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Re: [ishmael_discussion] Old: prisoners, non-violence, and cooperation

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  • Lisa Wilcox
    Hi Gregg-- How ve you been, you young curmudgeon you? ;-) ... You know, this touches on one of the difficulties I have with your analysis. That is, that it
    Message 1 of 51 , Sep 1, 2004
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      Hi Gregg--

      How've you been, you young curmudgeon you? ;-)

      >...A very principled person might even make such decisions even
      >knowing that he does not have the leisure to make them; he's probably
      >going to disappear very soon, but he might stck to his principles...

      You know, this touches on one of the difficulties I have with your
      analysis. That is, that it assumes altruism to be aberrant human
      behavior. If this is correct, then there is absolutely no reason to
      believe that anything at all will ever be different after the crash.
      The whole escalation, perforce, begins all over again, and we do not
      learn from history.

      But we must, -because- the resources are finite.

      Your analysis also assumes that the human will to survive is primary,
      simplistic, and almost always prevails in human behavior. This is
      probably true when playing games. It might even be true most of the
      time in real life. (Is there hard data?)

      But "the will to survive" is actually a fairly complex phenomenon. At
      root, many believe, is the "will to advance one's own genes." This
      presumably motivates a human being to defend mate, children, village,
      nation, faith---even at the price of his or her own survival---and
      many do so. The survival drive is sublimated to preserve even
      intangible abstractions. Some go so far as to risk life and limb for
      endangered whales, old-growth forests, the starving children of
      another nation.

      It's unlikely that -every- human being is capable of altruistic
      behavior, but what if -enough- people are? Isn't there potentially a
      critical-mass point at which cooperation becomes a more successful
      strategy that competition in at least some situations? (Not, mind
      you, that I believe this can, or should, prevent the crash, which
      certainly does need to happen.)


      Lisa


      --
      Lisa Wilcox
      Mail: 19093 South Beavercreek Road #103
      Oregon City, OR 97045
      Cell: 503-951-1139
      wilcoxe@...
      www.lisawilcoxstudio.com

      "We may be crazy, and it may be our final run, yeah
      We are the Warriors of the Sun." --Joan Baez
    • Lisa Wilcox
      ... No no, don t -think- about the flow, go with it! ;-) As for engineering, well, I come from a long line of engineers, stretching back into the mists of
      Message 51 of 51 , Sep 3, 2004
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        >...but i encourage you to think about it from the point of
        >view of engineering, physics, and the flow of, well, stuff...

        No no, don't -think- about the flow, go with it! ;-)

        As for engineering, well, I come from a long line of engineers,
        stretching back into the mists of ancient days. Love 'em dearly, but
        they may be the most unimaginative group on the planet. They tend to
        exclude all factors not readily quantifiable. My father will go to
        his grave still perplexed and offended by the observable fact that so
        many people make their decisions "irrationally."

        Physics? Talk about making decisions irrationally! Those boys at Los
        Alamos went ahead and tested their first device -despite- believing
        there was a fifty-fifty chance that in doing so they would obliterate
        the universe as we know it. "Of course they did!" said my biochemist
        friend at Cal Tech, "The purpose of man on this planet is the pursuit
        of knowledge!" Ah, the scientific mind.

        In literature, we would refer to these folks as "unreliable
        narrators," whose description of reality is not entirely to be
        trusted. Unquestionably valuable insights, but not the last and
        ultimate word on life, the universe and everything. Besides which,
        they keep changing their minds. ;-)

        And anyway, on the rare occasions when I step into the physics
        cantina, I prefer the quantum mechanics end of the bar, where
        everything is...bizarre.


        Lisa


        --
        Lisa Wilcox
        Mail: 19093 South Beavercreek Road #103
        Oregon City, OR 97045
        Cell: 503-951-1139
        wilcoxe@...
        www.lisawilcoxstudio.com

        "We may be crazy, and it may be our final run, yeah
        We are the Warriors of the Sun." --Joan Baez
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