Monday, January 05, 2009

Attractors at odds?

E on dating:
The old canard about the major histocompatibility complex (MHC, no great links; just google it) and attraction is that there's a pheromone-mediated bias towards dissimilar MHCs, in the service of allelic diversity. Sure, I'd always thought, for other people. For me, I'd generally opted for the more explicitly cognitive similarity-promotes-liking mechanism, especially since some of the psychological research in that area is mine {cough}.

Here's the thing, and it's something you don't see discussed in the MHC literature too much: these two attractors are largely at odds. To put it in current and concrete terms: what are the chances that a blue-collar (-roots) Catholic guy from Wisconsin is going to get my Alvy Singer reference? And, more dispiritingly: do I really have to choose between shared cultural allusions and a touch that inexplicably makes me melt?
I'm inclined to think that it's possible to have both.

Unrelatedly: Megan has a resolution.
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