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

Drakir (
Tue, 22 Apr 1997 09:15:18 +0100

Mark Hornberger wrote:
> At 03:24 PM 4/18/97 +0100, you wrote:
> >Robin Faichney wrote:
> >
> >> >> "Cooperate, don't defect"
> >> >
> >> >You're always going to find people who disagree, possibly quite
> >> >strongly, with this.
> >>
> >> Not very many, if you can really demonstrate its rationality.
> >
> >How about libitarians? Surely the whole concept of towing the line is
> >against their principles.
> Do you mean Libertarians?

Yeah, sorry, spelling error.

> If so...
> Most of us, yes, but not all.

I find that quite surprising, actually. I suppose there's more than one
way to skin a cat, if you understand my meaning. Ie, it's just another
method of attaining liberty to be in the system, fighting out, rather
than outside fighting in.

> >> >> But how can you make such a system stable?
> >> >
> >> >Eliminate Greed. It's the only way. How to eliminate greed? I can
> >> >only think of one way: Eliminate the human race.
> >>
> >> All (!) you have to do is show that greed is not really beneficial.
> Beneficial to whom?
> >
> >That's like trying to teach people that legal crime doesn't pay! Of
> >course it does. The demonstration that greed is unnecessary would be so
> >difficult and so long that I think people would get bored with it.
> >
> >Can you think of a way to /show/ that greed isn't beneficial.
> I think the presentation of 'greed' here is too simplistic, since greed
> seems to be a matter of degree. What is 'greedy' to you?

I guess the best definition I can think of would be: The desire to
attain that which is unnecessary for one's continued existance in a
state of happiness, and that would be more worthwhile elsewhere.

What do you think?

> If I recieve,
> say, $3 million a year from lottery winnings, how much do I have to give a
> way to preclude those on this list from considering me greedy?

Depends on how you've become used to living.

> Half? 90%?

Noooooooooo .... keep it all!!!!!!!

> And does it matter whom I give it? Unicef or the Cato Institute? Depends
> on which you think would do more good with the money, which depends on what
> your definition of 'good' is... this isn't what I would call simple. We
> can't fix the problem of 'greed' without nailing down what the animal looks
> like.

I'd say that greed is an inbuilt human (and possibly all animals)
thing. That's why Communism doesn't work. No one is willing to suspend
their greed, because I think in the long run, it's just not possible.



"We are the New Breed, We are the Future."