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Tuesday, October 16. 2007
Signaling Theory, Education, etc.
The link to Assistant Village Idiot's piece on signaling and politics, in which he proposes, just for the sake of discussion:
I decided to try to learn just a little about Signaling Theory, but first I had to make sure the word didn't have two "l"s, so as to avoid signaling that I am a dunce. (It's one of those many words that the Brits spell wrong.)
Moving ahead, I learned that the sociological/economic/game theory notion of signaling comes out of biology and animal behavior. I found a good introductory piece on the subject, Honest Signalling Theory (I noted that this American Bio prof likes to use two "l"s.)
It's an interesting multi-page piece which begins:
I realized that maybe I do more signalling than I would like to think. Then I stumbled into a piece by Econlog's Caplan after reading some brief essays about education and signaling (Would you rather have a Berkley Diploma and No Education, or Education and No Diploma? and Jane Galt's Who are we signalling? and Tyler Cowen's Why Education is Productive - a parable of men and beasts) about the signaling value of education. Is education purely about social signalling? Of course not, but partially, yes.
Caplan, in Mixed Signals asks:
Well, this was all fun, but one is quickly reminded of how often people who have cool ideas tend to get reductionistic about them: Man is all about economics, man is all about gender, man is all about libido, man is all about adapting to his environment, man is all about signaling, etc, etc. So if you look at the world through a "signaling" lens, all you will see is signaling. And now I am out of time and getting too long anyway.
Posted by The Barrister in Education, The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:33 | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (2)
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Now, finally, I realize why I gave up my Davy Crockett coonskin cap about the time I started noticing Bonita Harris was looking somehow 'different' than before!
If it is all about sex: what is my wife signaling by having a permanent headache?
Nature gave me tall height, a few muscles, decent frowning ability. Throw in some spiky hair, tattoos and piercings and my signal is: F with me and you gonna get hurt, or, my wife is signaling me that she is no longer available for mating, (but I am signaling virility).
I think I like this signaling stuff.
I was attempting to write a response to the Signally Theory article when my mid morning nap intervened , apparently signalling one and all that I was officially no longer mating material.
Upon receiving another signal I went vertical, shuffle to the water closet and sent another "no mating" signal. This signal is easily identified since it occurs when one can get through the entire Cabelas Catalog on camping equipment during the loo-over.
But then really getting inot the article I was thrown off course by the use of gazelle "leaping" having known most of my life since Marlin Perkins was on TV that gazelles don't leap, they pronk. The article also referred to "stotting" as a gazelles "leaping" but left out my beloved "pronking". I needed some linguistic validation, not only for the children ($9.95/month buys enough ammo for an Etheopian kid to continue warring on others, won't you help?) but for Marlin's Ghost.
Soon my efforts were rewarded by Christian Yates ,University of Oxford thesis, "On the Dynamics and Evolution of Self-Propelled Particle Models.", which was for a thesis submitted for the degree of
"Master of Science in Mathematical Modelling and Scientific Computing" or was it Wikipedia on Stotting vs. Pronking?
I'm faily confident the Oxford thesis mentioned it in the
The Euler-Maruyama Method
My heart raced as I realized I was now heavily signally "NERD ALERT, NERD ALERT" ; not the best of behavioral mating signs. I decided to light up a Cohiba to calm myself and send up a visual and olfactory signal of virility, alfeter all it was a Bill Clinton "Monica" Cohiba. Now fully satisfied I finished the article and an patiently wait for the right time to bring it all up in a conversation at the next Parchessi Party Night festival.
I think there is something to this signalling theory.
Good of you, habu, to so staunchly uphold the dignity of antelope gaiting nomenclature. By such efforts will be saved the very meaning of meaning; saved, or in the breach, lost.
"To a certain degree these signals must be honest, at least on average. After all, if they were not honest, the intended signal receivers would evolve to ignore them."
Caplan is projecting here. Think Charlie Brown, Lucie and the football.
I enjoyed The Barrister's intro to Signalling Theory, especially the lengthy biology link. It's really just about non-verbal communication.To what extent is my public presentation (hair, clothes, deportment, jewelry, etc.) designed to signal things about
Tracked: Oct 19, 08:07
There seems to have been quite a lot of mention of nautical flags over the last few days – Maggies Farm have been considering them in the context of social signals & Remittance Man posted Nelson’s immortal message prior...
Tracked: Oct 25, 07:43