Re: virus: Altruism, Empathy, the Superorganism, and the Prisoner's Dillema

Tim Rhodes (
Fri, 18 Apr 1997 14:53:51 -0700 (PDT)

On Thu, 17 Apr 1997, Reed Konsler wrote:

> "Cooperate, don't defect"
> But how can you make such a system stable? Especially given our
> predeliction for taking advantage of one another?
> Think, think, think.

I will. Think that is. But I wonder if the system *can* be made stable.
In a group of mostly selfish people it is an advantage to be among the
altruistic. But in a group of mostly altruistic people it confers an
advantage to be selfish. Two strange attractors in this system with a
constant flux between the two. Stability? Maybe it's possible, but only
by finding the most "stable" ratio between the selfish and the altruistic
tendencies. Not by chosing one over the other. But if we could operate
in a new system, with different attractors, then, maybe...

Think, think, think.

-Prof. Tim