Re: virus: Altruism, Empathy, the Superorganism, and the

Corey A. Cook (
Sat, 19 Apr 97 14:21:06 CT

Prof. Tim wrote:
Okay, we're all in this game. It's not a question of entering or
defecting (unless you're Hamlet), it's about how we play it. The players
do have a say in the rules because that's what the game is all about,
shuffling though everyone elses rules and choosing which ones to apply.
That's the power of good(adaptive) memes, after all. They're just rules a
lot of people choose to use. And that's the value of increasing our
understanding of Memetics. It's understanding the meta-rules. The rules
by which we construct and chose other rules. If you want, you can call it
cheating, but it's no more cheating than understanding the odds of drawing
to an inside straight before you decide to go for the pair instead. And
simply put, we don't know the odds yet. Dawkins, and everyone since then
has said, in a way, "Yes there are odds and we can disover them." But we
haven't gotten on the stick yet. Sure, I know (following the analogy)
drawing to an inside straight is a long shot. But I don't know /how/ long
and I'm not going to go to Vegas and bet my life savings on guesses. Are
there any odds makers in the group? Or anyone with ideas how to arrive at
some usable odds?

Er, ah. Right on, man! So we have these goals, and there are options
we can take, and we have to decide which options to take in order
to get these goals.

I'm trying to think of some goals, and I can come up with all sorts
of specific things that I would like to happen, but I keep thinking
of all these situations in which those things happen, but it's even
worse than what we've got. I mean, "People should be nice." All of
us agree that that would be a goodness. But what if you get all sorts
of rules and definitions of what 'nice' is and then you have all these
protocols you have to follow, and punishments for not following them,
and stuff like that, and things just don't work out the way you plan
them. Or, like my friend said: "Sometimes, you just want to go up to
the guy in charge...and kick him in the balls."

Or you start to think "People should be happy." but you can be happy
and the world will still suck. I mean, you'll just have all these
people wandering around, being happy, and nothing will get done, and
everything will just fall apart.

So the closest thing that I can come up with is "People should be
people." I mean, everyone does what they can, and get together to
do what they can't, and we just keep going, learning new things,
exploring, thinking, reflecting, and whatnot.

Just thinking.

Corey A. Cook

* The One Universal Truth: *
* Sometimes, you're wrong. *