The Coca Cola Kid

This page written circa 16 April, 2000.

Coca Cola is an undeniably successful product. I attribute much of its success, as does the company itself, to the formula: They got it right. Now cola is a good basic idea, but what they got right in Coke was buckets of sugar balanced with plenty of acid... the use of two flavours that roughly cancel each other out. There are two degrees of freedom in the formula. Looking at it in Cartesian and polar terms, there is the amount of sugar and the amount of acid, or equivalently the balance of sweet against acid and the amount of both that you can get away with being present but "cancelled". I think they got both right. Tonic water uses the same strategy but plays bitter against sweet, a less effective balance for most of the pop-guzzling population.

Ardent visitors to this page may have noticed a recent lack of updates. Meri was ill first, which made us feel excessively anxious, then Kay was ill, then the car has a failure, and I finally had to face the collapse of the CD-RW (never buy HP PC gear, it is such rubbish).

Nature has evolved an equivalent balance in its strategy for human reproduction. Having a child brings homo sapiens a mighty lot of pain and a mighty lot of pleasure, each balanced against the other, and with both pushed as far as possible. Of course, Nature has a motive in pushing the two, for the longer the baby can be dependent upon its parents the more intelligence can be built in. (In effect the more prematurely it must be born in order to gets its brain out of the incubator.) The balance cannot favour pain, because we are smart enough to die out. If the balance favoured pleasure... well I suppose we'd overbreed or something. (I guess this was tried, I can see two Dilbert-esque design-angels peering off a cloud, astounded at the mode of failure arising after making reproduction as much fun as sex.)

This makes me wonder what is the survival advantage of the effect upon the libido of having young kids...? This one's kinda got me... Nature cannot have been short of ways to bolster the pain aspect. I am forced to conclude that Kay and I would be enjoying it all too much if Meri left us alone just a bit more often before we are both exhausted of an evening, which is to say at all.

I do not remember much about the film "The Coca Cola Kid" except that it was a pleasant enough bit of fluff, centering on the romance of a whizz-kid, American executive and an Australian girl (who could well be what Meri grows into being), and exploiting a few landmarks in the era when Australia enjoyed inflated interest from American audiences. The film had a balance between the saccharin and the outrageous. My Coca-Cola kid has her balance, too.

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