Monday, July 14, 2014

The Economics of Caloric Return

I have two buddies.  Both are in their 40's.  Both recently divorced/broke up with their significant others.  Naturally the course of conversation invariably comes around to "you looking to date any girls?"  And the answer is...


Not out of recency from the divorce/break up.
Not out of time to let the wounds heal.
Not out of time to get their head straight or figure some things out.

The real reason?

They're just too damn tired.

I don't know about you but when I broke up with/got dumped by a girl in my 20's the very next NANOSECOND it was go find another.  There was no down time, there was no "time to heal," it was an immediate, OK, what lucky girl is next?  But fast forward 15 years and men in their young 40's who recently find themselves single are in no rush to go back to the bar, back to the night club, spruce up their POF profile, let alone gather the courage to make an approach in broad daylight.  They're just too damn tired.

The first excuse would scramble to find would be age.  The next would be healing.  The third might be "losers."  And the fourth might be "lack of choice."  But the reality (as we're often finding out) does not lay in psychology or biology, but rather economics.  The real reason they're too tired is one of a cold economic calculation.

A cold economic calculation of what?

A cold economic calculation of caloric ROI.

Recently, I've been giving more and more credence to biology, genetic programming and Darwinism to explain human behavior and decisions.  And when you analyze these thoughts through the lens of economics you start to make some interesting discoveries.  And this is one of those instances.

Understand that while money has been used in society for thousands of years, human evolution, genetics and biology has been evolving for 2 million years.  Ergo, while we'd like to think our frontal lobes (the most advanced part of our brain) makes all of our decisions in a logical and rational manner, the remaining 65% of our brain is driven by instinct, survival, and raw desire and still (more often than not) overrides the most advanced part of our brains.  Thus,just because money is a (relatively) recent human creation, doesn't mean the laws of economics and limited resources didn't apply to pre-currency humans (let alone EVERY creature on this planet).  Therefore, even before the grain receipts of ancient Egypt served as the first currency, there was the ultimate currency that has governed all creatures on this planet and is the prime directive the governs 65% of our brain:


Until agricultural advances made food a non-issue, the vast majority of human-kind's experience has been finding food.  Finding calories.  Finding the energy to stay alive.  It's why, despite having adequate food, we simply can't "turn off" the natural, darwinistic, survivalistic desire to eat more.  It's been there for 2 million years (2 billion if you consider us descendants of previous creatures facing the same problem) while adequate agriculture methods have only been around for 300 years. 

However, while the main problem with human's genetic programming to maximize caloric intake in a time of plenty is obesity, there is another problem.  On the OTHER side of the cold caloric economic decision is one of expending calories of energy.  Or more so, conserving one's energy.

View it from the perspective of an American Indian 10,000 years ago.

Tonto has a choice.  Chase after the antelope with his bow and arrow or not.  However, it's not one of whether he'd like to hunt, it's a 100% purely economic decision.  Specifically, is it worth Tonto to expend 1,000 calories of energy to MAYBE get 4,000 calories of energy in antelope meat?  Because if he chooses poorly too many times he won't have an adequate ROI on his caloric investment and will mathematically starve.

Naturally, over time humans developed less-caloric consuming hunting techniques that yielded more calories in return.  Traps, spooking buffalo to run over a cliff, guns, and agriculture.  But that still doesn't change the fact that for nearly 2 million years humans have had it beaten into their brains that calories expended damn well better result in a surplus of calories returned.  Again, starvation was the other consequence.

Now return back from 10,000 BC to revisit my two 40 something buddies.  They are no longer Tonto facing the decision as to whether they want to chase after antelope.  They are two men who have to decide whether to expend the calories of energy chasing women.  And when faced with the caloric demands of:

Going on line for 2 hours a day to "wink" at girls
Go to the night club to chat girls up
Go to a "Meet up" group and learn a new social skill (dancing, crafts, etc.)
Making approaches 10 times a day

not to mention the 8 year vetting process wherein they have to date 100 women to find "one"

you can see why they're "too damn tired" and are just shutting down.

Admittedly there is of course other reasons as men age they just don't go out clubbing anymore.  They're getting older, a decrease in testosterone, a decrease in energy, the novelty of dating wanes, their 18 year old idealistic naivete about dating expectations was crushed with the drama, flaky, reality of dating, etc., etc.,  But I contend there is a Darwinistic aspect as well.  One where the hindbrain is making astute economic calculations, demanding an adequate return on its dwindling supply of calories and time, and sadly coming to the conclusion that it just isn't worth the chase.

So light up those cigars instead,
Pour yourselves a glass of scotch that won't "flake" on you
And head out on the boat and go fish,
because the caloric rate of return on those things are 100% guaranteed, ensuring you
Enjoy the decline!


Anonymous said...

Not to mention all the other semi-obligations, time wasters and, can you fix this and that and other such nonsense. Meet up with a 5 or 6.. 30 miles away for coffee..just not going to happen. It truly is about my time and ROI.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention the fact that men are facing a serious crisis of unemployment and suicide rates.

Seriously, under those circumstances, the last thing I can think about is ass and tits.

Fuck this world.

Anonymous said...

-Divorce rate
-Required investment into relationships
-lack of economic stability
-Country is going to shit, so no desire to bring children into it
-Video games, movies, travel, friends, good reads, hobbies all have to be subordinated to the relationship

Personally, I'm sexually interested in women, but in terms of actually pursuing them? I'm completely disengaged. I don't feel embittered or even particularly shy/insecure, I've been like this ever since late high school/college.

The good news (I guess- for my personal state of mind, not for the economy) is that I don't really care. I'm happy for people that are in working relationships, but so far trying for anything beyond a one night stand or just rubbing one out at the end of a long day hasn't really appealed. Oh sure, you sometimes fantasize about being the prince-charming-happily-ever-after guy, but I'm a pretty conservative investor- the risk isn't worth putting my money on that happening.

Tim Wheaton said...

Great post Aaron. Completely agree.

Mentally tired of the whole damn thing.

lelnet said...

When finding a woman worth your time is such a winning-the-lottery level of improbability, I don't wonder why 40-something guys don't bother...I wonder why 20-something guys _do_.

Dokter Mayhem said...

"Admittedly there is of course other reasons as men age they just don't go out clubbing anymore. They're getting older, a decrease in testosterone, a decrease in energy, the novelty of dating wanes, their 18 year old idealistic naivete about dating expectations was crushed with the drama, flaky, reality of dating, etc., etc., But I contend there is a Darwinistic aspect as well"

You made me just think about how my generation (millenials), including myself, all seem to be going through this quarter-life crisis thing. At the age of 19, upon entering the military, I was, for all intents and purposes, a MGTOW. The novelty of dating amongst 40 year old men wearing out is a phenomenon that is happening increasingly to men in our 20s and younger. More and more, even young men are realizing it just isn't worth it anymore. We're checking out. My God, shouldn't we be too young to feel so tired? I remember a friend of mine, she got burned twice, got left with 2 kids, and is a single mom. She said, "Why do I feel so bitter and old?" That, in and of itself, is the question of the millenial generation.

leeholsen said...

2nd lot of this. i still take my shots, but its on my terms; and i'm not giving up weekly beer, sports and cigars for any woman. they're my coping mechanism for having to live thru the decline of the west and the usa.

i figure i'll do this for about 3 more years and if i hadn't tagged a good one by then; i'll get a 3rd world woman that still appreciates men that work, fix stuff and like to act like men.

i used to see white women with non-white guys and wonder why there wasn't one white guy that went for her. now, i think there was no white guy that would put up with her after going on enough dates.
i used to think

Glen Filthie said...

That is an utter pant load Captain. Sheesh.
I suppose 40 is 'old' to some. Trust me, I know men that get 'tired' after a Death Race. Don't confuse being tired in the head with being tired in the body. You will be well into your 50's before you start taking Viagra and slowing down.

Boys, Feminists are nothing to be afraid of. They are to be guarded against and avoided but that's it. Unconditional marriage is now a Bad Thing. If you truly love a woman and want to get married - DO IT. Get her off the market ASAP if she is a good woman. Just protect yourself with a prenup. Good women today understand that marriage is a joke to about 40% of the people out there and will have no qualms signing an agreement in this day and age. You just have to pitch it right.

Anonymous said...

This needs to be a deeper topic and maybe a video done on this

Anonymous said...

I really think that men chasing women might just go the way of the dinosaur, and it might be women that'll have to expend more calories, at least if they want more than the guys in the club that just want to bust a nut.

Commie Hater said...

I rather put a condomless sex in a foreign nation without any commie child support laws. Commies love eugenics to support further stupidities.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. There is also an article in "The Badger Hut" about guys in their 20's opting out of dating. I think it's called "Guys Opting out of the Game." You can find it on Google. I am married but if I were in my 30's or 40's and single I would probably do the same thing. Nothing against women, it is just easier to stay home with a good book or movie or hang out with your friends.