I guess it <em>is</em> genetic.

2003-07-08 22:14

So, I’ve always wondered which of my many traits are hereditary, and which are learned. I got a chance to explore these boundaries a bit over the last week, because my mom was in town. A few curious points:

  • I got the same kind of purse she does. It’s very convenient, with lots of pockets, and it’s just so convenient having something with lots of pockets.
  • Confronted with the unthinkable annoyance of getting up at 4AM to drive to the airport, we both thought it would be easier to just stay up until then…
  • … So we stayed up working on a jigsaw puzzle (a Puzz3D version of the Taj Mahal)…
  • Which we more than half finished.

It’s strange; ten years ago, I would have had a hard time identifying any of my mom’s personality traits in me, but as time goes on, they become more obvious. It’s sort of the opposite of what you’d naively expect; you’d think that, over time, genetic influences would be less and less important, but in fact, they seem to exert an ever-greater pull over time.

It was a fun visit, especially because she got to write about my junk fax case, which had its first court hearing last Wednesday.

Peter Seebach



  1. Why thank you!
    (Peter's mom)

    — linsee · 2003-07-09 10:24 · #

  2. To be pedantic, this is like saying `I found out which of my computer's behaviours were due to the hardware, and which to the software'. i.e., for almost all but the simplest things, it's not just wrong but meaningless.

    Virtually everything is an interaction between the two --- particularly since evolved systems love feedback loops so much.

    (The *simplest* things get implemented as feedback loops: look up the notch gene one of these days... a ~30-minute-period clock/trigger, implemented as a gene that produces a protein that suppresses its own expression, making the period of the clock twice the time taken to transcribe DNA to protein. I can't imagine a human engineer working that way, but every vertebrate's spine was segmented like that.)

    — Nix · 2004-04-14 16:47 · #