I was talking to some of the Splayas the other night about how there are certain sort of awkward situations in which you know that what's happening isn't a big deal, but somehow on a visceral, almost reptilian-brain level, your body responds with a strong physiological response of upset stomach and increased heart rate. I was thinking about why this was, and then it hit me--
Let's say it's 10,000 BC and you are a caveman living on the open plains. You live a hunter-gatherer nomadic existence and the women in your tribe have extremely saggy boobies (hat tip to Natural History Museum). OK. Now, you're sitting on the subway and an elderly woman walks on the train but you've printed out a lengthy Becker-Posner blog post that you can't read standing up and you are averting making eye contact with her because you know everyone on the train expects you as the youngest person seated to give up your seat but you just don't want to do it. So without the fight-or-flight visceral response, how the fuck are you going to survive that situation?????