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Disappearing Cryptography, 3rd Edition by Peter Wayner

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Chapter 7. Grammars and Mimicry

7.1. Evolution of Everyday Things

Recently, I sat down with Charles Radwin, an evolutionary scientist, who drew a fair bit of acclaim and controversy over his paper showing how evolution led the human species to gorge on the O.J. Simpson trial. I asked him his views about how evolution affects other aspects of our lives. Here is our conversation:

Q: Eventually all toilets need their handles wiggled to stop them from running. Why?
A: The commodes obviously developed this response to prevent calcification. The extra running water prevented tank stoppage and the toilets that had this gene quickly outlasted those that didn't. It was simple natural selection.
Q: What about toasters? No matter how hard you try to set ...

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