Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lives of Creatures

On that planet, the dominant intelligent species initially took three forms. Females were of one type, males of two: a massive, ape-like type almost twice the size of a female, and a smaller type comparable in mass to a female.

The large males attempted to maintain harems of females, both for sex and to provide them the food they required to maintain their large body masses. (The large males' ability to feed themselves without female assistance was constrained by the need to engage in violent competition over resources with other large males.) A successful large male could often be heard boasting and strategizing with his lieutenants at the campfire late into the night.

The small males were similar in appearance to females, so much so that they could not be distinguished from females at a moderate distance, save for the almost comically oversized male sex organs they possessed. They did not attempt to monopolize harems, but seemed motivated only to maintain proximity to females at all times, and to have sex with them whenever possible. Their smaller size of course facilitated eye contact during face-to-face intercourse, while their sex organs exhibited several adaptations that facilitated female sexual pleasure. The large males regarded the smaller males as a parasitic nuisance.

Upon the rapid democratization of the tribes following first contact, a faction of the large males was able to establish female suffrage, in hopes of besting a rival faction of large males with the females' help. To the great surprise of both factions, the large males soon found themselves legally classified as a parasitic offshoot of the species, and sentenced to technological incapacitation.

But this is not a cruel story. All the large males left alive were given virtual reality worlds with harems of NPCs, and they all lived happily ever after.


  1. I'll risk a slightly daft digression...

    Is an NPC something that provides a simulacrum of a person -- something that reproduces a person's behavioral repertoire, responses to environment, etc. but which is in fact not sentient?

    If so, there is some room for skepticism about whether an NPC is possible -- it isn't clear that you could have all the person-stuff happening on the outside without person-stuff also happening on the inside.

    Of course, there could be a different kind of NPC, not an insentient but a sentient somehow programmed to want the "right" things -- in this case, being the best complaisant harem girl it could be, or something. Sort of hard to get the happy ending that way.

    Many people would find this latter possibility rather squicky. Though why is a bit of a mystery, since we are ourselves evolution's NPCs, programmed to want the "right" thing from the perspective of copying our genes.

  2. Sorry to insult you if you already knew this - NPC stands for non-player character (used in the context of computer games), and despite your valid p-zombie points, billions of people are quite satisfied by their experiences with real modern NPCs. I suspect that the harem-dominating type would be less sensitive to the actual sentience of its lovers.

  3. Humph. I know the term NPC from the days of paper and pencil and funny-shaped dice role playing, which shows how ancient and creaky I am.

  4. Blogspot is being a cunt and not letting Jason post this so I am posting it for him (is it refusing comments from anyone else? email me if so.)


    Sister Y, have you heard about the Common
    Side-Blotched Lizard

    [Begin blockquote.]
    Males have either orange, blue or yellow throats and each type follows a fixed, heritable mating strategy:

    Orange-throated males are strongest and do not form strong pair bonds; instead, they fight blue-throated males for their females. Their large size and aggression is caused by high testosterone production.

    Blue-throated males are middle-sized and form strong pair bonds. While they are outcompeted by orange-throated males, they can defend against yellow-throated ones. Because blue-throated males produce less testosterone they are not as large as the orange-throated males, but it gives them the advantage of being less aggressive and able to form strong pair bonds. Additionally, they sometimes team up with other blue-throated males to defend a female mate against an orange-throated competitor.

    Yellow-throated males are smallest, and their coloration mimics females. This lets them approach females near orange-throated males and mate when the males are distracted. This is less likely to work with a female that has bonded with a blue-throated male.

    (Adapted from WP)
    [End blockquote.]

    I actually think this is somewhat instructive about human mating strategy. It's most directly transferrable to males, but with some modifications works for females, too. Six or so months ago I worked out a pretty detailed theory of how this works in humans, and it gibes with things like gay- and hippie-bashing by "normal" men and the increasing importance (in rich countries) of men's attractiveness relative to their wealth as a mating asset.

  5. And the answer is yes, that's in part what it was based on! Rock-paper-scissors lizards are awesome.


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