Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Comment on The Belmont Club
"A point of view"

(whose grandfather died at 94, a year after climbing Machu Picchu)
It makes sense to advertise that your grandfather lived to a vigorous old age because it raises the market value of your family. Despite our pretensions and desires to the contrary the only way that nature measures our worth is by expected future contributions to the gene pool. The two variables that can be measured for an individual are 1) survivability or life expectancy and 2) anticipated fecundity. Therefor your grandfather's health increases the value of any spare daughters that you have hanging around.

This was all explained to me by Prof. Monte Lloyd who drew the L(x) M(x) curves on the board and then explained that a woman reached he peak value at age 16. Before that the mortality risks exceeded the gains from investing in her and after that the number of future offspring she can produce declines. Prof. Lloyd was a pistol. If he was still with us, alas he is not, he would probably get in trouble with the campus thought police.

My father passed away 15 months ago at age 95.

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