[ExI] The Selfish Gene? Maybe not----

spike spike66 at att.net
Tue Mar 17 16:17:03 UTC 2015



From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of John Clark


>…In addition it ignores the part emotion plays in behavior, in real life tests of the Ultimatum Game it was found that people would usually choose to punish those who they believed acted unfairly even if that results in less reward for themselves. There is evidence that chimpanzees, monkeys and even rats also behave in this way… John K Clark



Ja.  I see good explanations for that kind of behavior which are compatible with what Dawkins wrote in Selfish Gene.  I don’t see that his notions are in any serious danger, even while contemplating the next really cool step: a philosophical symbiosis of Dawkins and the concept of the Nash equilibrium.  Those are two powerful concepts which play well together.  Truth is that way.  


The easiest way to illustrate the idea is in an environment where most of us here have experience: the office.  We know people tend to pad expense reports, which might be considered minor cheating, but we do nothing and don’t worry about it.  If we learn of something major that is being done by the director or the company, we each make a decision to go along with it to our benefit or blow a whistle which in the long run only hurts the whistleblower and the entire team.  Under those circumstances, plenty of humans blow the whistle.  I have been there and I did.  Now I have no job, but I can still look at myself in the mirror.


This behavior makes total sense to me and I would do it again and again in similar circumstances.  The Ultimatum Game is an imperfect but better than nothing means of measuring this.  We might call this phenom the Ultimatum paradox.


I can imagine a Nash equilibrium forming in any company or any team.  The individuals on the team will vary in their attitude toward unfair actions and in what they define as unfair, but the spectrum will smear out and include some from various points of view.  We make all this noise about the wonders of diversity.  Here you go, proof.  The Ultimatum paradox demonstrates how diversity keeps a team honest.
























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