Chagrin Falls: Gavin's Obsolescence

Originally published at: Chagrin Falls: Gavin's Obsolescence | Boing Boing


I’m several generations behind Cutting Edge.


malcom tucker GIF


I’m printing this out and putting it on the fridge. I may print a second one to send to my doctor.


I showed this to my Dear Wife, she pulled her back yesterday, I’m on a timeout now, thanks BB…


I’m embarrassed to say I need this explained to me. Is the zinger that he finds it’s his body that is broken and obsolete and, unlike his phone, can’t be upgraded? If so, then I’m not laughing. Hits too close to home.


I too was confused. Who are the Democrats and who are the Republicans in this strip? Is Gavin equal to Trump or just an average Trumpist? Or did I greatly misunderstand and is he AOC?


I’m feeling this acutely right now…

The phone gets replaced while keeping the information in the same way that one generation gets “replaced” by subsequent ones, that keep his information (DNA). In the grand scheme of things, he’s as disposable as his phone.


Thanks so much! An interesting analogy. Doesn’t account for the fact that life-ending mistakes prior to reproducing, or the decision not to reproduce, remove the information from the pool.

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The point is that Gavin realizes that the right to repair would allow him to just use available “spare parts” to extend the useful life of his, um, “phone”. :wink:


Bacteria are (hypothetically) immortal. They just keep dividing, asexually reproducing as often as they can, doing their bacteria thing. There’s normal wear and tear, and a risk of death in adverse environments. But mostly, they just keep on keepin’ on. The survival strategy of any one strain seems to be “keep it up, as many as you can”. If circumstances such as temperature, pH, etc change, it can be pretty bad news for every member.

Species that reproduce sexually use diversification for survival. The next generation is a bit different by design. We keep churning out sorta-different sorta-the-same members and see which ones thrive. If the situations change, we’ve got different members.

In this context, is immortality as harmful to the survival strategy as inbreeding?


Yep. Actually a very sophisticated observation about evolutionary biology!


Just as dropping one’s phone into the ocean while on a cruise, and remembering you haven’t done a backup in a year…


The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This applies to genes, organisms, society and the planet. An entity that will not transform itself out of existence or coexist in balance is called cancer, the ultimate selfish gene. Fortunately for you as a human being you have a superpower: culture.


Gotta be honest, came here expecting something on the Gavin Newsome recall effort.


The question Gavin poses is “why would my genes be coded in such a way that my body breaks down with age, given that those genes should be optimized for survival?”

The answer is “evolution didn’t optimize your genes to endure via immortality, evolution optimized your genes to endure via subsequent generations.”

From an evolutionary standpoint a shorter lifespan (and shorter reproductive cycle) may even have advantages over a longer lifespan because it means the gene pool will adapt more quickly to changing conditions instead of stagnating.


I guess that the longer life span does give you the advantage of grandparents to look after the kids which the parents gather resources.

Ah, but this does hold true to the evolutionary concept of survival of the fittest.

"keep it up, as many as you can”

A lot of bacteria, especially the type of bacteria that live in a closed system like a human, use quorum sensing to prevent overpopulation from wrecking the closed system. So in those case “as many as you can, up to a certain population density”


I honestly was confused this way at first. My second reaction was relief that with Trump out of office, maybe it’s OK to talk about something else for a bit.