Given that we believe in this myth of natural selection, that life-forms optimize on the long run through simple difference of reproductive success ratios, we must check what fitness means in “survival of the fittest”. As it turns out, the common sense is fairly mistaken about this issue, which becomes clear when we contemplate the word-tension «competition»: In the proverbial primal jungle, the monkey and the panther do not compete, in the sense of both vying for a bigger share of the same amount of reproductive success, instead each has an independent reproduction rate, determined by an staggeringly high number of factors — amongst which only one is the other’s reproductive success rate. Thus, it is better to say the panther competes with all the other panthers, the monkey with all other monkeys.
And that is why designers are such shallow, vain, pompous pricks! Because humans must compete with humans. More precisely, design work can only gain leverage when it is easy to subvert into human to human competition.
Almost the same intro could be used to say that «success» (i.e., for example, a bigger apartment) is only a means to get more sex (and through it reproductive success), but nevertheless it keeps us from cheat-flavoured complexity-collapsing strategies (as it, for example, constrains your daily experience to the same settings). That’s why it is impolite to ask a potential mate for his bank account…)
[from some very old notebook]