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Survival of the Fittest

I apologize for being absent the last few weeks; other things have been occupying my mind. Nothing anyone really cares to hear about so we’ll just skip the small talk. Although real estate would be a nice introduction…

“Survival of the Fittest”
The phrase I've been pondering is from Herbert Spencer’s 1851 work “Social Statics.” Many people have made the correlation to Charles Darwin’s idea of “natural selection.” I’d like to just focus on the phrase itself for a moment. “Social Statics” was about free market economics and primarily about a company’s ability to survive. “Survival of the Fittest” meant “adaptive,” “most suitable,” and/or “most appropriate.” Meaning the company that had these attributes was in the best position to survive, so not-so-much “best physical shape or condition.” Although Darwin does use the term in his work and gives full credit to Spencer when talking about it, in Spencer’s definition no words about phenotype or genetics are discussed. I ask the question can “Survival of the Fittest” still apply to beings, beyond companies. I suggest we adjust (but not ignore) the meaning of “Survival of the Fittest” and its relation to physical features. Maybe survival depends less on “how much strength you have over another” and more “how well you can co-exist.”

Naturally, talking about extinct animals seems appropriate, so… think of some of the animals that are extinct or near-extinction. How many of those are loner creatures? The Giant Panda, an animal near extinction spends most of its life alone, only meeting during breeding season. I’m sure the consistent threat of poachers doesn’t help (habitat destruction doesn’t either), but with the removal of these threats I wonder if the panda bear would even survive. I’m not suggesting that humans aren’t responsible; I’m just saying maybe there’s another factor we’re not thinking about.

If one believes in evolution then perhaps survival depends on a species social ability, or how well a species can interact and co-exist with another of its kind. Maybe cavemen survival doesn’t entirely depend on having bigger skulls and/or being bi-pedal. Cockroaches live by the millions, even billions, and I don’t see them going extinct anytime soon. And this is playing with “united we stand, divided we fall” mentality, but maybe the only way to insure survival (for all) is to co-exist with others of our species. And I don’t think survival depends on number of people at all, who’s to say the people of China have a better chance of survival than tribes of Africa. Perhaps survival of a species is dependent on how well the species can work together.

And if that’s the case then, the threat of global warming and the impossible of world peace have a chance of being overcome… if it is understood that it depends on our co-existence.


The reason I thought real estate could a good introduction is because one thinks of what they need and comparing it against the typical American Dream (steady income, good health, family, white picket fence and a two car garage). Architecturally, I've been looking at Single Room Occupancy (SRO). Living in a single room, sharing kitchen and bath with someone, may be the answer against the threat of increasing density. Maybe the old American Dream and consistent needs (food, water, and choice) contradict chances for survival, in terms of life on a global basis. Maybe the neo-American Dream should be living in a major city, providing for the next individual, and functioning with the rest of the species… to insure human survival.

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