[ExI] experiment regarding ethical behaviors vs status: was RE: Will robot cars be TOO good?

spike spike66 at att.net
Mon Mar 26 03:45:51 UTC 2012

>... On Behalf Of Mike Dougherty
Subject: Re: [ExI] experiment regarding ethical behaviors vs status: was RE:
Will robot cars be TOO good?

On Sun, Mar 25, 2012 at 3:34 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

>> ...cooperators.  They have the choice of speeding ahead in the empty 
> right lane up to the front of the line and stuffing their car ahead of 
> other patient drivers who are now well behind, but overall wads up 
> traffic, so it penalizes the cooperators twice.  These are the defectors.

>...I think the cooperators should be equipped with paintball guns to "tag"
the defectors for future identification...

Actually the thought had occurred to me.  It would be easy to rig up a
paintball gun underneath one's vehicle in such a way that it could not be
easily detected.  Then a remote trigger could be rigged, so that the driver
could paintball some defecting beemer as he streaked by.  It would be fun on
multiple levels: it catches the reptilian urge to avenge oneself upon the
defecting speedster, Herr Porsche, and it would be a cool interesting
challenge from an engineering point of view.

>...I wonder if the defectors would find such tagging a sufficient deterrent
to keep them in the cooperator lane?

It actually would alter the traditional notion of cooperator and defector,
if there is some compelling reason to not defect.  As Hofstadter posed the
question in his 1986 Scientific American columns, the notion of cooperation
must be from the good of the heart, a karma thing completely, with no
external fear factor applied to the defector.  Cooperating is analogous to a
completely non-tax-deductible anonymous donation, and defecting is analogous
to keeping the money in a wallet one finds on the sidewalk when no one is in
sight.  No score for cooperating out of fear, or wish for any reward in this

Still it would thrill my soul to whop some speedy jerk in a Mercedes SL
class with a paintball.  I had a better idea.  It would be easy to rig up a
spring plunger BB gun, replace the BB with viscous watercolor in the barrel.
It wouldn't cause any damage to Frauline Beemer's car, since the paint would
wash away, but it would remind her that the row of cars she tore past has at
least one creative thinking rocket scientist.


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