprehension Fail

Much like my complete inability to understand the great car equation, I frequently misuse, either intentionally or accidentally, Darwinian theory of natural selection. Oft times my mistakes are simply Lamarckian in nature, but other times, they're just utter fabrication yanked from the depths of a clearly troubled mind.

Take this morning, for instance. I arrived at the 125th Street subway station and was greeted by an unusual sound: good music. I seem to have particularly bad luck when it comes to subway music - the really disturbed people are always at my stations. 125th street has some regulars: crazy can't rap guy who makes up lyrics on the spot about the people who go by; mariachi-esque band that only knows two songs; sad lady with karaoke machine clearly not able to sustain Gladys Knight. I do my best to ignore these people and frankly, if it's a choice between them and the guy who shouts: "Jeee-Sus loves you. Jeee-sus is the love," I'm pretty hard pressed to pick a winner. But the guys this morning, a keyboard and a sax, were playing some pretty upbeat, not-at-all-off-key, happy music.

So I did something I never do: I gave them a dollar.

In the moment after this, I thought about why I had given them a dollar and realized, to my horror and great amusement, that I did so for reasons of natural selection. My reasoning was that if people gave the good subway musicians money, more good subway musicians would spawn and the crap musicians would be unable to respawn. Yes. I know. Utter shite. But I liked the idea.

Imagine if it worked that way. Imagine if you could control the quality of subway music, cab drivers, Starbucks baristas, simply through tip theory. Those who didn't earn enough tips would fade from view, taking their ilk with them, while those who earned many tips would prosper and thrive, bringing more of their like into the world. I think this development in not-at-all-science would be revolutionary.

And I do so like that it would have been my idea in the first place.

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