Re: virus: Reinventing the Justice meme

Mon, 8 Jul 1996 15:31:56 -0500

>The concept of justice can be defined in terms of game theory:

>In each of these cases, making a good decision doesn't necessarily
>imply that there will be a good outcome. (clip).
>I claim that these cases are what we call
>an injustice. In fact there are four possible outcomes:
>Good decision, good outcome: Justice.
>Good decision, bad outcome: Injustice (tragic)
>Bad decision, bad outcome: Justice (poetic).
>Bad decision, good outcome: Injustice (indignant anger)

I assume that in the case of the bird or the bear a decision will be judged
good or bad with respect to some kind of risk/benefit analysis (given the
available information at the time of the decision). What constitutes a
good desision with respect to social justice?

I would say that decisions made based on recognition of a social contract,
the rights of others, or some kind of utilitarian calculation are good
decissions. Good decisions which resulted in injustice would most likely
result from a critical lacuna in the agents knowledge of the dynamic
variables in the situation. Environmental noise might also result in a
good decision leading to an unjust outcome. Remember, in a noisy
environment, a cooperative partner might appear to be selling-us out.

Notice that, given the above criteria for 'good' decisions, it is
impossible to make good decisions without understanding what makes them
good. The only standard which allows agents to make good decisions without
understanding what makes some actions good and others bad is if the
standard for judging decisions is their adherence to the gross description
of an action in the rule-book. If you value Consciousness, you would
prefer some other standard. I sure do. Take care. -KMO

Resistance is futile.