Lately I’ve been hanging out on Physics Stack Exchange, a question-and-answer site for physicists and people interested in physics. Someone asked a question recently about the relationship between thermodynamics and a quantity from information theory. It lead me to quite an interesting result, which I think is new.
Eric Anderson’s book The Monogamy Gap: Men, Love, and the Reality of Cheating has been causing something of a stir recently. In it the British-based sociologist uses a study of 120 American male college students to pitch the adultery rate amongst men at around 78%. Based on this and a blend of arguments from the frontlines of sociology and evolutionary psychology, Anderson goes onto suggest that monogamy is simply not a natural state for men and that the artificial construction of the monogamous relationship will usually only ever end in cheating. This is not to do with love, Anderson argues, but simply the physical need for new and exciting sex once relationships get to their cocoa-before-bed and “have you taken the rubbish out?” stage. As Anderson states at the beginning of his book “essentially I will show that monogamy seems to work for a short period but that eventually our biology rejects it.” (p.16).
Recently a portion of Jellymatter was involved in running some robot-building workshops with kids at Hove museum. We built some simple Braitenberg vehicles (basic light-following robots) and played some fun games. Hopefully we’ll get time to add some more details about that later, but in the meantime, I made a simulator of one of the games, which you can find along with a fuller explanation here.