Tag Archives: music

The Evolutionary Origins of Ritual, Music, and Dance

Evolutionary Psychology posits that many human behaviors are evolved adaptations. In his excellent books The Red Queen, and The Origins of Virtue, Matt Ridley explains the evolutionary origins of human sexuality, reciprocity, and collaboration. It is an easy mistake to assume that all common behaviors are adaptations of some kind, when in fact many are often merely side effects and confer no direct advantage. Despite this problem, the evidence that many behaviors are advantageous is compelling. With this in mind I am always on the look-out for evolutionary explanations of other behaviors, but remain wary that these may not imply adaptation.

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The Traveler Guitar – An Example of Fitness for Purpose in Product Design


I’ve been through so many airports recently I can’t remember which one this happen at. But I was waiting at the gate when this huge Viking of a guy came and sat next to me with what looked like a rifle case slung over his shoulder. My curiosity was aroused and as I checked out his case he caught me looking at it, so I felt it best to ask him about his Traveler Guitar to show I wasn’t just some loony staring at his baggage. He lit up with enthusiasm and proceeded to pull out the guitar and bolt on the arm support. Then he produced a digital sound processor the size of a cigarette pack, and some headphones. He plugged them all together and handed it to me. Cool! The thing was actually still in tune! He dialed in a nice funky sound and I was off, much to the amusement of the other passengers.

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