As I'm reading through The Rational Optimist, the concept of idea sex has the ability to weave through anything else I'm wrapping my mind around. I think that's my thought when it comes to this daily blog.
In an early passage, Ridley points to evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller's explanation for why someone, in a world of endless choices, would purchase something as big, loud, and unnecessary as an Hummer H1 Alpha:
Ridley's hint at pseudo-spiritualism sounds like an interesting answer to Dan Gilbert's question about why we consider synthetic happiness inferior to a sick-ass whip. Synthetic happiness sounds nice, but nailing down social status and sexual worth has worked real well for human beings so far.
But, as Ridley notes, there is more than one way to signal you're a worthy mate. Where we can benefit is in the diversity of choice. Everyone wins a little bit more when it comes down to idea sex.