Monday, April 06, 2009

Turkeys Voting for Christmas

Surely this expression should mean that things should not engage in acts they don't have the cognitive capacity needed to do. A bit like saying dogs should not do quantum theory. Taleb has a theory of turkey philosophy here.

But that is not the excepted meaning which is

like turkeys voting for (an early) Christmas (British & Australian humorous)
if people are like turkeys voting for Christmas, they choose to accept a situation which will have very bad results for them
Usage notes: Turkeys are large birds which are often eaten on Christmas Day.

Other then the obvious practical difficulties of running meleagrine elections Christmas has to be the best thing that has ever happened to turkeys. I remember a talk on the long now that the best way to ensure your species survival is to be really tasty.

Without Christmas we would have no reason to have such large numbers of turkeys. People don't keep skunks because they serve no useful purpose. Numbers would be vastly reduced. If only wild turkeys survived and they were not farmed for food their numbers would be orders of magnitude less.

Of course there is the question of whether it is a good idea for turkeys to put all their eggs in one basket Christmas wise. They have intelligently diversified in the American market into thanksgiving. Some sort of Summer festival in Asia would be where they should concentrate their marketing on next I would think.

1 comment:

The Beer Nut said...

I think you may be mistaking turkeys for turkey DNA. Only one of them gets the benefit of their deliciously moist flesh.