Update or die

redqueenandalice

At least once we have all felt the pressure to be updated becomes overbearing and sometimes, unnecessary. But it is a global reality and more pronounced each day. It seems that if you are not informed about the latest fashions and technologies you are out of touch.

This situation has an ecological name.

The nineteenth British author Lewis Carroll (the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) write Through the looking-glass (the continuation of Alice in Wonderland). In the novel, Alice meet the Red Queen (not the same Queen of Hearts that appears in Alice in Wonderland). After a conversation, they start to run.

An american evolutionary biologist, Leigh Van Valen wrote in his book Law of Extinction. He used the Red Queen Hypothesis in order to explain this Law. This hypothesis, also called Red Queen’s race or The Red Queen Effect, is an evolutionary hypothesis which proposes that organisms must constantly adapt, evolve and proliferate to gain reproductive advantage, to survive while others organisms and environment change and threat.

In many populations, the chance of extinction does not depending on the lifetime of this population because is was constant over millions of years, for each population. An adaptation for one population of one specie may change the selection pressure on a population of a different specie, rising an antagonistic coevolution dynamic. In other words, the species has to continually improve to keep up the status quo with the environment and other species.

Indeed, this theory explains the coevolution between two species, the symbiotic relationships and the advantages of the sexual reproduction (because sexual species are able to improve the genotype of their offsprings under changing conditions). 

In economic and business field, Red Queen marketing is defined as the practice of launching new products at an increasingly high rate over time to support the status quo are likely practicing it. Moreover, this term was applied into politics and social behavior fields.

 

 

 

 

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