GPR – Genetic Proliferation Rate

The most important thing about you is that you are alive. To understand yourself, you have to understand living things. One of the most fundamental things to know about living things is that they are designed to pass on their genes. All the things they do have this end goal in mind. You, dear reader, being made for The Sweet Spot, that time and place many thousands of years ago are also driven by this end goal. Genes that are the unit of replication. Genes created living things in order to make more copies of themselves. Genes that makes copies of themselves stick around and those that do not, die off. The measure of this success or failure is called the Genetic Proliferation Rate, or GPR for short. All plants and animals, and you and your friends, are designed and motivated to get your genes the highest collective GPR...

The Sweet Spot

This is where we come from. “Back to me roots”, as Ali G said. We evolve culturally and not really biologically anymore. Our biology – that is, our minds and bodies were made for a different time and place. I call that time and place The Sweet Spot – like the part of your tennis racquet that  gets the most juice out of your shot. Scientists call this The Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness, just I’ve changed the title for obvious marketing purposes. The Sweet Spot seems to be around 50,000 years ago in Africa or Asia. This is where all humans come from. We were living there when we got the great idea to change our environment to suit our needs instead of changing ourselves to fit better into that environment. Since then we have not evolved much physically – so we are pretty much the same now as we were then. We don’t look the same, we don’t sound the same, but underneath our speech and our fancy clothes, we are the same. This is a stretch for many people. It was a stretch for me before I learned about it. I thought biological evolution was constant all the way up til now. How could we be the physically same as cavemen? This is the whole point of evolutionary psychology – to show us how our brains and bodies are the same today as they were many, many years ago. When we don’t understand ourselves, it’s because we think we were made for now. To really understand ourselves, we have to understand life in The Sweet Spot. What was it like?...