Geoffrey Miller Quotes


 
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Best 57 Quotes by Geoffrey Miller – Page 1 of 2

“If most of your courtship attempts have succeeded, you must be a very attractive and charming person who has been aiming too low.”

“If you don't have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won't have the willpower to do a dissertation.”

“Imagine a young Isaac Newton time-travelling from 1670s England to teach Harvard undergrads in 2017. After the time-jump, Newton still has an obsessive, paranoid personality, with Asperger’s syndrome, a bad stutter, unstable moods, and episodes of psychotic mania and depression.

But now he’s subject to Harvard’s speech codes that prohibit any 'disrespect for the dignity of others'; any violations will get him in trouble with Harvard’s Inquisition (the ‘Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion’).

Newton also wants to publish Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, to explain the laws of motion governing the universe. But his literary agent explains that he can’t get a decent book deal until Newton builds his ‘author platform’ to include at least 20k Twitter followers – without provoking any backlash for airing his eccentric views on ancient Greek alchemy, Biblical cryptography, fiat currency, Jewish mysticism, or how to predict the exact date of the Apocalypse.

Newton wouldn’t last long as a ‘public intellectual’ in modern American culture. Sooner or later, he would say ‘offensive’ things that get reported to Harvard and that get picked up by mainstream media as moral-outrage clickbait.

His eccentric, ornery awkwardness would lead to swift expulsion from academia, social media, and publishing. Result? On the upside, he’d drive some traffic through Huffpost, Buzzfeed, and Jezebel, and people would have a fresh controversy to virtue-signal about on Facebook. On the downside, we wouldn’t have Newton’s Laws of Motion.”

“The name of the game when it comes to evolution is not obtaining food or other resources: it is reproduction. Which came first, the chick or the egg? From an evolutionary perspective the egg did. A chicken is merely an egg's way of producing another egg. The chicken is just a transient reproductive superstructure that provides for the perpetuation of genes.”

“Thus the name of the game when it comes to evolution is not obtaining food or other resources: it is reproduction. Which came first, the chick or the egg? From an evolutionary perspective the egg did. A chicken is merely an egg's way of producing another egg. The chicken is just a transient reproductive superstructure that provides for the perpetuation of genes.”

Spent Quotes

“A person of limited intelligence but high conscientiousness can make a valuable employee; a person of higher intelligence but very low conscientiousness is almost unemployable.”

Spent

“All ads effectively have two audiences: potential product buyers, and potential product viewers who will credit the product owners with various desirable traits.”

Spent

“Capitalism is not materialistic” but semiotic. It concerns mainly the psychological world of signs, symbols, images, and brands.”

Spent

“Consumerism has become our most potent ideology because it so contemptuously dismisses our natual human modes of trait display, and it keeps us too busy – working, shopping. and product displaying – to remember what we can signal without all the products.”

Spent

“Consumerism is hard to describe when it's the ocean and we're the plankton.”

Spent

“Consumption taxes tend to reduce conspicuous consumption and promote longer-term retirement security, family wealth, social welfare, technical progress, and economic growth. In essence, income taxes penalize people for what they contribute to society (labor and capital), whereas consumption taxes penalize people for what they take out of society (new retail purchases). So, to tax experts, it is no surprise that U.S. and U.K. citizens spend too much and don’t save enough, relative to what would be optimal for society and even for themselves.”

Spent

“Cultural disgust to bizarre new ideas protects low-openness people not only from psychosis, but from maladaptive memes. They may not adopt useful new ideas very quickly, but neither do they join suicide cults.”

Spent

“Even in the twenty-first century, we still can't buy sane parents, successful siblings, or sensible children. We can't even buy decent replacements for biological adaptations that go wrong – artificial eyes, brains, hands, or wombs.

Our bodily organs are the most value-dense items that we can call our own. They are beyond price, but we take them for granted until we lose them through accident or age.”

Spent

“Fools toast each other's wealth, whereas sages toast each other's health.”

Spent

“In developed countries, we have less to fear from infectious parasites, but much more to fear from infectious memes. So, instead of opening our bodies to ambient germs, we open our minds to ambient culture, to determine if we can stay sane throughout the onslaught.”

Spent

“In search of good ideas, I started to see that marketing underlies everything in modern human culture in the same way that evolution underlies everything in human nature.”

Spent

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“While it’s true that women find dominant traits like assertiveness attractive, assertiveness should never be confused with aggression. Being cool, calm, and composed is much more attractive than being a reckless hot-head who flies off the handle at the slightest sign of provocation. True attraction is built on confidence, and a confident man only uses aggression as a last resort.”


More quotes by Christopher Canwell

“Living doesn't cost much, but showing off does.”

Spent

“One problem with most current governments is that they prioritize economic growth (as mismeasured by GDP per capita) over citizens’ happiness, quality of life, efficiency of trait display, and breadth and depth of social networks. The latter outcomes are not actually any harder to measure than GDP per capita. For example, the UN Human Development Index (HDI) measures overall quality of life fairly well by taking into account life expectancy, literacy, and educational attainment; this index puts Iceland, Norway, Australia, and Canada at the top, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo at the bottom.”

Spent

“Our inherited legacy of adaptations is literally precious. Even the poorest parents give their children vast riches, in the form of senses, emotions, and mental faculties that have been optimized through millions of years of product development.”

Spent

“Our social needs for intimacy, belonging, and acceptance. Mate preferences for status can explain our esteem needs for recognition, fame, and glory. Mate preferences for intelligence, knowledge, skills, and moral virtues can explain our cognitive needs to learn, discover, and create, and our self-actualization needs to fulfill our potential (for example, to display the highest possible mate value given our genetic quality).”

Spent

“Scientists have no more status than what other scientists award them through citations, talk invitations, and tenure.”

Spent

“The ad does not say “Buy this!”; it says, “Be assured that if you buy and display this product, others are being well trained to feel ugly and inferior in your presence, just as you feel ugly and inferior compared with this goddess.”

Spent

“The consumption tax rate should be very, very high for any products that impose massive negative externalities. Consider handgun ammunition. Currently, one can buy five hundred rounds of 9 mm ammunition for about $110 from online U.S. retailers — about twenty-two cents each. But each round of ammunition has a slight chance of falling into the wrong hands and killing someone. How slight? About 10 billion rounds are sold per year in the United States. There are about thirty thousand gun-related deaths in the United States per year (including suicides, homicides, and accidents). Assuming the typical gun death involves one round of ammo, the chance that any given round will end up killing someone is about thirty thousand divided by 10 billion, or three per million. Now, a person’s life is generally reckoned to be worth about $3 million, according to the usual cost-benefit-risk analyses by highway engineers, airlines, and hospitals. If each bullet has a three per million chance of negating a $3 million life, then that bullet imposes an expected average cost on society of $9. That’s about forty times its conventional retail cost of $0.22, so, by my reasoning, it should be subject to a consumption tax rate of 4,000 percent. This is obviously a rough calculation; it ignores the injury costs of nonlethal shootings (which would increase the tax) and the crime-deterrence effects, if any, of citizens having ammo (which would decrease the tax).”

Spent

“The highly open expose themselves to new experiences, cultures, people, relationships, norms, ideas, worldviews, art, music, sexual practices, and drugs. They can get infected by nasty, maladaptive memes; they might end up believing in astrology, homeopathy, or Scientology.”

Spent

“The rich covet the new iPod not for the sounds it can make in their heads, but for the impressions it can make in the heads of others.”

Spent

“There are 6.7 billion people on earth, and we can't all go back to living as hunter-gatherers. The notion of returning to an idealized paradise of simple, gentle, small-group living has been advocated by diverse visionaries throughout history: Buddha, Laozi, Epicurus, Thoreau, Engels, Gandhi, Margaret Mead, and the Unabomber. Often these visionaries attract followers, who form religions, political movements, or whole cultures: Taoists, Shakers, Luddites, Marxists, anarchists, hippies and Emo kids.”

Spent

“Vanity about physical appearance is an equal-opportunity vice; the males just target different physical traits for amplification and display using different products.”

Spent

“White-collar professionals also use prescription drugs such as Provigil, Ritalin, and Adderall to boost their intelligence and attentiveness.”

Spent

“You may think that tax policy sounds like the most boring topic in the world. That is precisely what most governments, corporations, and special interests would like you to think, because tax policy is where much of society and the economy gets shaped. It is also where well-informed citizens can achieve socioeconomic revolutions with astonishing speed and effectiveness—but only if they realize how much power they might wield in this domain. If citizens don’t understand taxes, they don’t understand how, when, and where their government expropriates money, time, and freedom from their lives. They also don’t understand how most governments bias consumption over savings, and bias some forms of consumption over other forms, thereby distorting the trait-display systems that people might otherwise favor.”

Spent

The Mating Mind Quotes

“A capacity for comedy reveals a capacity for creativity. It plays upon our intense neophilia. It circumvents our tendencies towards boredom.

Creativity is a reliable indicator of intelligence, energy, youth, and proteanism. Humor is attractive, and that is why it evolved.”

The Mating Mind

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“Sadness of any sort is also seductive, particularly if it seems deep-rooted, even spiritual, rather than needy or pathetic — it makes people come to you.”


More quotes by Robert Greene

 
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